The Digital Piano Plays Its Part – V

Continuing the alphabetical listings of the lives of digital piano players (tongue in cheek) exploring letter I:

Would Beethoven have loved his digital pianoImmortal Beloved (1994)

So here we are again with yet another film about Beethoven; his ‘deafness and his demons.’ On Beethoven’s death his assistant and friend Schindler, is left to put his estate in order. Amongst his papers are three letters addressed to Beethoven’s ‘’immortal love’’. The film draws itself round Schlindler’s mission to discover who she is. This is carried out through flashbacks into Beethoven’s life from his prodigy years at the digital piano to his death. He finds it to be Johanna Riess who has given birth to Beethoven’s son.

Throughout the film Beethoven’s music can be heard from digital piano sonatas to concertos all composed by the master himself. Two of his most celebrated compositions cannot go unmentioned:

The unmistakable ‘Moonlight Sonata’ can be heard with its resounding ‘gong-like’ bass line echoing in step-wise movement. It forewarns of darker days ahead as the semi breves descend down the digital piano.  In the right-hand the adagio triplets – not to be rushed – underlie the dotted-rhythm motif that is known to all.

Fur Elise’ is charmingly executed with its light-hearted, repetitive motif heard in the right-hand. This is complimented by the ascending arpeggios of the left-hand. The lulling motion of the hands is such that the two ‘meet in the middle’ of the digital piano on several occasions and is perhaps significant of Beethoven’s life and loves. 


Impromptu (1991)

This is a romance film depicting the relationship between the digital piano player Frédéric Chopin and the novelist George Sand. Chopin though cautious at first soon falls for her charms and the relationship shows us the peripherals of Chopin’s life.

The film features digital piano works mainly by Chopin though the compositions of Liszt and Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral Symphony’ are played.

Chopin’s penchant for shorter digital piano pieces such as Ballade No. 1 in G minor with its complex 6/4 time signature and intricate; Preludes, Op. 28 and the Minute Waltz, are well-placed fancies. The latter piece shows off the dexterity of the player with its molto vivace quaver-movement. The left-hand punctuates the melody and keeps the tempo from ‘giving chase’.


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