Our survey of Beethoven’s piano sonatas begins with the dazzling sonatas written when the composer was just 12 years old. Known as the “Electoral” sonatas because they were dedicated to the Elector of Bonn, these are not numbered among the traditional 32 piano sonatas. But recently they have been included by many organisations and performers as an invaluable addition to the canon. Despite not having an opus number, these sonatas were published during the composer’s lifetime and they are important to an understanding of his development as a composer.
This podcast goes as far as the famous “Waldstein” sonata of 1803, and all the recorded examples are drawn from Gerard Willems’ landmark series of recordings on ABC Classics.