Page 2 - UM0027-Concerto in A major for piano and orchestra
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Preface to the second movement Adagio in D major                from 1789

               Compared, for example, to the large number of piano sonatas he wrote, Ludwig van Beethoven completed relatively few concertos
               for orchestra with solo instrument. These include merely five piano concertos, one violin concerto, the Triple Concerto in C major
               Opus 56 , the Choral Fantasy in C minor Opus 80  and the two romances for violin and orchestra. These are all relatively early works.
               It is sometimes thought that the absence of later solo concertos can be linked to his deafness, or that he was simply less interested
               in this form, but nothing could be further from the truth. In addition to the aforementioned works, there are countless lost  and
               unfinished works; he left behind an enormous number of sketches for solo instrument and orchestra. These all stem from the period
               from the early Piano Concerto in Es WoO 4  in 1784 until the year 1815, when he ceased his work on what would have been the sixth
               piano concerto . Thus, even in his later period, he was still very interested in this form. Perhaps there was too little enthusiasm for
               it and it was thus financially risky to release it.
               It is unlikely that he would have little interest in specifically the piano concert as a form. The piano was one of Beethovenꞌs favourite
               instruments, the one with which he could perhaps best express himself musically. As a great piano virtuoso, he also composed the
               concerts for his own use, to be able to present himself within the rich cultural life to the art-loving public.

               The grandeur of the well-known concerts speaks to everyoneꞌs imagination. They show Beethovenꞌs own vision of the concert form.
               His contribution to the development of the concert, after composers such as Haydn and Mozart, is therefore widely praised, especially
               the application of the solo contributions, the achievement of unity within and between the different parts, and the harmonious
               development. They were all innovations that provide the clear individual character that he gave to this form.
               It is precisely in his unfinished work and sketches that we can see how the young Beethoven developed in this regard. They offer us
               insight into the process that ultimately resulted in the very strong concert repertoire.

               An important source for my reconstruction of the adagio is the Kafka Sketchbook. This collection of Beethovenꞌs sketches, acquired
               in the mid-nineteenth century by Nepomuk Kafka , covers the period 1786-1799. In 1875, Kafka sold the manuscript to the British
               Museum, where it is still being preserved. In 1970, on the occasion of Beethovenꞌs bicentenary, it was published as a facsimile.
               From that  moment on,  the  sketches  were  studied by  many musicologists.  Between  sketches of  currently  known  compositions,
               including his first two piano concertos, his first symphony and several piano sonatas, sketches from earlier versions of famous works
               or sketches of unknown origin were also found. Those in the latter category are often too fragmented to be placed in a larger context.
               On the other hand, some contain so much authentic thematic material, indications of the form, size and composition of the planned
               work, that it is very tempting to save them from oblivion by means of a completion or reconstruction. To do this in a music-
               scientifically responsible manner, there must at least be a fragmented piano piece with here and there indications for wind players
               and strings, as well as a finishing point. These conditions were all present in the adagio.

               In the sketch, the largest part is listed on a single page. This shows an idea on two bars with an indication of the desired orchestral
               composition. Beethoven wrote at the top "adagio zum Concert aus A", which shows that he had planned to compose a complete
               piano concerto, of which the Adagio in D major  would form the slow part. Since he has not elaborated his ideas for this second part,
               it is not strange that thoughts for an opening movement are lacking.
               It concerns a work from probably 1789, a few years after the Piano Concerto in Es WoO 4  from 1784, at the time of Beethovenꞌs
               work on the Piano Concerto No.2 in B-flat major Opus 19 , which he completed in 1801. Why Beethoven had not completed this other
               early concerto remains a mystery. The material certainly shows potential. The sketch contains some moments that were extremely
               modern in terms of harmony and instrumentation for that time, typical of the impetuous young Beethoven. He sketched the total
               part and even scored the double bar line and placed indications for the instrumentation.
               When Beethovenꞌs instructions for the orchestral composition are interpreted in the last measures of the sketch in relation to the
               usual composition in those days, the intended composition can be indicated with some certainty, but not incontestably, as follows:
               a flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, first and second violins, violas and basses, with which he meant celli and double basses.
               Beethoven described the solo instrument as a cembalo, but he probably had the then ꞌmodernꞌ pianoforte in mind.
               As previously mentioned, no sketches of the first movement are available, but comparison with other Beethoven concerts from the
               same period teaches us that he would probably have provided the orchestra with a second flute, two trumpets and timpani for these
               The punctuated Lombard rhythm at the end of the piece suggests that Beethoven wanted to use timpani and trumpets in this slow
               movements, more or less in Händelꞌs style. In the slow movements of the symphonies, we hear this more often, but in the solo
               concerts they do not occur in the middle movements. For that reason I left them out of the reconstruction.
               It is striking to see the key signature with B-flat in the strings. Since the other instruments do have the correct key signature with F-
               sharp and C-sharp for the main key of D major, it was previously assumed that Beethoven must have been mistaken. This statement
               is approached here with some caution. It is plausible that he noted it for himself as a pre-announcement of what was to come.
               Sloppiness or not, the suggested key of D major comes up as a minor phrase in the sketch and this cannot be a coincidence.

               After transcription in a clearly readable handwriting, the musical form became clearer to me. It is a rondo format in which the piano
               always plays the main motif solo. By researching the early version of the Piano Concerto No.2 in B-flat major Opus 19 , the surviving
               fragment of a violin concerto from the period 1790-1792 and concerts by other composers , I could further determine the structure

               1  Unv 6 Hess 15, page 586, Volume 2. Numbering of unfinished works by Beethoven according to the new Thematisch-bibliographisches
                 Werkverzeichnis. Kurt Dorfmüller, Norbert Gertsch and Julia Ronge, G. Henle Verlag. Munich, 2014
                 Concerto No.6 in D major for Pianoforte and Orchestra, reconstruction Cees Nieuwenhuizen Opus 83, Upstream Music UM 0023,
                 Alkmaar, The Netherlands, 2017
               2  A trader in manuscripts
               3  Such as Mozart, Haydn, Nicolas Mehul and Ludwig August Lebrun

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