Recorded on 04/28/2009, uploaded on 03/09/2010
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
in memory of Francesca De Romita and a special thanks to Marie Francoise Bucquet
Allegro molto e con brio
Largo, con gran espressione
Rondo - Poco Allegretto e grazioso
Beethoven composed his Piano Sonata No. 4, op. 7, sometimes
referred to as the "Grand Sonata," in 1797. Like the three piano sonatas of op.
2, the Piano Sonata No. 4 is still much in the style of Mozart and Haydn,
though with more orchestral influences in the piano writing. As mentioned
above, it is in the key of E flat which throughout Beethoven's entire career
was his choice for grand heroic gestures.
The sonata consists of four movements. The first movement, a
dramatic Allegro, begins with a theme
full of energy that quickly builds into orchestral-like fortissimo chords. It is followed by a more lyrical second subject
in the dominant. The development jumps abruptly into the key of G major,
emphasizing a tertian key relationship. The development is compact, though
dramatic, and it is not difficult to imagine the sonorities of trumpets and
horns throughout the course of it.
The second movement, a Largo
in C major, displays Beethoven's revolutionary use of silence. Once again,
the orchestral sonorities of strings and winds seem appropriate for the
melodies of this movement. The following Allegro,
somewhere in between a Minuet and a Scherzo, is more pianistic than the
preceding movements. The opening melody has all the grace of a Minuet, though
the rumbling Trio in the tonic minor bears the mark of Beethoven's dramatic
The finale begins somewhat unassumingly with a graceful
theme in E flat major over a murmuring B flat pedal. The central episode of the
movement moves into the parallel minor key and consists of full chords
accompanied by constant thirty-second notes. This passage returns later in an
altered form and in the tonic key to close the piece. Joseph DuBose
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