Ludwig van Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonatas

Ludwig van Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonatas

Ludwig van Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonatas

Ludwig van Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonatas

Excerpt

Beethoven's Sonatas have been for nearly half a century the subject of a whole series of critical editions and technical commentaries of the greatest interest, but of which the incontestable merits are counterbalanced by a tiresome defect. This is that they have quite certainly altered, not, perhaps, the musical significance of these incomparable piano poems, but at least the state of emotional receptivity in which one ought to approach them. The nuances have been indicated, the fingering marked, the pauses timed, the ties examined, the accents explained--and, perhaps, the true spirit has been neglected.

Analysis has been applied to everything except to that which gave to these great masterpieces the character of an immortal confession; the confession of a melancholy and lonely being, who all his life long-- from childhood till the day of his death, or near it-- confided daily to his instrument his most secret meditations, the bitterness of his torments, his revolts, his unattainable hopes; the confession of a soul who, in Liszt's phrase, "avait mal à l'humanité." That mighty urge of love or indignation which gave wings to his sublime thought, which alone ordered his flight and limited his horizon, we have sometimes been . . .

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