Beethoven piano sonata no 23, opus 57, “Appassionata”‏

by richibi

despite its apparently appropriate appearance
Beethoven’s “Appassionata” once again was
not so titled by Beethoven, but posthumously
even only, by an otherwise inconsequential
publisher with respect to our story, it is filled
with brilliance and verve, as had been
Beethoven’s wont, but a new spirit has
invaded this work, to my mind, which
hadn’t been evident in his earlier, even
more recent sonatas  
 
Beethoven has ceded to contemplation,
no longer merely the bravura that bristled
thrillingly when his fingers flew across a
dazzled, surely, keyboard, dashing off
feats of musical dexterity, indeed of
outright improbable prestidigitation, the
inspired and omnipotent fury of a youth
in all his promise and pulsating
exhilaration
 
here, in the second movement mostly,
the very heart of the piece, his quest is
philosophical, this is no longer merely
a musical air, but a striving for meaning
 
from here on Beethoven, where earlier
he’d been an adventurer, a Johnny
Appleseed, if you’ll remember my calling
him that, in his idyllic Pastorale“, full of
determination and fire, still impervious 
to any danger, now has suffered doubt,
and begins here, at the height of his
compositional powers to display it 
 
this is no longer entertainment, this is
conversation, it’s like going from the
Beatles’ I Want to Hold Your Hand to
John Lennon’s Imagine having been
through the intermediate Sergeant
Pepper“, the later works meant to
actually change the world, not only
just to regale it 
 
this is also only the start, Beethoven
will become extraordinary, a sage, 
music’s highest priest, and prophet  
 
watch, listen, wonder
 
 
Richard
 
 
 
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