20 February 2017

Rush Hour: Why was Vladimir Lenin always happy to listen to Beethoven's Appassionata?

Cultural historian and pianist Alexander Jakobidze-Gitman is a current Prokhorov Fellow at Sheffield.

Vladimir Lenin

Alexander gave a short talk to explain why the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin was willing to listen to Beethoven's piano sonata no. 23 "Appassionata" every day, and then performed this famous musical work.

In an essay much-quoted in Soviet media, Russian writer Maxim Gorky described how Lenin praised the "Appassionata" as an astonishing and superhuman work of music which he would never tire of listening to, but which also churned up humane – and therefore dangerous – emotions.

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