Largo e mesto
In the late 18th century it was customary to publish works in multiples of three and Beethoven typically worked on the triptych of his Op. 10 simultaneously between about 1796 and 1798. No. 3 is undoubtedly the finest of this set - the music historian Ernest Walker summed it up: 'the individuality of style is absolute and unchallenged, the structure of all the movements is mature and flawless.' These movements are a rigorously constructed opening Presto, a slow movement whose intensity, in Beethoven's own words 'expressed a melancholic state of mind... [portraying] every subtle shade, every phase of melancholy', a minuet and trio and lively finale.