Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, op. 13 (“Pathétique”)

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, op. 13 (“Pathétique”)

  • Composed 1797/98
  • Dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky, one of Beethoven’s most important patrons in Vienna.
  •  Consists of three movements (Fast/Slow/Fast) – no scherzo
  • Demonstrates the turbulent, dramatic style associated with C minor in Beethoven’s music
  • Nickname came from the composer himself who called it a “Grande sonate pathétique.”
First movement:  Grave/Allegro molto e con brio. (“Gravely / Very fast and with verve”) Sonata form w/ slow introduction.  Passionate and turbulent.
Second movement: Adagio cantabile (Slow, lyrically)  Rondo form (ABACA).  Tranquil and lovely.
Third movement:  Rondo. Allegro.  Rondo form (ABACABA).  Mood returns to the turbulence of the first movement.
Daniel Barenboim is one of today’s most renowned and beloved interpreters of Beethoven.  Since he is both conductor and pianist, his understanding of the music goes beyond keyboard technique into the very heart of the music.
Here are timings to help you find specific sections:
Movement 1: Intro 0:19; exposition 2:06, Development 5:35, Recap 7:12
Movement 2: 9:46
Movement 3: 15:10
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