Beethoven Pathètique Sonata in C Minor First Movement (Harmony/Tonality…
Beethoven Pathètique Sonata in C Minor First Movement
Written in the popular Sonata form
However Beethoven adds SLOW INTRODUCTIONS before the Exposition, Development and Recapitulation sections
No clear sections however it develops the ideas of the exposition and also modulates to unrelated keys
Is a 'recap' of the exposition section
Is in different keys however ends up in the correct C Minor for the coda.
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Main key at middle is E minor
Ends in C Minor
Starts in G Minor
Ends in E Minor
Use of Diminished 7th chords
Built of 4 minor thirds together
Very dramatic and dark chords
Develops the Pathetique feel to the music
Modulations to unrelated keys was relatively uncommon at the time and so this piece was revolutionary
Especially in the development section, the transient passing modulations help to create a bold and revolutionary harmonic language
Furthermore, the chromaticism used in the harmony of the piece suggests at a more developed and even Romantic era harmonic language
Makes the piece seem far more revolutionary than its time.
The feminine cadence at the end of the bridge is used to hint that the music will modulate to Eb major (the relative major) however Beethoven modulates to Eb Minor. Keeping the Pathetique feel.
Melodic styles vary hugely including the melody of chords used in the 1st subject
Contrast in melodic styles used for contrast; especially in the 2nd subject which has a far more lyrical melody
Articulated with slurs and staccatos
Brings contrast to the melody
Also decorated with ornamentation including Mordants
Use of aggressive dotted rhythms in the slow introductions helps to add drama
Short repetitive quaver pedals
Sonata form was common at the time although Beethoven adds to this to make it more interesting and dramatic
Beethoven exploits the new fortepiano's dynamic capabilities as it had the ability to play dynamics which the harpsichord could not
Use of crescendos and subito fortes helps to showcase the fortepiano's capabilities.
Beethoven's exploiting the capabilities of the instrument to provide contrast which wouldn't have been possible with the harpsichord.
Beethoven also explores the touch sensitivity of the fortepiano by using lots of staccato notes
Homophonic largely with a few moments of monophonic texture
Texture varied in thickness throughout the sections
Slow Intros have thick chordal textures makes it seem dramatic
Even the melody in the 1st subject is composed of thick chords
2nd subject has lighter texture
Written for fortepiano
Exploits the new dynamic, pitch and touch sensitivity capabilities of the fortepiano above the harpsichord used earlier.