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 Announcement, Bärenreiter: The Beethoven Piano Sonatas

Bärenreiter Beethoven 2020

Subsequent to the critically acclaimed publication of the thirty-five Beethoven Piano Sonatas in separate editions, Bärenreiter now presents Beethoven’s Complete Piano Sonatas in three volumes. The new collection of these works, which are unparalleled in terms of their philological accuracy, have been edited by Jonathan Del Mar, world renowned Beethoven expert. These new volumes promise a musical text at the forefront of musicological scholarship. With an elegant and reader-friendly layout and practical page turns, this new publication is an indispensable standard work at the cutting-edge of Beethoven scholarship.

Bärenreiter Beethoven 2020Between 1795 and 1822 Beethoven composed thirty-two piano sonatas in total. Often described as the 'New Testament of keyboard music', they form one of the most important collections of works in the history of music. Each volume is equipped with a table of contents including incipits of each sonata. Running titles are provided in the top right-hand corner of each right-hand page of the music, including both the opus number and the movement of the respective sonata, ensuring quick identification of individual works and movements. Volume one includes a foreword in both English and German, covering all the relevant editorial issues regarding Beethoven's notation and performance practice issues, supplemented by facsimile pages. Also included in the first volume is a preface from Jonathan Del Mar, discussing the editorial problems regarding the quirks of Beethoven's notation, such as pedal markings, accidentals, dynamics, ornaments, fingerings, and more. On the first page of each sonata the main sources are listed at the bottom, similar to a footnote.

Jonathan Del Mar: Editor of the Piano Sonatas

Jonathan Del MarBeethoven and Bärenreiter have been indelibly linked with the name Jonathan Del Mar as an editor and musicologist ever since his edition of the nine Beethoven Symphonies was published in 2000 to international acclaim.

His main priority in editing the Beethoven piano sonatas was to present the musical text as closely as possible to the composers' intentions. Beethoven was incredibly accurate, methodical and scrupulous down to the last accidental and staccato mark, something which the editor has strived to achieve in his work. To ensure this he examined close to one hundred sources, across thirteen libraries, entailing thirteen trips abroad and a number of visits to the British Library and the Royal College of Music. Though Beethoven's handwriting is often described as near indecipherable, Jonathan Del Mar has spent decades becoming familiar with the extant Beethoven autographs, meaning that the composers' handwriting is now very familiar to him.

Critical Commentary

Bärenreiter Beethoven 2020 Alongside the Urtext edition of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, Jonathan Del Mar presents a Critical Commentary to this body of works. With diligence and factual accuracy, he documents readings and editorial decisions, discusses problematic sections and provides answers for questions that have occupied and divided scholars for decades, including Beethoven’s notational idiosyncrasies and particular issues relating to performance practice. The critical commentary is more than a mere list of findings: It is a fascinating read offering valuable glimpses into Beethoven’s compositional process. This scholarly contribution is unparalleled in its precision and indispensable for in-depth studies of Beethoven’s piano sonatas.

A set of all three complete piano sonata volumes.

Available Format: Sheet Music

Volume one of the complete sonatas. Includes sonatas 1-10 (including Pathetique), and piano sonatinas 1-3 (WoO 47 - Kurfürsten).

Available Format: Sheet Music

Volume two of the complete sonatas. Includes sonatas 11-21, including March Funebre, Quasi una fantasia, Moonlight, Pastorale, Waldstein,The Hunt and Tempest.

Available Format: Sheet Music

Volume three of the complete sonatas. Includes sonatas 22-32, including Appassionata, Les Adieux, and Hammerklavier.

Available Format: Sheet Music

Extensive Critical Commentary (English) for all thirty-five piano sonatas

Available Format: Sheet Music


The new Bärenreiter edition of Beethoven’s Complete Piano Sonatas has received praise from a number of pianists which can be seen in the testimonial videos below.