Sonatas genre in the works of L. Beethoven occupies a very important place. The classical form undergoes evolution and is transformed into a romantic one. His early opuses can be called the legacy of the Viennese classics Haydn and Mozart, but in mature works music is completely unrecognizable.
With time, the images of Beethoven’s sonatas completely disappear from external problems into subjective experiences, the internal dialogues of a person with himself.
Many believe that the novelty of Beethoven music is related to programmatic, that is, the endowment of each work in a specific way or plot. Some of his sonatas do have a title. However, it was the author who gave only one name: Sonata No. 26 has a small remark as an epigraph - "Lebe wohl". Each of the parts also has a romantic name: "Farewell", "Separation", "Meeting".
The rest of the sonatas were already entitled in the process of recognition and with the growth of their popularity. These names came up with friends, publishers, just fans of creativity. Each corresponded to the mood and associations that arose when immersed in this music.
The plot as such in Beethoven’s sonata cycles is absent, but the author so obviously could sometimes create dramatic tension subordinated to one semantic idea, so vividly conveyed the word with the help of phrasing and agogics that the subjects were asking for themselves. But he himself thought more philosophically than plotted.
Sonata № 8 "Pathetic"
One of the earliest works - Sonata No. 8, is called "Pathetic." The name “Great Pathetic” was given to her by Beethoven himself, but it was not indicated in the manuscript. This work was a kind of result of his early work. Here courageous heroic-dramatic images clearly manifested themselves. The 28-year-old composer, already beginning to feel hearing problems and perceiving everything in tragic colors, unwittingly began to relate to life philosophically. The bright theatrical music of the sonata, especially its first part, was the subject of discussion and controversy no less than the opera premiere.
The novelty of music was also in sharp contrasts, clashes and struggles between parties, while at the same time penetrating them into each other and creating unity and purposefulness of development. The name justifies itself completely, especially since the end marks a challenge to fate.
Sonata № 14 "Moonlight"
Full of lyrical beauty, the beloved work of many "Moonlight Sonata", was written in the tragic period of Beethoven's life: the collapse of hopes for a happy future with his beloved and the first manifestations of the inexorable disease. This is truly a composer's confession and his most heartfelt work. Sonata No. 14 received its beautiful name from Ludwig Relshtab, a well-known critic. This happened after the death of Beethoven.
In search of new ideas for the sonata cycle, Beethoven retreats from the traditional compositional scheme and comes to the form of a fantasy sonata. Breaking the framework of the classical form, Beethoven thus defies the canons, holding down his work and life.
Sonata № 15 "Pastoral"
Sonata No. 15 was named the author of the “Big Sonata”, but the publisher from Hamburg A. Krantz gave her a different name - “Pastoral”. Under it, it is not very well known, but it fully corresponds to the character and mood of the music. Pastel pacifying colors, lyrical and reserved-melancholic images of the work tell us about the harmonious state in which Beethoven was at the time of her writing. The author himself loved this sonata, and often played it.
Sonata № 21 "Aurora"
Sonata №21, which is called "Aurora", was written in one years with the composer's greatest achievement - the Heroic Symphony. The goddess of the morning dawn became the muse for this work. Images of a waking up nature and lyrical motifs symbolize his spiritual rebirth, optimistic mood and a surge of strength. This is one of the rare works of Beethoven, where there is joy, life-affirming power and light. Romain Rolland called this work "White Sonata". Folklore motifs and the rhythm of folk dance also indicate the proximity of this music to nature.
Sonata № 23 "Appassionata"
The name "Appassionata" Sonata No. 23 is also given not by the author, but by the publisher Krantz. Beethoven himself had in mind the idea of human courage and heroism, the predominance of reason and will, embodied in Shakespeare's The Tempest. The name that comes from the word "passion" is very appropriate in relation to the figurative structure of this music. This work has absorbed all the dramatic power and heroic pressure accumulated in the composer’s soul. The sonata is full of rebellious spirit, ideas of resistance and hard struggle. That perfect symphony, which was revealed in the Heroic symphony, is brilliantly embodied in this sonata.
Sonata № 26 "Farewell, Separation, Return"
Sonata №26, as already mentioned, is the only truly programmed work in the cycle. Its structure "Farewell, Separation, Return" - as the life cycle, where after separation the lovers meet again. The sonata was devoted to the departure of the Archduke Rudolph, a friend and student of the composer, from Vienna. Almost all of Beethoven’s friends left with him.
Sonata № 29 "Hammerklavir"
One of the last in the cycle, Sonata No. 29, is called "Hammerklavir". This music is written for the new hammer instrument created at the time. For some reason, this name was fixed only for 29 sonatas, although the Hammerklavier note stands in the manuscripts of all his later sonatas.