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Beethoven -dressler Variations 1783

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Variations in C minor on a March by Dressler. WoO 63

Young Ludwig, the son of an over-imbibing tenor and grandson of a highly successful Kappelmeister (music director), also named Ludwig van Beethoven, realized at this age that his father, Johann, could no longer be relied upon to provide a steady income for the family, comprising of Ludwig, his two younger brothers, Karl and Kaspar, and his mother Maria nee Keverich. So at age 13 he sought and gained employment in the Bonn court orchestra as harpsichordist and violist. His music teacher, Neefe, had given him a good grounding in composition and the Dressler Variations were published locally, at his own expense, in 1783. Mozart at this time was only 27 and very well known in Bonn by his reputation and publications. These variations are certainly in Mozart's style although if one listens carefully, one can hear inklings of Beethoven's more visceral language. This music was intended for the harpsichord. The piano existed then but was not capable of the volume required to be heard in large halls.

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