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The fantasy played a relatively small role in the piano music of Viennese Classicism. Beethoven's sole contribution is perfectly suited to its genre designation in that the work; written in 1809; provides “a faithful portrayal of the way he used to improvise” (to use the words of Beethoven's student Carl Czerny). Meandering through keys and tempos; the piece presents a variety of different musical ideas that only relatively late in the piece flow into a self-contained Allegretto in B major and reveal its real goal to be a set of variations. This section could hardly be more distant from the gloomy G minor opening. The challenging work is now available as a separate Hene Urtext publication.
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