Playing from the Heart?

Did Beethoven actually play from the heart?

Recently in the Huffington Post, a cardiologist, a medical historian and a musicologist all concluded that some of Beethoven’s masterpieces had certain parts relating to cardiac arrhythmia. Notably from his Piano Sonata in A-flat major, you can tell that some of the music is quite arrhythmic.

If you can’t tell what parts show evidence of his arrhythmic style, note that in some parts of the piece as Barenboim plays for us, certain notes are somewhat played in an oddly fashion. Listen closely.

Let’s go back to Rachmaninoff…

According to Rachmaninoff, music is very common when music is being composed by other means than by the heart. This of course cannot be taken with a grain of salt, but somehow is quite true. The more you think about composition and how to quantify it perhaps if music was strophic, such masterpieces from Beethoven and other greats seem obsolete! Not Beethoven. Perhaps if Rachmaninoff is correct about composing music from the heart – the thing that pumps blood all around the body, then music is truly an unknown force.

How can a heart be reflected onto music? Clearly in the case of Beethoven, there is proof that his pre-existing heart condition is reflected in his music. I can’t say for myself to try and figure out why this phenomena happens, but I am very sure when I say this, musical emotion is something that words cannot explain, and trying to describe it to someone is far fetched.

It is what it really is.

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