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Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonate für Klavier (C-Dur) op. 53, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung H. C. Bodmer, HCB Mh 7

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A new middle movement for the Waldstein Sonata

"In the sonata (in C major, opus 53), which was dedicated to the composer's first patron, Count Waldstein, there was originally a long Andante. A friend of Beethoven's told him that the sonata was too long, upon which the composer flew into a fury with him. Only after calm consideration was my teacher convinced of the truth of the remark. He then published the long Andante in F major, in 3/8 time, separately and later composed the interesting Introduction to the Rondo, which is now part of it." The story of the genesis of the Waldstein Sonata, which Beethoven's pupil Ferdinand Ries (together with Franz Gerhard Wegeler) published in 1838 in his book Biographischen Notizen über Ludwig van Beethoven, is confirmed by the autograph score shown here. Instead of the long middle movement, which he removed, Beethoven composed a slow introduction ("Introduzione. Adagio") to the last movement instead. Leaves 14 and 15, on which this introduction is written, were added later. The edges of leaf 14, which were glued on from the back, can still be clearly seen on the inner edge of leaf 9v (image 17). Leaf 15, on the other hand, is not glued into place, but was sewn onto the half leaf behind it (images 29 and 30). The latter was not completely removed as the third movement begins here. The ink on both leaves is also lighter than that used for the rest of the autograph score. Beethoven did not discard the middle movement but published it as a single Andante for Piano (WoO 57). (J.R.)

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