Johann Heinrich Walch: Beethoven Funeral March No 1

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Ludwig van Beethoven
Funeral March No 1
WoO Anh 13 by
Johann Heinrich Walch

The Central Band of The Royal British Legion

Johann Heinrich Walch (1776-1855), was a German conductor, chamber musician and choral master for both the Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg as well as of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in Gotha in the current German state Thüringen. He was also the composer of many well-known marches.

Napoleon's war took on its final end, when the allies of Austria, Prussia and Russia marched into Paris on March 31, 1814 to the tune of the "Pariser Einzugsmarsch". This tune was also used as the climax of 1940 Victory parade of the Germans through Paris. Although attributed initially to Beethoven, Walch is the composer.

Another march by Walch, is the famous "Beethoven Funeral March Number 1" played at the funeral of King Edward VII and also on Remembrance Sunday Services in London each year on the Sunday nearest to November 11. It is played after the playing of the Last Post, and during the Wreath Laying Ceremony. It is also announced as "Beethoven's Funeral March" on the BBC Television commentary. For a long time, the march was wrongly attribited to Beethoven, and catalogued as WoO, Anh. 13.

Many marches supposedly written for several cavalry regiments by Queen Victoria's consort Prince Albert, who was also the Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and the Duke of Saxony are actually by Walch, including the British regiment march, the Regimental quick march of the Somerset Light Infantry.