BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Saturday, December 15, 1821

Today’s Wiener Zeitung contains an advertisement from Cappi & Diabelli for their new publication of Schubert’s 36 Original Dances for piano op.9, now catalogued as D.365. The second of these dances, the Trauerwalzer, or Melancholy Waltz, was written about 1816 by the 19-year-old Schubert. It quickly became famous in Vienna. But Schubert’s Trauerwalzer also was published in Stockholm as German Waltz by Beethoven in the Musikaliskt Tidsfördrif 1823, Nr. 24/25, p.100.

In 1826 Schubert’s waltz will be combined with the Favoritwalzer by Friedrich Heinrich Himmel and published as Sehnsuchtwalzer – again, under Beethoven’s name! Despite Beethoven’s protestations, in 1828 once he was safely dead Schott combined it with five other waltzes that Schott had fraudulently published in years past as Beethoven’s, together with the genuine Funeral March from the piano sonata op.26, all under Beethoven’s name as a Souvenir a Beethoven. The phony amalgamation of Schubert and Himmel is catalogued by Kinsky-Halm as Anhang 14, nr. 1 and by Hess as Anhang 27.

As we saw in the entry for October 15, 1821, Beethoven’s enterprising former student Carl Czerny actually managed to beat Schubert to press with his own variations on Schubert’s Trauerwalzer, by about two months.

Jörg Demus plays Schubert’s sad little waltz here: