Octet in E Flat Op 103 is clever and lively. According to its entry on Wikipedia,
…it was written in 1792/1793, during Beethoven’s early period. Beethoven reworked and expanded the Octet in 1795 as his first String Quintet, Op. 4.
That means Beethoven was 22 or 23 when he composed this octet.
Rondino in E Flat Wo025 is more subdued, a pretty but somber composition. It was composed in 1793. Beethoven was 23.
Beethoven Sextet in E Flat Op 71 was composed in 1796. Beethoven was 26. I’ve heard this music before, probably on the local Classical music radio station. It’s pretty and clever and soothing and intriguing – especially Movement III (“Menuetto: Quasi allegretto”). The interplay between all of my favorite orchestral instruments is grand.
According to the IMSLP web site, Beethoven Three Duos Wo027 (No 1 in C, No 2 in F, No 3 in B flat), is
…of disputed authorship. Accepted as authentic in Kinsky, 1955, but but listed as ‘probably spurious’ in Kerman, 1983.
I must say this doesn’t sound like anything I’ve yet heard from Beethoven. It sounds bouncier, less textured.
What what do I know? I’m no musicologist.
All of the music on today’s CD was performed by Ottetto Italiano, which probably means Italian octet.
Just a hunch.