3:00 PM / 8:00 PM


St Nicholas Church Harpenden

Church Green, Harpenden, AL5 2TP

Beethoven’s five sonatas for piano and cello offer a unique window onto his creative and compositional development.

Over the course of two concerts, cellist Guy Johnston and pianist Melvyn Tan present all five sonatas.
Tickets £20 or book for both concerts and save £10

The Opus 5 Sonatas are a young man’s works: fresh, vibrant, energetic and witty. The A major sonata, the Opus 69, is from the middle, most productive, period of Beethoven’s life; yet, it was at this time that the composer wrote his moving Heiligenstadt Testament, in which he contemplated suicide. His deafness was now acute, if not quite total. The Opus 69 marks a turning point, particularly in the variety and organisation of its thematic material, and its improvisatory nature.

The final pair of sonatas, the Opus 102, dating from the beginning of the “late” period of Beethoven’s life, sit alongside the beautiful, pastoral Opus 96 violin sonata, and the last three piano sonatas – all truly miraculous works. These two sonatas seem to inhabit another world entirely, and exude an almost transcendental spirituality.