Wednesday, 15 October 2008

177. Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata in C minor, op.13, "Pathetique" (1798)


Title: Favourite Piano Sonatas
Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy
Year: 1981
Length: 18 minutes


The very name of the sonata shows the great leap forward that this is. The sense of Pathos here is great, and that would be one of the defining characteristics of Romantic music.

That said this is still Beethoven on the Classical side, even if the future is clearly apparent in what must be one of the great piano sonatas of all time, surely the most famous one right after the Moonlight sonata, also by Beethoven.

So we start a new great composer with this, Beethoven will keep us companied for quite a while and that is nothing but a good thing. This sonata really needs to be listened to, and I bet most you reading have heard it before, but in the context of late classical music it makes a particular impact in how forward looking it is. Amazing.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The Pathétique Sonata is perhaps the earliest of Beethoven's compositions to achieve widespread and enduring popularity. It is widely represented on the concert programs and recordings of professional pianists. As one of the more famous Beethoven pieces, it has been incorporated into several works of popular culture (e.g. it is used as the theme of the film The Man Who Wasn't There and Billy Joel's "This Night" from his album An Innocent Man). Beethoven's Pathetique remains one of his most popular sonatas.

Glenn Gould's version:

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