This work, in two movements and dating from 1804, is clearly among the lesser-known of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas. The lack of a sonata-movement form, the old-fashioned heading “In Tempo d’un Menuetto” of the opening movement, and the motor rhythm of the following finale perplexed Beethoven’s friends and students. While even in the 19th century people were convinced that external circumstances had caused Beethoven to publish a “torso”, today we believe that the composer was following a particular formal concept that consciously heightened the contrast between the two sections so powerfully that composition of a further movement was unnecessary for the balance of the sonata.