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Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonate für Klavier (As-Dur) op. 110, 3. Satz, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung H. C. Bodmer, HCB BMh 2/42

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Discarded manuscript with notes for the engraver

For a long while there was uncertainty concerning the place of this autograph score (the third movement of the Piano Sonata op. 110) in the story of the sonata's genesis. Several findings left confusing traces. The autograph score was intended as a fair copy, so probably not the first attempt at writing down the work but rather done after an existing model. Yet it still contains corrections which are highlighted at the edge of the line with "Berl." (on many pages, particularly on leaf 3r (image 5)). The sonata was meant to be published by Schlesinger in Berlin. The note means that the corrections had not been entered into the engraver's model, which had already been sent to the publishers, and therefore still had to be communicated to the publisher. A complete autograph score for the sonata has also survived, which is located in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz. This score, on the other hand, contains other corrections which were also taken account in the printed version and clearly represents the final version. So what is the status of the autograph score shown here? In 1981 Hans-Werner Küthen explained in an essay ("Die ominöse Stelle um den Orgelpunkt herum". Text- und Quellengeschichtliches zur Fuge in Beethovens Klaviersonate op. 110), that the autograph score of the third movement held in Bonn is not the second version, as frequently supposed, but rather a discarded version. Beethoven had great difficulties in the third movement, resulting from its conception, from the dovetailing of the Adagio and Fugue and the form of the Fugue. These problems are reflected in the sources available. Beethoven first of all revised the complete Berlin autograph score. Having found a solution to the structure of the fugue, he made a new manuscript of the third movement, the Bonn autograph score shown here. However, ensuing doubts caused him to return to correct the Berlin autograph. This therefore contains the final version. The composer discarded the Bonn autograph score. According to Küthen it still contains corrections for the Berlin publishers, as Beethoven added these changes when he no longer had the complete autograph score. The only version to hand was the obsolete manuscript, in which Beethoven inserted his corrections out of necessity so as not to forget or mislay them. The autograph score shown here therefore contains a version which the composer discarded, to which he returned by means of necessity to record important corrections for the engraver. (J.R.)

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