One of the many tasks this summer has been to update, revise, rethink and relaunch a number of websites. This site is one of them.
This summer holiday I'm planning on listening to the whole of the Beethoven sonata cycle. Not in order. One a day.
So far I've done the Waldstein, Appassionata and Les Adieux - all of them named sonatas but not the most popular ones (I'm guessing, for no scientific reason, that the most popular ones are the Pathetique and the Moonlight).
Why am I doing this? You may well ask. One reason is this series of podcasts, http://www.theguardian.com/music/classical/page/0,,1943867,00.html, hidden away on the Guardian website. It must be at least five years old, but in this series Andras Schiff, who was about to give the entire cycle on the South Bank, introduces each piece to a live audience, often in great detail. It was a superb way to leverage myself into the pieces.
But a better reason is that the entire cycle is so full of invention, beauty, power and hints of the future development of Beethoven's style that it's unmissable.
Keep an eye on Twitter for what I'm listening to today!