The 6 Variations with Coda “Ich denke dein” for piano duet (piano 4 hands) were composed in 1803 and published in 1805. A quite delightful set of variations based on a song melody with a text that roughly translates as “I think of you when the sun shimmers on the sea” which suggests that the composer belongs more to the romantic than the classical era. sf means suddenly loud and is one of Beethoven’s most used score markings as is not unsurprisingly fp meaning loud going to soft. In Beethoven’s music the surprise element is always strong particularly in respect to dynamics and rhythmic accents which are often placed on the weaker beats of the bar. Time signatures appear at the beginning of the theme and also the beginning of each variation. All movements apart from Variations 3 and 5 are in common time. Tempos in Variation 3 and 5 are more relaxed and slower with the music notated in 2/2 time. As his sketch books show, Beethoven was particular fond of re-working and revising his composition ideas but there is always purpose and a clear sense of direction in his music. Use of the sustaining pedal is recommended but has not been indicated in the score. The lines of music are rhythmically independent which makes playing the trills in Variation 4 challenging. Beethoven is always interested in developing piano technique and there is evidence of this particularly in Variation 4. This particular variation took the music editor as much time to prepare as the rest of the work put together! The music editor suggests omitting the ornaments particularly in this variation in the first instance. Any pianists/keyboard players not sure of how the ornaments should be played should refer to the video score on the YouTube channel to see a suggested solution. In the video score the ornaments written out in full and it sounds exactly as the realisation available as the mp3 from the website. The playing of ornaments is much more interesting and challenging in Beethoven’s time. The Primo and Secondo can be downloaded separately as “accompaniments” enabling players to enjoy an ensemble music experience playing either the Primo or Secondo parts. The Primo part sounds on one channel of the stereo signal and the Secondo part sounds on the other. The tempos are as follows in quarter note beats to the bar with the second figure indicating the half note or minim beat tempos for variations 3 and 5. There are three accompaniments: Accompaniment 112/50 Accompaniment 2 108/48 Accompaniment 3 104/46. There is a four bar count in /click on the accompaniment mp3. When performing printing two pages of music on to one side of A4 offers a practical solution for players.