Beethoven's development as a composer, his evolution from the brilliant virtuoso to the classical creator and finally to the mystic, the deaf seer, is in no other section of his work so clearly demonstrated as in the relatively few works for violoncello and piano. The better known works for violin and piano were for instance composed within the short space of the five years 1798-1803. The cello works, on the contrary, are spread over a period of more than 20 years and thus represent all three creative period fairly equally. While the two Sonatas Op. 5 break new formal ground and reveal hitherto unfamiliar possibilites for display and expressiveness in the violoncello, the A major Sonata Op. 69 exhibits the serene sense of balance and spacious formal conception typical of much of Beethoven's music in his middle period. A valuable enrichment to the cello repertoire is provided by the three works in variation form. Finally, the two cello Sonatas Op. 102, together with the piano Sonata Op. 101, signal the beginning of the late style, at the same time ushering in a pause in Beethoven's chamber music: ten years were to elapse before he took up wirk on the last string quartets. The works for cello, spaced as they are over a wide number of years, outline Beethoven's creative processes as a whole and afford an insight into his evolution as artist and man. For this reason they remain representative of his entire life's work.