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Beethoven variants


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Author Topic: Beethoven variants  (Read 643 times)
Roehre
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« on: May 03, 2009, 07:01:55 pm »

As is well documented, e.g. by the 5000 odd pages of sketches which were found after his death, Beethoven made sometimes many versions of a work or a passage of a work.

Many of these are just try outs, only meant for himself, not for the public eye.
But there are exceptions.
One such exception is the violin concerto, of which there exist at least four different versions of the solo part by Beethoven (and one by Franz Clement, the first person to play the concerto):
a)the original part as originally composed by Beethoven
b)the part as amended by Franz Clement
c)the part as amended by Beethoven following many, but not all of these suggestions by Clement in b) , and adding new amendments
d)the part as published by Beethoven, different from c).
e)the part arranged for piano by Beethoven, again different from the published violin part d)

does anyone know of recordings/performances of especially the versions mentioned as a) and b)?
should these versions be played?

are there other works by Beethoven of which in your opinion other versions should be played (alternative ending of symphony 8 1st mvt e.g.)?
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Reiner Torheit
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 11:55:04 pm »

are there other works by Beethoven of which in your opinion other versions should be played (alternative ending of symphony 8 1st mvt e.g.)?

I believe LEONORE (the original opera of 1806 which Beethoven later reworked as FIDELIO) is an enormously superior piece.  It's much tighter dramatically, and more interesting - for example the pivotal role of Rocco is much more ambivalent in LEONORE... he disarms Leonore after the dungeon quartet,  whereas in FIDELIO he is already firmly on her side by then. Plus, of course, you don't have "Abscheulicher!", and in its place there's a much more credible (in my view) spoken "melodrama" (ie text spoken over the music) purely about "hope".  That way when the horn signal sounds the call to action, we're gripped by the change that has come over Leonore and her resolve to free her husband...  the "FIDELIO" version has given the game away before the aria's started.
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Tony Watson
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2009, 12:10:53 am »

Beethoven found it difficult to decide whether the exposition of the first movement of his third symphony should have the customary repeat. I prefer it without. I am in favour of repeats in many other symphonies but in this case such a compelling movement (one of my favourites) works better for me when the argument is being continually advanced.
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smittims
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2009, 10:05:11 am »

I'd like to hear the Ninth Symphony done with a conjectural reconstruction of the originally-intended  orchestral finale, whose sketches were later reworked as the finale of the A minor quartet , op.132.
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Roehre
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2009, 02:13:27 pm »

a conjectural reconstruction of the originally-intended  orchestral finale, whose sketches were later reworked as the finale of the A minor quartet , op.132.

That would be a very nice one, smittims, and such a reconstruction would be based on better assumptions than Dr.Cooper's "Beethoven 10".

Another late work I'd like to hear in its original form is the introduction for the string quintet in C, of which we only possess the Diabelli piano arrangement - has someone already tried to create such an reconstruction?
Would be very interesting, as i think it would confirm that the Beethoven of opus 135 and the opus 130 finale is creating distance from what we now call his "late style" (specifically regarding opp.132-130-131)
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Roehre
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2009, 02:22:01 pm »

I believe LEONORE (the original opera of 1806 which Beethoven later reworked as FIDELIO) is an enormously superior piece. 

Agree fully 100%. IMO Fidelio is staying on the stage because its by Beethoven. It is not a strong opera, and Mahler's insertion of Leonore III makes things even worse IMO.

Reiner, what do you think of a recent suggestion that the piece which is described by Kinsky/Halm as the Introduction to Act II of the incidental music for Tarpeja (WoO2 b), actually is a prelude for Act III of Leonore?
Reports of the premiere mention such a piece, but Leonore as we know it now doesn't contain a prelude of what kind whatsoever.
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Reiner Torheit
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2009, 09:18:27 pm »

Reiner, what do you think of a recent suggestion that the piece which is described by Kinsky/Halm as the Introduction to Act II of the incidental music for Tarpeja (WoO2 b), actually is a prelude for Act III of Leonore?
Reports of the premiere mention such a piece, but Leonore as we know it now doesn't contain a prelude of what kind whatsoever.

I'm afraid I don't know either the piece in question, or the scholarly discussion which refers to it Sad   I'm a practitioner rather than an academic, and although I try to make it my business to "know my stuff" on operas which I am staging,  I've yet to work on either FIDELIO or LEONORE, sadly.  (But I am open to offers if anyone is reading this  Roll Eyes )   I was dimly aware that several of the recreations of LEONORE have proceeded with slightly shaky source-material for the performance - it would not surprise me at all to find that parts of the work have fallen away or become disused.

BTW I completely agree with you about this awful practice of using Leonore III as a "curtain-raiser" for Act II of FIDELIO!  It cuts the legs from under the "big moment".   I think we have to look at FIDELIO as a separate work to LEONORE (despite the relationship between the two pieces), and it's a slightly more "philosophical" piece than LEONORE...   at its heart is the theme "HOPE".  Even when that hope seems dashed, it comes unexpectedly in the bugle-call that announces the Minister's arrival...   if we hear that bugle-call before the right moment, Beethoven's carefully-wrought psychology is destroyed Sad
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