Grande Sonate Pour Le Pianoforte Analysis

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Composed in 1801 and published in 1802 in Vienna as opus 28, "Grande Sonate pour le pianoforte", the nickname "Pastorale" was given quite late, towards 1838, by the Hamburg based publisher Cranz, the same who named the Sonata opus 57 "Appassionata".

Carl Czerny reports that the composer said to his friend Krumpholz: "I am not satisfied with what I composed until now. I will go now to other directions." Yet, still after Czerny, the Andante of the Pastorale Sonata, was one of the composer's favorites, he played it quite often and re-published it in a shortened and fingered version in 1820 in a "Methode pour le pianoforte".

Critics at the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung wrote on December 8, 1802, that the first and third movements are "original and even
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The themes are all lyrical. A very peculiar beginning on a repeating pedal note D which strangely acts not as the tonic but the root of dominant 7th to the key of G major.
The first right hand chord (C-natural - F-sharp - A) comes highly unexpected. It almost evolves in the key of G major before unconvincingly settling in D and it promptly re-starts, still "shifting" towards G major in the repetition of the first theme. Nowhere a solid V - I (dominant - tonic) evolution is seen during that first exposition of the main theme. The 24 bars long repeating pedal note D on the bass, acting sometimes as the tonic root and at other times as root of dominant to G major creates an enchanting and unique atmosphere.

One other beautiful second theme starting at F-sharp minor evolves towards A major. This theme is also set up in a very particular arrangement. It is fully orchestral the melody is conveyed with both hands at two octaves distance filled with tremolos all figuring a strings orchestra setting with first violins and cellos at the cantabile part and second violins and altos "filling
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