“Seldom Heard” Works with Opus Numbers

op. 4 String Quintet in E-flat (revised version of the Octet, op. 103, but different in many important respects)- Supraphon (LP) 1 11 2128, Suk Quartet recently re-released on CD as SU34472111; That CD is out of print but may be available here. Endres Quartet with Siegfried Meineke, 2nd va., on Vox Box SVBX 579 (stereo LP). Beethoven’s String Quintet op. 4 is available on a Japanese CD, Bona Nova PCCL-00405, Pony Canyon Inc., played by “Pro Arte Antiqua Praha” The other piece on this CD is “String Quintet arrangement of Septet Op. 20 by Carl Friedrich Eberse (1770-1836)”

In 2012, a recording of the String Quintet op. 4, performed by the Leipzig String Quartet (with Barbara Buntrock, viola) was released by Deutsche Grammophon. That CD is available here.

op. 16, Piano Quartet version of Piano Quintet op. 16 appears on the LP Columbia MS 6473/ members of the Budapest String Quartet & Mieczyslaw Horszowski, piano. It also appears on played by members of An die Musik on Musical Heritage Society 419409X (coupled with WoO 36 #3) and on Beethoven/ Schumann Piano Quartets ~ Ax/ Stern/ Laredo/ Ma, Sony Classical SK 53 339 (coupled with the Schumann quartet in E-flat Op 47). The latter CD is still available here. Yet another version is available on CD in tandem with an arrangement of Beethoven’s Third Symphony (the Eroica) for piano quartet, arranged by Beethoven’s pupil, Ferdinand Ries! This oddity is available here, performed by the Mozart Piano Quartet.

op. 17 Sonata for Cello and Piano (arranged from the Horn Sonata, but significantly different); available on a Swiss CD, Gallo CD-673, Dimitry Markevich, cello, Daniel Springenberg, piano. The sonata also appeared on a now-discontinued cd Channel Classics CCS 6494 featuring Pieter Wispelwey on cello and Lois Shapiro on fortepiano. An old LP, Philips PHS 900-120 (Stereo) and PHM 500-120 (Mono), features Pablo Casals on cello and Mieczyslaw Horszowski on piano, recorded in the Beethovenhaus in Bonn. This LP was re-released as Turnabout LP 34490. The Casals disc is available here.

op. 41 Serenade in D for Flute and Piano (arranged from the Serenade op. 25, by F.X. Kleinheinz but Beethoven corrected and approved the arrangement). Vox Box CDX 5000, Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute.The Rampal set is available here. A recording of this work by Severino Gazzeloni and Bruno Canino appears on Philips 454.247-2. The Gazzeloni version appears to be out of print but may be available here. Emmanuel Pahud also performs this Serenade on the Valois label. That CD can be ordered here.

op. 42 Nocturne in D for Viola and Piano (arranged from the Serenade, op. 8, by F.X. Kleinheinz but Beethoven corrected and approved the arrangement). Fone FON 93F 20 (M. Fornaciari, viola); Chandos CHAN 8664 (N. Imai, viola).

op.58 Piano Concerto #4 in G, arranged for piano and string quintet by Beethoven, is included in the set of piano concertos performed by Robert Levin with John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionaire et Romantique. Levin plays the piano part for this 1807 arrangement reconstructed by Hans-Werner Küthen, and the quintet is made up of members of the OR&R. The set is available here.

op.58 Piano Concerto #4 in G, revised version from December 1808, is played by Maurizio Paciariello, with the Sassari Symphony Orchestra conducted by Roberto Diem Tigani on Inedita CD/SACD PI 2366, as “Beethoven Rarities vol.7.” Beethoven revised the concerto for the performance at his December 1808 monster concert, changing 130 bars in the first and third movements. For some reason, these changes were never accepted by the music world as his final thoughts on the concerto, and to our knowledge this is the only recording of the concerto as Beethoven finally completed it. This disc is available from Inedita’s website, and also from Presto Classical.

op. 63 Piano Trio in E-flat (arranged from the String Quintet op. 4 of 1795, by an unknown hand) has at last been recorded by the International Beethoven Project, making all of the Beethoven works with opus numbers available in recordings at some point in time or other. That disc can be ordered here.

op. 64 Sonata for Cello and Piano in E-flat (arranged from the String Trio op. 3), Gallo CD-672, Dimitry Markevich, cello, Daniel Springenberg, piano. Although the musicians assert that this is the only recording of this work to date, it previously appeared as a stereo LP with Viviane Spanoghe and Andre de Groote (1984) on Terpsichore (Belgium) 1982 035. Markevich claims that it is an authentic arrangement by Beethoven, contrary to what most biographers and cataloguers have asserted. Maria Kliegel also performs this cello sonata on Naxos 8.555786, Music for Cello and Piano vol. 2. The Kliegel disc can be ordered here.

op. 104 String Quintet in C minor – Supraphon 1 11 2128 (LP), Suk Quartet, recently re-released on CD as SU34472111. That CD can be ordered here. Koch International Classics 3-7401-2-H1 includes a peculiar arrangement substituting a clarinet for the first violin part; Eli Heifetz, clarinet.

Folksong Variations for piano and violin, op. 107. – While there are several recordings of these variations for piano and flute, the violin version has mysteriously been ignored. Several (but not all) of these variations in the violin version are presented on Unknown Beethoven vol. 3, Berlin Classics 0091332BC. Though out of print, that set may be available here. The entire set, performed by acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine, is found on this very site.

op. 125, Symphony No. 9 in D minor. David Zinman conducting the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich performs an interesting variant of the Ninth Symphony. In the original autograph version of the symphony, Beethoven indicated a Grand Pause at Bar 747 of the Finale, just before the word “Bruder.” Beethoven later crossed it out, and performances since have followed that instruction. Zinman’s recording provides both this original version with the Grand Pause and the normal version without it. Zinman’s recording is available as a single CD and can also be found in the box of Zinman’s complete set of the symphonies.