Beethoven, Ludwig van. (1770–1827)

Grand concert pour le piano-forte...Oeuvre 15.

Bonn: N. Simrock. [1802]. Upright folio. Disbound. 1f. (title with engraving of wreath, ribbon); verso of title page notice in French and German regarding the three manners of performing the work; 3-27 pp. Price: "10 francs." Engraved throughout. [PN] 187. Left edge rough, first (title) and final leaves separated from the block, else a very clean and crisp copy.  Kinsky p. 35. 

The present early edition was published shortly after Mollo's first edition appeared in 1801 and is in striking agreement with that edition, even reproducing a number of errors of engraving found there. As with the first edition, this Simrock copy of the solo piano part includes figured bass and orchestral cues, but adds in many places small notes for the right hand, thus giving the player a choice of three different modes of performance (see title page notice): with stringed instruments only, with a few wind-instruments, or with full orchestra. 

Beethoven's so-called First Piano Concerto in C major was actually not his first: the one known as the 'Second Concerto', op. 19 in B-flat major, was written much earlier. However, he spent so much time elaborating the B-flat major Concerto that the C-major Concerto preceded it into print, and is thus called his 'First'. But even the First was revised several times. Beethoven probably performed it for the first time at the Hofburgtheater during an academy of the Tonkünstler Society on 29 March 1795. 


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