Beethoven | Piano Concerto in A major | Second and third movement

Based on sketches by Ludwig van Beethoven, deest 42

 

 

In 2005, Cees reconstructed the slow part of a piano concerto in A major, of which the sketch originates from the Kafka sketchbook. In the sketch of the second movement (adagio) Beethoven did leave some kind of score, including the key signature and even a time signature. However, both the instrumentation and the large continuous lines of the piano part were missing. These had to be supplemented and worked out. After the world premiere of this second movement (in the Rotterdam Doelen in 2005), there was a lot of speculation about the other movements, because above the sketch of the Adagio in D major Beethoven clearly wrote: Concerto in A

Kafka sketchbook first page of the adagio

Kafka Sketchbook f. 154v, autograph miscellany from circa 1786 to 1799, London 1970, published by The Trustees of the British Museum

There are no extensive sketches or drafts of this Concerto in A major. Apart from the abovementioned Adagio in D major, in the various sketchbooks there are several notes from all kinds of other fragmentary piano concertos that have never been completed. However, several sketches can be identified as parts of or preliminary studies for other concertos. There are, for example, themes and fragments which very possibly are part of the aforementioned Concerto in A major. It is striking, for example, that the rondo theme in A major has many similarities with the theme of the rondo from the First Piano Concerto in C major Opus 15. The fugato is quite similar to the fugato from the rondo of the Third Piano Concerto in C minor Opus 37.

The themes and preliminary studies from the sketchbooks were thus sometimes used in new works, while other themes were never applied or worked out by the composer. After all, Beethoven could have completed some 20 piano concertos on the basis of his many sketches. Why he finally did not get further than his famous five will always remain a mystery.

 

Beethoven | Piano Concerto No. 6 in D major | First movement

Based on score and sketches by Ludwig van Beethoven Unv 6 Hess 15

Beethoven wrote 256 bars of the Sixth Piano Concerto, spread over 30 pages. The handwriting of this is kept in the Berlin State Library. In addition, there are 114 pages of separate sketches preserved in various other libraries. Cees Nieuwenhuizen studied detailed digital copies of all these scores and sketches to get a complete picture of the material. The sketches and the scores are interesting and extensive.

Autograph score MS Artaria 184 Beethoven Hess 15

Measures 1-4. Autograph score MS Artaria 184, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin

The score is not a musical reduction but rather a rough ‘concept’. Beethoven made such concepts at a very early stage, capturing the most important information about the entire part: key, modulation, form, dramatic twists, solo parts etc.
Such a rough concept cannot be turned into a playing version without a proper degree of additional input, it needs some
‘additional’ composing. Therefore, we prefer not to speak about a ‘reconstruction’, but about a ‘playable work based on material from Beethoven’. All of Beethoven’s material is used unaltered, the rest is completion. That distinction is important, because similar compositions are easily presented as an ‘unknown Beethoven’, which does not do justice to Beethoven. We will never know what Beethoven exactly had in mind with this concert, but Cees Nieuwenhuizen shure managed to create an exciting piece of music!

 

Beethoven | Violin Concerto in C major | First movement

Based on a fragment by Ludwig van Beethoven WoO 5 | Completion by Cees Nieuwenhuizen opus 71

There are four known works of Beethoven for the genre violin and orchestra. They were written in the period 1790-1806. These are the Violin Romance in G major Opus 40, the Violin Romance in F major Opus 50, the Violin Concerto in D major Opus 61 (1806) and the earlier Violin Concerto in C major WoO 5 (Hess 10). The latter was left to us as a fragment which Beethoven most probably composed in Bonn, between 1790 and 1792. The fragment contains 259 bars, fully written out and than stops abruptly….as if the score was torn in two. The composition is broken off exactly 15 bars into the development. The motif in the last known bars 258 and 259 initiated the task of joining the development as reliably as possible to the rest of the work.

Beethoven | Maestoso and Fugue in D minor for String Orchestra

Based on Ludwig van Beethoven Hess 40 & Opus 137

Arrangement Cees Nieuwenhuizen opus 66

Beethoven | Prelude and Fugue in C major for String Orchestra

Original version for string quartett by Ludwig van Beethoven Hess 31

Arrangement for string orchestra by Cees Nieuwenhuizen opus 67

Beethoven | Piano Concerto in F major | First movement

Based on the first movement of the 8th symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven opus 93

Arrangement Cees Nieuwenhuizen opus 74

Beethoven | Oboe Concerto in F major | Second movement

Based on sketches by Ludwig van Beethoven Hess 12

Reconstruction Cees Nieuwenhuizen Opus 59

In 2003 Cees completed his reconstruction of the Concerto for Oboe (Hess 12). It was played for the first time by Het Rotterdams Kamerorkest with Alexei Ogrintchouk on Oboe.

Erlkönig | Song for Voice & Piano

Based on sketches by Ludwig van Beethoven WoO 131

Completed by Cees Nieuwenhuizen opus 52

 

Beethoven has set many texts of Goethe to music during his life. In 1792, when he was 22 years old, Beethoven wrote a song based on a poem by Goethe, Erlkönig. It remained unfinished, probably because the composer (22 years old) had to write dances for orchestra that were performed in the Hofburg Redoutensaal in Vienna. In 1822, Beethoven and his brother had plans to issue his early, unpublished works. In these years he edited and completed a number of early sketches. Was it because he died in March 1827 that he would never finish Erlkönig? We will never know. The song remained a sketch.

Many songs by Beethoven are composed in a form that we also find in Erlkönig. For example, the song Adelaide opus 46 is very similar in its form to Erlkönig. It is very likely that Beethoven would have written Erlkönig in the same way as his other songs.
Beethoven interrupts both text and melody frequently. In total we have just enough material to get a reasonable overall picture of the composition. We know that the piece would begin with a great intro that would also be used at the end of the song. In some places we had to fill in the missing Goethe text and the vocal melody, first to create a complete song and second to use the full text. In other places we had to fill in missing piano parts. The entire piano part of the ending is written by the composer.