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Denn sie scheinen sich geheimnisvoll zu erneuern und doch zu dauern wie ein Baum und ein Feld. In der holzgetäfelten, verräucherten Gaststube sind nun.
Table of contents
He left the room before Beethoven was finished and made it known that he never wished to meet him again or indeed be in the same house as him. Beethoven made his public debut in Vienna on 29th March in a charity concert at which he performed one of his own piano concertos. There is some doubt as to whether this was the recently composed First Piano concerto in C major Op. As the concerto was advertised as "entirely new" it was probably the C major work but whichever work he played, Beethoven finished writing out the orchestral parts of the final movement only two days before the performance, a last minute completion which was to become typical of Beethoven's practice.
He performed twice more in the next few days including a Mozart concerto at a benefit concert organised by Mozart's widow Constanze. Concerts in Vienna tended to be concentrated in short periods around Easter and Christmas when opera performances were banned and the theatres became available as concert venues. Competition for the small number of concert dates was intense and Beethoven even at the height of his fame had difficulty in obtaining them. Beethoven had deliberately published almost nothing in his first two years in Vienna wishing first to establish his reputation. In , a few months after his public exposure on the concert platform he issued the first works to which he gave an opus number signifying that these were pieces that he wished to be considered as major compositions.
The "Figaro" Variations which he had rushed into print rather against his better judgement as his Op. The three Piano Trios now established as Op. Beethoven therefore ran some financial risk if sales were low as the engraving costs of two hundred and twelve florins were substantial. However he need not have worried.
Lichnowsky alone ordered twenty copies and the final list of subscribers contained the cream of Viennese society including Prince Esterhazy, Prince Lobkowitz, Count Rasumovksy and Baron von Swieten. Two hundred and forty five copies were sold and once his costs were deducted Beethoven made a net profit of over florins, enough to cover his living costs for a year. Other works began to appear in print: The year ended on a high note with a prestigious commission to supply the music for the annual ball of the Gesellschaft der bildenden Kunstler the Artists Ball which in previous years had been provided by Haydn, Kozeluch and Dittersdorf - a sign that Beethoven was now considered part of the Viennese musical establishment.
The increasing number of commissions made his financial position more secure. He received a fee from the commissioner who would usually specify the type of piece required and the instruments for which it was to be written but leave what was composed up to Beethoven's discretion. The commissioner had exclusive use of the music for a limited period normally six months after which Beethoven was free to offer it for publication.
There was a stringent condition that the music should not be given to anyone else during the period of exclusivity since in the absence of copyright protection, mere possession of a copy permitted anyone to perform or publish it without payment to the composer. Beethoven later spent much time and effort in ensuring that his works received simultaneous publication in different markets to prevent piracy.
This arrangement suited both sides - the commissioner possessed the autograph score and the kudos of controlling first access to the new piece and Beethoven had a double source of income from a single composition. Occasionally the dedication of a work attracted an additional fee but more often it was intended as a mark of gratitude for past favour or bestowed in the hope of some future benefit. The Opus 1 trios were dedicated to Lichnowsky who had helped Beethoven establish himself in Vienna and who had effectively underwritten their publication by his large order.
Beethoven could also hope for his continued patronage some years later Lichnowsky settled an annual sum of florins upon him. Some dedications Beethoven Edition 6 took a long time bearing fruit: Others fell on stony ground: The dedication of the Op. This gesture was partly born out of affection for his old teacher, although Beethoven pointedly did not refer to Haydn as such. Sentiment aside, Beethoven also probably realised that honouring the popular Haydn in this way would do his career no harm at little cost.
His first teacher Neefe whom he had once promised a share in his success but who in distant Bonn could do nothing to advance him, never received any such recognition. Early in Beethoven undertook a concert tour of Prague, Dresden Leipzig and Berlin accompanied by Lichnowsky for part of the way. This was precisely the route Mozart had travelled also in Lichnowsky's company seven years earlier and Beethoven must have felt that he was now following in Mozart's footsteps in more than just the literal sense. He enjoyed enormous success especially in Prague, the city which had revered Mozart and at the court of Frederick William II in Berlin where he composed and performed two cello sonatas.
These were dedicated to the King, himself a keen cellist, although Beethoven was accompanied on that occasion by the court cellist Jean Louis Duport. Frederick rewarded Beethoven with the gift of a gold snuff box which in a gratifyingly lucrative pun on his name he had filled with louis d'or Beethoven often styled himself Louis van Beethoven. Later in the year he visited Pressburg now Bratislava and Pest Budapest where he promoted a piano built by his friend Johann Streicher, which had been specially sent there for him to play.
During this period the fortepiano, which had overtaken the harpsichord as the main medium for keyboard performance was still undergoing development and modification to extend its range and alter its tone and throughout his life Beethoven was presented with pianos by various manufacturers who hoped to benefit from his association with them.
von Andrea Russo
Although seems to have been a good year for him, an enigmatic diary entry suggests Beethoven was not complacent or at ease with himself: Even with all the frailties of my body, my spirit shall dominate. Twenty five years have come: Nothing must remain" the actual date of this entry is uncertain but, given Beethoven's habitual subtraction of a year from his age, December seems plausible. The reference to physical frailty may be an oblique reference to a serious problem of which he was just becoming aware. The following year Beethoven suffered a serious illness, possibly typhus, and had he succumbed to it, he would have been remembered by his contemporaries as a virtuoso keyboard player and promising composer and by posterity as the creator of a number of highly accomplished chamber pieces, the equal of those by Haydn and Mozart, two piano concertos very much in their style but promising more and some works for piano including a small number of sonatas of great originality.
He had produced little orchestral music and no symphonies - the field in which Mozart had been and Haydn was still pre-eminent. He had already completed extensive sketches for the first three movements of a C major symphony but was unable to find a satisfactory conclusion for it. He had not as far as is known been commissioned to write a symphony at this time so this work would have been purely speculative and without the guarantee or at least the firm expectation of getting it performed and then published he may have been reluctant to invest too much time on it for a composer derived from commissioned and published work, time was effectively money.
However sometime in he both found a way of completing the work to his satisfaction and was given an opportunity to perform it during the short Spring concert season of Which came first - the solution of the finale problem or the concert date - is not known; however the previous year Beethoven had dedicated his Op. So by he may already have suspected or even been informed by the grateful Baron that his request for a concert the following season would meet with success, which provided the necessary spur to his creativity.
The concert at which Beethoven offered his first symphony to the Viennese public took place in the Burgtheater on 2nd April and included, in addition to one of his piano concertos and the Wind Septet Op. Although apparently marred by some sloppy orchestral playing, the concert was favourably reviewed as the "most interesting for a long time". At the same time as he was coming to grips with the symphony, Beethoven addressed another musical form which he had long fought shy - the string quartet.
This had more or less been invented by Haydn in whose hands it had developed as the pre-eminent medium for the expression of complex musical ideas by small forces. He had plenty of opportunity to immerse himself in the quartet medium. Lichnowsky held regular parties for performances by his private quartet and Beethoven attended similar weekly musical gatherings at the house of the composer Emmanuel Forster. In he had been asked by Count Apponyi to write a quartet for him but nothing materialised.
However in he had felt ready to rise to the challenge and began work on a set of six quartets which were given their premiere at Lichnowsky's palace in They were published the following year as Op. By , in his thirtieth year, Beethoven had every reason to be satisfied with his achievement. He was firmly established in Viennese society and was in demand as performer, composer and teacher; he had now written "everything Beethoven Edition 7 except church music and opera"; he had more commissions than he could handle and could sell the publishing rights for the works he produced five times over and without tedious negotiations over money: The steady income from these sources had been augmented in by an annuity of florins from Prince Lichnowsky which guaranteed his financial security.
However his prospects for future happiness were clouded in two respects. He was still unmarried - but that situation he could at least try to change. More seriously - and seemingly beyond his control - he was going deaf. Beethoven's quest for emotional fulfilment is fertile ground for speculation as to the reasons behind his apparent inability to choose as a potential partner someone who was capable of filling that role. In his youth he enjoyed the usual complement of adolescent flirtations and during the Rhine journey with the Bonn orchestra, his companions persuaded a serving girl to make advances to him which he rebuffed rather brusquely but this could have been either through shyness or because of his dislike of not being in control of the situation.
A serious rift had occurred between Beethoven and Eleonore von Breuning very shortly before his departure for Vienna, which seems to have been Beethoven's fault as he described his behaviour to her as despicable and opposed to his true character. The cause is unknown but it is possible that he made a misjudged attempt to transform their longstanding and easy intimacy and friendship into something deeper. He retained enormous affection for Eleonore who married his friend Franz Wegeler, and in a letter to him written a few months before his death Beethoven referred to the fact that he still had her silhouette portrait in his possession.
Wegeler who studied medicine in Vienna from to and had a chance to observe Beethoven during his early years in city reports that he was continually involved in love affairs which "could have been very difficult indeed if not impossible for many an Adonis". Beethoven was not conventionally good looking but one can imagine him exerting a saturnine attraction over the female members of his audiences.
He certainly wrote a number of his most charming love songs during this period but whether they were composed with particular persons in mind remains a mystery and there is no evidence that any of these love affairs ever amounted to anything and very little is known about Beethoven's sex life. His later views on adultery make it unlikely that he would have lightly indulged in extra marital liaisons. If he were to achieve a long lasting emotional as well as sexual union it would have to be through marriage. In a letter of to his older friend Nikolaus Simrock in Bonn, he asked: Educate one of them to be my bride", a joke perhaps, but showing the subject of matrimony was in his mind.
He may have proposed marriage in to the singer Magdalena Willman, whom he had known in Bonn the evidence for a proposal is however unreliable but if he did, she rejected him according to the same unreliable evidence because he was "ugly and half crazy". Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but Beethoven although eccentric, had not yet begun to display the unusual if not antisocial behaviour that distinguished him in his later years.
In he certainly contemplated marriage with Countess Guilietta Guicciardi, who was in his words: She was fourteen years his junior but the main barrier to their marriage was her rank and she eventually married a man of her age and class. Much later in life, Beethoven hinted that, after Guilietta's marriage, she had made some kind of advance to him which he repulsed showing that however strong his attraction to a woman he drew back from adultery.
His next serious emotional involvement was Josephine Brunsvik who was Guilietta's cousin whom he had known since when he gave her piano lessons which he apparently prolonged for hours beyond their normal length. He dedicated a set of piano variations of his setting of Goethe's simple love poem "Ich Denke dein" I think of you to Josephine and her sister Therese, but no doubt it was Josephine he had in mind. However, before any serious relationship could develop between them she became betrothed to Count Deym and left Vienna soon after her marriage.
In by now a widow she reappeared in his life and for a time it seemed that he might have found a woman with whom he could enjoy a relationship of mutual love. Beethoven's letters to her display a passionate intensity and Josephine, although she was disconcerted by the ardent expression of his feelings towards her, was deeply attached to him.
He seems to have asked her to marry him but after much agonising she declined, possibly because by marrying a commoner, as Beethoven was, she ran the risk under Austrian law of losing the guardianship of her children her short marriage to Deym had produced four. They remained close for several more years but gradually drifted apart and Josephine was eventually remarried to another aristocrat, with unhappy consequences for her her second husband not only abandoned her but also removed the children that their union had produced.
At the height of his involvement with Josephine, Beethoven was working on his opera Fidelio which centres on the unswerving love and loyalty of a wife for her husband and while it is generally dangerous to read autobiographical details into Beethoven's music, it is difficult not to see this work as a conduit into which he channelled his hopes and desires. In he seemed to be on the brink of matrimony once more, this time with Therese Malfatti to whom he had been introduced by his friend Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein. He had written to Gleichenstein actively seeking his help in finding a wife and although the tone of the letter is humorous there is no doubt that he was serious in the request for assistance.
Beethoven seems to have lacked the confidence to make a direct approach himself which may explain why he kept falling in love with his pupils to whom he had a ready-made introduction and easy social access. Unfortunately they tended to be just the kind of women, young and aristocratic, who by reason of age and class were inaccessible to him. Although Therese was much younger than him - she was eighteen, he was Beethoven Edition 8 thirty-nine - this time there was no social gulf between them.
Beethoven must have thought there was a serious likelihood of success as he arranged to get a copy of his baptismal certificate which was necessary to complete the formalities of marriage it was on this occasion that he reduced his age by two years possibly to appear more youthful in the eyes of his prospective bride. He even took steps to improve his notoriously slovenly appearance. Although he wrote to his friend Zmeskall in terms which suggest he was totally in her thrall his only surviving letter to her in which he addresses her as "admirable Therese" is rather restrained and his praise of her piano playing and recommendations of good books for her to read, hardly imply a deep passion.
However, he was desolated when Gleichenstein broke the news to him that she or more probably her parents had rejected him which must have been made all the more galling by the fact that Gleichenstein his go- between in the affair, became engaged to her sister. This romance did however produce one of his most famous compositions - Fur Elise - the manuscript copy of which remained in Therese's possession until her death in and was only published in Beethoven's most famous emotional attachment was to the woman known as the Immortal Beloved to whom he drafted a long and passionate letter, undated but now firmly established as written in July Several candidates for this mysterious woman have been put forward: Josephine, her sister Therese, Amelie Sebald a singer to whom other letters survive from this period and Countess Marie Erdody with whom he had lived in but in apparently platonic circumstances.
However, it seems most probable that the woman in question was Antonie Brentano with whom Beethoven had become acquainted in when she was in Vienna with her husband and child. Beethoven and Antonie became close over the next few years and she was in the right place at the right time to be the recipient of the letter assuming it was ever sent and that the document which Beethoven kept among his papers until his death was a copy or draft of an actual missive. He addressed the woman to whom he is writing with the intimate "du" which he had never employed in letters to any other women, even Josephine, and his passionate desire to be with her is evident.
There was however an impediment to a union "Can you do anything to alter the fact that you are not completely mine and I not completely yours" that only she could remove "make it possible that I can live with you" suggesting that she was a married woman. Like virtually all the other women in Beethoven's life, the Immortal Beloved, whoever she may have been, was therefore unattainable and his apparent predisposition to fall in love with women with whom he was unlikely to form a permanent relationship may represent a subconscious desire to avoid the reality of any actual involvement with his ideal woman.
Exactly when Beethoven realised that he was losing what he called "the finest part of me, my hearing" is not known for certain, as he concealed the fact for many years even from his closest friends. However in the summer of he shared his concern in letters to his friends Franz Wegeler and Karl Amenda. Neither were resident in Vienna at the time which may have encouraged him to divulge details of his condition to them without fear of it becoming generally known there although he still took care to enjoin strict secrecy on both.
He had apparently first become aware that there was a problem with his hearing sometime in The cause was and remains unknown. Modern conjectures are otosclerosis a growth of bone in the middle ear , Paget's disease a bone deformation which can lead to deafness if sited in the skull and labyrinthitis a viral or bacterial infection which attacks the inner ear. Beethoven's medical advisors seemed to think that his hearing loss was in some way connected with the chronic bowel problems from which he suffered and all his life.
Beethoven subjected himself to a succession of baths, courses of mineral waters and patent medicines in the hope that alleviating the one problem might cure the other. In his letter to Wegeler, who was himself a doctor, he gave a full description of his condition: His greatest fear was not that his condition might prevent him from playing or composing - in fact he says it affected him least in these activities - but the social isolation that deafness imposes. He was also concerned that those he termed his enemies - and his humiliation of Steibelt suggests he may have made a few on his rise to the top - would be only too happy to exploit the knowledge of his condition to undermine his credibility as a musician and composer upon which his income depended.
In he retained some hope that the deterioration of his hearing might be reversed or at least arrested. A year later, with all such hope gone, he suffered an emotional crisis which led him to the brink of suicide. Beethoven spent the summer of in the village of Heiligenstadt, a few miles outside Vienna where his doctor hoped the peace and quiet might afford some respite for his damaged hearing. Beethoven loved the countryside and regularly retreated to it during the summer months.
However on this occasion the tranquil rural surroundings did not bring him peace of mind and at some point during that summer he confronted the reality of his situation. All the pent up despair and frustration of the past few years found its outlet in an extraordinary document which has become known as the Heiligenstadt Testament. This was addressed to his two brothers Carl and Johann and its primary purpose seems to have been as his last will and testament. Perhaps fortunately it never actually had to be used for that purpose as its terms were very imprecise and Beethoven left a blank space wherever Johann's name should appear.
Its opening sentence - "O you men who believe or declare that I am malevolent, stubborn or misanthropic, how greatly you wrong me"- shows that it was intended for a wider audience and that its real purpose was to reveal to the world the personal suffering that was behind his apparently antisocial behaviour over the past few years. Whether he seriously Beethoven Edition 9 contemplated suicide, as he hints, can never be known but he survived this spiritual crisis through his desire to continue composing and an acceptance that his condition was the will of God to which he had to surrender.
The sentiment attributed to his mother: The document however does contain some puzzling inconsistencies. At times Beethoven speaks as if from beyond the grave to those who he feels have misjudged him: At one moment he wishes death to come swiftly, the next for it to be delayed until he has had the chance to exercise his creative powers to the full. While we can never know what Beethoven in his confusion and anguish really wished to achieve in writing this document which he preserved long after his deafness had become common knowledge and which was discovered after his death it seems to have served the function of a therapeutic "working out" of his situation through which, having confronted his despair and contemplated the consequences of giving in to it, he was finally able to accept the inevitable.
That he successfully achieved some form of catharsis through this process is indicated by the fact that only a few days after his return from Heiligenstadt he was writing enthusiastically and confidently to a publisher about his new works. Beethoven's deafness certainly affected him socially and contributed to the volatile and irascible side of his nature. The isolating effects of deafness probably had the effect of curtailing his career as a touring performer, making the task of coping with unfamiliar people and situations even more difficult and he undertook no major concert tours after In time, he had to give up playing in public altogether at least in ensemble pieces where he had to synchronise his performance with other players but he continued to conduct for many years although his direction became increasingly erratic.
Louis Spohr's description of Beethoven conducting his Seventh Symphony in describes his bending lower and lower to indicate when he wished the music played more softly and jumping up at the entry of a forte passage, occasionally shouting out to reinforce it. However, although deafness certainly had a negative effect on his practical musicianship, it does not seem to have affected his composing and at the time of its onset he explicitly dismissed it as a source of concern to him.
He had always made preparatory sketches for his works and worked out ideas by means of improvisation at the keyboard which he continued to do long after his ability to hear what he was playing was severely compromised. From he began to use bound sketch books for the meticulous and often lengthy working and reworking of work in progress. These were later supplemented by small notebooks which he always carried in his pockets to note down musical ideas as they occurred to him.
Much of the time composition took place in his head and there are several descriptions of Beethoven humming and singing to himself often rather tunelessly so that listeners tended to describe it in terms of howling and groaning as the musical ideas took form and substance.
This internalisation of the process of composition and his often remarked -upon ability to comprehend at a glance- the workings of a score suggests that Beethoven did not have to hear a piece of music to know exactly what it sounded like and there is no evidence that had his hearing remained perfect throughout his life, he would have written a note differently.
His return from Heiligenstadt marks the beginning of what is commonly referred to as his "middle period" in which his music takes on a new direction and in which he embarks on works of a much grander and more "heroic" scale than before. The conventional division of Beethoven works into three periods began soon after his death and although convenient as a means gaining an overview of his musical development, it is possibly more accurate to see is as falling into four or even five distinct periods: That Beethoven himself felt that his music was taking a significantly new direction after is shown by a remark to his pupil Czerny around this time: From this day on I will take a new way.
Beethoven began work on his only oratorio, Christus am Olberge Christ on the Mount of Olives in the autumn of and unusually, it was not the result of a commission. The choice of subject matter - Christ's moment of doubt in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to his betrayal and arrest - was Beethoven's own and he seems to have seen in Christ's anguished despair and final acceptance of his fate a reflection of his own recent spiritual crisis.
The text was commissioned from a minor poet Franz Xavier Huber and the parallels between its language and sentiments and those of the Heiligenstadt Beethoven Edition 10 Testament suggest that Beethoven also had considerable input. It was completed just in time for performance at a concert which took place in April at the Theater an der Wien, one of the few independent places of entertainment in Vienna, where earlier that year Beethoven had been appointed composer-in-residence by the impresario Emanuel Schikaneder with whom Mozart had collaborated on The Magic Flute. As Beethoven had failed to get a concert venue through the official channels, he took the opportunity of having the theatre at his disposal to mount a concert of his own works: He asked Ignaz Seyfried, also on the music staff of the theatre, to turn the pages for him which proved a nerve- racking experience for Seyfried as these were almost empty apart from a few "Egyptian hieroglyphs" that served as reminders to Beethoven.
Beethoven who could probably have played the piece very well from memory, was greatly amused by Seyfried's obvious anxiety and this is probably an example of his heavy-handed sense of humour. The concert was a huge success at least financially and Beethoven's share of the takings was a massive 1.
The following month he composed at very short notice a sonata for the virtuoso violinist George Bridgetower who was visiting Vienna from London where he played in the orchestra of the Prince Regent. As usual, Beethoven cut things extremely fine and by the morning of the concert which took place at 8. During the performance and without warning, Bridgetower departed from what had been written by repeating on the violin a passage Beethoven had just played.
Fortunately Beethoven approved of this manoeuvre and shouted out "Noch einmal, mein lieber Bursch! Beethoven was delighted with the performance and dedicated the work to Bridgetower, writing on the title page: Sonata Mulaticca Composta per il mulatto Brischdauer [sic] gran pazzo e compositore mulaticco Mulatto sonata composed for the Mullato Bridgetower, great fool and mulatto composer. Bridgetower's father was West Indian probably from Barbados and had met his Polish mother while he was in the service of Prince Esterhazy. Modern sensibilities have been spared the dilemma of having to use this title as not long afterwards Beethoven and Bridgetower quarrelled.
The reason is unknown, as is frequently the case in the disputes in which Beethoven was involved, but may have arisen from a remark Bridgetower had made about a woman of Beethoven's acquaintance to which he took exception. Beethoven immediately removed Bridgetower's name for the title page and replaced it with that of the French violinist and composer, Rodolphe Kreutzer. Kreutzer, however, received the honour with indifference and.
Beethoven spent the summer of working on a grand symphony in E flat which he had begun to sketch the previous year while attempting to make progress on an opera for Schikaneder. The libretto "Vestas Feuer " Vesta's Flame did not inspire him and by end of the year he had abandoned it altogether. Early in , however, he finally found an opera subject that fired his imagination - "Leonore ou I'Amour conjugal" by Jean Nicholas Bouilly.
The story was supposedly based on a true incident that had taken place in Tours during the Revolution, in which Bouilly claimed to have played a part. The story of a victim of despotism whose life is saved through the constancy and bravery of his faithful wife appealed to Beethoven on several levels. It was a morally edifying story Beethoven thought opera should have a serious purpose and considered the plots of Mozart's to be trivial and it exemplified notions of idealised married love and the triumph of liberty over tyranny that were close to his heart.
The French text was translated and adapted by Joseph Sonnleithner and as with his oratorio, Beethoven seems to have had some input into the libretto. However, Schikaneder's dismissal following the purchase of the theatre by Count von Braun meant that there was now no guarantee of a performance under the new management. Beethoven, as so often under these circumstances lost his creative drive and progress on the work was suspended.
Historical Romane - CORA Verlag
The termination of his own contract meant that he was also forced to move from the theatre premises, where he and his brother had been lodging, and he moved in with his childhood friend Stephan von Breuning. They soon quarrelled over a trivial matter and Beethoven stormed out of house. He left Vienna for Baden from where he wrote long letters to his friends justifying his own and criticising von Breuning's behaviour. In due course he wrote a contrite letter of apology to von Breuning excusing his behaviour and showing genuine remorse and shame for his actions.
This cycle of misunderstanding, argument, recrimination and reconciliation was a familiar pattern in Beethoven's relationships with his longsuffering friends. His volatile temperament, with bouts of deep, occasionally almost suicidal depression, has given rise to speculation that he suffered from a personality disorder possibly of a manic depressive nature. Certainly throughout his life, his private writings show him constantly veering between the poles of elation and defiance in the face of all that life could throw at him - "I will seize Fate by the throat''- and abject misery and self-abnegation - "O God, God look down upon this unhappy B, do not let it go on much longer in this way".
His capacity for sudden and violent reactions when events or circumstances ran contrary to his beliefs and desires is highlighted by the well-known incident of his removal of Napoleon name from the Third Symphony. Beethoven had long admired Napoleon as an example of the heroic individual rising from obscurity to greatness although this admiration was not uncritical and he had reservations at Napoleons' concordat with the Pope in Beethoven Edition 11 His intention had been to associate his new symphony with Napoleon he may even have contemplated dedicating it to him and he had written "Buonaparte" at the top of the title page of the autograph score.
However, according to his friend Ferdinand Ries whose recollections are usually reliable , when he learned that Napoleon had proclaimed himself Emperor, he tore out the page and trampled on it, shouting "so now he will also trample human rights underfoot and only pander to his own ambition; he will place himself above everyone else and become a tyrant". This manuscript is no longer extant but the copyist's score survives which also shows similar signs of Beethoven's wrath.
The inscription on its title page reads "Sinfonia grande intitolata Bonparte del Sigr Louis van Beethoven, "but the word "Bonaparte" has been so violently deleted that there is a hole in the paper. However beneath the deletion, Beethoven has at some point added - "written on Bonaparte", showing a later desire to restore the original association. His anger against Napoleon seems subsequently to have abated. In he intimated to Baron de Tremont that were he ever to visit Paris, he would not be averse to meeting Napoleon and in , he is reported as commenting: The symphony was eventually dedicated to Prince Lobkowicz who paid the massive amount of ducats for its exclusive use for six months and a further sum for the dedication.
On its publication in , it received the ambiguous title of "Sinfonia Eroica" with the enigmatic addition "composed to celebrate the memory of a great man". The symphony's unprecedented length and massive orchestral scale represented a new departure in symphonic writing and critical opinion on it was divided. Some recognised it as a truly original masterpiece, others baffled by what they perceived as its lack of coherence saw only an "untamed striving for singularity", while others although admitting that it contained many beauties reacted against its inordinate length which "wearies even the cognoscenti and is unendurable to the mere music lover.
Initial censorship problems were overcome by discrete alterations to the libretto but the rehearsals dragged on mainly due to Beethoven's inability to stop tinkering with the music. The first night therefore did not take place until 20th November and the postponement proved critical. By that date Vienna had been occupied peacefully and unopposed by the French army and all Beethoven's aristocratic friends and other music lovers had thought it wise to leave the city.
The three performances it achieved were sparsely attended mainly by French officers for whom a work containing long stretches of German dialogue did not appeal. The opera's failure was not however solely due to external circumstances. There were serious flaws in its structure and dramatic pacing and Beethoven was prevailed upon to make cuts and changes which he implemented with the assistance of Stephan von Breuning to whom he was now fully reconciled.
A revised version with a new overture opened in the spring of the following year but with even less success than before. Beethoven blamed what he saw as shortcomings in the performances on musicians and singers - remarking that he would rather give up composing than hear his works performed like that- and he also became involved in a furious row with the management whom he believed was cheating him out of his share of the receipts. After only two performances Beethoven himself withdrew the score and the opera closed. The next few years saw a succession of major works.
He resumed work on a fourth piano concerto which he had begun sketching in and completed commissions from Count Rasumovksy, Russian ambassador in Vienna, for a set of three string quartets and from Count Oppersdorf for a symphony, his fourth, for which he was paid florins a large amount but only a fraction of what he had received for the Eroica which shows the true extent of Lobkowitz's generosity.
At the end of the year he composed a violin concerto for a concert by Franz Clement, orchestra leader at the Theater an der Wien, at whose benefit concert the previous year the Eroica had received its first public performance. At the head of the autograph score Beethoven wrote - "Concerto par Clemenza pour Clement - A concerto for Clement out of forgiveness" - possibly indicating that he had exempted Clement from responsibility for the artistic failure of the opera earlier in the year. It was finished only two days before the performance on 23rd December and Clement had to sight read most of it at the concert.
The reviews were unfavourable although appreciation of the work could not have been assisted by the fact that it was interrupted by the interval and a display of theatrical tricks by Clement who played a work of his own composition on one string with the violin upside down. It was eventually dedicated to Stephan von Breuning and in a touching act of symmetry he also dedicated the version he made for piano and orchestra to von Breuning's wife, Julie on the occasion of their marriage in During this year he seems to have finally overcome the social limitations he had imposed on himself on the onset of deafness.
A few words scrawled on the sketches of the final movement of the third Rasumovksy quartet reads: Your deafness is to be a secret no longer, not even in your Art. He could now say aloud the words which he thought he would never be able to utter in public: He received a major commission Beethoven Edition 12 from Prince Esterhazy to provide a mass for performance on his wife's name day. This was his first mass setting and knew it would inevitably be compared with those which Haydn had produced for the Princess' anniversary on several previous occasions.
Unfortunately the Mass in C did not meet with Esterhazy's approval. Perhaps he found Beethoven's approach which was very different to Haydn's, was simply not to his taste or inappropriate to the occasion. His doubts about it ever achieving a proper performance suggests not only that its execution on that occasion had been flawed there had been problems at the rehearsals which not all the singers had attended but Beethoven may once again have misjudged what the available forces could achieve.
At the end , Beethoven proposed to the Directors of the Imperial Theatres that they offer him a contract under which he would compose one opera each year for an salary of 2. This was a very bold request considering that he had only one spectacular operatic failure to his name and although one of the directors was Prince Lobkowitz whom he could expect to be well disposed to him, another was Prince Esterhazy with whom relations were now strained.
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Whatever the Directorate thought of this request, it made no official response to him. Beethoven is always regarded as the one of the first "freelance" composers unfettered by the constraints imposed by association with a patron or institution and therefore able to write according to the dictates of his heart.
Yet this was a position from which all his life he sought to escape and he was constantly trying to secure a steady and regular source of income. He does not seem to have been interested in money for its own sake - he was not extravagant, and indeed as he grew older he spent less and less on his personal comfort - and he was always very generous: He had been able to rely on wealthy connoisseurs like Lichnowsky, Lobkowitz or Oppersdorf effectively to subsidise the writing of larger and more radical works which once successfully performed could proceed to publication.
However his recent experience with Esterhazy's Mass showed that what he wished to write might not always find favour with his wealthy backers and the difficulty he had in disposing of the publishing rights in the work gave a warning that he could not always take this source of income for granted.
At the end of he was finally given permission to hold a benefit concert and his ambitious plans for this event reveals the deeply impractical and unrealistic aspect of his nature. Each half of programme was to open with a new symphony: Beethoven decided to write the Fantasia only at the last minute in order use all the forces - choir, soloist orchestra and piano - which had been assembled for the rest of the concert. Of all the works in this lengthy programme, only one, the concert aria Ah Perfido written in had ever been performed in public.
Things began to go wrong at an early stage. Relations between Beethoven and the orchestral players which were already strained following a dispute at a previous concert deteriorated to the point that they refused to rehearse if he were present this was not the first time Beethoven had fallen out with his players - at his concert, his attempt to replace their usual director with one of his choice caused a similar rebellion. Beethoven was banished to an ante- room from where he had to communicate his instructions concerning the new and previously unheard works via the leader, with whom he was still on speaking terms.
He had engaged the soprano Anna Milder, who had sung the role of Leonore in Fidelio to perform the aria, but she walked out after a disagreement with him. Even the weather conspired against him: Accounts of the concert differ but all agree that things did not run smoothly. The replacement soprano suffered a bad attack of stage fright and sang very badly, and the performance of the Choral Fantasia broke down altogether.
For some reason which remain unclear, Beethoven who was playing the piano part, found that he was not at the same point in the music as the orchestra, and he was forced to call to a halt and restart the piece. None of those present have left any account of the reception of the two new symphonies or whether the event was well attended - there was another concert on the same evening - and so we do not know if Beethoven reaped any financial reward from the multiple premiere of some of his greatest works The following year he seemed at last on the brink of achieving the financial security he craved.
At the end of he had been by Jerome Bonaparte, who had been installed by his brother as King of Westphalia with an offer to become resident Kapellmeister at his court in Kassel where he would oversee musical activity but be free to spend his time in composition. Whether Beethoven ever had any intention of actually taking up this position is unknown but he used the threat of his potential departure which he had already hinted at in his letter to the Directorate the previous year as a lever to extract a counter offer from the Viennese musical establishment.
After negotiations carried out on his behalf by his friend Countess Erdody a contract was concluded on 1st March under which Beethoven agreed to remain in Vienna or another imperial city with the provision that he could undertake the occasional concert tour in return for a salary for life of 4.
The only obligation he had was the not particularly Beethoven Edition 13 onerous duty of organising a charity concert each year. In return his sponsors were to have the satisfaction of considering themselves "as having a share in the authorship of his new larger works because they make it possible for him to devote himself to such works and relieve him of the need to attend to other duties".
The signatories of this contract and contributors to the annuity were Prince Lobkowitz florins. He became Beethoven's piano pupil and was his only student of composition. Beethoven tempered his outspoken egalitarianism in his dealings with Rudolph but although his letters show appropriate deference to the youngest brother of the emperor, they are without obsequiousness and on one occasion when Rudolph had kept him waiting for his lesson, he took his revenge by making him play a series of difficult and painful exercises. For his regular visits to the royal palace Rudolph eventually had to instruct the imperial servants that the usual protocols should be suspended in Beethoven's case.
Before Beethoven had time to enjoy his new found financial security, Vienna was under threat of another French invasion which prompted Rudolph and the other sponsors to withdrew from the city. This time the Austrians decided to defend Vienna and on 11th th of May it was subject to an intense bombardment from which Beethoven was forced to take refuge in the cellar of his brother's house, covering his ears with cushions to protect his hearing from the noise.
Life under the French occupation was hard with food shortages and steep price increases and Beethoven, who was also prevented from making his annual trip to the countryside, found composition impossible. During this period he was visited by Baron de Tremont who has left the famous description of the dirty and disorderly conditions under which Beethoven was then living, complete with the un- emptied chamber pot beneath the piano. Beethoven was certainly not over fastidious in his domestic arrangements but this snapshot of life in the midst of war should not be taken as representing his habitual lifestyle.
Rudolph's departure from Vienna prompted the composition, one of the very few of his works in which the music can be related to specific events in his life. He completed a sonata movement in E flat which he inscribed: He later added two other movements entitled Abwesenheit Absence and Das Wiedersehn The Reunion and insisted that the references and dates be included in the published version to anchor it to the event it commemorated. He was unhappy that the translation of the title into French as "Les adieux", by which the sonata is now generally known, gave the impression of an impersonal and generalised farewell rather than the specific leave-taking of two individuals that he had in mind.
Very few of the descriptive titles which have become attached to his works, were given by Beethoven himself. Two other pieces he completed in , the Fifth Piano Concerto also dedicated to Rudolph and the Op. The "Emperor" concerto was christened by Johann Cramer simply because he was struck by the grandeur of its music. The quartet's name "The Harp" stems from the prominent use of pizzicato in the first movement which at least has the excuse of being obviously descriptive and does not impose damaging associations unintended by the composer. In contrast the "evocative" title given to the Piano Sonata Op.
Any expectation that his annuity would relieve him of financial worries and allow him the freedom to work on large scale works, was a short-lived. Neither Lobkowitz or Kinsky, whose financial affairs were thrown into disarray by the war, were able to make full payment for some time and Kinsky was killed in a riding accident before the issue of his contribution was resolved, leaving Beethoven the delicate task of writing to his widow to try to get her to honour his pledge.
This reduced the original generous allowance of 4. Rudolph agreed to adjust his contribution to 1. So it is perhaps not surprising that during this period Beethoven was unable to turn his mind to "the invention of larger works" which had been intention behind his award. He did manage to produce a number of small scale works including the Op. At this time Beethoven also began his long association with George Thomson of Edinburgh for whom he was to produce eighteen sets of folk song settings over the next ten years.
His increasing deafness was making public performance in ensemble works ever more problematic. The composer Louis Spohr witnessed a disastrous rehearsal of the Archduke Trio in which Beethoven, unable to modulate the dynamics of his performance either played so loudly that he drowned out the other instruments or so softly as to be inaudible. When the Fifth Piano Concerto eventually received its first Viennese performance in February it had been premiered in Leipzig three months previously it was played by Beethoven's pupil Carl Czerny, the first time that Beethoven had not introduced a new concerto to the public himself.
He did not however retire from public performance altogether and later that year appeared in a charity concert to raise funds after fire had partially destroyed the town of Baden, in which he played with the Italian violinist Giovanni Polledro. In and Beethoven sketched and completed two symphonies, his Seventh and Eighth and incidental music for Kotzebue's one act plays "The Ruins of Athens" and "King Stephen". He also finally met one of his great heroes, Goethe whose poems he had first set to music as a youth and for whose play "Egmont" he had written an overture and substantial musical interludes in Beethoven had a lifelong interest in and passion for literature, both the classics of the past -Homer, the Greek tragedians, Shakespeare and Ossian- and of more recent times - Schiller, Herder, and Goethe.
The point of contact between them was Bettina von Arnhim, the sister of Antonie Brentano with whom both Beethoven and Goethe corresponded. When the two giants of German culture met in Teplitz in the summer of they found themselves polar opposites in temperament.
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