Beethoven's composition of sonatas for Cello and Piano was unprecedented; he had no models in the works of Haydn or Mozart. Only recently had the instrument begun to liberate itself from its role in the traditional basso continuo.
The first two Sonatas in this book, comprising Op. 5, were composed in 1796, while Beethoven was in Berlin. He would not embark on another such project until 1807, when he composed the Sonata in A (Op. 69). Eight years later he would return to the idiom to write the two last Sonatas (Op. 102). This is a Great Performers Edition, edited by cellist Janos Starker.