Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Derr, Ellwood. "Beethoven's Long-Term Memory of C.P.E. Bach's Rondo in E flat, W. 61/1 (1787), Manifest in the Variations in E flat for Piano, Opus 35 (1802)." The Musical Quarterly 70 (Winter 1984): 45-76.

Beethoven considered his Op. 35 to be entirely original, but in fact the theme and many significant details of the work are based upon C. P. E. Bach's Rondo in E flat. Beethoven came in contact with Bach's keyboard works in his years at Bonn. The theme of Op. 35, derived from the Bach, is also used in the Contredanse in E-flat WoO 14/7, the finale of the music for The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43, and the finale of the Third Symphony (Eroica). In the dynamics of long-term memory, several specific items are remembered in the context of a more general memory and reproduction of the memory involves elaboration and revision. Both of these aspects in the workings of long-term memory are evident in Beethoven's unconscious recollection of the work by Bach.

Works: Beethoven: Variations in E-flat, Op. 35 (passim), Contredanse in E-flat, WoO 14/7 (48, 53), Prometheus, Op. 43 (48).

Sources: C. P. E. Bach: Rondo in E-flat, W. 61/1 (passim).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: David C. Birchler

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