Listening to Beethoven #138 – March in B flat major WoO 29 ‘Grenadiermarsch’ (piano version)

Austrian Infantry 1798 – 1805 (artist unknown)

March in B flat major WoO 29 ‘Grenadiermarsch’ for piano (1797-98, Beethoven aged 27)

Dedication unknown
Duration 1’30”

Listen

Background and Critical Reception

A piano reduction of the Grenadiermarsch, originally scored for wind sextet.

Beethoven was to write a good many marches, and this one must have meant something to him for it to be used in dual instrumentation.

Thoughts

After the wind sextet version, with its gritty sound and allusions to an accordion squeezebox, the piano sounds dry and rather foresquare as the march proceeds.

There are two versions – an original and a revision – but in all honesty there is very little to choose between the two!

Recordings used and Spotify links

Carl Petersson (Naxos)

Revised version

You can chart the Arcana Beethoven playlist as it grows, with one recommended version of each piece we listen to. Catch up here!

Also written in 1798 Wranitzky Grande Sinfonie caracteristique in C minor Op.31

Next up Romance no.2 in F major Op.50

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