I’m pretty sure I posted this many months ago, but it’s so beautiful. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the elegance of Beethoven’s compositions in the middle of his writing period.
I played through his first book of piano sonatas for the many-eth time maybe a week ago, and then through part of the second book today, and that’s about where I stop. You can really see the disintegration of his tonality due to his loss of hearing as you continue through the book. The last quarter of the book is not only unpleasant to play through (it’s just a massive wall of black scales and crashing notes), it’s just not pleasant to listen to. You can really see his fractured attempts to make sense, but really all you get is a sense of the deep desperation and frustration of a man trying to keep a hold of what he had under his command for most of his life. The musical line snaps with his attempts to pour his emotion into the music, but this bitter emotion combined with his failure to make any structural or musical sense means that his later piano sonatas are almost never performed. I don’t think I’ve heard of many of them played before, and the one I heard played by one of my professors was one of the better ones. Even then, the music was so dense and tonally atonal that it made little sense to the ear. Anyhow, his symphonies were beautifully composed, and this one movement is absolute perfection. Everything about it is spot on.