BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Friday, December 19, 1823

Sauer & Leidesdorf today announce at 1184 of the Wiener Zeitung their new Musical Album of piano music for Christmas and New Years gifts, in a plain version for 3 florins, in a slipcase with gold lettering for 5, or most lavishly in silk with gold for 8 florins. “Germany has so much lacked such a gift for New Years as well as other holidays. The beauty of this items must be distinguished by its finest novelty and special elegance, but even more by its carefully curated content and special interest.” Included in the numerous works and dances are an Air russe by Schubert for piano, and an unidentified new Cavatina by Rossini (possibly an arrangement from one of Rossini’s operas). The “Air russe” has been enormously popular as a parlor piece for the last two hundred years and is often one of the first Schubert works encountered by beginning pianists. It is now catalogued as the Moment musical in F minor, D.780/3 (op.94/3). Alfred Brendel here plays the Air russe live in Pyongyang, North Korea: