Shifting reception: Beethoven`s late style and op.109
Davies, James Quail
Musicological modes of interpreting the late style works of Ludwig van Beethoven can be found to locate themselves between four historical extremes: “Contemporary”, “Romantic”, “Socio-Political” and “Formalist”. Given this background assumption, it becomes possible to document four opposing readings of a single late style work. This procedure of contriving shifting expressive meaning in a piece of music is applied, in this report, to the example of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in E (Op. 109). Taken together, the disparate meanings and the contradictory musicological sites of reception which they represent, can be shown to bring critical insight to a fertile and wide-ranging appreciation of Op. 109.