Every development of a musical genre has its own point of departure. In Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano sonatas, this consists of the three Sonatas Op. 2, with which he immediately created an exclamation mark. AsBeethoven’sfirstworksinthisgenre,they must naturally undergo an artistic compari- son with the contributions made by his near contemporaries Mozart and Haydn. And they must not shrink from this.
After all, in these works already, Beethoven took the Classical form of the piano sonata to unprecedented heights. The listener senses his endeavours to set new standards for the genre. Consequently, the Sonatas Op. 2 are the interface between tra- dition and the new “awakening”, the hinge, as it were, between old and new. Because apart from being rooted in the tradition of Haydn and Mozart, as far as composition is concerned, Beethoven forces his way with his three sonatas into the 19th century, in a manner that is impossible to ignore.