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Shyam Narayanan playing Beethoven's "Grande Sonate Pathetique" op. 13 in C minor

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Published on Dec 17, 2012

1. Grave (Slowly, with solemnity) -- Allegro di molto e con brio (Quickly, with much vigour): The first movement with a slow introductory theme, marked Grave. The exposition, marked Allegro di molto con brio, is in 2/2 time (alla breve) in the home key of C minor and features three themes. Theme 1 features an aggressive rocket theme covering two octaves, accompanied with constant tremolo octaves in the left hand. Beethoven then makes use of unorthodox mode-mixture, as he presents the second theme in E-flat minor rather than its customary parallel major. This theme is more lyrical and makes use of grace notes and crossed hands. Theme 3 has modulated to the mediant, E-flat major, and features an Alberti-type figuration for the bass with tremolo. A codetta, with ideas from the opening allegro, closes the section. The development section begins in the key of G minor. In this section, Beethoven extends Haydn's compositional practice by returning to the introductory section. After this reappearance of the Grave, the composer generates suspense with an extended dominant preparation. The recapitulation brings back the themes of the exposition in different keys: themes 1 and 3 are played in the tonic key of C minor, then theme 2 is played in the unexpected key of F minor but then returns to the tonic key. The coda is very dramatic and includes a brief reminder of the Grave before ending with a swift cadence. (from Wikipedia)

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