🎻♫♪ – Piano Sonata in F minor, op. 57, “Appassionata” by Ludwig van Beethoven

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
90/501Title: Piano Sonata in F minor, op. 57, “Appassionata”
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Nationality: German

After a run of some of the more recent entries on the classical list, it is time to venture backwards into the earlier throngs of the list. This also marks a return to Beethoven in what feels like an extremely long time.

When I saw that we had pulled out ‘Appasionata’ I, for some reason, cast my mind back to a video game I used to love as a child called The Lost Mind of Dr Brain. It had this musical minigame where a rat in a powdered wig would play a piece of classical music out of order and you had to rearrange it to make sense. As a 6-7-year-old I was never able to do it, but it’s a strong image. Now that I have listened to ‘Appasionata’, I realize that it had nothing to do with this game, but it was too weird to not share.

Anyway, so ‘Appasionata’ (or ‘Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor’) is one of those pieces where my hands ache by just hearing the gymnastics that the pianist had to go through. I listened to the version played by Daniel Barenboim and… wow how he was able to play the ‘Allegro assai’ section is beyond me. The final few minutes of the whole piece are also a mindfuck when it comes to playing.

It is interesting to note that this is a piece that has since been arranged to be a duet, I guess due to the ridiculous level of complexity. It’s a great piece that has made me really eager to listen to ‘Hammerklavier’ as soon as possible. I mean, how much more difficult can Beethoven get!?

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