Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata is one of the most beautiful in the repertoire. It was composed in 1798 when the composer was just 27 years old and was dedicated to Prince Karl von Linchowsky. It is in three movements with the second movement particularly well known and marked Adagio cantabile. This movement has occasionally been compared to Mozart’s piano sonata K. 457 which is also in C minor. The first movement is marked Grave – Allegro di molto e con brio is full of triumphalist imagery which is very beautiful. The same goes for the Rondo: Allegro which is the final movement showing a particular momentum and virility. The work is full of romantic inflections which have also used certain changes in piano composition which have later been incorporated by other composers.
Edvard Grieg: Piano Sonata op 7
Edvard Grieg’s Piano Sonata was written in 1865 when the composer was 22 years old, incidentally the year in which Carl Nielsen, Jean Sibelius and Alexander Glazunov were born. It is structured in four movements and was dedicated to the 22 year old composer’s mentor, Niels Gade. The first movement is marked Allegro moderato and states the main theme together with some developments. The second, marked Andante molto contains a lovely melody which is further developed into other sub melodies. The third is marked Alla Menuetto ma poco piu’ lento which harks back to the days of Haydn and Mozart. In the Finale, molto allegro, Grieg combines all the main themes together in a rousing finale. The methods used in Grieg’s sonata recur in the later Lyric Pieces, op 57.