classical music

A New Light on Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas

Part of Classical Season 2020/21

This event has been cancelled as we are currently closed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Matthew Barley and Dénes Várjon look at Beethoven’s life through the lens of his five cello sonatas, and Barley adds an improvisatory twist joined by pianist Tim West.

Beethoven expanded the horizons of almost every instrument and the cello came in for special treatment.

Before Beethoven, the cello sonata barely existed. After him, it became a vehicle for tender, fearsome and poetic expression.

Here, British cellist Mathew Barley and Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon use the variety and colour of the composer’s five sonatas to examine his life afresh.

They move from the adventure and virtuosity of his first two sonatas to the grand architecture and self-exploration of the final two.

In between, we hear Sonata Op.69, created ‘amid tears and sorrow’, a tender and poignant work demonstrating just how personal the instrument became to Beethoven, who came to view his sonatas as oases of creativity in difficult times.

The sonatas traverse Beethoven’s career and his various realms of expression – rhythmic force, explosive energy, philosophical searching and emotional catharsis.

Barley, a lifelong explorer of Beethoven’s sonatas, promises a ‘mini-festival’ in which the audience join the discussion and no element of Beethoven’s life or works is off limits.

The power and excitement of improvisation – the sort that fuelled Beethoven’s own compositions – shapes the entire evening.

The cellist addicted to innovation
The Telegraph

Performers

Matthew Barley cello
Dénes Várjon piano
Tim West piano improvisation

Repertoire

Beethoven: Cello Sonata No.1 in F, Op.5 No.1; Cello Sonata No.2 in G minor, Op.5 No.2
-: Improvisations and discussion
Interval
Beethoven: Cello Sonata No.3 in A, Op.69
-: Improvisations and discussion
Interval
Beethoven: Cello Sonata No.4 in C, Op.102 No.1; Cello Sonata No.5 in D, Op.102 No.2
-: Improvisations

Dates & times

Approximate run time: 215 mins
Run times may vary, find out more
    • Sat 10 October 2020
      • 6:00 pm
        cancelled

where

Purcell Room

Pricing

£20 - £30
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)

Multi-buy discount

£20, £30

Multi-buy discount
Book 3 to 4 events in the International Chamber Music Series and save 10% on tickets, or book 5 or more events and save 20%. This discount is not available on Premium seats and only applies to multiple concerts bought in the same series, not across two or more series.

Concessions

25% off (limited availability)
Find out more about our Concessions policy

need to know

Ticketing
Book 3 to 4 events in the International Chamber Music Series and save 10% on tickets, or book 5 or more events and save 20%. This discount is not available on Premium seats and only applies to multiple concerts bought in the same series, not across two or more series.

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.

Discounted student tickets are available from Student Pulse in the month before this concert.
Download the Student Pulse app or register online.