A Beethoven portrait that takes up 23 acres

Posted on: June 21, 2016

“There is no question that Ludwig van Beethoven was a larger-than-life figure, one of the greatest composers of all time. And here, at the edge of the Catskills, Beethoven is very big indeed,” writes James Barron in Monday’s (6/20) New York Times. The canvas, in Ellenville, N.Y., “is a huge field where cows once grazed. The artist”—Roger Baker—“is a man who was inspired while listening to Beethoven’s piano sonatas on long-playing records that he found at a yard sale. His tools include four tractors. ‘Beethoven’s got great hair—what can I tell you?’ said Mr. Baker…. A 5-foot-8-inch Yamaha will be trucked in on Monday…. A 40-voice choir from Ellenville Middle School will sing an arrangement of ‘Ode to Joy’ from Symphony No. 9 … Mr. Baker has been called a da Vinci of the lawn mower, an El Greco of the grass.… Before he settled on Beethoven, he considered … Leonard Bernstein, Luciano Pavarotti, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. … ‘Mozart didn’t have the verve,’ Mr. Baker said. ‘I look at the portrait of Beethoven and think, “dun-dun-dun-DUH.” Mozart was just kind of standing there.’ So Beethoven it was.”

Posted June 21, 2016