Ludwig van Beethoven composed his First Symphony with 30 years. At that age he had already begun to notice the first tinnitus, an advance of a deafness that inevitably affected his way of making music.

Although we did not know anything more about this romantic genius, we do know some of his most famous pieces, as the For Elisa, the Hymn to Joy -Adopted as a European anthem- and, whether we are aware or not, the Minuets del Septiminus. If the latter has not been guessed, perhaps you should remember the header of a popular animated series from the late 1970s: Once upon a time the man. Interestingly, in the original French version they opted for Bach and his Toccata and fugue in D minor.

It is clear that the influence of German goes further. So much so that even the Stand by Me the Ben E. King, among other unforgettable themes, drink from that initial symphony. He tells these things from the stage – in a shirt and sneakers -, baton in hand, Edgar Martin (41), conductor in front of the Camerata Musicalis Symphony Orchestra.

On the other hand, an audience that seems loyal, motivated, accepts the context prior to the piece to be performed and does not hesitate to participate in the game he proposes Because is special?, a show that has just started its fourth season at the Teatro Nuevo Alcalá in Madrid and that gives an affordable return to classical concerts. Martín continues with the exhibition: what Beethoven was like, what life circumstances he had, why he refused to do commissions … “I use a close way of speaking, with some jokes, a white humor that reaches everyone “, he explains to 20minutos before the show.

This popularizing vein was born by accident. He studied Violin, Composition and finally became a conductor, which makes him “happier”. “I saw myself with the need to be in contact with music, to be able to understand it”, he adds, that’s why one day it occurred to him to tell “four little things” to the audience. Now he does it, according to the pandemic, with a mask and without intermediate. You have to adapt to everything.

The conductor, during the interview with 20 minutes.

Classical music is not a watertight compartment, in fact, we have it very much in mind. “It’s interesting to know about other types of music to be able to say ‘look, this comes from here or this comes from there'”, he comments. And he resorts, with his pedagogical touch, to reggaeton – “one long sound, another very short and two short medium” -, which comes from the Baroque Theory of AffectsIn the seventeenth century, he established “a table of rhythms that provoke a state of mind”. There is also a musical connection with Literature and Painting. As an example, “the friendship between Pablo Picasso and Manuel de Falla” and the scenography designed by the man from Malaga to The Three-Cornered Hat, released in 1919 in London.

During the first part of Because is special? musicians lend themselves to the licenses of their conductor, previewing striking parts of that day’s piece, gesturing or winking –without fanfare–. Whoever carries the baton is not there for decoration. A director, explains Martín, “serves to unify pulsations, so that we all feel the music at the same time, at the same speed, that we all breathe together”. In addition, you have to take care of the balance and achieve the articulation of each musical phrase. He knows what he’s talking about: at the age of 12 he was already composing “simple” pieces for string quartet. He was moved by a “curiosity about the effect of sound” that has not disappeared with time.

35 minutes have passed and Martín disappears a moment from the scene to return dressed in a tailcoat; Beethoven returns in all its splendor. Is it a composer to get started with? “It depends on each person,” he says, “If a very active one I put the Requiem de Fauré, who is very calm, is going to say ‘I hate classical music’. Better known as Ride of the Valkyries, by Wagner.

However, for someone more withdrawn, “who likes little details”, I would recommend Mozart, with his accompanied melody, his elegance and his clarity. For “super sensitive, passionate” people, Mahler is more appropriate. The author’s country of origin must also be taken into account, because Bach’s baroque – German, more dense – does not resemble that of Vivaldi – Italian, lighter. In the end, there is usually a connection. “Music is in direct relationship with the human being, because sound is vibration and we, too. It seems precious to me. “

Edgar Martín shows a score.
Edgar Martín shows a score.

He does not forget about them, the composers, that there are. Y mentions Nannerl, Mozart’s sister, who shared a notebook with the author of The magic Flute when they were little and was able to sign some of “those first works of 1760, 61 or 62”. And to María de la O Lejárraga, royal author of The love wizard, attributed to her husband, Gregorio Martínez Sierra. “It is beginning to be known that there were many women who signed under the pseudonym of their husbands, their cousins ​​or someone invented “, says Martín, who advocates” doing a thorough investigation of all the great works with a male name. “

In the next functions of Because is special?the next one, this Sunday, November 15– the public will be able to learn more about Zarzuela, Schubert, waltzes and polkas or Brahms.