BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, March 14, 1822

At noon today Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), greatly celebrated in Vienna for his opera Der Freischütz premiered last summer, gives a concert at the Redoutensaal. Among the pieces on the programme are his Jubel-Ouverture in E for orchestra (1818), J.245; Weber’s Konzertstück [Concerto-piece] in F minor, op.79 (1821), which started off as his Piano Concerto #3; an aria by Mozart performed by Madame Grünbaum; the men’s vocal quartet, Schlummerlied op.68/4; a polonaise for oboe by Professor Sellner; and a free Fantasie and Rondeau performed by Weber on the piano. No such piece appears in the list of Weber’s works; since Weber was a piano virtuoso, this may well have been an improvisation. Tickets are available at music publisher and dealer Steiner & Co.

Weber’s Jubel Overture is here performed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rafael Kubelik, 1964.

The Konzertstück in F minor op.79 is played here by Ronald Brautigam on a facsimile of a 1819 fortepiano, accompanied by Michael Alexander Willens conducting the Kölner Akademie:

The critic (publisher and editor Friedrich August Kanne, 1778-1833) reporting on this benefit concert in the Vienna Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung (Nr. 26, March 30, 1822) complained that the wind instruments were badly out of tune. He was however delighted with the Mozart aria sung by Mme. Grünbaum, and took great pleasure in Prof. Sellner on the oboe, especially in his command of portamento. While generally approving of Weber’s virtuosity at the piano (one of Conrad Graf’s instruments) and how Weber made full use of its range, he did feel that Weber at times played so softly as to be inaudible, with the effect of an overly long grand pause.

In today’s Wiener Zeitung, music dealer Pietro Mechetti advertises a number of Beethoven works, including an arrangement of the King Stephan Overture and the Creatures of Prometheus Overture, both for piano four hands. However, neither arrangement is by Beethoven himself.