BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, October 15, 1821

S.A. Steiner & Co. announces in today’s Wiener Zeitung the publication of Variations on a Beloved Viennese Waltz, for pianoforte, op.12, by Carl Czerny, one of Beethoven’s very few composition students. Three other Czerny works are also advertised as available from Steiner: Amicitiae – Andantino with variations for piano, op.8; Fantasia and brilliant variations on a Romance by Blangini [Felice Blangini (1781-1841)], for piano quintet, op.3; and 20 Variations Concertantes [on a theme by Jean-Baptiese Krumpholz] for piano and violin, op.1.

The “Beloved Viennese Waltz” that was the subject of Czerny’s set of variations was the Traurig-Walzer, op.9/2 by Franz Schubert, now catalogued as D.365/2, from his set of 35 original dances for the piano, originally written about 1816, but as of yet still unpublished (the opus 9 set of dances will be published in mid-December, so Czerny manages to beat Schubert to the music shops by nearly two months).

Schubert’s waltz has an additional tie to Beethoven: In 1823, while Beethoven and Schubert are both still alive, an enterprising publisher in Stockholm will publish Schubert’s waltz under Beethoven’s name! This publication of Schubert’s waltz, with another waltz by Friedrich Heinrich Himmel appended to it as a trio and issued under the name “Sehnsuchtswalzer.” This phony Beethoven work is catalogued by Kinsky-Halm as Anh.14/1, and by Willy Hess as Anhang 27. R. Holliday in London will similarly pick this Schubert waltz up as Ludwig’s work in its c.1830 publication of Four Last Waltzes by Beethoven, after both composers are safely dead. By 1830 the waltz will have been published under Beethoven’s name in at least 25 various editions.

Gottlieb Wallisch plays Czerny’s variations op.12 live on fortepiano (c.1825) here: