Sometimes the world moves too fast for me and one of my favorite ways to slow down or decompress is to listen to Beethoven slow movements. I do other things for downtime too, but I find that Beethoven slow movements, and certain classical music pieces in particular don’t just relax me or take my mind of things, but they have the ability to restore or nourish me. This year, I am trying to perform all ten Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin in recital and my second recital was last week. I got to play some of the most beautiful music and wanted to share a five-minute video of one of the movements. I was really happy with this performance…I’m not sure how it sounded or how it will sound to anyone else, but I felt like I was able to be really open and tried to show what I was feeling and how much I was feeling, which is difficult for me as a performer. I feel I was only able to be this intimate with an audience because of the nature of the piece and how it starts shyly but gains bravery. The movement begins with a really simple melody in the piano and the violin part has fragments of two notes that seem like little love nudges to the piano part. The parts exchange the melody and the accompaniment back and forth for the rest of the movement and I love the way each gets encouraged by the other to open up, get more generous and embellished. This movement is like a character study from a novel in that you are introduced to a simple theme and everything keeps expanding from that, with the interaction of the two instruments or characters being the most important thing. After I listen to this movement or even while I’m playing it, I feel inspired to fill out the fragments of my life into complete melodies and to sing them more bravely. I hope you enjoy it, I know I really enjoyed studying the piece and being able to perform it for you all.
Karim Al-Zand’s Pattern Prelude 1