Thut auf, WoO 223, Biamonti 752 (mp3)
Performer: Mark S. Zimmer
Author: Mark S. Zimmer
This short song (identified by Nottebohm and Biamonti as a canon) is found at page 75 of the Artaria 195 sketchbook amongst much sketch material for the Missa Solemnis, op. 123 and the piano sonata op. 109, as well as a number of small piano pieces that ended up as op.119 nrs. 7-11. The phrase "Thut auf" (Open up) is the sole phrase written into what appears to have been intended as a vocal piece of some kind. William Kinderman, in his commentary on the Artaria 195 sketchbook, notes that "in its character and intervallic structure, employing the falling third E-C within a larger descending progression, it bears a faint similarity to the beginning of the fugato in the finale of the Piano Sonata in A Major, op. 101." It does not appear to be a strict canon, but lends itself to repetition in perpetuum. We have here repeated it only once, lest an infinitely large midi file overwhelm our server.
It is possible that "Thut auf" is derived from the poem "Frühlingsgruß" (Spring Greetings) by Wilhelm Müller. That poem appears in the collection "Gedichte aus den hinterlassenen Papieren eines reisenden Waldhornisten 1" (Poems from the Abandoned Papers of a Wandering Horn Player, vol. 1), which was published under the date 1821, but which according to the German de.wikisource.org actually appeared in October 1820. It may also have been printed earlier in a literary journal, which were common at this time. This poem contains the lines, "Thut auf, thut auf die Fensterlein" (Open up, open up the windows!), which with some repetition scans exactly with Beethoven's upper voice. The bass line Beethoven provides contains a different phrase that scans nicely with the next line of the poem, "Ihr Mägdlein, laßt den Frühling ein!" (You girls, let the spring in!). Such a sentiment would appeal to Beethoven, who loved the out of doors and fresh air.
The score for Willem's completion of this canonic work, long disregarded in the literature, may be downloaded here.