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Topic: "I've Got Only a Little Cottage" Theme and variations, possibly by Beethoven

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  1. #1

    "I've Got Only a Little Cottage" Theme and variations, possibly by Beethoven

    Hello, all. It's been quite a while since I've posted about the doings at The Unheard Beethoven---mostly because our webmaster went AWOL and there *were* no doings at The Unheard Beethoven (http://www.unheardbeethoven.org). However, with the New Year we are working on a revamped version of the site, with a great many mp3 versions of unrecorded and unpublished Beethoven works. We hope these new soundfiles will be available soon (some bugs still remain in the search engine that need to be worked out).

    One of the more intriguing of these items is a set of variations for piano on a song to words by Gleim, "I've Got Only a Little Cottage," catalogued by Kinsky-Halm as Anhang 10. Kinsky and Halm thought they were at least questionable, since they were only published after Beethoven's death (in 1830) and that they were weak. The more we worked on them, the more we concluded that if they were not Beethoven's they were done by someone quite accomplished at the variation form; if you've ever heard the often crude and pedantic variations that all the other notable composers of the day did on the waltz by Diabelli upon which Beethoven wrote his massive 33 variations, you know that this is not a skill shared by many composers. While we cannot ascribe any certainty to Beethoven's authorship, we're more inclined to agree with the editors of Beethoven's collected works in the 1880s that these variations may well be the Master's.

    But now you can judge for yourself in this special preview of the revived Unheard Beethoven:

    http://unheardbeethoven.urgo.org/defunct/anh10.mp3

    Done with Overture 4, using the GPO 4 Steinway. I've found them to be infectious, delightful and quite the earworm, whomever the author was. Enjoy.

    [moved from the General Listening Room to the Garritan Listening Room].

  2. #2

    Re: "I've Got Only a Little Cottage" Theme and variations, possibly by Beethoven

    It doesn't matter to me who the author might have been, they are absolutely fantastic variations! And you did a terrific job scoring all these little notes to having them performed so well in Overture with Garritan. I suppose you've tweaked the piano slightly to produce the sound of an early 19th century hammer klavier...?
    I'm totally wild about this unkown (to me) masterpiece and what you did with it. Good recording by the way!


    Max

  3. #3

    Re: "I've Got Only a Little Cottage" Theme and variations, possibly by Beethoven

    I thoroughly enjoyed these brilliant variations! I think you did a great job taking this unknown theme and making it interesting and enjoyable to listen to! Once again, Bravo!

    Best,
    Quinn M.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: "I've Got Only a Little Cottage" Theme and variations, possibly by Beethoven

    Really nice music ... the kind you can enjoy and listen to for hours without fatigue setting in. Listening again as I write!

    Thanks for the interesting text and for posting,

    Frank

  5. #5

    Re: "I've Got Only a Little Cottage" Theme and variations, possibly by Beethoven

    Quote Originally Posted by gardibolt View Post
    Hello, all. It's been quite a while since I've posted about the doings at The Unheard Beethoven...
    One of the more intriguing of these items is a set of variations for piano on a song to words by Gleim, "I've Got Only a Little Cottage" ...
    It's been far too long indeed, gardibolt. But you're certainly helping the Forum get off to a wonderful new year with your elegant rendering of this unknown piece.

    Fascinating back story, thanks for telling us about it - So intriguing, a musical mystery, "Did he do it?" But, in the end, what's more important than authorship, is the music itself, this sparkling set of variations that are pure fun to listen to.

    AND, I need to add that your recording sounds great. You would seem to be a master at getting the most musical results possible from Overture - this is very musical sounding, not mechanical. And you've also managed to demonstrate how the neglected piano in GPO can sound pretty darned good.

    Applause and thanks!

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: "I've Got Only a Little Cottage" Theme and variations, possibly by Beethoven

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    I suppose you've tweaked the piano slightly to produce the sound of an early 19th century hammer klavier...?
    I'm totally wild about this unkown (to me) masterpiece and what you did with it. Good recording by the way!


    Max
    Thanks, Max, and all. The piano wasn't tweaked at all; I just used a very dry reverb (I don't, unfortunately, recall exactly what settings I used) to keep a clean circa 1810 sound to it.

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