Week 2 – Beethoven’s Blog

Posted on August, 3rd 2021

The 32 Piano Sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven represent one of the most monumental achievements in all of western music. From the humorous to the elegant, from the beautiful to the searingly profound, these sonatas are a remarkable achievement. The Sonata for Piano in c minor “the Pathetique” (1797-98) is one of his most beloved compositions. In the first movement you will hear the drama and force of the c minor opening slow statement followed by the energetic, almost improvisatory, fast section. Pay attention to the shifting harmonies and the tension diminished chords bring. The slow movement begins with one of the most beautiful and noble themes in music. Close your eyes and be moved. The third movement returns to the tempestuous c minor of the opening. Listen to the Pathetique often until it’s part of you. The attached performance by Daniel Barenboim is wonderful in its sensitivity and understanding. And what a beautiful sound!