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Beethoven, Ludwig van (Reynolds, V)
- Kreutzer Sonata Op47
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Strength, integrity, dignity, freedom, and heroism are words that have been used to describe the music of Beethoven. The third, fifth, seventh and ninth symphonies, the opus 106 and opus 111 piano sonatas, and the late spring quartets have these qualities in abundance.
The Kreutzer Sonata is the ninth of ten sonatas that Beethoven composed for piano and violin. Written in the same years as the third symphony (1802-1803), it shows the same musical leap forward that occurred between the second and third symphonies.
The first movement is cast in a classical sonata-allegro form, with a slow introduction that predicts the introduction in the first movement of the seventh symphony. The second movement shows the Beethoven mastery of the variations form: the third variation anticipates the third variariations in Brahms, Variations on a Theme by Joseph Hayden, composed in 1873. The final movement is an energetic Tarantella.
The classical wind band used in this arrangement consists of pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, horns, and bassoons, which is typical of the classical wind sections in the Beethoven symphonies.
While some may object that there is little, if any, justifying historical precedent for transforming a violin-piano sonata into a work for wind instruments, it is the arranger's hope and intent that Beethoven's greatness will reach open ears, hearts, and minds through this new medium. That the flute has a voice quite different from the violin matters little if Beethoven's unique creative power give joy and inspiration to the listener.
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