Midwinter festival: Ludwig van Beethoven: Genius, Passion and the Irish Connection
Charlotte Rietdijk (Soprano) and Ellen Corver (Piano) perform Beethoven's song Erlkönig WoO 131 Reconstruction: Cees Nieuwenhuizen (download sheet music). Irish premiere!
Music for Galway was established in 1981 when a group of people came together with the aim of providing audiences in the West of Ireland with a range of opportunities to listen to world class musicians. Since then the organisation has presented hundreds of inspiring and stimulating performances in Galway.
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 In 1822, Beethoven and his brother had plans to issue his early, unpublished works.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 through-composed 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 I 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 I had to fill in missing piano parts. The entire piano part of the ending is written by the composer.
Osiris Piano Trio (The Netherlands)
Charlotte Riedijk, soprano (The Netherlands)
Robin Tritschler, tenor (Ireland/UK)
Simon Lepper (UK)
Paul Roe, clarinet (Ireland)
Rebecca Čápová (Ireland/Germany)
Rod Goodall, actor (UK/Ireland)
Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op. 1, no. 1
Songs for soprano and piano
Bagatelles, Op. 126 (piano solo)
Clarinet Trio Op. 11