Bookended by two famous sonatas, the Waldstein op. 53 and the Appassionata op. 57, the F-major Sonata op. 54 has always lived in the shadows, regrettably. In this first large-scale two-movement sonata, Beethoven experiments with striking character contrasts in the first movement and a virtuosic perpetuum mobile duet in the second. In both interpretation and mastery of technical difficulties, this sonata therefore poses a considerable challenge for pianists and might have been avoided for this reason as well. The sonata shares the fate of many early works by Beethoven in one respect: no autograph exists. Murray Perahia and Norbert Gertsch have thus only been able to examine an original edition as a source for their new edition. As always with the new editions of Beethoven sonatas from Henle, Maestro Perahia also provides the fingerings - and his own commentary on the meaning of this sonata.
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