Johann Baptist Wanhal (1739-1813, also spelled Vaňhal, Waṅhal, and Vaňhal) is a composer of Czech origin who lived in Vienna from his twenty-first year of age. He was not only an extraordinarily prolific composer, but also an amazing musician on piano, organ, flute or string instruments, and he regularly met with Mozart, Dittersdorf and Haydn, with whom he played in a string quartet.
The current edition of sonatinas for piano is intended for intermediate students; the Cadenza at the begging of each piece was possibly designed as a tool for teaching harmonic functions and their relations (in the past, music theory, harmony and partially even aesthetics were taught together with practical play). Wanhal's sonatinas are simple as pertains to inventiveness and structure, but they contain a very colourful array of moods and styles which represent a simplified sampler of sorts of the various types of Classicist music contemporary to the composer. in consideration of educational needs, the publication is amended with pedal markings and fingerings.