Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. He was born into a family of musicians on 16 December 1770, Bonn, Germany. Beethoven wrote 32 piano sonatas between 1795 and 1822. His works are recognized for its dark and intense character which poses much challenge to the performer. Nevertheless, there are also sweet and lyrical pieces such as Sonata Op. 14 No. 2. This sonata was composed in 1798-1799 and consists of 3 movements. It is the only sonata to conclude with a movement titled Scherzo and is classified under his early period work that was dedicated to Baroness Josefa von Braun.
The first movement of the Sonata is very smooth and lyrical, in which the bass and middle voice requires special attention too. It is in Sonata form, set in G major. The first subject opens with an ambiguous spreading out of a G major triad with a slightly delayed accompaniment. This is followed by a rising bass from G to the 9th above, A. This A-note in the bass becomes the pedal point to the melody that is in sequence. The second subject opens with the dominant key of G major, D major. The codetta consists of new material. The development, inclusive of both first and second subject commences in G minor then thunders into a polyrhythm of duplets over triplets. The first movement then ends of with a variation of the first subject theme with a tonic pedal point.
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The second movement is in the form of theme and variations. It begins in C major with a march-like theme that was inspired by Turkish music which was very popular during Beethoven’s time. The themes are contrasted between staccato and held notes. The alla breve suggests that it must be played rather lively. As the music develops, it gets faster with more notes to play per beat. The right hand plays the original theme with staccato articulation. However, In the first variation, this theme is played with legato articulation by the left hand. The right hand provides syncopated single notes as accompaniment to the theme. The music has also changed from one note per beat to two notes per beat. In the second variation, the staccato theme returns. It emphasized on the rhythm of the theme as the melody has moved from on-beat to off-beat. In the third and last variation, the theme has diversified into 4 notes per beat and the melody is hidden in the broken chords of the right hand.
The final movement is a Scherzo in rondo form and starts on an anacrusis. This movement is light-hearted and spirited. The main subject of the rondo is opened with an ascending three-note motif. In the coda, the theme is layered on triplets and played an octave higher. Then, it ends on the lowest notes that was in Beethoven’s period.