Roll over Beethoven

A weekend of listening to the top 100 pieces by Beethoven, as voted for by listeners to a radio network, was a wonderful opportunity to revisit old favourites and hear music previously unknown. Before the Moonlight Sonata was played, a commentator observed that in it the right hand plays the melody, while left hand operates as a kind of drone. This is well observed and you listen more intently remembering it. But immediately an unprompted thought came into my mind: Bach doesn’t do drones! In his keyboard pieces the lines of music played by the two hands are independent voices that weave in and out, without one being subordinate to the other. Perhaps this is why I prefer one composer to the other.

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