Beethoven personally designed these three works as “minor pieces,” thus referring to their technical demands and their light artistic weight. While the variations on “Se vuol ballare” from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro had most likely been written in Bonn, the Rondo dates from the first Viennese years at the latest. The six Deutsche Tänze (German Dances) are an occasional work from 1796 for the first two Prague Baronesses Thun so that they could – as we can read on an old copy – “dance to their tunes on other people's heads.” In view of the rather unsophisticated writing, the musical abilities of the young countesses must have been fairly limited. Altogether, the three pieces offer young violinists and pianists a welcome preparation for Beethoven's later pieces in this scoring.
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