Friday, March 21, 2014

Beethoven the Experimenter

With all the pianists in conservatories encouraged to learn as many pieces as possible within the shortest possible time little room is left to value the experimentation of Beethoven.  There is no time to notice that counting to four gets to be boring; doing so saves a great deal of time, you see.

But there are so many instances in which counting to four completely destroys the creative impulse, not even to mention the underlying wit of the master.  How often does he take four note figures and compound them into sets of fives?  or threes?

This morning my young adult computer animator student coaxed groups of threes out of the four-note broken chords in the "Moonlight" Sonata, third movement.  It took some doing, as it is, at first, counterintuitive.  I let it take as long as it had to take for him to "get" it, at which point the sense of it was so evident that it would now be inconceivable to approach it any other way.