Oboe Concerto, Second Movement, Completed and Orchestrated, Hess 12
Author: Mark S. Zimmer
In November 1793 Joseph Haydn wrote a letter to Maximilian Franz, Elector of Cologne, about the progress in composition of his pupil Ludwig van Beethoven. At that time Beethoven was still in the service of the Elector. All the pieces mentioned by Haydn in the letter are presently lost. Among them was the Oboe Concerto in F, Hess 12.
However, Beethoven's sketch for the slow movement of this concerto has survived. It is found in the so-called "Kafka"-sketchbook in the British Library. The sketch has only the main melody, but it does give more or less the whole movement from start till finish. In 1981 Charles Lehrer, an oboeist, made an excellent reconstruction of the movement based on this sketch. Although Lehrer seems to have orchestrated his reconstruction, only his version for oboe and piano is known to us, and the MIDI for this version can be found on this site.
Based on Lehrer's reconstruction, Willem has orchestrated this Andante once again. He deemed it necessary to make a few changes to Lehrer's version: in the harmony (bars 5/6, 17, 46/47, 68, 77) in the melody (bar 19, 36, 48, 54, 61, 90/91) and to extend the cadenza.
Halfway through the sketch Beethoven, explicitly writes down a return to the head motif (bar 44). Lehrer ignores this; Willem has restored Beethoven's original intention.
Noteworthy is that the head motif (D, B flat, E flat, A) is the same as the motif from the Credo of the Missa Solemnis (B flat, G, C, F), only a third higher.
Comment by our beta listener Monika:
It reminds me of a visit to the circus - there is all: exciting things like tigers, elephants, harmless clowns and acrobats. At the end little girls are running out of the tent, the artists are chasing them, but the smallest one returns and makes a polite bow to the audience.