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Allegretto in E flat major, Hess 48
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With the little Allegretto in E flat we are in the Beethoven’s final years in Bonn before his move to Vienna in 1792. Though the autograph is lost, the work almost certainly dates from around 1790, when the composer was emerging from obscurity in the Bonn chapel and theatre orchestras and delighting connoisseurs with his keyboard prowess. One of Beethoven’s favourite haunts was the Zehrgarten, a cultural and political club frequented by enlightened aristocrats and intellectuals; and it was for members of this circle that he wrote many of his early ‘domestic’ works, including, we may guess, this guileless Allegretto, cast in the form of a minuet without trio.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2003

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