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Horn Sonata in F major Op.17

Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)

Composer
Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)
Composition Year
1800
Work Movements
1. Allegro moderato
2. Poco adagio, quasi andante
3. Rondo - Allegro moderato
Artists
Paavali Jumpannen [piano], Hervé Joulain [horn]

Programme Note Writer:
© Ian Fox

As its Opus Number indicates this is an early work by Beethoven and dates from the fruitful year of 1800 which also saw the completion of his First Symphony, as well as the delightful Septet and the Op.18 String Quartets.  Beethoven dedicated it to Baroness Josefine von Braun, the wife of the manager of the Theater-an-der-Wien. The player for whom he had written the work, Giovanni Punto [1746-1803], was far better known at this time than he was and one newspaper commented when they appeared together at the première on April 18th: “Who is this Beethoven?” Punto’s real name was Jan Vaclav Stich and he was a popular performer at the time. According to Beethoven’s friend Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven only wrote the Sonata the day before the concert. Whatever about his own skills, Punto must have been either a great sight-reader or a remarkably quick learner as the horn part is quite challenging. They played it again at a fund-raising concert the following January in aid of the wounded from the disastrous Battle of Hohenlinden and it was published later that year.  Much later in 1814 Beethoven made a rare public appearance accompanying the horn player of the court orchestra, Friedrich Starke [1774-1835], in the Sonata. It was discovered that the piano was a half-tone too low, so he transposed it at sight effortlessly and then added a number of improvisations to the event.

 

The Sonata is a charming work, uncomplicated and tuneful.  There is an unusual key change in the first movement (to E minor) but otherwise it is a cheerful affair with the horn opening proceedings with a hunting call on its own. The second subject is also announced by the horn, a melancholic tune.  The very brief slow movement introduces a soulful melody intended to display the legato line of the horn. The pace quickens and the finale follows without a break. This is a rondo launched by the piano with the horn quickly repeating the jolly tune. The episodes between the return of the theme provide ample scope for the horn and keyboard to display their talents

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Horn Sonata in F major Op.17

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)
Performance date: Friday 6th July 2012
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)
Work Title Horn Sonata in F major Op.17
Composition Year 1800
Work Movements 1. Allegro moderato
2. Poco adagio, quasi andante
3. Rondo - Allegro moderato
Artist(s) Paavali Jumpannen [piano], Hervé Joulain [horn]
Performance Date Friday 6th July 2012
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:14:22
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation hn, pf
Programme Note Writer © Ian Fox

As its Opus Number indicates this is an early work by Beethoven and dates from the fruitful year of 1800 which also saw the completion of his First Symphony, as well as the delightful Septet and the Op.18 String Quartets.  Beethoven dedicated it to Baroness Josefine von Braun, the wife of the manager of the Theater-an-der-Wien. The player for whom he had written the work, Giovanni Punto [1746-1803], was far better known at this time than he was and one newspaper commented when they appeared together at the première on April 18th: “Who is this Beethoven?” Punto’s real name was Jan Vaclav Stich and he was a popular performer at the time. According to Beethoven’s friend Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven only wrote the Sonata the day before the concert. Whatever about his own skills, Punto must have been either a great sight-reader or a remarkably quick learner as the horn part is quite challenging. They played it again at a fund-raising concert the following January in aid of the wounded from the disastrous Battle of Hohenlinden and it was published later that year.  Much later in 1814 Beethoven made a rare public appearance accompanying the horn player of the court orchestra, Friedrich Starke [1774-1835], in the Sonata. It was discovered that the piano was a half-tone too low, so he transposed it at sight effortlessly and then added a number of improvisations to the event.

 

The Sonata is a charming work, uncomplicated and tuneful.  There is an unusual key change in the first movement (to E minor) but otherwise it is a cheerful affair with the horn opening proceedings with a hunting call on its own. The second subject is also announced by the horn, a melancholic tune.  The very brief slow movement introduces a soulful melody intended to display the legato line of the horn. The pace quickens and the finale follows without a break. This is a rondo launched by the piano with the horn quickly repeating the jolly tune. The episodes between the return of the theme provide ample scope for the horn and keyboard to display their talents