Piano Concerto, Opus 64, in E major
approx. 17 minutes
126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52 timp, str, piano solo
This work's score has been reconstructed from parts discovered in library archives by pianist Jon Nakamatsu. The supplied timpani part however has been written by the editor as none was found with the extant parts. It is not known if there were oboe parts originally.
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Joseph Wölfl was born on Christmas Eve 1773 in Salzburg Austria,
3 years Beethoven's junior, and studied under Leopold Mozart and Michael Haydn.
Recognized as a musical "wonder child" he established himself very early
as a formidable pianist, aided in part by his considerably large hands,
however his first public performance was at age 7 as soloist in a violin concerto!
Wölfl, a composer “of his time”, has been completely overshadowed by Beethoven the visionary, but as a pianist even Beethoven himself conceded to Wölfl's superiority, though each had their proponents in their day. They were in fact friendly rivals at the piano and were famous for their "piano duels" where they would take turns suggesting a theme and then each would improvise on the spot.
This new engraving is based on the version published by Robert Birchall in London in the early 1800's. Although this is certainly one of Wölfl's last works it may not actually be his last work as claimed by the Birchall publication, as there are higher existing opus numbers. It is however likely that it is his last piano concerto.
The sprightly and songful first movement Allegro Moderato is full of charm, romance and power, and is more than twice the length of both the remaining two movements combined. The Andante is a brief intermezzo leading to the rollicking Rondo movement in 6/8.
Although missing from the original parts,
we have added rehearsal marks, measure numbers,
and numerous cues in the instrumental parts.
Horns have been transposed to F,
and a timpani part has been written.
The movements are: