Monday 6th June, 1700-1930
Tuesday 7th June, 1700-1930
Presto alla tedesca
This Sonata, together with its predecessor Op. 78 and the G minor Fantasy, Op. 77, formed a package of new works that Beethoven promised to the London-based publisher, pianist and composer Muzio Clementi in 1807. Beethoven had long admired the Italian-born musician and had even been influenced by him in his early piano sonatas, and it took a while for him to pluck up the courage to meet him. But there was an instant rapport, and Clementi agreed to take on a large body of Beethoven's music for the British market, commissioning the three piano works for a sum of £60.
Op. 79 was published as a Sonatine or "Sonate facile", though as usual there's sophistication behind the straightforward front. The first movement is in the style of a German folk dance popular at the time, effectively a predecessor of the waltz. It is followed by a gentle barcarolle-style Andante in G minor and an ear-catching rondo finale.