What Was Old Is New Again With Beethoven's Sonata No. 30 | Texas Public Radio

What Was Old Is New Again With Beethoven's Sonata No. 30

Apr 24, 2013

After his mighty "Hammerklavier Sonata," Ludwig van Beethoven continued with writing sonatas, but on a smaller and more intimate scale.

The "Sonata No. 30 in E" is a rare combination of nostalgia, youthful vigor and an antiquarian's love of baroque musical forms.

In the first movement, the music swims out of the void into being and the composer weaves passages that simultaneously project them forward and fall back into reminiscence.

The music becomes halting as if it is questioning it's own reason for existence. The movement is marked Vivace ma non troppo / Adagio espressivo (lively but not too lively & slow and expressive).

The second movement is dance-like, with some power and determination. Marked Prestissimo (fast as possible), this music contrasts humor and the old thundering Beethoven.

The third movement is again the payoff of the sonata. Unlike the 28th Sonata in A, where the finale brings together all the components of the previous music, the last movement of the 30th sonata is an interior conversation.

Marked Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung, Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo. This theme and variation movement is part reminiscence, self rebukes and dreaming of a better existence.

It was precisely these qualities that the producers of the film "The Girl in a Swing" saw when they used this music to paint the chameleon-like moods of the haunted character of the beautiful Karin - the doomed.

The sonata is dedicated to the daughter of Beethoven's long-time friend and supporter Antonie Brentano.

Hear this exercise in shifting moods, Beethoven's "Sonata No. 30 in E" tomorrow morning, April 25, in the 6 o'clock hour on KPAC 88.8 FM,  your Classical oasis.