Minuet in D, Biamonti 249 (completion by Willem) (mp3)
This sketch is from the Landsberg 7-sketchbook, and therefore dates, like the Biamonti 228 and 252-sketches, from 1800.
At first sight there are several striking similarities between this sketch and the one for Biamonti 252: both are in D major, in both cases Beethoven indicates a contrapuntal writing in the first few bars, and both start with the same harmonic formula: I - VI - IV. This poses the question whether these may be different sketches for the same piece. The answer has to be an emphatic: no!
While in the case of Biamonti 249 the working out of the sketch results in a languishing decadence, the same technical features give rise to something very different in the case of Biamonti 252, namely the majesty and splendour of a George Frederic Handel.
The initial languishing mood of Biamonti 249 is disrupted by the militaristic fanfares of the second phrase. The Trio starts out as a gentle joke. The second phrase of the Trio begins with an F-sharp major chord (dominant of the parallel minor); the very same harmony occurs at the same place in the Scherzo of the 2nd Symphony.
This raises the question whether Biamonti 249 was ever intended as third movement for that symphony. This idea is strengthened by the fact that on the same page as Biamonti 249, we find a rejected sketch for the development section of the first movement of the Second Symphony.
It's also possible that the three sketches, Biamonti 228, 249 and 252, were intended for a dance-cycle like the Minuets WoO 7, or German Dances, WoO 8, from 1795. If that's so, then they seem to be a new departure, since they are of a heavier build, and more intellectual.
Completion by Willem. World premiere for the Unheard Beethoven.