Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) was one of the greatest pianists of his time and a composer of exceptional abilities. Ries studied pianoforte (but not composition) with Beethoven in Vienna and the two men remained on cordial terms for the rest of their lives. In the last year of his life Ries co-wrote a book of Beethoven reminiscences that remain one of the most valuable sources of information about his life and character. The place and date of composition of the Sonate Sentimentale is uncertain in spite of the apparently conclusive evidence to the contrary: Ries's autograph score is dated 'Godesberg 1814' but by this time Ries was living in London. The discrepancy is probably due to the fact that Ries added the date to this manuscript, as he did to many others, in the 1820s. One of the most intriguing aspects of this work is the difference between Ries's original conception and the work as it appeared in its first published edition in 1834. The extent of the changes points to a substantial authorial revision of the work made prior to publication rather than a garbled transmission of the original text. Among the most striking of these changes is the inclusion of a brief introduction to the first movement; but other passages are extensively rewritten and in some instances lengthened by the inclusion of additional material. As with all Ries's works for flute, the Sonate Sentimentale is exceptionally well written for the instrument and yet perhaps even more impressive is the way in which Ries balances the musical texture and exploits the full potential of both the flute and piano. The beautiful work is arguably the most impressive flute sonata of the early 19th century.