BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Saturday, November 3, 1821

The continuing popularity of Rossini in Vienna is shown by music publisher Thadé Weigl’s large advertisement in today’s Wiener Zeitung for various of his Overtures arranged by Alexander Pössinger in versions for violin or flute quartet. Among the overtures offered in these transcriptions are those for Torvaldo e Dorliska, Tancredi, Mosè in Egitto, L’Italiana in Algeri, and La gazza ladra. Also available from Weigl are other arrangements in the same configuration of the overtures to Rossini’s Tancredi, Otello, Ricciardo e Zoraide, La Cenerentola, Il turco in Italia, Elisabetta regina d’Inghilterra, and Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Franz Alexander Pössinger (1766-1827) was an Austrian violinist contemporary with Beethoven. Like Beethoven, he had studied counterpoint and composition from Johann Georg Albrechtsberger. He was a member of the Imperial Court Orchestra throughout his adult life. Beethoven regarded Pössinger well, asking that Pössinger arrange his Piano Concerto Nr. 4, op.58, for piano quintet, and Symphony Nr. 4, op.60 for string quintet. One of Pössinger’s last works before his death was a string quartet version of the Overture to Fidelio.

Pössinger’s Rossini arrangements were quite popular. The parts for his arrangement of La gazza ladra advertised in today’s newspaper can be seen and downloaded at IMSLP here: