My piano solo of Adagio from Pathetique Sonata by Beethoven is slightly altered from the original. There are a couple places where I have lengthened some staccato notes, which no one except true afficionados and pianists who have played the piece will notice.
The more important change I made is editing out the middle section in a minor key that might be less appropriate for some weddings. This change doesn’t happen until well into the piece, so not to worry. However, it does make the Adagio a bit shorter than it would normally be.
The Pathetique was shockingly original for it’s time. And no wonder – Beethoven once said that an artist “must never stand still.” Certainly, he stands as a musical giant astride the 18th and 19th centuries. His emotional performances as a pianist earned him the highest praise from some of his contemporaries; others claimed his violence at the keyboard was intolerable. He wrote notes in some pieces that didn’t even exist on the pianos of his day! Sadly, sound recording was not invented until 50 years after his death, so we cannot listen to the master at the piano.
Various modern rock groups and other artists have incorporated ideas and melodies from the Pathetique in their works – the band Kiss, on their album entitled Destroyer on the song “Great Expectation”, Jethro Tull, on the song”With You There To Help Me”, and Billy Joel and Wu Tang Clan. Additonally, it was included in the film “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”