The most intimate form of chamber music in Beethoven's day, the piano sonata became the composer's vehicle for his boldest and most private thoughts. The five compositions in this collection, the most famous of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas, are among the most frequently recorded and performed in the piano repertoire. All composed during the master's most fertile period, they include Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op.13 ("Pathétique"); Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 ("Moonlight"); Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 ("Waldstein"); Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 ("Appassionata"); and Sonata No. 26 in E-flat major, Op. 81a ("Les Adieux"). The music is reproduced directly from the exemplary Universal-Edition set edited by Heinrich Schenker. Combining scrupulous scholarship and profound artistic vision, Schenker achieved an edition that is universally admired by musicians and scholars. He used more autographs as sources than any previous editor of the sonatas and was the first to reproduce in print the visual impression of the autographs. Noteheads for this volume have been reproduced in a size large enough to be read easily at the keyboard. Margins and spaces between staves are generous, permitting insertion of written notes, analysis, fingerings, etc. Running measure numbers and many fingerings have already been included by the editor — the last a particularly unusual and valuable feature of this edition. Newly added are prefatory performance notes written specially for this compilation by pianist Anton Kuerti. Considered among the world's foremost Beethoven interpreters, Mr. Kuerti has recorded all of the master's sonatas and concertos. Highly desirable for instruction, study, reference, and enjoyment, this volume will be welcomed by professional and amateur pianists for its accuracy and reliability.