Beethoven: Pathétique Sonata

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1 Beethoven: Pathétique Sonata

2 Key words 1) Instrumentation and Sonority 2) Structure 3) Tonality 4) Harmony 5) Rhythm, Metre and Tempo 6) Melody 7) Texture At the top of your Beethoven Score write each on in each of your 7 colours

3 LOs: To develop my knowledge and understanding of music history; to identify characteristics aurally; to expand my knowledge and use of subject-specific vocabulary. The Classical Period : (approx.) The development of the piano and sonata The golden age of classical music, the Classical period witnessed the perfecting of musical styles and techniques such as the Sonata. Orchestras became more established and music became all about entertainment and enjoyment. Main composers: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven

4 LOs: To develop my knowledge and understanding of music history; to identify characteristics aurally; to expand my knowledge and use of subject-specific vocabulary. The Classical Period Features - Clear melodic lines - Clear keys (major or minor) and functional tonality - Use of Diatonic chords (I, II, IV, V, VI) to compose - Predominantly homophonic or melody and accompaniment textures - Musical devices such as Appoggiaturas, Sequences and Suspension - Sonata: a piece of music written for a solo piano/ solo instrument accompanied by piano Romantic music features - Sudden dynamic changes - Unusual modulations - Emotional music, designed to show an emotion Challenge Question - How does this music show features of both musical styles?

5 Ludwig Van Beethoven Intense family pressure to become a prodigy (child star), particularly from his father. Removed from school aged 11 German, later moved to Vienna to write his music and become a composer & performer From 1796 (aged 26) started to become profoundly deaf - composed and performed his music without ever hearing it. Known as a Classical Romantic cross composer, as his musical style lead the way for the romantic period of music

6 Background information- Pathétique Sonata His eighth published sonata Dedicated to a French aristocrat Title Pathetique: French for moving or emotional Sonata - Solo instrument (piano) or solo instrument accompanied by piano Sonata Form- A musical structure Important! Beethoven is a Classical period composer, however his dramatic musical style, lots of dynamics and unusual structure show signs of the Romantic period

7 Instrumentation the fortepiano The fortepiano was the instrument this sonata was written for. It was in a much lighter case than a modern day piano This instrument evolved into the pianoforte - the modern day piano. Pathetique exploits this instrument through crescendos, dynamic changes and peddling The keys are lighter, and there are thinner strings Lower notes had a buzzing resonance and high notes a light treble sound One of the very first instruments where you could vary dynamics, evident in the sonata It was particularly good at sforzando (Sfz)- can you find examples of this in your score? Sforzando- sudden accented note which should be suddenly loud

8 The evolution of the pianoforte? WMYA

9 Instrumental techniques Dynamics- crescendos, diminuendos, Sforzandos Chordal writing-chords mixed with fast runs (quick notes and scales) Accented chords Melodic decoration- Trills (tr) and slurs Peddling- sustained notes Task - Annotate your score with the examples here - Challenge: Can you find your own examples?

10 Structure- Sonata Form Watch this: Exposition Development Recapitulation First subject Short transition to connect to the Second subject Explores new ideas and different keys Finally begins a transition which then turns into the First subject Short transition to connect to the Second subject (though in the key of the first theme) Question- how does Beethoven develop this even more?

11 Structure- Pathétique Sonata First there is a 10 bar slow (grave) introduction, leading to First subject (11 35) Exposition Short transition to connect to the Second subject (51 132) Development Explores new ideas and different keys Finally begins a transition which then turns into the First subject Recapitulation Short transition to connect to the Second subject (though in the key of the first theme) This music is Diatonic (stays in a keys, not dissonant/ clashing) Finally there is a coda bar end Task- can you label the different sections on your score? Challenge- identify the internal structure of each section

12 Tonality Introduction C minor Exposition Development Recapitulation First subject (11 35) C minor Short transition to connect to the Second subject (51 132) Eb minor Explores new ideas and different keys G minor + E minor Finally begins a transition which then turns into the First subject C minor Short transition to connect to the Second subject (starting in F minor but then goes to C minor) Unusual! Although the music is Diatonic (stays in clear keys), it modulates to unrelated (unusual) keys in the development Finally there is a coda bar 295 end (C minor) Task- can you label the different sections on your score?

13 Harmony Task - Annotate your score with the examples below - Challenge: Can you find your own examples? The music features many chromatic chords, especially diminished sevenths (e.g. half way through bar 1). There are distinctive perfect cadences at the end of the movement (chords V- I). There is an interrupted cadence in the introduction at bar 9 (Chord V- VI). Use of Circle of fifths bars Use of augmented 6th chords, e.g. bars 30 and 34.

14 same Sounds Texture Task - Annotate your score with the examples below - Challenge: Can you find your own examples? Mainly homophonic (chordal)/ melody & accompaniment Octaves in the introduction (bar 5) Monophonic passages (eg bars ) one Sound

15 Task - Annotate your score with the examples below - Challenge: Can you find your own examples? Melody The music of the slow introduction is based on a short ( six note) motif, first heard at the beginning. This is used as a basis for most of the introduction, sometimes reduced to five notes, and sometimes with the second last note rising instead of falling. There are a number of scalic passages, such as the descending chromatic scale at the end of the introduction. The first subject theme from bar 11 of the allegro is built on an ascending scale of the tonic key C minor, but with a major third (E). Notice the distinctive augmented second from A to B. Melodic lines also include arpeggios and broken chords (e.g. bars 29 30). Ornaments are an important feature of the second subject in particular. These include acciaccaturas at bar 53 etc., mordents shortly afterwards, and trills just before the recapitulation.

16 Task - Annotate your score with the examples below - Challenge: Can you find your own examples? Harmony Dominant 7 th = chord V7 The harmony uses the standard chords of the time (i.e. predominantly chords I, IV and V, with occasional use of II and VI), including dominant sevenths in various inversions. The harmony is functional (mainly uses chord I, IV and V). The harmony uses mainly root position and first inversion chords. Root (block) chord 1 st Inversion (flipped) chord Perfect cadences announce the ends of sections (eg bar 77-78). Suspensions are used occasionally (i.e. 9 8 suspension at bar 130).

17 Tempo, Rhythm & Metre 4 beats in a bar The introduction is marked grave (very slow). The time signature is common time. Dotted rhythm is an important feature of the piece (e.g. bar 1). There are some very rapid notes, including septuplets and 1/128th notes in bar 10. The main allegro di molto e con brio (very fast with vigour) section is in alla breve time a fast two in the bar. Continuous quavers are a distinctive feature of the accompaniment of the first subject. Staccato crotchets are important in the right hand of the first subject. 2 beats in a bar

18 Test time!

19 GCSE questions 1) Find two examples of different musical textures in the movement- monophonic and homophonic. 2) What is unusual about the key of the second subject? Why do you think Beethoven chose this key? 3) Describe the opening ten- bar introduction highlighting three features of the music 4) There are many examples o fthe dramatic diminished 7 th chord in this piece, such as on the third crotchet beat in bar 1. Explain the makeup of the chordthat is, how many notes it has, the size of intervals between notes, and how it resolves onto the following chord. Challenge 1) Explain how this piece demonstrates some of the key features of the Romantic style 2) Listen to the second, slow movement of this sonata. What ood do you think the music conveys and how does Beethoven achieve this in the music? 3) The piano underwent changes to its structure, range etc during this time periodwhy?

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