Beethoven Piano Sonatas Volume 3 PAL
L. van Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas, VOL.3 Sonatas op.10 n.3, op.13 "Pathétique" and Op.14 n.1 & 2 by David Ezra Okonsar
The Sonata N.7 in D major op.10 n.3 is the longest and the most elaborated Sonata of the opus 10 series.
This first movement, Presto, has been too often regarded as a "prelude" to the following Largo, but this assumption is very shallow indeed. The first movement is very brilliant and virtuoso but it is far from being superficial in nature.
Masterly crafted and structured, the Presto has one uncanny unity. Jorg Demus beautifully described it: "this Presto is so solid and tight that it has no equal in the literature. It may be seen as a paradox because a "light" and sort of "divertimento" material is being treated in the most architectural manner."
In Largo e mesto, "mesto" means sad. The bare bones expression of the inner feelings of the young composer. By its elaboration and sheer length this movement supersedes all slow Sonata movements composed by Beethoven until then.
Indicated "dolce" the third movement, Menuetto, brings very effectively "light" and "warm" after the preceding Largo. Sort of consolation or as Alfred Brendel said: "a balm over a wound". A kind of cheerfulness appear in the very animated Trio.
The last movement: Rondo, Allegro is a "hide-and-seek" game according to Alfred Brendel.
The listener is like "played" with. "Normal", i.e. "logical" expectations according to classical period musical syntax are always contradicted. The tonal centers also seem to slide continuously even at the very end of the movement and the coda seems to be a lengthy "reverence" before dodging.
The title "Pathetique" (or "Pathétique", "Pathetic") while not given by Beethoven himself to the Sonata N.8 in C minor op.13, was agreed and even used by the composer referring to this famous composition.
This very popular work is the summit of Beethoven's piano works composed up to 1800. It is also the second time the composer uses the key of C minor which is very evocative for him. He will be using that key once more, only at the ultimate Sonata N.32, opus 111.
Right after its publication, the "Pathétique sonate" became an immense success.
After the tumultuous Pathetique Sonata come two short and lovely Sonatas, 9 and 10, opus 14, filled with fascinating grace. Although they may seem "easy" to play, the Schubert-like discourse requires a great amount of mastery to render perfectly.
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