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Beethoven's 30th sonata, Op. 109, was written in 1820 and dedicated to Maximiliane Bentrano. After the Hammerklavier, Beethoven returns to a smaller scale and a more intimate character. Musically, the work is characterised by a free and original approach to the traditional sonata form. Its focus is the third movement, a set of variations that interpret its theme in a wide variety of individual ways. The first pianists to undertake to bring Beethoven's last sonatas, including Op. 109, to public attention were Franz Liszt, who regularly included them in his programs between 1830 and 1840, and Hans von Bülow, who even included several of the late sonatas in one evening.
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