Beethoven’s 250th anniversary: R. Larry Todd plays the Piano Sonata in A Major, Op. 2 No. 2

This video premiered on Friday, December 18.

Video is introduced with prefatory notes by Professor R. Larry Todd

Beethoven: Piano Sonata in A Major, Op. 2 No. 2

I. Allegro vivace (begins at 17:55)
II: Largo appassionato (begins at 25:05)
III: Scherzo: Allegretto (begins at 31:47)
IV: Rondo: Grazioso (begins at 35:31)

To help celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), R. Larry Todd offers a new recording and discussion of the Piano Sonata in A major, Op. 2 No. 2 (1796). A product of the composer’s early Viennese years, the sonata reveals Beethoven’s efforts to find his own creative voice even as he embraces the high classicism of Haydn and Mozart. The result is an innovative, four-movement sonata dedicated to Beethoven’s teacher, Haydn, but also exploring what would become an idiosyncratic marker of Beethoven’s own style-the determined use of musical conflicts, accomplished in this case through unexpected, at times quirky changes in dynamics, articulation (legato vs. staccato), and register.

R. Larry Todd is Arts & Sciences Professor of Music, and co-author, with Marc Moskovitz, of Beethoven’s Cello: Five Sonatas and Their World (Boydell & Brewer, 2017), 2018 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award.


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