“This change has brought forth a dear, magical girl who loves me and whom I love; it is a few blissful moments again in 2 years, and it is the first time I feel that marriage could make me happy; unfortunately she is not of my rank …”.
For the beautiful Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, the affair that moved the 31-year-old Beethoven to these words was only a small episode in her curriculum vitae. For soon afterwards she married Count Robert Gallenberg and Beethoven remained alone.
But instead of moping, he allowed all his pain to flow into a work that is still today one of the most popular pieces of classical music, the so-called Moonlight Sonata op. 27.
It is above all the first movement that makes the work a timeless classic. But what seems to come across here so easily, this fine playing of a tender, sadly beautiful melody over an accompaniment that falls over the movement like pale moonlight, requires extreme discipline and absolute mastery of the piano from the performer.
For correctly interpreted there are four voices that the pianist must balance out in every note and in which he must not allow himself any mistakes: the melody, a marble bass and an accompaniment in triplets, the first of which must always be played somewhat louder than the other two.
Probably the most unconventional and for me the most important interpretation comes from the British pianist Solomon. Beethoven prescribes both “Adagio” and “alla breve” for the piece, i.e. two quarters in one blow. Solomon, on the other hand, opts for absolute slowness. And thus he achieves new, never imagined layers of the only supposedly so well known work.