\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.? (Read 16907 times)

Offline mtmccarthy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
« on: November 24, 2004, 09:43:51 AM »
I currently have Beethoven's seventh sonata in D major (Op. 10 No. 3) on my plate. I expect that it should be a bit of a challenge, to say the least, but I shall persist.

I would like to learn more about this piece. That is, whatever you can tell me about it, I would like to know. This would include the following: context of the piece, harmonic/structural analysis, general performance/practice tips, anecdotes, opinions, proper comestible accompaniment, and/or anything else.

The score can be found at http://www.sheetmusicarchive.net. I don't know if the edition is any good, though. I am using is the Henle Verlag edition.

I understand that this is potentially requesting an obscene amount of information - whatever help you can give would be greatly appreciated, and I will do my best to put it to good use.



It has been a little while since I've posted here last, but I suppose moving to a different country might do that to you... ;D
Marc McCarthy

piano sheet music of Sonata 7


Offline punter

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 14
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #1 on: November 25, 2004, 12:44:48 AM »

I am learning this sonata at the moment.  I have learnt the whole piece and and now just getting it to performance standard.  Technically I didn't find it too hard, if you have any specific questions I'll try to help,  but I'm still finding the 2nd and 4th movements very hard to interpret, so any thoughts would be appreciated my me too.  I reccomend Arrau's recording.

Offline rohansahai

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 412
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #2 on: November 26, 2004, 01:54:06 AM »
The timing of Beethoven's early publications was shrewdly calculated. Beethoven performed some of these works often enough for them to become familiar, and people encouraged him to publish them (the Trios, Op. 1, are an example). That his publications would be a success was almost a given, especially since the early ones involved the instrument on which he was an acknowledged virtuoso, the piano. It is also significant that his first publications were not symphonies, operas or string quartets, genres associated with Haydn and Mozart. That his first ten piano sonatas, as well as the two of Op. 49, were composed before Beethoven attempted a symphony or string quartet suggests that the piano was something of an experimental medium for the young composer, who was coming to grips with organizing large forms.

The three works of Op. 10 are in C minor, F major and D major. The first was begun in 1795 and the third completed by July 1798. Published in September, 1798, by Eder in Vienna, the set is dedicated to Countess Anna Margarete von Browne, whose husband, Count Johann von Browne (1767-1827), was one of Beethoven's chief early patrons. The Countess also received the dedications of the Variations, WoO 76 and WoO 71. An early critic praised the Sonatas of Op. 10, noting that they were composed in "an earnest, manly style."

Already in the opening Presto of the third sonata, Beethoven expands the traditional sonata form movement, but not the expository sections. It is true that the main theme is ten measures long and followed by a six-measure contrasting phrase, but this was less striking to Beethoven's contemporaries than a transition that is twice as long as the theme. There is such a wealth of material that it is best to discuss the work in terms of "theme groups," not merely themes. The second theme and closing groups have 11 contrasting ideas among them, and the momentary shift to the minor mode in the second theme group is more than just a colorful device; it has long-range implications. When this material returns in the recapitulation, it does so on the tonic minor (D minor), the relative minor of F major and the key of the second movement. This brief appearance of a "flat" key in the recapitulation is anticipated by the "flat" key areas of the development section.

Marked Largo e mesto and in 6/8, the second movement is cast in D minor. Beethoven explores the full range of the keyboard in this emotive sonata-form structure before it dissolves in the manner of the "Funeral March" of the Third Symphony.

The Minuet returns to D major. In a move somewhat unusual for Beethoven, the second theme of the minuet is very different from the first, providing the same contrast typical of a Haydn minuet. The trio, in G major, does not follow the traditional format and gives the pianist a chance to do some fancy hand crossing.

The Rondo finale is a showcase for Beethoven's variation technique. The rondo theme is altered upon return, as is the material of the first episode, which is spliced to the beginning of a new episode later in the movement. Fragments of the rondo theme tease the listener in this high energy movement.
Waste of time -- do not read signatures.

Offline maxy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 650
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #3 on: November 26, 2004, 03:35:34 AM »
I find the second movement is very touching.  Full of pain, drama, if the final Ds are not  "related" to death, I don't see what else would be...

Offline Ludwig Van Rachabji

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 502
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #4 on: November 26, 2004, 03:51:33 AM »
The first movement is my favorite. I find the second too long and drawn out.
Music... can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable. Leonard Bernstein

Offline maxy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 650
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #5 on: November 26, 2004, 04:11:24 AM »
Too long? 

a fan of Sorabji....  how interesting.

How about op 106 and 111?

Slow movements too long?   ;)

Offline kempff

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 97
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #6 on: November 26, 2004, 05:41:10 AM »
Wow, some good info here. I enjoy every single slow movement Beethoven wrote.
Kempff+Brendel= GOD

Offline mtmccarthy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #7 on: November 26, 2004, 09:31:22 AM »
Thank you, rohansahai, for that post. That's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

Hmm... a more specific question (in addition to the ones in the first post, of course): what are your recommended recordings of this piece?

I've heard Kempff's, Arrau's, Badura-Skoda's, Goode's, and Brendel's recordings. I did like Arrau's recording which punter recommended, but my favorite is the one by Richard Goode. It's very fluid, clear, and effective.

I could see somebody saying the second movement "drags" too much if he/she is listening to certain recordings, such as that of Brendel or Arrau (I found). I didn't really like Brendel's, as he didn't seem too fond of following a specific tempo throughout the piece. Arrau's wasn't bad, but I did find that it dragged a bit because of his slower tempo. Making it a tad faster, as Goode did, makes it quite a bit more effective and coherent, in my very personal opinion. Thoughts?
Marc McCarthy

Offline Hmoll

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 881
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #8 on: November 26, 2004, 03:24:32 PM »
I would like to learn more about this piece. That is, whatever you can tell me about it, I would like to know. This would include the following: context of the piece, harmonic/structural analysis, general performance/practice tips, anecdotes, opinions, proper comestible accompaniment, and/or anything else.

[/size]

If you really would like to learn about this piece you should do all of this yourself.  Why are you asking us to do your harmonic analysis, find anecdotes, context, etc.? What you are asking us to do are basic things you should do yourself with every piece you learn.

Sorry, but please do your own homework.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline rohansahai

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 412
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #9 on: November 26, 2004, 03:29:20 PM »
Thank you, rohansahai, for that post. That's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

Ha! I'm going to succed Bernhard some day!! 8)
Waste of time -- do not read signatures.

Offline mtmccarthy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #10 on: November 26, 2004, 05:53:04 PM »
If you really would like to learn about this piece you should do all of this yourself.  Why are you asking us to do your harmonic analysis, find anecdotes, context, etc.? What you are asking us to do are basic things you should do yourself with every piece you learn.

Sorry, but please do your own homework.
Yes, you have a good point. As of now, though, I don't have very much experience about the nuances of theory. I have not taken any classes for it (yet), and all I have done is some personal studying of it on my own. That is, I have my past experience with the old pieces which I've learned, and I'm a few chapters into Piston's Harmony right now. With this experience, I can speculate about what Beethoven is doing in this sonata, but I cannot say much about it (that isn't blatantly obvious) with confidence or certainty.

That is not to say that I haven't probed the piece for these things yet - I just have little means of knowing that what I have done is correct. By starting this thread, I was hoping to fill in some of the numerous holes in my knowledge/musicianship, and learn (perhaps) a good deal of information which I could not have figured out on my own. And, already, starting this thread has proven fruitful for me. I hope you see where I'm coming from. 

But, of course, if there's anything, however brief, which you would like me to keep in mind when learning the piece, feel free to tell me.  :)
Marc McCarthy

Offline Ludwig Van Rachabji

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 502
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #11 on: November 26, 2004, 10:21:25 PM »
Too long? 

a fan of Sorabji....  how interesting.

How about op 106 and 111?

Slow movements too long?   ;)

 :) 106 is a bit too long for my liking, but the slow movement of 111 is my absolute favorite movement out of all of his sonatas.

Mtmccarthy,

Here is what Lewis Lockwood says:

Opus 10 No. 3 in D major, in four movements, is the grandest and most powerful of the group. Its slow movement, in D minor and marked Largo e mesto, breathes an air of desolation whose only parallel from the time is the great slow movement of the Opus 18 No. 1 Quartet, a movement we know Beethoven associated with the tomb scene in Romeo and Juliet. That he has death and mourning in mind here is evident from the unusual word mesto ("mournful") in the tempo marking; the only other time he usues this word is for the F-minor darkness of the Adagio of Opus 59 No.1, marked Adagio molto e mesto. In earlier piano sonatas he had written "Largo" slow movements but none in the minor mode nor any that reach the emotional depths of this one. The movement reminds us of Beethoven improvising at the keyboard, able to move his listeners to tears, and it is not surprising that the work still loomed large in discussions around Beethoven in the last years, as we hear from Schindler and read in the Conversation Books. It is always a question whether or not we can believe Schindler (whose prevarications and falsifications in the Conversation Books have become a cause celebre) but it is at least possible that Beethoven actually replied when asked why he had not indicated the poetic idea on the first pages of this or other sonatas. The connection of this Largo to the expressive world of the Opus 18 No.1 Adagio and the finale of Opus 18 No. 6, which Beethoven titled La Malinconia, speaks for itself.

- Ludwig Van Rachabji
Music... can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable. Leonard Bernstein

Offline bernhard

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5078
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #12 on: November 27, 2004, 05:57:17 PM »
Try these four books (there are more):

Kenneth Drake – The Beethoven sonatas and the creative experience (Indiana University Press). Wonderful book with very good insights on Beethoven’s compositional process and historical background for each sonata.

Donald Tovey – A companion to Beethoven’s pianoforte sonatas (ABRSM) This book is mostly about analysis and structure in a summarised form – Tovey’s comments on the ABRSM edition of the sonatas are also very interesting.

Charles Rosen – Beethoven’s Sonatas: A Short Companion. (Yale) Rosen is one of my favourite writers in musical matters, and again he does not disappoint here. Lots of ideas, given special authority since Rosen has played the full cycle. (it comes with a CD played by Rosen of excerpts of the sonatas to illustrate what he says in the book)

Robert Taub – Playing the Beethoven sonatas (Amadeus).This is one of the most interesting book I’ve came across on Beethoven sonatas, since Taub talks in detail not onlay about each sonata, but also about his own personal experience of playing the sonatas. A must read (even if you do not like Taub’s rendition of the sonatas).

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline punter

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 14
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #13 on: November 27, 2004, 10:14:06 PM »
Try Barenboim.  I like his 2nd movement a lot

Offline mtmccarthy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
Re: Beethoven - Sonata, Op. 10 No. 3: General info, analysis, etc.?
«Reply #14 on: November 30, 2004, 09:56:50 AM »
Bernhard - thank you for the book recommendations. I was wondering what I should ask my brother for as a Christmas present. ;D Tovey and Taub will be first, then Rosen (I found his Piano Notes very interesting and informative), and then Drake...

Ludwig Van Rachabji - thanks for the extra info!
Marc McCarthy