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Beethoven: Sonata 8 (Pathétique) Op. 13 in C Minor

Piano Sheet Music to Download and Print or to View in Mobile Devices

Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonatas :
Sonata 8 (Pathétique), Op. 13
Sonata 8 (Pathétique) Op. 13  in C Minor by Beethoven piano sheet music
Key: C Minor Year: 1798
Level: 8+ Period: Classical
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext (844 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: Ruthardt edition (3376 kB)

The start of a new piano era

Beethoven’s eighth piano sonata, in c minor, is one of the few works that the composer himself named, officially calling it Grande sonate pathétique. It is one of the first sonatas where Beethoven’s unique temperament and his revolutionary approach to the piano becomes truly evident. The first, dramatic and almost aggressive movement starts with a massive, loud c minor chord that must have come as a shock to contemporary listeners. Before long, the slow introductory section gives way to a fast and explosive rising staccato motif. A third theme, which returns slightly transformed in the last movement of the sonata, has the right hand jumping back and forth from treble to bass.

The second movement in A-flat major, far more familiar to the casual listener, features a beautiful cantabile melody, one of Beethoven’s most beloved creations. This Adagio certainly makes a nice soothing contrast to the violence of the first movement.

The third movement is a rondo and returns to a faster tempo. It contains elements of the first two movements, thereby tying the entire sonata together in a way that represents a significant development in the history of the piano sonata. Although it is the second movement that most listeners will remember, the full effect of this amazing work is revealed only when it is considered as a whole. It is also interesting to note that there are several similarities between the Pathétique Sonata and Mozart’s c minor sonata K. 457. For instance, the main theme of the slow movement of the Pathétique sounds remarkably similar to a theme in the slow movement of the Mozart sonata.

Posts in the piano forum about this piece by :

xx Beethoven's 8th piano sonata (complete, video recording)
October 08, 2013, 08:38:25 PM by thesixthsensemusic

Hi everyone,

Been polishing up some of my old repertoire, and decided to record the famous 'Pathétique' sonata today.

So, here's the end result:

Curious to what you think about them, as usual. Smiley

xx Beethoven Sonata Op.13, No.8 1st Movement
April 16, 2012, 04:31:43 PM by jugular

Been working on this for a bit and just wanted critique of my playing. Ignore the tuning of my school's piano, they're heavily neglected in that department...

xx Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
March 11, 2012, 10:45:27 PM by pianowolfi

First movement. I hope I can add the other movements soon, I have recorded them but I'm trying to get better takes.

I added the second movement:

third movement:

xx Beethoven pathetique movement 2
June 24, 2011, 06:38:01 AM by benzenering


Thanks for watching.

xx Excerpt from Pathetique Sonata Mvmt. 1
April 15, 2011, 04:24:11 AM by musicluvr49


I'm doing a competition on the 29th, and I'm playing the 1st movement of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata. I just found out today, that I can only perform 5 minutes... but they say that I can perform an excerpt. Sad  I really don't like the idea of cutting parts out from this beautiful sonata, but it is my best piece that I have perfected, so I really want to perform this one.

Anyone have any ideas which parts I should play that would be under 5 minutes? Playing through the whole thing, takes me about 10 minutes.

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks. Smiley

xx Beethoven Sonata op. 13 1st mvmt (string quartet arrangement)
March 29, 2011, 09:35:57 AM by cygnusdei

Hi all,

Here's an attempt at a string quartet arrangement of of Beethoven Piano Sonata no. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 (1st movement). Please take a listen, and let me know what you think. Thank you  Kiss


xx Beethoven's Pathetique 2nd movement
March 12, 2011, 12:11:03 AM by jazzhands56

Any Tips On Fingering or just general Tips On Playing Pathetique Smiley  Grin Many Thanks Wink

xx pathetique 2nd movement
March 01, 2011, 06:06:44 PM by ch101

hi guys. this is my first new topic.
I am working on the pathetique sonata for my arct exam and I do not know ow to control the pedaling for the second movement. I am kind of hovering over the pedal right now. anyone got any good ideas?

xx Pathetique 2nd mvt.
February 16, 2011, 08:01:32 PM by fred792k


Could you tell me how difficult the 2nd mvt of Pathetique is compared to Träumerei and Moonlight Sonata mvt 1.

I Can play a minute of the second movement of Pathetique so far, but I don't know, if it's too difficult. What do you think?

Kind regards

xx Voicing in Pathetique Sonata 2nd Movement
January 29, 2011, 07:27:37 PM by musicluvr49

Ok, so I've been playing this piece for about a month now, and I think I've got it down pretty well. But I was wondering... Has anyone ever tried doing like seperate dynamics and voicing for each voice in the piece,  other than the melody line? I just though of this, but I think it would sound really cool. Smiley

xx Pathetique Sonata 1st Movement speed.
January 13, 2011, 03:25:17 AM by musicluvr49

I listened to a couple of recordings of this, like Horowitz's version. and I was wondering......Does this sonata really have to be played at that speed, or can it be slower, and still be acceptable?

xx Pathetique Sonata 1st Movement
January 11, 2011, 05:03:29 AM by musicluvr49

I really need help getting the stacatto double notes in the right hand to the right sound. I'm not quite sure how to pedal on this part, but I also dont think it should be completely free of the pedal. Help?

xx Pathetique Sonata 2nd Movement tempo
January 08, 2011, 09:43:09 PM by musicluvr49

Hi. Sorry I realize I've been posting a lot on here, but I have a lot of questions, Lol.
Umm.. so I've heard many different versions of this movement, and I personally believe it should be at a pretty slow place with a flowing feeling, hence the Adagio. But I've heard many versions which are faster. So am I wrong?

xx chubby
August 20, 2010, 03:54:57 AM by mebearsoft

this question has been deleted by chuck norris.

question Accidental in Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 - Adagio cantabile
July 31, 2010, 02:48:08 AM by bryan52803

Hello, I'm learning to play the song listed in the title. I have the sheet music from Alfred Publishing Co., Inc and it says EDITED BY ARTUR SCHNABEL on the cover.

I'm new to piano and I have a question about an accidental at the start of the second staff. The base note of the chord on the lower staff shows a flat accidental symbol in front of a D quarter note. However, this note is already flat relative to the natural note because it's written in Ab major (Ab,Bb,C,Db,Eb,F,G,Ab). Now my understanding was that accidentals do not apply to octaves nor do they persist past a measure. There is a D natural in the staff above this, but it is 2 octaves up and in another measure.

So what's going on here? What note am I to play? Thank you in advance.


xx Broken octaves - pathetique mvmt 1
June 12, 2010, 08:20:17 AM by ggpianogg

Hi guys,

I'm learning the first mvmt of the pathetique. It's going quite well, but I'm finding I have some trouble with the broken octaves in the left hand (in the Allegro molto e con brio part). Specifically; when I'm just playing the same octave all along, there is no trouble and I could probably go on for ages (I play the broken octaves through the rotation of the forearm and wrist, of course). But if I'm playing at full speed, I start to experience biceps stifness/pain extremely quickly, as soon as I begin moving the octaves up the scale. This happens especially when I'm moving from the white keys to the black keys. I tried experimenting with different sitting positions (higher, lower, further and closer from the piano etc). I'm also taking very careful care to keep my left arm relaxed while playing the broken octaves. None of it is helping unfortunately.

Could it be that I simply don't possess enough stamina yet to play this? (I haven't been playing for a long time).

On a side note: actually, even when I play it at half speed, I still experience this stifness (only to a much lighter degree).

Any thoughts/suggestions?


xx Pathetique question on pedaling
January 25, 2010, 10:17:46 PM by soitainly

 I downloaded the sheet music from Piano Street and have started learning the Adagio, it's a little beyond my abilities but I like challenges and it's one of the pieces that made me want to take up piano in the first place. The recordings I have heard of this movement sound very ambient and always assumed there was quite a bit of pedaling involved, yet my music doesn't show any pedal markings. Is it common to add pedaling. For instance, my recording by Barenboim sounds really ambient, I guess it could be the room, but is it really pedaling to get that sound?

xx Beethoven Pathetique
September 12, 2009, 10:17:52 PM by pianist7

My piano teacher says to hit the opening Cm chord with "weight," not force or percussion. Your takes? I think playing with force is more powerful and suprising the listeners.

xx Beethoven - Pathétique Sonata (complete)
August 23, 2009, 05:36:49 AM by lmpianist

I first learned this piece about 10 years ago but was recently inspired to resuscitate it, which doesn't happen very often with me and old pieces... anyway, I thought I would share the result since I was fairly satisfied with it, especially the third movement.


xx Question about Pathetique 1st movement
August 10, 2009, 01:18:58 AM by mrtom82

I've been working on the 1st movement and I'm a little confused about the bass clef on the allegro part.  The first bar has 8th notes then the second bar has what looks like 8th notes but they aren't solid, they look like half notes. Right now, I'm practicing it as if each hand is playing quater notes.  Is this the right?

xx Beethoven: Second mvt. from the Pathetique, op. 13
July 19, 2009, 10:56:49 AM by aewanko

Two versions:
Edited and Unedited.

Do not hesitate to throw stones at me.

xx Beethoven Pathetique Mv.1 (Video)
July 02, 2009, 06:31:45 PM by can

The first mv. of pathetique. I know there are mistakes and a big one towards the end - sorry for this, but I wanted to share. I'm waiting for your comments. I hope you like it.

xx 'Pathetique' sonata
May 05, 2009, 09:26:08 PM by worov

Hi everybody !

I'm currently working on the 'Pathetique' sonata by Beethoven. Very beautiful piece. I like it a lot.

In the first movement, in the bars 174, 182, 184 and 186, the right hand plays a C-E flat chord and trills with E flat and F. So I have to play the chord with 1 and 3 and to trill with 3 and 4, or 3 or 5, which is very hard for me. I think 3 and 5 would be more comfortable. To those who have played this piece, what fingering do you use ?

I need to develop finger independance.

How to develop finger independance ? I have worked some Bach two-part inventions : no. 1, 2,3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, and 14. But they don't seem to be very useful for this particular passage.

Any tips ?

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