Movement 1: Allegro moderato
Movement 2: Scherzo: Allegro ma non troppo – Trio
Movement 3: Rondo: Allegretto
The middle movement is also in E flat, making this a rare Beethoven work that retains the same key and mode throughout. Though labelled ‘Scherzo’, this is really a minuet, gentler and more decorous than the examples Haydn was producing by this time. The delightful Trio is a bucolic German dance. For the finale Beethoven writes an easy-going rondo whose lilting theme is varied on each of its reappearances. The cello has more independence here than in the earlier movements, especially in the imitative dialogues in the second, ‘developing’ episode. The quiet sideslip to a surprise key in the coda is an early example of a Haydnesque gambit which Beethoven would fruitfully exploit in the years to come.
from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2004