Lisney Trio

Seraphin Chamber Series II

Beethoven – The last sonatas

Saturday 7th November

8:00 pm

The Lisney Trio

Emma Lisney violin
Joy Lisney violoncello
James Lisney piano

This programme of ‘final sonatas’ features dedications to two women who played a great rôle in Beethoven’s life.

The two Cello Sonatas, opus 102 were dedicated to Countess Anna Maria Erdödy (1779-1837), a competent pianist who had known Beethoven for at least seven years. The Hungarian Countess organised regular musical gatherings at her summer residence in Jedless near Vienna. She employed the cellist Joseph Linke, prompting Beethoven to write for the duo format. The resulting works are particularly distinctive for their concision, their freedom and for a first blossoming of Beethoven’s radical ‘late style'.

The final dedication, the great Sonata for piano, opus 111, is to Antonie Brentano (1780-1869), the woman most likely to have been Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved; Brentano was a last minute change from the orignal intention to dedicate to the Archduke Rudolph. Beethoven described the last two sonatas (opus 110 and 111) as “not very difficult” but opus 111 is notorious for its technical and interpretative challenges, including such unusual notational devices as ’twelve thirty-two time’ and passages that combine both trills and tremolo.

As the sonata contains only two movements, the publisher asked Beethoven whether he had forgotten to send the finale. The spiritual depth of this extended set of variations, however, provide the perfect close to Beethoven’s opus 111 - and, indeed, to his cycle of piano sonatas.

Sonata in C, opus 102/1 for piano and violoncello
Sonata in D, opus 102/2 for piano and violoncello
Sonata in c, opus 111, for piano

Ticket & Booking Information
£15 each concert, £25 for a ticket to both concerts

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