In revising his Wind Octet, op. 103, into his String Quintet, op. 4, Beethoven substantially altered the retransition to the main thematic return in each of the movements. The various retransitions of op. 4 are refashioned so as to become points of structural focus as well as of poetic expression. Throughout his career, Beethoven would continue to revisit strategies seen in op. 4's revised retransitions, including not only their specific aspects (such as the use of E♭♭/E♮♮ conflicts as a means of problematizing a return to the main key) but also more generally through his highlighting of the contrast between control and disruption at these critical formal junctures. Accordingly, the revised re-transitions of op. 4 suggest a new stage in the development not only of Beethoven's compositional technique but also of his artistic outlook.
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