Melody in A minor, Biamonti 726 (May 4, 1820)
Performer: Mark S. Zimmer
This little dance melody was jotted down by Beethoven in one of his conversation books while his friend and financial helper Franz Oliva was writing out some pension receipts on the evening of May 4, 1820.
The editor of the English edition of the Conversation Books, Ted Albrecht, at vol. II p.203, footnote 60, notes that this melody might be related to the doubtful so-called "11 Mödlinger Dances" WoO 17, which Beethoven supposedly composed for an ensemble playing at the Three Ravens in near Mödling the previous summer. On May 4, 1820, Beethoven was preparing to spend the summer in Mödling once again. Albrecht suggests that this might represent a previously-unknown 12th Mödlinger Dance to present to the ensemble when he saw them again. This lends some credence to the notion that WoO 17 may indeed be a genuine Beethoven composition.
If that connection is correct, the small ensemble that the Mödlinger Dances are set for consists of two clarinets, two horns, two violins and bass. Typically the melody of these dances is either in the clarinets or the violins; for this sound file we've used the violin.