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interpreted by MAURICE COLE
Sonata, Op. 53 (the ' Waldstein ') (First Movement)
A LTHOUGH Beethoven seems to have always done his level best to offend his aristocratic friends, and though no more independent man ever existed than he, yet he owed a good deal to the nobility ; and some of them showed their good qualities and good judgment in refusing to be perturbed by his rudeness.
One of his earliest friends and supporters was one Count Waldstein, who, being born in 1762, was just eight years Beethoven's senior.
Count Waldstein and Beethoven first met when Beethoven was still a lad, working hard at Bonn, and living in the poor house of his drunken father. Waldstein (who would be about twenty-five) helped young Beethoven in various ways, getting him a piano, and letting him have money under the guise of allowances from the Elector, in whose service Beethoven and his father both worked.
A year later Beethoven wrote twelve variations for the Piano Duet on an air by Waldstein, and then, when ho was thirty-five and writing his most virile music, dedicated to him the fine Sonata in C, No. 21, always known as The Waldstein Sonata.
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