Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8, otherwise known as the “Pathetique,” was described in the book as “characteristic of Romantic music in its strong expression of personal feelings…it tells a story in which the composer fights an increasingly desperate battle agains what seems his certain destiny.”
The piece captures “alternating moods of faint hope and despair.” In this, Beethoven used music in a new and revolutionary way…he uses music to relate “how he feels, his his succession of moods is, and what conclusion he reaches.” (pp. 694-695).
First, watch/listen to this complete version of the Pathetique. You can refer to this in your answers as Lisitsa.
In this version, you can experience all three movements, which tell of the composer’s increasingly “desperate battle against what seems his certain destiny…grim resistance gives way to forceful, turbulent struggle; then a second movement with a serene vision of beauty that offers hope of relief, … the final movementment arraives at a synthesis between the drama of the opening and the hushed beauty of the slow movement. Compare and contrast this to the performance of Hiromi, The Trio Project.
You can refer to this piece as Hiromi Trio.
Offer substantial, fleshed out, and concrete answers to the following questions. How are these performances similar and different? How does this piece of music reflect the broader themes of romanticism? If Romantic-era music is all about expressing emotions, which ones come through most strongly in each of the different performances? Think about how Beethoven combined the left hand (heavy, low chords) and right hand (lightning quick staccato). What does this do to create emotion in a piece of music?
The book says this piece is about the composer’s internal struggle. How might Beethoven’s family history and the terribly tragedy that he began to experience in 1796 have inspired Beethoven to write music that represented a struggle. What do you think this struggle was over, for Beethoven?