Episode 23: Sonata Pathétique

marble bust of Luwig Von Beethoven sitting in front of books on their sides
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Joe and Mark are joined by author, amateur musician and a pioneer in computer graphics research, Brian Wyvill. (And Joe’s brother-in-law.)

The trio have a fascinating conversation, beginning with Brian’s love of mountaineering, rock climbing and diving, before moving on to talk about one of Brian’s favourite pieces of music, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8, better known as the Sonata Pathétique. They also talk, interestingly, about Brian’s part in helping create the visuals in the movie Alien.

Brian’s love of the composition stems from his attempts not only to learn how to play it, but also because his science fiction is set in the Napoleonic Era. The sonata is actually a plot point in his book, Spy of Malta.

They also discuss Mark’s favourite classical composer, Mozart, who influenced Beethoven. Listen to the sonata here, to get a sense of why Brian loves it so much. This version is played by Daniel Barenboim, who admired for his interpretation of both composers. We’ve cued it up to the adagio, which Brian mentions :

Support Our Guest!

Brian follows his dreams as an author/playwright, mountaineer, professional actor and a pioneer in computer graphics research. Brian’s journey through life includes making computer animated sequences for the movie, ‘Alien,’ and writing novels. A renaissance man proficient in the arts, and the sciences, who embraces physical challenge. He has now turned his talents towards creating historical, time-slip, naval fiction. Brian lives with his with his wife and lively Airedale terrior, Juniper in Victoria, British Columbia.

You can support him by checking out his novel, The Second Gate:

What if Napoleon’s admiral had a smart phone? Annette, a spirited student from 21st century Montreal, steps back two hundred years through a time gate to Malta during the French invasion. With a dream to reinvent the critical sea battle between Nelson and Napoleon in Egypt, she must get to Aboukir Bay before her twenty first century hunters can stop her dangerous quest. Sea battles, frigate actions, a slave galley, a ghost ship and a young fanatical Francophone woman trying to change history come together in this adventure story, which plunges three present day history students into the middle of the Napoleonic wars. Is the modern world safe from slips in time that would change our history?

Bryan Wyvill, wearing climbing gear and climbing a vertical cliff face like an insane person

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