from Haydn to Beethoven‏

by richibi

in my pantheon of pianists Sviatoslav Richter, 1915-1997, 
is a paragon, if you’ll pardon that parade of p’s, here he
plays two not especially eminent Classical masterworks, 
though neither not uninteresting nor unimportant
Haydn, along with other composers of his time, wrote
sonatas mostly for their students, young ladies frequently
looking for marriageable advantage, he saved the cream
therefore of his art for his more public pieces, symphonies,
oratorios, string quartets, these last, to my mind, his most 
impressive vehicle
you’ll nevertheless be delighted by this effervescent musical
Richter plays it in the dark, in his later years a personal 
it’s 1984
you’ll note in a Classical musical composition even the
adagio, the slow movement, will be wistful, never even
melancholy, never ever forlorn, considered impudent, 
impertinent, by a genteel aristocracy, their code of
noblesse oblige would’ve frowned on emotional excess, 
considering it undignified, common 
Beethoven’s fire bursts through these Classical strictures
already in his very first piano sonata, opus 2, no 1
adhering to the Classical sonata form, even its intention,
but he’s revealed unequivocally by his passion and fury 
his adagio here might be lilting but it’s unmistakably
at the very least emotionally compromised, beyond
wistful, though Beethoven at this point, is giving it an
honest try, the movements are in traditional order
despite an extra fourth instalment, and of course any
extra length, as I’ve earlier pointed out, always means
more substance, gravitas, already something of an 
impertinence to the traditional, more unbending
contemporary social cast
by the prestissimo, the last and appropriately most
explosive of the movements, he is anything but courtly,
his music already, three years before the Revolution in
Francewill no longer submit to imperious aristocracies
flexing no longer tolerable muscle, he cannot, in his very
bones, be confined to merely niceties, and you can hear it
Beethoven can no longer be Mozart, Haydn, though he
has studied profoundly at their schools, his are 
tempestuous seeds in that fertile, their Classical, soil, of,
just round the corner, its flower, the more unruly but
profoundly introspective Romantic Movement, the
exploration, the prioritization, of the human soul,
the burgeoning era of human rights 
Beethoven will define it, set it firmly on its path, give it
an anthem, a credo, a forthright example, a solid ground
to build a new world on
the piano sonata, opus 2, no 1, of three in his second
opus, is Beethoven’s very first piano sonata, it’s 1795   
stick around, this is just the start

* Anthony van Hoboken, 1887-1983, rather than
   chronologically like Köchel Mozart, organized Haydn’s
   work according to its musical form, l for symphonies for
   instance, lll for string quartets, XVl for piano sonatas,
   of which this is the 24th, therefore Hob. XVI 24van
   first published in 1957
   an alternate method, published in 1963, from Christa    
   Landon, is arranged chronologically, where this is
   Haydn’s piano sonata no 39, incidentally, of 1773
   confusing maybe, but kind of like the EEU being
   referred to just as often as Europe, same place, 
   different organizational catalogue, not so tough