Slippedisc daily comfort zone (56): This should have been the Waldstein Sonata

Slippedisc daily comfort zone (56): This should have been the Waldstein Sonata


norman lebrecht

June 11, 2021

But Beethoven changed his mind and left it out.


  • E says:

    Hearing Richter play this, it is
    as beautiful as spring itself.
    The picture is quite wonderful, too. Thanks. This made my day.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Interesting to compare this piece with the Czerny in the other post. Because here, Beethoven did not intend something spectaculair but a softly pleasing piece, as Czerny always does. And yet, B includes little surprises which escape the predictable, especially by the end. It would be an instructive study of ‘the classical style’, the musical language which gives a basis of general rules with enough openness and flexibility to be effectively manipulated by an authetic personality. This offers a form of psychological complexity which is, in the same time, entirely and directly understandable on hearing. Would be benefitting for people like Georg Friedrich Haas, Olga Neuwirth or Tom Ades.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      Haas and Neiwirth probably don’t get it. But Adès is a smart guy, he could make a modern orchestration, as he did with Couperin.

  • Piano fan says:

    I trust Beethoven’s judgement. The piece as a whole works better as written: with the short, mysterious Introduzione between the opening Allegro and the Rondo.

    And the Andante Favori works well as a separate piece, which would not have been the case with the Introduzione.

  • Sixtus Beckmesser says:

    Beethoven did the right thing. The Andante Favori just isn’t that interesting. On the other hand, the relatively brief Adagio molto that he wrote to replace it is inspired.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Beethoven’s final decisions were final decisions. The Waldstein’s second movement is perfect as it is, as is Op 130 with the final Allegro.

    The Andante Favori is a most charming compositional ‘Splitter’ that deserved to become a sonata on its own, with new first and final movements.

  • Edgar Self says:

    The “Andante favori’s” last bars are strangely like those of the Gand Fugue, like a simpler schematic sketch of them.