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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas

Yesterday I brought you the master's complete (16) string quartets, in a single 9-hour YouTube file, and in a legendary performance by the Quartetto Italiano.  It was a big hit so now I'll present the other half of what's been called the "twin Everests" of music, Beethoven's complete (32) piano sonatas, at almost ten hours. And an even more famous cycle, by the first pianist to record them all, decades ago, in a truly influential way--Arthur Schnabel.  He set the standard.  Go here for the start times of each sonata in the YouTube write-up.   After a slow start with the first couple, they get greater and greater, and then still greater, as you go along.  And as my friend Tim Page once told me, "Beethoven becomes Beethoven" with the slow movement to Sonata No. 7 (go to 2:08).   NoteOur new film and book explore one of Beethoven's other peaks, The Ninth Symphony, and its incredible political and cultural influence around globe.  See trailer and amazing Bill Moyers segment.

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