Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Peter Amstutz

Committee Co-Chair

William Haller

Committee Member

Keith Jackson

Committee Member

James Miltenberger

Committee Member

Feng Yang


In the early 19th century, two composers, Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), each wrote one piano sonata with a "Farewell" title. The Bohemian musician Dussek was one of the renowned composers of his era. He was also famous as a pianist, with a brilliant and virtuosic style of playing. Beethoven was a German composer who has become enshrined as one of the major representatives of the Classical period, as well as of classical music in general. He wrote numerous masterpieces covering almost every known genre of his time, including symphony, chamber music, concerto, sonata, mass, and opera.;There is no conclusive proof that these two composers ever met or that either knew the other's music. Nonetheless, the "Farewell" sonatas by Dussek and Beethoven are both in the key of E-flat Major, and the titles of these sonatas were given by the composers themselves. Dussek's "Farewell" sonata was composed in 1800, ten years before Beethoven's. Even though detailed historical information regarding Dussek's "Farewell" sonata is not known, some scholars believe that this sonata was inspired by Dussek's departure from London, where he had lived for ten years. Beethoven's Sonata Op. 81a was composed to mourn the departure of Archduke Rudolph (1788-1831) on the approach of the French army. This sonata consists of three movements, and each movement has an individual title: (1) Das Lebewohl (Les Adieux), (2) Abwesenheit ( L'Absence), and (3) Das Wiedersehen ( Le Retour).;This research document presents a brief comparison of the two "Farewell" sonatas through a discussion of form, tonality, and texture. Particular focus is given to the similarities and dissimilarities between the two sonatas. This research paper consists of six chapters: (1) Introduction, (2) Review of existing literature, (3) Brief biographies of Dussek and Beethoven, (4) Brief background of the two "Farewell" sonatas, (5) Analytical views of the "Farewell" sonatas by Dussek and Beethoven, and (6) Summary and comparison.