I went to see Lang Lang play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto I and IV at the Royal Albert Hall tonight. I’ve been keen to see him play since last year when I was flying to Singapore last year, I found a Lang Lang CD of beautiful Chopin on the in-flight entertainment which soothed my jangled nerves and let me drift off to sleep. I thought he was lovely on Desert Island Discs too and that is always a good measure of a person I find.
The concert was beautiful but I found myself thinking about Beethoven during the IV concerto. Beethoven wrote it as he was going very deaf and I kept wondering what that must have been like. I can’t quite imagine how he kept going writing down music he could hear in his head but never been able to hear the final version. Never able to gain the satisfaction of hearing how beautiful it sounded. I thought it must have been quite a lonely existence but also marvelling at how motivated/driven he must have been to keep going and wondering what satisfaction he got from composing. It made me think that when I’m having a bad day at work and feel like things are pointless, I’m going to think about Beethoven and how he cared to write this beautiful music for so many to hear which he would never have heard. Really very humbling.