Continuing our Sunday tradition, here's one of the greatest movements from Beethoven's early piano sonatas: the 2nd movement of Sonata No. 3. This afternoon I will be attending a performance of "Manny" Ax doing Sonata No. 2 and the "Appassionata." Lenin once explained (there's a key reference to this in my favorite film of 2007, The Lives of Others) that he could not listen to the "Appassionata" too often because it was so wonderful and profound it might make him falter in his task of smashing his enemies' heads without mercy. Perhaps this explains my own "appassion" for Beethoven, though -- I think -- I have fewer violent tendencies to overcome.
I will link here, in the same vein, to an article in London's The Guardian today, just the latest hailing Daniel Barenboim's performance of all 32 Beethoven sonatas in that city this month as the musical event of the decade. But as I have noted recently, Barenboim is so much more -- a famous Israeli fighting for compassion for the Palestinians. Here's the link and below that, Michelangeli and Sonata No. 2: