Tuesday, November 3, 2009

D779n13 embedded in D. 365

Instead of imagining performance conditions in which D779n13 might have acted as a trio to n12 (see trio), we can take the opposite tack and construct a new "suite" of waltzes by inserting the simplified 16-bar version into D. 365, to take the place of the waltz of which it may well be a variant.

In the graphic at the end of this post, I have assembled an excerpt from a "false" Opus 9: the actual waltzes, nos. 4 & 5, then the 16-bar recomposition of the A Major Waltz (transposed down to Ab major), then number 6, and the beginning of number 7. The recomposition fits comfortably in the set I am constructing, as all of the Ab major waltzes in D. 365 are in the most basic 8+8 design, with brief (or no) pickups.

The earliest extant manuscript for D365n4 (from 1817) is an incipit in A major, not Ab. The Trauerwalzer (D365n2), also in A, is included in that set of incipits, and it is only in several Albumblatt-style copies from the following year that this waltz is transposed down to Ab (to make it more "traurig," perhaps?); then, a manuscript from later the same year or early in 1819 has D. 365 nos. 1-4, all in Ab, as they were finally published in 1821 (Brown, 228, 230-31, 291-2).

Postscript: After Schott reissued the Trauerwalzer under Beethoven's name and with the title "Sehnsuchtswalzer" (Kinsky, 727), the little piece's fate was sealed, and it was republished any number of times throughout the nineteenth century. As we saw in another post, Schumann knew it in 1835 as Le Désir (it was also called Mon Désir in some editions). Already by 1831, it had acquired English words (under the title "The Maid of Elsmere"). By 1870, American publishers had attributed as many as seventy waltzes to Beethoven; a very small number were actually his, including WoO11n7, a Ländler that was Americanized as the "Cactus Waltz" (Kinkeldey, 245-46).

In the musical example below, n1=D365n4; n2 = D365n5; n3 = D779n13 (16-bar version in Ab); n4 = D365n6; and n5 = D365n7.


Brown, Maurice. Essays on Schubert. London: Macmillan, 1966.

Kinkeldey, Otto. "The Beginnings of Beethoven in America." Musical Quarterly 13/2 (1927): 217-48.

Kinsky, Georg. Hans Halm, ed. Das Werk Beethovens: Thematisch-Bibliographisches Verzeichnis seiner Sämtlichen Vollendeten Kompositionen. Munich-Duisburg: Henle, 1955.