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This work; in two movements and dating from 1804; is clearly among the lesser-known of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas. The lack of a sonata-movement form; the old-fashioned heading “in Tempo d'un Menuetto” of the opening movement; and the motor rhythm of the following finale perplexed Beethoven's friends and students. While even in the 19th century people were convinced that external circumstances had caused Beethoven to publish a “torso”; today we belive that the composer was following a particular formal concept that consciously heightened the contrast between the two sections so powerfully that composition of a further movement was unnecessary for the balance of the sonata.
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