Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major, Op. 10/2

    Description by Robert Cummings

    This is the shortest of the three sonatas from the Op. 10 group and generally regarded as the least important. Still, it is hardly without significance and features many masterful strokes. The finale, for example, is one of Beethoven's most attractive creations among his early piano sonatas. The composer himself was quite fond of the work, probably relishing its humor and quirkiness.

    The work is cast in three movements: Allegro, Allegretto, and Presto. It was not unusual for Beethoven to exclude a slow movement. The first movement begins with two emphatic chords answered by a triplet figure that contains a mischievous turn, which literally invites the next statement. It comes, though this time the first chord is lower. After this opening banter, another short theme is introduced, and it easily, despite its lyrical nature, joins the playful scene. A second theme group now appears, headed by a happy but brash melody: rising in a hurry, it proceeds to generate other busy ideas. The material is repeated, after which comes the development section, launched unexpectedly by the triplet figure that appeared after the opening pair of chords. Fairly complex, this section is based less on previous materials and more on new ideas. The recapitulation follows, but, surprisingly, in the remote key of D. The movement ends without a coda, its thematic material being exploited colorfully and brilliantly right up to the close. The second movement is actually a scherzo, though Beethoven did not designate it so. It begins with emphatic chords treading upward ominously from the lower ranges. When the higher register is reached, the mood reaches a somewhat higher plateau. The theme is immediately repeated, then appears two octaves higher, lighter in texture but deeper in feeling. A brief trio section is presented: it is both jovial and comforting and contrasts well with the more serious tone of the previous section. The finale may be the most attractive movement of the entire work. It begins with one of those memorable, frantic humorous themes, so typical of Beethoven. The melody seems to build upward with several turns along the way, the left hand beginning, the right hand entering to suggest fugal properties. Playful and roguish, driven by tremendous energy, the musical narrative proceeds with gusto, the main theme generating subsidiary ideas and second thoughts. Toward the end of this process, chords in the bass register suggest an entirely new idea, but the narrative momentum is maintained by a fragment of the initial theme, eventually leading, following a repetition, to a variation of the theme. After an elaborate development section and a reprise, a brief but brilliant coda closes the work.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro
    2. Allegretto
    3. Presto

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2019
    Sony Classical
    19075843182
    2019
    Steinway & Sons
    STNS 30106
    2018
    Signum Classics
    SIGCD 527
    2018
    Audite
    AUD 21451
    2018
    Decca
    4816573
    2018
    Alpha
    385
    2018
    Erato
    573807
    2017
    Brilliant Classics
    BRI 95103
    2017
    JB Recordings
    MM 15029
    2017
    Deutsche Grammophon / Eloquence
    4827053
    2017
    Warner Classics
    9029586922
    2017
    Nonesuch
    7559793638
    2017
    APR (Appian)
    APR 7403
    2017
    Albany Records
    TROY 1661
    2017
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4797371
    2016
    Warner Classics
    0190295975050
    2016
    TYX Art
    TXA 16071
    2016
    Deutsche Grammophon
    B002436502
    2015
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2015
    Ondine
    ODE 12682D
    2015
    Avie
    AV 2320
    2015
    Sony Classical
    88875032222
    2015
    APR (Appian)
    APR 7701
    2015
    Andromeda
    ANDRCD 9123
    2014
    Claves
    CD 50130413
    2014
    Claves
    2014
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4794120
    2014
    PentaTone Classics
    PTC 5186490
    2014
    BIS
    BIS 2000
    2013
    Various Artists
    Brilliant Classics
    94630
    2013
    Mirare
    MIR 187
    2013
    Caro Mitis
    CM 32011
    2013
    ATMA Classique
    ACD 22490
    2013
    Warner Classics
    2013
    Entertainment Group
    6103
    2013
    Challenge Classics
    CC 72599
    2013
    Decca
    4785093
    2012
    Decca
    2012
    Warner Classics
    2012
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099946495228
    2012
    EMI Classics
    2012
    Decca
    2012
    EMI Classics
    3275022
    2012
    Chandos
    CHAN 107203
    2012
    Anima Records
    ANM 080600001
    2012
    Warner Classics
    2012
    Marquis Classics
    774718151322
    2012
    Sony Classical
    88725412862
    2012
    MDG / Zebralution
    2012
    ICA Classics
    ICAC 5055
    2011
    Various Artists
    Brilliant Classics
    94052
    2011
    Cambria
    CD 11751185
    2011
    Decca
    478 2607
    2011
    Decca
    4782607
    2011
    Transart Live
    TR101
    2011
    Azica Records
    ACD 71269
    2011
    Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2011
    Oxford Philomusica
    OP 002
    2011
    PentaTone Classics
    5186377
    2011
    Zig Zag Territoires
    111101
    2011
    Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2011
    TGG Direct
    60258
    2011
    RCA Red Seal
    88697875102
    2011
    Transart Live / Transart Live
    TR111
    2010
    Deux-Elles
    1161
    2010
    Brilliant Classics
    94075
    2010
    Musical Concepts
    ALN 1901
    2010
    Chandos
    10616
    2010
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2010
    Denon Records
    2010
    Hyperion
    67797
    2010
    IBA [Idil Biret Archives] / Naxos
    8571266
    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
    Bridge
    9297
    2009
    Documents Classics / Membran
    232670
    2009
    Haenssler / Hänssler Classic
    98200
    2008
    Decca
    4657132
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    447966
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2008
    Thorofon / Zebralution
    2008
    Sony Music Distribution
    714795
    2008
    Harmonia Mundi
    901909
    2008
    Harmonia Mundi
    HMC90 1909/11
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    453221
    2008
    Berlin Classics
    184472
    2008
    Chandos
    9101
    2008
    Avi
    8553088
    2008
    Brilliant
    93761
    2007
    Brilliant Classics
    93525
    2007
    Cascade Records
    2200
    2007
    Cascavelle
    3100
    2007
    EMI Classics
    3777672
    2007
    EMI Classics
    87739
    2007
    Deutsche Grammophon
    000860602
    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
    Nonesuch
    2005
    Romeo Entertainment
    7233/41
    2005
    Brilliant
    92773
    2005
    Haenssler
    98201
    2005
    Nonesuch
    2005
    Decca
    4756835
    2004
    Newport Classic
    59001
    2004
    Stradivarius
    33669
    2004
    Vanguard Classics
    1487
    2004
    Deutsche Grammophon
    000303402
    2004
    Resonance
    101
    2004
    EMI Classics
    62700
    2004
    Newport Classic
    60171/3
    2004
    Dynamic
    432/1-9
    2003
    BBC Legends / BBC Music
    41222
    2003
    Warner Classics
    2003
    Sony Classical Essential Classics
    87993
    2003
    Cascavelle
    3055
    2002
    Naxos
    8110694
    2002
    Music & Arts
    4640
    2002
    Brilliant
    205211
    2001
    Tahra
    394/400
    2001
    Classica d'Oro
    9001
    2001
    Hungaroton
    41003
    2001
    Claves
    502004
    2000
    Arte Nova
    40740
    2000
    EMI Music Distribution
    65465
    2000
    Arkadia
    78532
    2000
    GM Recordings
    5001
    1999
    EMI Music Distribution
    56761
    1999
    Deutsche Grammophon
    463127
    1999
    Brilliant
    99093
    1999
    Arkadia
    78901
    1999
    Deutsche Grammophon
    1998
    Deutsche Grammophon
    1998
    GM Recordings
    2057
    1998
    EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics
    7243572912
    1998
    Philips
    462358
    1998
    Zephyr
    10297
    1998
    Zephyr
    97
    1997
    Nimbus
    1774
    1997
    Deutsche Grammophon
    453724
    1997
    Bongiovanni
    5583
    1997
    London
    443706
    1996
    Philips
    446909
    1996
    Vox
    7529
    1996
    Hungaroton
    31626
    1996
    Philips
    446664
    1996
    Analekta
    24010
    1995
    Pearl
    9083
    1994
    Sony Music Distribution
    64490
    1994
    Naxos
    505002
    1994
    Sony Classical
    52638
    1994
    Naxos
    550161
    1994
    Telarc Distribution
    80400
    1994
    Arabesque
    6645
    1993
    Elecktra Nonsuch
    79328
    1993
    ASV
    6057
    1992
    Vox
    5056
    1992
    Erato
    45598
    1992
    Decca
    433882
    1991
    Elektra
    79232
    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
    Dante
    107120
    The Piano Library
    234
    Ades
    14134
    Forlane
    16597
    Classica d'Oro
    3015
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz)
    5010
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz)
    562
    Amado Classics
    03011
    Cascade Records
    2220
    London
    425590
    Philips
    412576
    Denon Records
    78849
    Erato
    Classic Art
    Brilliant
    92773/2
    Brilliant
    93525/46
    Arte Nova
    7432130460
    Philips
    CISpf
    Virtuoso
    2697072
    Fonit-Cetra Italia
    1005
    Music & Arts
    640
    ECM
    000592202
    Brilliant
    99105
    Brilliant
    99005
    Denon Records
    84488
    Pyramid Records
    13500
    EMI Music Distribution
    62863
    Historical Piano
    070
    MDG
    6421086
    Liana Lam
    Brilliant
    205212