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Beethoven: Rule, Britannia!

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"The British sodomists have insisted that there is no principle of reason in music, that music is simply an empiricist approach to ordering sensual gratification, based on idiosyncratic themes and accompaniments. This was violently argued by the forces of the British Royal Society in defending Rameau and in denouncing Bach's music while also deploying "black operations" against Bach in Leipzig. Working through such conduits of British intelligence as the notorious Madame de Stael, the British-influenced Goethe and Felix Mendelssohn to conduct a vendetta against Beethoven's music in Germany, and followed this with an anti-Beethoven operation centered around Richard Wagner.
From That Zoo Called The House Of Lords 5/7 December 29, 1978
"England I would like to see and all the wonderful artists there. For me it would be of favourable as I can never achieve anything in Germany."

"Rule, Britannia!" is a British patriotic song, and the most lasting expression of the conception of Britain and the British Empire that emerged in the 1730s.

The melody was the theme for a set of 5 variations for piano by Ludwig van Beethoven (WoO 79) and he also used it in "Wellington's Victory", Op. 91, to commemorate the Duke of Wellington's victory over Joseph Bonaparte's forces at the Battle of Vitoria in Spain on 21 June 1813.

Beethoven also wrote variations on British patriotic themes such as in his "Seven Variations on God Save the King", in C major, WoO 78 (1803).

More at Beethoven's relationship to Great Britain


Piano variations on "Rule Britannia" (D Major) WoO 79

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Page last modified on October 13, 2012, at 06:06 AM