FOR THE CURIOUS CELLIST

Beethoven Violin Sonata Op 24 in F “Spring”

This extraordinary sonata is here transcribed in the original key. If we were to take it down a fifth then it would lie in a much easier register (almost always in the Neck Region with very occasional forays up into the Intermediate Region). However many of the lower passages would then lie on the two lower strings where they simply don’t sound appropriately melodic. Bars 11-22, 127-135 and 147-150 in the first movement are good examples of such passages:

down fifth or orig key

A more satisfactory compromise therefore would seem to be to stay in the original key but to transpose of some the highest passages down an octave in such a way (transposing entire phrases) that the musical line is unaffected. Therefore the entire Scherzo is taken down an additional octave but none of the Trio. The theme of the Rondo also is treated in the same way, as shown in the following example:

rondo down 1 or 2 octaves

Several pianists have had the kindness to record the piano accompaniment for all movements on Youtube, so we have quite a large choice of pianists with whom we can play this sonata anytime we might wish. The piano part is of course the same as for with the violin and can be downloaded from imslp.org.

FIRST MOVEMENT

The only note modifications that have been made in this transcription for cello are: bar 86, double stop octave removed, bar 160, chord revoiced, and last 4 bars transposed down an octave:

  Edited Performance Version     Clean Performance Version   Easier Version    Literal Transcription

SECOND MOVEMENT

   Edited Performance Version   Clean Performance Version   Easier Version     Literal Transcription

THIRD AND FOURTH MOVEMENTS

In our Performance Versions quite a lot of these two movements has been transposed down an additional octave (see the Literal Transcription for a comparison). No other note changes have been made, apart from the revoicing of a few chords. The “Easier Version” is only easier than the Performance Versions in two ways:

  • the highest passages have been brought down an octave
  •  in the many fast, fiddly bits – which are really quite difficult although not in the high register – the notes have not been changed but the complex bowings, slurs and articulations have been removed.

Edited Performance Version     Clean Performance Version       Easier Version    Literal Transcription