Общее время звучания около 23 минут.
В сонате четыре части:
1. Allegro con brio
2. Adagio con molt' espressione
4. Rondo. Allegretto
Эта соната, посвященная графу Броуну и обозначенная автором как «большая соната», сочинялась в 1799-1800 годах и была опубликована в 1802 году.
Известно, что сам Бетховен связывал музыку данной сонаты с героикой республиканских войн Наполеона . Ленц назвал сонату ор. 22 «великолепной и торжествующей эпопеей», он видел в ней наличие сильно выраженных элементов второго стиля Бетховена, господство которого, по мнению Ленца, начинается с сонаты ор. 26.
Тем не менее соната ор. 22 в дальнейшем постоянно вызывала недоверчивое, осторожное отношение как исследователей, так и исполнителей.
Первая часть сонаты (Allegro con brio, B-dur) наиболее оправдывает процитированные нами меткие слова Ленца. В наши дни Ромен Роллан верно охарактеризовал исторический смысл этих слов. Отмечая «стиль ампир», присущий первой части сонаты op. 2 № 3 (см выше). Ромен Роллан писал: «Ор. 22 (в своей первой части) покажет этот стиль во всей его чистой силе и строгом блеске. Это дыхание подымающегося наполеоновского поколения».
Prominent musicologist Donald Francis Tovey has called this work the crowning achievement and culmination of Beethoven's early "grand" piano sonatas. (The "grand" modifier was applied by Beethoven to sonatas with four movements instead of three). The sonatas after this one find Beethoven experimenting more with form and concept.
The first movement is in typical sonata form. The exposition starts in the tonic key and transitions into the dominant key as the second theme begins. The development plays around with the closing measures of the exposition before making the right hand play arpeggios as the bass line slowly descends chromatically. The theme of the closing octaves from the exposition comes back again in the bass, leading into a chromatic scale resolving in an FMm7 chord (dominant function of the sonata), which sets up the recapitulation. The recapitulation is at first the same as the exposition, with a deviation that sets the rest of the movement to stay in the tonic key.
The second movement is in E flat major and is also in sonata form. The exposition starts in the tonic key and ends in the dominant key. The development plays around with the first theme of the exposition, slowly building intensity until both hands play constant 16th notes. The right hand plays a second voice above its 16th notes, and a little later, the left hand plays a bass line consisting of just B flats. The left hand then stops and the right hand flows right into the recapitulation. The recapitulation stays in the tonic key for the rest of the movement.
The third movement is in minuet and trio form, but the trio is instead a very contrasting "Minore". The first 30 measures of the Minuetto are in B flat major, the Minore is in G minor (the relative minor of B flat major). The end of the Minore is marked Minuetto D.C. senza replica which means to play the Minuetto again, this time without taking the repeats.
The fourth movement is in a rondo form: A-B-A-C-A-B-A-Coda. The first "A" theme starts in the tonic key, and the "B" theme transitions into the dominant key with big grand arpeggios in the right hand using a good portion of the keyboard. After the arpeggios, both hands play around with the "A" theme's melody before arriving back to the tonic key at the second "A" theme (with very little deviation from the first "A" theme). Suddenly, the "C" theme begins with a key change into B flat minor (although not marked in the key signature). The sharp forte chords, although in stark contrast with the rest of the rondo, bear some resemblance to the first few chords of the "B" theme. The right hand then plays urgent 32nd notes while the left hand supports with staccato 16th notes. This reaches a climax, a "call-and-response" play on the beginning of the "C" theme, and the 32nd note passage with the climax again. Not unlike the end of the "B" theme, the "A" theme's melody is suggested a few times before returning to the tonic key and a third "A" section. However, the melody of this "A" section is in the left hand until the right hand has a two-measure 32nd note run that flows into the rest of the melody, this time the right hand octaves being broken. The next section (second "B" section) is very similar to the first "B" section except that it stays in the tonic key all the way through. A fake "A" section is played in the subdominant key before developing into the final "A" section where the melody consists of triplet 16th notes instead of regular duplet 16th notes. The very end of the final "A" sections runs right into the coda that builds up to an exciting final climax before relaxing to a piano dynamic level and two big chords (dominant seventh to tonic) to conclude the sonata.
With the Piano Sonata No. 11, Beethoven moves closer to the more far-reaching expressive worlds of the Op. 31 group of sonatas. Cast in four movements: Allegro con brio, Adagio con molto espressione, Menuetto, and Rondo (Allegretto), the sonata starts off almost as if it were beginning in the middle of a passage. A vigorous, but seemingly incomplete, theme is presented. As the material immediately starts to repeat itself, the opening motif is abbreviated and then the vigorous theme is heard again, but fuller now, expanding its range of color and reaching a triumphant chordal passage. Other thematic material sprouts delightfully and the exposition is completed. In the ensuing development section, the opening idea appears in altered form, and a second theme follows. As the themes are developed, a mysterious statement (based on the second theme) is heard in the bass, and its hypnotic fade-out completes the development section in a most imaginative manner. The recapitulation presents the material from the exposition, but with some attractive changes. The opening melody of the second movement has often been viewed as a foreshadowing of Chopin's more intimate rhetoric. Certainly, this theme has a Romantic flavor: accompanied by repeated chords in the left hand, it proceeds with grace, creating an atmosphere of gentle yearning. A second melody intrudes, without breaking the delicate mood. As the main theme is further developed, through original thematic twists and much colorful writing, the listener is tempted to imagine the music as an orchestral or chamber piece. The Menuetto, the shortest movement, features a theme which seemingly lacks substance. However, as the movement progresses, Beethoven substantially enriches this theme by imaginatively adding color. The brief trio section is turbulent and unsettled, providing splendid contrast to the brighter world of the dance melody. The Rondo finale opens with a somewhat long-winded, lively theme that seems in search of a more joyous sonic space. A second, less distinctive, theme appears, maintaining a general atmosphere of joyous haste. After a new idea, based on the opening theme, is presented, the main material reappears, but with several deft alterations and transformations. After many fireworks, including some beguiling rhythmic antics, the sonata closes with a brilliant coda.
(All Music Guide)