Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy 23rd!

Daniel Barenboim performing the Beethoven piano sonata no. 23, opus 57, the "Appassionata."

The great pianist Vladimir Horowitz once joked, "There are three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists."  Just in case you were wondering, I was a bad pianist.

Daniel Barenboim has made the following comments about the Beethoven piano sonatas: "I’ve been playing the sonatas for about 47 years. The Beethoven piano sonatas are like an artistic diary, like a journal. There is hardly another output from any composer, in any form, that gives such a clear picture of a composer’s development and transformation. The piano sonatas are much more important, from that point of view, than the symphonies – not only because there are 32 of them, but because of the fact many of them come in groups, and there is some connection between them."

I like that observation: a collection of independent pieces that serve as an artistic diary or journal, that chronicle the writer's development and transformation, and that have discernible connections among them.  Sound familiar?

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