The "Problem" of the D Minor Sonata
(OP. 31, NO. 2)
IN the Beethoven Handbook (6, 11, p. 203) Theodore Frimmel ridicules the investigations to which the peculiar form of the first movement of the D minor sonata has given rise.
It is really quite immaterial [he writes] what one calls the opening of this sonata, whether Introduction--though certainly not an introduction in the sense of those of the older symphonies--Hauptsatz, or "head" motif. At all events the first movement up to bar 21 remains capricciolike in character. If one chooses to have the Hauptsatz begin at bar 21, let him do so. I shall not interfere with him. Nevertheless this Hauptsatz rising within the intervals of the triad, takes form in the very first bar of the sonata so that it is merely a matter of taste if one places his H.S. [Hauptsatz] over the first or the 21st bar.
The sarcasm would be justified if the comments to which Frimmel refers were really only intent on applying the usual technical designations to the different sections