(featuring the soloist Bruno-Leonardo Gelber)
“Pathetique” was the name given to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata no.8, by a publisher, to provide easy identification. Perhaps, the publisher in question, was “on the ball”, with this moniker, for the sonata is indeed characterised, both by a high degree of passionate feeling and suffering, and also characterised by that struggle between different musical elements, with which, Ludwig was to reach such later, creative heights.
Side One :-
Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor Op.13 “Pathetique” :-
1) I Grave – Allegro molto 2) II Adagio cantabile 3) III Rondo – Allegro.
Again, Beethoven did not actually entitle his legendary “Moonlight” Piano Sonata (no.14) as such, it was actually a title bestowed upon the piece, by the music critic Heinrich Rellstab, later on.
Beginning with a slow, contemplative movement (which is amongst the world’s best-known classical music) ; a dancing scherzo then ensues in the second movement, still unusually restrained by Beethoven’s standards ... By far the most important movement, however, is the Presto Agitato third, a dramatic statement, that opens with a series of curving arpeggios, interrupted by heavy chords, and this is followed by a another statement of two further themes.
Side One (continued) :-
Piano Sonata No.14 in C sharp minor Op.27 no.2 “Moonlight” :-
4) I Adagio sostenuto 5) II Allegretto 6) III Presto agitato.
Side Two consists of Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Piano Sonata, no.23. Like the “Pathetique”, the “Appassionata” does indeed live up to its name : It starts out with a movement that can best be described as an outpouring of emotion, a violent passion mingled with despair, with the soloist superbly using his instrument for the communication of these feelings.
The turbulence eventually burns itself out, though, and is followed by an extraordinarily calm second movement (although even here, there are questing passages and moments of perceptible impatience), but this is not to last into the third ... a return to an urgent mood, with a rippling, demanding – almost querulous – theme.
Side Two :-
Piano Sonata No.23 in F minor Op.57 “Appassionata” :-
1) I Allegro assai 2) II Andante con moto 3) III Allegro ma non troppo.