Марш F-dur "Zapfenstreich", WoO 20 (4 марша, №3)

Время создания: 1810 г.

This March was not published during Beethoven's lifetime, which would normally indicate that the composer intentionally suppressed it, owing to his perfectionist nature. But Beethoven, as will be noted, did indeed attempt to get this composition published. This work was one of three that appears to date from 1809-10, the other two band marches being, No. 1 in F, WoO. 18, and No. 2, WoO. 19, in F. They are often referred to as his Zapfenstreiche ("military tattoos", but in a musical sense, marches with trios). Beethoven returned to this C major March in 1822, adding a trio (and to the others, as well). He approached the Leipzig publishing house Peters and attempted to interest parties there in the three marches. (The first seems to have been published in Berlin around 1818.)

Band music scores, however, not possessing the lucrative sales potential of a symphony or piano sonata, were more difficult to get published. Peters turned Beethoven down, thus consigning this C major March and its siblings to limbo for the remaining five years of the composer's life. They were all published posthumously, however. The C major March is substantially longer than the other two Zapfenstreiche, and may well be the strongest musically. (The other two have textual problems, especially the third.) This march is marked Vivace assai and features attractive themes and imaginative instrumentation. The many modulations here are deftly and unexpectedly employed, too, enhancing the colorful fabric of the piece. The trio is hushed and presents a flowing, almost songful melody on piccolo and oboe. The reprise of the main material is extended, and Beethoven follows with a brilliant coda of no thematic kinship to the previous music.

In the end, this must be assessed as an important work in the composer's wind band music output, which consists of about eight works. It is not, however, a major effort, judged against all his compositions.

(All Music Guide)