Where: Wyvern Theatre, Swindon

When: Wednesday April 6th, 1.05pm

Swindon Recital Series’ Founder and Artistic Director Paul Turner has the stage to himself for this recital as he indulges us with some of Beethoven’s most popular music.  The Moonlight Sonata was written when Beethoven was 31 and in love with his 17-year-old piano student The Countess Giuletta Guicciadri.  He proposed, she accepted, but her parents forebade the match as Beethoven was a commoner.  This sonata is dedicated to her.

Shortly after Beethoven’s death a well-known music critic commented that the first movement sounded like moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne and so the sonata gained its popular title.  The name may be romantic but overall the mood is darker and heavier than it implies.

His Rondo Op. 51 No. 1 opens with a theme suggestive initially of grace and elegance, however the music becomes darker and more intense.  Not one of the composer’s deeper creations but its energy and youthful charm make it a thoroughly worthwhile listening experience.

The Pathétique Sonata was composed when Beethoven was 27.  Although ‘pathetic’ is not a complimentary term these days, in Beethoven’s time a dictionary defined it as affecting the emotions of pity, grief or sorrow.  One of the most celebrated of his works – and the most often used as a basis for popular music over recent decades (Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence is an example) – the piece moves from dark and dramatic through calm contemplation to end with an energetic flourish.

Standard tickets are £7 plus administration fee of 50 pence.  Student tickets are £3; accompanied children aged 14 and under are admitted without charge.  Ticket office / 0343 310 0040.

This concert is supported by Bower Bailey, Solicitors.