Beethoven Pathetique Analysis

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Ludwig van Beethoven (17 December 1770– 26 March 1827)

Sonata in C minor (‘Pathétique’), Op.13 Beethoven (1770–1827)
Grave; Allegro di molto e con brio
Adagio cantabile
Rondo: Allegro

Piano Sonata Op.13 was composed in 1798, during a time when Beethoven realised about his encroaching deafness. This piece soon became one of Beethoven’s most well-known compositions as its air of mystery and sober atmosphere had an immediate appeal to the public. The title of this piece refers to pathetic as sufferings, not the sense of pity. This piece shows resemblance to some piano works written by Mozart, in the same key. However, the way Beethoven had composed Pathetique departs fundamentally from that of his predecessor, with an attitude of defiance and resistance.

With its extreme difference and high level of energy, it made many of the Viennese listeners shocked and stunned.

Beethoven dedicated this piece to Prince Karl von Lichnowsky, who was a huge supporter of Vienna’s musicians and Beethoven. In return for dedicating this piece to him, Beethoven was given a quartet of Italian string instruments and an annual sum of money.

In the powerful and impactful Grave introduction, the resistance to the sufferings is exemplified in the contrast between the upward moving melodic and the darkness of the C minor tonality. The harmonic dissonances and rising shape of Grave transforms into a
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