Beethoven’s piano works are deeply connected to the instruments on which they were written. He lived in a period in which piano making developed rapidly in a rapidly changing society and Beethoven’s own style evolved accordingly. His works are perfectly expressive of the sounds and effects of his different pianos, using their possibilities to the full.
Beethoven’s early works reflect the characteristics of Johann Andreas Stein instruments, which were the piano of choice in Germany, also highly praised by Beethoven’s teacher Gottlieb Neefe. Stein’s pianos are brilliant and responsive with quick and nearly weightless hammers, which are ultra-articulate, but never massive. In Beethoven’s future piano writing, the proto-romantic Walter piano opened different possibilities.
When Beethoven came to Vienna, he used several different instruments, finally giving his preference to Walter. In 1802, he expressed intent to buy his own Walter. The connection between Beethoven and Graf dates from a letter of 1816, in which Beethoven indicated his wish to own a Graf piano, and in 1825 Graf loaned Beethoven a four-string instrument.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1870-1827)
Sonata op.31 N3 Es dur “Die Jagd”
Allegro — Scherzo:Allegretto vivace —
Menuetto:Moderato e grazioso — Presto con fuoco
Sonata op.49 N1 g moll
Andante, Rondo Allegro
Sonata quasi una Fantasia, op. 27 Nr.2 c sharp minor (Moonlight)
Adagio sostenuto, Allegretto, Presto agitato
Sonata op.49 N2 G dur
Allegro ma non troppo, Tempo di menuetto
Sonata op.110 A flat Major
Moderato cantabile, molto expressivo, allegro molto,
Adagio ma non troppo, Fuga: allegro ma non troppo