What do Paul Stanley and I have in common? Chest hair? Makeup? Goofy stage banter? Nope. Not much, really, except for one formative event: at age 5, we were both pole-axed by Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto (Piano Concerto #5). Here’s PS waxing eloquent on the subject:
I was absolutely god smacked. To know that music could have that kind of power, although I was so young, the music had such heroic qualities to it and mammoth chords. To this day it’s some of the heaviest and most glorious melodies ever. So that really was my introduction to the gravitas that music could have and how emotive it could be. So at the core of music for me is Beethoven.
As for me, it was the first piece of music I fell in love with when Col. Renfield brought home a copy and put it on the ol’ console. The Beatles came a year or so later.
If you’re interested, there are many good recordings and a handful of great ones. But to my ears, Rudolf Serkin owned this work. Here he is with Leonard Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic competing with him for attention. The winners are we, the listeners.