Вероятно, не является сочинением Бетховена. Текст, написанный чужой рукой, был обнаружен среди бумаг композитора.
4. Thema mit Variationen (Allegretto)
Juliette Hurel, флейта
Hélène Couvert, фортепиано
Although the score was not completed and revised by Beethoven, it is assumed that the Sonata for flute and piano in B flat major dates from the Bonn period, around 1790: the source is a manuscript, which is not in his hand but is found in his posthumous papers, a sort of transcription of sketches, difficult to read, with a note in pencil ‘I Sonata fecit di Bethve’ – this provides an argument for dating the sketch to the Bonn period, since Beethoven's name is written with a single ‘e’. On the basis that works appearing under Beethoven’s name have always turned out to be by him, the musicologist Willy Hess, who published a new edition of this sonata (already printed in a radically revised and transformed version in 1906) in 1951, was of the opinion that what we have here is the nucleus of an authentic composition that remained in an unfinished state (its incompleteness is demonstrated by the absence of tempo markings for the first and the fourth movements, as well as the paucity of dynamic and expression marks throughout). To support his point of view, Hess also relied on stylistic arguments, notably the surprise modulation that opens the development of the first movement, the atmosphere of the Largo, and the cross-accents in the second variation of the last movement.
Whatever its provenance, this fine sonata was conceived in four movements (and not three as was generally the case for chamber works). The first movement in B flat major and 4/4 time follows a sonata-form design; teeming with melodic ideas, it features a surprising modulation to D major at the start of the development. The second is a triple-time Polonaise in B flat major including a Trio in F major that accentuates the rhythmic character of the pulse. The third, marked Largo, is in duple time (cut C) and E flat major; it is characterised by calm, gentle melody. The fourth movement is a theme and variations. Its cheerful theme in B flat major and triple time is ornamented from one variation to the next, by triplets (1), then by semiquavers with crossaccents (2). While the third variation in B flat minor must probably be performed in a slower tempo, the fourth, marked ‘Finale’, brings the theme back and gives both instrumentalists an opportunity to display their virtuosity.