Composed in 1800 and published as a “Grande Sonate”, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in B-flat major op. 22 marks the end of his first creative period. The only surviving handwritten source is a copyist’s manuscript that served as an engraver’s copy but which conflicts in many details with the original print. Beethoven held this sonata in especially high regard, proudly calling it “a real challenge” in a letter of 15 January 1801 to his publisher Franz Anton Hoffmeister. Indeed, it manifests the quintessence of classical formal principles: its proportions are balanced, its four-movement structure consummately designed.
It poses high demands on flawless technical brilliance and lightness of execution.