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[1770 - 1827]

Adagio in E-flat Major, WoO 43b (1796)

arranged for flute solo and string orchestra by Mark Starr
from Beethoven's original, for mandolin and harpsichord

link to biography of Beethoven

A demo recording of this arrangement -- realized with digital musical sounds -- will begin to play automatically upon opening this page.  If you do not wish listen to it, please click on the STOP button (or the PAUSE button) on the media player, below. You may wish to adjust the volume on your computer to a more comfortable level.


Adagio in E-flat Major, for flute solo and string orchestra, WoO 43b

an arrangement for flute solo and string orchestra by Mark Starr of Beethoven's movement for mandolin and harpsichord.

composed in 1796



Among the treasures hidden in Beethoven's obscure pieces composed for mandolin and harpsichord, none can compare with the sublime richness of this Adagio in E-flat Major, WoO 43b. For six magical minutes, Beethoven tapped into the vein of inspired simplicity that one usually associates with late Mozart.

How could such exquisite music still lie in obscurity, one wonders? It is possible the instruments that Beethoven selected, charming as they may be in a salon, can only hint at this music's lyrical and emotional qualities. The lovely melody that Beethoven gave to the mandolin stretches beyond the technical limits of cantabile and long line which either the mandolin or the harpsichord can produce. Moreover, the expressive harmonies in the harpsichord part call for a dulcet
sostenuto texture that is foreign to the percussive sonority of this instrument.

The flute and string orchestra have the requisite technical resources, sonorities and expressive qualities to bring out the extraordinary beauty hidden in these notes.


The full score of this arrangement for flute solo and string orchestra is available for perusal, audition, purchase, downloading and printing on the website www.sibeliusmusiccom.  To jump to the sheet music online, please click on the following link:

link to sheet music online of Mark Starr's orchestral arrangement of Beethoven's Adagio in E-flat Major, for flute solo and string orchestra, WoO 43b

To display the score on a computer screen -- while listening to a synchronized MIDI performance of the music -- one must first download Sibelius' web music viewer, called Scorch.  Scorch is available free-of-charge on the sibeliusmusic.com website. (Just click on the green button marked Get Scorch)

To rent the instrumental parts for a public performance and/or commercial recording, please click on the link Contact Noteworthy in the left-hand column.


duration: 6 minutes