The Reasons for The Change of Beethoven's Piano Sonata in The Early, Middle, and Late Periods

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Xinyi Zhang
Andy Villemez


By Xinyi Zhang, Piano Performance

Advisor: Andy Villemez

Presentation ID: 308

Abstract: Ludwig van Beethoven was a famous German composer, pianist, and conductor. He was also one of the representatives of the Viennese classical music school, and his works had a profound impact on the development of music. Among them, his 35 piano sonatas (the last 32 of which are numbered) have made great contributions to classical music and have been studied by many scholars. Moreover, Beethoven's life music creation is divided into three stages, that is, the early period, the middle period, the late period. In these three periods, Beethoven's piano sonata style also has certain style differences. First, Beethoven's early period sonatas were mainly influenced by his predecessors J.S. Bach, F.J. Haydn, and his teacher W.A. Mozart. Then, the style of the middle period sonata was influenced by the European Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries, and "heroism" entered Beethoven's consciousness. At that time, Beethoven tried hard to explore and expand the expression of the sonata, and at the same time, he innovated and developed in many ways, and also formed his own style characteristics. Finally, the late period of Beethoven's piano sonata creation was the darkest period on the European continent, and Beethoven was experiencing difficulties such as ear disease and mental crisis. As a result, he began to change from a heroic style in the middle period to a more free and philosophical style in the later period, and the content he expressed was full of more complex feelings and wills.

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Category: Design Matters