Nº 3, Op. 2 nº 3

Coursera just launched a new set of lectures, part 3, for the course “Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas” by Jonathan Biss.

Below some notes and references for Sonata Op. 2 nº 3 from part 2.

Beethoven composed this sonata in 1795. It is dedicated to Joseph Haydn (1732–1809).

It is the biggest and longest sonata of the early period (4 movements, 26-28 minutes). Of the three Op. 3 sonatas, number 3 is by a wide margin the biggest and most ambitious of the set. Its intense, misterioso character and harmonic daring were so out of step with the music of the time, in fact, that Haydn, Beethoven’s mentor and booster, advised him not to publish it. (…) opus 7 is the sonata that got the word “grand” appended to it – and it is, indeed, longer than opus 2 number 3, but this is the work in which Beethoven imposes the heroism of the concerto form onto sonata structure, and in doing so, again expands the possibilities of what a sonata can be.



Before there were MOOCs, András Schiff did a series of lecture-recitals of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas at Wigmore Hall (2004-6).

Andras Schiff: The Lectures Beethoven Sonatas Wigmore Hall from 2004–6

For a visual impression, all sonatas of Beethoven are available on YouTube in color-coded analysis using Adobe Audition.








Detailed analysis in the description.

See also


Artur Schnabel – 1935

Annie Fischer – 1977

Richard Goode – 1993

Daniel Barenboim, Berlin State Opera House, 2007
Barenboim on Beethoven Masterclass DVD

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