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Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity 2023

Collaboration through Beethoven’s Spring Sonata

Rebecca Briesemeister

Senior, Instrumental Music Education and Violin Performance


Originally published in 1801, Sonata in F Major is often known as Beethoven’s “Spring” Sonata for piano and violin. Beethoven is well known for being one of the main transitional composers between the Classical and Romantic eras. Beethoven’s compositions are typically broken into three periods based on what musical era they fit into; the “Spring” Sonata is part of his earliest period. During this period, Beethoven was still following many rules of classical era music through form and musical keys while slightly straying away from these rules by adding an extra movement to this sonata and many parts being almost emotional, both uncommon ideas for classical music in the early 19th century. By studying and learning this sonata through collaboration and performance, Beethoven’s exceptional part writing comes to attention through melodies that constantly build upon the violin and piano voices. While this piece has been challenging to learn technically, the biggest learning experience has come from constant collaboration between two musicians that typically play solo repertoire. Beethoven’s music is also elaborately written with detailed dynamic and expression markings that add to the importance of collaboration to the piece. While Beethoven’s “Spring” Sonata evokes the sound of a warm day, it also sets the tone for what is to come during the romantic and later eras of music. Through studying this work and Beethoven’s legacy, it has become clear his impact on art music today while also helping us grow as collaborative musicians through various techniques and details expressed throughout the piece.

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