Composed in 1796, this movement was found in the same notebook as the last movement of the sonata, Op.10 No.1 and may have been originally planned to be one of the movements of the three sonatas in that set. it was not published until 1888 when Breitkopf and Hartel brought out the supplementary volume of the Gesamtausgabe.
'Beethoven Variations & Vignettes', Vox CD3X 3017. Alfred Brendel (pf).
Despite the fact that Beethoven composed the Allegretto in C major in 1803 and revised it in 1822 with an eye toward publication, the composer would not see the work published during his lifetime. It was first printed in 1888 as part of the Complete Edition of Beethoven's Works, published in Leipzig by Breitkopf & Hartel. The piece is paired with a Presto in C minor (WoO. 52) under the title, Zwei Bagatellen fur Clavier.
Rising and falling twice in its eight-measure span, the opening theme of the Allegretto features an interesting rhythmic twist. In a reversal of the typical minuet construction, the second half opens with a transposition of the first theme and closes with something new. Both parts remain in C major. Oddly, the section marked "Trio" behaves exactly like a traditional trio. After the repeat of its first theme, four measures of new material sound before a complete and literal return of the Trio's first theme. The coda is built on the opening Allegretto melody.
(All Music Guide)