Three Piano Sonatas, WoO 47 (Beethoven)
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (August 2015)
The Three Early Piano Sonatas, WoO 47, "Kurfürstensonaten" were composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1782 and 1783, when he was twelve and thirteen years old. The sonatas show a certain level of precocity and serve as a precursor to the masterworks he later produced. They are dedicated to the Elector (Kurfürst) Maximilian Frederick.
Like Mozart's, Beethoven's musical talent was recognized at a young age, and these three sonatas give an early glimpse of the composer's abilities, as well as his boldness. Beethoven was writing in a form usually attempted by older, more mature composers, as the sonata was a cornerstone of Classical piano literature. Since they were written at such an early age (and Beethoven himself did not assign them opus numbers), the works have historically been omitted from the canon of Beethoven's piano sonatas. However, Barry Cooper included the trio in his critical edition of the sonatas created for ABRSM, arguing that 'A complete edition has to be complete, and if you ignore early works, you don’t show the longer trajectory of the composer’s development'. The inclusion of these three works raises Beethoven's total number of piano sonatas from 32 to 35 (with the incipit of a possible 36th identified by Thayer).
No. 1 in E♭ major
No. 2 in F minor
No. 3 in D major
- Song, Moo Kyoung (2002). The Evolution of Sonata-Form Design in Ludwig van Beethoven's Early Piano Sonatas, WoO 47 to Opus 22 (PDF) (Ph. D). Austin: University of Texas.
- Thayer, A. W. (1921). Krehbiel, Henry Edward (ed.). The Life of Ludwig Van Beethoven, Vol 1. The Beethoven Association. OCLC 422583.
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