Composed in 1814. Two movements.
The Opus 90 Sonata evades easy characterisation. It’s highly compressed, usually taking no more than 14 minutes to be performed in its entirety, and is constructed with incredible efficiency despite its thematic richness.
The refrain of the rondo of the second movement is one of the most beautiful melodies Beethoven has ever written, but the first movement is much more difficult to pin down; it is certainly full of tension, but of a rather lonely and maddening kind; it is not as threatening as Appassionata or violent as Opus 111. Of particular interest is the development section of the first movement, which is as short as it is ingenious, and the structure of the rondo, a bit mysterious, has elements of sonata form, and no one knows if it actually got a coda, and where it begins, if it exists.