Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonata No. 25 in G major ("Cuckoo"), Op. 79

    Description by Michael Jameson

    Like the Sonata No. 24 in F sharp major, Op. 78, Beethoven's little G major Piano Sonata, Op. 79, was written in 1809. Both works share several instantly discernible features. Firstly, both sonatas are surprisingly undemonstrative in tone, revealing a pronounced avoidance of bravura showiness, unwarranted rhetoric, and above all, extravagant emotionalism. Where they differ markedly, however, is in their respective number of movements, since the G major Sonata has three self-contained movements, conforming to established architectural principles, whereas in the earlier opus, sonata allegro and slow movements are effectively linked together thanks to the substantial Adagio cantabile preface offered before, and leading, without a break, to the main first allegro.

    The G major Sonata No. 25contains an opening Presto, an Andante slow movement, and a finale marked Vivace. The first movement also has the qualifying term alla Tedesca, or "in the German style." From the outset, the work arouses a strong and positive impression, as a result of its sharply chiselled rhythmic formulae and a certain direct (if not to say at times abrupt) candor and spontaneity. That feeling of directness and clarity of expression also informs the following movement, a brief but eloquent Andante in 9/8 meter and simple ternary form. This not only re-affirms Viennese tastes, both in terms of the directness already referred to, but also in the pronounced feeling of "naturalness," at times approaching pastoral straightforwardness that is an unmistakable characteristic here. Simplicity and directness are also crucial in the brief and witty finale, a fully formed Vivace rondo, lasting fractionally under two minutes. This sonata is sometimes given the nickname "The Cuckoo," because of the distinctive pattern of falling intervals and repeated note groupings that permeate the score at various points, never more obviously than during the final movement.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Presto alla tedesca
    2. Andante
    3. Vivace

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Signum Classics SIGCD 527
    2018 Audite AUD 21451
    2018 Hyperion CDA 68199
    2018 Fontenay Classics FCI 012
    2017 Claudio / Claudio Bohema CB 55782
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon / Eloquence 4827053
    2017 Warner Classics 9029586922
    2017 Nonesuch 7559793638
    2017 Albany Records TROY 1661
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon 4797371
    2016 Ondine ODE 12902
    2016 Chandos CHAN 109253
    2016 Warner Classics 0190295975050
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon B002436502
    2015 MSR Classics MS 1468
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon
    2015 Musical Concepts MCSCD 152
    2015 Avie AV 2320
    2015 Andromeda ANDRCD 9124
    2014 Claves
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon 4794120
    2014 Claves CD 50130413
    2014 Azica Records ACD 71295
    2014 Tuxedo TUX 1043
    2014 PentaTone Classics PTC 5186490
    2014 BIS BIS 2000
    2013 Entertainment Group 1052
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94630
    2013 Mirare MIR 187
    2013 Warner Classics
    2013 Haenssler / Hänssler Classic HAEN 94221
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099970490
    2012 Entertainment Group 11805
    2012 Decca
    2012 Warner Classics
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099946495228
    2012 Decca
    2012 EMI Classics
    2012 EMI Classics 5099995391328
    2012 EMI Classics
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099962308
    2012 Zig Zag Territoires ZIG 304
    2012 Warner Classics
    2012 Marquis Classics 774718151322
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94052
    2011 Cambria CD 11751185
    2011 Decca 4782607
    2011 Decca 478 2607
    2011 Transart Live TR101
    2011 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2011 Solo Records SLR 2
    2011 Oehms Classics OC 662
    2011 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2011 RCA Red Seal 88697875102
    2011 Transart Live TR119
    2011 Harmonia Mundi HMX 290845657
    2011 Parnassus Records PACD96046/7
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94075
    2010 Musical Concepts ALN 1901
    2010 Chandos 10616
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099996592
    2010 Hyperion 67662
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 PentaTone Classics 5186304
    2010 ATMA Classique 22488
    2010 IDIS 6585/86
    2010 Solal 6
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Orfeo 808109
    2009 Decca 00028947821410
    2009 Harmonia Mundi 290190211
    2009 Decca 4781821
    2009 Document / Documents 223051
    2009 EMI Classics
    2009 IBA [Idil Biret Archives] 8571255
    2009 Haenssler / Hänssler Classic 98200
    2008 BIS 1573
    2008 Decca 4657132
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 447966
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon
    2008 Thorofon / Zebralution
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 453221
    2008 Berlin Classics 184472
    2008 ECM 001081402
    2008 Edition Klavier-Festival 8553115
    2008 Brilliant 93761
    2007 Harmonia Mundi 901903/05
    2007 Cascade Records 2200
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93525
    2007 Cascavelle 3100
    2007 Haenssler 98208
    2007 EMI Classics 87739
    2007 EMI Classics 3777672
    2007 Melodiya 1001132
    2007 Parlophone
    2006 Connoisseur Society 4262
    2006 Universal
    2006 Melodiya MELCD 1000829
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 002894776360
    2006 Bridge 9207
    2006 Brilliant 99002
    2006 Dal Segno 030
    2006 Philips 475 7947
    2006 Philips 4757497
    2006 Dal Segno 011
    2006 Decca 4757498
    2006 EMI Classics 347826
    2005 Romeo Entertainment 7233/41
    2005 Real Sound (RS) 83
    2005 Brilliant 92773
    2005 Decca 4756909
    2005 Audiophile Classics 101008
    2005 Nonesuch
    2005 Decca 4756835
    2004 Urania 258
    2004 Newport Classic 59001
    2004 Stradivarius 33669
    2004 EMI Classics 5628802
    2004 EMI Music Distribution 62881
    2004 Naxos 8110761
    2004 Resonance 101
    2004 EMI Classics 62700
    2004 Newport Classic 60173/3
    2004 Brilliant 92387
    2004 Dynamic 432/1-9
    2004 Brilliant 92132
    2004 St. Clair 31292
    2002 APR (Appian) 5580
    2002 Avalon Records 24658
    2002 Music & Arts 4640
    2002 Brilliant 205211
    2002 Cambria 1133
    2001 Tahra 394/400
    2001 Classica d'Oro 9001
    2001 Hungaroton 41003
    2001 Classica d'Oro 3018
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 56965
    2000 Arte Nova 40740
    2000 Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 567
    2000 Arkadia 78562
    2000 Philips 442787
    2000 Arkadia 78533
    2000 GM Recordings 2068
    2000 GM Recordings 5001
    1999 Agora Musica 190
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 463127
    1999 Globe Records 5184
    1999 Brilliant 99093
    1999 Arkadia 78901
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon
    1999 Music & Arts 743
    1999 Music & Arts 4743
    1999 Philips 462232
    1999 Pearl 9139
    1998 Hungaroton 31634
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon
    1998 Vox 7549
    1998 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243572912
    1998 Philips 462358
    1998 Zephyr 10697
    1998 Zephyr 97
    1998 Philips 456718
    1997 Nimbus 1774
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453724
    1997 London 443706
    1996 Philips 446909
    1996 Analekta 24010
    1995 Digital / Philips
    1994 Naxos 505002
    1994 Naxos 550161
    1994 Telarc Distribution 80400
    1993 Elecktra Nonsuch 79328
    1993 ASV 6062
    1993 Denon Records CO-75245
    1992 Vox 5056
    1992 Decca 433882
    1992 Telarc Distribution 80293
    1991 Deutsche Grammophon 429306
    1991 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0777763765
    1991 Philips 432301
    1990 EMI Music Distribution 62901
    1990 Deutsche Grammophon 413766
    1990 Philips 412575
    1990 Teldec 71719
    1989 Deutsche Grammophon 4276422
    1988 Thorofon 2009
    Dante 107120
    Forlane 16678
    Amado Classics 03018
    Cascade Records 2227
    London 425590
    Philips Classics 412577
    Russian Revelation 10029
    Brilliant 92132/5
    Brilliant 92773/7
    Brilliant 93525/51
    Arte Nova 7432139101
    Virtuoso 2697072
    Fonit-Cetra Italia 1005
    Ades 20401
    Music & Arts 640
    Brilliant 99010
    Brilliant 92387/17
    Brilliant 99110
    RFCM Symphony Orchestra
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 5011
    EMI Music Distribution 62863
    Protone Records 1106
    The Piano Library 288
    Brilliant 205215