AUGUST 5 MITSUKO UCHIDA, PIANO
BEETHOVEN’S FINAL SONATAS PART II
Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109
Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110
Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111
Ms. Uchida has chosen Caramoor as the only New York presenter of these programs.
It’s an unbelievable thing that I’m doing the one thing I love, and people pay me for it! – Mitsuko Uchida
I happen to agree with this review –
August 7, 2007
Music Review | Caramoor International Music Festival
Beethoven’s Final Sonatas Blossom in Complex Simplicity
By ANNE MIDGETTE
KATONAH, N.Y., Aug. 5 — Virtuosos are often praised with the statement that they make the music sound easy. The last 3 of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas did not sound easy when Mitsuko Uchida played them on Sunday afternoon at the final concert of this year’s Caramoor International Music Festival. The beginning of Opus 109 — Sonata No. 30 — sounded like a tangled wealth of notes that took all the work of 10 fingers to keep under control. This was, of course, an interpretive decision; if the music sounds difficult in the hands of Ms. Uchida, it is definitely because she wants it to.
The underlying question — spotlighted in Beethoven’s late works — is whether it is the point of music to sound easy at all. It is a question that continues to resonate. (Do people listen to classical music to relax or to be challenged?)
Beethoven’s music is commonly portrayed as a struggle. It was certainly a struggle to those confronting it for the first time. It can hardly be described as merely “pretty,” and it still poses considerable challenges, both technical and dramaturgical, to players and listeners. Yet the struggle in many of the final works is precisely about the difficulty of achieving simplicity.