Listening to Beethoven #34 – Punschlied


Peanuts comic strip, drawn by Charles M. Schulz (c)PNTS

Punschlied WoO 110 for voice, choir and piano (1790-92, Beethoven aged 21)

Dedication not known
Text Anonymous
Duration ’50”

Listen

Background and Critical Reception

This is another example of Beethoven setting a ‘Gesellschaftslied’ – a public form of the song, but in this case thought to be for private consumption. It is another drinking song, setting its anonymous text with a similar structure to the previous Trinklied.

A florid piano introduction brings in the singer, who encourages each of his friends to drink the punch as it goes round the room. The choral response is emphatic: ‘Wir trinken alle hocherfreut, so lang uns Punsch die Kumme beut’ (‘We’ll surely stay a merry bunch, as long as our cups stay full of punch!’)

Thoughts

This is a good complement to the Trinklied – and is pretty much the next gulp from the flagon, with high spirits and good cheer! For a second time Beethoven reads his room well, leading the festivities with music of celebration.

Recordings used

Hermann Prey (baritone), Heinrich Schütz-Kreis Berlin, Leonard Hokanson (piano)

Peter Schreier (tenor), Gisela Franke (piano)

Once again Hermann Prey is on fine form, with sprightly piano playing from Leonard Hokanson and a fulsome choir. They eclipse Peter Schreier’s slightly higher version, which lacks a choir and cuts out the piano introduction.

Spotify links

Hermann Prey, Heinrich Schütz-Kreis Berlin, Leonard Hokanson

Peter Schreier, Gisela Franke

Also written in 1792 Méhul Stratonice

Next up An Laura WoO 112

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