Ludwig von Beethoven and Elizabeth Petcu – hearing loose a challenge, but not an impairment.
And what of the Elizabeth Petcu / Ludwig von Beethoven connection? Well, there appear to be common threads running through both lives. Sure they don’t share the same age, address, flute maker or historical gravitas, but they do share a passion for music – the universal language. Ludwig composed his own music of course, and Elizabeth has performed many of these creations over the span of her professional career.
They also share a similar adversity. Elizabeth Petcu suffers from a condition known as otosclerosis, which is the most common cause of progressive deafness in young adults. Some consider otosclerosis to be the most likely cause of Beethoven’s deafness. Whatever the case, it is well documented that Beethoven went on composing despite near complete deafness. In Elizabeth’s case too, when her hearing impediment forced her into retirement from the RTE, she has kept up with her practice and performs wherever she can with an enduring energy, cheerfulness and enthusiasm that is fuelled by a great love for sharing her gift of music with others. Composers must compose, performers must perform. Audiences, large or small, receive the fruit of this wonderful synthesis.
Just added to Martin Doyle Flutes: three music samples from Elizabeth Petcu’s debut solo flute album, Just Me. Elizabeth Petcu is a good friend of Martin Doyle’s who lives in Bray, County Wicklow. They also constitute two thirds of the music trio Rune.
The fourteen tracks that comprise Just Me were recorded at the acoustically exceptional Calary Church near Roundwood in County Wicklow and the album is a lovely interpretation of Elizabeth’s favourite repertoire.
Elizabeth recorded Just Me on a Muramatsu concert flute fitted with a wooden headjoint and a keyless simple system Irish flute. Both the wooden headjoint and the Irish flute were made by Martin Doyle. The three tracks that have been added to Martin Doyle’s website are those that Elizabeth recorded using her Martin Doyle keyless Irish flute.
Elizabeth Petcu playing a Martin Doyle flute.
The two Telemann tracks are particularly worth noting as they were technically challenging in that Elizabeth decided to perform them on her Martin Doyle keyless simple system flute – just six open holes with lots of half-holing and cross fingering – quite an accomplishment! Throughout this album, Elizabeth Petcu exhibits her capacity as a mature flute player of great technical capacity that is coupled to a heart-felt passion and sensitivity for her selection. Just MeDebussy, Telemann, Bozza, Bach, Ibert, Honegger, Bates and Karg-Elert – with a traditional Irish air as a fitting finale.