Ludwig van Beethoven

March for wind ensemble in F major, ("Für die Böhmische Landwehr"; "Yorcksher Marsch"), WoO 18

    Description by Robert Cummings

    In the period between 1809 and 1810, Beethoven wrote three marches for wind band and this one was the first of the trio. Some believe the second, in C, WoO. 19, may have been written much later, but it most probably also came from this same two-year period. The March in F major, Für die Böhmische Landwehr (For the Bohemian Militia) is, like its siblings, a so-called Zapfenstreiche ("military tattoos," but in a musical sense, a march with a trio). After Beethoven completed this march, he added a brief trio, probably in 1809 or 1810. The other two lacked trios at the time, which in a strict sense, did not qualify then as Zapfenstreiche. But the composer, wanting to enhance chances for publication, wrote another and larger trio for this "Böhmische" march and added ones for the other two later on, probably in 1822-23. Beethoven's plan failed to get them into print then, but all three Marches were published posthumously. This March No. 1, however, seems to have first been published in Berlin around 1818.

    Near the end of this work a theme is heard by the trumpet that turns out to be the main theme of the March No. 3, in C (actually, the middle one of the three as Beethoven arranged them), thus establishing a link among this trio of works and indicating to many musicologists that the three stand as a unit or cycle, meant to be played together. Indeed, when viewed as a single entity the ties between the marches tighten further: played in the apparently intended order, the C major March serves, in a sense, as a grand trio within the whole cycle.

    The March No. 1 was first performed on August 15, 1810, for Empress Maria Ludovica. Already Beethoven had added the original trio and done some reorchestrating. The march theme is attractive, as is the trio section that Beethoven added in the 1820s. The tempo is fast for the march and the whole piece is quite colorful. While it is certainly a better work than its neglect would indicate, this march may be the least compelling of the three.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Elbtaler Schallplatten / ZYX 20232
    2016 MPR Records 41112
    2016 Naxos 8509003
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94630
    2012 Deutsche Grammophon 002894770055
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon 4779830
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94052
    2010 Naxos 8557264
    2008 Buena Vista / Walt Disney 000169802
    2008 TON 4 / Zebralution
    2008 Altissimo 55882
    2007 Buena Vista 23902
    2007 Cascade Records 2200
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93525
    2006 Walt Disney
    2006 Disney 3510222
    2002 Walt Disney / Buena Vista 860769
    2002 Buena Vista 860769
    2000 Arts Music 47551
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453 779-2GCB2
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453811
    1996 Koch Schwann 314852
    1995 Deutsche Grammophon / PolyGram 439690
    1993 Bandleader 5047
    1992 Naxos 550230
    1987 Deutsche Grammophon 419624
    Baby Einstein Company / Disney 105024
    Cascade Records 2283
    Brilliant 93525/16
    Ton 4
    Studios Classique SC 100323
    Deutsche Grammophon 439346
    Musical Heritage Society 515567