F. Schubert Sonata A major # 20 D.959 Valentina Lisitsa
Does it seem to you that the world has gone mad? Wars, bombings, killings, hate….
I can offer but a little remedy, an escape rather. Music equivalent of “slow TV”, something created not to excite our over-driven nerves, but to soothe, to lull, to put in ultimate trance, to make the time stand still and the troubles of outside world fade away, if only for a few minutes.
Nobody has done it better than my beloved Franz Schubert.
There is a famous quip about two musicians arguing over the merits ( or weaknesses) of Schubert late piano sonatas, one describing the unusual time span of the pieces as “the heavenly lengths”, another – replying “they aren’t that heavenly, they are just plain LENGTHS”.
Yes, Schubert is unique in a sense that he’s dispensed not only with customary time restrains established by the need to keep the listener “interested”, but also with the medley of rather theatrical “action heroes” prerequisite for a virtuoso performer to feel adequate 🙂 His music is not about heroes and villains, gods and devils.
His music is about you and I, about regular people living their lives, loving, longing, suffering, dying….all without the world taking notice and without the headlines.That’s the real charm and beguiling spell of his music – this is about us, the regular human beings, whom he understood better than any other composer.
You might not be able to fully enjoy this piece from the first try, or if you have your thoughts wondering around, thinking of million little things, looking for easy gratification of virtuoso finger-work and thunderous chords.
You will enjoy it if you allow yourself to surrender to this music, to its flow, as slow, smooth and spellbinding neurasthenia waters of mythical river Lethe, the river of forgetfulness and oblivion.
“J’ai trop vu,
trop aimé dans ma vie;
Je viens chercher vivant le calme du Léthé.”
“I have seen too much,
felt too much,
loved too much in my life;
I come to seek, still living,
the calm of Lethe.”
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