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Ludwig van Beethoven, Konzert für Violine und Orchester (D-Dur) op. 61, Fassung für Klavier, Kadenz mit Pauken zum ersten Satz, mit separater Paukenstimme, Stimmen, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung H. C. Bodmer, HCB Mh 20

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Cadenza for piano and timpani

Encouraged by the London publisher Muzio Clementi, Beethoven made an arrangement of his Violin Concerto op. 61 for piano and orchestra, which was published in August 1808. Although an autograph score for the arrangement has not survived, we still have the original cadenzas for this concerto in Beethoven's own handwriting. Here you can see the cadenza for the first movement. It is not only unusual on account of its length - twelve handwritten pages! - but also because a second manuscript for timpani has been inserted into the piano part. An accompaniment for a cadenza? Only the soloist is supposed to show off their virtuosity in the cadenza. It is unique amongst piano works, as a timpani part (of all parts) been added to the solo piano. Even at the beginning of the concerto the timpani has an extremely important role - the work opens with four solo beats on the kettledrum. Perhaps Beethoven wanted to underline this role in the cadenza. This cadenza also once belonged to Archduke Rudolph's music library, as did the cadenzas for the piano concertos, and it bore the call number "Beethoven 102". (J.R.)

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