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Thesis 1

Thesis Title: Beethoven's Works for Violin and Piano
Degree Type: MA
Degree Specialism: Musicology
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: 2007
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: Waterford Institute of Technology
No. of Volumes (no. of pages): 1 (175pp.)
Thesis Location / Link: www.eprints.wit.ie/954/
Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation is to examine Beethoven’s works for violin and piano and to investigate their impact on the development of writing for the violin. Although Beethoven received violin lessons, they did not have any lasting benefit, as his attempts to play the instrument were far from successful. His influences when writing for the violin were French violinists such as Kreutzer and Rode. By the late 18th century when Beethoven began to compose his works for violin and piano the future of violin playing was focussed on the French school of performance, especially with Viotti, who was the first to champion Stradivari violins and to use the newly developed Tourte bow. During much of the 18th century the ‘accompanied sonata’ was very popular. Despite the fact that the violin was recognised as an equal partner by the 1770’s, when Beethoven was composing his early works in the 1790’s for violin and piano the latter was the dominant instrument. His first four sonatas, Op. 12/1-3 and Op. 23, follow the three-movement plan and are typical of the eighteenth-century but are stylistically advanced over his earlier works for violin and piano. It is the fifth sonata, Op. 24, consisting of four movements that mark his greatest early advance in violin writing. The three Op. 30 violin sonatas express a significant development in musical style and signify a parting with his predecessors, especially the four movements of no. 2. The ninth sonata, Op. 47, is Beethoven’s most demanding and best known sonata followed by his four-movement Op. 96 sonata written after a gap of ten years.

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