In fact, it isn't. Life continues, the sun rises again by means of a fugue. This is another parallel to the Hammerklavier, devastating slow movement followed by a fugue. But in the Hammerklavier, between the slow movement and a fugue, comes in extraordinary transitional passage, a period of Beethoven groping for a way to go on. This was the passage that I describe as being in very broad strokes similar to what precedes the REOSO of Opus 110. Here, in Opus 110, there is no separation at all. The last note of REOSO becoming the first note of the fugue. So, this fugue is in A-flat major, not the bleaker than bleak A-flat minor of REOSO. But this is just the faintest hint of sunrise on the horizon. There are examples of composers following tragic slow movements with immediately exuberant finalis. Immediately and completely shrugging off what came before. I'm thinking of Mozart's A major piano concerto K 488, and of Beethoven's own ghost trio. But this is very different. Beethoven, is trying with audible effort to find a way to continue. What is most remarkable about this attempt to the continuation is that it comes out of the past This fugue subject is a reference reduction distillation of the opening theme of the first movement. The contours succession of rising fourths, cresting on an F are identical. The only difference is that whereas the opening theme having reached that top F, didn't quite know how to continue or resolve. Here the subject concludes with a simplicity that matches the rest of it. Without the chordal texture of the opening. The impression given is one of absolute purity, after what we've just heard and almost cleansing impurity. I don't want to gloss over the fact that this material comes straight out of the first movement. That is a remarkable development in sonata structure. I've talked on a number of occasions, about how Beethoven, was clearly pondering the question of how a sonata was bound together, from the very beginning of his com-positional career. The sonatas Opus two number three, and Opus 22 have strong motivic connections from movement to movement. The outer movements to the Appassionata, are linked by their initial harmonic progression. But this is another level of unification. This fugue subject is not just a reference to the opening of the first movement. It is the opening of the first movement, pared down to its essence to help us find our way out of an abyss. On its own terms, this fugue is rather straightforward. It has three voices which are introduced one by one with the subject. Remember, the fact that this movement is multi-partite, composed of so many distinct elements, recitative, REOSO, fugue, that already makes it radical. First for Beethoven and for the piano sonata in general. Each component may be short, and each other than the strange opening may be based on one idea, one style throughout. But the way in which they are combined, the sense of them interacting with one another. Still gives this music a palpable sense of discovery. There are two climaxes in this fugue, two appearances of fortissimo and a few that is mostly in a hushed piano and that only rarely reaches 14. The first, coming out of an, in fact continuing an anxious minor, brings with it an extension of the rising fourths. More than double the normal length, they just keep going up and up with ferocious insistence. This is the only truly severe moment in this fugue. It begins in wonderment and when it reaches its other fortissimo climax, it's not stirred this time, but rather ecstatic. You'll hear that this time, the upward fourths are compressed, taking up just a half a bar compared with the normal full bar. Giving the impression that the music is now spilling out uncontrollably. But this ecstatic outpouring does not conclude and triumph. In fact it does not conclude at all. It comes to a stop, gets stuck really, on a five-seven chord with stunning consequences. Just like that it's all gone, the fugue, the wonder, the promise of ecstasy, as we are plunged back into the world of the REOSO.