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Violin Sonata No.8 in G Major Op.30 No.3
 Composed by Beethoven, Ludwig van
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Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Violin Sonata No. 8 in G Major Op.30 No. 3  

Published in 1803 with a dedication to the Czar of Russia, Beethoven’s Op.30 comprises three Sonatas for violin and piano, though following Mozart’s example, the composer titled them 'Sonata for the piano with the accompaniment of the violin'. The third of the set is in G major, (the key also of Beethoven’s last and tenth Violin Sonata, Op 96). By contrast, No. 8 has a different character. For Nigel Fortune (writing in The Beethoven Companion) '….it is so short and unpretentious that it can easily be under-valued. Yet there is no Beethoven sonata remotely like it, and it is one of his wittiest and most delightful works.' Another English writer, Gerald Larner, has suggested that this Sonata could be termed the 'pastoral' among Beethoven’s violin sonatas, and not only because of the echo of the last movement of his Pastoral Piano Sonata just before the end of the exposition. He then points out other features supporting his suggestion, such as the ‘rumble’ at the opening with its not undramatic consequence and the rustic final movement with a pipe-and-drone accompaniment on the piano and a country dance tune on the violin. As well as the formal Minuet in E flat major opening the central movement, this also contains elements of rondo and slow movement while glancing at the related keys of E flat and C minor before returning to its tonic haven.

Beethoven was thirty-three in the year of Op 30, coming between his Second and Third Symphonies. Despite the onset of deafness, illness, depression and personal frustrations, the lyricism of this Eighth Sonata reflects a happier side of his life.

© Felix Aprahamian

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