Beethoven – Piano Sonata 28 in A, Op. 101 (1816)

Beethoven : Op, 101. Original MS of the adagio.

Beethoven : Op, 101. Original MS of the adagio.

This work never deserts the open spaces of the earthbound mind. The opening allegretto, whose presence returns before the commencement of the final movement’s optimistic fugue, is a marvel of beauty restrained, but also freed of the pulse of time. In the fugue, the rising three note figure that accelerates the diatonic fall of the first two notes of the phrase to its concluding third is a device not infrequently employed by other composers. One I am reminded of immediately is the theme of the opening sinfonia of Bach’s Cantata 156, which is the epigraph to the eulogy for my father, “Ashes of the Oceanic Sun,” in my book, Caravaggio’s Dagger.

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