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Ludwig van Beethoven, Veränderungen über einen Walzer von Anton Diabelli op. 120, Nr. 31, Autograph, Fragment

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, NE 162

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Correction handed over later

Beethoven wrote "zur Var: 31 gehörig" (belonging to Var. 31) in pencil on the lower margin of this leaf. At first he made a slip of the pen when writing "31" and corrected it later. The composer was referring to the corresponding variation from op. 120, the "Thirty-three Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli", which he wrote between 1819 and 1823. Many things show this single leaf to be a correction, inserted into the finished work at a later stage, not least the above note. On the upper left-hand side in front of the stave Beethoven wrote "=de". This is the second syllable of the word "Vide" (Latin for see), which Beethoven used as a reference. When he wanted a bar or musical passage to be replaced by another one, he marked the beginning of the passage "Vi-", and the insertion "=de". The "=de" at the beginning of this page shows that in this case it was a correction, which was to be added as a replacement somewhere else. Beethoven lastly wrote on the top right-hand side in red ink "+ london" and "+ london weg"("+ london away"). This note refers to a corrected copy which Beethoven sent to his pupil and friend Ferdinand Ries in London in April 1823 (it is now held at the Beethoven-Haus, call number HCB Mh 55). Ries was to try to find a publisher for the work in London (which he did not succeed in doing). The copy was intended as the engraver's model. After Beethoven had sent it off, the correction for variation 31 occurred to him, which he then noted down on the leaf shown here. (J.R.)

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