All About Ludwig van Beethoven

Information on Beethoven, his life, his music and classical sheet music

Best 5 Beethoven Books on Amazon

1.Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris

2.Beethoven by Maynard Solomon

3.Beethoven: The Music and the Life by Lewis Lockwood

4.Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination by Maynard Solomon

5.Beethoven as I Knew Him by Anton Felix Schindler

Classical Sheet Music Downloads at Virtual Sheet Music

Beethoven's Piano Sonatas

For Beethoven, the sonata form is not a scheme that can be used in caprice one day and abandoned the next. This form dominates everything he imagines and composes; it is the very mark of his creation and the form of his thought – an inherent form, a natural one. (Edwin Fischer, Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas).

Beethoven’s thirty-two piano sonatas constitute a great treasure that embodies a part of the human eternity. Numerous pianists and musicologists have researched or studied them, trying to impart to their students or readers the prodigality of these true musical riches.

Beethoven holds a key role in the transformation and evolution of the sonata form. Even if he maintains the characteristics initially set by his predecessors, Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven imposes on the sonata his strong personality creating a new, impressive, form of art, in which his own life, with its joys and sorrows, is projected.

With Beethoven the musical theme acquires remarkable proportions, of such strength, that it imposes itself over the listener’s attention and memory. As the French composer, Vincent d’ Indy once said, with Beethoven, the musical theme turns into an concept that spreads throughout the hole work making it easily recognizable even if harmonic, modal or tonal aspects change.

The fundamental principle of organization of the Beethoven piano sonata is the tonality. We can say that Beethoven perceived tonality as the key to any composition, since it leads to the true understanding of the musical form.

In what the structural architectonic of the Beethoven piano sonatas is regarded, there are no apparent patterns: out of the thirty-two sonatas written by Beethoven, twelve have four parts, thirteen have three parts and seven have two parts. Another interesting aspect is that of the diversity of de movement types and the order of succession. The sonatas Op. 26, 27, 54, 109 or 110 reveal this total liberty of dealing with the character of the constitutive pats and their order in the sonata form. But, no matter the movements or their order of succession, there can be established a general characteristic of the Beethoven piano sonata (and work in general) can be easily established: his great care to create a easily perceptible connection between the constitutive parts of the sonata.

Following is the complete list of the Beethoven Piano sonatas:

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