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Andante in F major 'Andante favori', WoO57


The ‘Waldstein’ sonata was not the only occasion on which Beethoven radically altered the nature of an already completed work by replacing one of its movements: the finale of the A major violin sonata Op 30 No 1 was removed, and found a new home in the hastily-composed ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata Op 47; and in the last year of his life, Beethoven yielded to a request from the publisher and original performers of his string quartet Op 130, and supplied a new piece to replace the immensely demanding fugal finale. In the case of the ‘Waldstein’ sonata’s original slow movement, Beethoven had it published separately in 1803, and it was after it was reissued two years later that it acquired the nickname of ‘Andante favori’.

Besides its stylistic incongruousness, Beethoven may have been prompted to replace the ‘Andante favori’ because its inclusion would have resulted in two rondos placed side by side. A memorable feature of the Andante’s theme is that it incorporates a composed fade-out which makes way for the sound of distant horns. In the various reprises of the theme during the course of the piece, the left-hand part becomes increasingly intricate—an idea that is counteracted in the abridged final return, where a moment of stasis ushers in an elaborate coda in which the music finds its rest over a long pedal-note deep in the bass, allowing the piano to resonate with the aid of the sustaining pedal—as it so often does in the sonata’s finale. Of the rondo’s two intervening episodes, the first is graceful and balletic, while the second, featuring ‘running’ octaves, is more energetic.

from notes by Misha Donat © 2018


Beethoven: Beethoven Unbound
Studio Master: SIGCD527Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 10 on SIGCD527 CD5 [10'02] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD527 disc 5 track 10

Recording date
3 October 2015
Recording venue
Wigmore Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Judith Sherman
Recording engineer
Simon Vout
Hyperion usage
  1. Beethoven: Beethoven Unbound (SIGCD527)
    Disc 5 Track 10
    Release date: March 2018
    Download only
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