"I've Got Only a Little Cottage" Theme and Variations, possibly by Beethoven
Hello, all. It's been quite a while since I've posted about the doings at The Unheard Beethoven---mostly because our webmaster went AWOL and there *were* no doings at The Unheard Beethoven (http://www.unheardbeethoven.org). However, with the New Year we are working on a revamped version of the site, with a great many mp3 versions of unrecorded and unpublished Beethoven works. We hope these new soundfiles will be available soon (some bugs still remain in the search engine that need to be worked out).
One of the more intriguing of these items is a set of variations for piano on a song to words by Gleim, "I've Got Only a Little Cottage," catalogued by Kinsky-Halm as Anhang 10. Kinsky and Halm thought they were at least questionable, since they were only published after Beethoven's death (in 1830) and that they were weak. The more we worked on them, the more we concluded that if they were not Beethoven's they were done by someone quite accomplished at the variation form; if you've ever heard the often crude and pedantic variations that all the other notable composers of the day did on the waltz by Diabelli upon which Beethoven wrote his massive 33 variations, you know that this is not a skill shared by many composers. While we cannot ascribe any certainty to Beethoven's authorship, we're more inclined to agree with the editors of Beethoven's collected works in the 1880s that these variations may well be the Master's.
But now you can judge for yourself in this special preview of the revived Unheard Beethoven: