Brunswick Waltz

Find traditional instrumental music
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Brunswick Waltz[edit]


BRUNSWICK WALTZ. AKA and see "Brounswick Waltz," "Mrs. Lester." English, Scottish, American; Waltz. G Major (Kerr): F Major (Campbell, Howe/Diamond, Wilson): C Major (Howe/Accordeon): D Major (Kennedy, Sumner). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC (Campbell, Kennedy, Kerr, Sumner): AABBCCBB (Howe). A popular early waltz melody that appears in several early 19th century instrumental tutors and collections, as well as musicians' manuscripts on both sides of the Atlantic. However its origins are in the latter 18th century, at the beginning of the popularity in Britain of the waltz form. According to Bruce Olson's index, the "Brunswick Waltz" first appears in Longman and Broderips 5th collection (30) c. 1791-96. It also appears in the Cahousac's Complete Tutor for the German Flute (London, 1798). In William Campbell's 1795 collection the tune is attributed to "Weippert."

According to Highfill, Burnim & Langhans' A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers (1993, pp. 335-336) John Erhardt Weippert (1766-1821) was the German born son of musicians who emigrated to England with his family while a young man. He was said to be proficient on violin, viola, cello, clarinet, horn and pedal harp, and performed at various times at the Covent Garden and Drury Lane theaters, although he performed almost exclusively on the harp. Weippert often teamed with the popular uilleann piper Denis Courtney until the latter's death in 1794.

One of their early (1792) collaborations was their accompaniment of Incledon and Mrs. Mountain in a 'Scotch Duetto'. But on an occasion (31 June, 1792) when Courtney absented himself, "Weippert, with his harp, undertook the whole piece himself, with wonderful execution and taste."

The title perhaps has associations with Princes Charlotte Augusta (1737-1813), granddaughter of king George II and sister of George III. She married, in 1764, Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, a ducal house to which she already belonged. During the Napoleonic Wars the Duke was commander of the Prussian forces at the battle of Auerstadt (1806) where he was mortally wounded. Princes Augusta fled with her family to Jutland and a year later prevailed upon her brother to allow her to move to England. She settled at Montague House, Blackheath, Greenwich, but fell out with her daughter with whom she lived, and purchased the house next door, renaming it Brunswick House.

Source for notated version: the 1823-26 music mss of papermaker and musician Joshua Gibbons (1778-1871, of Tealby, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire Wolds) [Sumner].

Printed sources: Campbell (10th Book of New and Favorite Country Dances), 1795; p. 20. Howe (Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon), 1843; p. 21. Howe (Diamond School for the Violin), c. 1861. Huntington (William Litten's Tune Book), 1977; p. 34 (appears as "Brounswick Waltze"). Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book: Slip Jigs and Waltzes), 1999; No. 99, p. 24. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; No. 7, p. 50. Sumner (Lincolnshire Collections, vol. 1: The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript), 1997; pp. 73 & 79 (originally set in the key of 'F' major in the ms.). Wilson (Companion to the Ballroom), 1816; p. 147.

Recorded sources:




Back to Brunswick Waltz[edit]