Violin Sonata No. 3 (Beethoven)

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The Violin Sonata no. 3 in E flat major, Op. 12 No. 3 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 con spirito

Compared to the previous sonatas, the first movement of op.12.3 is more demanding.

The theme is divided into three groups of four bars each. While the first four bars are metrically indeterminate, the second group of four is in 4/4 tempo, whereupon the last four bars vary the four opening bars. The second theme is marked by a fourth lead . An element appearing shortly before the recapitulation brings the piano and violin together in unison .

2nd movement: Adagio con molt'espressione

The Adagio con molt'espressione resembles the middle movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 7, as well as that of the String Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3. Beethoven also takes up the idea of ​​the previous sonata , to focus on an emotional sentence.

The accompanying figure for the piano is based on the C major prelude from Johann Sebastian Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier .

3rd movement: Rondo. Allegro molto

The third movement is a conventional final rondo. In the theme, the upbeat fourth is stretched to the fifth and sixth. At the end of the sentence, the theme is imitated in a counterpoint-like manner.


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. a b c d General musical newspaper , 1799
  2. a b Robert Schumann : New magazine for music , 1836