Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49, No. 2 (Barenboim)

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The Piano Sonata No. 19 in G minor, Op. 49, No. 1, and Piano Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49, No. 2, are short (and are considered relatively simple sonatas by some pianists) by Ludwig van Beethoven, published in 1805 (although the works were likely composed several years earlier). Both works are approximately eight minutes in length, and are split into two movements. These sonatas are referred to as the Leichte Sonaten to be given to his friends and students.

The Piano Sonata No. 20 was possibly written around the time Beethoven composed the Third and Fourth sonatas, but because it was published in Vienna in 1805, nearly a decade after it was actually written, it was assigned then-current opus and sonata numbers, which classified it alongside works from the composer's middle period. Very similar circumstances caused Beethoven's B-flat Piano Concerto to appear as his second, even though it predated the first.

Beethoven often suppressed works in his early years, either revising them later for publication or determining that they were not fit. In fact, he withheld many early works from publication for life. In the case of these two sonatas, it was Caspar van Beethoven, the composer's brother, who decided they were worthy of publication. Against the composer's will, he presented them to a publishing house, thus allowing posterity to hear works that might otherwise have been lost or destroyed.

Sonata No. 20, Op. 49 No. 2 in G Major

This sonata is a relatively simple work, featuring less sophistication than most of the other piano sonatas. Strangely, there are no dynamic indications in the autograph or first edition. It is considered the easier of the two "Easy Sonatas", and is also considered the easiest of all the Beethoven piano sonatas.

Allegro ma non troppo
Tempo di Menuetto

Solista: Daniel Barenboim


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