Thank you all for your feedback - this is much appreciated. It also shows that there are many different ways of approaching this Adagio sostenuto and, although there are repertoire guides that say "Moonlight" has been played to death, it still keeps us busy.
@Didier: Thanks for Schiff, I shall give it a listen later onm today.
@Rachfan: Many thanks for the detailed reply. Having listened to the recording again, I agree that it could do with a bit more flow. I shall also try more rubato and incrase the tempo a tad, as you suggested.
As to the classification of this sonata as early period, I think it is usually classified as the beginning of Beethoven's middle period (starting with op 26). In his development it seems Beethoven was a bit further in his piano music than in his orchestra music. Op 27/2 was at the time of the first and second symphonies, which are still pretty much in the style of the Viennese classics.
@hzemel: The tolling bell at the end needs to come out better, I agree. I also think that this piece of about mourning.
There is, by the way, a lovely story that made its rounds in Bonn, Germany (about fifteen kilometres from where I live) in the second half of the 19th century and was quite a popular motif for drawings and postcards until the early 20th century.
One evening Beethoven was walking through Bonn and, as he was passing a house near the "Koblenzer Tor", he heard somebody play his music on a piano. He went into the house and found a blind girl playing the piano. Moved by her fate, he sat down at the piano and started to improvise. The moon was shining through a window and all of a sudden it seemed to Beethoven that the moonlight and the music started to blend. He got up, rushed home and wrote down the "Moonlight sonata".
This is, of course, a legend. Op. 27/2 was composed about nine years after Beethoven left Bonn for good. But there are still quite a lot of different prints showing Beethoven with the blind girl (cf attachment)
Thought I'd share this with you.
Thanks again for your comments. I shall soon-ish record and post the whole sonata properly.
Beethoven_and_the_blind_girl.jpg [ 102.3 KiB | Viewed 668 times ]