Late Works


At some point it became accepted that late works were ipso facto better than early works. This would seem to imply that a composer's impending death renders a work more interesting or more important than burgeoning life as the composer takes his or her first steps into the unknown.  
What is really happening here?
I cannot pretend to answer the question within a single blog post.  But I have no doubt that it can be difficult to discern the seeds of greatness in an early Mozart or Beethoven sonata, given that their low number all too often associates them with early stages of piano lessons.  
And I have no doubt that concert programs made up entirely of last works risk reducing their meaning to some distanced sanctimonious state of mind that I find unreal, lacking in vitality.


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