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Joined: Jan 2014
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Sonata 3 (op 2 no 3) deserves a special mention.

It was composed after Beethoven arrived in Vienna, was gaining reputation, and people actually liked him. He was famous, being invited to parties, winning friendly competitions (not the stiff, lifeless affairs we have today, true battles between gentlemen). He had arrived, and he was happy, and that happiness shines through the entire sonata. The deafness that would plague him was not yet a cloud on the horizon.

I call it the Happy Sonata.


Poetry is rhythm
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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Sonata 3 (op 2 no 3) deserves a special mention.

It was composed after Beethoven arrived in Vienna, was gaining reputation, and people actually liked him. He was famous, being invited to parties, winning friendly competitions (not the stiff, lifeless affairs we have today, true battles between gentlemen). He had arrived, and he was happy, and that happiness shines through the entire sonata. The deafness that would plague him was not yet a cloud on the horizon.

I call it the Happy Sonata.


I like your characterization of the competitions of the time, and thanks for the biographical perspective. I'm wary of using it to gain insights into the music, though. Here, I just don't hear op.2/3 as "happier" than many other Beethoven major-keyed sonatas of the time. I'll grant you the opening themes of the first and last movements. But, as so often with Beethoven, this soon leads to wistfulness, doubt, and struggle. And the second movement, for me the cornerstone of the whole thing, seems to convey almost every sense-- profundity, serenity, sadness, tragedy in turn-- *except* regular old happiness.

And conversely, several other early sonatas (op.2/2? op.10/2?) could be equally characterized (and, equally, not entirely successfully) as "happy".

-J

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Favorite: 109

Then, in no particular order:
Hammerklavier
Waldstein
Les Adieux
Appasionata
Moonlight
A Thérèse
27-1
2-1
111

Man, I really love 109. The first movement is just perfection to me. Judging from the other comments, a lot of 109 love out there! I never realized that it was so popular.


Last edited by didyougethathing; 07/16/14 11:47 AM.
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Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Sonata 3 (op 2 no 3) deserves a special mention.

It was composed after Beethoven arrived in Vienna, was gaining reputation, and people actually liked him. He was famous, being invited to parties, winning friendly competitions (not the stiff, lifeless affairs we have today, true battles between gentlemen). He had arrived, and he was happy, and that happiness shines through the entire sonata. The deafness that would plague him was not yet a cloud on the horizon.

I call it the Happy Sonata.


I like your characterization of the competitions of the time, and thanks for the biographical perspective. I'm wary of using it to gain insights into the music, though. Here, I just don't hear op.2/3 as "happier" than many other Beethoven major-keyed sonatas of the time. I'll grant you the opening themes of the first and last movements. But, as so often with Beethoven, this soon leads to wistfulness, doubt, and struggle. And the second movement, for me the cornerstone of the whole thing, seems to convey almost every sense-- profundity, serenity, sadness, tragedy in turn-- *except* regular old happiness.

I'm sorry you can't hear it. If you're interested in what it feels like for a young artist to hit the scene and become popular, this interview captures it


Poetry is rhythm
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