Playing Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas

Piano Sonata in G major, Op. 79

This brief work is deceiving difficult to play well. The condensed nature of the work reduces space for organic contrast, thus resulting in an opening movement whose subsections pass the listener by with little obvious change in character. This feature is to be noted in all three of opus 79's movements, yet paradoxically the work is overflowing with personality. The final movement, in particular, is a virtuosic display of Beethoven's ability to spin an entire movement from a simple eight-measure theme.

I. Presto alla Tedesca

• exposition

NOTES: There is no question that the right hand's melody leads, but it can be quite effective to highlight the left hand in mm. 11–12. Lingering on the downbeat of m. 12 helps to enhance the contrast between the opening forte dynamic and the leggiermente marking of the transition. One of the greatest technical difficulties is keeping the eighth notes even; they never stop! Be sure to shape the many scalar passages into musical lines, so as to reduce the risk of sounding like a machine.


II. Andante - Coming Soon!



II. Vivace - Coming Soon!