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Video of the Sonata op. 2 n. 3

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In the first volume, dedicated to the triptych of the Sonatas op. 2, the video lecture treats the relation between Kant and Beethoven, and the influence of the ethic and scientific thought of the philosopher from Königsberg on the creative world of the composer.

The booklet emphasizes through the compositional analysis the unitariness of the inspiration: one great body collects three Sonatas, structures in dialectic opposition but strictly connected thanks to the tonal and motivic nets. The Weltanschauung (world vision) and the music philosophy that emerge from these three different declinations of the Sonata archetype are deep-rooted in the humanistic context, but also projected into the modernity, in virtue of the metalinguistic reflection effected by Beethoven already in his first piano works.


Sonata in f minor op. 2 n. 1

A Negative-Sonata


Also called “little Appassionata” , for anticipating the terrifying nihilistic intuition of the op. 57, the first Sonata in the «fatal» tonality of f minor  is a masterwork of constructive sobriety, announcing in embryo all characters of the Beethovenian style.

The compositional analysis shows a sort of involution that removes substance from the material, causing its consumption and implosion.

This regressive processo represents an element of affinity between the Sonata and Goethes' Werther, both archetype works, from which srpings the entire poetic world of their authors. As Werther is a novel of de-formation, a negative Bildungsroman, generator of the complex architectures of the subsequent novels, so the Sonata op. 2 n. 1, with its form aiming to the self-deletion, can be considered a sort of Negative-Sonata, whose ashes will give rise to all extraordinary formal experimentations, unceasingly pursued by Beethoven until his last years of life.



Sonata in A major op. 2 n. 2

Bildungstrieb: Nature and freedom


The limpd tonality of A major, a major third over the dark f minor, throws transparent, almost Mozartian light on this Sonata , the second of the triptyh, trait d’union between the first and the last one, vibrating of spontaneity and expression of Spirit (Geist) freedom,  so similar to the flowering of theNatur.

After the spare fatal vortexes of the conclusion of the op. 2 n. 1, the life and the Kantian vis activa rise again like by enchantment, in an irrepressible élan that looks into all tones of the joy. from humour to contemplation, from the gentle traces of the Schillerian grace to the strong surges of a creator ego, tirelessly aiming to the self-shaping and to give form to the Nature.



Sonata in C major op. 2 n. 3

Spieltrieb: the play of the faculties in the aesthetic man


Vertex of the triptych, in the bright tonality of C major  (dominant of f minor and one more time a third above the previous Sonata), the op. 2 n.3, defined by Fischer «the little Waldstein» , seals a unitary route, which from the solipsistic nihilism of the op. 2 n. 1, through the liberating immersion in the Nature of the op. 2 n. 2,  reaches the Spieltrieb, the play impulse theorized by Schiller in the Letters about the aesthetic education as expression of a total man (Ganzmensch), polyparadigmatic, harmoniously inserted in the context of his action, because his sensitive and rational impulses, strenghtened at the maximum level, «play» among them, exalting the full humanity of the aesthetically educated Mensch.

The atmosphere of this work is similar to that of Mozart's theatre, with a contagious enthusiastic liveliness that animates characters, situations, series of coups de théâtre with perfect dramaturgic rhythm.

One more time the Adagio in E major, with dramatic passages in e-minor, so close to the antiphonal character of the second movement of the Fourth Piano Concerto op. 58, is the expressive apex and the barycentre of the entire formal architecture, whose two last movements are enlivened by a joyful piano virtuosity, that reveals the influence of Clementi.


Letizia Michielon

(The texts are drawn from the booklet of Limen CD-DVD)


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