♫ Op. 111’s first movement gets precisely the development the exposition would lead you to expect. That is to say: it is highly compact – you might even say “compressed”; it has that “airless” feeling that dominated the exposition – there are no “ritenente” passages to be found here; and just as the exposition was far more interested in the first theme than the second, the development is ONLY based on the first. Once the development gets going, it has an unstoppable force, but it begins with a nervy, off-kilter transitional passage. ♫ Ultimately, this is just a harmonic transition, out of A flat major and into g minor, achieved through a bass that drops by step. ♫ But its anxious, unsettled character comes from the fact that it features more silence than sound, and from the fact that the few sounds there are come not on the expected downbeats, but on the second beats of the bar. ♫ One two three four one. This, I feel, is a clear reference to the Maestoso introduction, where all the major events come on second beats. ♫ But what happens here in the development is in a certain way more extreme and disorientating, because NOTHING happens other than on a second beat – these misplaced, or displaced notes are surrounded on all sides by silence. At any rate, the final of these three utterances, ♫ is a clear reference to the opening/main theme, ♫ and it launches a development that is monomaniacally concerned with it. We begin with the expanded version of the theme – now in g minor – that came towards the end of the exposition. ♫ But the unison soon turns into counterpoint, with two and then three voices playing ideas that are all, more or less literally, drawn from the same opening material. The more literal voice is rhythmically identical to the opening theme itself. ♫ The other voice is rhythmically augmented – the three note cataclysm in the opening is quarters; this is halves – and it's also slightly lengthened by a trill that follows the third note. ♫ But the intervals – unremarkable from notes 1 to 2, far more intense from 2 to 3 – ♫ those intervals make it clear what this is drawn from. It’s all drawn from the same well, and it wastes no time in setting the stage for the return, accelerating in agitation, and landing within seconds on a dominant G. ♫ Getting from V to I is what Beethoven’s recapitulations are, unfailingly, about, and the one that’s coming is perhaps the most dramatic one he ever wrote. The right hand, going back to that same well, plays ever rising versions of the three notes, while rapid figuration in the left hand continually hammers away that dominant G on the bottom, while the upper notes rise and rise, creating increasingly larger intervals. I’ll play it slowly, so that you can really hear it. ♫ The drama, I think, comes both from the stretch of the intervals in the left hand, ♫ and – perhaps more so – from the increasingly huge distance between those gs and the right hand. ♫ Here, again, is Beethoven’s go-to late period position – the distance between the hands in this instance not connoting transcendence (as in those examples from opp. 109 and 110 that I played earlier) but rage.