Weber began his Piano Sonata No 2 in A flat major Op 39 in 1814 and completed it two years later when he was thirty. Its composition was divided between Prague, where Weber was Kapellmeister of the theatre, and Berlin, where he moved with his fiancée, the soubrette Caroline Brandt, for her ‘star singing engagement’, and the Sonata was undoubtedly meant as a personal performing vehicle. Benedict tells us that the composer was ‘wrapped up in the love of his future partner for life’ when he wrote it. Certainly the work’s spacious, warm lyricism, intimate sentiment, woodland atmosphere and flowing modulations suggest greater personal maturity and a vastly different inner life than the extroverted deftness of the Sonata No 1. Movements one, two and four seem to share the special grace of human love while the third, Menuetto capriccioso, is a tour de force of delicious whimsy contrasted with heart-on-sleeve romantic gesture. To Benedict, Weber’s Op 39 was ‘the grandest and most complete composition of the master’ because of its ‘originality of form, deep pathos and poetical feeling’.
from notes by Frank Cooper © 2011