Sketches for Piano Sonata in E-flat, Biamonti 98 (1800-1802?)
Author: Mark S. Zimmer
This short sketch, musically more or less complete, for a sonata comes from the four-page sketchleaf SV 329, held by the Beethoven-Archiv in Bonn. A large chunk is fragmentary but a written notation states "so fort herunter und wieder herauf," meaning: "so on down and up again". Willem notes regarding this lacuna: "The critical question is: at what point should the downward movement change in the upward direction? Well, it turns out that the top note of the rising scale (bar 22) cannot be but a B flat, an insight that comes from knowing the style. From that we can calculate the upward scale backwards, to discover that the turning point should be on the 2nd beat of bar 20. (Do note that the notes of the scale fit well with the notes in the bass).
In bar 14 one note has been changed: Beethoven has 3 B flats on the first beat, obviously a mistake he would have corrected later on. As written it sounds very barren, made worse because of the expressive C minor chord (rather: E flat [VI]) in the preceding bar. So, one B flat is changed by Willem's suggestion to a G, giving the chord in bar 14 a bit of color.
Our sincere thanks to Margarete Ritzkowsky, of Suetterlin Service for her transcription of Beethoven's Gothic handwriting on this sketch for us.