BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, April 30, 1822 (very approximately)

You will recall that Schubert’s 8 Variations on a French Song for piano four hands, op.10/D.624, dedicated to Beethoven, was published by Cappi & Diabelli about ten days ago. According to Josef Hüttenbrenner, a trusted friend of Schubert, not long afterwards Schubert worked up the nerve to deliver a copy of the work to Beethoven’s house, but learned that he was not at home. Schubert entrusted his dedicatory copy of the variations to the care of the housemaid or manservant, and neither saw nor spoke to Beethoven. Hüttenbrenner remarked further that Schubert subsequently heard with great satisfaction that Beethoven quite enjoyed these variations and played them frequently together with nephew Karl.

From Heinrich Kreissle von Hellborn, The Life of Franz Schubert, tr. Arthur D. Coleridge (London, 1869), II, pp. 263-64, as related by Thayer.

Schubert’s Variations D.624 are here performed by Caroline Clemmow and Anthony Goldstone.