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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Beethoven: Sonata No. 1 in F minor Op.2 No.1 1st movement

The exposition begins with the first theme, which is marked with the sixteenth note triplet figure and lasts for one eight measure phrase that ends with a half cadence. But this half cadence becomes the new key and the first theme is already being developed by being played in the new key and in the bass, which is quite strange. After six bars the material goes away from the theme and becomes transitory as it modulates and eventually reaches an IAC in A flat major (I think, the second theme has a pedal E flat that sounds dominant but there is no pure emphasis of the tonic for a very long time) in bar 20 where the second theme happens at the end of the bar. This is marked by a falling quarter note figures with an eighth note figure in the last couple of measures that lead to the end of the phrase with a PAC in bar 28. Then there is an extremely long transition section with lots of eighth note runs that finally gets us a true feeling of A flat reaching an IAC in measure 41. The second half of the measure begins the closing theme. This theme is marked by dissonant grace notes and ends with a really poignant IAC with a V7 with a pedal tonic that resolves to tonic chord. The exposision repeats (duh!)

The development starts out with material from the first theme in the major key of A flat and last six measure without a cadence when material from the second theme begins to enter at bar 55, where we get a long pedal tone D with the second theme on top, which I think means we have moved to G major following the same dominant tonic thing of the second theme of the exposition. This reaches an IAC in G major in bar 62 where the second theme is played again in this new modulated key with the first four bars being played in the upper part and the second four bars being played in the bass part. Then there is a really cool part where the alto line has sixteenth notes and the soprano and bass parts make the accented notes from the transition of the exposition into a melody. This modulates and reaches an IAC in the key of C major in bar 81. The bass part takes up the eighth note runs and the upper part does some little fragments leading to another IAC in the key of C in bar 93. At this points the thirty second note idea from the first theme comes in fragments as the music modulates its way back to F minor where an IAC in that key is reached in bar 101.

Bar 101 begins the recapitulation. The first theme is played essentially the same as it was in the exposition. The transition to the second theme is changed up so it can modulate to the key of C major again for the second theme which is kind of weird. He still has the second theme away from the tonic key but it is different and the closing theme is switched to the tonic key. Anyway, the second theme starts in bar 117 and goes to bar 127 with an IAC in C major and the really long eighth note transition takes us back to F minor for a PAC (wow a PAC!) in bar 140. The closing theme is repeated without all the weird grace notes to establish key and then has an extension of the cadence by having the closing theme end on a V/IV rather than a I and then do a few mroe measure of honking chords to fully establish the V-I relationship.

17 comments:

John Styx said...

So much information! Great identification of the different themes and their developments. Beethoven is so complex in the way he sets the theme, but I think you nailed them in the developmental section. Great job once again!

jendpu said...

wow yea, definitely very in depth. Excellent job. The only thing i would note is mabye the structure in the Exposition. Like were there phrase groups? periods? etc.

Liz said...

Very thorough - much more detailed than I expected was required. Good job.

MeatPopsicle said...

You made us all look bad with your very very complete analysis. I liked how you kept mentioning different themes.

Queen_Neopolitan said...

wow, so you made us all look bad with your exteremly informative blog...but GOOD FOR YOU! I feel I have a greater understanding of the piece after reading your blog. nice job, very thorough.

FluteBunny10 said...

I enjoyed how you didn't just list what was going on in the piece, you explained a little about why certain things were happening.

jensel said...

for bar 28 i got a V leading to a vii06/V leading to V in the next bar. I don't see a PAC anywhere. I don't see a cadence until bar number 48.
i'm doing this for a music class, so please clear this up
thanks

Anonymous said...

Um, now lets learn how to read bass clef. The pedal tone in measure 55 is an F, not a D. This completely throws off your argument it is in G major because there is not a dominant pedal as you described.

allen andrus said...

I know its been several years since this was done but I have to say that anonymous certainly showed his character by not giving any hint as to who whey were so no one would be able to guess who the sarcastic ass
he shoed himself to be , regardless of whether they poster got the clef wrong accidently it does not merit the remark. I thought it was great information.. thanks for the explanation and analysis

Anonymous said...

In Bar 55 there is a F pedal, which means he's moved to the key of B flat minor. The way to know is by looking at the end of each descending quarter note, phrase, as in the third beat of measure 57, he always hits the tonic at this point of the phrase (the end of it?). This is true to the the first phrase of the second theme throughout the whole piece.

Anonymous said...

Well that saved me a lot of work...thanks! Oh, and the bit about the F pedal isn't a major issue, since you get the nice D major chord right before the G pedal.

elegantpenguin said...

Well, this just helped me pass my homework! Thanks for helping me understand this piece!

Anonymous said...

You do realise that G Major is impossible, right? It's not even close to being a closely related key to f minor. I'm curious how you justified a jump from 4 flats to 1 sharp??

Anonymous said...

I agree with who says that G major is impossible. In my humble opinion, there's a D7b5 chord on the second half of measure #62 and it falls onto Gmaj chord, but it's not a modulation, it goes directly to introduce the second theme on the key of C-.

Anonymous said...

This is not a reliable analysis...

Anonymous said...

Agreed.

Anonymous said...

Guys, not a reliable analysis. He just looks at a key and assumes it's major, when it's actually minor. He can't read bass, I bet it was a homework assignment he turned in a few minutes before midnight.