11 Мёдлингских танцев, WoO 17

Авторство Бетховена сомнительно.

Состав инструментов:2 Flöten, 2 Klarinetten, 2 Hörner, Fagott, 2 Violinen und Bratsche

  • 1. Waltz
  • 2. Minuet
  • 3. Waltz
  • 4. Minuet
  • 5. Minuet
  • 6. Ländler
  • 7. Minuet
  • 8. Ländler
  • 9. Minuet
  • 10. Waltz
  • 11. Waltz

The authorship of these Eleven Mödlinger Dances is in doubt. Schindler, hardly the most reliable source on Beethoven, claimed that the composer wrote a collection of waltzes in 1819 while staying at an inn near Mödling. But that score never turned up in the composer's lifetime—not, in itself, necessarily an unusual circumstance. Hugo Riemann came across this set of dances in Leipzig in 1905 and determined it to be the one referred to by Schindler. They were first published in Leipzig two years later. Beethoven may have indeed written this collection, but certain stylistic traits seem to cast doubt on his authorship, especially in light of his more serious and deeper manner druing his last creative period. Yet Beethoven did write a fair number of short, light, even frivolous works around this time, too, including a number of his canons and puzzle canons. The stylistic arguments largely center on improbable key sequences in these works, and it is quite possible, maybe even probable, that Beethoven composed these dances.

The first dance sounds as though it might have come from the composer's pen, all right, but from a much earlier time than 1819. Could Beethoven have reworked a hitherto suppressed composition, of which there were many? He certainly showed an interest in returning to his early works during his last years. The repetitive and rollicking nature of the second dance again sounds quite possibly as though it came from the composer's early years. What is odd about all these pieces, though—and what may well be the best argument for their authenticity—is that they are short, like many of the bagatelles, late waltzes, and canons. If Beethoven had drawn on earlier pieces for this collection, he might have shortened them. Or, if he had fashioned new music from older styles, he would also have been brief. These eleven works last a bit under 15 minutes in a typical performance.

Most of the other pieces here also show traits of the composer's style in the late eighteenth century. The ninth dance is most interesting for its mixture of older and then-newer styles. There are some pungent dissonances amid festive-sounding music that spice the atmosphere with clever sonic mischief. The last two pieces here are also of considerable musical interest. Yet one may come away from a hearing of this collection with the feeling that if Beethoven was indeed the composer of this music, he was hot-and-cold when he wrote it.

(All Music Guide)


Even when Beethoven was writing trifling little dances for Vienna's Redoutensaal, he still sounded like Beethoven. In late 1792, he came to Vienna to study with Haydn, who soon demonstrated to his pupil the art of writing public dance music. Within three years, Beethoven had composed at least three sets of dance music: the 12 Contredanses (WoO 14), 12 German Dances (WoO 6), and 6 Minuets (WoO 9). These were used in the Redoutensaal in November 1795. Beethoven's name was mentioned in the Wiener Zeitung, and he soon was asked to make a piano arrangement of the German dances and minuets. He was climbing the ladder of fame.

Beethoven's best mentors in these genres were Mozart and Haydn, of course, who also composed music for the Redoutensaal. While these masters wrote public dance music relatively late in their careers, Beethoven was just at the beginning of his. He had everything ahead of him, and one can hear that in many of these dances, even if some of them are only 36 seconds long! In fact, Contredanse #7 will sound very familiar to many listeners, because it is also appears in the Finale of the "Eroica" Symphony, as well as in The Creatures of Prometheus. (Contredanse #11 also appears in that latter work.) It should be noted that two of the Contredanses (Nos. 8 and 12) were composed by Beethoven's younger brother. Another prediction of the Beethoven to come can be heard in the extended coda to his German dances. Not only does Beethoven introduce a brash posthorn here (another glance back at Mozart, who had died a few years earlier), but the almost blustery rhetoric, as Beethoven prepares the dancers to take their leave, already finds the composer shaking his fists, albeit in good humor. The Minuets, apparently composed for a more intimate setting (a smaller room, at least), introduce a harp, to unexpected and beguiling effect.

It is uncertain whether or not Beethoven actually composed the Modling Dances, supposedly named after the village where they first were played. Anton Schindler, Beethoven's early biographer, seems to indicate that the dances are Beethoven's, and that they were written rather later in his life. This set contains a selection of three different genres: waltzes, minuets, and landler. Frankly, the music seems a little less typical of Beethoven than the other three sets, yet there's nothing about them that denies Beethoven's authorship, at least as far as my ears are concerned.