The sonata op. 101 had an unusually long gestation. Beethoven’s earliest sketches date from 1815. The first publication of the “difficult to execute Sonata in A“, as the composer called it, appeared in 1817. Beethoven’s nationalistic feelings during this period led him to seek German substitutes for traditional Italian musical terminology. The autograph of op. 101 is inconsistent in this respect, the outer movements having markings in Italian, and the central march in German. The first edition uses both languages throughout as does this Bärenreiter Urtext edition. In January of 1817 Beethoven informed his publisher that henceforth all his works should use “Hammerklavier“ in place of “Pianoforte“. This instruction was carried out only in connection with op. 101 and op. 106, the latter bears the nickname of “Hammerklavier“ to this day.
In this edition great care was given to a user-friendly layout which on the one hand was to reflect the flow and tempo of the music and on the other hand was to facilitate the study of this technically demanding work by a transparent and clear appearance on the page and good page turns.
Particularly enlightening in this edition is the Preface which includes information on idiosyncracies of Beethoven’s notation (Slurs, “Punkte” versus “Striche”) as well as on aspects of performance practice (Instruments, Pedalling, Tempo, Dynamics, Articulation, Accents, Ornaments, Repeats).
- Urtext edition at the cutting edge of scholarship
- Critical Commentary (Eng)
- Good page turns
- Valuable notes on period performance practice (Eng/Ger)