Narrative Analysis of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5
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The Piano Concerto in E-flat Major, op.73, completed in 1811, represents Beethoven's fifth and final contribution to this genre. This paper investigates the first movement of the Fifth Piano Concerto in light of the heroic style premise. To do this, I draw on the recent narrative theories of Byron Almén, the semiotics of topic by Leonard Ratner and Raymond Monelle, Robert Hatten’s method of discovering music meaning, and lastly, James Hepokoski’s and Warren Darcy’s work in formal analysis. Following a brief account of the historical background of the concerto and a survey of the literature, the essay discusses narrativity and topic combined with sonata theory in greater detail.