Соната для валторны F-dur, Opus 17

Время создания: 1800 г.

1. Allegro moderato
2. Poco adagio, quasi andante
3. Rondo: Allegro moderato

This work is contemporary with the Piano Sonata No. 11, in B flat, and the Six Variations for Piano, in G major, on an original theme, WoO. 77. Clearly, this chamber work is closer in spirit and purpose to the latter composition, whose unsophisticated charm and unabashed simplicity offer satisfying rewards for the listener. There is a rather incredible account by Beethoven's friend Ferdinand Ries that the composer began work on this sonata on the day prior to the performance. This work was premiered on April 18, 1800, in Vienna and Beethoven dedicated it to Baroness Josefine von Braun. Its first publication came in Vienna in 1801. Beethoven himself premiered the work with the French Horn virtuoso who had inspired its composition, Giovanni Punto (1746-1803), whose real name was Jan Vaclav Stich. Ries' story might be believable to those who view Beethoven's genius as boundless, but his account would also have to concede superhuman skill to Punto, who, talented though he certainly was, would either have to have learned the piece in a matter of hours, or possess sight-reading ability of phenomenal caliber. Punto earned the reputation as the greatest horn player of his day, not, one can safely surmise, by recklessly testing his skills.

As suggested, this work is light and fairly uncomplicated, at least in its expressive language and generally cheery moods. The horn and piano parts are anything but easy: it was Beethoven's aim to write a showpiece for his favorite horn player and himself. The first movement is marked Allegro moderato and features attractive, if not particularly memorable music. The ensuing Poco Adagio—quasi andante presents a ponderous mood and skillful writing for both instruments. The Rondo finale may be the best movement of the three: certainly the horn part is colorful and ebullient, and the piano accompaniment is deftly imagined. This work was premiered on April 18, 1800, in Vienna by the aforementioned pair. Beethoven dedicated it to Baroness Josefine von Braun. Its first publication came in Vienna in 1801.

(All Music Guide)