Duo No.1 in C major for flute and bassoon from WoO27

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)
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Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)

Performance date: 07/07/2012

Venue: Bantry Library

Composition Year: 1790-1792

Duration: 00:08:55

Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation Category:Duo

Instrumentation Other: fl, bn

Artists: Peter Whelan - [bassoon]
William Dowdall - [flute]

The headings above are doubly dubious. This work was
originally written for clarinet and bassoon 
and, even more alarmingly, Grove insists that this work is ‘probably
spurious’. The set of three Duos that make up WoO 27 was first published in Paris some time before
1815. If authentic it was undoubtedly a very early work dating from 1786-90
when Beethoven was still living in Bonn.

One of Beethoven’s very early works was a Trio for
piano, flute and bassoon that he wrote in 1786 for the members of the family of
Count Friedrich von Westerholt. The Count was chief equerry to the Maximilian
Franz Archbishop Elector of
Cologne (whose Court
was in
and was also a bassoon player, while one of his sons played the flute. Perhaps
more significantly his daughter, Maria Anna, was one of Beethoven’s piano
students so he would have visited the family regularly.

There are very few Beethoven manuscripts dating to
before 1784 and it is conjectured that they may have been lost in the
disastrous floods of February 1784, when Beethoven and his landlord, Theodor
Fischer, had to be rescued from their house close to the
The three Duos could have dated from those early days bearing in mind it was
common practice at the time to adapt such music to other instruments as the need
or the occasion arose. As it happens the C major Duo conveniently avoids the
lower chalumeau register and all its notes lay comfortably within the flute’s
range. This may well have been intentional for this accomodating and delightful