Minuetto per orchestra in Mi minore

ricostruzione dagli abbozzi di Willam Denny e Joseph Kerman (1974)

Nel manoscritto beethoveniano conservato alla Beethoven-Haus di Bonn e contassegnato col numero BH MS117 Recto, si trova questo minuetto “Proesto” (sic!) . Beethoven scrive: “einen majestätischen Menuet mit punktirten Noten”. Ecco cosa scrive Kerman nella prefazione alla sua bella ricostruzione:

“The two minuets published herewith were never completed by Beethoven, so far as is known, but they have been preserved in the form of relatively complete drafts in piano score. These are found among the surviving sketch sheets from Beethoven’s years at Bonn, before his move to Vienna at the age of 21 in 1792. In Bonn, Beethoven not infrequently prepared conscientious interim drafts of works in progress, drafts which are much more complete and carefully written than characteristic later sketches of the type made familiar by the studies of Gustav Nottebohm, Paul Mies, J. S. Shedlock, and others. Such drafts seem to allow for ‘realization’ in a way that later sketches rarely or never do. The extent of our additions, modifications, and interpretations will be clear from this edition, in which the original drafts are printed in transcription directly below the full score.

It is not known whether Beethoven planned these minuets for symphonies he was contemplating, or whether perhaps they were conceived as isolated studies in the abstract. In any case, the young composer was working characteristically in a style that would count as rich and complex by the standards of the music he knew. This music would have included the minuets in Mozart’s late symphonies and in Haydn’s symphonies up through the ‘Paris’ set (the ‘London’ Symphonies were not yet written). We believe there are enough forceful and interesting ideas in these minuets to commend them to the attention of Beethoven’s admirers, and to the conductors among them. The drafts also include a number of weak places; in making the final versions, Beethoven would have been able to revise these more extensively than we have felt free to do.

The draft of the Minuet in E minor is taken from f.123r of British Museum Additional Manuscript 29801, by permission of the Keeper of Manuscripts.1 The Minuet in D is taken from Bonn, Beethovenhaus MS H7r, by permission of the Director, Prof. Joseph Schmidt-Gorg, and Dr. Hans Schmidt. The transcription of the drafts below the full score follows the sources exactly, but does not attempt to record earlier readings of corrected notes or passages”.

William Denny – Joseph Kerman

1 A facsimile appears in Beethoven. Autograph Miscellany from ca. 1786-99 (the ‘Kafka Sketchbook’), ed. Joseph Kerman, London: The British Museum, 1970, Vol. I.Trascrizione completa del manoscritto trovasi anche nel nostro sito a quest’ indirizzo.