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We have a fire to thank for the Op. 102 Cello Sonatas. The palace of one of Beethoven's patrons, the Russian Ambassador Count Andreas Razumovsky, had burned down on New Year's Eve 1814. That night, the Count had held a ball whose invitees included Tsar Nicholas I, and the event necessitated special accommodations for the guests. Apparently, a system contrived to heat the additional space was the source of the fire, which destroyed much of the palace.