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19/02/2020

Editor-in-Chief of the Wiener Urtext Edition discovers unknown piece by Ludwig van Beethoven

One might think that Beethoven's oeuvre is already fully researched. The fact that a hitherto unknown and fully-composed original work by Beethoven is now being brought to light in the 250th anniversary year, of all times, suggests a great coincidence.

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During the research work for an edition of the Wiener Urtext Edition, its editor-in-chief, Dr. Jochen Reutter, examined a double page with sketches by Ludwig van Beethoven from the years 1790-1792 in the music collection of the Vienna Library in City Hall. At the very end of the fourth page, among the multitude of different sketches, a piano piece called Andante had been discovered some time ago. But the fact that a complete little piano piece was also hidden on the first page had remained unknown until then. It has no title and does not begin at the beginning of the page, but at the end of a line, immediately following a previous sketch, which makes it difficult to find. As a hitherto unknown piece, it does not yet appear in the new catalogue raisonné and bears neither opus number nor WoO number. The 16-measure piece has the musical character of a Ländler. Beethoven has noted the melody of this piece without gaps, and in a few places even revised it.

World premiere on Thursday, 27 February 2020, 7:00 pm at the Musiksammlung der Wienbibliothek and first edition of the Wiener Urtext Edition

At the opening of the exhibition ‘Beethoven and his publishers’, the new discovery will be premiered after a short lecture by Dr. Reutter. The piece will then be published as the first edition of the Wiener Urtext Edition (UT 50296) and is also available in the anthology in edition UT 50295!

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