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[1770 - 1827]

Recitative and Cavatina (Klagende Gesang)
arranged by Mark Starr for flute solo (or violin solo) and string orchestra

transcribed from Piano Sonata no. 31 in A flat major, Opus 110

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.

Beethoven's next-to-last piano sonata (No. 31 in A-flat Major, Opus 110) contains one of his shortest but most inspired movements. The third movement is called Recitative and Cavatina. A cavatina is a song, and this song is subtitled Klagende Gesang (Song of Sorrow.) It is one of the most poignant and memorable melodies Beethoven ever composed.

But what, one has to ask oneself, is a short song doing in the middle of a piano sonata, of all places? -- especially in one of Beethoven's very last works. Quite simply, it is a song of farewell. In the recitative that introduces the cavatina, Beethoven is speaking directly to us -- except there are no words. This movement lends itself to an arrangement for an eloquent solo instrument, such as the flute or violin, and a string orchestra (to express the soft pulsating, harmonically rich accompaniment.)

The full score for Mark Starr's arrangement of Beethoven's Klagende Gesang is available online for perusal, audition, purchase, downloading and printing.  Here is a link to the full score:

The orchestral parts are available on rental from Noteworthy Musical Editions for public performances and/or commercial recordings. 

Mark Starr's arrangement of Beethoven's Klagende Gesang is copyright and regisgtered with ASCAP.