Beethoven, Ludwig van. (1770–1827)

Sonate pour le Piano-Forte für das Hammer-Klavier des Museum's für Klavier-Musik [Op. 101]

Wien: S. A. Steiner und Comp. . [February, 1817]. First Edition, Early Issue. Oblong folio (9.75 x 12.75 inches; 25 x 32.5 cm). 1f. (decorative series title engraved by A. Müller), 1f. (title), [1] (advertisement), 2-19, [i] (blank) pp. Engraved. Price: word "Preis" followed by blank. Text of series title within decorative border: "Musée Musical Des Clavicinistes [sic]. Museum für Klaviermeister. [blank]tes Heft. Wien bei s. A. Steiner und comp." Blue wrappers lacking with slight remnant visible to inner front gutter, bound in period marbled paper binding with decorative ex-libris plate to inner front board of Siegfried Ochs (1858-1929), composer and director of the Berlin Philharmonic Chorus, with a note in his hand "Erster Drück der Sonate" (subsequently in the collection of Louis Koch). A crisp and wide-margined copy, a few light stains and spots of foxing, overall very fine.  Kinsky p. 280. Dorfmüller p. 225 (Weinhold), 336, and plate 8a. Hoboken 2, 120. Rare.

The advertisement on page 1 is for the series "Museum für Klaviermusik" (or "Musée Musical Des Clavicinistes), of which the present edition was the first volume; the advertisement also announces (retroactively) the launch of a weekly "Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung" - not to be confused with the better-known publication of the same name by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig - and recent publications of sheet music, including Beethoven's op. 90, 91, 92, 96, and 97.

Beethoven's piano sonata no. 28 in a major, op. 101, was composed in 1816 and was dedicated to the pianist baroness Dorothea Ertmann, née Graumen. This sonata marks the beginning of what is generally regarded as Beethoven's final period, where the forms are more complex, ideas more wide-ranging, textures more polyphonic, and the treatment of the themes and motifs even more sophisticated than before. Op. 101 well exemplified this new style, and Beethoven exploits the newly expanded keyboard compass of the day. For the first time Beethoven used the german term Hammerklavier to refer to the piano (although it was the next of his sonatas, op. 106, that became widely known as the Hammerklavier Sonata). Astoundingly, this was the only one of his 32 sonatas that Beethoven ever saw played publicly; this was in 1816, and the performer was a bank official and musical dilettante. (19530)