Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waltz publications during Schubert's lifetime

The publication of Schubert's Valses sentimentales was announced in the Wiener Zeitung on 21 November 1825. Opp. 2-4 of Josef Lanner were announced at the same time. For reference, Johann Strauss, sr., began publishing his waltzes in earnest by no later than 1828 (several galops were published in that year, also), and he had reached Op. 41 (the Fra Diavolo Cotillons) by the end of 1830.

Of the roughly 290 extant waltzes, Ländler, and deutsche Tänze, 165 were published during Schubert's lifetime. These include a few scattered individual pieces and seven larger sets: D145, 365, 734, 779, 783, 924, and 969. It is impossible to know how many dances found their way -- in original, revised, or recomposed versions -- into sets published years later, but in general it seems reasonable to regard D145 and 365 as representing Schubert's earlier years (before 1821); D734 and 779 the most active years of socializing and playing for dancing; and D783, 924, and 969 the later years, the period beginning with the first treatments for syphilis early in 1823.

We might note also that it was 1826 when Schubert's Trauerwalzer, D365n2, first appeared under Beethoven's name with the title "Favoritwalzer" and shortly again thereafter as "Sehnsuchtswalzer" (Kinsky 727), After that, the little piece's fate was sealed, and it was republished any number of times throughout the nineteenth century. 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 WoO11, no. 7, a Ländler that was Americanized as the "Cactus Waltz" (Kinkeldey 245-46).


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.