Beethoven Piano Sonata 5

Opus 10 No. 1

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Beethoven Piano Sonata 5 First edition

Beethoven Piano Sonata 5 –First Edition

Vienna, 1798.


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Beethoven Piano Sonata 5 –Interesting Facts

This is one of the easiest Beethoven sonatas to play. Its dramatic power is somewhat close to that of the "Pathetique" sonata due to its rhetorical silences, passages presented in unison, and dynamic contrasts.

In the three Opus 10 sonatas, the development section of the first movement is based on new material. The second movement is one of Beethoven's slowest and most beautiful. The last movement, especially hectic.

Beethoven Piano Sonata 5 –Novelties

It's a surprising mix of effervescent nervousness and humor. It has that arrogant, almost battic ending, accentuated landings on wrong harmonies on the second track, frenetic tremolos, big dynamic changes, and a rather menacing lead track, all delivered in breakneck speed.

Biography of the Sonatas 5, 6 and 7

The sketches of the sonatas 5, 6 and 7 date from 1794, before the composition of the first four sonatas; 1, 2, 3 and 4. Beethoven was in Vienna studying with Haydn through the patronage of Maximilian Franz (1756– 1801), the elector of Bonn, but this support waned, so Beethoven had to borrow from Haydn. At the end of 1793, Haydn sent Beethoven's compositions to the elector as proof of his work. The voter's response stated that the compositions he received had already been heard in Bonn prior to Beethoven's departure and ended by saying: I highly doubt that he has made any major progress, and I fear that. .. will bring nothing but debt. It has been established that the manuscript paper on which the compositions were written is of Viennese origin, so the elector was wrong or was giving an excuse to suspend Beethoven's support, which he did in early 1794. However, when the three sonatas of Op. 10 (5, 6 and 7) were completed in 1797, Beethoven's fame had grown considerably in Vienna, and he was earning money from commissions.

Information on the facts in the composition of the Sonatas 5, 6 and 7

Sonatas from Op. 10 (Sonatas 5, 6 and 7) were published by Joseph Eder (1760-1835) around 1798. Eder was not a distinguished publisher; This ensemble is believed to be the only original work that was published by a major composer. These sonatas are dedicated to Anna Margarete Browne, it is said that she was an excellent pianist. She was the wife of Count Johann Georg von Browne-Camus (1767-1827), an officer of the Imperial Federation Army of Irish descent, who was patron of Beethoven in the 1790s. Beethoven dedicated the string trios op. 9 and the Piano Sonata No. 11 for him. Beethoven described him as the first patron of his muse in a dedicatory letter written in Vienna in July 1798, intended for an untracked work.

Considerations for the Sonatas 5, 6 and 7


Opus 10 is a set of three sonatas; 5, 6 and 7. The first two are lighter, written in the more typical three-stroke pattern with shorter strokes. These two works (Sonatas 5 and 6) have the reputation of being good pieces for those who they study Beethoven's sonatas for the first time. Return the third sonata (Sonata No. 7) of the ensemble to the larger four-movement structure as exemplified in Sonatas No. 1, 2, 3 and 4. A new structural concept is introduced in the last movement of the Sonata No. 6.

Indications in interpretation

Beethoven continues to rely on the characteristics noted in the first four sonatas: extreme dynamics, fast dynamic change, and frequent accents, often in weak rhythms.

Possible relationships between the Sonatas 5, 6 and 7

It is speculated that the three sonatas were intended to be played together because the Sonata No. 5 ends in C, the major parallel, one tone which could act as the dominant for the key of the Sonata No. 6 written in F . Also, the Sonata No. 6 ends with descending octaves in the right hand and the Sonata No. 7 opens with rising octaves. These relationships seem to indicate that all three sonatas should be played together, although most of the time they are played individually.

Considerations for the Sonata 5

Possible relationships between movements

The first and third movements feature opening motifs that are centered on the third of the scale as a point of arrival or a high point. The opening theme of the second movement also rises from the tonic to the third of the scale.

Possible relationships between keys

The second movement is in the sub-media of the opening tone, A♭ major. This relationship appears in other works and movements in C minor: Sonata No. 8 between the first and second movements and as the section C of the rondo; in Sonata No. 13, the middle section of the second movement, and in Sonata No. 32 in the second thematic area of the exposition in the first movement. A parallel relationship between F minor and D♭ major can be seen between the first two movements of the Sonata No. 23. This is the only minor sonata of the thirty-two in which the last movement begins at the opening key but ends at the major parallel. This relationship occurs, however, in other internal or opening sonata movements: Sonata No. 13, second movement; Sonata No. 19, first movement; Sonata No. 29, third movement; Sonata No. 31, second movement; and Sonata No. 32, first movement. In these examples, the largest closing parallel prepares the listener for the opening of the next move.

First Movement: c minor | Allegro molto e con brio | 3/4 | Sonata-allegro

Measures 1 to 31

The movement opens with a strong tonic chord followed by a series of Mannhiem figration in the right hand in plucked rhythm, each time answered by a lyrical phrase. At measure 22, the dotted rhythmic figure intensifies.

Measures 35 to 55

An unusually long transition features chord progressions in A♭ major, F minor, and D♭ major, the latter extended to reach the dominant of E♭ major, the expected pitch for the second subject area.

Measures 56 to 93

The second theme is enunciated, its second phrase extended to a climax that presents the reentry of the dotted rhythm of the first theme in bars 86 to 90.

measures 94 to 105

A closing section features a series of cadences in E major on a bass line using material taken from bars 48 to 55 of the transition.

Measures 106 to 117

The opening theme material is presented in C major.

Measures 118 to 135

A new theme appears in F minor and D ♭ minor. Although its exact outline did not appear in the exposition, it is possibly related to answering phrases of the opening theme in measures 3-5, 9-12, etc. and perhaps the melodic phrase of the transition in measures 32–36 , and else.

Measures 136 to 158

A fragment of the new theme is presented and expanded, going through D♭ major, D♭ minor, F minor and C minor.

Measures 159 to 167

The staccato chords that leave the starting pitch and descend to mark the beginning of the recap.

Measures 191 to 214

The transition acts as a change of course, presenting its chord progression twice in G♭ major, then in its extended version in E minor, moving to a dominant with a ninth flat in preparation for the second theme.

Measures 215 to 232

The second theme is presented in F major. Its third phrase repeats itself, its tonic dominant progression arriving in F minor at bar 229, which in turn acts as the subdominant in a progression leading to the opening tone, C minor. The prominence of F major or F minor in the recapitulations of movements in C minor can also be observed in the first movements of the Sonata No. 8 and the Sonata No. 32.

Measures 233 to 263

The opening phrase of the second theme is presented in C minor, the first time the theme is developed in minor instead of major. It extends as much as in the exhibition.

Measures 263 to 284

Re-entry of the opening reason and closing are indicated in the start tone.

Second Movement: A flat major | Adagio molto | 2/4 | Sonata Form without development, coda


The sonata form without development is sometimes called the truncated sonata form. The structure also occurs in the second movements of the Sonata No. 2, Sonata No. 17, and with a slight modification in the Sonata No. 26. In this movement the end of the exposition is in measure 44; the recap begins at bar 46.

Measures 24 to 71

The second theme areas are dominant and tonic respectively.

Measures 91 to 112

A coda uses alternation between tonic and dominant to bring the movement to a calm ending.

Recommendations in performance

This is possibly the most challenging movement in the sonata due to its extremely slow tempo and complex rhythmic patterns. Note values range from quarter notes to sixty-fourths, the latter in elaborate ornamental figurations in bars 28 to 30 and 75 to 77.

Third Movement | c minor | Prestíssimo | alla breve | Sonata Form | coda


Compact 46 bars

Measures 1 a 16

The opening theme is based on a rhythmic figure characterized by a five-note rhythm.

Measures 17 to 28

A second jovial theme is in the expected major relative, Mi♭.

Measures 29 to 37

The opening theme returns in E♭ major and written in an extended way.

Measures 38 to 46

The closing theme uses a fragment of the main theme.

Comments on the performance of measures 34 to 35 and 91 to 92

A polyrhythmic passage, three against four, poses the most difficult technical challenge of the movement, perhaps even of the entire sonata.


A development section of only 12 bars is based on the opening motif.

Measures 55 to 57

The opening motif is fragmented to produce a rhythmic figure that may recall the famous opening of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5.

Measures 74 to 81

The second theme returns in the parallel major, C major. At measure 82, a repeat of a phrase of the second theme reaches the opening key, C minor.

Measures 85 to 101

The topics heard in the exhibition are presented.

Measures 102 to 122

A modulation to D-flat major marks the beginning of an unusually long section of the ending in which the second theme is spoken in D major. The suspense is introduced with a fermata and a compass marked in Adagio. The opening tempo returns with the first theme motif in C major, the tone that brings the movement to a quiet close.