Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

"Ludwig Van Beethoven / Works for Piano Duet": Sonata in D Major, Opus 6; Three Marches, Opus 45; Eight Variations on a Theme by Count Waldstein, WoO 67; Lied "Ich Denke Dein" with Six Variations, WoO 74; Symphony No. 7, Opus 92. Prague Piano Duo

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

"Ludwig Van Beethoven / Works for Piano Duet": Sonata in D Major, Opus 6; Three Marches, Opus 45; Eight Variations on a Theme by Count Waldstein, WoO 67; Lied "Ich Denke Dein" with Six Variations, WoO 74; Symphony No. 7, Opus 92. Prague Piano Duo

Article excerpt

"Ludwig van Beethoven / Works for Piano Duet": Sonata in D Major, Opus 6; Three Marches, Opus 45; Eight Variations on a Theme by Count Waldstein, WoO 67; Lied "Ich denke dein" with Six Variations, WoO 74; Symphony No. 7, Opus 92. Prague Piano Duo. Notes by Pierre E. Barbier in English, French, and German. Praga Digitals PRD/DSD 250219. 77'04". ©2005. $22.98.

Beethoven's complete works for fortepiano four hands (with the exception of the four-hand arrangement of the Grosse Fuge, Opus 134) are on this well-played and well-recorded disk. This music tends to be ignored by Beethoven lovers unless they happen to be pianists eager to play duets. Since most four-hand music was for "domestic" use during the nineteenth century, it is generally not considered appropriate for the concert hall repertory, and one does not hear it often, even in the repertory of duo pianists. Beethoven composed most of these few works in his early years in Bonn, in the 1790s; the last work in the genre is the set of Three Marches, from 1802-03, when Beethoven was also working on his opera Leonore, the first version of what would become Fidelia. Not surprisingly, the military march heard in the first act of Fidelia is very similar to the theme of the first of the three marches, Opus 45.

The Sonata in D Major, very pleasing in its galant style, is reminiscent of Mozart. The Marches are developed into fairly lengthy works, each around five minutes long, with delightful melodic ideas. But it is the variations that are most striking, with their constant inventiveness. …

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