Summary Of ' Beethoven ' Sonata First Movement '

2297 Words Sep 2nd, 2014 10 Pages
CHEN, YIHAN
T252 Conditional Pass Analysis Paper
Fall 2014
Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata First Movement
Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Opus 53 is one of the most technically challenging and compositionally ambitious piano sonatas by Beethoven. The name of the sonata, “Waldstein”, is derived from Beethoven’s dedication, Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein of Vienna, a long time close friend and patron of the composer. Composed from 1803 to 1804, it is one of the most important pieces of Beethoven’s middle period and surpasses all the earlier sonatas in scope, power, and energy. Like many other major pieces around the time the piece was composed, Beethoven was constantly augmenting the sonata form, giving significantly more substance to the development section, and extending the use of certain previously less-extensive sections such as the coda. Many were of these innovations were supported by the extensive development of existing musical material through various alterations and modulations, often creating new themes from a single motive. Many themes were created with a single motivic cell often stated at the beginning of the piece, but nonetheless they appear to the audience as separate themes. This helps the creation of larger musical structures without sacrificing unity and inevitability. This sense of economy would become a crucial aspect of the composition of the sonata.
The first movement of the sonata is in fairly conventional sonata form (figure 1). The…
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