Tuesday 7th June, 0000-0700
Allegro, ma non troppo
Tempo di menuetto
The opus number for this pair of piano sonatas is the only anomaly in the perceived chronology of Beethoven's cycle, for they date from around the time of Op. 7. The writing of No. 2 probably preceded No. 1 in 1797, but then the composer seems to have set them aside, for they only appeared in print in 1805 as 'sonates facile', or 'easy sonatas', after his brother had sent them off to a publisher without his knowledge. Perhaps Ludwig felt they were too low-key when set against the larger-scale works that soon followed from his pen and had intended to keep them for private use among his friends and their children. Beethoven certainly had no qualms about reusing the Tempo di menuetto finale of No. 2 as the basis of a movement in his Septet, Op. 20, of 1800.
Both are two-movement works, each lasting under ten minutes. No. 1 pairs a sober Andante with a lively, 6/8 rondo, No. 2 a straightforward sonata allegro with the aforementioned gentle minuet.