Friday, November 16, 2012

reading moonlight seniors


Concentration.

Listening to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata I recall  that it is the only thing that I remember my Mother playing on the piano. Yet she was a Licentiate of the The Royal Academy of Music. The absence of a piano at a critical time of her life may have accounted for this neglect, but when the piano was restored she very rarely played. A sad waste which I see repeated in others who  have learnt to play an instrument and then neglect it. Perhaps because I having no such skill, to ignore one seems to me all the more surprising.

Labels can be disturbing. In the window of The Oxfam Bookshop in Chapel Place a book called Gardening for Seniors catches my eye. A pair of old hands on the cover appear to be severing a runner bean from the stem.  How senior does one have to be to qualify to read the book.  Would I be presumptuous to ask to examine it?  And risk being told, off you go sonny, come back in another 10 years.  In my dreams.

2 comments:

Roderick Robinson said...

As a well-established musical snob I find it difficult to refer to that particular sonata as the Moonlight. There are other options. For those who lack a musical soul it can be labelled the fourteenth. For opus number grubbers it's twenty-seven, not forgetting to add Number Two. For those whose snobbery is even better developed than mine, the C-sharp minor. But far and away the most impressive is the Quasi una fantasia sonata which actually sounds more like an operatic aria than something for a joanna.

Two related comments attached to a version of this piece of music on YouTube:

"This is truly the greatest piano sonata which has ever been composed. It is the embodiment of the timelessness, etc, etc."

Followed by:

"Jesus Christ how desperate are you for likes."

Joe Hyam said...

It did occur occur to me that I should be more precise. The thing is when my Mum played it to me, just a lad I was at the time, she called it The Moonlight and that is how I think of it.