Recorded on 05/13/2005, uploaded on 10/03/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
thirty-two piano sonatas are as much a prominent part of the piano repertoire
as his symphonies are in the orchestra. When all thirty-two are looked at as a
whole, it is amazing to see the progress of such an artist over his lifetime.
First Piano Sonata was composed in 1795 and is dedicated to Joseph Haydn, with
whom Beethoven had previously taken counterpoint lessons. The key of the sonata
is F minor, which it shares with many of Beethoven's more well-known works-the Appassionata sonata, the Egmont overture and the op. 95 string
quartet. In fact, the Appassionata, written
ten years later, would be the first time Beethoven would return to the key of F
minor. After the op. 95 quartet he would not use it again as the central key of
a major work. It seems the key of F minor possessed an expression peculiar to
the latter half of Beethoven's middle period. While the Piano Sonata No. 1 may
serve as a kind of precursor, it lacks some of the defining characteristics of
those later compositions.
sonata contains four movements, instead of the usual three that was customary
with Haydn and Mozart. The first movement begins with a rising arpeggio of the
tonic chord. This opening two measure motif bears a striking resemblance to
that used by Mozart in the finale of his Symphony No. 40. Beethoven would also
reuse the idea in an altered form for the scherzo of his own Fifth Symphony. The
movement is quite regular in form, fulfilling the expectations of the Classical
sonata form. However, there are moments that give a subtle hint to the unique
emotionalism of Beethoven's later compositions.
second movement, though perfectly suited for this sonata, was actually adapted
from a piano quartet Beethoven composed in 1785. It is a ternary form movement
based on an ornate F major melody with a contrasting D minor middle section. As
is usual with a Classical ternary, the return of the first theme is even more
embellished and the movement closes with a brief coda.
following Minuet, though interesting in its syncopations and brief moments of
silence, commands no special attention. The finale, like the first movement, is
in sonata form. The exposition is dominated by persistent triplets. In fact,
there are few bars during this section, as well the recapitulation, in which
the triplets are absent. The development section, instead of developing the
previous themes, presents a new lyrical melody in the key of A flat major. In
the Classical period it is not uncommon for the development section of a sonata
form to abandon the themes of the exposition for a new theme. However, this was
a compositional technique that was gradually abandoned during the Romantic
period. The movement closes dramatically with triplets over reiterated tonic
and dominant chords.
This was recorded for an audition cd in the spring of 2005
We at classicalconnect.com believe that classical music is a necessity of life. It is our pleasure to be your virtual concert hall and bring you this performance.
Copyright 2008-2010 Classical Connect, LLC