Sonata in B flat, Op. 22
“This sonata has had a wash ...” With these words, Beethoven gives a very clear description of his Sonata in B flat dating from 1799-1800 in a letter to his publisher. But how are these words justified? By means of which innovations or developments? At first glance, Op. 22 is nothing more than a well-organized and structurally flawless sonata. But precisely therein could lie the key to Beethoven’s words. After the rather more experimental work in his Op. 10 and Op. 13, here the composer again finds his way back to the original model of the genre. However, this should not be considered a step backwards, precisely because formal and sonic experiments in the form and sound fail to materialize. A close proximity to Mozart in general – and to his Sonata K. 333 in particular – has been established, espe- cially in the development of the themes. The absence of a coda in the otherwise brilliantly formulated first movement is also typical of Mozart. The Adagio “con molta espressione” calls for expressive playing; however, the character of the movement is determined by a painfully opulent sound. The Minuetto is thematically linked to the Adagio, after which the trio, with its insistent semiquavers, offers a shrewd contrast. In the final rondo, harmonic surprises and graceful thematic associations await the listener.