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The Sonata in F Minor Op. 2 No. 1 is an outstanding example of formal and thematic concentration. As Beethoven was wont to do, he used the technique of what may be called “rhythmic diminution” in the first movement. A theme from a quartet he composed as an adolescent is used as the base for the second movement. Although he was barely 25 years old at the time, his subtle style is already apparent. With just a single change, Beethoven transformed the somewhat banal, conventional theme he used from the quartet into an astoundingly inspired, poetic musical moment. The brief, somewhat sombre minuet is followed by a stormy, spirited prestissimo whose impetuousness seems to prefigure the “Appassionata”.

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