Ludwig van Beethoven

Rondo for piano in G major, Op. 51/2

    Description by James Reel

    Despite its opus number, this is actually a work of Beethoven's very early maturity. The second rondo of the Op. 51 set is more elaborate than its companion, which had been written some years earlier. Technically it's a rondo-sonata, developing two contrasting themes. The first theme is not quite as ornate (and insubstantial) as had been Beethoven's wont in his slow keyboard music only a few years before, but it remains rather courtly. Decoration piles on as the theme develops, but then is stripped away for restatements of the theme in more or less its original form. The rondo notion is justified by the contrasting middle section, an Allegretto in E major. It's delicate and lyrical, but underlying the tune is an unsettled accompaniment of short, repeated notes that soon infects the theme with its agitation. All this is put to rest by an extensive repeat of the opening section. Beethoven originally intended to dedicate this rondo to Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, but for reasons of patronage he instead dedicated his "Moonlight" Sonata to her, inscribing the lesser and more conventional Op. 51 rondos to Countess Henrietta Lichnowsky.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 SWR Music SWR 19054CD
    2018 APR (Appian) APR 7310
    2017 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 16030
    2015 Avi / CAvi-music AVI 8553321
    2015 RCA Red Seal / Sony Classical 88875127202
    2014 BIS BIS 1892
    2014 Naïve V 5393
    2014 Broken Audio BRAU 1160
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94630
    2013 Doremi Records DHR 8022
    2012 Paraty PARATY 109104
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94052
    2011 Naïve OP 30528
    2011 Parnassus Records PACD96046/7
    2010 EMI Classics 6483092
    2010 Decca 478213
    2010 Decca 478 213-2
    2010 Naxos 857807374
    2009 Haenssler 93703
    2008 Brilliant 93761
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93525
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93183
    2007 Musical Concepts 122
    2007 Universal
    2006 TUTM 2834
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 477 5703
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000608202
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon 000428702
    2005 Naïve OP 30420
    2005 Naïve OP 30421
    2003 Turn Up the Music 1428
    2002 Praga 356020-34
    2001 Naxos 553799
    2001 Deutsche Grammophon 469 232-2GP2
    2001 Vox Box 3601
    2000 Harmonia Mundi HMA195 1346
    2000 EtCetera Records 1018
    1999 Philips 438624
    1998 Philips 462358
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453 733-2GCB8
    1996 RCA 61968
    1995 Praga 254060
    1994 Harmonia Mundi 3901346
    1994 Philips 442464
    1993 Deutsche Grammophon 435744
    1992 Vox 3017
    1992 Pearl GEMMCDS9972
    1990 Chandos 8616
    Labor Records
    Teldec
    Brilliant Classics 93525/56
    Brilliant Classics 93183/3
    Duo Records (Meridian) 89023