All the Lovely Candidates
Sunday Night Journal — January 22, 2012

Beethoven: Piano Sonata 11 op. 22

Weekend Music

You may have noticed that this sometimes-regular feature disappeared some weeks ago, I'm not sure exactly when. I hardly listened to any music at all, or opened a book, between Thanksgiving and Epiphany. After the latter, though, really feeling the lack of music, I began playing music in the car on my daily commute, a habit I'd given up for a while in the interests of trying to clear my mind for other things (an effort which wasn't particularly successful). I'd been finding myself dissatisfied with pop music, and so one of the first discs I chose was volume III of the Beethoven piano sonatas recorded by AndrĂ¡s Schiff, which includes this one. I played it through several times over the course of a week or so, and became fascinated with the first movement. Coincidentally, it was featured in this post by Pentimento, which caused me to listen to it several more times. I don't have the vocabulary to say anything much about it, only that I like it a lot, and that I especially like that mysterious part in the bass that starts around 4:55 in this video. Which happens to be the buildup to the moment around 5:28 which Pentimento was commenting on (as was the person on whose post she in turn was commenting, which I haven't read). 



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I like that sonata too. I have the same Andras Schiff recordings as you, and I am fond of them. His Beethoven is to my liking: not too stormy.

A few years ago Schiff gave a series of lectures on Beethoven's sonatas for the Guardian. They are available for free, and are quite interesting. (I've only listened to the first ten or so, so far.)

"...not too stormy." I often have that sort of reservation about Beethoven, but am wary of expressing it. One is not supposed to have reservations about Beethoven. I'm especially reserved about stormy music on the piano--a big fortissimo on the piano sounds to me like someone dropping an armload of cast-iron pots.

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