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Piano Sonata No.25 in G Major Op.79

Ludwig van Beethoven 1770-1827

Sonata No.25 in G Major, Op. 79

Like the two sonatas published in 1805 as Op. 49, but composed in 1798 or even earlier, Op.79 is really a sonatina: sonata facile in Beethoven’s own words to the publishers Breitkkopf and Härtel. It was printed by them in November 1810, probably about a year after its completion, but without a dedication, and there is no way of telling for whom Beethoven wrote it, or why.

The first of its three movements is in sonata form and ‘in the German style’ – ie in the manner of a Germandance or Ländler – but perversely and contradictorily marked Presto. Technically, it is not in fact all that easy to play, for there is a lot of hand-crossing in the development section. The slow movement is a ternary-form Andante in G minor, with a middle section in E flat major: the style is suggestive of a barcarolle. The finale is a trim rondo, with episodes in E minor and C major.

© Robin Golding

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