Playing Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas

Piano Sonata in F major, Op. 10/2

This is Beethoven's first piano sonata without a traditional slow movement—a trend he continues in Op. 14. It also happens to be one of the shortest sonatas that Beethoven ever wrote. Perhaps due to the breadth of much of his music, it is all too easy to get bogged down with the idea—one fuelled by the Romantic-era cult of genius—that his work is nothing but serious in tone. This is most certainly not true. The first movement of this piece is a good example of Beethoven's musical wit; the false recapitulation at m. 118 is especially humorous and can be played to great effect (for a non-stuffy audience). The Allegretto is a good example of Beethoven's increasing dissatisfaction with exact repetitions of complete sections. Instead of writing "da capo," Beethoven recomposes the opening section by altering the rhythmic profile to emphasize off-beats— a feature that is undoubtedly influenced by the middle section. The finale is formally enigmatic and serves as a good example of Beethoven's early experiments with fugal techniques in the sonata genre.

I. Allegro - Coming Soon!

II. Allegretto - Coming Soon!

III. Presto

• opening section

NOTES: The opening section of this movement doesn't pose any significant technical hurdles. A general increase in urgency can be perceived as the music presses forward. This can be used by the pianist to shape his or her dynamic choices. A split-second rhetorical pause before the p marking at m. 23 can be effective.