Piano Sonata No. 27, Op. 90 (Beethoven), 13.28

Piano Sonata No. 27, Op. 90 (orch. July 2008) is a piano solo by Ludwig van Beethoven written in the summer of 1814 during Beethoven’s late middle period.  It consists not of the typical three part sonata but instead of two contrasting, separate movements:

  1. Mit Lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck (With liveliness and with feeling and expression throughout)
  2. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen (Not too swiftly and conveyed in a singing manner)

Written in 3/4, the first movement moves along mysterioso as “a contest between the head and the heart”, as Beethoven commented, and based on whether or not the Count to whom the piece is dedicated should marry a young Viennese dancer.  Gradually evolving it’s G to F# episode which dominates the first and second subject groups, powerful chords are followed by more subdued material in the piece’s final section.

The second movement, a rondo in the major Tonic, quiets down to a 2/4 rhythm that is flowing with rich lyricism and lonely energy.  The composer contrasts movements that suggest agitated themes that are again responded to with a quiet, calm restful complacency and contentedness.