Thomas plays Ludwig van Beethoven – Sonata in E Flat Major op. 27 no 1, 1st Movement, Andante-Allegro-Andante

As one of the most famous and influential composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven, remains the crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music.

Beethoven composed his sonata no. 13 ‘Quasi una fantasia’ Op. 27 no. 1 in 1800-1, dedicated to Princess Josephine von Liechtenstein. The sonata is laid out in four movements: Andante – Allegro – Andante, Allegro molto e vivace , Adagio con espressione and Allegro vivace.

The four movements are arranged in a slow-fast-slow-fast order but the first movement abandons the typical sonata form. Instead, it is structured as a ternary beginning in an andante tempo with a contrasting middle section in C major.

It begins with one of those colorless melodies that only Beethoven would take up as a main theme but later on we definitely understand the meaning of the entire musical texture and that every note is an integral part of the entire musical process. A clever interlude that passes by too fast in order for it to be considered an independent movement.

This sonata is much about Beethoven’s excellence as a pianist where he is showing us what delicate articulation and dazzling virtuosity can create. A movement that has tenderness, beauty, virtuosity, such incredible delicacy and suggests an unusual form and intensity of expression.