Barenboim on Beethoven 4: The Appassionata
A film by Christopher Nupen
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The fourth installment of Christopher Nupen’s Barenboim on Beethoven is an unforgettable concert: Barenboim’s fiery interpretation of the “Appassionata” Sonata, a spectacular encapsulation of the synthesis of extremes that Barenboim discussed in the third episode: “now savage strength, now trembling weakness,” in the words of Romain Rolland, the sonata unfolds in a maelstrom of conflicting emotion that the notes seem barely able to contain. From the first movement’s vertiginous tumult to the exquisite lyricism of the Andante and the thunderous catharsis of the final movement, Barenboim navigates each hairpin turn with the hands—and heart—of a master.