Beethoven Piano Sonata No 8 'Pathetique'

Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as Sonata Pathétique, was written in 1798 when the composer was 27 years old, and was published in 1799. It has remained one of his most celebrated compositions. Beethoven dedicated the work to his friend Prince Karl von Lichnowsky. Although commonly thought to be one of the few works to be named by the composer himself, it was actually named Grande sonate pathétique (to Beethoven's liking) by the publisher, who was impressed by the sonata's tragic sonorities. Prominent musicologists debate whether or not the Pathétique may have been inspired by Mozart's piano sonata K. 457, since both compositions are in C minor and have three very similar movements. The second movement, "Adagio cantabile", especially, makes use of a theme remarkably similar to that of the spacious second movement of Mozart's sonata. However, Beethoven's sonata uses a unique motif line throughout, a major difference from Haydn or Mozart’s creation. The Pathétique was an important success for Beethoven, selling well and helping to create his reputation as a composer, not just an extraordinary pianist. Not only was it immediately popular, it also exposed the world to the characteristics that Beethoven's music would continue to develop in the coming years.


VIDEO: Krystian Zimerman plays Beethoven Piano Sonata No 8 in C minor Op 13 1st Movement

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