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Today’s music is another sonata slow movement: the second movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Pastorale Sonata (Op. 28 if you’re keeping score).
If I had to pick a single favorite composer, it would be Beethoven. He embodied independence and determination. Faced with irreversible hearing loss that meant he didn’t know how long he could continue to make music – the only thing he wanted to do in life, or could imagine doing – he worked all the harder to develop his own musical language and express all his ideas while he could. The result: he changed the course of music history and influenced generations of composers after him.
This particular sonata movement is a study in contrast and expression. It starts out gently, even a little somberly, but quickly shifts to a bright and joking mood. It alternates lyricism with quick percussive passages, finally ending in the same gentle place where it began.
For me, this piece suggests a multi-faceted “character” of a person, a lot like Beethoven himself. If you’d like, as you listen, let the music conjure up a character for you. What’s that person like in looks and personality? How do they act? How do they talk?
If you’d like to share your imagined character, please tell us about him/her in the comments. Make sure to subscribe to the blog if you’d like a daily dose of music, and visit back soon!