Sonata No. 1 in F Major, Op.5/1 for cello and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven
Edited by Pierre Fournier. Published by International
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was the most influential and admired composer of the Romantic Era, and is considered today to be among the greatest composers of classical music to ever live. His music is known variously for its compositional rigor, sublime beauty, organic development, gripping urgency, and life-affirming, universal humanism. He left a significant mark on almost every classical genre he worked in, from string quartets to symphonies.
At the beginning of the 19th century, string sonatas were often considered piano sonatas with instrumental accompaniment. This was especially true for the cello, which was often relegated to the role of basso continuo. Beethoven's five cello sonatas-truly the first of their kind-brought the instrument into the spotlight. They have since become the most significant cycle in the cello repertory after the Bach suites.
This first sonata in F Major, Op.5/1 (along with its companion in G minor, both 1796) was dedicated to the cello-loving King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia and premiered by the respected cellist and pedagogue Jean-Louis Duport alongside the composer himself. It is classical in proportions: two Adagio-Allegro movements, with the piano still playing an outsized role. Edited by Pierre Fournier. Intermediate-advanced level, grade 4.