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Ludwig van Beethoven   opus 54

Piano Sonata No. 22 in F major

Piano Sonata in F major. 1804. Time: 12'00.
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Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54, was written in 1804. It is contemporary to the first sketches of the equally concise Symphony in C Minor, #5. It is one of Beethoven's lesser known sonatas, overshadowed by its widely known neighbours, the Appassionata and the Waldstein.

  1. In tempo d'un menuetto: A Minuet in 3/4 time, with a modulating Trio. Anton Kuerti refers to this piece as a parody of uncreative composers. The melody commences, but grinds to a halt, and after doing this again, it decides to suddenly end the phrase in an attempted friendly way, which is anything but friendly, and nothing but awkward. This piece gradually redeems itself (but not much) when it garners variations for its main theme. Only at the coda does a virtuoso performance take place.
  2. Allegretto: In 2/4 time. "If the first movement was constipated, then the second movement suffers from the opposite ailment." (Anton Kuerti) This is shown in the piece, as the main melody has a non-stop continuous, sixteenth-note pattern that does not stop for even a second in this piece. The piece gradually gets more and more agitated in the coda, keeping a forward motion, unwilling to close.

The Sonata is remarkable in its concision, a precursor in some ways to the Sonata in E Major, Opus 109. The two movements present opposite faces on many levels:

  1. In tempo: the first movement is relaxed, the second, agitated.
  2. In meter: the first movement is in triple time, the second, double.
  3. In rhetoric: the first movement is improvisatory and wandering in its unfolding, the second is a relentless moto perpetuo.
  4. In thematic material: the first movement develops two distinct theme, the second develops one thematic idea.
  5. In harmonic development: the first movement follows a classic Tonic-Dominant schema, the second includes abrupt harmonic shifts.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Piano_Sonata_No._22_(Beethoven)". Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.

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