With the greatest artists, even the most familiar pieces sound as if you were hearing them for the first time.
Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# minor, Op. 27, No. 2 (“Moonlight”), 1801/Artur Schnabel, piano, 1933
1st & 2nd Movements
The magnitude of his [Schnabel’s] creative accomplishments left technical considerations far behind. His Beethoven had incomparable style, intellectual strength, and phrasing of aristocratic purity. The important thing was that even when his fingers failed him, his mind never did. Schnabel was always able to make his playing interesting. A mind came through—a logical, stimulating, sensitive mind. And when Schnabel had his fingers under control, which was more often than not in his literature of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, he took his listeners to an exalted level. . . . There were no tricks, no excesses; just brain, heart and fingers working together with supreme knowledge.—Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists (1963)
Want more of Beethoven’s piano sonatas?
No. 21 (“Waldstein”)/Emil Gilels
No. 23 (“Appassionata”)/Solomon
No. 32 /Claudio Arrau
At the risk of repeating myself, the Matisse exhibit at Chicago’s Art Institute closes Sunday (then opens next month at New York’s Museum of Modern Art). How many other opportunities will you have to see this stuff?
Seek the strongest color effect possible . . . the content is of no importance.
After a half-century of hard work and reflection the wall is still there.
Bathers with a Turtle (1908)
The Blue Window (1912)
Nude with a White Scarf (1909)