Page 4 - UM0027-Concerto in A major for piano and orchestra
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Preface to the third movement Rondo in A major               from 1789

               Although Beethoven is by no means the only composer who has left a large number of sketches, when we think of the concept of
               ꞌsketchingꞌ he is usually the first composer who comes to mind. This has everything to do with the fact that the amount of sketch
               material that Beethoven left us is unsurpassed. We currently have no less than 33 large sketchbooks and 37 pocket sketchbooks. If
               we add the separate sketch sheets and score sketches, we come to a number of at least a few thousand sketches.
               These  sketchbooks  contain  not  only  designs  for  his  later  completed  compositions,  they  often  also  contain  separate  ideas  that
               spontaneously came to his mind and which, almost compulsively, had to be noted. He used the pocket sketch books for this. Later
               Beethoven copied them in a reduced form in his normal sketchbooks. Eventually they became, if they were used, the basic ideas in
               the scores.
               When the sketchbooks were full, Beethoven did not throw them away. He cherished these bundles all his life and that also explains
               why so much has been preserved. In addition to the sketchbooks, a large number of separate sketch sheets have also been preserved.
               Although in the course of time a considerable part of it has been lost, there are still about 200 in different libraries. A large number
               of these pages can be found in the Kafka Sketchbook in the British Museum in London and in the Fischhof collection, which is located
               in the Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin.

               Although they are in different locations, both collections belong more or less together. So it may be that in one collection a fragment
               of a sketchy composition becomes a fragment of the other collection and vice versa. This makes working on a reconstruction of the
               various sources very complicated.
               Moreover, Beethoven did not occupy himself with writing down things like keys, tone and time signatures. Even the accidentals were
               not consistently indicated.  The sketches are mostly written in a kind of telegram style, in which Beethoven seldom recorded anything
               explicitly. An exact transcription of a fragment therefore usually results in a lot of senseless musical ideas. For the reconstruction it
               is therefore important to put the accidentals and keys in the right places, so that the general picture that the composer presumably
               envisaged can be interpreted as reliably as possible.
               In this way I was able to reconstruct the second movement of this concerto for piano and orchestra from 1789 on the basis of the
               sketches. In this sketch Beethoven did leave a kind of score, including the key signature and even a time signature. However, both
               the instrumentation and the large continuous lines of the piano part were missing. These had to be supplemented and worked out.
               After the world premiere of this second movement , there was a lot of speculation about the other movements, because above the
               sketch of the Adagio in D major  Beethoven clearly wrote "Concerto in A"  .

               There are no extensive sketches or drafts of this Concerto in A . Apart from the abovementioned Adagio in D major , in the various
               sketchbooks there are several notes from all kinds of other fragmentary piano concertos that have never been completed. However,
               several  sketches  can  be  identified  as  parts  of  or preliminary  studies  for  other  concertos.  There are,  for  example,  themes  and
               fragments which very possibly are part of the aforementioned Concerto in A . It is striking, for example, that the rondo theme in A
               major has many similarities with the theme of the rondo from the Piano Concerto No.1 in C major Opus 15 . The fugato is quite
               similar to the fugato from the rondo of the Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor Opus 37 .

               The themes and preliminary studies from the sketchbooks were thus sometimes used in new works, while other themes were never
               applied or worked out by the composer. After all, Beethoven could have completed some 20 piano concertos on the basis of his
               many sketches.  Why he finally did not get further than his famous five will always remain a mystery.
               Through his early teacher, Christian Gottlob Neefe, Beethoven came across a wide variety of contemporary styles. The influence of
               masters such as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Christian Bach, Johann Ladislaus Dussek , Muzio Clementi, Joseph Haydn and
               Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is apparent in his early piano works. His exceptional ability as a performing artist was another important
               factor in his development. In his early years and the years thereafter, he wrote a large number of works for piano, which he himself
               performed during concerts. Many of these works did not appear in print because he probably did not think they were good enough.
               Undoubtedly there were works that he only sketched out, which he would then work out improvisationally during concerts. We also
               know this activity from the early days of his piano concertos.

               The number of works he wrote for piano shows that this instrument was one of Beethovenꞌs most important means of expression.
               The increasing virtuosity of his compositions for the piano keeps pace with the treatment of the orchestra: the orchestra is expanded
               and enlarged.
               The individual parts also became more important and thus we see interesting solo contributions for wind players in the concertos.
               The classical orchestral arrangement of, for example, the Piano Concerto No.2 in B-flat major Opus 19  with a flute, two oboes, two

               4   The Kafka Sketchbook, autograph miscellany from circa 1786 to 1799, published by The Trustees of the British Museum, London, 1970
                   Joseph Fischhof (1804-1857) sketchbook miscellany StPK Autograph 28, Deutsche Staatsbibliothek
               5   In many sketchbooks Beethoven writes only the notes, apparently he would remember the correct signing and keys when working out the
                   sketches later at his writing desk.
               6   One possibility is to work out a musical sentence in all three keys until a logical musical line is created that is most obvious. I also apply this
                   way of working with regard to the accidentia.
               7   In the Rotterdam Doelen, 2005
               8   Kafka Sketchbook, f.154v
               9   In the surviving sketchbooks we find a lot of notes that might be intended for other unfulfilled piano concertos. A large fragment of a piano
                   concerto in D major dates back to 1815, which should probably have been his sixth concerto. A reconstructed version of this work can be
                   found under the number UM 0023
               10  Beethoven composed the early Piano Concerto in E-flat major WoO 4, probably from 1782-1783. In April-July 1807, the piano concerto
                   version of the Violin Concerto in D major Opus 61 was created.
               11  Jan Ladislav Dusík

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