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Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonatine für Klavier (F-Dur) WoO 50 und Abschrift des Kapliedes von Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung Wegeler, W 1

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The Bonn doctor Franz Gerhard Wegeler (1765-1848) was one of Beethoven's oldest friends. They had already known each other in Bonn. Wegeler's marriage to Beethoven's childhood friend Eleonore von Breuning in 1802 strengthened their relationship. Their friendship lasted their whole lives. Wegeler studied medicine in Vienna from 1787-1789, returning to his hometown of Bonn afterwards. Beethoven said goodbye to his friends in Bonn in autumn 1792 to study in Vienna (and in the end never returned to Bonn). It was probably in 1790 or 1791 that Beethoven gave Franz Gerhard Wegeler the leaf with the Sonatine WoO 50 and a copy or rather a piano arrangement of the so-called Kaplied (Cape Lied) by Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart. Beethoven even added fingerings to the piano arrangement for Wegeler, as the latter noted across the margin, "Für mich Von Beethoven geschrieben und bezeichnet. Wglr" ("Written and with fingerings for me by Beethoven. Wglr"). The leaf was definitely a single leaf at the time on which it was written. Today the front contains the piano version of the Lied and the reverse Beethoven's sonatine. However Beethoven originally wanted to have them the other way around: on the reverse at the end of the last stave there is an upside down clef which is the wrong way wrong and the accompanying accidentals. Beethoven obviously wanted to begin the musical text here, decided otherwise, turned over the leaf and first of all wrote down Schubart's Kaplied. He then turned over the leaf again and wrote the sonatine down on the reverse. But there was not enough space on this page, which is why he wrote the end of the first movement of the sonatine on the front, in the first empty stave underneath the Kaplied. He now had hardly any space left for the second movement of the sonatine and began it directly after the Kaplied (two thirds of the line had remained empty). He finished this movement by jumping over the following part of the fifth accolade which already contained the last two bars of the first movement. Due to lack of space he was obliged to "tack" a few bars onto the staves at the end of the page. (J.R.)

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