I recently performed Beethoven's Sonata No. 14, the "Moonlight" Sonata, at an open mic held by the Trans Empowerment Coalition of my synagogue, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah.
At Bil's suggestion, I'm sharing a video.
I grew up playing the piano very seriously since I was six years old. I spent hours a day practicing while growing up. My teacher used to yell at me; "ferme la bouche! ferme la bouche!" She was French, and she was telling me to close my mouth, because I used to get so into the music while performing that my mouth would unconsciously fall open, and I would occasionally start to drool. Not a pretty picture.
It's now over forty years later, and my skills are much diminished, but I have been lately spending some time at the keyboard.
He wrote it in 1801 when he was 31 years old, in his "early period." He was already beginning to suffer from the effects of tinnitus, which cut short his performing, but not his composing. The work was very popular in Beethoven's day, to the point of exasperating the composer himself, who remarked to Carl Czerny, "Surely I've written better things."
There are rumors that Beethoven was gay, that he was in love with his nephew, and there was some sort of incident where the boy tried to shoot himself. Beethoven's notebooks were all destroyed after his death, and there is speculation that they contained information about the affair.
Video after the jump.