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Sonate für Klavier und Violoncello (A-Dur) op. 69

Listening samples
1. Allegro ma non tanto (365 kB)
2. Scherzo. Allegro molto (365 kB)
3. Adagio cantabile (365 kB)
4. Allegro vivace (365 kB)

Composition
Beginn Herbst/Winter 1807 / 1808, Abschluss vor September 1808
dedicated to Ignaz Freiherr von Gleichenstein

All in all Beethoven composed five sonatas for piano and violoncello (op. 5, No. 1 and 2, op. 69 and op. 102, No. 1 and 2), as well as three variation cycles for the same instrumentation (op. 66, WoO 45 and WoO 46). The sonata op. 69 was written between winter 1807/08 and spring 1808, together with the Fifth Symphony op. 67. Beethoven completed the cello sonata in June 1808 when he had already started working on the Sixth Symphony, op. 68. In September 1808 he sold the sonata together with the two piano trios op. 70 to publisher Härtel from Leipzig. The sonata for violoncello and piano op. 69 is one of the masterpieces in cello literature. The basic difficulty of this instrumentation lies in the registers and different sound capacities of the two instruments involved. The technical development of the piano made much progress in Beethoven's lifetime, its scope and sound improved tremendously. The violoncello, on the opposite, took a backseat due to its deeper sounds. Consequently, its importance compared to the piano dwindled. In his composition, Beethoven was able to reconcile the instruments and synchronise them. He achieved the best possible balance and managed to ideally adapt the registers of both instruments. (J.R.)

Music manuscripts
Skizzen, HCB BSk 9/57
Skizzen, HCB Mh 76
Autograph, op. 69, 1. Satz, Partitur

First editions
Originalausgabe, op. 69, Stimmen, Breitkopf und Härtel, 1328
Titelauflage, op. 69, Stimmen, Breitkopf und Härtel, 1328
Titelauflage, op. 69, Stimmen, Breitkopf und Härtel, 1328; Teilscan
Frühdruck, op. 69, Stimmen, Artaria, 2060

Scores (bibliographic data)

Written documents
Brief an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Wien, 8. Juni 1808
Brief an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Heiligenstadt, Ende Juli 1808
Brief an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Heiligenstadt, etwa 10. Juli 1808
Eigentumsbestätigung für Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Wien, 14. September 1808
Billet an Josephine Deym, Wien, vielleicht Herbst 1809
Brief an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Wien, 7. Januar 1809
Brief an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Wien, 4. März 1809
Brief an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Wien, 28. März 1809
Brief an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Wien, 26. Juli 1809
Brief mit Fehlerverzeichnis an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Wien, kurz nach dem 26. Juli 1809
Brief an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Wien, 3. August 1809
Brief an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Wien, 8. August 1809
Brief an Ignaz von Gleichenstein, Wien, Februar 1810

Pictures
Ignaz Freiherr von Gleichenstein (1778-1828) - Lithographie nach einer wohl von Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld stammenden Zeichnung, 1. Hälfte 19. Jahrhundert ?
Ignaz Freiherr von Gleichenstein (1778-1828) - Fotografie einer Lithographie nach einer wohl von Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld stammenden Zeichnung, um 1985

Literature (bibliographic data)

Manuscript sources in other libraries
Berlin: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung mit Mendelssohn-Archiv
Dänemark; KĂžbenhavn: Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatoriums Bibliotek
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque du Conservatoire, in: Bibliothèque nationale de France
Großbritannien, London: The British Library
Niederlande, Amsterdam: Universiteitsbibliotheek
Österreich, Wien: Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Archiv, Bibliothek und Sammlungen

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