Difficult and impassioned, this is a highlight of Beethoven's piano sonatas
Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770 –1827) “Grande Sonate” op. 7 in Eb major was published in October 1797. In the work- list of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, it comes after the three sonatas op. 2 and before the next group of three sonatas op. 10. When Beethoven wrote the work in 1796/97, he probably did not conceive it as a solitary piece, but as part of the later opus 10. Thus in a collection of loose sketch leaves, the “Kafka” miscel- lany, we find next to annotations con- cerning op. 7 sketches for a trio that was not used in this work, but was later in- corporated into op. 10 no. 3 instead. One is tempted to conjecture that the Sonata was soon withdrawn from the planned grouping and published sepa- rately owing to its much greater length and emotional scope. The Sonata No. 4 in Eb Major, Op. 7 is a true masterwork, and this issuance of it by G. Henle Verlag is an elegant presentation.
Composed when Beethoven was 26, there is some speculation that the impassioned disposition of this piece of music was attributable to the composer’s attraction for his then 16-year-old pupil Anna Luise Barbara Countess von Keglevich. It might be that the dedicatee’s father commissioned Beethoven to write the work for his daughter.
This presentation, edited by Murray Perahia and Norbert Gertsch with fingering by Murray Perahia is considered a level seven difficulty on a scale of eight is reccommended as a project piece for students or a repertoire piece for accomplished players.