The fantasy played a relatively small role in the piano music of Viennese Classicism. Beethoven’s sole contribution is perfectly suited to its genre designation in that the work, written in 1809, provides “a faithful portrayal of the way he used to improvise” (to use the words of Beethoven’s student Carl Czerny). Meandering through keys and tempos, the piece presents a variety of different musical ideas that only relatively late in the piece flow into a self-contained Allegretto in B major and reveal its real goal to be a set of variations. This section could hardly be more distant from the gloomy g minor opening. The challenging work is now available as a separate Henle Urtext publication.