Время создания: 1796 год.
Посвящено: князю фон Шварценберг (Joseph Johann Nepomuk von Schwarzenberg)
1. Grave - Allegro ma non troppo
2. Andante cantabile
3. Rondo. Allegro ma non troppo
James Levine, фортепиано
Hansjorg Schellenberger, гобой
Karl Leister, кларнет
Gunter Hogner, валторна
Milan Turkovic, фагот
The quintet is scored for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon. It was inspired by Mozart's Quintet, K. 452 (1784), which has the same scoring and is also in E-flat.
Beethoven subsequently transcribed the Op. 16 quintet as a quartet for piano and string trio (violin, viola, and cello), using the same opus number, tempo markings, and overall timing. Версия для фортепиано и струнных
С квинтетом связана следующая история: Before a journey to Russia, the violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh and the cellist Joseph Linke both gave farewell concerts. In Schuppanzigh's concert on 11 February 1816 only works by Beethoven were performed, including op. 16. Czerny had played the piano part and allowed himself much virtuosic freedom and had added things, "in the foolishness of youth" as he later admitted.
Beethoven attended the concert and was so angry with Czerny's high-handedness that he rebuked him in front of all the other musicians. The next day Beethoven apologized in this letter1, "I burst yesterday. I was very sorry once it had happened, but you must forgive an author who would rather have heard his work as he had written it, however well you played it".
Beethoven promises to rectify his bad behaviour in Linke's concert. In Linke's farewell concert on 18 February 1816 Czerny was to play the piano part again - Linke played Beethoven's Cello Sonatas op. 102. Beethoven kept his promise and publicly voiced his goodwill towards Czerny.
Written in the mid-1790s, when Beethoven still toiled in the shadow of Mozart and Haydn, the Quintet for Piano and Winds shows the strong influence of the two elder composers, as do the six string quartets of Op. 18 he was composing at about the same time. Yet Beethoven was already beginning to assert his own personality here through the occasional violent contrast in dynamics. The writing for winds strongly recalls Mozart's woodwind serenades, but the sometimes rumbling and ever forceful piano style anticipates Beethoven's later keyboard works. And unlike Mozart, Beethoven sets the piano in opposition to the block of woodwinds. He also made an alternate quartet version with the same opus number, replacing the winds with violin, viola, and cello.
The first movement begins with a placid introduction, marked Grave; it's like a distant hunting call for winds answered lyrically by the piano, then approaching nearer (and louder). The piano takes charge as the movement's main matter, Allegro ma non troppo, gets underway. It starts with a charming, antique tune immediately repeated by the winds and then used as the basis for rapid, keyboard-roaming passagework on the piano. There's a rustic dance-like melody, and eventually the keyboard introduces a third, more placid but rhythmically decisive theme, soon shouted out by the winds. Beethoven puts these themes through the standard sonata-form development, but when it's time for the recapitulation, the jokester Beethoven brings back the themes in the "wrong" key, according to the classical formula.
The second movement, Andante cantabile, balances lyricism with counterpoint. It's a rondo, with the serene main theme increasingly ornate in its second and third appearances. The first contrasting episode is a dialogue between oboe and bassoon, answered by canonic figures in the other winds. The second contrasting episode features a minor-key horn solo. The final return of the main theme, however florid it becomes, ends with quiet scale passages in contrary motion.
The finale, Allegro ma non troppo, is also a rondo, but one that develops the primary thematic material—another hunting tune, gently called out first by the piano—almost as fully as in a sonata-allegro format. The first contrasting episode is all arpeggios, first in the piano and then in the winds, elements that will return through the rest of the movement. Indeed, the work ends in a string of joyful, rustic arpeggios and hunting calls.
(All Music Guide)