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Beethoven Piano                                     23rd June 2020 The Bear Club Map

This interview and recital is a chance to learn more about Beethoven’s engagement with the musical argument of sonata form. BBC Radio 3’s Petroc Trelawny interviews two young pianists before they give complete performances of the G major sonata from Op 31 and the much loved Pathétique. Musical insight and historical context will illumine these two magnificent works as we are guided through them by Petroc, one of the country’s most respected broadcasters and the President of Luton Music.

C minor, the key of the fateful 5th Symphony, brought out the dramatic side of Beethoven’s character. This Pathétique sonata is full of such volatile temperament, the intense slow introduction extending the sonata form of the first movement, eventually yielding to one of the most beautiful slow movements the Viennese virtuoso was ever to write. The Op 31 sonata in G is from Beethoven’s middle period and shows how the composer was beginning to fight against the restraints of Classical discipline. He was now wholly dedicated to the dutiful service of art. Perhaps we can hear in this work how Beethoven, who had resisted all his suicidal thoughts as heretical in the Heiligenstadt Testament, was channelling his frustration into music, railing against his debilitating deafness.

Ludwig van Beethoven – Sonata in C minor Op 13 Pathétique

Ludwig van Beethoven – Sonata in G Op 31 No.1

Adam Heron



Petroc Trelawny

Matthew McCombie

Ticket price £12