Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas comprehensively defined the sonata and revolutionized pianistic technique. This course will examine some of Beethoven’s most influential works in the genre, such as the “Moonlight,” “Waldstein,” “Appassionata,” and “Hammerklavier” sonatas. Topics will include the nature of Beethoven’s sonatas, their historical significance, and their unique status in Western art.

Syllabus - Beethoven Piano Sonatas

Syllabus

Week 1: 
3 Sonatas, Op. 2 (1795); Grande Sonata, Op. 7 (1797)

Week 2: 
3 Sonatas, Op. 10 (1796-98); Sonata Pathetique, Op. 13 (1799); 2 Sonatas, Op. 14 (1799)

Week 3:

Sonata, Op. 22 (1800); Sonata, Op. 26 (1801); 2 Sonatas quasi una fantasia, Op. 27 (1801)

Week 4: 
Sonata Pastorale, Op. 28 (1801); 3 Sonatas, Op. 31 (1802); Two Easy Sonatas, Op. 49 (No. 1: 1798, No. 2: 1796. These will be only briefly considered.)

Week 5:

Sonata, Op. 53 “Waldstein” (1804); Sonata, Op. 54 (1804); Sonata, Op. 57 “Appassionata” (1805)

Week 6:

Sonata, Op. 78 (1809); Sonata, Op. 79 (1809); Sonata, Op. 81a (Les Adieux -1809); Sonata, Op. 90 (1814)

Week 7: 
Sonata, Op. 101 (1816); Sonata, Op. 106 (1818) 
Both sonatas are marked “For the Hammerklavier”

Week 8:

Sonata, Op. 109 (1820); Sonata, Op. 110 (1821); Sonata, Op. 111 (1822)

Books About Beethoven Piano Sonatas

Beethoven Piano Sonata Recordings