Switched-On Beethoven – Waldstein Sonata

Here’s a little switched-on music visualization porn – a rendition of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 21 in C ma, aka The Waldstein Sonata:

This sonata is considered to be one of Beethoven’s greatest and most recognized, and one of the three particularly notable ones of his middle period. Beethoven completed this sonata, one of his most technically challenging works, in the summer of 1804. During this time, Beethoven had begun to develop hearing problems that would lead to his deafness in later life. The “Waldstein” name comes from the sonata’s dedication, to Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein of Vienna, a close personal friend of Beethoven’s.

This synthesized rendition was generated by our Matlab synthesizer. For this piece, we programmed a very velocity-sensitive sound whose harmonics change with changing dynamic levels. Volume levels alone are not enough to convey the vast scope and grandiosity of this work. The colors in the scrolling visualization correspond to dynamic levels as well, with red being the loudest notes in the piece.


Switched On Beethoven: “Waldstein” Sonata (Movement 2)

Switched On Beethoven: “Waldstein” Sonata (Movement 3)

5 thoughts on “Switched-On Beethoven – Waldstein Sonata

  1. huh?

    These things were already unimpressive 20 years ago. The programming is uninspired and sometimes plain wrong (the dynamic jumps, for instance).

    Jeff: if you want MIDIs for this, just search in Google. It's easy to find quality MIDI files for classical stuff.

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