Canal March

Beethoven's Sonata No 5

Bart van Oort, fortepiano

Ludwig van Beethoven: "Adagio molto" and "Finale. Prestissimo" from the Sonata nº 5 in C minor Op. 10 nº 1

The fortepiano, the direct antecedent of the modern piano, had a great defender in Ludwig van Beethoven, who published this Sonata No. 5 in C Minor Op. 10 no. 1 in 1798. The composer uses very idiomatic resources, which were already purely pianistic, such as contrasts of dynamics and texture, brilliant arpeggios and, in particular, sforzandi, which could only be achieved on an instrument like the fortepiano and which can be perceived in the sonata’s “Finale. Prestissimo”. As of 1814, Beethoven owned a special fortepiano built by Conrad Graf: each note was produced by quadruple strings, giving the instrument a very strong sound, which was suitable for the composer, who was already suffering from profound hearing loss. For his performance of these works, Bart van Oort uses a fortepiano built by Paul McNulty in 2008, based on a model by Conrad Graf, from c. 1819.

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