Соната посвящена баронессе Жозефине фон Браун, опубликована в 1799, однако эскизы сонаты относятся еще к 1795 году.
В 1801 г. Бетховен сделал транскрипцию сонаты для струнного квартета (Hess 34), в которой изменил тональность на более удобный для струнных фа мажор и использовал более "квартетную" фактуру.
В сонате 3 части:
Эту сонату принято считать мало значительной. Но у нее есть и свои неповторимо ценные черты.
The first movement opens with a series of ascending fourths in the right hand, followed by a quartet-like echoing of a phrase in different octaves. The second theme, in B major, is based on a chromatically ascending scale. The development is full of sixteenth-note arpeggios in the left hand, and sixteenth-note left-hand scales accompany the start of the recapitulation, but the movement ends quietly.
The second movement is minuet-like; the main section does not resolve to a full cadence, but ends on an E major chord that feels like the dominant of A minor. The first time, this leads without intermediate modulation to the trio, headed "Maggiore," in C; after its return, the coda briefly quotes the C major tune before returning to E minor.
The third movement is a lively rondo. On its final return, the main theme is syncopated against triplets.
Notwithstanding its seeming simplicity, this sonata introduces the "Sturm und Drang" character that became so commonly identified with Beethoven. He adds drama both in the contrast between the lyrical passages that follow very active, textured thematic sections. Furthermore, the contrasting dynamics and variation between major and minor, between using the parallel minor and the subdominant of its relative major (E-minor to C-major). These were new techniques that offer a hint of the innovations that Beethoven brought to end the Classical era and begin the Romantic era.
By the time Beethoven wrote this sonata, his ninth, he was already displaying a strongly individual voice in his piano works and would shortly embark on his First Symphony (1800) and other large works. Perhaps less compelling than its predecessor, the celebrated "Pathétique," this Sonata is an immensely interesting work, containing many subtle turns, surprises, and fresh ideas. Cast in three movements—Allegro, Allegretto, Rondo (Allegro comodo)—this composition begins with a lively, optimistic theme, against repeated chords in the left hand which accompany, and goad, the main narrative line. Initially a harbinger of light and joy, the main theme, introduces some tension when repeated, and the mood slightly darkens. In Beethoven's musical narrative, it seems, an initial mood, or impression, often leads to unexpected developments, creating a richly textured poetic substance. Thus, for example, when the second subject appears, its four descending notes transform the musical canvas into a space ruled by different varieties of doubt and mystery, considerably expanding the emotional and intellectual range of the narrative. Eventually, this episode proceeds to a triumphant ending, and the exposition material is repeated. The development section begins with the main theme transformed, but then a new idea comes to the fore. Somewhat derivative, this idea ushers in a rather atypical development episode. Although this is quite surprising from an intellectual standpoint, the appearance of this theme seems utterly natural, a logical outgrowth of a remember discourse. In the reprise, which follows this brief excursion, the main theme occurs with new accompaniment—ascending scales in the left hand—which imparts an ecstatic character to the music. A brief, brilliant coda concludes the movement. The ensuing Scherzo, though it carries the normally lively marking of Allegretto, operates as the slow movement. There is much tension in its restless main theme, and even the brighter music of the trio sections is not free of a sense of struggle. The finale begins with a rush of energy which traces a downward-moving trajectory. Despite the downward motion, the mood is one of wit, playfulness, and humor. While the second theme introduces some calm, the narrative line is driven by fast rhythms. Interestingly, there is some thematic development in this Rondo, which sounds almost symphonic.
(All Music Guide)