Barenboim on Beethoven 11: Beethoven’s Last Sonata I
A film by Christopher Nupen
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If we had never heard Beethoven’s music before and decided to look at his final piano sonata, Op. 111, alongside his very first, we would be floored by the differences in tonal and formal expansiveness, motivic spontaneity, and compositional architecture—it might even seem unbelievable that the works had come from the pen of one composer. But Barenboim, having already taken us through middle-period Beethoven—the "Waldstein," the "Appasionata", the Eroica—argues that the “unmistakable quality” of the late works represents “a logical development of his whole life’s work.” This chapter of Barenboim on Beethoven focuses on the final sonata’s first movement, “some of the tensest music he ever wrote” in which he proves himself “a master of small forms.”