The evolving relationship between the solo and the tutti over the course of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 in B♭♭ major, op. 19, contributes to its individuality as a piece of music and provides clues for understanding its significance for Beethoven's early career. A structural analysis of solo-tutti interaction reveals a double trajectory spanning the concerto, one leading from relative opposition between the protagonists to proximity or agreement, and the other from the leadership of the tutti to that of the soloist. The extant sources of the protracted genesis of the concerto provide evidence for how Beethoven may have contemplated alternative enactments of the solo-tutti relationship in the first movement and suggest reasons behind his decision to replace the early (if not in fact original) conclusion to the concerto, the Rondo in B♭♭ major WoO 6, with the definitive finale of op. 19. The essay concludes with some thoughts on the implications of the solo-tutti relationship in op. 19 for the ways that the young Beethoven positioned himself within Viennese society and its musical heritage.
- Ludwig van Beethoven
- Piano Concerto No. 2 in B♭♭ major
- op. 19
- Rondo in B♭♭ major WoO6
- solo-tutti relationship
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