Van Swieten Society: Beethoven’s Beethoven

Van Swieten Society: Beethoven’s Beethoven

Van Swieten Society - Franc Polman and Igor Ruhadze, violin; Bernadette Verhagen, Viola; Job ter Haar, cello, Bart van Oort, fortepiano.

Symphony no.2 in D major, op. 36 for pianotrio
Quintet for Piano and winds in Eb major, op. 16

Recorded: 27-28-29 June, 2007. Quintone 

Records Q08003, July 2008.

The Van Swieten Society’s "Beethoven's Beethoven" features two chamber music works by Beethoven in arrangements of the composer himself. Beethoven’s enormous popularity during his early years in Vienna is reflected by the large number of arrangements he made of his own works which were so popular that the public couldn’t get enough of them. This purely practical manner of approaching a score was nothing special for Beethoven and his contemporaries; however, according to Beethoven, this process is best done by the master himself or someone as good as the master because there are important compositional decisions to be made, such as: which parts are integral to the score and which can be omitted, and perhaps most importantly for the piece to be played well, which passages are idiomatic for the new chamber ensemble and which much be reconfigured in order to make them so.
With this CD the Van Swieten Society has made a rare historical instrument recording of these two beautiful but (in this form) relatively little known chamber music masterworks.