Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55, “Eroica” (arranged X. Scharwenka for piano four hands)
Piano duo Tessa Uys and Ben Schoeman have given many recitals together and have been performing Franz Xaver Scharwenka’s transcriptions of Beethoven’s nine symphonies since 2015 after Tessa found the music, now long out of print, in her mother’s collection. They describe working on Sharwenka’s transcriptions as:
‘a journey of exploration and inspiration. To be able to hear and discover the intricate weaving of all the internal harmonies and melodic lines that one knows are there, but that tend to get submerged in large orchestral ensemble, has been a revelation.’
Scharwenka, a piano virtuoso and composer, was born in East Prussia and died in Berlin in 1924. He composed symphonies, piano concerti and an opera as well as a quantity of instrumental music, including the transcriptions for piano duet for four hands of the nine symphonies by Beethoven. It was through these transcriptions that most people in the nineteenth century came to know these works.