Coda: The Sonata after Beethoven

Course video 24 of 52

For this lecture, the focus will be on the Sonata Op. 109, the first of the final three, in which Beethoven’s decades-long grappling with the form comes to its astonishing conclusion. We will also look back at the early period—the Sonata Op. 10, No. 1 (the seventh he wrote) in particular—for the purposes of “zooming out,” and examining the evolution that took place in the interim: an evolution not just of form, but of style, of musical language, of Beethoven’s conception of the role of music. This lecture will also include a discussion of Beethoven’s legacy—specifically, of the way in which his music came to represent simultaneously the highest possible aspiration and the most insurmountable problem for generations of composers who followed him.

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