8.574174
BEETHOVEN / Turku CD2
8.574017
8.574077
Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II
Cantata on the Accession of Leopold II
By the time of Emperor Joseph II’s death in 1790 Beethoven was a member of the court musical establishment in Bonn. To mark the occasion, Beethoven was commissioned to write two cantatas, one to mourn Joseph’s death and the other to celebrate the accession to the throne of Emperor Leopold II. Although Beethoven was only 19 years old at the time, both works show the embryonic marks of his greatness: intense expression and control of structure in one, and an almost operatic panache in the other. Neither piece was performed during Beethoven’s lifetime.
8.574042
König Stephan
Leonore Prohaska (excerpts) • Opferlied • Germania
Aside from his only opera Fidelio, Beethoven’s general link with the theatre in Vienna came about largely with incidental music or songs to be inserted into the works of other composers—insertion arias. König Stephan was written to celebrate the politically significant opening of a new theatre in Pest, its triumphant mood honouring the ruling Austrian Emperor. Standard-bearer of female heroism Leonore Prohaska is commemorated with a Soldier’s Chorus and a Romance with harp accompaniment. In Friedrich von Matthisson’s poem Opferlied (‘Sacrificial Song’), a young man prays to Zeus to bestow upon him beauty and goodness in youth and old age. Two of Beethoven’s four settings are heard on this wide-ranging programme
8.574131
Piano Pieces and Fragments
Including premiere recordings, this programme provides us with a privileged opportunity to engage with 36 of Ludwig van Beethoven’s rarely heard sketches, variations and briefest of compositions, even the earliest of which have much to teach us about the emergence of his unique voice and style. The range of Beethoven’s musical experimentation reveals a lasting interest in counterpoint, as well as practical pages such as cadenzas for a Mozart concerto, an incomplete sonata and a second version of the famous bagatelle Für Elise. A significant supplement to his greatest works, these miniatures bring the full arc of Beethoven’s singular genius into ever clearer focus.
SWR19525CD
SWR19089CD
ODE1348-2Q
ODE1359-2T
BEETHOVEN REIMAGINED
8.574020
8.574076
The Ruins of Athens
Die Ruinen von Athen (‘The Ruins of Athens’) was composed to celebrate the opening of the new German theatre in Pest in 1812. Designed to accompany the play of that name by August von Kotzebue, its incidental music is substantial enough to form a kind of one-act Singspiel and is full of attractive arias, duets and choruses and includes the famous Turkish March. Though the work’s theme was rooted in Greek mythology, in reality it was explicitly political in nature, celebrating Pest as ‘the new Athens’. This is the first ever recording of the work with full narration.
8.573852
Christus am Ölberge • Elegischer Gesang
★★★★★
‘Leif Segerstam, the wild baton of Finnish music, finds just the right tempo for telling a dramatic Biblical story. The Turku Philharmonic and their local cathedral choir have both delicacy and heft, and the soloists – Hanna-Leena Haapamäki, Jussi Mylls and Niklas Spangberg are absolutely top-drawer. Sensational music, brilliantly performed.’
Ludwig van Toronto ★★★★★
8.573853
The Creatures of Prometheus
Beethoven was commissioned to write his first stage work – a ballet score for Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus (‘The Creatures of Prometheus’) – for the dancer and choreographer Salvatore Viganò, nephew of composer Luigi Boccherini. In the myth, Prometheus is punished by Zeus for stealing fire for the benefit of mankind; in the allegorical ballet, Prometheus brings Enlightenment ideas of art and science to humanity. The overture remains popular and the finale – the theme of which Beethoven was later to use in his ‘Eroica’ Symphony – offers a heroic conclusion.
8.573956
Egmont (Incidental Music) • Tarpeja
Leonore Prohaska (Marches)
Beethoven was involved with the theatre in one way or another from boyhood, and the commission to compose incidental music for Goethe’s play Egmont at the Royal Imperial Court Theatre in Vienna was the first of many such collaborations. Beethoven’s score conveys the essence of this tragedy and reveals his clear affinity with its theme of heroic sacrifice by a man condemned to death for taking a valiant stand against oppression.
8.573882
Works for Voice and Orchestra
Beethoven’s permanent move to Vienna in 1782 allowed him direct contact with the operatic and Italianate culture of the city. He took lessons in Italian word setting from Salieri and almost immediately began the composition of a series of arias in that language, including Primo amore, piacer del ciel and later the dramatic recitative and aria Ah! perfido. Beethoven also set strophic songs in German that form part of the popular Singspiel tradition which are genial and rare examples of his art.
8.574151
Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 • Rondo, WoO 6
Beethoven’s first two piano concertos share an abundance of lyric and virtuosic qualities. Concerto No. 1 in C major is expansive and richly orchestrated with a sublime slow movement that is tender and ardent, and a finale full of inventive humour. Concerto No. 2 in B flat major marries energy with elegance, reserving poetic breadth for its slow movement and quirky wit for the finale. Also included is the jovial Rondo, WoO 6, which Beethoven originally intended to be the finale of Concerto No. 2.
8.573974
The Creatures of Prometheus (version for piano)
‘Beethoven issued the piano arrangement himself before the orchestral scores so that this is not a reduction from the full score so much as the composer’s own approach to the work in the process of composition. It works extremely well and Warren Lee’s playing is engaging and alive throughout.’
Lark Reviews
8.573928
Military Beethoven
Most of the pieces on this album have been designated ‘WoO’ (Works without Opus Number) or bear the numbering from the Hess catalogue of unpublished or unfinished pieces. These include the piano transcription of the topically programmatic Battle Symphony (Wellington’s Victory or The Battle of Vitoria) and the genial variations on Rule Britannia and God Save the King. The Marches, Menuets and Ecossaises derive from a variety of sources, while there is a strangely tragic aspect to the Waltz in C minor.
8.573939
Variations on Themes by Grétry, Paisiello, Righini, Winter
Sonata in C, WoO 51
‘The pedal point inner section of WoO 84 is especially reminiscent of the B major trio from the B minor bagatelle in that set; Weng does an excellent job with these. His playing is clean, but not dull, and he captures the fun, experimental quality of Beethoven’s writing here. Recommended even beyond the realm of Beethoven buffs, who will already have decided to acquire it.’
AllMusic.com ★★★★
ODE1347-2
8.574040-41
8.574051
Fugues and Rarities for String Quartet
The string quartets of Beethoven are among the greatest works of their kind, but he composed other works for quartet which have been neglected. This album is dedicated to these intriguing rarities. Alongside the wild and monumental Grosse Fuge, in many ways the culmination of Beethoven’s achievements in the string quartet genre, this recording further displays his mastery of counterpoint by bringing to light brilliant yet forgotten original versions of his quartets Op. 18, No. 1 and Op. 131, plus six virtually unknown miniatures, including his Preludes and Fugues.
8.574039
Grand Symphonies, Vol. 1
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 ‘Eroica’
(arr. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano)
Beethoven and Hummel’s relationship was one of fractious beginnings, but ultimately true friendship. Between 1825 and 1835 Hummel arranged his contemporary’s Symphonies Nos. 1–7 and Septet, Op. 20 for his favoured combination of pianoforte, flute, violin and violoncello. Beethoven would surely not have objected – arrangements were, after all, a perfectly normal part of the 19th-century musical landscape. To audiences today his symphonies need little introduction but, thanks to the musical sensitivity and sheer brilliance of Hummel’s arrangements, it is possible to experience the thrill of hearing these extraordinary pieces afresh.
8.573942
Music for Winds
Wind Octet, Op. 103 • Wind Septet, Op. 71
Music for wind ensemble was a regular part of entertainment in Beethoven’s day, and his Octet was composed for the skilled players in the service of his patron, the Archbishop-Elector in Bonn. The charming and skilfully written Sextet is also ‘from my early things and, what’s more, was written in one night’; impressing a critic of the time ‘by its splendid melodies, leisurely harmonic flow, and wealth of new and surprising ideas’. Wind partitas often opened with a March, and the Rondino was originally intended as the Finale to the Octet, two suitable pieces to complete this fashionable Beethoven soirée.
8.574071
Lieder, Vol. 1
Beethoven’s contribution to the development of German song was significant – he wrote some 90 songs – but it has inevitably been overshadowed by his mastery of orchestral and instrumental music. Unlike mozart and Schubert’s works in the genre, little is known about the composition and performance of Beethoven’s songs, but he is known to have greatly respected Goethe, as his settings amply show, not least in the incidental music to Egmont, from which Freudvoll und leidvoll is taken.
Orchestral Works

Piano Concertos

Solo Piano Music

Chamber Music

Complete Lieder

Keyboard

Stage & Choral

Vocal





SWR19525CD
SWR19089CD
ODE1348-2Q
ODE1359-2T
BEETHOVEN REIMAGINED
8.574020
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Ruinen von Athen (Die) (The Ruins of Athens) (Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis, Turku Philharmonic, Segerstam)
8.574076
The Ruins of Athens
Die Ruinen von Athen (‘The Ruins of Athens’) was composed to celebrate the opening of the new German theatre in Pest in 1812. Designed to accompany the play of that name by August von Kotzebue, its incidental music is substantial enough to form a kind of one-act Singspiel and is full of attractive arias, duets and choruses and includes the famous Turkish March. Though the work’s theme was rooted in Greek mythology, in reality it was explicitly political in nature, celebrating Pest as ‘the new Athens’. This is the first ever recording of the work with full narration.
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Christus am Ölberge / Elegischer Gesang
8.573852
Christus am Ölberge • Elegischer Gesang
‘Leif Segerstam, the wild baton of Finnish music, finds just the right tempo for telling a dramatic Biblical story. The Turku Philharmonic and their local cathedral choir have both delicacy and heft, and the soloists – Hanna-Leena Haapamäki, Jussi Mylls and Niklas Spangberg are absolutely top-drawer. Sensational music, brilliantly performed.’
Ludwig van Toronto ★★★★★
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Geschöpfe des Prometheus (Die) [Ballet]
8.573853
The Creatures of Prometheus
Beethoven was commissioned to write his first stage work – a ballet score for Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus (‘The Creatures of Prometheus’) – for the dancer and choreographer Salvatore Viganò, nephew of composer Luigi Boccherini. In the myth, Prometheus is punished by Zeus for stealing fire for the benefit of mankind; in the allegorical ballet, Prometheus brings Enlightenment ideas of art and science to humanity. The overture remains popular and the finale – the theme of which Beethoven was later to use in his ‘Eroica’ Symphony – offers a heroic conclusion.
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Egmont / Marches
8.573956
Egmont (Incidental Music) • Tarpeja
Leonore Prohaska (Marches)
Beethoven was involved with the theatre in one way or another from boyhood, and the commission to compose incidental music for Goethe’s play Egmont at the Royal Imperial Court Theatre in Vienna was the first of many such collaborations. Beethoven’s score conveys the essence of this tragedy and reveals his clear affinity with its theme of heroic sacrifice by a man condemned to death for taking a valiant stand against oppression.
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Voice and Orchestra Works
8.573882
Works for Voice and Orchestra
Beethoven’s permanent move to Vienna in 1782 allowed him direct contact with the operatic and Italianate culture of the city. He took lessons in Italian word setting from Salieri and almost immediately began the composition of a series of arias in that language, including Primo amore, piacer del ciel and later the dramatic recitative and aria Ah! perfido. Beethoven also set strophic songs in German that form part of the popular Singspiel tradition which are genial and rare examples of his art.





BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Rondo, WoO 6
8.574151

Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 • Rondo, WoO 6
Beethoven’s first two piano concertos share an abundance of lyric and virtuosic qualities. Concerto No. 1 in C major is expansive and richly orchestrated with a sublime slow movement that is tender and ardent, and a finale full of inventive humour. Concerto No. 2 in B flat major marries energy with elegance, reserving poetic breadth for its slow movement and quirky wit for the finale. Also included is the jovial Rondo, WoO 6, which Beethoven originally intended to be the finale of Concerto No. 2.





BEETHOVEN, L. van: Geschöpfe des Prometheus (Die) (version for piano)
8.573974

The Creatures of Prometheus (version for piano)
‘Beethoven issued the piano arrangement himself before the orchestral scores so that this is not a reduction from the full score so much as the composer’s own approach to the work in the process of composition. It works extremely well and Warren Lee’s playing is engaging and alive throughout.’
Lark Reviews
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Compositions and Transcriptions for Piano (Military Beethoven)
8.573928

Military Beethoven
Most of the pieces on this album have been designated ‘WoO’ (Works without Opus Number) or bear the numbering from the Hess catalogue of unpublished or unfinished pieces. These include the piano transcription of the topically programmatic Battle Symphony (Wellington’s Victory or The Battle of Vitoria) and the genial variations on Rule Britannia and God Save the King. The Marches, Menuets and Ecossaises derive from a variety of sources, while there is a strangely tragic aspect to the Waltz in C minor.
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Variations, WoO 65, 69, 72, 75 / Piano Sonata, WoO 51
8.573939

Variations on Themes by Grétry, Paisiello, Righini, Winter
Sonata in C, WoO 51
‘The pedal point inner section of WoO 84 is especially reminiscent of the B major trio from the B minor bagatelle in that set; Weng does an excellent job with these. His playing is clean, but not dull, and he captures the fun, experimental quality of Beethoven’s writing here. Recommended even beyond the realm of Beethoven buffs, who will already have decided to acquire it.’
AllMusic.com ★★★★





ODE1347-2
8.574040-41
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Music for Winds - Octet, Op. 103 / Sextet, Op. 71
8.574051

Fugues and Rarities for String Quartet
The string quartets of Beethoven are among the greatest works of their kind, but he composed other works for quartet which have been neglected. This album is dedicated to these intriguing rarities. Alongside the wild and monumental Grosse Fuge, in many ways the culmination of Beethoven’s achievements in the string quartet genre, this recording further displays his mastery of counterpoint by bringing to light brilliant yet forgotten original versions of his quartets Op. 18, No. 1 and Op. 131, plus six virtually unknown miniatures, including his Preludes and Fugues.
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Grand Symphonies Vol. 1 -Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute and piano trio)
8.574039

Grand Symphonies, Vol. 1
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 ‘Eroica’
(arr. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano)
Beethoven and Hummel’s relationship was one of fractious beginnings, but ultimately true friendship. Between 1825 and 1835 Hummel arranged his contemporary’s Symphonies Nos. 1–7 and Septet, Op. 20 for his favoured combination of pianoforte, flute, violin and violoncello. Beethoven would surely not have objected – arrangements were, after all, a perfectly normal part of the 19th-century musical landscape. To audiences today his symphonies need little introduction but, thanks to the musical sensitivity and sheer brilliance of Hummel’s arrangements, it is possible to experience the thrill of hearing these extraordinary pieces afresh.
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Music for Winds - Octet, Op. 103 / Sextet, Op. 71
8.573942

Music for Winds
Wind Octet, Op. 103 • Wind
Septet, Op. 71
Music for wind ensemble was a regular part of entertainment in Beethoven’s day, and his Octet was composed for the skilled players in the service of his patron, the Archbishop-Elector in Bonn. The charming and skilfully written Sextet is also ‘from my early things and, what’s more, was written in one night’; impressing a critic of the time ‘by its splendid melodies, leisurely harmonic flow, and wealth of new and surprising ideas’. Wind partitas often opened with a March, and the Rondino was originally intended as the Finale to the Octet, two suitable pieces to complete this fashionable Beethoven soirée.



8.574017
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II / Cantata on the Accession of Leopold II
8.574077

Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II
Cantata on the Accession of Leopold II
By the time of Emperor Joseph II’s death in 1790 Beethoven was a member of the court musical establishment in Bonn. To mark the occasion, Beethoven was commissioned to write two cantatas, one to mourn Joseph’s death and the other to celebrate the accession to the throne of Emperor Leopold II. Although Beethoven was only 19 years old at the time, both works show the embryonic marks of his greatness: intense expression and control of structure in one, and an almost operatic panache in the other. Neither piece was performed during Beethoven’s lifetime.
BEETHOVEN, L. van: König Stephan / Leonore Prohaska (excerpts)
8.574042

König Stephan
Leonore Prohaska (excerpts) • Opferlied • Germania
Aside from his only opera Fidelio, Beethoven’s general link with the theatre in Vienna came about largely with incidental music or songs to be inserted into the works of other composers—insertion arias. König Stephan was written to celebrate the politically significant opening of a new theatre in Pest, its triumphant mood honouring the ruling Austrian Emperor. Standard-bearer of female heroism Leonore Prohaska is commemorated with a Soldier’s Chorus and a Romance with harp accompaniment. In Friedrich von Matthisson’s poem Opferlied (‘Sacrificial Song’), a young man prays to Zeus to bestow upon him beauty and goodness in youth and old age. Two of Beethoven’s four settings are heard on this wide-ranging programme.





BEETHOVEN, L. van: Lieder, Vol. 1
8.574071
Lieder, Vol. 1
Beethoven’s contribution to the development of German song was significant – he wrote some 90 songs – but it has inevitably been overshadowed by his mastery of orchestral and instrumental music. Unlike mozart and Schubert’s works in the genre, little is known about the composition and performance of Beethoven’s songs, but he is known to have greatly respected Goethe, as his settings amply show, not least in the incidental music to Egmont, from which Freudvoll und leidvoll is taken.





8.574174





BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Pieces and Fragments (Gallo)
8.574131

Piano Pieces and Fragments
Including premiere recordings, this programme provides us with a privileged opportunity to engage with 36 of Ludwig van Beethoven’s rarely heard sketches, variations and briefest of compositions, even the earliest of which have much to teach us about the emergence of his unique voice and style. The range of Beethoven’s musical experimentation reveals a lasting interest in counterpoint, as well as practical pages such as cadenzas for a Mozart concerto, an incomplete sonata and a second version of the famous bagatelle Für Elise. A significant supplement to his greatest works, these miniatures bring the full arc of Beethoven’s singular genius into ever clearer focus.