Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10/1

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Beethoven began the other two sonatas comprising the Op. 10 group in 1796, but may have started this work toward the end of 1795. Marked Allegro molto e con brio the first movement opens with a probing theme, based on a C minor chord, which introduces a questing, questioning mood, not unlike the opening of the "Pathetique" Sonata. Here, however, the initial tempo is brisk and the inital utterance appears more direct. However, as the musical discourse unfolds, the straightforward beginning yields to unexpected developments. For example, in the first theme group, Beethoven introduces an interesting element: a mysterious descending phrase bringing what seems as both consolation and triumph. After the initial material is restated, certain differences become apparent: for instance, the "question" phrase is not followed by an "answer," this absence introducing a general feeling of ambiguity and uncertainty. The development section is unusual, for, despite some expansion of previously stated themes, most of the music here is new, thereby violating the conventional rules of sonata form. The recapitulation presents an abridgement of the exposition and an effective transformation of the second theme. In the second movement (Adagio molto), one hears two themes, the first a flowing melody that becomes inwardly agitated as it rises, and the latter a somewhat hesitant invention that seems to seek serenity, but is hampered at times by figurations played by the left hand. The stormy transition separating the two themes is quite interesting -- seemingly a harbinger of darkness that never arrives. After the reappearance of the thematic material, in slightly altered form, there is a coda based on the opening melody. The finale is a vibrant Prestissimo, essentially driven by a mood of typical Beethovenian anxiety yearning for joy. This movement's first theme is a decidedly ominous six-note figure, possibly a precursor to the famous "fate" motto of the Fifth Symphony. A variant of the first, the second theme is nevertheless its opposite in effect, expressing a spirit of joy and humor. A brief development section leads to a recapitulation, and the movement is completed by a coda.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro molto e con brio
    2. Adagio molto
    3. Finale. Prestissimo

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Albany Records TROY 1661
    2016 Musical Concepts MCS 154
    2016 Warner Classics 0190295975050
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon B002436502
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon
    2015 Ondine ODE 12682D
    2015 Hyperion CDA 68086
    2015 Avie AV 2320
    2015 Arbiter ARB 163
    2015 Sony Classical 88875032222
    2015 Decca 002369302
    2015 Andromeda ANDRCD 9123
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon 4794120
    2014 Claves CD 50130413
    2014 Claves
    2014 PentaTone Classics PTC 5186490
    2014 BIS BIS 2000
    2014 Decca
    2014 Querstand VKJK 1240
    2013 Entertainment Group 1051
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94630
    2013 Mirare MIR 187
    2013 Warner Classics
    2013 Decca 4785093
    2012 Decca
    2012 Entertainment Group 12703
    2012 EMI Classics
    2012 Decca
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099946495228
    2012 EMI Classics 3275022
    2012 Onyx / Onyx Classics ONYX 4082
    2012 Chandos CHAN 107203
    2012 ATMA Classique 22489
    2012 Marquis Classics 774718151322
    2012 Warner Classics
    2012 Sony Classical 88725412862
    2012 Brilliant Classics 94398
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94052
    2011 Cambria CD 11751185
    2011 Decca 4782607
    2011 Decca 478 2607
    2011 Transart Live TR101
    2011 Caro Mitis CM 0062010
    2011 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2011 Oxford Philomusica OP 002
    2011 PentaTone Classics 5186377
    2011 Zig Zag Territoires 111101
    2011 TGG Direct 60258
    2011 RCA Red Seal 88697875102
    2011 The Entertainment Group 1088
    2011 Transart Live TR119
    2010 Deux-Elles 1161
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94075
    2010 Musical Concepts ALN 1901
    2010 Chandos 10616
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Azica Records 71261
    2010 Bridge 9274
    2010 Solal 6
    2010 Orfeo 808109
    2010 Sony Classical 88697685272
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Decca 4781821
    2009 Harmonia Mundi 290190211
    2009 Decca 00028947821410
    2009 Document / Documents 223051
    2009 IDI / IDIS / Ital Disc 6573/74
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Bridge 9297
    2009 Documents Classics / Membran 232670
    2009 Brilliant Classics 8909
    2009 Brilliant Classics 9014
    2009 Haenssler / Hänssler Classic 98200
    2008 Decca 4657132
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 447966
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon
    2008 Thorofon / Zebralution
    2008 Sony Music Distribution 714795
    2008 IBA [Idil Biret Archives] 8571254
    2008 Harmonia Mundi HMC90 1909/11
    2008 Harmonia Mundi 901909
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 453221
    2008 Berlin Classics 184472
    2008 Chandos 9101
    2008 Brilliant 93761
    2007 Cascade Records 2200
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93525
    2007 Cascavelle 3100
    2007 EMI Classics 3777672
    2007 EMI Classics 87739
    2007 Vista Vera 80
    2007 Parlophone
    2006 Connoisseur Society 4261
    2006 Universal
    2006 BIS 1472
    2006 Melodiya MELCD 1000824
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 002894776360
    2006 Brilliant 99002
    2006 Decca 4757498
    2006 EMI Classics 347826
    2005 Romeo Entertainment 7233/41
    2005 Brilliant 92773
    2005 Haenssler 98201
    2005 Nonesuch
    2005 Decca 4756835
    2005 Romeo Records 7243/4
    2005 Philips 000410502
    2004 Newport Classic 59001
    2004 Stradivarius 33669
    2004 Deutsche Grammophon 000303402
    2004 Resonance 101
    2004 EMI Classics 62700
    2004 Newport Classic 60171/3
    2004 Dynamic 432/1-9
    2004 Oehms 323
    2003 Artemis Classics 1237
    2003 Warner Classics
    2003 Cascavelle 3052
    2002 Naxos 8110694
    2002 Music & Arts 4640
    2002 Brilliant 205211
    2001 Classica d'Oro 9001
    2001 Hungaroton 41003
    2001 Decca 4689062
    2001 Musicaphon 56845
    2000 Arte Nova 40740
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 65465
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 56136
    2000 Arkadia 78532
    2000 GM Recordings 5001
    2000 Claves 509328
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 56761
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 463127
    1999 GM Recordings 2067
    1999 Brilliant 99093
    1999 Arkadia 78901
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon
    1999 Philips 454987
    1999 Arbiter ARBITER119
    1999 Philips 456880
    1998 Hungaroton 31633
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon
    1998 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243572912
    1998 Philips 462358
    1998 Zephyr 10297
    1998 Zephyr 97
    1997 Nimbus 1774
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453724
    1997 London 443706
    1996 Philips 446909
    1996 Vox 7529
    1996 Philips 446664
    1996 Analekta 24010
    1995 Pearl 9083
    1994 Naxos 505002
    1994 Sony Classical 52638
    1994 Naxos 550161
    1994 Telarc Distribution 80400
    1994 Arabesque 6645
    1993 Denon Records 2203
    1993 Elecktra Nonsuch 79328
    1993 ASV 6057
    1992 Vox 5056
    1992 Erato 45598
    1992 Decca 433882
    1991 Deutsche Grammophon 429306
    1991 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0777763765
    1991 CBS Masterworks 45821
    1991 Philips 432301
    1991 Nonesuch 79213
    1990 EMI Music Distribution 62901
    1990 Deutsche Grammophon 413759
    1990 Telarc Distribution 80237
    1990 Philips 412575
    1990 Teldec 71719
    The Piano Library 234
    Forlane 16597
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 5010
    Classica d'Oro 3015
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 562
    Amado Classics 03012
    Cascade Records 2221
    Deutsche Grammophon 419172
    London 425590
    Philips 412576
    Erato
    Bongiovanni 5582
    Classic Art
    Philips 420154
    Brilliant 92773/2
    Brilliant 93525/46
    Arte Nova 7432130460
    Philips CISpf
    Kasp Records 57571
    Music & Arts 640
    ECM 000592202
    Brilliant 99005
    Brilliant 99105
    EMI Music Distribution 62863
    Historical Piano 070
    Brilliant 205212