3 сонаты для фортепиано "Курфюрст", WoO 47

Эти ранние сонаты, которые обычно называют "Kurfürstensonaten", были написаны Бетховеном в 1783 году, когда ему еще не было тринадцати лет. Несмотря на естественный в таком возрасте недостаток авторской индивидуальности, сонаты демонстрируют высокий уровень музыкальной зрелости автора и во многом предвосхищают его позднейшие произведения. Сонаты посвящены тогдашнему курфюрсту, при дворе которого служил Бетховен, Максимилиану Фридриху.

Соната №1 Е-dur:

  1. Allegro cantabile
  2. Andante
  3. Rondo vivace

Соната №2 f-moll:

  1. Larghetto maestoso - Allegro assai
  2. Andante
  3. Presto

Соната №3 D-dur:

  1. Allegro
  2. Menuetto - Sostenuto - Var. I-VI
  3. Scherzando. Allegretto, ma non troppo


Jörg Demus, фортепиано


This trio of works is also referred to as the "Max Friedrich" sonatas, after their dedicatee, Archbishop Maximilian Friedrich. They and the Nine Variations for Piano, in C minor, on a march by Dressler, WoO 63, were the first works Beethoven wrote—or at least the first he cared to recognize and publish. The composer himself is the source of this information. There is some uncertainty about the dates of the works, however. But it appears that the Dressler Variations were written in 1782, and these sonatas likely were composed that same year also. Some musicologists, though, date all these pieces to 1783.

While it is not certain, it appears these sonatas were composed after the Dressler Variations, not least because they are better-crafted works, showing a bit more sophistication. The first sonata, in E flat, is probably the least sophisticated, however, coming across as a work in which the juvenile composer takes a safe road, clinging to the most traditional and simplest forms. Still, this work shows the burgeoning talent of the youthful Beethoven, both in its piano writing and in its thematic material and development of it. The work is cast in three movements: Allegro cantabile; Andante; and Rondo vivace. While it is hardly a masterpiece, it does demonstrate the considerable skills of this twelve- or thirteen-year-old composer, who was, after all, not regarded as the kind of prodigy as Mozart.

The second sonata, in F minor, is a stronger work. It begins with an introduction, marked Larghetto maestoso, that certainly can be heard as a precursor to the dark introduction to the Piano Sonata No. 8 (Pathetique). The main section of the movement is marked Allegro assai and contains much forceful music. The other two panels of the work are an Andante and a Presto. Overall, this sonata shows a grasp of the kind of mature feelings one would think beyond this youth's reach. The second movement, for instance, divulges darkness and pain, while the finale already displays the composer's characteristic nervous energy, but with something of the mood from the previous movement, as well. Of the three works here, this one comes closest to approaching the spirit of Beethoven's more profound mature piano compositions.

The third Kurfürsten sonata is in the key of D and is fairly light in mood and generally well-crafted. Clearly, it divulges the young composer's ability to change moods effectively from one sonata to another. If the second sonata exhibits the darker, more neurotic side of the young Beethoven, this one shows his energetic, more optimistic side. Its progression of movements is interesting, too: Allegro; Menuetto: Sostenuto; Scherzando: Allegro, ma non troppo. One must certainly forgive Beethoven if the spirit of Haydn and Mozart is in evidence in the work, for the music is delightful and contains several attractive melodies.

The three sonatas were published in 1783, at about the same time as the Dressler Variations. As suggested above, some reference works give 1783 as the likely year of composition for all these works. Yet, it seems improbable that a previously unpublished composer of twelve or thirteen could find his works in print no sooner than the ink was dry on the manuscripts. In any event, these early pieces are important in the study of Beethoven for the detail they divulge about his evolving compositional skills.

(Robert Cummings, Rovi)