THE EARLY, MIDDLE, AND LATE STYLES OF WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART AND LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN IN THEIR SONATAS FOR PIANO AND VIOLIN
Kim, Elizabeth E.
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's (1756-1791) and Ludwig van Beethoven's (1770-1827) personal backgrounds influenced their compositional styles in different stages of their lives. Their sonatas for piano and violin show the evolution of their styles in early, middle, and late periods. Mozart's early period (1761-1773) keyboard sonatas with violin accompaniment, such as K. 9, show experimentations of a child prodigy and little equality between the piano and violin. In contrast to these early sonatas, his middle period (1774-1778) piano-violin sonatas, including K. 301 and K. 305, display the equal relationship between the two instruments found in Joseph Shuster's violin-harpsichord duets, which Mozart studied. The K. 378 sonata from Mozart's late period (1779-1791) shows a significant advancement in the flowing, virtuosic treatment of the piano and violin parts. Mozart's K. 454, composed for the virtuoso violinist, has a much more concertante style. Beethoven's Op. 12 sonatas from his early period (1770-1802) show his craftsmanship of the genre and unique personal voice. His Op. 23 is a transitional work that depicts his strong personality through explosive dynamics and melodies. The Op. 30, No. 2 sonata illustrates Beethoven's heroic middle period (1803-1814) where he triumphed over adversity. Beethoven's Op. 96, a transitional period work moving toward his late period (1815-1827), shows elements of his late style. The thoughtful mood reflects his personal relationships. The different periods in their piano-violin sonatas have different meanings for Mozart and Beethoven. Yet both composers' life events influenced the evolution of their piano-violin sonatas.