The Frederick Symphony Orchestra Blog

A Complete List of Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas

Posted by Illumine8 on Jul 27, 2016 11:25:53 AM

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It took Beethoven more than 25 years to complete his collection of piano sonatas, and the Frederick Symphony Orchestra gives you the breakdown to each one:

EARLY SONATAS

  1. Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Minor: Written in 1795, this piece is dedicated to Joseph Haydn. The sonata’s typically in 4 movements and lasts between 17 to 20 minutes.
  1. Piano Sonata No. 2 in A Major: This 4-movement piece is also dedicated to Haydn, but in 1796.
  1. Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major: This 1796 composition is written for a solo piano. Dedicated to Haydn, this 4-movement piece is often referred to as Beethoven’s first virtuosic piano sonata and lasts more than 25 minutes.
  1. Grand Sonata: This sonata’s dedicated to Beethoven’s student Babette, the Countess Keglevics, and lasts about 28 minutes.
  1. Piano Sonata No. 5 in C Minor: Composed of only 3 movements, this 1796 sonata is dedicated to Anna Margarete von Browne, the wife of a Russian diplomat.
  1. Piano Sonata No. 6 in F Major: Also comprised of only 3 movements, this sonata spans about 14 minutes and is also dedicated to von Browne.
  1. Piano Sonata No. 7 in D Major: The third song dedicated to von Browne, this piece was written in 1798 and is the longest of the trio at 24 minutes.
  1. Pathetique: This 1799 sonata is dedicated to Prince Karl von Lichnowsky. With only 3 movements, it takes about 19 minutes to play.
  1. Piano Sonata No. 9 in E Major: This 3-movement work is dedicated to Baroness Josefa von Braun. Arranged in 1801, it’s for a string quartet.
  1. Piano Sonata No. 10 in G Major: This piece is also dedicated to von Braun and lasts about 15 minutes through 3 movements.
  1. Piano Sonata No. 11 in B-flat Major: Published in 1802, this work consists of 4 movements and lasts between 25 to 30 minutes.

MIDDLE SONATAS

  1. Funeral March: Published between 1800-1801, Funeral March is also dedicated to the prince and takes about 15 minutes to play.
  1. Quasi Una Fantasia: Dedicated to Princess Josephine von Liechtenstein, this piece’s 4 movements last 15 minutes.
  1. Moonlight Sonata: This 3-movement work is dedicated to Beethoven’s pupil Countess Giulietta Guicciardi in 1802.
  1. Pastoral: Intended for a 25-minute run time, this piece is dedicated in the Court Joseph von Sonnenfels.
  1. Piano Sonata No. 16 in G Major: Finished in 1803, this piece comprises of 3 movements in about 20 minutes and is the first example of Beethoven’s attempt to revolutionize his music for the history books.
  1. The Tempest: Inspired by William Shakespeare’s play of the same name, this work consists of 2 movements and takes approximately 25 minutes to perform.

  2. The Hunt: This “jocular” style sonata is considered unusual due to its lack of a slow movement within the 4 parts.

  3. Piano Sonatas Nos. 19 in G Minor and 20 in G Major: Published in 1805, both pieces have only 2 movements, and each takes about 8 minutes to play.
  1. Waldstein: This work has 3 movements with each taking about 11 minutes to perform. It’s dedicated to Court Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein of Vienna.
  1. Piano Sonata 22 in F Major: One of Beethoven’s lesser known sonatas, this composition has only 2 movements that are starkly different in tempo, meter, rhetoric, thematic material, and harmony.
  1. Appassionata: Dedicated to Count Franz von Brunswick, the first edition is published in 1806 and lasts 25 minutes for 3 movements.
  1. à Thérèse: Written for countess Thérèse von Brunswick in 1809, a typical performance takes about 10 minutes for 2 movements.
  1. Cuckoo: Consisting of 3 movements, this composition (also called Sonatina) lasts only 11 minutes.
  1. Les Adieux: Published in 1811, this 3-movement piece is loosely dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph after a Napoleon Bonaparte-led attack on Vienna forced Beethoven’s patron to leave the city.
  1. Piano Sonata 27 in E Minor: Written in 1814, this piece is dedicated to Prince Moritz von Lichnowsky and has only 2 movements.

LATE SONATAS

  1. Piano Sonata 28 in A Major: Dedicated to pianist Baroness Dorothea Ertmann, this 1816 work is widely regarded as the first of Beethoven’s more complex, wide-ranging compositions.
  1. Hammerklavier (No. 29): Completed in 1818, this is considered one of the most demanding works for a pianist to play. It's also dedicated to Archduke Rudolph, contains 4 movements.

  2. Piano Sonata 30 in E Major: Composed in 1820, this 3-movement composition is dedicated to Maximiliane Brentano, the daughter of one of Beethoven’s long-standing friends.

  3. Piano Sonata 31 in A-flat Major: In 1821, this work is published with 3 movements and takes between 7 to 9 minutes to perform.

  4. Piano Sonata 32 in C Minor: The last of Beethoven’s sonatas takes about 28 minutes to play. The contrasting 2-movement work is written around 1822 and also dedicated is Archduke Rudolph.

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Topics: Beethoven, classical music, Education, piano sonatas