Wednesday, 7 January 2009

224. Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata in E major, op. 109 (1820)


Title: The Late Piano Sonatas
Performer: Alfred Brendel
Year: 1975
Length: 21 minutes


After the immense Hammerklavier Beethoven could hardly have gone on to bigger and more epic piano sonatas, so he opted to do the exact opposite and create sonatas which are about half the size of the Hammerklavier.

This is not to say that they are in any way, shape or form any worse than his bigger sonatas, in fact they show a clear progression of Beethoven as a composer. It is here that his technique of saving the weight of a piece until the end becomes most apparent. After two short movements he gives us a movement which is as large as the other two put together and doubled!

Much as in the 9th symphony everything seems like a preface to the finale so do the two first movements here, and the finale is a whopper! Clearly following what he did in Hammerklavier Beethoven leads the listener through a sequence of different counterpucntual themes which leave the listener nothing if not satisfied with the piece.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op.109 is the first of his late piano sonatas (Opus 109-111) composed between 1820–1822. This sonata (composed in 1820), like the other two, shows characteristics of Beethoven's last creative phase, including rich harmonic structures, a fascination with intricate counterpoint, and strict adherence to classical and baroque forms.

The Last Movement by Glenn Gould:

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