first work that that I am going to discuss is on Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, op.
109. Beethoven has contributed tremendously in the genre of piano sonatas, and
this particular sonata is composed during the late period of his life. This
particular sonata reinvents the traditional sonata form, especially through the
introduction of a theme in the third movement which was followed by a set of
The sonatas prior to Beethoven’s era
would usually follow a fast-slow-fast tempo in the three different movements; which
Beethoven totally broke the convention by using differing tempi markings at the
very first movement of the Op. 109 Sonata. The sections with different tempo
possess distinct and contrasting character and mood, which creates a sense of
uncertainty on where the direction of the music is going. However, all the contrasting
musical ideas were nicely developed through the transitions and were tied
together nicely at the end of the first movement.
Beethoven’s late period sonatas
also does not strictly follow the sonata form: exposition, development, transition
and recapitulation. This would differ greatly from Mozart’s sonatas. Beethoven
was known for the use of motivic ideas and another style that Beethoven
incorporated into his late period sonatas is the usage of Baroque polyphonic
In my opinion, Beethoven’s piano sonatas greatly
portray the development of his compositional style. The piano sonatas that
Beethoven written was crucial in music history as the whole the genre of piano
sonatas was elevated and could be held as equal with other genres such as
symphonies. Mozart and Haydn wrote many piano sonatas as well, but both
composers wrote symphonies which they are also famously known for. It was
Beethoven that developed the genre of piano sonata into such great importance
in music history.
The next work I am going to
discuss would be on Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit. This genre of composition is a
suite, which consists of three movements. Each movement has their own titles and
are derived from poems; which paints a specific story or character. Ravel’s compositions
are often described as an impressionist style; as his pieces portray different
colours like in a painting.
The genre of the suite can be
traced back to Bach and Handel’s era. The suites composed in the 17th
century and 18th century are often linked to a collection of
movements that are dance-like. It would have movements that are fixed such as
the sarabande, gigue, allemande and the courante. There are also additional
optional dances that are incorporated such as bourree, minuet and etc. More
often, the movements are related to each other.
The genre of suite during the 17th century is very different
than Ravel’s idea of