L v Beethoven, unpublished autograph note signed about the "Archduke" Trio and his final violin sonata, [1813-1815]
BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN
Unpublished autograph note, signed, about two major chamber works, the "Archduke" Trio and his last violin sonata, Vienna, [1813-1815]
listing the Piano Trio in B-flat op.97 (the "Archduke") and the Violin Sonata in G major op.96, as two works both already written
"Trio für Klavier Violin und Violonschell
Sonate für Klavier und Violine
in g dur"
1 page, oblong c.6.5 x 23.5cm, cut from a larger leaf, light creamy-brown paper (watermark: part of a shield), attestation by Aloys Fuchs at the left-hand margin ("Originale von L. v Beethoven"), no place or date [Vienna, 1813-1815], small inkstains in the text, several tiny pinholes to Fuchs's attestation
APPARENTLY UNPUBLISHED: not traced in the Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, edited by S. Brandenburg (1996-1998), nor in Anderson (1961).
Beethoven refers to two of the greatest chamber works of his maturity,(i.e. from the end of the so-called "Middle Period"), namely his last piano trio and violin sonata. Beethoven composed the "Archduke" Piano Trio op.97 first, in the spring of 1811, but the Violin Sonata in G op.96 was only completed at the end of 1812. It was hurriedly prepared for a concert by the visiting French violinist Pierre Rode on 29 December, accompanied by the Archduke Rudolph.
Beethoven may have intended this note (or aide-memoire) about two recent compositions for one of his patrons such as the Archduke or Countess Erdödy. Alternatively, it is possible that Beethoven was trying to interest a publisher in them, although no asking prices are stated. Later, in 1815, Beethoven mentioned the trio and sonata, coupled in this way, in several letters to Ferdinand Ries; this was in connection with their sale to Birchall of London, who published them in 1816 along with "Wellington's Victory" (Anderson 572, 573, 596, 604, 609). During March to June 1815, he had offered these two works along with the Quartet op.95, the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies, "Wellington's Victory" and other pieces, in letters to George Smart (BG no.790; Anderson 534) J.P Salomon (BG 809; Anderson 544), and Steiner of Vienna (cf. BG 805; Anderson 527 & p.1423), but clearly stating his asking prices for each. All these works were composed during 1810-1813, but not published until 1816-1817; the trio and sonata by both Steiner and Birchall.
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