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Subtlety and Innovation: Op. 28

Beethoven’s conception of the sonata was perpetually in flux, but the year 1801 is a particularly experimental one. The four sonatas Op. 26 through 28 (Nos. 14 through 17, chronologically) feature the most concrete innovations among the sonatas written up to that point, and are the focus of this lecture. There will be discussion of the relationship between the movements in a classical sonata, and the radical shift it begins to undergo at this point. We will also examine the ways in which these sonatas were influential to future generations of composers, which the earlier works, great as they are, were not. As a special feature for this lecture, a recording by a current Curtis student of the first movement of Op. 28 will be available on Curtis Performs.

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