That's that, then
So with number 32, the op 111 C minor Sonata, we're done. It's still not my favourite of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas, but this time, when I've listened to all the others, albeit not in order, it makes more sense. But is still a bit too pompous for my liking.
It's been a long trip through the canon - 32 days, obviously, but it seems longer! - but also around Beethoven's creative output. Traditional thinking is that Beethoven was usually thinking ahead of the game and experimenting more in his sonatas than in the more public-facing symphonies; as well as that this trawl through them has confirmed to me that you can often hear Beethoven improvising in them. That may be one of the ways in which he managed to find such a unique and outspoken voice.
My favourites? Still those short first movements, especially towards the late sonatas, in which he condenses sonata form right down into a rich, intense epression. Almost a gesture rather than a movement. Great examples to follow.