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Ludwig van Beethoven » Romance in G major » David, Ferdinand - Peters

Ferdinand David’s copy is a reissue from 1858/9 of the Peters edition originally published c. 1837. It is evidently reprinted from the original plates and bears the plate number 2624, together with the new number 4111. Its title page has both the F.D stamp at the top right-hand corner and David's signature in pencil at the bottom right-hand corner; it also has an Uppingham Music Library stamp to the left of the F.D stamp. The Romance constitutes folios 1-2 of a fragment of 6 folios evidently from a larger bound volume of music. David first marked his copy of Beethoven’s Romance in blue crayon (very little), pencil (with several layers of markings and erasures in places), and later inked over what are evidently his final pencil markings in brown ink, almost as if preparing the part for publication. It is not possible to be entirely sure of the sequence of alterations, or whether, indeed, some of the pencil or crayon markings may have been added by a different person (perhaps his son Paul). The majority of markings, however, are certainly Ferdinand David’s. The blue crayon occurs in two places: b. 28 (p.2, st.6, b.4), changing the final note from d'' to c[#]'' and b. 73f (p. 3, st.5, b.3-st.6, b.1) adding slurs that were later crossed out in pencil. The majority of pencil markings appear to precede the ink markings and represent the most complicated phase of the process. A few of the deleted pencil markings can be made out. In bb. 30-32 (p.2, st.7, bb.2-4) David originally envisaged a performance in 5th position, ascending at 30iv with a first finger and remaining there until 33i, the d2 on 31i and 33i being played with a harmonic on the D-string. From the middle of b. 36 he initially changed the quavers of the lower part to semiquavers separated by semiquaver rests, marking simile at the beginning of b. 37. Several of David’s performance markings are particularly interesting. The fingering of the second half of b. 11 is very unusual. The g' is played on the G-string as a harmonic, together with the d1 as an open D-string, and this is followed by b1 on the A-string together with the open D-string (the same fingering recurs when the passage is repeated at b. 47). Elsewhere there are many fingerings characteristic of the period and of David in particular, such as the use of successive 4th fingers for adjacent notes, sometimes both stopped and sometimes when one is a harmonic. Perhaps the most remarkable of all the markings in this piece are the vibrato indications in bb. 57 and 59. This is one of very few instances of David adding vibrato marks (wavy lines) that are known to me at present (others occur in David’s Introduction et Variations op. 15 and in several pieces in his Hohe Schule des Violinspiels). In the Beethoven Romance David originally wrote the signs in pencil and one of them was inked over. The signs were included in a few of Spohr’s last published editions in the 1850s, but in David’s published output, as far as I know, they are printed only in his Violinschule (1864) and as an isolated instance in No. 13 of the Hohe Schule

[C. B.]

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Work Romance in G major
Title Romance in G
Publisher Peters
City Leipzig
Date 1858 ±1 years [Source: plate number comparison]
Publication Number
Instrumentation Violin and Orchestra/Piano –
Partly Recomposed No


Part Plate No. Medium Annotations Musical Text(s)
Violin 2624 Printed Manuscript