By Trix Wilkins
I’ve been listening to Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique performed by Daniel Barenboim – the song that Laurie plays after proposing to Jo.
It is breathtaking, the beauty and complexity of this piece. I have a greater appreciation as to why Jo’s respect for “the Laurence boy” increased so highly upon hearing him play the piano for the first time.
When I first read Little Women, I had no idea what Sonata Pathetique actually was, having merely a vague concept of it being “sad.” I assumed it must have been, for Laurie played it upon receiving the most heart-wrenching rejection of his life.
In actuality, the range of emotion expressed in the piece goes far beyond sadness – and the talent involved in even being able to play this song is astounding.
While listening (unfortunately, I do not possess the sort of talent to play it myself), I stumbled across Edwardian Piano’s post about lyrics that were written for the Sonata Pathetique by John Murray Gibbon in 1933.
I wonder whether Gibbon might have had Laurie somewhat in mind when he penned these particular words to match the score:
Vainly longing, ever finding, faltering idly, where shall I wander?…For ever enduring, ever faithful. For ever enduring, holding true.
Perhaps not, but that fateful proposal is what comes to my mind now…