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Carol Worthey Events


"Some major events of 2018. Don't forget
 you can peruse the Event Archive for prior years
 by clicking on the links in the sidebar."


2018 Events Archive Table

     ""The Last Thunderstorm" for Solo Piano Published"~London
     "Happy New Year!"

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Volume Five Cover
Score Cover
Susanne Kessel at Piano

The Last Thunderstorm
by Carol Worthey

Composed in Honor of Beethoven's 250 th Birthday as part of
250 Piano Pieces for Beethoven

Curated by Concert Pianist Susanne Kessel

Carol Worthey was singularly honored to be chosen along with 249 other living composers from around the world to compose an original solo-piano piece in honor of Ludvig Van Beethoven's 250 th anniversary of his birth, to be celebrated in 2020 throughout the entire world.
Susanne Kessel , the originator of this unique musical tribute, has worked tirelessly for years to select, organize and premiere all 250 special works in many concerts in Bonn, Germany, famous as Beethoven's birthplace.
What a treasure these contemporary works create: The sheer variety of musical styles and moods chosen by these international composers makes for a kaleidoscope of highly individual takes on Beethoven's work and life. Carol is indeed deeply honored to be part of this grand endeavor. Publisher Nikolas Sideris is to be commended for proofreading and perfecting the printed scores in all ten volumes of 250 Piano Pieces for Beethoven. Carol's piece is to be found in Volume 5 of the series; all ten volumes are available for purchase through Editions Musica Ferrum. (There ended up being 260 new works, but the overall title of the project remains the same.)
As soon as she was asked to participate in this global undertaking, Carol set about researching the composer's life and works in book after book: Beethoven's difficult childhood with a drunken and abusive father, his historic meeting when he was a child to play for Mozart, his awkward subservience and oftentimes clashes with patrons, his increasing renown and public adoration, his intense loneliness and infamous irritability (notwithstanding his kind heart), his unique path as a freelance composer and performer giving some of the first open-to-the-broad-public concerts, his mastery of improvisation ironically coupled with his insistence that interpreters follow his scores to the letter, his cleansing walks in the forests and fields, his controversial or adored creation of never-before modes of expression, the intensity of his failed loves (surrounded to this day by speculation about his Immortal Beloved), his increasing trials coping with the frustration of ongoing deafness, his scrawling notebooks perfecting every note, his battle to nurture an uncaring nephew from the grasp of a dictatorial mother, his allegiances and defiance amidst the political storms and warring philosophies of his times — all infused with Beethoven's absolute mission to lift mankind somehow to new heights. Beethoven is a city of contradictions.
In the end, the real Beethoven remains — for all his huge compendium of works, letters and impact on others — a mystery.
After immersing herself in Beethoven's life and legend, Carol's attention centered on a very dramatic scene substantiated by accounts from witnesses: Beethoven's final hours during a thunderstorm that shook Vienna. She imagined the forceful composer on his deathbed, getting weaker and weaker yet somehow raising his fist against the thunder. Was the Master actually creating the thunderstorm in his protest against leaving the earth and not completing all his work?
This scene is depicted in Carol's contribution to the 250 Piano Pieces for Beethoven, The Last Thunderstorm. In this work Carol depicts the rolling thunder with the lowest notes in the piano while darts of ascending passages strike like lightning bolts. The Master's heartbeat infuses the hesitating dotted rhythm, louds and softs and the echoing shadows of pedaled tones portray the dying man's struggle for breath and life. A simple childhood tune emerges as if the composer were reliving some memories of his youth when life was simpler and more innocent. In the last whimpers of this piece Beethoven breathes his last but — like all those rare geniuses who have bejewelled us with their art — his music will never die!
Here is Carol Worthey's artcover, titled A Fist Against The Storm. It is notable that while Carol was composing the music and creating the art, she herself was fighting lack of sleep because of intense joint pain. Completing The Last Thunderstorm was her personal triumph as well as a tribute to the Master.
In late Fall of 2018 Pianist Susanne Kessler recorded The Last Thunderstorm and sent Carol Worthey a personal archival recording of her private studio performance. Susanne's emotionally powerful and very beautiful interpretation of the piece on a gorgeous resonant instrument left the composer in tears — this consummate pianist seemed to recreate Beethoven's last moments just as the composer had envisioned them, almost like a musical eye-witness — a breathtaking recording indeed!
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Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

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