Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Beethoven: The 35 Piano Sonatas

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Beethoven: The 35 Piano Sonatas

Article excerpt

Beethoven: The 35 Piano Sonatas. Edited by Barry Cooper, fingering by David Ward. London: The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, 2007. 3 v. + 3 CDs. ISBN 978-1-86096245-5 (v.l); 978-1-86096-246-2 (v. 2); 978-1-86096-247-9 (v. 3). Paperback. £16.95 ($25) per volume; £50 (ca. $74) for 3-volume set in slipcase.

Most pianists speak reverently of Beethoven's "32," referring to his complete oeuvre of fortepiano sonatas. However, many do not realize that they are omitting the three sonatas published in 1783 when the composer was a twelve-year-old student in Bonn. This publication is the first critical collection of the sonatas to include the three Bonn sonatas among Beethoven's other thirty-two. Cooper, a highly regarded Beethoven scholar, examined available autograph sources and first editions, and some of the variant readings are listed in his critical notes. However, the dual purpose of this new collection was to provide a performing edition for practical use as well as study. At the end of each volume, Cooper provides a commentary on the history of each sonata and approaches to the interpretation of some passages, some of which was taken from notes by Donald Francis Tovey (from his 1931 edition for the Associated Board) and by Carl Czerny's On the Proper Performance of All Beethoven's Works for the Piano (ed. …

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