Beethovens secret? [VIDEO]

The Enigmas of his Violin Concerto Op 61

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The Violin Concerto and I

The Violin Concerto by Ludwig van Beethoven Op 61 is one of todays most performed pieces for violin and orchestra. During my studies in Salzburg I got a copy of the original manuscript into my hands and was shocked about what I found there. 

Beethoven wrote an alternative solo violin part almost throughout the whole piece and decided just before the first print which version he will use in the end. But, he did not cross out any of the second lines, only selected a few bars from the blue ink and a few bars of the pencil writing, always changing. I have performed this concerto several times with different orchestras in Austria and Bulgaria already with some changes. He did not "not want" the second version, they are not crossed out. He had to choose.

The top red marking shows the three notes that we are used to hear and play today in the beginning of the piece - just at the end of the first solo-violin entrance.

The lower red marking shows another possibility - playing a scale from a to a instead of an arpeggio.

There had been a third and fourth possibility for Beethoven, but he crossed them out quite drastically. But two versions stay.

While I had some time during my stay at the Cartagena Festival in January 2018 I recorded myself playing one of the passages where the alternative version makes a lot of musical sense. The orchestra in this recording is not "real", it is a Music Minus One recording from the 50s - I added the Solo Violin digitally. But I think the listener will understand!


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