In Berlin in 2005, Barenboim — who has now been playing the Beethoven works for more than five decades — performed a series of eight recitals traversing the complete Beethoven sonata cycle at the Staatsoper unter den Linden, where he is music director. This special program includes the entire fourth concert, which features the "Appassionata" (No. 23) as well as Sonatas Nos. 5, 11, 19 and 20. In addition, Barenboim on Beethoven features an interview with the maestro discussing these works and excerpts from his master classes with acclaimed young pianists Lang Lang, Jonathan Biss, and Shai Wosner.
Barenboim on Beethoven premieres tonight at 9 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on PBS, with additional showings scheduled for coming days on various stations — check your local listings.