Prelude in C for Organ, Hess 310 (c. 1789) mp3 version
Performer: Mark S. Zimmer
Author: Mark S. Zimmer
This entry in the Hess catalog, like Hess 312, has baffled Beethoven scholars for decades. Hess never actually saw the composition, but was only told about it by Fritz Kaiser of Darmstadt. According to Hess, Kaiser indicated that the source was a volume called "87 kleine praeludien" by Paul Honegger, but no copy of this item had turned up in the intervening years. The reason why was recently revealed by Beethoven scholar James F. Green in his New Hess Catalog (Vance Brook Publishing, 2003): The editor of the collection in the description was completely wrong! The actual editor of this collection was Paul Homeyer, organist of the Gewandhaus and instructor at the Royal Conservatory in Leipzig. Apparently the handwriting of some Beethoven scholars is as bad as that of Beethoven himself!
However, as it turns out this is not a previously unknown Beethoven composition, but a revised version of the last nine bars of the Prelude op. 39 nr. 1, one of a set of preludes through all the keys. This work dates from the Bonn years, when Beethoven was court organist, so its treatment for organ is not inappropriate. Our thanks to Mr. Green for pointing out this new information to us. The New Hess Catalog can be obtained from the author at Monument Records.
Samples used on the mp3 version of this piece are from Garritan Personal Orchestra.