Haydn, Mozart, & Beethoven: Studies in the Music of the Classical Period

By Sieghard Brandenburg | Go to book overview

15
An Orchestral Version of Beethoven's Marsch zur großen Wachtparade

CLEMENS BRENNEIS

In Willy Hess's catalogue of works not included in the old Breitkopf & Härtel Beethoven Gesamtausgabe, there is listed, among the 'doubtful and wrongly ascribed' works, an 'unknown arrangement of the Marsch zur großen Wachtparade for Orchestra'.1

The original work in question is the March in D major for military band, WoO 24, of 1816,2 the last and greatest of the pieces that Beethoven wrote in this particular genre of Gebrauchsmusik. Anton Schindler linked its composition with an undated letter from City Councillor Franz Embel, in his capacity as commandant of the Citizen Artillery Corps of the Imperial and Royal Capital City of Vienna, requesting Beethoven to compose a march 'for Turkish band' (für türkische Musick). The request was lent 'the appropriate emphasis' by being embellished with a large, coloured drawing of a cannon.3

The principal sources of the work are now in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin--Preußischer Kulturbesitz, where they are collected together under

____________________
1
W. Hess, Verzeichnis der nicht in der Gesamtausgabe veröffentlichten Werke Ludwig van Beethovens ( Wiesbaden, 1957), 86, item A3.
2
G. Kinsky and H. Halm, Das Werk Beethovens: Thematisch--bibliographisches Verzeichnis seiner sämtlichen vollendeten Kompositionen ( Munich and Duisburg, 1955), 462-3; K. Dorfmüller (ed.), Beiträge zur Beethoven-Bibliographie: Studien und Materialien zum Werkverzeichnis von Kinsky-Halm ( Munich, 1978), 358. Sketches for the march are to be found at the end of the so-called Scheide sketchbook, which Beethoven used in 1815-16; see D. Johnson (ed.), A. Tyson, and R. Winter, The Beethoven Sketchbooks: History, Reconstruction, Inventory ( Oxford, 1985), 241-6.
3
Staatsbibhothek zu Berlin, Mus. ms. autogr. Beethoven35, 86; see E. Bartlitz, Die Beethoven- Sammlung in der Musikabteilung der Deutschen Staatsbibliothek: Verzeichnis ( Berlin, 1970), 149. At a much later date (after 1851, see below) Schindler noted on the MS that the letter dated 'from 1815 or 1816'. He confirmed the connection with WoO 24 with the following remark: 'The march composed was the one in D major, "Aus dem Nachlaße", listed on p. 140 of Breitkopf & Härtel's thematic catalogue.' See further Thematisches Verzeichniss sämmtlicher im Druck erschienenen Werke von Ludwig van Beethoven ( Leipzig, 1851), 140, where two arrangements of the march for piano, mentioned below, are listed.

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