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Sonata Op. 10 No. 3 is the longest and most significant of the three sonatas of this opus. The first movement, another presto, is lengthy and demands great virtuosity. The first theme, in octaves, hints at the music to come. Here Beethoven shows his determination to maintain the greatest possible cohesion in the major works by including links of both theme and motif. After this first movement, the largo e mesto provides a particularly striking contrast. This is undoubtedly one of young Beethoven’s most moving compositions. The first part of the second movement is wrought with deep sadness and only a moment of serenity, a brief chant, like that of a choir, emerges briefly in F major until relentless chords draw the work back into the shadows. This movement dies away with a few fragile notes. The theme of the charming menuetto that follows contrasts with its gentleness. But the dolce indication tells us that the drama of the previous movement continues to haunt the underlying design. The music gradually delivers the listener from this sad state, drawing him into joy. There is even an impression of laughter in the trio. The finale leads us from cheerfulness to something almost excessive. The notes continue to attempt to fly away, but their flight is always interrupted by lengthy pauses. This might suggest some sort of improvisation, or even that the interpreter is having problems playing by heart.

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