For my entry into the Classical world, I went with one of my favorite pieces since before I had started this class. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is a piece that exhibits haunting beauty, and mesmerizing technical complexity all within the same work of art.
I chose the clip above because 1, I believe it is an amazing performance of the sonata; and 2, demonstrates what a talented musician can do with a piece that is over 200 years old. Finished in Vienna, in 1801, this work of Beethoven’s is believed to be piece written for his young female pupil.
Though Beethoven depended, for the most part, on patrons to support himself, a change in the social structure allowed for another means of income. With the middle class emerging, here was a market that wanted music like the aristocracy, and the concerts became a place where Beethoven could perform his pieces, spread his name and earn a living. The very fact that this was a piece written for the piano, would also too lend itself to the growing social change. People wanted something different. Something other than the formulaic Baroque-era pieces. With a brand new instrument, more people would be wanting to hear these new musical works.
So now that we’ve discussed Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata as an individual piece, and Beethoven’s works in general as tied in with the rise of the middle class, I leave you with the 3rd movement of the sonata. As a former pianist myself, I have to say my hands were cramping up just watching this.