Violin sonata no.2
Violin Sonata no.2 Op.12 no.2 in A major:
This violin sonata is probably the most innocent and childlike sonata of the set of ten sonatas. It has a very playful character and the minor second movement can also be seen with a childlike view. With the concluding third movement, that changing constantly between melodic and rhythmic parts, the sonata finishes with a big statement of happiness that will give the listener lots of joy.
First movement: This movement is written in a quick 6/8 metre. The violin at first looks like a simple accompaniment but it is this aspect gives the character, that the piece is build on. The piano has the melody and together both instruments blend perfectly in the music that presents joy and playfulness. One can almost say that with the accents, the diminuendos and crescendos, one is listening to a child that is trying to do lots of naughty things. Due to the modulations in the beginning of the second section, the surprises keep on coming. But these surprises are within the character that dominates the whole first movement. Due to this, this piece has a much simpler structure than the first or third sonata and stays very basic.
Second movement: An Andante that is more moving than a general Andante, because of the tempo marking: 'più tosto Allegretto'. This piece stays a surprise, due to all the rests between the phrases and musical sentences. A very playful major, second, theme brings a contrast between the major and minor and has a conversation between the right hand of the piano and the violin. The minor part repeats itself after the finishing major section. It is far from identical to the first part because of its changes in both the parts of the violin and the piano. It is more like a slow movement, regarding the embellishments, from Mozart, for example, writen in the piano sonata Kv.332 in F major. The movement finishes with a remembrance of the major part, now written in minor but with the same dialogue and the same rhythms.
Third movement: The last movement of the second sonata is a Allegro piacévolle, which means: pleasant/cheerful. This piece is, like the last movement of the first sonata, full of nice rhythmical accents that are not on the main beats giving the beautiful melodies something playful. Beethoven uses the melodic and the more rhythmical parts and tries to make contrasts with these sections. Sometimes doubling both the violin and the piano to give it an even more melodic outcome. The drive that is often given by the accompanying figures, presented mainly in the piano part, gives the flow of this last movement. To give an even more playful character Beethoven makes a huge, six bar, hemiola, that imposes the listener to hear a whole different metre but the last concluding cadence shows completely otherwise, bringing the metric-feeling, back to the normal ¾ metre.