Beethoven was praised as both a composer and an accomplished pianist in his day. His 32 sonatas are among the most popular classical piano repertoire. Although he lost most of his ability to conduct and play the piano due to his loss of hearing, he continued to compose, and in fact composed some of his greatest masterpieces near the end of his life. Although it’s known that he had a difficult personality, he was so beloved that his funeral in 1827 was attended by over 20,000 people.
Sonata Opus 109, written only seven years before the composer’s death, has many of the characteristics of his later works that make them so different from his earlier music. It is intimate, complex, meditative and lyrical, with beautiful harmonies.