Essay on Examining the Pathetique Sonata

1271 Words Oct 19th, 2008 6 Pages
Examining The Pathetique Sonata At the start of the nineteenth century, the world of music made a transition from the Classic Period of composition to what is now known as the Romantic Era. Composers experimented with more expressive and songlike melodies while pianists developed higher skill levels to match the increased technical demands of the pieces. One man who embodied this particular transitional period was Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven was one of the first composers to stray from traditional forms of music and incorporate a broader range of pitch and dynamics into his compositions. In 1798 Beethoven composed the Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, which incorporates many romantic elements of music. Often referred to as The …show more content…
The theme begins quietly in piano, but tension builds as the left hand rumbles back and forth between octaves. A subtle crescendo eventually leads to a stunning virtuoso passage that incorporates the use of a cross-hand technique and modulates into the key of E flat major. This key change is carried over throughout the remainder of the exposition and into the closing, which is typical of the sonata allegro from. What makes this first movement unique is the fact that the introductory Grave theme is repeated both at the beginning of the development section and in the coda. This was not typical of pieces written during the late eighteenth century and proved to be one of Beethoven’s initial experiments with the sonata allegro form. The second movement of Beethoven’s eighth sonata entitled Adagio cantabile is strikingly different from the fast pace and thundering themes of the first movement. It opens with eight bars of a beautiful and delicate melody that most people can readily identify. It is this songlike melody of the second movement that many romantic composers attempted to emulate in their compositions. After the introduction of this melody, the movement progresses in a traditional rondo form as new themes are introduced, and the initial melody is repeated. The initial theme is written in the key of A flat and is repeated a total of three times during the movement. It is followed the first time by a theme beginning in the key
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