Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Newly 'Discovered' Beethoven Pieces Ignite Scholarly Debate

A lost piano sonata! A forgotten string quartet! A tenth symphony!

Musicologists have long fantasized about uncovering lost works of the immortal composers. More than a few have made it their lifelong mission to assemble composer’s scattered sketches, fragments and jottings into complete, readily-to-perform musical statements. Add the name Beethoven to the mix and pulses really begin to race.

Last month, two newly-reconstructed Beethoven works were given what was billed as world premieres within weeks of one another: one is a two-minute hymn setting barely 74 measures long, performed in Manchester, England. The other is said to be the sketch of an early piano sonata, clocking in at 23 minutes. It was performed in Amsterdam and a commercial recording was made by Martin Oei, a 16-year-old piano wiz.   More