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Sonate für Klavier (D-Dur) op. 28

Listening samples
1. Allegro (365 kB)
2. Andante (365 kB)
3. Scherzo. Allegro vivace (365 kB)
4. Rondo. Allegro, ma non troppo (365 kB)

dedicated to Joseph Reichsfreiherr von Sonnenfels

In the upper part of the sheet on which he had written his piano sonata op. 28, Beethoven noted down the date: 1801. The sonata is also called "Pastoral sonata" or "Little pastoral sonata" and is characterised as an idyllic and rural piece close to nature. What can not be heard in the music is Beethoven's health in the year when the sonata was written. In that year he first confessed the deterioration of his hearing to two friends, Franz Gerhard Wegeler and Karl Amenda. On June 29st, 1801, Beethoven told Wegeler, his childhood friend from Bonn and now a physician, that the jealous demon, namely his poor health, played havoc with him, and that for three years his hearing had contiuously worsened - a catastrophe for a practising musician. Beethoven asked Wegeler not to share this information with others. Only a few days later on July 1st, 1801, Beethoven confided in another close friend, Karl Amenda, who had moved to the Baltic states, and told him that his hearing had diminished ever since Amenda had left Vienna and that he did not know whether the condition could be cured. He also asked Amenda to keep this a secret. On November 16th, 1801, Beethoven again turned to Wegeler and sent him a letter asking about a possible therapy. He told Wegeler how sad and bleak the past two years had been for him with his hearing resembling a ghost and he himself shunning human contact. In the same letter, however, Beethoven gives evidence of his strong will to live, showing clearly the possibility of a coexistence of music and serious suffering: I will tempt fate and it shall not defeat me. Oh, living a life a thousand times is so wonderful but a quiet life, I could not bear. Thus Beethoven accepted his destiny and thereby always managed to express hope and joy in his works. (J.R.)

Music manuscripts
Skizzen, HCB BSk 10/58
Skizzen, HCB Mh 68
Autograph, op. 28, BH 61

First editions
Originalausgabe, op. 28, Bureau des Arts et d'Industrie, 28, J. Van der Spek C op. 28
Originalausgabe, op. 28, Bureau des Arts et d'Industrie, 28; Teilscan, C 28 / 15

Joseph Edler von Sonnenfels (1732-1817) - Radierung, vermutlich von Johann David Schleuen (der Ältere), vielleicht nach einer eigenen Zeichnung, um 1770 ?, B 2506
Joseph Reichsfreiherr von Sonnenfels (1732-1817) - Fotografie eines Stich von J. Jacobs nach einem Gemälde von F. Hefner, vielleicht unter Verwendung eines Vorbildes von Johann Baptist von Lampi, um 1910 ?, NE 81, Band II, Nr. 331
Bibliographic data in library catalogue

Bibliographic data in library catalogue

Manuscript sources in other libraries
Berlin: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung mit Mendelssohn-Archiv
Österreich, Wien: Wienbibliothek, Musiksammlung
Schweden, Stockholm: Stiftelsen Musikkulturens främjande
Schweiz, Cologny-Genève: Fondation Martin Bodmer - Bibliotheca Bodmeriana
USA, Washington (D.C.): The Library of Congress

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E-Mail: bibliothek@beethoven-haus-bonn.de