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  • [MUSIC]

  • So, I've spoken a bit about the sense of scope and ambition in

  • this sonata, and that extends to almost every aspect of its construction.

  • Again, the mere presence of a fourth movement is a real novelty in

  • a sonata at that point, and the placement of the movements--a sonata form allegro

  • followed by a slow movement, followed by the menuet, followed by the rondo--

  • that is precisely the formula for the classical symphony.

  • So, just as with Haydn and Mozart, the reality of this piece

  • being a sonata--being played by one person, probably only in a home,

  • rather than by many, probably in a hall--

  • means that Beethoven could use the work as a venue for experimentation to a greater

  • extent than he could with the symphonies.

  • But these early piano sonatas are decidedly more public

  • than the solo works of Mozart or Haydn are.

  • Somewhat ironically this sense of privacy in

  • the piano sonata comes back later in Beethoven's career.

  • What is also notably symphonic in Opus 7 is the use of the instrument.

  • By that I don't mean that the piano occasionally

  • plays something that is meant to imitate an orchestral instrument.

  • That's not new to Beethoven, you know, bass lines in Haydn are obviously bassoon-

  • like in many cases. There are other examples which are similar.

  • What is more meaningful is that in scope, Beethoven really seems to be aiming beyond

  • the piano. So, take this passage from later in the exposition

  • [MUSIC]

  • Beethoven seems to be in search of a

  • resonance which is not really inherent to the instrument.

  • You have these bell tones in the bass,

  • and what happens in the right hand is

  • presumably meant to sound like a reverberation around them.

  • Now, this is already quite difficult to achieve on a modern piano.

  • It must have been nearly impossible on a 1790s fortepiano.

  • [MUSIC]


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