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Ludwig van Beethoven, Skizzenbuch "Engelmann" zu den Diabelli-Variationen op. 120 und der 9. Sinfonie op. 125, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung H. C. Bodmer, HCB Mh 60

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Divided up and scattered

The so-called Engelmann Sketchbook, named after a previous owner, belongs to Beethoven's house or desk sketchbooks, that is one of the ones he used at home at his desk. They have a large format and were written in ink, unlike the pocket sketchbooks which are smaller and only contain notes in pencil. The Engelmann Sketchbook with its 19 leaves was part of a larger sketchbook. The latter was acquired by Domenico Artaria, a Viennese music dealer and publisher, at the auction of Beethoven's estate in November 1827. Artaria bought large amounts of music from Beethoven's estate, including 20 sketchbooks. Very soon after buying them, before 1834, Artaria classified the "Notirungsbücher" he had bought, giving each one a capital letter. The sketchbook to which the Engelmann one also belonged was given the letter "K", which was written on the first page of music in the top right-hand corner (image 5). Artaria also gave each sketchbook a cover on which the number of leaves was recorded next to the letter. The cover for the sketchbook K is in Berlin and bears the inscription "Notirungsbuch/K/39". According to this the sketchbook in Artaria's possession must originally have comprised 39 leaves. The Engelmann Sketchbook shown here only has 19 leaves. So which single leaves, miscellanies or parts also belong to "K"? It is known that one of Engelmann's previous owners, Baron de Trémont, kept one leaf for himself or rather as an "illustration" for his memoirs before passing on the sketchbook (this single leaf is now in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France). Other single leaves have also be identified, including a leaf in the Beethoven-Haus, HCB BSk 21. Sieghard Brandenburg ("Die Skizzen zur Neunten Symphonie") believes the majority of the missing leaves to be in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz, in the first part of a Beethoven manuscript with the call number Landsberg 8/1.
Both Landsberg 8/1 and the Engelmann Sketchbook contain sketches for the Ninth Symphony. In Engelmann there are also sketches for the Diabelli Variations op. 120. The latter especially enable us to put a rough date on the Engelmann Sketchbook. The copyist's version of the Diabelli Variations for Ferdinand Ries in London - also in the Beethoven Archiv with the call number HCB Mh 55 - bears the date "30. April [1823]". The sketches for variations 32 and 33 on the first six pages of Engelmann must therefore have been done before then. The same applies to the fair copy of the theme on page 37 (image 41) and the entry of the theme on page 30 (image 34). These sketches were therefore probably already made at the beginning of April 1823. However, on pages 16-18 and 33 (images 20-22 and 37) there are corrections to the copy of the variations which Beethoven marks in red ink many times for "London", that is for Ferdinand Ries, who had received the engraver's model for a planned London edition. This would imply that the book was still in use in May 1823. (J.R.)


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