In 1820–1822, Ludwig van Beethoven wrote three of his last sonatas for piano. Each of them is a unique world. Sonatas, Op. 109–110, stand out for their profound artistic maturity, innovative approach and technical challenges. Opening theme of the penultimate Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110 is marked con amabilità (“with kindness”), which clearly conveys the lyrical and gentle mood of the first movement (Moderato cantabile molto espressivo). The second movement (Allegro molto), lasting merely two minutes, is a swift, playful scherzo full of sharp syncopations and dynamic contrasts. The third movement, beginning with a slow introduction (Adagio ma non troppo), a vocal-style recitative, followed by a doleful lamentation (Arioso dolente) is the heart of the opus. This “tearful song” gives way to a fugue in three voices (Allegro ma non troppo), which, gradually growing to its climax, dissolves in the Arioso’s pensive section. In its second appearance the fugue returns with an inverted theme and this time is developed to a victorious final chord.
Brimming with the might of creative intelligence, the Sonata No. 31 is performed by pianist Golda Vainberg-Tatz, the famous New York-based American and Israeli pedagogue. It is her musical dedication marking Beethoven’s 250th birth anniversary.
PIANO: GOLDA VAINBERG-TATZ (USA)