Beethoven Piano Sonata 13

Opus 27, No. 1 "Quasi una Fantasia"


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Beethoven Piano Sonata 13 First edition

Beethoven Piano Sonata 13 –First Edition

Vienna, 1801.

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"The genie is made up of 2% talent and 98% constant perseverance." –L. V. Beethoven.

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Beethoven Piano Sonata 13 –Interesting Facts

Even by his own gender-breaking standards, Beethoven went through a kind of experimental phase in his sonatas Op.26 and Op. 27, and this, Op.27 No.1, represents the most surprising work of that period. Everyone who has played it loves it, it is a bit dark and does not seem flashy right away. But that's really part of his design, where Beethoven takes the archetypally argumentative form, the sonata, and gives a basically narrative fantasy, improvised, episodic character.

There are no gaps between all the movements, which are arranged in fast-slow-fast-slow order. Motivational connections are rare. Each movement fills an expressive void that the previous one lacks. The first is elegant. The second; restless, ominous. The third; into. The fourth, festive. There is not a single movement in the form of a sonata. Moods are constantly changing.


Beethoven Piano Sonata 13 –Novelties

The first movement begins with an absurdly simple, almost trivial melody. The only thing that undermines its total naivety is the careful articulation that Beethoven indicates and the constant changes in sonority that animate it. Section C is such a ridiculous contrast to this that it almost looks like a new movement, although its C Major harmony has already been wonderfully anticipated.

The second movement is, again, an articulation exercise, with clearly improvised chord sequences and some of Beethoven's most creative textural writing in the return of the scherzo. It's one of those strange movements that can be interpreted in a thousand ways and come out unscathed.

The third movement hardly deserves the name; a single melody in three parts. And yet it returns at the end of the dizzying and already great final movement, a sudden injection of heartfelt sentiment into an artfully forged rondo; the development section is quite impressive, full of orchestral timbres.