Beethoven: Folk Song Arrangements

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Artist Various
Format 6 CD
Cat. number 94925
EAN code 5028421949253
Release January 2015

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About this release

Although Beethoven ranks as one of the most celebrated Western classical composers of all time, some of his works remain surprisingly obscure. His folksong arrangements certainly garner less attention than his original songs, but there are nonetheless several gems among the collections.

The settings are in a fascinating position of straddling two very different traditions: as folk songs, the emphasis is on the melody, as they were traditionally sung unaccompanied. Beethoven, however, transposed them into the Classical tradition, carefully rescoring them with standard Western classical harmony and thereby making them accessible to new European audiences. They were designed to be easy enough for amateurs to perform, but while they are indeed less complex than Beethoven’s original songs, they are no less mundane; Beethoven’s publisher George Thomson actually complained that Beethoven’s bold and daring settings, with their extended introductions and at times unusual harmonies, were too difficult for his market.

Beethoven’s English was non-existent, and he communicated with Thomson in French. However, when setting the folk songs he was adamant that Thomson explain the meaning behind the texts, refusing to compose without understanding the context. He also referred to the folk songs as ‘compositions’ rather than ‘settings’, showing how seriously he took his task. This dedication shines through in the music: Beethoven takes inspiration from the rustic melodies and simple words to conceive works that are certainly worthy of the concert hall.

The recordings here have been made over the course of several years, and feature such renowned singers as Dorothee Wohlgemuth, Antonia Bourvé, Georg Poplutz and Eberhard Büchner, accompanied by the Berliner Solistenchor, Brahms Trio and members of the Radio Chorus Leipzig, with experienced conductor Horst Neumann at the helm.

Now available as a 6CD set, the Folksong Arrangements by Beethoven.
Beethoven wrote these arrangements of Scottish, Irish, Welsh and various folk songs, commissioned by his publisher, as a means to earn money. However, as was often the case with him, he took the commission very serious and instead of merely adding simple accompaniments to the songs, he created little works of art, adding introductions, original harmonies and intricate accompaniments, worthy of the concert hall. One may find many a hidden treasure among these attractive, sentimental, comical or rustic songs!
Performed by a variety of artists and choirs.
First released on the Brilliant Classics Complete Beethoven Edition. (BC94630)

Other information:

• Recordings made in Germany in 1972, 1979 and 2007.
• Dozens of renowned artists.
• Notes on the compositions.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: I. The Return to Ulster
  2. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: II. Sweet Power of Song
  3. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: III. Once More I Hail Thee
  4. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: IV. The Morning Air Plays on My Face
  5. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: V. The Massacre of Glenco
  6. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: VI. What Shall I Do to Shew How Much I Love Her?
  7. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: VII. His Boat Comes on the Sunny Tide
  8. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: VIII. Come Draw We Round a Cheerful Ring
  9. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: IX. The Soldier’s Dream
  10. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: X. The Deserter
  11. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XI. Thou Emblem of Faith
  12. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XII. English Bulls
  13. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XIII. Musing on the Roaring Ocean
  14. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XIV. Dermot and Shelah
  15. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XV. Let Brain-Spinning Swains
  16. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XVI. Hide Not Thy Anguish
  17. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XVII. In Vain to This Desert, Due
  18. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XVIII. They Bid Me Slight My Dermot Dear
  19. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XIX. Wife, Children and Friends
  20. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XX. Farewell Bliss and Farewell Nancy
  21. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XXI. Morning a Cruel Turmoiler Is
  22. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XXII. From Garyone, My Happy Home
  23. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XXIII. A Wand’ring Gypsy, Sirs, Am I
  24. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XXIV. The Traugh Welcome
  25. 25 Irish Songs WoO 152: XXV. Oh Harp of Erin
  26. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: I. When Eve’s Last Rays
  27. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: II. No Riches from His Scanty Store
  28. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: III. The British Light Dragoons
  29. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: IV. Since Greybeards Inform Us
  30. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: V. I Dream’d I Lay Where Flow’rs Were Springing
  31. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: VI. Sad and Luckless Was the Season
  32. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: VII. O Soothe Me, My Lyre
  33. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: VIII. Norah of Balamagairy
  34. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: IX. The Kiss, Dear Maid, Thy Lip Has Left
  35. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: X. Oh! Thou Hapless Soldier
  36. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: XI. When Far from the Home

Disk 2

  1. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: XII. I’ll Praise the Saints
  2. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: XIII. ’Tis Sunshine at Last
  3. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: XIV. Paddy O’Rafferty
  4. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: XV. ’Tis but in Vain
  5. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: XVI. O Might I but My Patrick Love
  6. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: XVII. Come, Darby Dear
  7. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: XVIII. No More, My Mary
  8. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: XIX. Judy, Lovely, Matchless Creature
  9. 20 Irish Songs WoO 153: XX. Thy Ship Must Sail
  10. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: I. The Elfin Fairies
  11. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: II. O Harp of Erin
  12. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: III. The Farewell Song
  13. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: IV. The Pulse of an Irishman
  14. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: V. Oh! Who, My Dear Dermot
  15. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: VI. Put Round the Bright Wine
  16. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: VII. From Garyone, My Happy Home
  17. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: VIII. Save Me from the Grave and Wise
  18. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: IX. Oh! Would I Were but That Sweet Linnet
  19. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: X. The Hero May Perish
  20. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: XI. The Soldier in a Foreign Land
  21. 12 Irish Songs WoO 154: XII. He Promised Me at Parting

Disk 3

  1. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: I. Sion, the Son of Evan
  2. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: II. The Monks of Bangor’s March
  3. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: III. The Cottage Maid
  4. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: IV. Love Without Hope
  5. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: V. A Golden Robe My Love Shall Wear
  6. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: VI. The Fair Maid of Mona
  7. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: VII. Oh Let the Night My Blushes Hide
  8. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: VIII. Farewell, Thou Noisy Town
  9. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: IX. To the Aeolian Harp
  10. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: X. Ned Pugh’s Farewell
  11. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XI. Merch Megan
  12. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XII. Waken Lords and Ladies Gay
  13. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XIII. Helpless Woman
  14. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XIV. The Dream
  15. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XV. When Mortals All to Rest Retire
  16. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XVI. The Damsels of Cardigan
  17. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XVII. The Dairy House
  18. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XVIII. Sweet Richard
  19. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XIX. The Vale of Clwyd
  20. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XX. To the Blackbird
  21. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XXI. Cupid’s Kindness
  22. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XXII. Constancy
  23. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XXIII. The Old Strain
  24. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XXIV. Three Hundred Pounds
  25. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XXV. The Parting Kiss
  26. 26 Welsh Songs WoO 155: XXVI. Good Night

Disk 4

  1. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: I. The Banner of Buccleuch
  2. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: II. Duncan Gray
  3. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: III. Up! Quit Thy Bower
  4. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: IV. Ye Shepherds of This Pleasant vale
  5. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: V. Cease Your Funning
  6. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: VI. Highland Harry
  7. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: VII. Polly Stewart
  8. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: VIII. Womankind
  9. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: IX. Lochnagar
  10. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: X. Glencoe
  11. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: XI. Auld Lang Syne
  12. 12 Scottish Songs WoO 156: XII. The Quaker’s Wife
  13. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: I. God Save the King (English)
  14. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: II. The Soldier (Irish)
  15. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: III. O Charlie Is My Darling (Scottish)
  16. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: IV. O Sanctissima (Sicilian)
  17. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: V. The Miller of the Dee (English)
  18. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: VI. A Health to the Brave (Irish)
  19. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: VII. Since All Thy Vows, False Maid (Irish)
  20. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: VIII. By the Side of the Shannon (Irish)
  21. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: IX. Highlander’s Lament (Scottish)
  22. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: X. Sir Johnie Cope (?Scottish)
  23. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: XI. The Wandering Minstrel (Irish)
  24. 12 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 157: XII. La Gondoletta (Venetian)

Disk 5

  1. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: I. Ridder Stig tjener i Congens Gaard (Danish)
  2. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: II. Horch auf, mein Liebchen (German)
  3. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: III. Wegen meiner bleib d’Fräula (German)
  4. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: IV. Wann i in der Früh aufsteh (Tyrolean)
  5. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: V. I bin a Tyroler Bua (Tyrolean)
  6. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: VI. A Madel, ja a Madel (Tyrolean)
  7. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: VII. Wer solche Buema afipackt (Tyrolean
  8. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: VIII. Ih mag di nit (Tyrolean)
  9. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: IX. Oj upiłem sie w karczmie (Polish)
  10. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: X. Poszła baba po popiół (Polish)
  11. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XI. Yo no quiero embarcarme (?Portuguese)
  12. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XII. Seus lindos olhos (Portuguese)
  13. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XIII. Im Walde sind viele Mücklein geboren (Russian)
  14. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XIV. Ach Bächlein, Bächlein, kühle Wasser (Russian)
  15. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XV. Unsere Mädchen gingen in den Wald (Russian)
  16. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XVI. Schöne Minka, ich muss schneiden ‘Air cosaque’ (Ukrainian)
  17. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XVII. Lilla Carl, sov sött i frid (Swedish)
  18. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XVIII. An ä Bergli bin i gesässe (Swiss)
  19. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XIX. Una paloma blanca ‘Bolero a solo’ (Spanish)
  20. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XX. Como la mariposa ‘Bolero a due’ (Spanish)
  21. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XXI. La tiranna se embarca (Spanish)
  22. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XXII. Édes kinos emlékezet (Hungarian)
  23. 23 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158a: XXIII. Da brava, Catina (Venetian)
  24. WoO 158c: II. ‘Non, non, Collette n’est point trompeuse’ from le devin du village
  25. Hess 168: Air Français
  26. From 7 British Songs WoO 158b: I. Adieu My Lov’d Harp (Irish)
  27. From 7 British Songs WoO 158b: III. Oh Was Not I a Weary Wight (Scottish)
  28. From 7 British Songs WoO 158b: IV. Red Gleams the Sun (Scottish)
  29. From 7 British Songs WoO 158b: V. Erin! oh, Erin! (Irish/Scottish)
  30. From 7 British Songs WoO 158b: VI. O Mary, Ye’s Be Clad in Silk (Scottish)

Disk 6

  1. From 6 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158c: I. When My Hero in Court Appears, from The Beggar’s Opera
  2. From 6 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158c: II. Non, non, Collette n’est point trompeuse from le devin du village
  3. From 6 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158c: III. Mark Yonder Pomp of Costly Fashion (Scottish)
  4. From 6 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158c: IV. Bonnie Wee Thing (Scottish)
  5. From 6 Songs of Various Nationality WoO 158c: V. From Thee, Eliza, I Must Go (Scottish)
  6. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: I. Music, Love, and Wine
  7. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: II. Sunset
  8. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: III. Oh! Sweet Were the Hours
  9. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: IV. The Maid of Isla
  10. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: V. The Sweetest Lad Was Jamie
  11. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: VI. Dim, Dim Is My Eye
  12. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: VII. Bonnie Laddie, Highland Laddie
  13. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: VIII. The Lovely Lass of Inverness
  14. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: IX. Behold My Love How Green the Groves
  15. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: X. Sympathy
  16. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XI. Oh! Thou Art the Ladq
  17. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XII. Oh, Had My Fate
  18. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XIII. Come Fill, Fill, My Good Fellow
  19. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XIV. O, How Can I Be Blithe
  20. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XV. O Cruel Was My Father
  21. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XVI. Could This Ill World
  22. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XVII. O Mary, at Thy Window Be
  23. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XVIII. Enchantress, Farewell
  24. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XIX. O Swiftly Glides the Bonny Boat
  25. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XX. Faithfu’ Johnie
  26. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XXI. Jeannie’s Distress
  27. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XXII. The Highland Watch
  28. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XXIII. The Shepherd’s Song
  29. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XXIV. Again My Lyre
  30. 25 Scottish Songs Op. 108: XXV. Sally in Our Alley