Composed between 1795 and 1796.
The second of Beethoven's two little sonatas Op.49 is a delicately playful and aristocratic work. The first movement features an ultra-compressed development and two themes that are surprisingly well linked by motivating links. The second movement, a minuet, is almost a small study in instrumental textures; Section A is written for a string section, B for wind instruments, and C for brass.
An interesting point is that the manuscript of this sonata does not contain any dynamic indication at all, with the exception of two pianissimos in the second movement. Pianists really are left to their own devices, and it is surprising that so many choose the same dynamic scheme. A definite point of divergence lies in the interpretation of Menuet's section A: some pianists take staccato with their left hand, and some play it legato.