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Beethoven Op. 101 Sonata

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by DLGoodman, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. DLGoodman

    DLGoodman New Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Aug 28, 2006
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    I noticed that there is no recording of the Op 101 Sonata on the site. Here is a concert recording from 2004. I've divided it into three files, since the third and final movements are played without a break.

    Here are notes that I wrote for the concert program:

    Ludwig van Beethoven: (1770-1827) Sonata No. 28 in A Major Op. 101 (1815-16)

    The Op. 101 sonata is the first of Beethoven’s five late piano sonatas, which are characterized by experimentation with form and texture. When he wrote the piece, Beethoven was deeply disturbed by his increasing deafness, his inability to find someone to marry, and a bitter custodial battle over his nephew. These disturbances greatly reduced his musical output, so that this sonata is one of the few, and perhaps the major work from 1815-16.

    Beethoven’s experimentation with sonata form is seen in several ways. The relative length of the movements is unusual, and is strongly weighted toward the elaborate final movement with short first and third movements. The Allegretto first movement begins with a long, lyrical phrase that seems never to end. This style, described by Wagner as an “infinite melody,” was copied by Mendelsohn and became associated with the romanticism of Schumann.

    The dream-like reflection of the first movement is shattered by a brusque, angular march. The middle (trio) section of the march contains contrapuntal writing as the right and left hands imitate each other. This baroque language foreshadows the fugatto development section of the finale.

    The Andante, more an introduction to the finale than a separate movement, returns us to the long phrases and dream world of the Allegretto. We are drawn ever lower in pitch, until the cycle ends with a free quasi-cadenza.

    The Allegro begins with a reminder of the opening bars of the first movement. The melody is not "infinite" but instead truncated into three portions. Beethoven introduces a humorous dance-like theme, which alternates with climbing scale-passages and syncopated chords for much of the movement. What was humorous turns quite serious in the development section with intricate four-part fugal writing. Humor returns in the coda section, although trills and ornamentation remind us of the fugatto and of the introduction. The movement is resolved with a final triadic fanfare.

    Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101 - 1st movement "Allegretto, ma non troppo"

    Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101 - 2nd movement "Vivace alla Marcia"

    Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101 - 3rd and 4th movements - 3. Adagio, ma non troppo, con affetto 4. Allegro
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Jun 14, 2006
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    This is up on the site. Also your program notes, which I enjoyed reading. Please check all links. Thank you.
  3. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    Finally, I took the time and listened to your recording of this late period sonata where Beethoven wrote more intimate music. And I am happy I did :D.

    I find your playing mature and there is no doubt that you know what you are doing! You handle the dynamics very well and accent the inner and outer melodies in a well planned manner. No doubt you have a plan and that you stick with it.

    Also, you have a very solid technique and are able to handle this difficult music with grace.

    All over, a splendid performance!

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