Steve Heronemus

Favorite Music, Movies and Books

Karajan: Beethoven Symphonies (1963)

The best of the best. This 1963 recording of Werner von Karajan with the Berlin Philharmonic is truly special. His interpretation of Beethoven’s 9th reflects his lifelong study of Beethoven with crisp articulation and lush strings. Hybrid SACD will play in any CD player, but do your ears a favor and buy an SACD player. The difference in sound quality is not subtle.

Copying Beethoven (2006 film)

A beautiful little fiction drama about events leading up to the premier of the 9th Symphony. A woman is sent to copy all of the instruments’ parts (at that time a monumental manual task with quill and inkpot). She becomes his muse and tempers his volatile emotions in his final months.


A more introspective Ludwig van showing off his tender side. Includes the Holy Hymn of Thanks mentioned in Shells and the Grosse Fugue, which was 100 years ahead of its time and sounds modern even today. Beethoven commented that he wrote these quartets for future generations, not his contemporaries.

Immortal Beloved (1994 film)

Beethoven wrote lots of letters, but to whom? They were addressed to “Immortal Beloved”, but we don’t know to whom the lifelong bachelor was referring. This fictional drama chases leads in order to fulfill Ludwig’s will.