Piano Sonata No. 4 (Beethoven)

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Piano Sonata No. 4
by Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven in 1796; designed by G. Stainhauser; engraving by Johann Josef Neidl, executed for the publisher Artaria
KeyE-flat major
StyleClassical period
FormPiano sonata
Composed1796 (1796)
DedicationBabette, Countess of Keglević
Published1796, Vienna
Duration28 minutes
Audio samples
I. Allegro molto con brio (7:30)
II. Largo con gran espressione (9:34)
III. Allegro (4:55)
IV. Rondo (Poco allegretto e grazioso) (6:11)
Performed by Artur Schnabel in 1932

Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 4, in E major, Op. 7, sometimes nicknamed the Grand Sonata, was written in November 1796 and dedicated to his student Babette, the Countess Keglević.[1][2] The sonata was composed during Beethoven's visit to the Keglevich Palace.[3] Beethoven named it Great Sonata, because it was published alone, which was unusual for the time.[citation needed]

Along with the Hammerklavier Sonata, it is one of the longest piano sonatas that Beethoven composed.[4][1] A typical performance lasts about 28 minutes.


The sonata is laid out in four movements:

  1. Allegro molto e con brio, 6
    (E-flat major)
  2. Largo, con gran espressione, 3
    (C major)
  3. Allegro, 3
    (E-flat major - Trio in E-flat minor)
  4. Rondo: Poco allegretto e grazioso, 2
    (E-flat major)

I. Allegro molto e con brio[edit]

The first movement is in sonata form.[5]

II. Largo con gran espressione[edit]

The second movement is in ternary form.[5]

III. Allegro[edit]

The third movement is in scherzo and trio form.[5]

IV. Rondo: Poco allegretto e grazioso[edit]

The fourth movement is in rondo form.[5] This movement of the sonata in particular was featured in the documentary Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037


  1. ^ a b McCallum 2007, p. 8
  2. ^ Hewitt 2006, p. 7
  3. ^ Huizing, Jan Marisse (2021). Ludwig Van Beethoven : The Piano Sonatas; History, Notation, Interpretation. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 6. ISBN 9780300262742.
  4. ^ Hewitt 2006, p. 6
  5. ^ a b c d "Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.4 in E major Analysis".

External links[edit]