Piano Sonata No. 2 (Beethoven)

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Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2, No. 2, was published in 1796 and dedicated to Joseph Haydn.

Movements[edit]

It has four movements:

I. Allegro vivace[edit]

An athletic movement that has a bright disposition. The second theme of exposition contains some striking modulations for the time period. A large portion of the development section is in F major, which contains a third relationship with the key of the work, A major. A difficult, but beautiful canonic section is also to be found in the development. The recapitulation contains no coda and the movement ends quietly and unassumingly.

II. Largo appassionato[edit]

One of the few instances in which Beethoven uses the tempo marking "Largo", which was the slowest such marking for a movement. The opening imitates the style of a string quartet and features a staccato pizzicato-like bass against lyrical chords. A high degree of contrapuntal thinking is evident in Beethoven's conception of this movement. The key is the subdominant of A major, D major.

III. Scherzo: Allegretto[edit]

A short and graceful movement that is in many respects similar to a minuet. This is the first instance in his 32 numbered sonatas in which the term "Scherzo" is used. A minor trio section adds contrast to the cheerful opening material of this movement.

IV. Rondo: Grazioso[edit]

A beautiful and lyrical rondo. The arpeggio that opens the repeated material becomes more elaborate at each entrance. The form of this rondo is A1-B1-A2-C-A3-B2-A4-Coda. The C section, in the parallel minor is rather agitated and stormy in comparison to the rest of the work, and is representative of the so-called "Sturm und Drang" style. A simple but elegant V7-I closes the entire work in the lower register, played piano.

A typical performance lasts about 22 minutes.

External links[edit]