Barenboim plays Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 8 Op. 13 (Pathétique)

Daniel Barenboim plays Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as Sonata Pathétique. Live in Berlin (2005). The piece is one of composer’s most celebrated compositions.

The sonata was written in 1798 when the composer was 27 years old, and was published in 1799. Beethoven dedicated the work to his friend Prince Karl von Lichnowsky (the second Prince Lichnowsky and a Chamberlain at the Imperial Austrian court, he is remembered for his patronage of music and his relationships with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven). Although commonly thought to be one of the few works to be named by the composer himself, it was actually named Grande sonate pathétique (to Beethoven’s liking) by the publisher, who was impressed by the sonata’s tragic sonorities.

The sonata consists of three movements:

  1. Grave (Slowly, with solemnity) – Allegro di molto e con brio (Quickly, with much vigour)
  2. Adagio cantabile (Slowly, in a singing style)
  3. Rondo: Allegro (Quickly)

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