As with Beethoven’s other concertos from this time period, this work has a relatively long first movement. (At twenty-five minutes, the Violin Concerto has the longest; Piano Concerto Nos. 4 and 5 each have opening movements of about twenty minutes.)
Piano: Wilhelm Kempff The Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-flat major, Op. 31, No. 3, is a sonata for solo piano by Ludwig van Beethoven, the third and last of his Op. 31 piano sonatas. The work dates from 1802. A playful jocularity is maintained throughout the piece, earning it the occasional nickname of The Hunt, although like many of Beethoven’s early works, the ‘jocular’ style can be heard as a facade, concealing profound ideas and depths of emotion. Be apart of my Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/Blop888
The Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-flat major, Op. 31, No. 3, is a sonata for solo piano by Ludwig van Beethoven, the third and last of his Op. 31 piano sonatas. The work dates from 1802. A playful jocularity is maintained throughout the piece, earning it the occasional nickname of The Hunt, although like many of Beethoven’s early works, the ‘jocular’ style can be heard as a facade, concealing profound ideas and depths of emotion.
Allegro: Beethoven’s progressive harmonic language is apparent from the very first chord of the piece (3rd inversion of the 11th on dominant B♭), the stability of a tonic chord in root position delayed until bar 8. The expressive harmonic colour, coupled with the changes of tempi in the introduction (1-18), creates an evocative opening, reminiscent of the improvisatory style of C. P. E. Bach‘s piano sonatas. This opening cell is repeated extensively throughout the movement – at the start of the development (89), in the recapitulation (137), and also during the coda (transposed into the subdominant (220), and then at its original pitch (237)). The codetta (33-45) explores this opening chord in a minor variation (with a C flat, implying ii7 of E♭ minor), even appearing in bar 36 in the exact spacing (albeit with different spelling) of the ‘Tristan chord‘, written by Richard Wagner some 55 years later.
Scherzo. Allegrettovivace: This scherzo is different from regular scherzos, as it is written in 2/4 time as opposed to 3/4, and because it is in sonata form. However, its still contains many characteristics of a scherzo, including unexpected pauses and a playful nature. The theme is in the right hand while the left-hand contains staccatoaccompaniment. This wasn’t the first time Beethoven wrote a scherzo that wasn’t in ternary form; the scherzo in the Op. 14, No. 2 sonata has a scherzo as its third movement, which is in rondo form.
Menuetto. Moderato e grazioso: It is surprisingly the most serious of the movements, with a sweet and tender nature presented in the piece, with both the minuet and the trio presented in E flat major.
Presto con fuoco: A very vigorous and rolling piece, suspended by continuous, rollicking eighth notes in the bass.
The form of the sonata is unusual because it does not have a slow movement, which is instead replaced with a scherzo and followed by a minuet, before launching into the spirited finale.
Camille Saint-Saëns used the Trio section of the Menuetto as the theme for his 1874 Variations sur un thème de Beethoven, Op. 35, for two pianos.
A Life for the Tsar is a “patriotic-heroic tragic opera” in four acts with an epilogue by Mikhail Glinka. The original Russian libretto, based on historical events, was written by Nestor Kukolnik, Georgy Fyodorovich Rozen, Vladimir Sollogub and Vasily Zhukovsky. It premiered on 29 November 1836 at the Bolshoi Theatre in St. Petersburg. The historical basis of the plot involves Ivan Susanin, a patriotic hero of the early 17th century who gave his life in the expulsion of the invading Polish army for the newly elected Tsar Mikhail, the first of the Romanov dynasty, elected in 1613.
The Attacca Quartet performs the Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 18, No 2
WQXR presented the Beethoven String Quartet Marathon on November 18th, 2012. Part of the Beethoven awareness month, all of Beethoven’s string quartets performed in a special marathon at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.
The Orion Quartet, the Afiara Quartet, the Amphion Quartet, the Attacca Quartet, the Jasper Quartet and other notable Beethoven interpreters performed.
The String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, opus 131, by Ludwig van Beethoven was completed in 1826. (The number traditionally assigned to it is based on the order of its publication; it is actually his fifteenth quartet by order of composition.) About 40 minutes in length, it consists of seven movements to be played without a break, as follows: 1. Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo 2. Allegro molto vivace 3. Allegro moderato 4. Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile — Più mosso — Andante moderato e lusinghiero — Adagio — Allegretto — Adagio, ma non troppo e semplice — Allegretto 5. Presto 6. Adagio quasi un poco andante 7. Allegro
This work, which is dedicated to Baron Joseph von Stutterheim, was Beethoven’s favourite from the late quartets. He is quoted as remarking to a friend: “thank God there is less lack of imagination than ever before”. Together with the quartets op. 130 and 132, it goes beyond anything Beethoven had previously written. (Op. 131 is the conclusion of that trio of great works, written in the order 132, 130 with the Grosse Fugue ending, 131; they may be profitably listened to and studied in that sequence.) It is said that upon listening to a performance of this quartet, Schubert remarked, “After this, what is left for us to write?”