12 немецких танцев для оркестра, WoO 13

Время создания: 1792-97 г.
Оригинальная версия утрачена, сохранилось только переложение для фортепиано.

Gianluca Cascioli (фортепиано)

Here is another instance in which Beethoven scored a collection of dances for orchestra first, then transcribed them for piano later. The original manuscript went unpublished and became lost over the years, leaving us only with the piano version. While these dozen dances are not among the composer's more important creations, neither are they weak compositions. Each is well-crafted, if not always particularly distinctive, and several are quite attractive, divulging many deft touches that foreshadow the many masterpieces to come.

Of note among the twelve dances is No. 2, which clearly has thematic ties to the composer's First Symphony's Minuet, composed about a year later. No. 4 is also of considerable note here, owing to the brilliantly conceived coda, which features elaborately-worked out thematic material from the trio, as well as some startling modulations. The Eleventh Dance is another of the more worthwhile items in the collection, not least because the composer seems to have hearkened back to its thematic wares in his Op. 132 Quartet (second movement).

If these dances are more noteworthy for the important works they foreshadow or relate to in some way, they are nevertheless not inconsequential. Their neglect, like that of so many other of the composer's early works, is in part due to the attention lavished on his many great masterpieces—works which serve to make the lesser but worthy creations turn pale in their company.

(All Music Guide)