BEETHOVEN: PIANO WORKS
The distinguished pianist Dimitris Dimopoulos performs works by Ludwig van Beethoven as part of the 2020 GNO Alternative Stage Piano Festival, which was dedicated to Beethoven’s piano music.
The 2020 Piano Festival of the GNO Alternative Stage, a great celebration for the “king of the instruments”, returned for a fourth consecutive year with a unique tribute to Beethoven’s piano music, on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his birth. Ten celebrated Greek pianists in five evening recitals and four emerging soloists in afternoon concerts featured the great German composer’s 32 piano sonatas.
Filmed at the GNO Alternative Stage at the SNFCC on 6 November 2020.
In collaboration with the
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2, No. 2
I. Allegro vivace
II. Largo appassionato
III. Scherzo: Allegretto
IV. Rondo: Grazioso
Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28, “Pastorale”
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo
In March 1796, the first edition of the Op. 2 was published; as was common practice at the time, it consisted of the composer’s first three sonatas. The four-movement Sonata No. 2 in A major (Op. 2, No. 2) is dedicated to the great master Joseph Haydn, who had already composed six sonatas at the same key.
The first movement is characterised by powerful contrasts between the rhythmic first subject and the fragile second subject, sudden pauses and prolonged preparations. In contrast, the second movement’s staccato sempre is powered by the noblest harmonies-ideas, leading to a Haydnesque scherzo with a characteristically lyrical trio. The sonata is rounded off with a virtuosic rondo, whose atmosphere is recalled 23 years later in the homonymous Sonata No. 13 in A major by Franz Schubert (D 664).
“Well, if you want to know about my situation, in general there is nothing bad”, wrote Beethoven to a friend of his in 1801. As far as one wants to see life reflected in the composer’s work, the Sonata No. 15 in D major, which appeared in the same year, suits these emotions.
The moniker “pastorale” was applied to the Sonata Op. 28 by a publisher in London in 1805, foreshadowing perhaps the Pastoral Symphony No. 6, which would have its premiere in Vienna three years later. The title that would henceforth accompany the “grande sonata” is musically justified by the timpani impression in the left hand of the first movement as well as by the 6/8 hurdy-gurdy or bagpipe sound in the fourth movement, again in the left hand. The idiomatic andante is succeeded by a musical joke, the scherzo, and the sonata is completed by a rondo form. For the last time in his life, Beethoven revisits the four-movement “sonata form” observing the traditional distribution of weight and emphasis across the movements.
Dimitris Dimopoulos (piano)