History Seminar: Beethoven Piano Sonatas BY pityingly After the completion of the Hammerless, Beethoven’s passion for the piano sonata refused to dissipate. The next three piano sonatas, written over the span of three years, have consecutive opus numbers: Pop. 109 In E major, Pop. 110 In A flat Major, and Pop. Al in C minor. Beethoven clearly approached his last three piano sonatas as a single project.
In the letters to Doll Schlesinger dated 30 April 1820 and 20 September 1820, Beethoven mentioned that: “l am also very willing to sell you some ewe sonatas, but at no other price than 40 florins each, thus perhaps a lot of three sonatas for 120 florins. ” “Everything will go more quickly in the case of the three sonatas- the first is quite ready save for correcting the copy and I am working uninterruptedly at the other two. ” Among the three last piano sonatas, Pop. 111 may have the most interesting history.
For example, the primary theme of the first movement appeared in Beethoven’s sketchbook in 1 801 . According too nineteenth-century German editor, Gustavo Notebook, this theme may have been intended for the finale of one of the Pop. 30 Olin sonatas, On 3 July 1822, Beethoven’s publisher of Pop. 111, Adopt Schlesinger wrote to Beethoven regarding halls concern for the two-movement layout, asking If a third movement had been left behind by the copyists. According to Anton Schneider, Beethoven answered casually that he had not had time to write a third movement, and had therefore simply expanded the second.
However, two-movement piano sonatas were not unheard of in Beethoven’s oeuvre. Works such as the Piano Sonata Pop. 54, Pop. 78, and Pop. 90 consist of two movements of a much shorter length and lighter weight, In my pollen, the reason that Pop. 11 Is two-movements, besides the extraordinary weight and length of the second movement, Is Its extra-musical implication composed of a two-movement scheme which will be discussed in a later paragraph. Pop. All was written between 1821 and 1822 and dedicated to Archduke Rudolf of Austria.
Critics of the time found It difficult to understand it when It was published in 1 823; Journalists began to use Beethoven’s deafness as a convenient explanation for its level of technical experimentation and its intensely personal nature. In 1823, a review in The Harmonic of London states that: The Sonata, Pop. 11 consists of two movements. The first betrays a violent effort to produce something in the shape of novelty. In it are visible some of those dissonances the harshness of which may have escaped the observation of the composer.
The second movement Is an Irritate… We have devoted a full hour to this enigma, and cannot solve. Composed In the “fateful” key of C minor, Pop. 111 shares salary characteristics with works written in the same key, such as Piano trio Pop. L No. 3, String Trio Pop. 9 No. 3, Violin Sonata Pop. 30 No. 2, Piano Sonata Pop. 10 No. L and Pop. 13, Piano concerto Pop. 7 No. 3, Symphony Pop. 67 No. 5, and Corcoran Overture Pop. 62. Chopin was known to have greatly admired Pop. 11, and such association between C minor and the fateful character can be found In his second piano sonata and the Revolutionary Etude in respectively. Besides the fateful character, its implied musical meaning has been widely recognized. As Alfred Breeder states, “Pop. 111 leaves a dual impression- it is the final testimony of his sonatas as well as a prelude to silence. ” Different writers have suggested that the significance of this last sonata goes far beyond the fact that he sonata simply finalizes Beethoven’s piano sonata composition. William Zimmerman describes the philosophical meaning of Pop. 11: “Beethoven’s last piano sonata is a monument to his conviction that solutions to the problems facing humanity lie ever within our grasp if they can be recognized for what they are and be confronted by models of human transformation. ” The heart of such recognition of philosophical meaning in pop. All is the aesthetic of the two-movement sonata design, which incorporates and implies dualism of two antithetic ideas. In other words, Pop. 11 lays the platform for the extra-musical battles between two opposite forces occurring not only within a movement, and between the first and the second theme, but also among the movements.
Beethoven pits the following against one another: the impulsive Allegros con brio De passionate and the serene Adagio molt simple e cantabile; chromatic harmony of the thematic development and transitions and the diatonic harmony of the theme; C minor and C major; common time with duple subdivision and compound meter with triple subdivision; frequent interruption of harmony and tempo and one tempo tit no interruption; and linear style with fugal passages and great variety of keyboard writing.
In addition, the first movement is structured in a combination of sonata form and fugue, which demonstrates the composer’s original and bold aspects. The integration of two formal elements emancipates the fugue from being confined to the development section of the sonata. The second movement, on the other hand, is cast in the theme and variation. In spite of its expansiveness, the music follows the traditional variation scheme with one basic tempo maintained throughout the movement.