Ein Landler (anon, 1897)
6 Ländler WoO 15 for piano (1802, Beethoven aged 31)
written by Ben Hogwood
Background and Critical Reception
Beethoven often turned to the Ländler, a folk dance in 3/4 time, as a way of helping entertain his Viennese clientele. He was able to score them for different instrumental combinations, presumably in response to the circumstances of the entertainers. This set is originally for two violins and a bass instrument – but as with many of these dances was also reworked into a piano version.
The piano version of these dance pieces brings out the ‘drone’ qualities in the accompaniment more. These can be heard on the first beat of the bar, where the left hand of the piano typically plays in intervals of a fifth, the support on which the more rhythmic elements of the dance can work their magic.
Recordings used and Spotify links
Jenő Jandó (Naxos)
Martino Tirimo (Hänssler)
Both versions are nicely played, bringing out the spring in Beethoven’s step.
Also written in 1802 Förster 3 String Quartets Op.21
Next up Graf, liebster Graf, liebstes Schaf WoO 101