Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications

School of Music

CHASE

View Edition

Ludwig van Beethoven » Violin Sonatas (complete editions) » David, Ferdinand - C. F. Peters

The Peters edition of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas with the plate number 4899 was first published in May 1868; it is listed in Hofmeister Monatsbericht as 'Sonates p. Pfte et Violon [...] Edit. nouv., rev. critiquement.' but without mentioning Ferdinand David's name. Two distinct versions of the annotations can be found in editions with this plate number. Both versions were printed from the same set of plates, but the plates were later substantially revised, altering many bowings, fingerings, slurs, and staccato markings. It is unclear when or by whom these revisions were undertaken. The title page makes no mention of a revising editor, and it is impossible to tell from  the character of the revisions whether they might stem from a copy modified by David himself. Comparison of the revised version of 4899 with David's own revisions to the original version of the 'Kreutzer' Sonata in his personal copy, preserved in the Uppingham Collection (see below), does not help to determine whether the changes in the printed markings might be his. Copies printed from plates numbered 4899 evidently remained on sale until around 1881, when a completely re-engraved edition of the Violin Sonatas with plate number 6531, was issued, on the title page of which Ferdinand David is still identified as editor; this is virtually identical with the revised version of 4899, a copy of which was evidently the engraver's source. The alterations to the violin part, if they do not stem from David, may possibly have taken place shortly before the edition was completely re-engraved, for two surviving sets (one in my possession and another in Edinburgh) are known in which the piano part has the pl. no. 6531 and the violin part 4899, suggesting, perhaps that the piano part was re-engraved first and the violin part of the old plates were modified as a temporary measure until the new plates were ready; this may also be suggested by the fact that the violin part in these modified copies show distinct signs of wear to the plates. Before the plates of 4899 were altered, they were used, after a few minor revisions, for an edition entitled Duos pour Piano et Violon, which included not only Beethoven's Violin Sonatas, but also his Rondo in G and 'Figaro' Variations; this was issued with the plate number 4926, evidently within a short time of the original publication. The only copy of this edition known to us is the one from the Uppingham Collection containing David's manuscript annotations in the 'Kreutzer' Sonata. The relationships of these versions can be summarised thus: 

- Plate 4899 (original version, here called 4899a): French title page, Sonatrs [sic] pour Piano & Violon par L. van Beethoven. revues et doigtées par Ferd. David. 1868 

- Plate 4926: French title page, Duos pour Piano & Violon par L. van Beethoven. revus et doigtés par Ferd. David. (including the Rondo and "Figaro" variations; the plates of the sonatas are almost identical with 4899a except for the re-engraved plate number). c. 1869 

- Plate 4899: (revised version, here called 4899b) German title page, Sonaten für Pianoforte und Violine von L. van Beethoven. revidirt und mit Fingersatz versehen von Ferd. David.

- Plate 6531: German title page, Sonaten für Pianoforte und Violine von L. van Beethoven. revidirt und mit Fingersatz versehen von Ferd. David.; markings as 4899b c. 1881. Only the title page and first movement of op. 12 no. 1 in this edition is given below. 

The copy of 4926, from the Uppingham Collection, has pencil markings in op. 12 nos 2 and 3, op. 23, op. 24, and op. 30 nos 1-3, which were evidently connected with violin lessons in 1928-9, as indicated by dates in a similar pencil at the beginning of several of these sonatas. In the 'Kreutzer' Sonata op. 47 in this copy, however, the annotations in blue crayon are undoubtedly by Ferdinand David himself (as demonstrated by comparison with his markings in other copies from Uppingham); most, if not all of the pencil markings in this sonata are clearly not Ferdinand David's. A colour scan of this copy of Op. 47 has been included here. On the website significant differences between 4899a/4926 and 4899b have been marked on the copy of 4926 in red annotation boxes (READ ME - USER GUIDE). This copy also contains comments on the implications of David's bowing and fingering in red boxes.

C. B.

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Work Violin Sonatas (complete editions)
Title Sonaten für Pianoforte und Violine
Publisher C. F. Peters
City Leipzig
Date 1868 (March) [Source: Hofmeister - May 1868]
Publication Number
Instrumentation Violin and Piano – 1 Violin · 1 Others (Piano)
Partly Recomposed No

Parts

Part Plate No. Medium Annotations Musical Text(s)
Title page 4899(a) Printed
Title page 4899b/6531 Printed
Title page 4926 Printed
Violin 4899a (op. 12 no. 1) Printed Printed
Violin 4899a (op. 12 no. 2) Printed Printed
Violin 4899a (op. 12 no. 3) Printed Printed
Violin 4899a (op. 23) Printed Printed
Violin 4899a (op. 24) Printed Printed
Violin 4899a (op. 30 no. 1) Printed Printed
Violin 4899a (op. 30 no. 2) Printed Printed
Violin 4899a (op. 30 no. 3) Printed Printed
Violin 4899a (op. 47) Printed Printed
Violin 4899a (op. 96) Printed Printed
Violin 4899b (op. 12 no. 1) Printed Printed
Violin 4899b (op. 12 no. 2) Printed Printed
Violin 4899b (op. 12 no. 3) Printed Printed
Violin 4899b (op. 23) Printed Printed
Violin 4899b (op. 24) Printed Printed
Violin 4899b (op. 30 no. 1) Printed Printed
Violin 4899b (op. 30 no. 2) Printed Printed
Violin 4899b (op. 30 no. 3) Printed Printed
Violin 4899b (op. 47) Printed Printed
Violin 4899b (op. 96) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (Figaro Variations) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (op. 12 no. 1) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (op. 12 no. 2) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (op. 12 no. 3) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (op. 23) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (op. 24) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (op. 30 no. 1) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (op. 30 no. 2) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (op. 30 no. 3) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (op. 47) Printed Printed & Manuscript
Violin 4926 (op. 96) Printed Printed
Violin 4926 (Rondo in G) Printed Printed