BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, October 16, 1820 (approximately)

It is possible that “Thut auf” WoO 223 dates from mid-October, if the music is indeed (as was conjectured in the entry for August 15, 1820) a setting of a few lines from Wilhelm Müller’s poem “Frühlingsgruß“. This would be roughly the earliest known time that Beethoven could have seen that poem. If this dating is correct, then the drafts of piano bagatelles for Starke contained on pages 75-80, some of which became op.119 nrs.7-11, probably date from the second half of October as well. It is unfortunately difficult to date many entries in the sketchbook Artaria 195 with precision because Beethoven tended to jump around in it; the order that things appear in the sketchbook is not necessarily the order in which they were written.

Portrait of Wilhelm Müller by Johann Friedrich Schröter.

The entry for August 15, 1820 can be found here, if you wish to know more about “Thut auf,” WoO 223: