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?