Beethoven dedicated nearly all his compositions to noble patrons, but the may have been special in that regard. Its actual dedication is to Count Franz von Brunswick. Eric Blom notes that Beethoven was in love at the time with both of the Count's two sisters - Therese von Brunswick, a placid maiden whose appeal was entirely spiritual, and Josephine von Deym, a spirited widow whose attraction was mostly physical. Blom speculates that the raging mood of the reflects the duality of these inclinations that plagued Beethoven, and that the dedication to their brother was a discreet way of honoring his feelings. (When asked to explain the significance of his sonata, Beethoven reportedly advised: "Read Shakespeare's ," but no commentator has deciphered what he meant - indeed, while we tend to read a world of significance into every utterance of a genius, perhaps it was just off-hand pique.)
The final variation is a return to the humble opening,adding only a hint of impatience by omitting the repeats of each phrase, complete with soothing harmonization, and leading to a full final d-flat major cadence. But instead of the final note toward which the entire movement has been inexorably pointing, instead we get a soft, rolled diminished seventh chord, loudly repeated, that thoroughly destroys the tonality, followed by an insistent fanfare on a repeated sour chord, which then plunges into the finale, an aggressive, that renews the snarling energy of the opening, but now propelled with unrelenting drive and spiked with eruptions of sharp, nervous counter-notes. It is worth recalling how Beethoven conceived this theme. According to his friend Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven conceived the finale while they took a long walk together, during which he hummed and howled inchoate runs of notes, and then upon returning home he rushed to the keyboard and improvised for a solid hour to shape the theme. While this method would prove frustrating to later scholars trying to trace Beethoven's creative process, Barry Cooper observed that it was more efficient than trying to work out variants on paper, as Beethoven often did in his musical sketchbooks.
How did Beethoven play his own ? There seems to be no direct evidence, and, indeed, the work was never performed in public during Beethoven's lifetime - hardly surprising, as an early critic had found it "incomprehensibly abrupt and dark - much of it is enormously difficult without there being some exceptional beauty to compensate for it." What little we can glean from contemporaneous written descriptions is confusingly abstract and often contradictory. Thus, Beethoven's pupil Carl Czerny stated: "His bearing while performing was ideally restful, noble and beautiful, without the slightest grimace." Others tended to admire his legato effects and exquisitely even scalar runs. Yet, Czerny also stated: "His playing, like his compositions, was far ahead of his time - The pianofortes of the period could not endure his gigantic style of performance." Beethoven's first biographer, Anton Schindler, said: "His playing was free of all constraint with respect to the beat, for the spirit of his music required freedom." Ernst Pauer, editor of an early edition of Beethoven's piano works, added: "He was not particular in polishing and refining his performances." Ferdinand Ries, who was a piano student of Beethoven from 1801-4, seems to take a middle course, recalling that during this phase of Beethoven's career: "Generally he played his compositions very impetuously but for the most part stayed strictly in time, only infrequently pushing the tempo a little. Occasionally he would retard during a crescendo which created a very beautiful and most remarkable effect." Schindler clarifies that this seeming anomaly arose from stressing the rhythm strictly while treating the melody more expressively (a foretaste of the style later to be perfected by Chopin). The result: "His playing thus acquired a highly personal character, very different from the even, flat performances that never rise to tonal eloquence." Harold Schonberg suggests that as a composer Beethoven had little concern for keyboard mechanics; rather, he replaced taste with expression by playing with unprecedented power, personality and emotional appeal. Schonberg further notes that Beethoven's teachers were not professional pianists and so he was largely self-taught; as a result his piano works were not pianistic in the sense of fitting well on the keyboard, and to Beethoven the idea was always far more important than the practical consideration of its execution.
In his essay entitled "The Philosophy of Composition," Poe reveals his purpose in writing “The Raven” and also describes the work of composing the poem as being carefully calculated in all aspects.
I made it! I’m sure 33 weeks doesn’t seem like a big accomplishment to most women who have been pregnant. But with each week and then each day that brought me closer to the time I delivered the triplets, it just continued to amaze me what a gift I was receiving!
"Were you naturally conceived?"
We were the first triplets to be born in Borgess Hospital
We've had the same dream before
Our mom used to always buy us the same outfits but in different colors
NO MATTER WHAT,
I LOVE BEING A TRIPLET
Everything you've ever wondered about us
(1927; HMV 78s, Biddulph CD) - Scottish born, Lamond (1868 - 1948) was considered the greatest interpreter of Beethoven in his time. Lamond revered Beethoven, calling him "my god - the creed of my life - my one and all." While it may be stretching the point to find a special affinity simply because his teacher, Liszt, was a pupil of Czerny, who was Beethoven's own student, Lamond's style is fully convincing, and his early electrical performance of the (a remake of an earlier 1923 acoustical set) is, well, truly electrifying. He advised his students to "try to play in some way of your own, as if you were telling the world for the first time of the wonder of Beethoven," and, indeed, his playing here boasts a remarkable freshness and spontaneity that is never encountered nowadays. In part this derives from Lamond's bold tempos - while the overall 17-minute timing is somewhat deceptive, as he omits the third-movement repeat to fit the work onto four 78 rpm sides, his still is the swiftest on record, barely pausing to add enormous color to the variations before plunging into a torrential finale, with the coda taken at a breakneck speed. His pulse is constantly alive, but never in a way that suggests ego or caprice; rather, he seems possessed by a creative impulse that injects infectious enthusiasm into every phrase. We will never know just how Beethoven played his , but Lamond's ardor brings us closer, not only in time but in spirit, than any other pianist on record.
(1936; Philips CD) - With Serkin (1903 - 1991) we arrive at what most would consider a genuinely modern performance of the . Perhaps the most reliable proof is that his recording is so hard to characterize. Serkin was hailed as one of the greatest Beethoven pianists of his time, but few venture any attempt to explain why. His playing is note-perfect and clean - the result of scrupulous study, long practice and intense concentration - without any attempt to supplant the music with his own personality. The fact that the result emerges as compelling rather than boring is a tribute to the wisdom of placing the entire spotlight on the composer rather than upon himself, as if to say that Beethoven knew exactly what he was doing and any deviation from the clear indications of the score can only detract from the perfection of the masterpieces he produced. Whether Beethoven himself would have agreed is an intriguing question - while he reportedly took considerable liberties with his own music, it is a far different question as to how he expected others to play it. Indeed, his was an age before the compulsion to interpret arose, and the care with which he specified dynamics and accents in his scores suggests the importance he attached to giving clear directives to other performers. Serkin's 1963 stereo remake (Columbia LP, Sony CD), coupled with the and sonatas, was a huge best-seller and reflected the more assertive style of his full maturity.
(1960, RCA LP; 1972, Columbia LP, Sony CD) - Horowitz (1904 - 1989) represented the virtuoso approach to Beethoven's piano music, playing only a handful of the most popular sonatas with breathtakingly precise technique. In the notes to his RCA LP, Horowitz asserted that he sought to deliberately strip the first movement of lyricism "because for me it is from first to last," and that he had no wish to disturb the rage or hold the passion in check. Yet, while he certainly avoids any slide into sentimentality, his phrasing and tempos are sufficiently plastic to differentiate the constantly shifting moods inherent in the music itself. Horowitz also boasted of taking the finale at a moderate pace to stress the qualification of the tempo indication, but the sheer splendor of his execution and sharpness of his attacks provides ample thrills without reckless velocity. Above all, the famous "Horowitz sound" of phenomenally controlled power and razor-sharp attacks creates a magnificent realization. Of his two nearly identical recordings, his Columbia remake has richer sound that adds weight to the overall impact.
In his essay entitled "The Philosophy of Composition," Poe reveals his intent in writing "The Raven" and also describes the work of writing the poem as being carefully calculated in all aspects.