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Home>Beethoven Music>Sonatas for violin and piano

Beethoven's Sonatas for Violin and Piano

A complete survey of Beethoven's violin sonatas isn't as exhausting and worthy an undertaking as one might fear. By the time the 27-year old Beethoven got round to his first sonatas for piano and violin his musical and pianistic voice was already well-honed - the first violin sonatas couldn't be further from derivative juvenilia, they're self-confident utterances of a composer already enjoying his originality.
      All ten violin sonatas hail from a relatively short (if incredibly transformative) period in Beethoven's creative life, with the first nine composed within six years, and the final work in the form almost a decade later. Still to come were all of the late quartets and sonatas.- Matthew Shorter

  1. Sonata in C major no. 1 op. 12
  2. Sonata in A major no. 2 op. 12>
  3. Sonata in E flat major no. 3 op. 12
  4. Sonata in A minor no. 4, op. 23
  5. Sonata in F major no. 5, op. 24
  6. Sonata in A major no. 6, op. 30
  7. Sonata in C minor no. 7, op. 30
  8. Sonata in G major no. 8, op. 30
  9. Sonata in A major no. 9, op. 47 “Kreutzer”
  10. Sonata in G major or. 10, op. 96

The first sonatas for piano and violin, op. 12, no. 1-3 (Sonata in D major, Sonata in A major and Sonata in E flat major) composed in 1799 are dedicated to Antonio Salieri, the capelmaistro of the Viennese court and Beethoven’s professor after Albrechtsberger. These sonatas are considered superior to the sonatas op. 5.

The Sonatas op. 23 and 24 (Sonata in A minor and Sonata in F major) are composed in 1801 and they bring clarity to the concerto style.

A very special place is held by the Sonata in F major op. 24 also known as "The Spring Sonata " through which Beethoven frees himself from the restraints of the norms imposed by previous work.

The Sonatas op. 30 (Sonata in A major, Sonata in C minor and Sonata in G major) composed in 1802 represent an important step in the evolution of the sonata form, each sonata constituting an antithesis for the former and a synthesis of the acquired experience.

The Sonata in A major op. 47, also known as the "Kreutzer Sonata ", because it was dedicated to the well-known violinist Rudolph Kreutzer, represents a genuine center of attraction especially due to the concerto character of both instruments, thing that made certain commentators to assert that it is a double concerto. Here we notice Beethoven’s tendency towards monumental architectonic constructions, most evident due to the sonata structure in the extreme parts of the work. It’s worth mentioning that Sonata op. 47 was composed the same year as Symphony III, The Heroic (1803).

The Sonata in G major op. 96 concludes the sonata cycle for piano and violin. Written in 1812 and dedicated to French violinist Pierre Rode, the sonata has a special form and expression through the miniature character of the first part but also through avoidance of the concerto character with the treatment of instruments.

Read more about Beethoven's music
  • Beethoven Symphonies - Each of the nine Beethoven symphonies analyzed.
  • The piano sonatas - Analysis of the sonata form and the most important Beethoven Piano Sonatas.
  • Sonatas for Cello and Piano - Discussion about Beethoven's five cello and piano sonatas.
  • Trios - General discussion regarding Beethoven's trios for various instruments and ensembles.
  • String Quartets - Brief analysis of Beethoven's seventeen string quartets.
  • The Opera "Fidelio" - The background, subject and influences of Beethoven's only opera.
  • The Concertos - Beethoven's five piano concertos, his violin concerto and triple concerto analyzed.
  • The Overtures - Brief overview of some of the most important Beethoven overtures.
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  Best 5 Beethoven Books on Amazon

1. Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris;

2. Beethoven by Maynard Solomon;

3. Beetoven: 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;

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