One of the best-known and most celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century, Glenn Gould and widely considered one of the great violinists of the 20th century, Yehudi Menuhin perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 10 in G major, op. 96. Originally broadcast on May 18, 1966.
Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 10 in G major, op. 96
The Violin Sonata No. 10 of Ludwig van Beethoven in G major, his Opus 96, was written in 1812, published in 1816, and dedicated to Beethoven’s pupil Archduke Rudolph Johannes Joseph Rainier of Austria, who gave its first performance, together with the French violinist and composer Pierre Rode (16 February 1774 – 25 November 1830), who served as violin soloist to Napoleon and toured extensively in the Netherlands, Germany, England, and Spain.
Structure and analysis
The piece has four movements:
- Allegro moderato (in G major)
- Adagio espressivo (in E-flat major)
- Scherzo: Allegro – Trio (in G minor, Trio in E-flat major, ends in G major)
- Poco allegretto (in G major)
The final movement, Poco allegretto was written with Pierre Rode’s style in mind. Rode inherited his teacher’s style, to which he added more mildness and a more refined tone. It is also recorded that he made extensive use of portamento.
Shortly before completing the work, Beethoven wrote to Archduke Rudolph “… I did not make great haste in the last movement for the sake of mere punctuality, the more because, in writing it, I had to consider the playing of Rode. In our finales, we like rushing and resounding passages, but this does not please R and – this hinders me somewhat.”
As a result, the finale was a set of seven variations and a short coda on a cheerful theme.