I consider the first 20 performances just learning the piece. Think about it this way: If you think about a pianist who plays a Schubert sonata through his whole lifetime - if you listen to Rubenstein or Horowitz playing their repertoire later in their life, you understand the richness with which they play that music, and how differently they must have played it when they were younger.
Particles of raw inspiration sleet through the universe all the time. Every once in a while one of them hits a receptive mind, which then invents DNA or the flute sonata form or a way of making light bulbs wear out in half the time. But most of them miss. Most people go through their lives without being hit by even one.
In college, when a girlfriend asks you to watch a film in black and white, you do it. That's when I discovered a lot of films. I was really obsessed with Bergman, the whole world he creates. One that I always quote a lot is 'Autumn Sonata.' When you see women go through issues with their mom, you realize how right and poignant Bergman was.
A strange adventure befell me while I was playing my Sonata in B flat minor before some English friends. I had played the Allegro and the Scherzo more or less correctly. I was about to attack the March when suddenly I saw arising from the body of my piano those cursed creatures which had appeared to me one lugubrious night at the Chartreuse. I had to leave for one instant to pull myself together after which I continued without saying anything.
As you deal with thumb-crossings, or fingerings for the F-sharp-minor scale, or chromatic scales in double thirds, it is hard to accept that these will eventually allow you to probe eternity in the final movement of Beethoven's last sonata. Imagine that you are scrubbing the grout in your bathroom and are told that removing every last particle of mildew will somehow enable you to deliver the Gettysburg Address.
Of true knowledge at any time, a good part is merely convenient, necessary indeed to the worker, but not to an understanding of his subject: One can judge a building without knowing where to buy the bricks; one can understand a violin sonata without knowing how to score for the instrument. The work may in fact be better understood without a knowledge of the details of its manufacture, of attention to these tends to distract from meaning and effect.
Many Introverts are also "highly sensitive," which sounds poetic, but is actually a technical term in psychology. If you are a sensitive sort, then you're more apt than the average person to feel pleasantly overwhelmed by Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" or a well-turned phrase or an act of extraordinary kindness. You may be quicker than others to feel sickened by violence and ugliness, and you likely have a very strong conscience.
The Mozart sonata Dad picked out begins to play. When we hear the first note, we open the sacks and the ladybugs escape through the opening, taking flight. It's as if someone has dumped rubies from heaven. Soon they will land on the plants in search of bollworm eggs. But right now they are magic-red ribbons flying over our heads, weaving against the pink sky, dancing up there with Mozart.
Kimberly Willis Holt
When we have an experience -- hearing a particular sonata, making love with a particular person, watching the sun set from a particular window of a particular room -- on successive occasions, we quickly begin to adapt to it, and the experience yields less pleasure each time. Psychologists call this habituation, economists call it declining marginal utility, and the rest of us call it marriage
I am part of a light, and it is the music. The Light fills my six senses: I see it, hear, feel, smell, touch and think. Thinking of it means my sixth sense. Particles of Light are written note. O bolt of lightning can be an entire sonata. A thousand balls of lightening is a concert.. For this concert I have created a Ball Lightning, which can be heard on the icy peaks of the Himalayas.
I am part of a light, and it is the music. The Light fills my six senses: I see it, hear, feel, smell, touch and think. Thinking of it means my sixth sense. Particles of Light are written note. A bolt of lightning can be an entire sonata. A thousand balls of lightening is a concert.. For this concert I have created a Ball Lightning, which can be heard on the icy peaks of the Himalayas.
Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the "Mona Lisa" painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer.
Alfred Whitney Griswold
What are the characters that I discern most clearly in the so-called Anglo-Saxon type of man? I may answer at once that two stickout above all others. One is his curious and apparently incurable incompetence--his congenital inability to do any difficult thing easily and well, whether it be isolating a bacillus or writing a sonata. The other is his astounding susceptibility to fears and alarms--in short, his hereditary cowardice.... There is no record in history of any Anglo-Saxon nation entering upon any great war without allies.
H. L. Mencken
He's focused on something-or someone-over her shoulder. The harmonious warbling of the rainforest morphs into organized disarray, as if a primitive maestro has thrown conducting to the wind and let Mother Nature take over. Birds trill a warning as the breeze rustles the plant life. Wings flutter overhead. A crescendo of stridulation changes tempo, the insects seemingly performing a sonata as the rhythm shifts yet again. 'What-who is it?' Summer asks in a strained whisper. His gaze lands on her, his brows furrowing. 'The Forsaken.
Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not feel, to understand what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have. Music seems to me to act like yawning or laughter; I have no desire to sleep, but I yawn when I see others yawn; with no reason to laugh, I laugh when I hear others laugh. And music transports me immediately into the condition of soul in which he who wrote the music found himself at that time. ~The Kreutzer Sonata
Well, Nero, " Genghis said, "I just wanted to give you this rose-a small gift of congratulations for the wonderful concert you gave us last night!" "Oh, thank you, " Nero said, taking the rose out of Genghis's hand and giving it a good smell. "I was wonderful, wasn't I?" "You were perfection!" Genghis said. "The first time you played your sonata, I was deeply moved. The second time, I had tears in my eyes. The third time, I was sobbing. The fourth time, I had an uncontrollable emotional attack. The fifth time-" The Baudelaires did not hear about the fifth time because Nero's door swung shut behind them.
Quando Odette deixasse de ser para ele uma criatura sempre ausente, cobie§ada, imagine¡ria, quando o sentimento que ele tinha por ela ne£o fosse mais aquela mesma perturbae§e£o misteriosa que lhe causava a frase da sonata e sim afeto, reconhecimento, quando se estabelecessem entre ambos relae§eµes normais que poriam fim e loucura e e tristeza dele, ente£o sem deºvida os atos da vida de Odette lhe pareceriam si mesmos pouco interessantes.
She wanted to explain everything to him-how certain notes of the Moonlight Sonata shredded her heart like wind inside a paper bag; how her soul felt as endless and deep as the sea churning on their left; how the sight of the young Muslim couple filled her with an emotion that was equal parts joy and sadness; and above all, how she wanted a marriage that was different from the dead sea of marriages she saw all around her, how she wanted something finer, deeper, a marriage made out of silk and velvet instead of coarse cloth, a marriage made of clouds and stardust and red earth and ocean foam and moonlight and sonatas and books and art galleries and passion and kindness and sorrow and ecstasy and of fingers touching from under a burqua.
And, I think, this greening does thaw at the edges, at least, of my own cold season. Joy sneaks in: listening to music, riding my bicycle, I catch myself feeling, in a way that's as old as I am but suddenly seems unfamiliar, light. I have felt so heavy for so long. At first I felt odd- as if I shouldn't be feeling this lightness, that familiar little catch of pleasure in the heart which is inexplicable, though a lovely passage of notes or the splendidly turned petal of a tulip has triggered it. It's my buoyancy, part of what keeps me alive: happy, suddenly with the concomitant experience of a sonata and the motion of the shadows of leaves. I have the desire to be filled with sunlight, to soak my skin in as much of it as I can drink up, after the long interior darkness of this past season, the indoor vigil, in this harshest and darkest of winters, outside and in.
the mode by which he "heard" the universe and projected it far beyond himself. Perhaps it was in this, I said to Albertine, this unknown quality of a unique world which no other composer had ever yet revealed, that the most authentic proof of genius lies, even more than in the content of the work itself. "Even in literature?' Albertine inquired. 'Even in literature.' And thinking again of the sameness of Vinteuil's works, I explained to Albertine that the great men of letters have never created more than a single work, or rather have never done more than refract through various media an identical beauty which they bring into the world. 'If it were not so late, my sweet, ' I said to her, 'I would show you this quality in all the writers whose works you read while I'm asleep, I would show you the same identity as in Vinteuil. These key-phrases, which you are beginning to recognise as I do, my little Albertine, the same in the sonata, in the septet, in the other works, would be, say for instance in Barbey dAurevilly, a hidden reality revealed by a physical sign, the physiological blush...
The news that she had gone of course now spread rapidly, and by lunch time Riseholme had made up its mind what to do, and that was hermetically to close its lips for ever on the subject of Lucia. You might think what you pleased, for it was a free country, but silence was best. But this counsel of perfection was not easy to practice next day when the evening paper came. There, for all the world to read were two quite long paragraphs, in "Five o'clock Chit-Chat, " over the renowned signature of Hermione, entirely about Lucia and 25 Brompton Square, and there for all the world to see was the reproduction of one of her most elegant photographs, in which she gazed dreamily outwards and a little upwards, with her fingers still pressed on the last chord of (probably) the Moonlight Sonata... She had come up, so Hermione told countless readers, from her Elizabethan country seat at Riseholme (where she was a neighbour of Miss Olga Bracely) and was settling for the season in the beautiful little house in Brompton Square, which was the freehold property of her husband, and had just come to him on the death of his aunt. It was a veritable treasure house of exquisite furniture, with a charming music-room where Lucia had given Hermione a cup of tea from her marvellous Worcester tea service... (At this point Daisy, whose hands were trembling with passion, exclaimed in a loud and injured voice, "The very day she arrived!") Mrs. Lucas (one of the Warwickshire Smythes by birth) was, as all the world knew, a most accomplished musician and Shakespearean scholar, and had made Riseholme a centre of culture and art. But nobody would suspect the blue stocking in the brilliant, beautiful and witty hostess whose presence would lend an added gaiety to the London season. Daisy was beginning to feel physically unwell. She hurried over the few remaining lines, and then ejaculating "Witty! Beautiful!" sent de Vere across to Georgie's with the paper, bidding him to return it, as she hadn't finished with it. But she thought he ought to know... Georgie read it through, and with admirable self restraint, sent Foljambe back with it and a message of thanks-nothing more-to Mrs. Quantock for the loan of it. Daisy, by this time feeling better, memorised the whole of it. Life under the new conditions was not easy, for a mere glance at the paper might send any true Riseholmite into a paroxysm of chattering rage or a deep disgusted melancholy. The Times again recorded the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas had arrived at 25 Brompton Square, there was another terrible paragraph headed 'Dinner, ' stating that Mrs. Sandeman entertained the following to dinner. There was an Ambassador, a Marquis, a Countess (dowager), two Viscounts with wives, a Baronet, a quantity of Honourables and Knights, and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas. Every single person except Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas had a title. The list was too much for Mrs. Boucher, who, reading it at breakfast, suddenly exclaimed: "I didn't think it of them. And it's a poor consolation to know that they must have gone in last." Then she hermetically sealed her lips again on this painful subject, and when she had finished her breakfast (her appetite had quite gone) she looked up every member of that degrading party in Colonel Boucher's "Who's Who.