Violin Sonata No. 2 (Beethoven)

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The Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major , op. 12 No. 2 , is a sonata for violin and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven .


The violin sonatas op. 12 were written in 1797 and 1798 and were published in 1798 under the title Tre Sonate per il Clavicembalo o Forte-Piano con un Violino with a dedication to Beethoven's teacher Antonio Salieri .

To the music

In his violin sonatas, Beethoven started with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , who had started to develop the violin from being an accompanist to an equal partner of the piano. Beethoven follows Mozart's example in the number and structure of the movements. Beethoven's violin sonatas are characterized by the dialogue between piano and violin and shocked contemporary audiences, who until then were only used to entertainment music, with the use of syncopation as well as idiosyncratic modulations and rhythms.

1st movement: Allegro vivace

First movement (violin: Carrie Rehkopf)

While a theme consisting of a repeating two-note figure is processed over an octave and a half in the piano, the violin with triplets lingers in the middle register. After contrasting elements appear, the two-tone figure returns in the coda as the climax of the movement.

The musicologist Wolfgang Osthoff sees the structure of the beginning of the sentence (4 + 4 + 2 + 2 bars) as a “speaking in tones”.

For the first time in Beethoven the Coda is longer than the implementation and thus assumes a quasi the rank of a second implementation; furthermore, the coda contains ambitions to deal with the topic.

2nd movement: Andante più tosto Allegretto

Second movement (violin: Carrie Rehkopf)

The Andante più tosto Allegretto , in A minor and characterized by a serious and melancholy mood, is structured according to the A – B – A'-coda scheme. In contrast to the previous course of the sonata, the parts of the piano and sonata are closely intertwined in this movement. The A part is accompanied by a new voice when it is repeated after the B part.

3rd movement: Allegro piacevole

Third movement (violin: Carrie Rehkopf)

The Allegro piacevole is a rondo with a conventional structure.


Regarding the novelty of the music, the Allgemeine Musikische Zeitung certified the composer in 1799 that he was going “his own way” and that in the sonatas op. 12 “no nature, no song”, but instead “a reluctance for which one can feels little interest ”and“ there is an accumulation of difficulty upon difficulty ”. In contrast, Robert Schumann compared Beethoven in 1836 with a "sky sunflower" to which "the name Beethoven developed".


supporting documents

further reading

  • Dieter Rexroth : 3 violin sonatas in D major, A major and E flat major op. 12. In: Interpretationen 1994. Volume 1. pp. 83-89.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Osthoff : The "speaking" in Beethoven's instrumental music , in: KgrB Bonn 1984 , pp. 11–40.
  2. a b c d General musical newspaper , 1799
  3. a b Robert Schumann : New magazine for music , 1836