March 1, 2009

200-year-old Beethoven piece gets premiere

One of 19th-century composer Ludwig van Beethoven's chamber pieces will finally be getting its world premiere on a Chicago stage, pianist George Lepauw says.

Lepauw said the piece to debut Sunday evening at Chicago's Murphy Auditorium is Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, a piece the famed German composer created sometime between 1800 and 1805, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The piece represents a reworking by Beethoven of his 1792 Opus 3 string trio in six movements. Only the first 12-minute movement of the piece was ever completed.

Lepauw was to perform the piece with violinist Sang Mee Lee and cellist Wendy Warner as the Beethoven Project Trio.

The trio's performance also was to include a performance of Beethoven's Anhang 3 in D-Major and Opus 63 in E-Flat, both of which are virtually unknown among the composer's works.

Meanwhile, Lepauw offered the Tribune his take on why Beethoven may not have completed Opus 3 piece.

The reasons are multiple and sometimes convoluted, he said. It may be that he did not have a good contract with a publisher or that another project took his attention away from it.