The Anatomy of Beethoven's 10th Violin Sonata

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The Anatomy of Beethoven's 10th Violin Sonata
автор Dmitri N. Smirnov

The Anatomy of Beethoven’s 10th Violin Sonata

There are a lot of musicological researches on this work, which are interesting in the sense of describing some features, character and style of music from historical, aesthetic or interpretational aspects. However, with regard to the analytical side: the definition of the form, the design of the themes, their development and other details of the composition—what should be interesting to every professional musician in the first place—they are often very schematic, vague or incorrect. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap. Here the author applies the principles of analysis grounded in the teachings of Anton Webern and of his pupil Philip Herschkowitz based on an understanding of the form in music as a system of relations between the two opposite states of musical matter, which constitute the essence of the musical composition and defined as ‘fixed’ and ‘floating’ (in German: ‘fest’ and ‘locker’).

Beethoven's Manuscript, page 1

Beethoven was 42 when this sonata was written. It was completed in November 1812 and dedicated to Archduke Rudolph Johannes Joseph Rainier of Austria, his pupil of piano and composition, who gave its first performance on 29th of December 1812 together with the French violinist Pierre Rode.

The same year Beethoven was passionately involved in the love affair and even wanted to marry his “Immortal Beloved”. He wrote to her in the letter on 6th and 7th of July 1812: “My angel, my all, my own self… Be calm — love me — today — yesterday. What longing in tears for you — You — my Life — my All — farewell. Oh, go on loving me — never doubt the faithfullest heart Of your beloved, L[udvig]. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours”. Listening to the Sonata we can feel that it speaks the same thing, but with the music language.

The Motive and its Transformation

The sonata is one of the most romantic Beethoven’s works full of pastoral images. The first movement, as it was noticed by Maynard Solomon, is an “idyll, replete with bird calls, alpine horn arpeggios, drone basses, and figures that simulate the rustling, murmuring, and busy profusion of nature’s sounds. The opening birdsong—resembling that of skylark…”[1] The sonata opens with a dialogue between violin and piano as if a conversation between two lovers.

01 Beeth Vln Sonata Motif.png

They repeat again and again the bird-like motive “BEDB” ♩♫♩ as if telling each other something like “Ich liebe dich” (“I love you”).

There is a song “Zärtliche Liebe” or “Ich liebe dich”, WoO 123, written by Beethoven about 1795 with the text by Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Herrosee (1764—1821), “Die Liebenden”.

02 Beeth Ich liebe dich.jpg

Ich liebe dich, so wie du mich,
Am Abend und am Morgen,
Noch war kein Tag, wo du und ich
Nicht teilten unsre Sorgen.

[I love you as you love me,
in the evening and the morning,
nor was there a day when you and I
did not share our troubles.]

We can suppose that G-major for Beethoven was one of the keys of love: there are a few more similar examples like the Romance, Op. 40 for violin and orchestra, or Larghetto from his Violin Concerto, Op. 61 No.2.

Beethoven could give some literal meaning to his motive, like he did with the “Lebewohl” (or “Farewellv) motto in the 26th Sonata (Les Adieux) in E flat major, Op. 81a (1809-10), “Muss es sein?” and “Es muss sein” motives in the Finale of his 16th Quartet in F major, Op. 135 (1826), or like, as it was proposed by musicologists[2], in his Andante favori, WoO 57 (1804 or 1805), secretly dedicated to his piano pupil Countess Josephine Brunsvik (von Deym) with whom Beethoven was in love. There is a theory that the motive of the piece spells the name “Jo-se-phi-ne”:

03 Beeth Andante favori.png

We do not know for sure who precisely the “Immortal Beloved” was, but one of the most likely candidates was the same person: Josephine von Stackelberg (Brunsvik/Deym)[3]. And if the theory is right it is quite possible that the rhythm of the closing theme of the first movement also spells the name “Jo-se-phi-ne”:

04 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 Closing T.png

Of course, this is just a speculation, but we should not reject this possibility, since, as we know, such kind of ideas may serve as an important stimulus for a composer. We can see that this new motive ♫♩♩ consists from the same elements as the opening one: two quavers and two crochets, but in the modified order like in a permutation. Looking closer we find the similarity of the motives of all the themes of the first movement — they look like different transformations of the opening motive:

05 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 Motive modifications.png

I. Allegro moderato. G major

The Principal Theme

The opening “bird-motive” ♩♫♩ of violin is echoed by piano (octave lower). Then it is repeated again and followed by division (the shorter motive forms, 3-note: ♫♩, 2-note: ♫ versions until the liquidation in b.6: ♩).

06 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 PT.png

So, at the beginning we have the 6-bar sentence. The harmony is very simple: it consists of tonic and dominant only. Structurally it is rather too short to be a proper theme. And therefore it needed to be developed: continued or repeated, and Beethoven decided to repeat it. It is quite possible that the format of а dialogue in which this sonata is presented served as the source of the idea of constructing the principle theme in the shape of a double sentence. As a result, a construction similar to a period was formed: the antecedent and the consequent. And repeating the sentence, Beethoven switched the places of the violin and piano that became the main principle of the presentation all the themes in the sonata.

In the repetition of the sentence the harmony was substantially enriched. The subdominant (IV degree) was introduced in b.10, and since that moment both the violin and piano began to play in the same rhythm simultaneously, joining together in the melodious passages. After that the ii degree in b.13, the vii degree in b.15 appeared, and in b.18-19 we can see a descending cascade of the chords of all possible degrees:

07 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 PT end.png

But if the first sentence is too short, the second is too long because of a huge extension: instead of 6 bars of the initial sentence here we have more than twice more: 13 bars, that ended on a fist beat of b.14 with a dissonant chord (half-diminished: c#-e-g-b).

The sentence and its developed repetition are obviously disproportionate and need to be balanced. And Beethoven balanced them in the next section.

The Transition

It sounds like a light-hearted dispute between two lovers. Structurally it is the a series of codettas repeated again and again with a reduction in the second half: 3+3+2+2+2 bars (all together 12 bars), which builds a sentence-like construction, which serves as a supplement to the Principal theme. But it also introduces the new rhythmic and thematic forms and its task already belongs to the transition (or the bridge). So, the bars 20-31 have a double function: 1) the conclusion of the Principal theme, and 2) the beginning of a transition, where some new elements are introduced. Each of these codettas ends with a new version of the main motive: ♩.♪♩ (where the second note is replaced with a dot), and this dotted rhythm in diminished form later becomes the main characteristic feature of the Subordinate theme.

This is followed with of one bar of “modulation” (b. 32) that is the diminished chord g#-b-d-f♮. This kind of vagrant chords is very convenient device for immediate jumping without any preparation into any desirable key. This particular chord is resolved into the dominant (V7) of D major at the beginning of the next bar. The dominant pedal lasts for 8 bars. The triplets by quavers that appeared in the b.33 will become later another important rhythmic feature of the Subordinate theme.

About proportions

This music gives an impression of something very balanced and proportioned despite it is built with nonstandard structures:

6 + 13 + 12 + 1 + 8 bars.

But this disproportion is only an illusion, and if to consider that the sentence and its repetition end in bar 20, and all the rest before the beginning of the subordinate theme also occupies 20 bars, we will have absolutely balanced proportion:

But this disproportion is only an illusion, and if to consider that the sentence and its repetition end in bar 20, and all the rest before the beginning of the subordinate theme also occupies 20 bars, we will have absolutely balanced proportion:

20 : 20 bars!!!

This is not just a coincidence. Beethoven knew how to count the bars in attempt to create perfect proportions in his music, and we will see this again when discussing the structure of the principal theme in the recapitulation.

The Group of Subordinate Themes

The Subordinate group is built typically in Beethoven’s way where the first of the subordinate themes is supplemented with a series of the additional thematic formations. We can label them as: ST1 + ST2 + ST3 + ST4 + CT, where the last of them serves as a Closing theme.

ST1: The initial 8-bar structure is built as 4+4 a quasi-period, which is repeated with 2-bar extension and ended with a deceptive cadence on the low sixth degree of D major, that coincides with B-flat major.

ST2: The four bars b.59-62 are built as a quasi-sentence. At the end of it (b. 62) the harmony returns back to the tonic and dominant of D major. Then the 4-bar structure is repeated as 3-bar structure plus 6-bar extension with a boisterous quasi-modulation into the subdominant.

ST3: The 4-bar structure that begin on subdominant is a sort of a codetta (IV-ii-V-I). It is repeated in a shorter version as 3 bars (the forth bat is coincided with the beginning of the next structure). Together they form a quasi-period.

ST4: Another 3-bar codetta and its repetition lead to the Closing theme.  

The Closing Theme

This theme, which many times repeated motive ♫♩♩ dwells on a dominant pedal. It occupies 11 bars and 12th bar is coincided with the repetition of the whole exposition or (the 2nd time) with the beginning of the development section. The structure of the Closing theme is a quasi-sentence that repeated with an extension.

Overall structure and proportions in the Exposition

The structure of the exposition is as follows:

PT: 6+13, Tr:3+3+2+2+2+1+8, ST: 8+10 / 4+9 / 4+3 / 3+3, CT: 4+4+1+1+1+(1).

So, the proportions of the main sections in the exposition are:

19 : 21 : 44 : 12 (96 bars all together).

[The interesting fact is that formally there are 96 bars in the exposition of the Sonata Op. 96! — Of course, this is just an accidental coincidence.]

The Development Section

It is important to notice that the Development section is based on the material of the Closing theme and some elements of the Subordinate theme (mostly ST4 from bar 116). But the Principal theme does not involve in the development! The tonal plan begins with a modulation in the region of low VII (b.98), and low III (b.104) and then step by step returns back to G through A minor and D minor to the dominant of G major. There where a few long pedals: on F for 13 bars (b.98-110), on E for 9 bars (b.111-119), on A minor for 4 bars (b.120-123), on D minor for 4 bars (b.124-128) and on D7 for 9 bars (b.131-139). The detailed plan is:

D4/3 — G7 | c6/4 — G | c6/5 — C6/5 | pedal F for 13 bars | pedal E for 9 bars (in b. 116b motives of ST4) | a for 4 bars | d for 4 bars | B6/5 | E | A7 | D for 9 bars |

The Recapitulation.

Tonic of G major appears at the end of b. 139 just 2 bars before entrance of the main motive of the Principal theme.

What is wonderful about this PT in Recapitulation? There are at least three things:

1) Here are the same 6 bars of the sentence like in the exposition, but the functions violin and piano are changed places with each other.

2) Then, with the lowering of the answer of the main motive a semitone down in b. 149, the music suddenly modulates to the low VI degree — into E-flat Major that dominates the rest of the Principal theme!

3) The repetition of the sentence here is 2 bars shorter than in the exposition: here we have 11 bars instead of 13. But if we look to the beginning of recapitulation: there are 2 introductory bars (b.140-141), that perfectly balance all the construction of the principal theme + transition, which have exactly 40 bars that divided into two equal parts like in the exposition:

20 + 20.

The transition brings back the main key using the same device as in exposition: the diminished chord c# — (e) — g — b♭ that turns the harmony from the remote E-flat major into the dominant of G major. The whole “modulation” occupies just one bar (b.171). The Subordinate theme begins after the 8 bars dwelling on the dominant pedal.

ST1, which is now in G major, repeats the structure of exposition exactly: 8+10. It ended with a deceptive cadence on the low sixth degree of G major

ST2: that coincides with E-flat major — already a familiar key, because it is the second key of the Principal theme in the Recapitulation. In b. 201 the tonality returns back to tonic of G major. The 4-bar structure is repeated as 3-bar structure plus 6-bar extension with a boisterous quasi-modulation into the subdominant.

ST3: The 4-bar structure that begin on subdominant is a sort of a codetta (IV-ii-V-I). It is repeated in a shorter version as 3 bars (the forth bat is coincided with the beginning of the next structure).

ST4: Another 3-bar codetta and its repetition follow by the Closing theme.

Beethoven added 4 more bars to the 11 bars of the Closing theme that follow by sudden modulation to the key of the subdominant (= C major) — this is the beginning of the Coda.

The Coda

The Coda begins here as the “second Development section” based on the Principal theme (it is because in a real Development the PT did not participate). After 4 bars of C major there is a long 17-bar re-modulation to the main key: the piano suddenly left alone for 8 bars to wonder in the realm of vagrant diminished chord passages that is going chromatically down on a semitone for 5 times until the “bird-motive” appeared in the low register of the piano. It is answered by the violin and repeated as canon between violin and left hand piano ascending for a few times on semitone up with until it reaches tonic of G major in bar 260. The division that began in b. 248 leads not to the triplets how in was before, but to the semiquavers passages in b. 260 with semiquavers that appeared in the Sonata for the first time.

I would like to point here at the certain detail demonstrating a rare example in Beethoven’s music of a conscious usage of “12-tone technique”. In bar 260—261 there is a sophisticated piano passage including all 12-notes of a chromatic scale.

08 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 Coda.png

They appeared (if to ignore all the repeated notes) in the following order:


which is a perfect 12-tone row. It is echoed by the shorter violin passage in the next 2 bars that includes only 10 different chromatic notes in the order:


which is the precise dominant transposition of 10 first notes of previous row. And the next piano passage in the left hand just repeats first 9 notes of the previous row. All three passages then joined together in the bird-like trilling chord a — f# — c, which is incredibly wonderful and beautiful.

The last section of coda occupies the last 22 bars that are devised in two equal segments 11 bars each: first one dwells on the dominant pedal “D” and the second — on the tonic pedal “G”. In these last bars “love and harmony combine” together: the violin and piano plays not only the arpeggio passages, but everything, including the “bird-motive” (b.276-277).

II. Adagio espressivo. E-flat major

The second movement is regarded as “one of the most profound, most heartfelt and most sublime… among the most beautiful compositions in all music”[4]. It is written in a ternary form that also called “a small rondo”. It has the features of a sonata form as well. The hymn-like Principal theme (b.1-11) is a period extended with three bars of codettas. It is interesting that the theme is given to the piano only and the violin (marked “sotto voce” — very quiet) enters at the very end of it on the top of the codettas! Only after that the violin plays “espressivo”. So, in some way the principal theme is treated here as an introduction to something that is more important: to the sort of “aria”, which begins with upbeat of b.12th (with the motive that also could be read as “Jo-se-phi-ne”):

09 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 2 ST.png

This new theme occupies 10 bars (b. 12-21) and structured as a quasi-period with the antecedent (b.11-13) and the consequent (b. 14-20), with quite uneven proportions: 3+7. This disproportion is explained by the very unusual for Beethoven modulation into the key of the Subdominant: A-flat Major! This is the rare example of so called “self-service”[5], when a short form is “forced to serve itself in respect of a modulation”. In this case we have to consider the tonality of the whole theme as A-flat Major, where the antecedent ended with the cadence on dominant and the consequent with the full cadence on tonic.

The middle section (17 bars: b.21-36) is a continuation of “the aria”, which functionally represents a development[6] that modulates from A-flat major back to E-flat major: through F minor, E-flat minor A-flat minor, G-flat major and B-flat major that is the Dominant of E-flat major.

The recapitulation begins in b.38 with the Principal theme played “mezzo voce” by the violin accompanied by the piano. The Subordinate theme begins and finishes in the main tonality. Here it is much shorter and the proportions of it are balanced: 3+3. The last 14 bars that continue the “aria” serve as a coda. The movement ends unexpectedly with a “vagrant chord” e♭-g-c#, which resolved into the dominant of G minor in the next movement.

III. Scherzo and Trio. Allegro. G minor

It is like a village dance: the masculine Scherzo, full of sharp and brutal accents, follows by the soft feminine Waltz-like Trio. The Theme of Scherzo (b. 1-32) is composed in a binary form (or so called “a two-part song”). The first part, a sentence (b. 1-8), is repeated with melodic voice switched from piano to violin. The same is happened to the second part of the theme. There is a striking resemblance between the theme of the Trio and the subordinate theme of the First movement (compare to the bars 188—191). The Trio is written in E-flat major in a ternary form (or “a three-part song”). The first part, a sentence (b. 33-40), is repeated by piano only. The second part, only four bars long, is disproportionally short. As opposite to it, the third part is disproportionally long occupies 31 bars. This is a brilliant example of a “perpetual canon” or a “round”, where the theme enters every four bars in three different voices. The repetition of the Scherzo follows with 14 bars of a coda in G major. This is an example of Beethoven’s idea of proportion:

Scherzo / Trio / Scherzo / Coda

16+16 / 16 + 4 + 31 / 16 + 16 / 14

32 : 51 : 32 : 14

IV. Poco allegretto. G major

This is a cheerful dancing theme and a set of variations. The character of the theme was dictated by the taste of the Pierre Rode, the famous French violinist who played the first performance of it. Beethoven wrote to Archduke Rudolph: “As I meanwhile am writing several other works, I did not make great haste in the last movement for the sake of mere punctuality, the more because I had, in writing it, to consider the playing of Rode. In our finales we like rushing and resounding passages, but this does not please R and — this hindered me somewhat”.[7] The Theme is constructed very similar to the previous Scherzo: it is a Binary form (or “a Two-part song”), where the first part is a period repeated with melodic voice switched from piano to violin. The same is happened to the second part of the theme.

The set of variations is simple and clear.

The Var.1 (b.33-48) develops the motive of four quavers ♪♫♪.

The Var.2 based on the triplets: ♫♪♫♪, with mordent on the first note that adds to the rhythm a very characteristic feature.

The Var.3 develops the idea of contrast polyphony, where all the voices are of equal importance.

The Var.4 based on a contrast between quiet legato passages and loud abrupt chords.

The Var. V (b.145-163, p-no) is the most interesting and sophisticated. It has a tempo mark Adagio espressivo that returns the character of the Second movement of the Sonata. It is full of chromatics and embellishments. The variation ends with an extension and a modulation that leads to the deceptive recapitulation in E-flat major (b.164-70).

After 3 bars of a bridge, the Var. VI enters in the main key: G major (b.174-216). It based on the contrast between very fast smooth passages in one voice, and jumping staccato arpeggios in two other.

The Var.VII (b.217-244) is a short fugue, where the theme is chromicised in such a way that the subject together with the answer embrace all 12 chromatic pitches — one more example of a conscious usage of “12-tone technique»:

10 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 4 fuga.png

The last (Eighth) variation that occupies 51 bars serves as a coda. It begins almost exactly like the beginning of the Finale with slight change of the texture. It lacks of the repetitions and occupies only 16 bars instead of 32. To make this proportionate to the original length of the theme Beethoven expands it adding the series of codettas. But by doing so, he makes “a mistake” — one of his jokes: he adds these codettas: 4+4 and then 4+4 overlapping them (in b. 268) and as a result we have only 15 bars instead of 16! This give to the composer the opportunity “to correct his mistake”: he adds 8 bars more in the slow tempo (Poco adagio) — the charming intimate dialogue between violin and piano, then he repeats the last two bars, then repeats only one bar… and then suddenly in the fast tempo (Presto) he divides the bar in two halves and repeats it seven times until the last tonic chord — the incredibly effective ending!


Sonata consists of four movements: I — is a sonata form, II — a small rondo with some features of sonata form, III — a scherzo with trio and IV — a theme and variations. The main key is G-major/g-minor; the second important tonal centre is E-flat major. We can consider 20 themes and independent thematic formations in the sonata: four principal (1, 9, 11 & 13), two transitional (2 & 3), six subordinate (4-7, 10, 12), one closing (8). The seven thematic formations indicated as 14-20 are variations of theme (13). Structurally they represent a double sentence (a sentence repeated with an extension or a quasi-period), a period (9), a quasi-sentence (3, 5, 10), a quasi-period (4, 6 & 7), a 2-part song (binary form, 11, 13-20), a 3-part song (ternary form, 12):

11 op96-scheme-new.png

The thematic catalogue:

I. Allegro moderato. G major

1. PT (b.1-19) a sentence and its extended repetition (a double sentence or a quasi period)
b+5-2-3, Pattern 206, Rate 100[8]
12 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 PT.png
2. Tran (b.20) a quasi-sentence (the series of codettas)
b-26+56−2-2, Pattern 77, Rate 20
13 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 Tr1.png
3. Tran (b.33) a quasi-sentence (D major)
e-8+1-2, Pattern 361, Rate 60
14 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 Tr2.png
4. ST1 (b.41) a quasi-period (repeated with an extension)
f#+1+2+2+2+1, Pattern 2, Rate 350
15 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 ST1.png
5. ST2 (b.59) a quasi-sentence (repeated with an extension, begins in lowered VI)
d+1+4-2-32+1-3, Pattern 4, Rate 40
16 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 ST2.png
6. ST3 (b.72) a quasi-period (a codetta repeated)
b+3-3-42+4-4-3, Pattern 111, Rate 100
17 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 ST3.png
7. ST4 (b.79) a quasi-period (codetta repeated)
f#-2-2-1+1+2, Pattern 86, Rate 270
18 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 ST4.png
8. CT (b.85) a quasi-sentence (repeated with an extension)
g#+1+2-2-5+2+1-1, Pattern 2, Rate 350
19 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 1 CT.png

II.Adagio espressivo. E-flat major

9. PT (b.1-11) a period (+ 3 bars of codettas)
g-4+2+2+1+4-7, Pattern 170, Rate 70
20 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 2 PT.png
10. ST (b.12-21) a quasi-sentence
g-4-5-2-1+5-2, Pattern 185, Rate 40
21 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 2 PT.png

III. Scherzo. Allegro. G minor

11. PT (b.1) a 2-part song (a binary form) with a sentence repeated
g-1+3+1-1, Pattern 27, Rate 100
22 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 3 PT.png
12. Trio (b.33), a 3-part song (a ternary form) with a sentence repeated
g+1+2+2+2+1, Pattern 2, Rate 350
23 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 3 Trio.png

IV. Poco Allegretto. G major

13. Thema (b.1-32, p-no) a 2-part song (a binary form) with a period repeated
g+5-1-2-2+2+52, Pattern 205, Rate 200
24 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 4 Theme.png
14. Var. I (33-48, vln) ibid
d+2+2+1+4+1-1-2, Pattern 50, Rate 800
25 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 4 Var 1.png
15. Var. II (b.49-80, p-no) ibid
d-1+1+2+2+1-5-1+2+5+4-2, Pattern 25, Rate 400
26 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 4 Var 2.png
16. Var. III (b.81-112, а 3-part contrast polyphony) ibid
a) Vln.: g3+52−12−1-12+5, Pattern 50, Rate 800
b) Pno, right hand: g+42+52−2+52−12, Pattern 149, Rate 40
c) Pno, left hand: b+1+2-8+1+2+2-9, Pattern 2, Rate 350
27 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 4 Var 4.png
17. Var. IV (b.113-144, vln) ibid
d-3+3+5-5-3+3-7+24+2+5, Pattern 123, Rate 150
28 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 4 Var 5.png
18. Var.V (b.145-163, p-no) ibid + modulation & fake recap (b. 164-17 1
g2+4-9-1+1+2+2+1, Pattern 177, Rate 5
29 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 4 Var 6.png
19. Var.VI (b. 174—216, p-no) Binary form + extension
a) Pno, right hand: e+2+1-1+1+2+2-2+3-1, Pattern 49, Rate 300
b) Vln.: c-1-4-5-3-2+12-3-9+2, Pattern 40, Rate 50
30 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 4 Var 7.png
20. Var.VII (b.217-244, p-no) Fugue [+ Coda b.245-295]
g+5-2-2-1+1+5, Pattern 206, Rate 100
31 Beeth Vln Sonata 10 4 Var 7.png


  • Harry Goldschmidt: Um die Unsterbliche Geliebte. Eine Bestandsaufnahme. Leipzig: Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1977
  • Harry Goldschmidt: Aspekte gegenwärtiger Beethoven-Forschung. Biographie. In: ders. (Hg.): Zu Beethoven. Aufsätze und Annotationen. Leipzig (1979), S. 167—242
  • La Mara: Beethoven and the Brunsviks: Therese Brunsvik and the Immortal Beloved, 2017
  • Lockwood, Lewis, and Mark Kroll. The Beethoven Violin Sonatas: History, Criticism, Performance. Urbana: University of Illinois, 2004
  • Jean und Brigitte Massin: Recherche de Beethoven. Paris: Fayard, 1970.
  • John Palmer: Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata for violin & piano No. 10 in G major (“The Cockcrow”), Op. 96 []
  • Rolf Music Blog:
  • Rostal, Max. Beethoven, The Sonatas for Piano and Violin: Thoughts on their Interpretation. [London]: Tocatta, 1985
  • Thomas Scherman, ed. The Beethoven Companion. New York: Doubleday, 1972
  • Dmitri Smirnov. A Geometer of Sound Crystals. Verlag Ernst Kuhn, Berlin 2003
  • Dmitri Smirnov. The Anatomy of Theme in Beethoven's Piano Sonatas. Berlin 2008. Verlag Ernst Kuhn, Berlin 2003
  • Solomon, Maynard. Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, and Imagination. 2004
  • Marie-Elisabeth Tellenbach: Beethoven und seine “Unsterbliche Geliebte” Josephine Brunswick. Ihr Schicksal und der Einfluß auf Beethovens Werk. Zürich: Atlantis, 1983

Intro in Russian:

Существует немало музыковедческих трудов об этой сонате, интересных в смысле описания деталей, характера и стиля музыки с исторической, эстетической или исполнительской точек зрения. Однако, что касается аналитической стороны: определения формы, конструкции тем, их развития и прочих деталей композиции — то что должно быть интересно каждому профессиональному музыканту в первую очередь, — в них часто весьма схематично, расплывчато или неверно. Цель данной работы восполнить этот пробел. Здесь автор применяет принципы анализа установленные в учениях Антона Веберна и его ученика Филиппа Гершковича, в основе которых лежит понимание формы в музыке как системы соотношений двух противоположных состояний музыкальной материи, составляющих суть музыкальной композиции.


  1. Maynard Solomon: Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination, p. 72
  2. Brigitte and Jean Massin (1970).
  3. Other candidates are: Antonie Brentano, Giulietta Guicciardi, Therese Brunsvik, Bettina von Arnim, etc.
  4. Rostal, p.175.
  5. The expression of Philip Herschkowitz, who explained the subordinate theme of the 2nd movement of the First Piano sonata (op.2/1-II) as a “self-service” in the theme, when “the form is so small that it is forced to serve itself in respect of a modulation”. He added: “Don’t count your chicken before they are hatched!” that means: define the tonality of the theme according its end. See A Geometer p. 100.
  6. In this case I have to disagree with John Palmer who described it as follows: “Marked Adagio espressivo, the sonata-form structure lacks a development section, a typical attribute of slow-movement sonata form”.
  7. Thayer’s Life of Beethoven, Volume 1, p. 546.
  8. On the thematic patterns and their rates, see: An Anatomy of Theme, pp. 184-287.

© Dmitri N. Smirnov

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