Written: January 22, 2013
Published: January 9, 2017
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Listening to "Appassionata" was an enjoyable experience. The piece was a beautiful fusion of dynamics, tempos, melodies, harmonies, syncopation, and repetition. Each movement seemed to tell a different story although they all blended the previous elements mentioned.
IntroductionFirst, I listened to a 1956 era video of Solomon Cutner perform the 1st, 2nd and 3rd movements of "Appassionata" on YouTube. Then, I watched the same performance. To gain a thorough impression, I believe that listening first and watching second was advantageous.
Initially, the piece began in a grave tempo. Slowly, it elevated towards andante. Around the one to two minute mark, it proceeded to allegro. The variation of tempos instantly caught my attention. Although, the sheet music wasn’t in front of me, there were instances when I noticed the piece must have had rests.
I believe the rests in the beginning also contributed to catching my attention. Around the three minute mark, the piece became light and airy with an undertone of prominent harmonic strikes. I began to realize the amount of practice, skill, and passion that a pianist must embody in order to effectively perform this piece.
The tempo of the first four minutes was slower than the 1st movement. As a whole, the piece sounded like a mixture between piano and mezzo forte. Some instances were forte, but those times were rare. Since the tempo was slower than the 1st movement, I noticed the variation of dynamics: crescendo and diminuendo. In relation to the tone of the piece, it sounded playful around the four to five minute mark. Although, I was attentive to the piece, I felt more relaxed in comparison to when I listened to the 1st movement.
I experienced presto at it's finest during the 3rd movement! If I had to mirror an image with the 3rd movement, I would say it reminded me of someone or something scurrying across the floor and attempting to hide before someone notices them. Although movements one and two had elements of allegro, this movement had allegro continuously. During some moments, the music was quaint. I thought that was a nice surprise.
Listening to "Appassionata" was an enjoyable experience. The piece was a beautiful fusion of dynamics, tempos, melodies, harmonies, syncopation, and repetition. Each movement seemed to tell a different story although they all blended the previous elements mentioned. I discovered the common theme amongst the 3 movements "hooked" the listeners’ attention in the beginning. Another common theme I noticed was forms of either downbeats or upbeats to attract the audience's attention. I intentionally did not reference the sheet music because I wanted to authentically listen and experience the patterns. In this way, I formed a cohesive and thorough impression. Advantageously, this experience motivated me to continue to strengthen, enhance, and perfect my piano skills.