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It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I was just reading through the last movement yesterday! It's brilliant!
But, really, I can see why it's not played much. The first movement, for all its wonderful moments, doesn't really paint a picture that I find cohesive or compelling. And I'm not sure pairing those two movements works that well for me either.
Of course, every single idea is carried out with the utmost brilliance, beauty and mastery-- as is the case with every Beethoven sonata (except possibly 49/2). But for me, out of all of Beethoven's daring formal experimentations, this is one of the experiments that doesn't quite work.
Which, in my view, is how things should be. I like my artists daring and ambitious enough that not everything quite works out.
Loc: New York City
I think some listeners may find the octaves passages in the first movement a little strange or unappealing. That was my first impression whenever I first heard this piece. But I just listened to Barenboim playing the first movement, and I don't feel that way after hearing it today. I'd guess that most listeners do find the second movement appealing.