Cello Sonata No. 4 in C Major, Op. 102, 1st movement

Cello Sonata No. 4 in C Major, Op. 102, 1st movement

Cello Sonata No. 4 in C Major, Op. 102, 1st movement

Ludwig van Beethoven

Yi-Bing Chu's masterclass

Produced by the Saline royale Academy English Music sheet annotated by  Yi-Bing Chu  is available 45 min. Cello

Professor Yi-Bing Chu and his student Yongqi Lao work on tempo, rhythm, and how to perform collaboratively with an accompanist.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy

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The masterclass

About this masterclass

In this masterclass, Professor Yi-Bing Chu discusses the importance of tempo, rhythm, and partnership in Beethoven’s fourth sonata for cello and piano. Chu explains the difference between speed and tempo and emphasizes the importance of having a continual pulse that is felt by both players. He also helps the cellist and pianist play more closely together. He works with the cellist to communicate visually with the pianist and encourages her to work on multitasking while playing. That way, she can read the music and think about the necessary technical motions while still being able to look regularly at the pianist.

Other topics covered in this class include developing a singing quality of sound and varying repeated material so that it never sounds the same. 

What we learn in this masterclass

  1. Maintaining the tempo and rhythm.

  2. Staying in sync with the piano.

  3. Being able to multitask while playing.

  4. Singing through the sound.

  5. Varying repetition of the same material.


Cello Sonata No. 4 in C Major, Op. 102 by Ludwig van Beethoven 

Beethoven composed his fourth and fifth cello sonatas in 1815, at the brink of his third period of composition, which was characterized by deep emotion and introspection as well as innovation, and led to the creation of masterpieces such as the Ninth Symphony. Both works are dedicated to his longtime friend, Countess Marie Erdödy. The fourth sonata in C Major showcases the beginning of Beethoven’s experimentation and new approach to form and harmony, as it deviates from the typical Classical sonata structure. The work is much shorter than his previous sonatas for the instrument, and only contains two movements. Both open with slow introductions that are thematically related to each other before moving into modified sonata forms that develop the motivic material originally presented.

In the first movement, Andante – Allegro vivace, the introduction is in C Major, but the entirety of the rest of the movement is in A minor. The second movement, Adagio – Tempo d'andante – Allegro vivace, starts in a darker mood, but transitions back to the lighter, expected key of C Major. The Allegro vivace sections of both movements are full of drama, vivacity and spirit.

  • Date:15 February 2022
  • Producer: Produced by the Saline royale Academy
  • Duration:45 min.
  • Spoken language:English

Sheet music

Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this cello masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Yi-Bing Chu's feedback and comments.

Sheet music cello sonata no. 4 in c major, op. 102, 1st movement

Yi-Bing Chu

Yi-Bing Chu

Winner of the International Music Performance Competition in Geneva in 1986

Born into a family of musicians, Yi-Bing Chu began to learn the cello at the age of 8 with his father, who was professor at the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing, China). At an early age he began to perform, and at 10, he recorded his first disc. At that time, the Cultural Revolution in China was still underway and classical music was banned. Chu eventually enrolled in a class taught by celebrated cellist, Maurice Gendron, at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. He graduated in 1987 with a Premier Prix. Furthermore, he won First Prize at the Concours international d’exécution de musique in Geneva in 1986.

In 1989, Chu became principal cellist at the Basel Symphony Orchestra, Switzerland, and stayed there until 2004. From 2004 to 2018, he was appointed cello professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. There, he passionately contributed to the spread and influence of chamber music throughout China. With this, Chu founded the China Philharmonic Cellists, made up of his cellist students. With them, he has given hundreds of concerts across the country.

He has performed for prominent figures, such as the presidents of China, France and the United States. Chu is keen on spreading classical music to as many people as possible, by giving concerts in universities, hospitals, factories and jails for millions of Chinese people who have little access to this genre. He also founded the SuperCello Festival, Beijing, and produced three recordings with his cellist students.

van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven

Born in Bonn, Germany in 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most mainstream references of Classicism — a pianist, composer, and an unequivocal genius. Descending from a long line of musicians, Beethoven studied music from an early age, beginning with the piano, clarinet, and the organ. At the ripe age of 11-years-old, Beethoven received his first job as a court organist, replacing his own teacher for a period of time. A veritable young prodigy, Beethoven was publicly compared to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and a few years later, the young musician traveled to Vienna to briefly study under the tutelage of Mozart himself. In his late 20s, Beethoven noticed difficulties with his hearing and by his mid 40s, he was completely deaf and unable to vocally communicate. Despite this misfortune, he remarkably continued to compose music. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 was written after he had entirely lost his hearing. 
 While his early musical career heavily reflected the Viennese Classical tradition inherited by the likes of Mozart and Haydn, Beethoven achieved a unique revolutionary identity by the end of his career. Deceased in 1827, his wake was a public event that gathered around 10,000 people. Despite his passing, Beethoven’s legacy lives on. His works anticipated many of the features that would characterize music in the romantic era and even that of the 20th century.

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