There is no existing manuscript of this sonata in E. The present edition is based on that published by Breitkopf & Härtel, in 1803, of which there is a copy in the American Library of Congress. The title page gives “Œuv. 40”, that is, Opus 40.
There are three piano sonatas by Reicha entitled “Grande Sonate”. Despite the French title, they were written when Reicha was living in Vienna, before his final move to Paris in 1808.
At that time, in the Austrian capital, Reicha was renewing his friendship with Beethoven and, though we have no documentary evidence for it, it was perhaps the latter’s example that influenced Reicha to write piano sonatas that were more expansive in style than his earlier ones.
Over a hundred of Reicha’s compositions have been published and a great number still remain in manuscript, among which many are of the highest importance to the art of music.
Hector Berlioz, Journal des Débats, 3 juillet 1836
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