Week 32 – Beethoven’s Blog

Posted on August, 13th 2021

Piano Sonata No.27 in E minor, Op.90

We are now entering Beethoven’s final style period. As you know by now his music is generally divided into three of them, appropriately named early, middle, and late. There are no bright red lines between them however. With his sonata In E minor Op. 90 we begin to enter his late period. Soon we will look at some other pieces in this transition – the Op. 95 string Quartet and the Seventh Symphony opus 92. He starts to enter a different world, a very personal, emotional yet abstract world. Extraordinarily personal with little regard to how the music will be accepted but only thinking of reaching inside of himself to show, perhaps to him, who he is and what he is about and what he believes. This is some of that the most extraordinary music ever penned by man. It is not always easy to understand nor to write about it. It’s almost impossible to put into words where Beethoven was going.

As we enter this world we are going to use the aforementioned sonata for piano in E minor Op. 90. Once again I’m going to ask that you listen to the incomparable Andras Schiff in his wonderful lecture series on the Beethoven piano sonatas speak on this particular piece. As I’ve said before he can do a much better job examining it and describing it than I can. I’m including a performance by the legendary Alfred Brendel. Also one by the amazingly talented yet controversial Ivo Pogorelich.

Andras Schiff lecture on Beethoven opus 90:

A performance by Alfred Brendel:

Ivo Pogorelich rendition: