Sonate No. 8,“Pathétique” 1st Movement
Uploaded on Aug 27, 2012
Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as Sonata Pathétique, was written in 1798 when the composer was 27 years old, and was published in 1799. Beethoven dedicated the work to his friend Prince Karl von Lichnowsky. Although commonly thought to be one of the few works to be named by the composer himself, it was actually named Grande Sonate Pathétique (to Beethoven's liking) by the publisher, who was impressed by the sonata's tragic sonorities.
Prominent musicologists debate whether or not the Pathétique may have been inspired by Mozart's piano sonata K. 457, since both compositions are in C minor and have three very similar movements. The second movement, "Adagio cantabile", especially, makes use of a theme remarkably similar to that of the spacious second movement of Mozart's sonata. However, Beethoven's sonata uses a unique motif line throughout, a major difference from Haydn or Mozart’s creation.
The first movement is in sonata form. It begins with a slow introductory theme, marked Grave. The exposition, marked Allegro di molto con brio, is in 2/2 time (alla breve) in the home key of C minor and features three themes. Theme 1 features an aggressive rocket theme covering two octaves, accompanied with constant tremolo octaves in the left hand. Beethoven then makes use of unorthodox mode-mixture, as he presents the second theme in E-flat minor rather than its customary parallel major. This theme is more lyrical and makes use of grace notes and crossed hands. Theme 3 has modulated to the mediant, E-flat major, and features an Alberti-type figuration for the bass with tremolo. A codetta, with ideas from the opening allegro, closes the section. Some performers of the sonata include the introduction in the exposition repeat though others return to the beginning of the allegro section.
The development section begins in the key of G minor. In this section, Beethoven extends Haydn's compositional practice by returning to the introductory section. After this reappearance of the Grave, the composer generates suspense with an extended dominant preparation.
The recapitulation brings back the themes of the exposition in different keys: themes 1 and 3 are played in the tonic key of C minor, then theme 2 is played in the unexpected key of F minor but then returns to the tonic key. The coda is very dramatic and includes a brief reminder of the Grave before ending with a swift cadence.
|Key signature||3 flats|
|Privacy||Everyone can see this score|
|License||None (All rights reserved)|