BEETHOVEN'S PIANO SONATA N0. 11, OP. 22
CREATION HISTORY AND DISCUSSION OF MUSICAL CONTENT






Beethoven around 1800



INTRODUCTION

". . . (diese Sonate hat sich gewaschen, geliebtester Hr. Bruder)" (This sonata is quite something, beloved Herr Bruder) wrote Beethoven about this work  "am 15ten (oder so was dergleichen) Jenner 1801 [on the 15th (or something  thereabout) January 1801]" to the publisher Franz Anton Hoffmeister in Leipzig.  What discrepancy becomes apparent here?  Perhaps this that, with respect to his music, Beethoven was able to express himself very precisely, but with respect to dates and times, he was less sure!  However, in our usual dealing with this sonata, we should try to arrive at an as precise as possible time frame for its creation.  

ON ITS CREATION

Relying on Nottebohm, Thayer (p. 262-263 and p. 266) reports that the sketches to this piano sonata are connected with sketches to the string quartets, Op. 18, that belong to the so-called Petter collection, such as with the sketches to the last movement of the G-Major quartet, that of the last movement of the E-flat-Major quartet (which were still somewhat different from the final form of these movements) and with the third and last movement of the F-Major quartet (which was almost in its final form, thus from the time in which Beethoven was revising this quartet).  

As Thayer reports, Beethoven worked simultaneously on the first movement of this piano sonata and on the Scherzo of the string quartet, and while he worked on the Rondo of the sonata, he may very well have been working on the last movement of his E-flat Major string quartet.  

According to Thayer, these sketches go back to the years 1799 and 1800.  

Thayer also points out that the above-noted sketches were very likely written before Beethoven's composition of his Horn Sonata which premiered on April 18, 1800.  

However, this does not mean that Op. 22 had already been completed by that time.  According to Thayer (p. 266), the reason for this is evident from the fact that among a final copy of a passage of the Horn Sonata, there could be found further sketches to the piano sonata.  Thayer assumes that Beethoven continued his work on Op. 22 during his summer stay at  Unterdöbling.  

From this may be concluded that Beethoven, as Thayer writes, took "an unusually long time" in order to complete this sonata, namely from 1799 to the second half of the year 1800.  

 

ON ITS PUBLICATION

As we already know, with respect to this sonata, Beethoven corresponded with Hoffmeister.   With respect to the beginning of this correspondence, Barry Cooper reports: 

"Meanwhile the composer and publisher Franz Anton Hoffmeister, who had published the Pathetique in Vienna and at one time also had associations with Artaria, moved to Leipzig and wrote to Beethoven from there asking what works he might purchase.  Beethoven replied on 15 December .  .  . " (Cooper: 97).

Let us look at what Beethoven wrote to Hoffmeister: 

" . . .  ich will in der Kürze also hersezen, was der Hr. B.[ruder] von mir haben können. . . . -- 4tens eine große Solo Sonate (11)" ( . . . thus I want to briefly list what the Hr. B.[rother} can have from me. . . . -- 4th a great Solo Sonata (11) (Quoted and translated from: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 1, Letter No. 49, P. 54-55; Original of Letter:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, to (11):  refers to the Piano Sonata Op. 22, detail taken from p. 55).

 



Franz Anton Hoffmeister



The date of his next letter to Hoffmeister is "typically Beethovenish": 

      "Vien am 15ten (oder sowas dergleichen) Jenner 1801

. . .  -- was nun unsere eigentliche(n) Geschäfte anbelangt, weil sie es nun so wollen, so sey ihnen hiermit gedient, für jetzt trage ich ihnen folgende sachen an: Septet (5) (wovon ich ihnen schon geschrieben, zu mehrerer Verbreitung und Gewinst ließ es sich auch auf's Klavier arrangiren) 20 # -- Sinfonie (6) 20 # -- Concert (7) 10 # -- Große Solo Sonate (8) (allegro, adagio, Minuetto, Rondo) 20 #  (diese Sonate hat sich gewaschen, geliebtester Hr. Bruder) nun zur Erläuterung:  sie werden sich vieleicht wundern, daß ich hier keinen Unterschied zwischen Sonate, Septett, Sinfonie mache; weil ich finde, daß ein Septett oder Sinfonie nicht so viel Abgang findet als eine Sonate, deswegen thue ich das, obschon eine Sinfonie unstreitig mehr gelten soll" (Vienna, on the 15th (or something thereabout) January 1801 . . . -- as far as our actual business is concerned, since you wish it that way, then may I oblige you with this, for now, I offer you the following things: Septet (of which I had already writen you, for greater distribution and profit, it could also be arranged for piano) 20 # -- Sinfonie 20# -- Concert 10# -- Grande Solo Sonata (allegro, adagio, Minuetto, Rondo) 20# (this Sonata is quite something, beloved Hr. Brother) now, to explain: you may, perhaps, wonder that I do not make a difference between Sonata, Septet, Symphony, since I find that a Septet or Symphony does not find as many buyers than a Sonata, that is why I am doing that, although a Symphony should, unarguably, count for more) (Quoted and translated from: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 1, Letter No. 54, p. 63 - 65; Original: Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; to (5) refers to Op. 20; to (6): refers to Op. 21; to (7): refers to Op. 19, to (8): refers to Op. 22; details taken from p. 64 - 65).

Directly from the Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, it can be reported that Hoffmeister accepted Beethoven's offer of January 15, 1801, with his letter to the composer dated January 24, 1801, in which he also writes of his plan to publish Mozart's Piano Sonatas in arrangement for string quartet and in which he then asks Beethoven to take part in this project (Letter No. 55, p. 65, original reportedly not known, text researched from the publisher's register reference to letter 54 and from Letter 60 of the Gesamtausgabe).

Letter 60 refers to Beethoven's letter to Hoffmeister, dated April 22, 1801, which we might feature here, first, in its original text with our translation and notes taken from the Gesamtausgabe and which we can then compare with Thayer's reference to it:  

                                                                       "Vien, am 22. April (1801)

Mein geliebtester Hr. Bruder,

     Sie haben Ursache über mich zu klagen,(1) und das nicht wenig, meine Entschuldigung besteht darin, daß ich krank war, und dabey noch obendrein sehr viel zu thun hatte,(2) so daß es mir kaum möglich war, auch nur darauf zu denken, was ich ihnen zu schicken hatte, dabey ist es vieleicht das einzige genie-mäßige, was an mir ist, daß meine Sachen sich nicht immer in der besten Ordnung befinden, und doch niemand im stande ist als ich selbst da zu helfen, so z.B. war zu dem Konzerte in der Partitur die Klavierstimme meiner Gewohnheit nach nicht geschrieben, und ich schrieb sie jetzt erst, (3) daher sie dieselbe wegen Beschleuningung von meiner eigenen nicht gar zu leßbaren Handschrift erhalten. --

-- um so viel als möglich die Werke in der gehörigen Ordnung folgen zu laßen, merke ich ihnen an, daß Sie auf die Solosonate opus 22 auf die Simphonie opus 21, auf das Septett opus 20 auf das Konzert opus 19 sezen mögen laßen -- die Titeln werde ich ihnen nächstens schicken --- auf die Johan Sebastian Bac'schen Werke sezen sie mich als prenumerant an, (4) so wie auch den Fürsten Lichnowski (5) -- die übersezung der Mozartschen Sonate in quarteten (6) wird ihnen Ehre machen und auch gewiß einträglich seyn, ich wünschte selbst hier mehr bey solchen Gelegenheiten mehr beytragen zu können, aber ich bin ein unordentlicher Mensch, und vergeße bey meinem besten Willen auf alles, doch habe ich schon hier und da davon gesprochen, und finde überall die beste Neigung dazu -- es wäre recht hübsch, wenn der Herr Br.[uder] auch nebst dem daß sie das Septett so herausgäben dasselbe auch für flöte z.B. als quartett arrangiren (7) dadurch wurde den flöten liebhabern, die mich schon darum angegangen, geholfen, und sie würden darinn wie die Insekten herumschwimmen, und daran speißen.  -- Von mir noch etwas zu sagen, so habe ich ein Ballet (8) gemacht, wobey aber der Balletmeister (9) seine sache nicht ganz zum besten gemacht -- Der Freyherr von Lichtenstein (10) hat unß auch mit einem produkte beschenkt, das den Ideen, die unß die Zeitungen von seinem genie geben, nicht entspricht, wieder ein neuer Beweiß für die Zeitungen, der Freyh. scheint sich Hr. Müller beym Kasperle (11) zum Ideale gemacht zu haben, doch -- ohne sogar ihn -- zu erreichen -- das sind die schönen Aussichten, unter denen wir arme hiesigen gleich emporkeimen sollen -- mein lieber Bruder eilen sie nun recht die werke zum Agnesicht der Welt zu bringen, und schreiben sie mir bald etwas, damit ich wisse, ob ich durch meine Versäumniß nicht ihr ferneres Zutrauen verlohren habe, ihrem associe Kühnel alles schöne und gute, in Zukunft soll alles prompt und fertig gleich folgen -- die quartetten können in einigen Wochen schon herauskomen (12) -- und hiemit gehaben sie sich wohl und halten sie lieb Ihren Freund und Bruder 

                                                                       Beethoven)

                                            (Vienna, on the 22nd of April [1801]

My most beloved Hr. Bruder [brother],

   you have reason to complain about me, and that none too little, my excuse consists of having been ill, and that I, on top of it, had much to do, so that it was hardly possible for me to even think of what I had to send you, and [in this context] it may perhaps be the only genius-like that I have that my things are not always in the best order and that no-one is able to help even in this situation than I, myself, for example, with respect to the score of the concerto, the piano part had, as is usual with me, had not been written, yet, and so I only wrote it now, and for the sake of speeding matters up, you are receiving it in my none too legible handwriting. --

-- so that the works may appear, as far as possible, in their proper sequence, I point out to you that there should be placed on the solo sonata Opus 22, on the symphony Opus 21, on the septet Opus 20, on the concerto Opus 19 -- I shall send you the titles at the next opportunity --- on the Johan Sebastian Bac'ian works, put me as a subscriber, as well as Prince Lichnowsky -- the transcription of the Mozart Sonata into quartets will bring you honor and will also be certainly be profitable, I wish that, to such opportunities, could contribute more, myself, but I am a disorderly person and, with the best will, forget everything, yet, I have mentioned them here and there and find the best inclination towards them, everywhere -- it would really be nice if the Herr Br.[rother] could, in addition to publishing the Septet as it is, could also have it arranged for the flute as quartet with this, the flute lovers that have asked me for this would be helped and they would swim in it like insects and dine from it.   -- To say something more about myself, I have written a ballet, whereby, however, the balletmaster did not do his job to the best of his abilities -- The Freyherr von Lichtenstein has also graced us with his product that does not correspond with the ideas that the newspapers give us of his genius, again new proof for the newspapers, the Freyh. appears to have chosen Hr. Müller beym Kasperle as his ideal, yet, without even coming close to him -- those are the nice prospects under which we here have to flourish -- my dear brother, hurry so that the works will see the light of the world and write to me so that I know if through my tardiness I have not lost your further trust, to your associate Kühnel everything beautiful and good, in future, everything shall be delivered promptly and in complete fashion -- the quartets can be published in a few weeks -- and with this, farewell and keep on loving your friend and brother  

                                                                       Beethoven) (Quoted and translated from: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Letter no. 60, p. 72 - 73; Original:  In private hands; to (1): refers to several enquiries by Hoffmeister that preceded this letter;  to (2): refers to Beethoven's composition of his ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus; to (3): refers to Op. 19; to (4): refers to Beethoven's receiving the first volume on April 25, 1801 and letter no. 63 of the Gesamtausgabe; to (5): refers to the fact of difficulties with Lichnowsky's order; to (6): refers to Hoffmeisters new edition of Quartets by Mozart; to (7): refers to the fact that an arrangement of the Sepet for flute can only be found after 1827; to (8): refers to The Creatures of Prometheus which premiered in Vienna on March 28, 1801, at the Vienna Hofburgtheater; to (9): refers to Salvatore Vigano; to (10): refers to Karl August Freiherr von Lichtenstein; to (11): refers to Wenzel Müller and his singspiele; to (12): refers to Op. 18; details taken from p. 73).

And here Thayer's quote:

"From the period immediately following we have another letter from Beethoven to Hoffmeister, dated April 22, 18081, in which he says:

. . .  So that the works may appear so far as possible in their proper sequence I point out to you that there should be placed

on the solo sonata   .   .   .   .   .  opus 22

on the symphony     .   .   .   .   .  opus 21

on the septet             .   .   .   .   .   opus 20

on the concerto        .   .   .   .   .   opus 19

--I shall send you the titles soon" (Thayer: 273").

Thayer (p. 266 and p. 323) confirms that the sonata was finally published by Hoffmeister and Kühnel in Leipzig in 1802.  Who did Beethoven dedicate this work to?  

 

ON ITS DEDICATION

 



 Count Browne-Camus



With respect to this, Maynard Solomon reports:  

"His [Graf Johann Georg von Browne-Camus] generosity toward Beethoven between 1797-98  .  .  .  was rewarded by Beethoven's dedication to him of the String Trios, op. 9, .  .  .  the Sonata in B-flat major, op. 22 .  .  .  " (Solomon: 61).


ON ITS MUSICAL CONTENT

Although Beethoven provided us with his own, self-assured opinion of this work, we should also look at what 'our' critics have to say to it.  

In our look at the musical content of this sonata we follow the pattern indicated in our introductory comments on music criticism offered here.  This pattern offers you comments in the following sequence:  


 MUSICOLOGISTS AND BEETHOVEN RESEARCHERS

ACTIVE MUSIC CRITICS

ACTIVE, PERFORMING ARTISTS

Each category can be directly accessed by clicking on the above links.  Therefore, if you prefer one kind of comment(s) over another, you can make your own selection.   


MUSICOLOGISTS AND BEETHOVEN RESEARCHERS

Here, we can turn to Maynard Solomon and William Kinderman:

"The "Grande Sonate", op. 22, closes out this high-Classic phase of Beethoven's sonata development on a note of absolute confidence in his mastery of the form.  Beethoven was especially proud of it:  "This sonata is really something," the wrote to his publisher.  William S. Newman finds in it "a new pre-Mendelsohnian charm and grace and an Italianate lyricism"" (Solomon: 105).

In his Beethoven book, William Kinderman discusses this work, here and there, as follows:  

"The hastily written Sonata for Piano and Horn op. 17, from April 1800, is rather lightweight, but Beethoven was quite proud of the big Piano Sonata in B-flat major op. 22, from the end of that year, claiming that the sonata 'hat sich gewaschen'--that it had turned out splendidly" (Kinderman: 72).

"As early as 1800, in the first movement of the Piano Sonata in B-flat op. 22, Beethoven had experimented with a development that unfolds into a vast descrescendo, to be followed by a fresh start at the beginning of the opening reprise" (Kinderman: 135).

"The second and final movement [of op. 90], in E major, is the most Schubertian movement in Beethoven, a luxurious rondo dominated by many, almost unvaried, appearances of a spacious cantabile theme.  This is the last big lyrical rondo finale in the Beethoven sonatas, the successor to the closing movements in op. 2 no. 2, op. 7, op. 22, op. 31 no. 1 and the Waldstein" (Kinderman: 182).

 

ACTIVE MUSIC CRITICS

That, with respect to this sonata, Joachim Kaiser can speak for himself, very well and that his comment does not need a particular introduction, will become clear when you look our English description of it:  

"Männliches Meisterstück, das sich weder pathetisch noch elegisch profiliert.  Auch gefühlvolle interpretatorische >>Humanisierung<< würde hier nicht zu Belebung, sondern in die Banalität führen.  Es ist keineswegs einfach und naheliegend, den ersten Satz als Spannungsfeld aus beherrschter Energie und geheimnisvoller Verdunkelung zu erfassen, um so leichter läßt er sich als akademisch kraftmeiernde Etüde erkennen.  Das Adagio versagt sich gleichfalls alle depressiven oder hymnischen Effekte.  Im Menuett spielt ein unauffällig historisierendes Element mit, im Rondo schließlich verbindet sich die baumeisterliche Strenge dieser Sonate mit Charme und Virtuosität.

Energische, zügige und klar disponierende Interpretationen können dem Werk nahekommen.  Aber wenn die geheime Spannung zwischen pp-Verdunkelung und prägnanter Entfaltung unterschlagen wird, wie sie im Kopfsatz und im Adagio, ja vielleicht auch im Menuett und im Rondo mitkomponiert ist, dann hat eine blitzblank kräftige Auffassung das Stück genauso verfehlt wie jede allzu kultiviert verzärtelte.  In dieser B-Dur-Sonate schlummert noch Unentdecktes.

Manchmal fallen, paradoxerweise, Klarheit und Undurchdringlichkeit zusammen.  Die eigentümtliche Qualität des ersten Satzes der B-Dur-Sonate liegt nicht in dem, was sich möglicherweise hinter den deutlich artikulierten Perioden und Passagen verbirgt.  Glanz und Selbstbewußtsein dieser Musik hängen unmittelbar zusammen mit raumgreifend sicherem, stürmischem Fortschreiten, dem sich die keineswegs sehr tiftelige thematische Arbeit und die genausowenig tiftelige Rhythmik unterordnen.  Wer dem Material dieses ersten Satzes nicht traut, wer Finessen hinzufügt und Nuancen produziert, die hier nicht allzuviel helfen, aber um so mehr verderben können, der hat bei Opus 22 noch nie die Faszination körniger Klarheit erfahren.  Langeweile stellt sich in der B-Dur-Sonate ein, wenn besorgte Interpreten individuelles Engagement nicht in die Energie zielsicheren Fortschreitens umzusetzen verstehen.  Langeweile, auf gewiß höherem Richtigkeits-Niveau, stellt sich gleichfalls ein, wenn energischer Sturm zu widerstandslos motorisch triumphieren darf.  Er muß erspielt und dann modifiziert werden!

Sonst wirkt die Sonate Opus 22 so akademisch, wie sie Denis Matthews erschien, der spöttelnd behauptete, sie sei >>überraschend frei von Überraschungen<< (>>Beethoven Piano Sonatas<<, S. 23, BBC Music Guides).  In zyklischen Aufführungen sämtlicher Beethoven-Sonaten ruft die B-Dur-Sonate manchmal Verlegenheit hervor, die das Publikum -- zwischen >>Eroica<< und >>Schicksalssymphonie<< -- auch bei Beethovens 4. Symphonie empfindet, deren weniger >>charakteristisches<< als >>pulsierendes<< B-Dur weder die Feinsinnigen noch die Effekthungrigen so richtig zu befriedigen vermag" (Kaiser: 201 - 202; --

--  Kaiser describes this sonata as a manly masterpiece that profiles itself neither in pathetic nor in an elegiac manner and opines that, in its interpretation, any sensitive >>humanizing<< of it would do nothing to liven it up but rather lead it into banality and that it is, by no means, simple and clear that one should understand the first movement as a tension field of reigned-in energy and secretive darkness, and that it can be more easily recognized as an academicall, show-off etude.  Also the Adagio, continues Kaiser, does not display any depressive or hymnal effects, and in the minuet, there comes into play an unobtrusively historicizing element, and finally, in the Rondo, the architectural strength of this sonata is combined with charm and virtuosity.    

Kaiser then states that energetic, quick-paced and clearly calculated interpretations can do the work justice, however, in the event that the secret tension between the pp darkening and pronounced unfolding is overlooked, as it is prevalent in the first movement and in the Adagio and perhaps also in the Minuet, then, a clear and strong interpretation of this work does not do the work justice, either, as will any too cultivated, tender interpretation.  Kaiser finds that in this B-Major Sonata, there is still hidden undiscovered material.    

Sometimes, continues Kaiser, paradoxically, clarity and impenetrability go together and the peculiar quality of the first movement of this B-Major sonata does not lie in that what might possibly be hiding behind the clearly articulated passages.  The brilliance and self-consciousness of this music are directly connected to a self-assured, stormy forging ahead through space to which, by no means, very intricate thematic work and the also, by no means, intricate rhythmic design, would subordinate themselves.  He, writes Kaiser, who does not trust the material of this first movement,  who adds finesse and nuances that can not help much her but rather spoil all the more, never has, in Opus 22, experienced the fascination of clarity.  Kaiser continues that boredom will set in in Opus 22 when concerned interpreters do not understand to translate individual engagement into the energy of self-confident striding ahead and that boredom, at a higher level of truth, will also set in, when energetic storming is allowed to triumph without any resistance.  The triumph has to be earned in playing and has to be modified once it has been earned, states Kaiser.  

Otherwise, concludes Kaiser, this Sonata will appear as academic as it appeared to Denis Matthews who derided it by stating that it is  >>überraschend frei von Überraschungen<< (surprisingly free of surprises) (>>Beethoven Piano Sonatas<<, p. 23, BBC Music Guides).  In the cyclic performance of all of Beethoven's Sonatas, the B-Major Sonata sometimes evokes awkwardness that the public feels in Beethoven's Fourth Symphony--between the >>Eroica<< and the Fifth Symphony--as pulsating B-major that can neither satisfy the sensitive nor those that hunger for effect). 


ACTIVE, PERFORMING ARTISTS

The active pianist Anton Kuerti provides us again with an overview in his very own style:  

To begin with, Kuerti describes this work as relatively neglected and states that Sir Donald Tovey called it the most conventional work of Beethoven.  Kuerti notes that Tovey's statement mainly refers to tonality and its complicated relationship to form and that this sonata, with respect to this, is really rather conventional, that it, however, has other strong points.  In any event, concedes Kuerti, "conventionality" does not necessarily have to be an enemy of beauty.   

According to Kuerti, in this work, Beethoven is concentration on the development and transformation of motifs, on the experiment as to how much variety and enlivening can be derived from very simple, brief ideas; in this respect, writes Kuerti, this sonata is revolutionary and not conventional.  What differentiates it from Beethoven's previous works of this genre is its remarkable range of expressive possibilities that he derives from his material.   (Kuerti: 37).

Allegro con brio

As first example, Kuerti refers to the introductory motif which, according to his opinion, is more telegraphic than melodic and which he first describes as nervously playful, which, however, in the development, proves to be forward-directed and stubborn. . . 

. . .  Kuerti then refers to a convincing example of Beethoven's transformation of a motif, namely in the case of the formal final theme of the first movement, with its symmetrically-emphasized octaves that march on brusquely and than march backwards through the same notes, stubbornly. In the development, continues Kuerti, this crude and satiric fanfare shows itself somewhat more dramatic, in that, for several times, it works as an interruption, until one gains the impression that there has already been enough of angry stomping.  

Although, continues Kuerti, perhaps, in its military form, the motif does not captivate us, the same motif will be able to do just that when it, 15 measures later, in the bass, drops its formality and becomes unexpectedly lyrical and expressive and songfully intimate.  A better example of friendly persuasion, so Kuerti, can hardly be found in music.  

Kuerti points out that this sonata features a number of remarkable, orginal harmonic moments, as, for example, when, the modulation in the transition from the first movement, appears to bring the music down by sheer will which, perchance, might remind us of Uri Geller's spoon bending, only, in classical music, writes Kuerti, tricks can not be used.   (Kuerti: 37).

Adagio con molta espressione

Kuerti writes that the introduction of the Adagio is marked with pp, an indication that Beethoven seldom uses this early in a movement, yet, the effect, continues Kuerti, is anything but shy or diffident, rather, it exuces considerable dignity, as if a man is speaking very quietly, but not out of fear, but rather because he impresses us through the force of his personality and not through his voice.   The main idea--a turn that is preceded by anticipation, followed by an Appoggiatura--is of disarming simplicity.  Kuerti also refers to the unobtrusive insisting with which it is applied several times.  He describes this as sensitive and blossoming--like the shoots of a young plant--surrounding our ears softly but with determination.  

According to Kuerti, these elements return in the development, since the Adagio is composed in full sonata form, but the transformation is again very astonishing.  The turn now leads to a harsh, emphasized chord, steeped into minor, with an expression of despondency; the pp has been transformed into a threatening feeling of dark foreboding, and our innocent "plant" has become aggressive and obtrusive, growing over everything and suppressing all other musical elements.  Here, writes Kuerti, Beethoven reaches a profoundness of expression that has hardly ever been reached by his predecessors and that strongly differs from the exposition.   (Kuerti: 37-38).

Menuetto

Kuerti points out that the second measure of the minuet has a turn that is identical to the "plant" motif of the Adagio.  The character of the minuet, writes Kuerti, is graceful and friendly, and in the Trio, the "plant" motif is turned upside down and transformed into a serious bass voice, what brings forth a similar contrast as in the Adagio, and is a further example of Beethoven's ability to give to one and the same material a multitude of meanings.  (Kuerti: 38).

Rondo: Allegretto

Kuerti asks himself if it would be too far-fetched to view the four initial notes of the Rondo as a further manifestation of this simple figure.  In his opinion, this is one of those borderline cases in which musical analysis runs into the danger of becoming more sophisticated than the music, itself.  Beethoven, continues Kuerti, in his treating of motivic relationships, is never "consciously aware" of them in the sense that he would, perchance, say to the listeners, "Look, how clever I am!"  If, on the other hand, it pleases the listener to discover such inter-relationships, then there is no harm in that.   Be that as it may, the movement, concludes Kuerti, strives towards its end with elegant and refinement and exuces a warmth that is very reminicscent of the last movement of the F-Major Violin Sonata, the "Spring" Sonata.   (Kuerti: 38).

For your own orientation, would you like to listen to a midi sample of this sonata?  

Kunst der Fuge: Beethoven-Sonatas

We wish you a great deal of listening enjoyment!

For those of you who want to explore this topic further in a serious manner, we can offer you a link to the Beethoven Bibliography Data Base of the Ira Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies in San Jose, California:


Opus 22 - Search