“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 Ebers (1770-1836)” Beethoven: String Quintets Op. 4 & Op. 20 The Quintet also appears on CD 54 of the Naxos Beethoven Complete Edition, performed by the Quartetto d’Archi di Venezia; the same recording also appears on the Dynamic set of Beethoven: Complete String Quintets.

In 2012, a recording of the String Quintet op. 4, performed by the Leipzig String Quartet (with Barbara Buntrock, viola) was released by MD&G Records. That CD is available here. A recording by the Endellion String Quartet, with David Adams, appears on CD 80 of the DG BTHVN 2020 – Beethoven The New Complete Edition [123 CD].

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 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. This recording can also be found on CD 100 of the DG BTHVN 2020 – Beethoven The New Complete Edition [123 CD].Yet another version is available on CD from MD&G, 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, and on CD in the Philips Legendary Classics series 426 105-2 . The Casals CD has been deleted but may be available here. The Casals/Horszowksi recording is also included on CD 59 of the DG BTHVN 2020 – Beethoven The New Complete Edition [123 CD]. A more recent (2017) recording is found on The Sonatas for Cello and Piano Onyx Classics ONYX 4196, featuring Leonard Elschenbroich on cello and Alexei Grynyuk on piano.

op.19 Piano Concerto #2 in B-flat, the final version incorporating revisions from 1801, which remain unpublished, was recorded by Mikhail Kazakevich at the keyboard, Charles Mackerras conducting the English Chamber Orchestra, on Conifer Classics 75605-51237-2. This CD features liner notes by Prof. Barry Cooper, who transcribed the final revisions. It is long out of print but may be available here.

op.38 Piano Trio in E-flat op.38 after the Septet op.20. While there are numerous recordings of the Piano Trio version, Beethoven also wrote a part for a clarinet in place of a violin, and that clarinet trio version is rarely recorded. It appears performed by Paul Meyer, Claudio Bohórquez and Eric Le Sage on CD 44 of the Warner Beethoven: The Complete Works. The clarinet trio version is also performed by Jürgen Demmler, Markus Tillier, and Peter Grabinger on CD 42 of the Naxos Beethoven Complete Edition.

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 Gazzelloni and Bruno Canino appears on Philips 454.247-2. The Gazzelloni 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. Kazunori Seo performs the Serenade with Makoto Ueno on Naxos 8.573570, Works for Flute 2. The Serenade is performed by Wolfgang Schulz and Helmut Deutsch on CD 38 of the Warner Beethoven: The Complete Works.

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). Paul Silverthorne performs the Nocturne on Toccata Classics, TOCC 0108, which can be ordered here. The Nocturne is performed by Gérard Caussé and François-René Duchâble on CD 40 of the Warner Beethoven: The Complete Works.

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, although it is apparently the case. Inedita is apparently defunct, and this long out-of-print CD is itself now a rarity. The revised version is also found on Conifer Classics #75605-51237, with Mikhail Kazakevich as soloist, Charles Mackerras conducting the English Chamber Orchestra. This CD is also long out of print but may be available here.

The original 1806 version of the Violin Concerto in D, op.61, before the violin part was reworked for publication by Franz Alexander Pössinger, performed by Anton Steck, accompanied by Matthew Halls and L’arpa festante on period instruments, was released by Accent in 2017 as ACC 24320.

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 Beethoven Project Trio, with George Lepauw on piano, making all of the Beethoven works with opus numbers available in recordings at some point in time or other. The CD is now available from Cedille Records and is available on Amazon.

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..

The first versions of “Gretels Warnung” op.75/4 and “An den fernen Geliebten” op.75/5 are performed by Heidi Brunner, Constantin Graf von Walderdorff and Kristin Okerlund on the 5-CD set of Saemtliche Lieder issued on Thorofon CTH2601/5. This set in CD form is available here. and the music can also be downloaded here. The first version of Gretels Warnung is performed by Elisabeth Breuer on CD 88 of the Naxos Beethoven Complete Edition. The first version of An den fernen Geliebten is performed by Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Alexander Schmalcz on CD 83 of the DG BTHVN 2020 – Beethoven The New Complete Edition [123 CD].

op.87 String Trio. Although this piece is well known in its original version for two oboes and English horn written by Beethoven in 1794 or 1795, when the piece came to be published by Artaria in 1803 Beethoven also did an alternative version for two violins and viola, no doubt to increase the marketability of such an oddball grouping. The engraving score done by Beethoven’s copyist, Wenzel Schlemmer, held by the Berlin Staatsbibliothek as part of Beethoven autograph Artaria 151, includes a fourth line for the viola part. Violins could play the oboe parts without emendation. This engraving score has Beethoven’s corrections in his red crayon visible, so the arrangement was probably done by him, and certainly was done with his approval and input. The string trio version has very rarely been recorded, but it is heard in a 2006 live performance on The Millenium Trio – Live in Concert (note that while the album cover gives the name as the “Millennium” Trio, Amazon, Qobuz and Spotify all spell the group’s name as the “Millenium” Trio). Another live version of the string trio performed by Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Hilaryjane Parker-Violins, Bridget Carey-Viola in 2002 is currently hosted at this website.

op. 104 String Quintet in C minor – Supraphon 1 11 2128 (LP), Suk Quartet, recently re-released on CD as SU34472111. That CD may be available here. Koch International Classics 3-7401-2-H1 includes a peculiar arrangement substituting a clarinet for the first violin part; Eli Heifetz, clarinet. The CD is available here. and a download version is available here.. The Quintet is performed by the Fine Arts Quartet with Gil Sharon on CD 55 of the Naxos Beethoven Complete Edition. This quintet is also performed by The Lindsays, with Louise Williams on viola, on CD 80 of the DG BTHVN 2020 – Beethoven The New Complete Edition [123 CD].

Folksong Variations for piano and violin (6) op. 105. While recordings of this set for flute are common, and there are a number of recordings of the set arranged for solo piano, Beethoven also intended and published it as a set of variations for violin and piano. The only recording thus far that we are aware of is hidden away on a Hungaroton release of Beethoven mandolin compositions, “Beethoven Rarities for Mandolin and Piano” HCD12303-2, where it is performed by Béla Bánfalvi and Sándor Falvai. While long out of print, this CD may be available here. There is also a download version of this disc, which can be found here. The entire set, performed by Rachel Barton Pine, can be found on this site.

Folksong Variations for piano and violin (10), 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. This set was also rereleased in 2019 as a 9-CD box. Daniel Hope and Sebastian Knauer perform nos. 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9 on CD 100 of the DG BTHVN 2020 – Beethoven The New Complete Edition [123 CD].The entire set, performed by acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine, is found on this very site.

op.120, Diabelli Variations. On a Brazilian SACD/CD from Sui Generis SGSA001, Mario Alcantara plays the standard variations and then also performs 16 of the sketches included in Gardi 26. This disc may be available here.

op.121b, Opferlied, first version for soprano, alto, tenor and orchestra. The final (1824) version of the op.121b Opferlied for soprano and orchestra is well known. Far less well known (and seldom recorded) is the first (1822) version of the song with orchestra and three voices. It is performed by Maikki Säikkä, Kristina Raudanen and Andreas Nordström, with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Leif Segerstam conducting, on CD 76 of the Naxos Beethoven Complete Edition.

op.122, Bundeslied, version for chorus and piano, Hess 92 (1824/1825). This alternate version of the well-known song for chorus and orchestra is performed by Cantus Novus Wien, directed by Thomas Holmes, with Diana Fuchs on piano, on CD 77 of the Naxos Beethoven Complete Edition.

op. 125, Symphony No. 9 in D minor. David Zinman conducting the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich performs an interesting variant of the Ninth Symphony on the Arte Nova label. 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.

op.131, String Quartet #14 in C-sharp minor. An early version of the first movement (Adagio espressivo) is performed by the Fine Arts Quartet on CD 54 of the Naxos Beethoven Complete Edition.

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