Beethoven piano sonata no 7, revisited‏

by richibi

let me say a few words more about Beethoven’s
piano sonata no 7, opus 10, no 3, which I left in a
blur of other sonatas in my last set of opinions, it
is a wonder, and entirely worth a second visit, it
can neatly expose the new Romantic expression
midst the still Classical impositions
 
simply stated the elements of beat, tonality, and
repetition lay out the grid of Classical musical
composition, the blue print, like a house would
have a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and
variations on a communal social space 
 
Beethoven adheres to all of these elements but
does so eccentrically, beat itself is moderately
altered here and there, relaxed somewhat, mostly
at the end of musical phrases, an outcome
incidentally of the piano’s hold pedal, which
allows the reverberation of any note played
beyond its being played 
 
but you can nearly identify Beethoven by the
fact that he is always off the stated beat, which
is to say that his accent is always on the wrong
syllable, off what the time signature requires, the 
template along with key notations indicated
at
the front of each set of bars of a musical text
 
this is already a significant peculiarity, and
consistent, endemic, he is fundamentally out of
synch, innately rebellious, which makes for nervy,
edgy music, bristling and electric, electrifying  
 
none of it you can sing, though the tonalities are
still entirely melodic
 
 
as far as repetition is concerned, Beethoven is still
repeating religiously, albeit with extended, and
ever so complex, elaborations, leaving you awed
ever, might as well say soulfully levitated, and 
mesmerized
  
 
the first movement, the presto, for “very fast”, takes
place on hot coals, brisk and electric
 
the second movement, the enchanted largo e mesto,
“very slowly with sadness”, is not only in marked
contrast with the first, a required condition for any
new movement, though here rendered flagrantly
extreme, it also tests the limits of effective pace,
again an innovation of the new piano, this time
coming out, despite the absolutely funereal
constraints undertaken here, instead of stultifying  
unquestionably and incontrovertibly transcendental
 
in the last movement, the menuetto (allegro), a
(jaunty) minuet, his parentheses, after an equally
exuberant third, the rondo (allegro), a (jaunty), his
parentheses again, rondo, a musical form akin to
what a sonnet would be to a poem, you can already
hear intimations even of jazz in the free and easy
tickle of the ivories, casual, debonair and apparently
improvisational, like Gene Kelly himself in dance,
toes twinkling with fresh and candid effervescence
and exhilaration  
 
now how unClassical is that    
 
 
Richard 
 
 
 
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