Cello Sonata No. 3 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69 was written in 1808, during his middle period. The sonata was composed in the same year as the Piano Trios Op. 70 and the Choral Fantasy, and the same year the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, which were begun earlier, premiered. It was first performed in March 1809 by cellist Nikolaus Kraft and pianist Dorothea von Ertmann, and dedicated to Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein, who was a cellist himself.
In the course of his life, Beethoven composed five sonatas for cello and piano. The Op. 69 was the first he had written since his Op. 5 over a decade earlier. Mark Kaplan writes: "In general, the writing in op. 69 is thinner than in the early cello sonatas ... greater compositional technique allowed Beethoven the possibility of using fewer notes with confidence." The contemporary cellist Steven Isserlis describes it as the first cello sonata in history to give the two instruments equal importance.
A performance takes about 25 minutes.
The work contains three movements, with an 18-bar slow introduction before the third movement:
The first movement opens with an expansive melody with cello, as follows:
The piano then plays a cadenza-like flourish, which leads into a repetition of the opening theme, this time played in octaves by the piano. A bridge passage follows, leading to a second theme, which is also repeated. The development gives greater emphasis to the first theme. The movement is in sonata form.
- Cello Sonata No. 3: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- Cello Sonata No. 3 (Beethoven) at the Mutopia Project — Allegro, ma non tanto
- Cello Sonata No. 3 (Beethoven) at the Mutopia Project — Scherzo
- Cello Sonata No. 3 (Beethoven) at the Mutopia Project — Adagio cantabile — finale
- John Mangum. "Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 3 in A, Op. 69". LA Phil. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- Matthew Rye (1996). "Cello Sonata in A major, Op 69". Hyperion Records. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- Stanley, Glenn. The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven. Cambridge University Press, 2000. p. 140.
- Isserlis, Steven (12 January 2007), "How I fell in love with Ludwig", The Guardian, retrieved 25 August 2015