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Expanding the Scope of the Sonata: Op. 7, 1st Movement

Beethoven’s work has traditionally been divided into three or four periods. This is problematic, for various reasons, but the first 13 of the 32 sonatas do, in a sense, form a unit. This lecture will focus on Sonata No. 4, Op. 7, which is the largest and altogether one of the most impressive of the early works. Topics will include Beethoven’s use of the piano and the use of the sonata as a “vehicle” for the pianist, the ways in which this and other early sonatas conform to the model established by Haydn and Mozart and the ways in which they do not, and the foreshadowing of the fixations of the later years, while holding, at least on the surface, to the conventions of the time. Topics will include Beethoven’s use of the piano, and the use of the sonata as a “vehicle” for the pianist, the ways in which this and other early sonatas conform to the model established by Haydn and Mozart and the ways in which they do not, and the foreshadowing of the fixations of the later years, while holding, at least on the surface, to the conventions of the time.

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