Ludwig van Beethoven

La partenza ("Ecco quel fiero"), for voice & piano, WoO 124

    Description by Robert Cummings

    "La Partenza" (The Departure) is a setting of text by Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782). It is short, consisting of two verses, the whole score fitting on one page in the C. F. Peters edition. The words in this work appear in two languages--Italian and German--the latter version done in a translation by Christoph August Tiedge (1752-1841). The Italian language version--as one might surmise from the title of the song--is the chief one, appearing atop the German in the score.

    Beethoven would study the art of setting Italian text with Salieri in the early 1800s. Here his modest effort is reasonably successful, capturing the emotions in Metastasio's work quite effectively--the text deals with the pain and loss that comes with departure from loved ones. Beethoven marked the song Affettuoso (affectionate, warm). Shortly after completing this work he wrote another song--his only other solo vocal effort from 1796--that also dealt with the subject of departure, Abschiedsgesang an Wiens Bürger (Farewell Song to the Viennese Citizens), which used texts by von Friedelberg. "La Partenza" is the more sophisticated and better of the two, featuring both an attractive vocal line and imaginative accompaniment. Still, it is far from masterful.

    This short song is nevertheless one of the stronger early efforts by Beethoven in the vocal genre. It was first published in Vienna in 1803.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Albany Records TROY 1664
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94630
    2013 ATMA Classique ACD 23004
    2012 Capriccio Records C 5140
    2012 Anima Records ANM 51000001
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94052
    2011 Decca 4782826
    2010 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099945543
    2009 Arte Verum 6
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93525
    2007 Cascade Records 2200
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93200
    2004 ATMA Classique 22326
    2004 Centaur Records 2679
    2003 Berlin Classics 0020842
    1999 Bongiovanni 2523
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453 782-2GCB3
    1993 London/Decca / London 40297
    1990 Meridian Records DUOCD89010
    Cascade Records 2266
    Duo Records (Meridian) 89010
    Brilliant 93525/77