Thursday, 27 November 2008

203. Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata in E flat major, op.81A, "Les Adieux" (1810)


Title: Beethoven Piano Sonatas
Performer: Arthur Rubinstein
Year: 1962
Length: 17 minutes


This is a short and sweet sonata, with a very interesting programmatic theme that is perfectly suited to Beethoven's strengths. It is called "Les Adieux" because the first movement represents saying goodbye, the second the absence and the third the return of someone.

This allows Beethoven to be bitter-sweet in the first, almost despairing in the second and joyful in the third movement. If Beethoven was ever good at something it is in expressing emotion and the piano is the perfect instrument to do it in.

Even if this is less well known than other sonatas like the Moonlight or Appassionata it is just as good, if less melodramatic, which can actually be an advantage. Beethoven has become a much more skilled composer at expressing emotion since those earlier sonatas, sometimes less is more.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Yet, there is some uncertainty about this nature of the piece — or at least, about the degree to which Beethoven wished this programmatic nature would be known. He titled the three movements "Lebewohl," "Abwesenheit," and "Wiedersehen," and reportedly regarded the French "Adieux" as a poor translation of the feeling of the German "Lebewohl" (Kolodin, 1975). Indeed, Beethoven had written the syllables "Le-be-wohl" over the first three chords.

1st Movement:

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