The Ten Sonatas for Piano and Violin by Ludwig Van Beethoven
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Among the many sonatas for violin and piano, Beethoven's ten have been centerpieces of the genre, not only because of their intrinsic excellence, but also historically because they illustrate the stylistic transition from the Classical era to the Romantic. To perform all ten violin sonatas is a major milestone in the career of a violinist. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) composed his ten Sonatas for Piano and Violin between 1797 and 1812. His first three sonatas, Op.12, in D major, A major, and E flat major, represent his Early Period (to about 1802), displaying the clarity, purity, and balance of the Classical style. Sonatas Op.23 in A minor and Op.24 ("Spring") in F major I consider transitional works, exhibiting characteristics of both Early and Middle (c. 1802- 18 15) Periods. In the three sonatas of Op.30, in A major, C minor, and G major, and in Op.47 ('Kreutzer") in A major, Beethoven shows Romantic traits and, especially in the C minor and Op.47 sonatas, expansive structure characteristic of his Middle Period. Op.96 in G major is a late middle-period work which in many respects foreshadows Beethoven's late period. The ten sonatas were presented in three recitals in Gildenhorn Recital Hall at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. My teacher and musical coach for this project was Elisabeth Adkins. On March 19, 2004, pianist Eliza Ching and I played Sonatas Op. 12 #1 in D major, Op.30 #I in A major, and Op.96 in G major. Sonatas Op.12 #3 in E-flat major, Op.23 in A minor, Op.30 #2 in C minor, and Op. 30 #3 in G major, were performed on December 7, 2005 with Edward Newman at the piano. On March 9, 2006, Sonatas Op. 12 #2 in A major, 9.24 in F major, and Op.47 in A major, with Edward Newman as pianist, finished the cycle. These three concerts, with accompanying programs, are documented in a digital audio format.