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PIano Sonata no. 8 op. 5 no 2

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Allegro moderato con espressione – Aria con espressione – Allegro agitato con fuoco

First published in Paris by Érard in 1811, together with nos. 7 and 9, Hélène de Montgeroult’s Piano Sonata no. 8 in F minor shows the unexpectedly early influence on French composers of the Germanic piano repertoire, and in particular the works of Beethoven. Highly dramatic in character, this Sonata in F minor stands out strikingly from the other piano pieces composed in France at the same time. The first movement, in sonata form, opens with a theme based on a rhythmic complementarity between the two hands, both playing a continuum of quaver notes. As in the piano sonatas of Beethoven, the musical material is highly unified: the first theme of the Allegro thus proceeds by successive amplifications and transformations, in both the left hand and the right, of the same initial motif consisting of a held note and a rising quaver movement. The second theme, in the relative key of A flat major, introduced by a long trill evoking the piano concerto genre, is of a more songful character. The second movement features two highly expressive themes: the first one, in A flat major, is of a more contrapuntal nature; the second one, in the dominant key (E flat major) and vocal in style, is composed in the form of an accompanied mélodie. The work ends with a spirited fast movement full of tonal contrast, setting this sonata firmly in the vein of early Romanticism showing the signs of Franco-Germanic cultural influences.



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