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Cello Sonata in A major, Op 69
composer
sketched in 1807; completed in spring 1808; published by Breitkopf & Härtel in April 1809; dedicated to Count Ignaz von Gleichenstein; first performed in March 1809 by Nikolaus Kraft and Baroness Dorothea von Ertmann

Recordings
'Beethoven: Cello Sonatas' (CDA67981/2)
Beethoven: Cello Sonatas
Buy by post £20.00 CDA67981/2  2CDs   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Beethoven: Cello Sonatas, Vol. 1' (CDA67633)
Beethoven: Cello Sonatas, Vol. 1
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67633 
'Beethoven: Complete Cello Music' (CDD22004)
Beethoven: Complete Cello Music
Buy by post £27.98 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDD22004  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service  
Details
Movement 1: Allegro, ma non tanto
Movement 2: Scherzo: Allegro molto
Movement 3: Adagio cantabile –
Movement 4: Allegro vivace

Cello Sonata in A major, Op 69
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The single Sonata of Op 69 was sketched in 1807, some ten years after the Op 5 pair and concurrently with the Fifth Symphony (Op 67). It was completed in the spring of 1808 in Heiligenstadt and contracted to the publishers Breitkopf & Härtel in September, who issued it the following April in an edition full of printer’s errors. The dedication of the Sonata was to Count Ignaz von Gleichenstein, a Secretary at the War Department and a trusted friend of the composer. It had been performed for the first time a month earlier, in March 1809, by the cellist Nikolaus Kraft (the son of Anton Kraft and a member of Schuppanzigh’s famous string quartet) and Baroness Dorothea von Ertmann, one of the greatest of the first generation of Beethoven pianists.

The lyrical A major world of this third Sonata conveys as well as any other work of the period the self-confident mood that Beethoven was in during the latter half of the first decade of the nineteenth century, before his life was disrupted by the French invasion of Vienna in the middle of 1809. The first movement opens rather like the slightly earlier Fourth Piano Concerto (1806) with, in this case, the cello entering softly and unaccompanied with a theme that gradually builds to a short piano flourish, repeated with the roles reversed. A vigorous bridge passage leads to the second subject, a combination of rising scales and downward arpeggios, again repeated with the instrumental roles inverted. The triplets of the bridge return with the codetta to the exposition which is dominated by an attractive idea new to the movement. The development concentrates on the music of the first subject which in a foreshortened form eventually opens the recapitulation, before reappearing at the end of the movement. There follows the only Scherzo of these Sonatas and it is typical of the form as Beethoven developed it during his ‘middle period’ works, with its length approaching that of the outer movements, achieved by repeating the almost waltz-like ‘trio’ between three statements of the syncopated main scherzo theme. The slow introduction to the finale is shorter than those to the first movements of the two earlier sonatas, with more of a cantabile continuity to it. The Allegro vivace recalls the opening of the first ‘Rasumovsky’ String Quartet in both the configuration of its opening theme and in its sunny mood which continues into the restrained second subject where cello and piano alternate short phrases.

from notes by Matthew Rye © 1996

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66282 track 3
Scherzo: Allegro molto
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-88-28203
Duration
5'49
Recording date
31 August 1987
Recording venue
Seldon Hall, Haberdashers' Aske's School, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Beethoven: Complete Cello Music, Vol. 2 (CDA66282)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: October 1988
    Deletion date: September 1996
    Superseded by CDD22004
  2. Beethoven: Complete Cello Music (CDD22004)
    Disc 2 Track 3
    Release date: September 1996
    Deletion date: August 2006
    2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
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