Ludwig van Beethoven

German Dances (6) for violin & piano, WoO 42

    Description by Robert Cummings

    The Six German Dances (Deutsche Tänze) are very early works by Beethoven and are not of great consequence in his oeuvre. He dedicated them to a Countess Thun, and since there were two with that title and name (the wives of Prince Lichnowsky and Count Razumovsky, respectively), it is not known which of the pair he had in mind.

    The Six German Dances are in the following keys: F, D, F, A, D, and G, and their writing is not particularly sophisticated. There is almost no modulation, and one finds little variety in their rigid structure of a pair of eight-measure phrases that are each repeated. The Third and Sixth do feature trios, but there is not much else here to offer diversity. The piano writing is much superior to that of the violin, which is rather rudimentary, typically mirroring the piano's right hand or supplying unimaginative accompaniment.

    This set was published in Vienna in 1814. These dances should not be confused with the more substantive Twelve German Dances for orchestra (1795).

    Parts/Movements

    1. German Dance No. 1 in F major
    2. German Dance No. 2 in D major
    3. German Dance No. 3 in F major
    4. German Dance No. 4 in A major
    5. German Dance No. 5 in D major
    6. German Dance No. 6 in G major

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Gramola GRAM 99106
    2016 Gramola GRAM 99053
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94630
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94052
    2010 Accent 24212
    2008 Brilliant 8712
    2008 Woodhouse Editions 803/6
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93525
    2007 Cascade Records 2200
    2006 Globe Records 6003
    2004 Metier 2004
    2000 Hungaroton Echo Collection 1045
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453 743-2GCB4
    1994 Hungaroton 12303
    1992 RCA 61240
    Cascade Records 2283
    Brilliant 93525/14
    Brilliant 8712/3
    RCA Victrola 902660936