Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22

    Description by Robert Cummings

    With the Piano Sonata No. 11, Beethoven moves closer to the more far-reaching expressive worlds of the Op. 31 group of sonatas. Cast in four movements: Allegro con brio, Adagio con molto espressione, Menuetto, and Rondo (Allegretto), the sonata starts off almost as if it were beginning in the middle of a passage. A vigorous, but seemingly incomplete, theme is presented. As the material immediately starts to repeat itself, the opening motif is abbreviated and then the vigorous theme is heard again, but fuller now, expanding its range of color and reaching a triumphant chordal passage. Other thematic material sprouts delightfully and the exposition is completed. In the ensuing development section, the opening idea appears in altered form, and a second theme follows. As the themes are developed, a mysterious statement (based on the second theme) is heard in the bass, and its hypnotic fade-out completes the development section in a most imaginative manner. The recapitulation presents the material from the exposition, but with some attractive changes. The opening melody of the second movement has often been viewed as a foreshadowing of Chopin's more intimate rhetoric. Certainly, this theme has a Romantic flavor: accompanied by repeated chords in the left hand, it proceeds with grace, creating an atmosphere of gentle yearning. A second melody intrudes, without breaking the delicate mood. As the main theme is further developed, through original thematic twists and much colorful writing, the listener is tempted to imagine the music as an orchestral or chamber piece. The Menuetto, the shortest movement, features a theme which seemingly lacks substance. However, as the movement progresses, Beethoven substantially enriches this theme by imaginatively adding color. The brief trio section is turbulent and unsettled, providing splendid contrast to the brighter world of the dance melody. The Rondo finale opens with a somewhat long-winded, lively theme that seems in search of a more joyous sonic space. A second, less distinctive, theme appears, maintaining a general atmosphere of joyous haste. After a new idea, based on the opening theme, is presented, the main material reappears, but with several deft alterations and transformations. After many fireworks, including some beguiling rhythmic antics, the sonata closes with a brilliant coda.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro con brio
    2. Adagio con molto espressione
    3. Menuetto
    4. Rondo. Allegretto

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Albany Records TROY 1661
    2016 Claudio / Claudio Bohema CR 55762
    2016 Warner Classics 0190295975050
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon B002436502
    2016 Sony Classical 88875183392
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon
    2015 Ondine ODE 12802D
    2015 Avie AV 2320
    2015 Andromeda ANDRCD 9123
    2014 Claves CD 50130413
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon 4794120
    2014 Claves
    2014 PentaTone Classics PTC 5186490
    2014 BIS BIS 2000
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94630
    2013 Mirare MIR 187
    2013 Deutsche Grammophon B001909502
    2013 Deutsche Grammophon
    2013 Deux-Elles DXL 1164
    2013 Warner Classics
    2013 Azica Records ACD 71284
    2012 Decca
    2012 Decca
    2012 EMI Classics
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099946495228
    2012 Warner Classics
    2012 EMI Classics 7300092
    2012 Onyx / Onyx Classics ONYX 4082
    2012 PentaTone Classics PTC 5186390
    2012 Warner Classics
    2012 Marquis Classics 774718151322
    2012 Sony Classical 88691912562
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94052
    2011 Cambria CD 11751185
    2011 Decca 4782607
    2011 Decca 478 2607
    2011 Transart Live TR101
    2011 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2011 Oxford Philomusica OP 003
    2011 Zig Zag Territoires 111101
    2011 RCA Red Seal 88697875102
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94075
    2010 Chandos 10616
    2010 Musical Concepts ALN 1901
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Solo Musica 141
    2010 IBA [Idil Biret Archives] / Naxos 8571267
    2010 Solal 6
    2010 Orfeo 808109
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Decca 00028947821410
    2009 Decca 4781821
    2009 Harmonia Mundi 290190211
    2009 Document / Documents 223051
    2009 ATMA Classique 2487
    2009 IDIS 657879
    2009 Haenssler / Hänssler Classic 98200
    2008 Decca 4657132
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 447966
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon
    2008 Thorofon / Zebralution
    2008 Bridge 9265
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 453221
    2008 Berlin Classics 184472
    2008 Brilliant 93761
    2007 Aura Music 223042
    2007 Harmonia Mundi 901903/05
    2007 Cascade Records 2200
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93525
    2007 Cascavelle 3100
    2007 Haenssler 98206
    2007 EMI Classics 3777672
    2007 EMI Classics 87739
    2007 Decca 4758619
    2007 Parlophone
    2006 Connoisseur Society 4262
    2006 Universal
    2006 Melodiya MELCD 1000826
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 002894776360
    2006 Brilliant 99002
    2006 ECM 000762402
    2006 Globe 5190
    2006 Classical Records 76
    2006 Decca 4757498
    2006 EMI Classics 347826
    2005 Romeo Entertainment 7233/41
    2005 BIS 1362
    2005 Brilliant 92773
    2005 Nonesuch
    2005 Decca 4756835
    2004 Newport Classic 59001
    2004 Stradivarius 33669
    2004 Resonance 101
    2004 EMI Classics 62700
    2004 Newport Classic 60172/3
    2004 Brilliant 92387
    2004 Dynamic 432/1-9
    2003 Arabesque 6773
    2003 Naxos Historical 8110756
    2003 Sony Classical Essential Classics 87993
    2002 Music & Arts 4640
    2002 BBC Music 4090
    2002 Brilliant 205211
    2002 Aura Classics 2002
    2001 Tahra 394/400
    2001 Classica d'Oro 9001
    2001 Hungaroton 41003
    2001 Classica d'Oro 3016
    2000 Arte Nova 40740
    2000 Thorofon 2138
    2000 GM Recordings 5001
    2000 Aura Classics 0223
    1999 Chandos 9755
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 463127
    1999 GM Recordings 2067
    1999 Brilliant 99093
    1999 Arkadia 78901
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon
    1999 Philips 454987
    1999 Live Classics 482
    1999 Philips 456868
    1998 Music & Arts CD1036-2
    1998 Hungaroton 31634
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon
    1998 Angel Records 56586B
    1998 Arkadia 78543
    1998 Vox 7549
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon 435472
    1998 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243572912
    1998 Philips 462358
    1998 Zephyr 10397
    1998 Zephyr 97
    1997 Nimbus 1774
    1997 Point Classics 267116
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453724
    1997 London 443706
    1997 Russian Compact Disc (RCD) 16299
    1996 Philips 446909
    1996 Virgin 61238
    1996 Analekta 24010
    1996 Live Classics 461
    1996 Philips 446920
    1995 Philips 442774
    1995 Philips
    1994 Naxos 505002
    1994 Telarc Distribution 80363
    1994 Naxos 550234
    1994 Telarc Distribution 80400
    1994 Arabesque 6648
    1994 Philips 438617
    1994 Philips 442464
    1994 Pearl 9099
    1993 Elecktra Nonsuch 79328
    1993 ASV 6059
    1992 Decca 433882
    1992 Erato 45812
    1991 Deutsche Grammophon 429306
    1991 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0777763765
    1991 Philips 432301
    1990 EMI Music Distribution 62901
    1990 Deutsche Grammophon 413759
    1990 Philips 412575
    1990 Teldec 71719
    Dante 107120
    Ades 14137
    Forlane 16612
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 5010
    Cascade Records 2223
    Amado Classics 03014
    London 425590
    Philips 412576
    Omniclassic 1001
    Classic Art
    Erato
    Brilliant 93525/48
    Brilliant 92773/4
    Bongiovanni 5580
    Arte Nova 7432139101
    As Disc 11004
    The Piano Library 295
    Music & Arts 734
    Amadeus Speciale 4243
    Music & Arts 640
    Brilliant 99107
    Brilliant 99007
    Brilliant 92387/14
    6w 14
    EMI Music Distribution 62863
    Dell'Arte 7004
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 564
    Historical Performers 38
    As Disc 322
    Historical Performers 18
    Brilliant 205213