Unknown Beethoven is playing tonight in Vienna

Unknown Beethoven is playing tonight in Vienna


norman lebrecht

February 27, 2020

Manuscript sketches for a piano piece, dating from 1790-92, are to be played tonight by Doris Adam as part of the ‘Beethoven and His Publishers’ exhibition at the Wienbibliothek im Rathaus.

The sketches were discovered by Jochen Reutter, editor of the Wiener Urtext Edition, who will precede the performance with a lecture. The piece is hitherto unknown and uncatalogued.



  • CYM says:

    Wow, what a mystery, or perhaps magic ??
    Will it be catalogued as ‘Hopus Pocus’
    or an ‘Opus Pocusthumous’ ??

  • And what are we supposed to do with all those “complete” recorded editions of Beethoven’s music? Are they now obsolete?

    • Peter San Diego says:

      Only the adjective is obsolete. 🙂

      I’m reminded of Leslie Howard’s mammoth complete Liszt piano music project: since its ostensible completion, 4 more CDs have been issued of works either discovered in the archives or revealed by private owners of the manuscripts. (Few of them strike me as major revelations — perhaps the “Concerto sans orchestre,” “Romancero espagnol” or the “Magyar Rapszodiak No. 23” — but they shed a bit more light on Liszt’s compositional, and social, activities.)

  • Karl says:

    Maybe someone can use a computer program to expand it into a full 7 movement symphony complete with chorus and cannon. Wouldn’t that be exiting!

  • Southerngent says:

    This would be quite early Beethoven. My guess is that there’s probably a good reason he never released it. So I can’t imagine it will knock the audience out of their seats.