3 скрипичные сонаты, Opus 30

Посв. российкому императору Александру I, 1801-02

The three violin sonatas op. 30 were written in the first half of 1802, a very good year for Beethoven both from a private and professional standpoint. In 1801 Prince Karl von Lichnowsky guaranteed him an annual pension of 600 florins. He also had professional success as he told his friend Wegeler in Bonn on June 29th, 1801: My compositions are selling well and I can say I have more orders than I could handle. There are six to seven publishers for each piece and there could be more if I wanted to. I demand and they pay, a very enjoyable situation. (Quote from the Beethoven complete edition 65).

Despite his personal and professional success, Beethoven is about to become confronted with his life's catastrophe: He is losing his hearing. In the same letter he turned to his friend and physician, Wegeler, confessing his condition which has been deteriorating for the last three years. A continuous hissing and swishing in his hears made him avoid human contact as he could not tell people he was deaf. If he had a different occupation, this loss of hearing might be acceptable but as a musician it was a terrible thing. To give Wegeler an idea of how far his deafness had progressed, he described sitting in the theatre, as close to the orchestra as possible, to be able to understand the actors. When he sat further away, he could not hear the high notes of instruments. He also had difficulties in following a conversation as he did not hear words said in low voices. However, some people did not notice his inability to partake in the conversation. At the time he hated people screaming. He had no idea how his life would go on. When Beethoven wrote this letter in the summer of 1801 he still had hope. He was very busy and did not compose sad music but works full of life, hope and joy. Apart from the three piano sonatas op. 30 he composed a number of works in the following years, among them three piano sonatas op. 31, piano variations op. 34 and 35 as well as the Second Symphony op. 36. However, his state of health continuously worsened. In October 1802 he suffered a mental breakdown and drafted the famous "Heiligenstädter Testament" - his last will - for his two brothers Kaspar Karl and Johann, an emotional expression of his state of mind in which he defended himself against being called a misantrophe, explained his illness and deafness and arranged for his bequest. (beethoven-haus-bonn.de)

№1 A-dur:

1. Allegro
2. Adagio molto espressivo
3. Allegretto con Variazioni

Гидон Кремер - скрипка
Марта Аргерих - фортепиано

Beethoven composed the Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Op. 30, in 1801 - 1802, completing most of the work between March and May 1802, after moving to Heiligenstadt in an attempt to improve his hearing. They developed during a traumatic moment in Beethoven's life when he was forced to admit to himself that he was losing his hearing. In October 1802, only four months after completing the Op. 30 set, Beethoven wrote what is now called the Heiligenstadt Testament, in which he attempts to admit to his brothers, and indeed to all people, that he is going deaf. In this amazing document, which appears never to have been sent, the composer discloses that he had seriously considered suicide. Despite, or possibly because of, this psychological suffering, Beethoven completed his Second Symphony, the Bagatelles, Op. 33, the Op. 31 piano sonatas and the Op. 30 violin sonatas during the spring, summer, and fall of 1802. Possibly because it does not feature the dramatic power of its siblings, the Sonata in A Major is the least performed of the Op. 30 set.

Beethoven's predilection for variation and development are apparent from the opening of the Allegro first movement, where the repetition of the liquid first theme is four measures longer than the original. Beethoven almost immediately moves away from the tonic, arriving at the dominant, E major, after only another 16 measures. The rest of the exposition is spent away from the tonic. A sense of relaxation pervades the rest of the movement as Beethoven begins the development with the tonic moving to the subdominant, D major, and writes a quiet transition into a recapitulation that arrives without fanfare. The predominant A natural pedal in the coda compensates for the little time spent on the tonic in the exposition.

Marked Adagio, molto espressivo, the hauntingly lyrical middle movement, in D major, falls into an ABACA, or rondo, form with a coda. Beethoven set the poignant C section in B flat major, which wields pathetic power by being a half step above the dominant, A major. Beethoven makes the most of this relationship at the end of section C, where by sliding down a half step from B flat and up a half step from G sharp (an interval called an augmented sixth) he instantly moves back to the tonic. This type of modulation was one of the most effective devices available to classical-era composers.

The published finale of the Sonata in A Major, "Kreutzer," Op. 47, was originally intended for Op. 30, No. 1. However, for the finale of the Sonata in A Major, Op. 30, No. 1, Beethoven chose variation form, which was unusual at this point in his career. The movement includes an original theme and six variations. The rising arpeggio opening of the theme is also a salient feature of the first theme of the Allegro and the A theme of the Adagio.

(All Music Guide)

№2 c-moll:

1. Allegro con brio
2. Adagio cantabile
3. Scherzo. Allegro
4. Finale. Allegro

Гидон Кремер - скрипка
Марта Аргерих - фортепиано

Beethoven composed this sonata at about the same time he wrote his "Heiligenstadt Testament," an unsent jeremiad addressed to his brothers, detailing his anguished state of mind (his deafness was becoming acute at the moment of his greatest success). The C minor sonata may be grim, but it is hardly suicidal; it is Beethoven in his most famous mood, an initially depressive state that is gradually overcome through a spasm of anti-Fate fist-shaking.

The Allegro con brio is built upon an initial theme that is simultaneously morbid, dramatic, and defiant. Contrast comes through a lighter but still minor march-like subject. All this drifts into a pianissimo development of primarily the first subject (Beethoven's developments were often lopsided). This theme, in its original form, returns to launch a long coda that struggles to climb into C major before lapsing roughly back to C minor.

Things mellow out in the Adagio cantabile, with the singing main melody first taking on elaborate ornamentation, then stripping down to its most essential notes, dissolving into a scalar passage, and returning in essentially its original form on the violin, while the piano generates a restless accompaniment. Such light variations continue at length, never really altering the tranquil character or melodic shape of the basic material.

The short Scherzo, in which C major at last asserts itself, dances to playfully rough rhythms that occasionally devolve into argumentative, stomping rhetoric for both instruments. The trio section is an overbearing, little canon for the violin and the left hand of the piano that is amusing in its determined lack of humor.

The finale, Allegro, takes sonata-rondo form. The recurring main theme isn't melodic at all; it's more the sort of suspenseful harmonic sequence that accompanies a rising curtain. The contrasting episodes are more earnest in their melodies, and have a generally positive nature except for a dramatic moment midway through, and the striving (though not defeated) character of the last interlude. The furious coda casts doubt on the optimistic nature of the inner movements, as if to end the sonata with one final warning shake of the fist.

(All Music Guide)

№3 G-dur:

1. Allegro assai
2. Tempo di Minuetto, ma molto moderato e grazioso
3. Allegro vivace

Гидон Кремер - скрипка
Марта Аргерих - фортепиано

Beethoven composed the Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Op. 30 in 1801-02, completing most of the work between March and May of 1802, after moving to Heiligenstadt in an attempt to improve his hearing. The three sonatas, in A major, C minor and G major, were published in 1803 by Bureau des Arts et d'Industrie in Vienna. The dedication of the Op. 30 sonatas, to Czar Alexander I of Russia, seems to have gone unacknowledged (evidence suggesting the gift of a diamond ring is unreliable), although Alexander was later one of ten subscribers to the Missa Solemnis. It is possible that Beethoven received a sum of money for the sonatas in 1814, after presenting the Czar's wife the Polonaise, Op. 89.

The Op. 30 sonatas developed during a traumatic period in Beethoven's life when he was forced to admit to himself that he was losing his hearing. In October 1802, only four months after completing the Op. 30 set, Beethoven wrote what is now called the Heiligenstadt Testament, in which he attempts to admit to his brothers, and indeed to all people, that he is going deaf. In this amazing document, which appears never to have been sent, the composer discloses that he had seriously considered suicide. Despite, or possibly because of this psychological suffering, Beethoven completed his Second Symphony, the Bagatelles Op. 33, the Op. 31 Piano Sonatas and the Op. 30 Violin Sonatas during the spring, summer and fall of 1802.

Overflowing with Haydnesque humor, the first movement of the Sonata in G Major eschews the relaxed, lilting lyricism of the A-major sonata and the somber dramatic power of the C-minor. Surprises abound, including tiny touches such as the squeaky violin punctuation at the end of the opening four-measure phrase, and the much more significant move to the dominant minor for the second theme. Motives and themes either rise or plummet, never arching in a Mozartean manner, and the main theme resembles the rising arpeggio gestures associated with the Mannheim composers, often called the "Mannheim Rocket." After the development section, which is dominated by the first theme and a trill figure drawn from the closing material, the recapitulation resolves the second theme to the tonic, but Beethoven retains the minor mode.

The second movement, marked Tempo di Minuetto, is in E-flat major. The outer sections of the ABA'(coda), song-like movement vacillate between E-flat major and G minor, while the contrasting central section spirals into E-flat minor shortly before the return of A. The subdued warmth that permeates this movement is unusual in Beethoven's music.

Humor seems to be the main ingredient in the finale, which is like a rondo but with an important exception: there is only one theme for both the episodes and the rondo. The theme has two elements, one consisting of rapid sixteenth-notes and the other of repeated eight-notes. The theme appears in several harmonies, including the distantly related E-flat major, the key of the second movement. As in the first two movements, an arpeggiated figure is an important part of the main theme.

(All Music Guide)