Part 2 out of 5
[Footnote 1: The Grand Sonata with two movements, and two additional ones,
of which the last is a grand fugued one, can scarcely be any other than the
pianoforte Sonata (Op. 106) composed in 1818, dedicated to the Archduke
Rudolph, and published in September, 1819.]
[Footnote 2: The "recent occurrence" to which Beethoven alludes is no doubt
his being appointed Archbishop.]
TO HERR BLOeCHLINGER.
Moedling, Sept. 14, 1819.
85 florins enclosed.
I have the honor to send you payment for the ensuing month, which begins on
the 22d Sept., and I add 10 florins in order to provide for any unforeseen
expenses, which you will please account for to me on the 12th October. The
following persons alone are to have free access to my nephew: Herr von
Bernard, Herr von Oliva, Herr von Piuss.
If any persons, exclusive of those I have named, wish to see my nephew, I
will give them a letter to you, when you will be so obliging as to admit
them; for the distance to your house is considerable, and those who go
there can only do so to oblige me, as, for example, the bandage-maker, &c.,
My nephew must never leave your house without a written permission from me.
From this you will at once plainly perceive your line of conduct towards
Carl's mother. I must impress on you the necessity of these rules
(proceeding from the magistrates and myself) being strictly enforced. You,
dear sir, are too little experienced in these circumstances, however
obvious your other merits are to me, to act on your own judgment in the
matter, as you have hitherto done. Credulity can in the present instance
only lead to embarrassment, the result of which might prove injurious to
you rather than beneficial, and this I wish to avoid for the sake of your
I hear that my nephew requires, or at all events wishes to have, a variety
of things from me; he has only to apply to myself. Be so good as to forward
all his letters through Herr Steiner & Co., Pater Noster Gaessel, auf'm
_Sole guardian of my nephew Carl Van Beethoven._
N.B. Any outlay will be at once repaid.
Vienna, Sept. 21, 1819.
In honor of the visit of Herr Schlesinger of Berlin.
[Music: Four staves (SATB), B-flat major, 4/4 time, repeating.
Glaube und hoffe
Glaube und hoffe und hoffe
Glaube und hoffe, Glaube und hoffe
Glaube und hoffe, ]
L. V. BEETHOVEN.
TO HERR ARTARIA,--VIENNA.
Oct. 1, 1819.
MOST EXCELLENT AND MOST VIRTUOUS OF VIRTUOSI, AND NO HUMBUG!
While informing you of all sorts of things from which we hope you will draw
the best conclusions, we request you to send us six (say 6) copies of the
Sonata in B flat major, and also six copies of the variations on the Scotch
songs, as the author's right. We beg you to forward them to Steiner, in
Pater Noster Gaessel, whence they will be sent to us with some other things.
In the hope that you are conducting yourself with all due propriety and
decorum, we are your, &c.,
A SKETCH WRITTEN BY BEETHOVEN,--
Corrected by Artaria's Bookkeeper, Wuister.
Having heard from Herr B. that Y.R. Highness [the Archduke Rudolph] has
written a most masterly work, we wish to be the first to have the great
honor of publishing Y.R. Highness's composition, that the world may become
acquainted with the admirable talents of so illustrious a Prince. We trust
Y. Royal Highness will comply with our respectful solicitation.
[Footnote 1: The name Beethoven gave to Artaria's partner, Bolderini.]
Moedling, Oct. 12, 1819.
Pray forgive me, dear A. (?), for plaguing you as follows:--
We are coming to town the day after to-morrow, and expect to arrive at four
o'clock. The two days' festival compels us to return the same day, as Carl
must prepare with his master here for the second examination, these very
holidays enabling the tutor to devote more time to him; but I must soon
return to town on account of the certificate of Carl's birth, which costs
more time and money than I like. I at all times dislike travelling by the
_diligence_, and this one has moreover one peculiarity, that you may wish
to go on what day you please, but it always turns out to be a Friday on
which it sets off; and though a good Christian, still one Friday in the
year is sufficient for me. I beg you will request the leader of the choir
(the devil alone knows what the office is!) to be so good as to give us
Carl's _certificate of birth_ on the afternoon of the same day if possible.
He might do so at seven o'clock in the morning, at the time we arrive; but
he ought to be punctual, for Carl is to appear at the examination at
half-past seven o'clock. So it must be _either to-morrow at_ seven, or _at
all events in the afternoon_. We shall call on you to-morrow before seven
o'clock to inquire about this, with the proviso of a visit later in the
day. In haste, and asking your pardon,
L. VAN BEETHOVEN.
PETITION TO THE MAGISTRACY.
Oct. 30, 1819.
My brother, Carl van Beethoven, died on November 5, 1815, leaving a boy
twelve years old,--his son Carl. In his will, by clause 5, he bequeathed to
me the guardianship of the boy, and in the codicil B he expressed a wish
that his widow, Johanna, should have a share in this duty, adding that, for
the sake of his child, he recommended her to submit to my guidance. This
explicit declaration of the father, added to my legal claim, I being the
nearest relative (clause 198), entitles me clearly to the guardianship of
my nephew, Carl van Beethoven; and the Court of Justice, by their Decree E,
committed to me, under existing circumstances, the guardianship, to the
exclusion moreover of Beethoven's widow. A journey on business having
compelled me to be for some time absent, I did not object to an official
guardian supplying my place for the time, which was effected by the
nomination of the Town Sequestrator, Herr Nussboeck.
Being now, however, finally settled here, and the welfare of the boy very
precious to me, both love and duty demand that I should resume my rights;
especially as this talented lad is coming to an age when greater care and
expense must be bestowed on his education, on which his whole future
prospects depend. This duty ought not to be confided to any woman, far less
to his mother, who possesses neither the will nor the power to adopt those
measures indispensable to a manly and suitable education.
I am the more anxious to reclaim my guardianship of Carl, as I understand
that, in consequence of want of means to defray the expenses of the school
where I placed him, he is to be removed, and his mother wishes him to live
with her, in order herself to spend his trifling provision, and thus save
the one half of her pension, which, according to the decree, she is bound
to apply to his use.
I have hitherto taken a paternal charge of my nephew, and I intend to do
the same in future at my own expense, being resolved that the hopes of his
deceased father, and the expectations I have formed for this clever boy,
shall be fulfilled by his becoming an able man and a good citizen.
With this view I accordingly request that the highly respected magistrates
whom I now address will be pleased to annul the Town Sequestrator
Nussboeck's interim office, and forthwith transfer to me the sole
guardianship of my nephew Carl van Beethoven.
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN.
[Footnote 1: Evidently drawn up by his advocate, Dr. Bach, from Beethoven's
[Footnote 2: The magisterial decree of Nov. 4, 1819, was adverse to
TO F. RIES,--LONDON.
Vienna, Nov. 10, 1819.
I write to let you know that the Sonata is already out, though only a
fortnight ago, and it is nearly six months since I sent you both the
Quintet and the Sonata. In the course of a few days I will send them both
to you engraved, and from them you can correct the two works.
Having received no letter from you on the subject, I thought the thing was
at an end. I have indeed made shipwreck already with Neate this year! I
only wish you could contrive to get me the fifty ducats which I have yet to
receive, as I calculated on them, and really am in great want of money. I
shall say no more to-day, but must inform you that I have nearly completed
a _new Grand Mass_. Write to me whether you could do anything with this in
London; but soon, very soon, and send the money soon also for both works. I
will write more fully next time. In haste,
Your true and faithful friend,
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
Dec. 14, 1819.
Immediately on last leaving Y.R.H. I was taken ill, of which I apprised
Y.R.H., but owing to a change in my household, neither the letter in
question nor another to Y.R.H. was ever sent. In it I begged Y.R.H.'s
indulgence, having some works on hand that I was obliged to dispatch with
all speed, owing to which I was, alas! compelled to lay aside the Mass
also. I hope Y.R.H. will ascribe the delay solely to the pressure of
circumstances. This is not the time to enter fully into the subject, but I
must do so as soon as the right moment arrives, that Y.R.H. may not form
too severe or undeserved a judgment of me. My heart is always with Y.R.H.,
and I trust at length circumstances may in so far change, that I may be
able to contribute more than I have hitherto done, to perfecting your great
talent. I think, however, Y.R.H. is already aware of my good-will in this
respect, and is fully convinced that insurmountable obstacles alone can
ever detain me from the most excellent of all princes, so revered by me,
and so entwined with every feeling of my heart. I did not till yesterday
hear of the mistake about the two letters, and I now intend to bring them
myself, for I have no one in my service on whom I can depend. I will
present myself at your house this afternoon at half-past four o'clock. My
warmest thanks for Y.R.H.'s kind letter to me. When Y.R.H. thus vouchsafes
to declare your esteem for me, it only heightens and increases my impulse
to all that is good.
[Footnote 1: Another allusion to the Grand Mass in D, which seemed likely
never to be completed.]
The Mass will soon be all in Y.R.H.'s hands; it ought to have been, and
would have been so long ago, but--but--but--when Y.R.H. becomes acquainted
with my circumstances, you will be surprised that I have even now been able
to finish it.
[Footnote 1: The circumstances which prevented the completion of this work
were undoubtedly his perpetual state of strife with his nephew and his
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
I heard with heartfelt sorrow of Y.R.H.'s indisposition, but hope soon to
hear of your recovery. Why am I also ill? for I might possibly discover the
best mode of restoring Y.R.H. I will call again to inquire after Y.R.H.,
and hope to hear good news.
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
I have been rather an invalid all this time, though I try to think myself
tolerably well. I deeply regret to hear of Y.R.H.'s attack, especially as I
knew nothing of it, or I certainly should have hastened to inquire whether
it was in my power in any way to alleviate your sufferings. To-morrow, in
compliance with Y.R.H.'s wish, I shall certainly enjoy the pleasure of
seeing my own most dear and illustrious master.
TO THE ROYAL AND IMPERIAL HIGH COURT OF APPEAL.
Jan. 7, 1820.
On the plea of the Decree A, I sought to have transferred to myself the
guardianship of my nephew, Carl v. Beethoven, but was referred by the
magistracy to the previous decision. On my consequent remonstrance the same
I find myself the more aggrieved by this, inasmuch as not only are my own
rights set at naught, but even the welfare of my nephew is thus utterly
disregarded. I am therefore compelled to have recourse to the highest Court
of Appeal to lay before them my well-founded claim, and rightfully to
demand that the guardianship of my nephew should be restored to me.
My reasons are the following:--
1st. I am entitled to the guardianship of my nephew, not only by his
father's will, but by law, and this the Court of Justice confirmed to the
exclusion of the mother. When business called me away from Vienna, I
conceded that Herr Nussboeck should act for me _ad interim_. Having now,
however, taken up my residence here, the welfare of my nephew demands that
I should again undertake the office of his guardian.
2d. My nephew has arrived at an age when he requires to be trained to a
higher degree of cultivation. Neither his mother nor his present guardian
are calculated to guide the boy in the pursuit of his studies. The former,
in the first place, because she is a woman; and as to her conduct, it has
been legally proved that, to say the least of it, she has no creditable
testimonials to bring forward, on which account she was expressly
prohibited from acting by the Court of Justice. How the Honorable
Magistracy could nevertheless again appoint her is quite incomprehensible.
The latter is unfit; because, on the one hand, his office as sequestrator
and administrator of houses and lands, occupies his time too much to enable
him properly to undertake the duties of guardian to the boy; and, on the
other, because his previous occupation as a paper manufacturer, does not
inspire me with any confidence that he possesses the intelligence or
judgment indispensable to conduct a scientific education.
3d. The welfare of my nephew is dearer to my heart than it can be to any
one else. I am myself childless, and have no relations except this boy, who
is full of talent, and I have good grounds to hope the best for him, if
properly trained. Now I am compelled to hear that he has been delayed a
whole year by remaining in his previous class, from want of means to defray
the expense, and that his mother intends to remove him from his present
school, and wishes him to live with her. What a misfortune to the boy, were
he to become a victim to the mismanagement of his mother, who would fain
squander on herself that portion of her pension which she is obliged to
devote to the education of her son!
I have therefore declared in due form to the Honorable Magistracy that I am
myself willing to undertake the expenses of his present school, and also to
provide the various masters required. Being rather deaf, which is an
impediment to conversation, I have requested the aid of a colleague, and
suggested for this purpose Herr Peters, Councillor of Prince Lobkowitz, in
order that a person may forthwith be appointed to superintend the education
and progress of my nephew, that his moral character may one day command
esteem, and whose acquirements may be a sure guaranty to all those who feel
an interest in the youth's welfare, that he will undoubtedly receive the
education and culture necessary to develop his abilities.
My efforts and wishes have no other aim than to give the boy the best
possible education,--his abilities justifying the brightest hopes,--and to
fulfil the trust placed in my brotherly love by his father. The shoot is
still flexible; but if longer neglected it will become crooked, and outgrow
the gardener's training hand, and upright bearing, intellect, and
character, be destroyed forever.
I know no duty more sacred than the education and training of a child. The
chief duties of a guardian consist in knowing how to appreciate what is
good, and in adopting a right course; then alone has proper attention been
devoted to the welfare of his ward, whereas in opposing what is good he
neglects his duty.
Indeed, keeping in view what is most for the benefit of the boy, I do not
object to the mother in so far sharing in the duties of a guardian that she
may visit her son, and see him, and be apprised of all the measures adopted
for his education; but to intrust her with the sole guardianship of the boy
without a strict guardian by her side, would cause the irrevocable ruin of
On these cogent grounds I reiterate my well-founded solicitation, and feel
the more confident of a favorable answer, as the welfare of my nephew alone
guides my steps in this affair.
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN.
[Footnote 1: Schindler states that during these law proceedings the widow
of Beethoven's brother had another child.]
[Footnote 2: The Court excluded Carl's mother from all share in his
education, and from all direct influence over her son, and again restored
to Beethoven the full authority of a guardian.]
TO HIS HIGHNESS THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
[Music: Treble clef, C major.
Seiner Kaiserlichen Hoheit!
Dem Erzherzog Rudolph!
Dem geistlichen Fuersten!
Alles Gute! alles Schoene!
alles Gute! alles Schoene!
alles alles Gute, alles alles Schoene!
alles Gute! alles Schoene!
alles Gute, alles Schoene!
alles alles Gute, alles Schoene!
alles Gute, alles Schoene!
alles Gute, alles Schoene!]
From your obedient servant,
L. V. BEETHOVEN.
Jan. 12, 1820.
TESTIMONIAL IN FAVOR OF HERR V. KANDELER.
It is certainly the duty of every musical composer to become acquainted
with all the earlier as well as more modern poets, in order to select what
is most suitable to his purpose for songs. Such, however, not being
invariably the case, this present collection of Herr v. Kandeler's cannot
fail to be useful and commendable to many who wish to write songs, and also
tend to induce more able poets to contribute something in the same
LUDWIG V. BEETHOVEN.--M.P.
I entirely agree with Herr v. Beethoven.
TO THEODORE AMADEUS HOFFMANN.
Vienna, March 23, 1820.
I seize the opportunity through Herr N. of approaching a man so gifted as
yourself. You have also written of my humble self, and Herr N.N. showed me
some lines of yours about me in his album; I have, therefore, every reason
to believe that you feel some interest in me. Permit me to say that, on the
part of so talented a man as yourself, this is truly gratifying to me. I
wish you all possible good and happiness, and remain,
Sir, with esteem, your obedient
[Footnote 1: It is well known that Hoffmann, in the years 1809 to 1812,
wrote the first really important articles on Beethoven's works for the
_Leipzig A.M. Zeitung_ on his instrumental music, his trios, and masses,
TO HERR HASLINGER,--ADJUTANTERL.
I request the Adjutant to lend me the score of the Overture in E flat,
which I will return as soon as the performance is over. I also beg he will
be so good as to send me Kirnberger's work to supply the place of mine, as
I am at this moment giving lessons in counterpoint, and have been unable to
find my own manuscript amid my confused mass of papers. Yours,
MI CONTRA FA.
MOST WORTHY ADJUTANT,--
I have made a bet of ten florins, W.W., against the truth of your having
been obliged to pay a compensation of 2000 florins to Artaria for the new
edition of Mozart's works, which have been again and again engraved and
sold everywhere. I really wish to know the truth on this subject, for I
cannot possibly believe what is said. If it be the fact that you have been
so unhandsomely treated, then _Ah, dolce contento_ must pay the ten
florins. Send me a true report. Farewell; be a good Christian. Your
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
Vienna, April 3, 1820.
YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS,--
So far as I can recollect, when I was about to wait on you, I was told that
Y.R.H. was indisposed; I called on Sunday evening to inquire, having been
assured that Y.R.H. did not intend to set off on Monday. In accordance with
my usual custom, not to remain long in an anteroom, I hurried away after
receiving this information, though I observed that the gentleman in waiting
wished to say something to me. Unhappily I did not hear till Monday
afternoon that Y.R.H. had really gone to Olmuetz. I must confess that this
caused me a very painful feeling, but my consciousness of never having
neglected my duty in any respect, induced me to suppose that the same may
have been the case on this occasion, as it often is in human life,--for I
can easily conceive that Y.R.H., immersed in ceremonies and novel
impressions, had very little time to spare in Olmuetz for other things. I
should otherwise certainly have anticipated Y.R.H. in writing. May I ask
you graciously to inform me what length of stay you intend to make in
Olmuetz? It was reported that Y.R.H. intended to return here towards the end
of May; but a few days ago I heard that you were to remain a year and a
half in Olmuetz; owing to this I may perhaps have adopted wrong measures,
not with regard to Y.R.H., but myself. As soon as I receive information
from you on the subject, I will enter into further explanations. May I also
beg that in the mean time Y.R.H. will not listen to certain reports about
me? I have heard a great deal of what may be termed gossip here, which
people seem to think may be acceptable to Y.R.H. As Y.R.H. is pleased to
say that I am one of those whom you esteem, I can confidently declare that
Y.R.H. is the person whom I value most in the universe. Although no
courtier, I believe that Y.R.H. knows me too thoroughly to believe that
mere selfish interest has ever attached or attracted me towards Y.R.H.,
but, on the contrary, true and heartfelt affection alone. I can with truth
say that a second Blondel has long since set forth on his pilgrimage, and
if no Richard can be found in this world for me, God shall be my Sovereign!
It seems to me that my idea of giving a quartet is the best; even though
some works have been already performed on a grand scale at Olmuetz, still
something might thus be introduced into Moravia to attract the attention of
the musical world, and for the benefit of Art.
If, according to the above reports, Y.R.H. should return here in May, I
advise Y.R.H. to reserve your _spiritual children_ for me [see No. 279]
till then, because it would be better that I should hear them performed by
yourself. But if your stay in Olmuetz is really to be of such long duration,
I will receive them now with the greatest pleasure, and strive to accompany
Y.R.H. to the summit of Parnassus. May God preserve Y.R.H. in health for
the good of humanity, and also for that of all your warm admirers. I beg
you will be graciously pleased soon to write to me. Y.R.H. cannot fail to
be convinced of my readiness at all times to fulfil your wishes.
I am Y.R.H.'s humble and faithful servant,
LUDWIG V. BEETHOVEN
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
Moedling, Aug. 3, 1820.
I have this moment received the letter in which Y.R.H. informs me yourself
of your journey hither, and I sincerely thank Y.R.H. for such a mark of
attention. I intended to have hastened to town to-morrow to wait on Y.R.H.,
but no carriage is to be had; I expect however to get one before next
Saturday, when I shall lose no time, and set off at an early hour to
inquire for Y.R.H. With regard to the sacrifice Y.R.H. intends to offer up
to the Muses, I will make a proposal verbally on the subject. I heartily
rejoice in knowing that Y.R.H. is once more so near me. May I in all
respects be enabled to assist in fulfilling your wishes! May Heaven bless
Y.R.H., and mature all your plans!
TO HERR ARTARIA, FALSTAFF, & CO.
Vienna, Oct. 26, 1820.
I politely request that you will hand over to Herr Oliva the sum of 300
florins, which has no doubt already been received by you in full. Having
been entirely occupied by removing to my new lodgings, I could not do
myself the honor of expressing my thanks to you and Sir John Falstaff in
Your obedient servant,
LUDWIG V. BEETHOVEN.
MY VERY WORTHY FALSTAFF!--
I request, with all due civility, that you will send me a copy of each of
the two works for pianoforte and flute, with variations. As for the
receipt, you shall have it to-morrow; and I also beg you will forward it
forthwith. Give my compliments to Herr Artaria, and thank him from me for
his kind offer of an advance, but as I have received from abroad the money
due to me, I do not require to avail myself of his aid. Farewell, Knight
Falstaff; do not be too dissipated, read the Gospel, and be converted!
We remain, your well-affected
To Sir John Falstaff, Knight.
To the care of Herr Artaria & Co.
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
Moedling, Sept. 1820.
Since last Tuesday evening I have been far from well, but hoped by Friday,
certainly, to have had the happiness of waiting on Y.R.H. This proved a
delusion, and it is only to-day that I am able to say confidently that I
expect to present myself before Y.R.H. next Monday or Tuesday at an early
hour. I ascribe my illness to having taken an open _caleche_, in order not
to miss my appointment with Y.R.H. The day was very wet and positively
_cold_ here towards the evening. Nature seems almost to have been offended
by the liberty I took, and by my audacity, and to have punished me in
consequence. May Heaven bestow on Y.R.H. all that is good and holy, as well
as every charm and blessing, and on _me_ your favor, _but only in so far as
TO HERR ARTARIA & CO.
Vienna, Dec. 17, 1820.
I thank you warmly for the advance of 150 florins, for which I have made
out the receipt in the name of his Imperial Highness the Cardinal, and I
beg, as I am in danger of losing one of my bank shares, that you will
advance me another 150 florins, which I pledge myself to repay within three
months at latest from this date. As a proof of my gratitude, I engage in
this letter to make over to you, as your exclusive property, one of my
compositions, consisting of two or more movements, without claiming payment
for it hereafter.
TO TOBIAS V. HASLINGER.
Baden, Sept. 10, 1821.
MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,--
On my way to Vienna yesterday, sleep overtook me in my carriage, which was
by no means strange, for having been obliged to rise so early every
morning, I never had a good night's sleep. While thus slumbering I dreamt
that I had gone on a far journey, to no less a place than to Syria, on to
Judea, and back, and then all the way to Arabia, when at length I actually
arrived at Jerusalem. The Holy City gave rise to thoughts of the Holy
Books. No wonder then if the man Tobias occurred to me, which also
naturally led me to think of our own little Tobias and our great Tobias.
Now during my dream-journey, the following Canon came into my head:--
[Music: Bass clef, F major, 2/4 time. _Lively in the upper octave._
O Tobias! Dominus Ha--slinger o!
o! o Tobias!]
But scarcely did I wake when away flew the Canon, and I could not recall
any part of it. On returning here however, next day, in the same carriage,
(that of a poor Austrian musician,) I resumed my dream-journey, being,
however, on this occasion wide awake, when lo and behold! in accordance
with the laws of the association of ideas the same Canon again flashed
across me; so being now awake I held it as fast as Menelaus did Proteus,
only permitting it to be changed into three parts.
[Music: Treble, Tenor, and Bass clef staves, F major, 2/4 time.
Dominus Ha--slinger o!]
Farewell! I intend to send next something composed on Steiner's name, to
show that his is no heart of stone [Stein]. Adieu, my good friend; it is my
most heartfelt wish that you may prosper as a publisher; may all credit be
given to you, and yet may you never require credit. Sing daily the Epistles
of St. Paul, and daily visit Father Werner, who can show you in his little
book how to go straight to heaven. See, how anxious I am about the welfare
of your soul!
I remain always, with infinite pleasure, henceforth and forever,
Your faithful debtor,
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
Unterdoebling, July 18, 1821.
I yesterday heard of Y.R.H.'s arrival here; joyful tidings for me, but
saddened by knowing that it must be some time before I can have the good
fortune to wait on Y.R.H.; having been long very ill, at last _jaundice_
declared itself, which I consider a most loathsome malady. I trust,
however, I shall be so far recovered as to see Y.R.H. before you leave
this. Last winter, too, I had some very severe rheumatic attacks. Much of
this proceeds from the melancholy state of my family affairs; I have
hitherto hoped, by every possible exertion on my part, at last to remedy
these. That Providence, who searches my inmost heart, and knows that as a
man I have striven sacredly to fulfil all the duties imposed on me by
humanity, God, and Nature, will no doubt one day extricate me from all
these troubles. The Mass [in D] will be delivered to Y.R.H. here. I hope
Y.R.H. will excuse my entering into the various causes of the delay. The
details could not be otherwise than painful to Y.R.H. I would often gladly
have written to Y.R.H. from here, but you told me to wait till I first
heard from you. What, then, was I to do? Y.R.H. might have been displeased
had I not attended to your injunction, and I know that there are people who
are glad to calumniate me to Y.R.H., which pains me exceedingly. I
therefore often think that my sole recourse is to keep quiet till Y.R.H.
expresses a wish either to see or to hear of me. I was told that Y.R.H. had
been indisposed, but I hope it was nothing serious. May Heaven shower down
its most precious blessings on Y.R.H.! I trust it may not be very long
before I shall be so fortunate as to assure Y.R.H. how entirely I am, &c.,
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
Unterdoebling, July 18, 1821.
I have written a long and minute letter to Y.R.H., which my copyist
Schlemmer will deliver. I wrote it on hearing the day before yesterday of
the arrival of Y.R.H. How much I grieve that the attack of jaundice with
which I am affected prevents my at once hastening to Y.R.H. to express in
person my joy at your arrival. May the Lord of all things, for the sake of
so many others, take Y.R.H. under His protection!
TO THE MOST CELEBRATED MUSIC FIRM IN EUROPE, MESSRS. STEINER & CO.,
I request Geh'-bauer to send me two tickets, as some of my friends wish
to attend your hole-and-corner music. You probably have some of these
worthless admission tickets; so let me have one or two.
The part I send belongs to the Chorus, of which Bauer has the other
portions. Your _amicus_
[Footnote 1: Gebauer established the "Concerts Spirituels" in 1819, and
died in 1822.]
Baden, Sept. 27, 1821.
I hope, sir, that you will forgive the liberty I take in thus intruding on
you. The bearer of this, H. v. ----, has been commissioned by me to
exchange or sell a bank-note. Being ignorant of everything connected with
these matters, I beg you will be so good as to communicate your views and
advice to the bearer. The two illnesses I had last winter and summer rather
deranged all my calculations. I have been here since the 7th of September,
and must remain till the end of October. All this costs a great deal of
money, and prevents my earning it as usual. I indeed expect shortly to
receive money from abroad, but as bank-notes stand so high at present, I
consider this the easiest resource, and intend subsequently to purchase a
new bank-note in its place.
[This unsealed letter was enclosed in an envelope on which was written:]
You will at once see what kind of commercial genius I am. After writing the
enclosed, I for the first time consulted a friend about the note, who
pointed out to me that all I had to do was to cut off a _coupon_, and the
affair was completed. I rejoice, therefore, not to be obliged to plague you
further on the subject.
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
Feb. 27, 1822.
I went to-day early to the Palace, not, indeed, with the intention of
meeting Y.R.H., (not being yet dressed), but only to beg Zips to mention
that I had called, and was sincerely rejoiced at your arrival here; but I
could no longer discover Y.R.H.'s apartments, and wherever I knocked in the
hope of finding Y.R.H., my dress seemed to be so closely scrutinized that I
hurried away, and write to-day to recommend myself to Y.R.H. To-morrow I
intend to pay my respects to Y.R.H., when I hope also to hear whether the
usual _musical and intellectual meetings_ are to continue, and when they
are to take place. My not having written all this time to Y.R.H. has indeed
a very bad appearance, but I delayed from day to day, hoping always to send
the Mass, the mistakes in which were really quite dreadful; so much so that
I was obliged to revise _every part_, and thus the delay occurred. Other
pressing occupations and various circumstances tended to impede me, which
is often the case when a man least expects it. That Y.R.H., however, was
ever present with me is shown by the following copies of some novelties,
which have been lying finished by me for some time for Y.R.H., but I
resolved not to forward them till I could at the same time send the Mass.
The latter now only requires binding, when it shall be respectfully
delivered to Y.R.H. by myself. Sincerely rejoiced at the hope of soon
personally waiting on Y.R.H., I remain, with devoted homage, yours till
[Footnote 1: The _novelties_ which Beethoven sends to the Archduke are:--
Six _bagatelles_ for the pianoforte, Op. 126 (composed in 1821).
Sonata for pianoforte in E major " 109 ( " " ?1821).
" " " A flat major " 110 ( " " 1821).]
TO F. RIES,--LONDON.
Vienna, April 6, 1822.
MY DEAREST AND BEST RIES,--
Having been again in bad health during the last ten months, I have hitherto
been unable to answer your letter. I duly received the 26l. sterling, and
thank you sincerely; I have not, however, yet got the sonata you dedicated
to me. My greatest work is a _Grand Mass_ that I have recently written. As
time presses, I can only say what is most urgent. What would the
Philharmonic give me for a symphony?
I still cherish the hope of going to London next spring, if my health
admits of it! You will find in me one who can thoroughly appreciate my dear
pupil, now become a great master, and who can tell what benefit art might
derive from our conjunction! I am, as ever, wholly devoted to my Muse, who
constitutes the sole happiness of my life, and I toil and act for others as
I best can. You have two children; I only one (my brother's son); but you
are married, so both yours will not cost you so much as my one costs me.
Now farewell! kiss your handsome wife for me until I can perform this
solemn act in person.
Pray send me your dedication, that I may strive to return the compliment,
which I mean to do as soon as I receive your work.
TO HERREN PETERS & CO., MUSIC PUBLISHERS,--LEIPZIG.
Vienna, June 5, 1822.
You did me the honor to address a letter to me at a time when I was much
occupied, and I have also been extremely unwell for the last five months. I
now only reply to the principal points. Although I met Steiner by chance a
few days ago, and asked him jestingly what he had brought me from Leipzig,
he did not make _the smallest_ allusion to _your commission or to
yourself_. He urged me, however, in the very strongest manner, to _pledge
myself to give him the exclusive right of publishing all my works, both
present and future_,--and indeed to _sign a contract to that
effect_,--which I declined. This _trait_ sufficiently proves to you why I
often give the preference to other publishers both home and foreign. I love
uprightness and integrity, and am of opinion that no one should drive a
hard bargain with artists, for, alas! however brilliant the exterior of
Fame may appear, an artist does not enjoy the privilege of being the daily
guest of Jupiter on Olympus; unhappily commonplace humanity only too often
unpleasantly drags him down from these pure ethereal heights.
The _greatest_ work I have hitherto written is a _Grand Mass_ with
Choruses, and four _obbligati_ voice parts, and full orchestra. Several
persons have applied to me for this work, and I have been offered 100 Louis
d'or, hard cash, for it; but I demand at least 1000 florins C.M. [20
florins to the mark], for which sum I will also furnish a pianoforte
arrangement. Variations on a waltz [Diabelli's] for the piano (they are
numerous), 30 ducats in gold,--N.B. Vienna ducats. With regard to songs, I
have several rather important descriptive ones: as, for example, a comic
Aria, with full orchestra, on Goethe's text, "Mit Maedeln sich vertragen;"
and another Aria, in the same style, 16 ducats each (furnishing also a
pianoforte arrangement if required); also several descriptive songs, with
pianoforte accompaniment, 12 ducats each; among these is a little Italian
Cantata, with Recitative; there is also a Song with recitative among the
German ones. A Song with pianoforte accompaniment, 8 ducats. An Elegy, four
voices, with the accompaniment of _two violins, viola, and violoncello_, 24
ducats. A Dervise Chorus, with full orchestra, 20 ducats.
Also the following instrumental music: a Grand March for full orchestra,
with pianoforte accompaniment, 12 ducats, written for the tragedy of
"Tarpeia." Romance for the violin (a solo with full orchestra), 15 ducats.
Grand Terzet for two oboes, and one English horn (which might be arranged
for other instruments), 30 ducats. Four military Marches with Turkish
music; when applied for, I will name the sum. _Bagatelles_, or minor
pianoforte solos, the price to be fixed when required. The above works are
all completed. Solo pianoforte Sonata, 40 ducats (which could soon be
delivered); Quartet for _two violins, tenor, and violoncello_, 50 ducats
(this will also soon be ready). I am by no means so anxious about these,
however, as about _a full and complete edition of my works_, being desirous
to edit them during my lifetime. I have indeed received many proposals on
this subject, but accompanied by stipulations to which I could scarcely
agree, and which I neither could nor would fulfil. I am willing to
undertake, in the course of two years, or possibly a year, or a year and a
half, with proper assistance, to edit and superintend a complete edition of
my works, and to furnish a new composition in each style; namely, a new
work in the style of variations, one in the sonata style, and so on in
every separate class of work that I have ever composed, and for the whole
combined I ask 10,000 florins C.M.
I am no man of business, and only wish I were; as it is, I am guided by the
offers made to me by different competitors for my works, and such a
competition is rather strong just now. I request you to say nothing on the
subject, because, as you may perceive from the proceedings of these
gentlemen, I am exposed to a great deal of annoyance. When once my works
appear published by you, I shall no longer be plagued. I shall be very glad
if a connection be established between us, having heard you so well spoken
of. You will then also find that I infinitely prefer dealing with _one_
person of your description than with a variety of people of the ordinary
Pray, let me have an immediate answer, as I am now on the verge of deciding
on the publication of various works. If you consider it worth while, be so
good as to send me a duplicate of the list with which you furnished Herr
Steiner. In the expectation of a speedy reply, I remain, with esteem,
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN.
TO HERREN PETERS & CO.
Vienna, July 26, 1822.
I write merely to say that I agree to give you the Mass and pianoforte
arrangement of it for 1000 florins C.M. You shall receive the above,
written out in score, by the end of July, perhaps a few days sooner or
later. As I am always very much occupied, and have been indisposed for the
last five months, and works to be sent to a distance requiring the most
careful supervision, I must proceed rather more slowly than usual. At all
events, Steiner shall get nothing further from me, as he has just played me
a most Jewish trick; so he is not one of those who might have had the Mass.
The competition for my works is at present very great, for which I thank
the Almighty, as I have hitherto been such a loser. I am the foster-father
of my brother's destitute child, a boy who shows so much aptitude for
scientific pursuits that not only does his study of these, and his
maintenance, cost a great deal of money, but I must also strive to make
some future provision for him; being neither Indians nor Iroquois, who, as
we know, leave everything to Providence, whereas we consider a pauper's
existence to be a very sad one.
I assure you on my honor, which, next to God, is what I prize most, that I
authorized no one to accept commissions for me. My fixed principle has
always been never to make any offer to publishers; not from pride, but
simply from a wish to ascertain how far the empire of my small talents
I must conclude for to-day, and wishing you every success, I am, with
TO HERR PETERS.
Vienna, August 3, 1822.
I already wrote to you that my health was still far from being quite
restored. I am obliged to have recourse to baths and mineral waters as well
as to medicine; all this makes me rather unpunctual, especially as I must
go on writing; corrections, too, run away with a great deal of time.
As to the songs and marches and other trifles, my choice is still
undecided, but by the 15th of this month everything shall be ready to be
sent off. I await your orders on the subject, and in the mean time shall
make no use of your bill of exchange. As soon as I know that the money for
the Mass and the other works has arrived here, all shall be ready for
delivery by the 15th; and after that date I must set off to some mineral
waters near this, when it will be most desirable for me to avoid all
business for a time. More as to other matters when less occupied. Pray, do
not suspect me of any ignoble motives. It pains me when I am obliged to
In haste. With esteem, yours,
[Footnote 1: Schindler states that the advance of 360 florins C.M. was
made to Beethoven in August, 1822. The receipt is dated Nov. 30, 1825.]
TO HERR ARTARIA.
August 22, 1822.
Being overwhelmed with work, I can only briefly say that I will always do
what I can to repay your obliging kindness to me. With regard to the Mass,
I have been offered 1000 florins (C.M.) for it. My circumstances do not
permit me to accept a less sum from you; all that I can do is to give you
the preference. Rest assured that I do not ask you one farthing more than
others have offered me, which I can prove to you by written documents. You
can consider about this, but I must request you to send me an answer on the
subject to-morrow, it being a post-day, and my decision expected elsewhere.
With regard to the 150 florins for which I am your debtor, I intend to make
you a proposal, as I stand in great need of the 1000 florins.
I beg you will observe strict secrecy as to the Mass. Now, as ever,
Your grateful friend,
TO HERR PETERS,--LEIPZIG
Vienna, November 22, 1822.
I now reply to your letter of the 9th November, in which I expected to find
just reproaches for my apparent negligence, you having sent me the money
and as yet received nothing in return. Unfair as this may appear, I know
you would be mollified towards me in a few minutes were we to meet.
Everything is now ready for you, except selecting the songs, but at all
events you shall receive one more than our agreement. I can send you more
_bagatelles_ than I promised, as I have got ten others beside; if you write
to me immediately, I will send you these, or as many as you wish for, along
with the rest.
My health, indeed, is not entirely reestablished by the baths, yet on the
whole I think I have improved. I had another annoyance here, owing to a
person having engaged an unsuitable lodging for me, which is hard on me, as
I cannot yet accustom myself to it, and my occupations are thus sadly
The case with regard to the Mass stands thus: I finished one long ago, and
another is in progress. There is always a certain degree of gossip about
people of our class, which has, no doubt, misled you. I don't yet know
which you are to get. Besieged on all sides, I am almost forced to testify
the reverse of the _dictum_ that "the spirit cannot be weighed." I send you
my best wishes, and trust that time will foster a beneficial and honorable
connection between us.
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
I was extremely unwell both yesterday and the day before; unfortunately
there was no one whom I could send to apprise Y.R.H. of the fact. As I felt
better towards evening, I went into the town to make Schlemmer correct the
Sonata. He was not at home, so I requested him to come here to-day. I
send the Sonata by him, and will come in to-day before four o'clock to wait
[Footnote 1: The C minor pianoforte Sonata, Op. 111?]
TO HERR PETERS.
Vienna, December 20, 1822.
I take advantage of a moment's leisure to-day to answer your letter. Not
one of all the works that are your property is unfinished, but time is too
precious to particularize all the details that prevent the copying and
sending off the music to you. I recollect in a former letter having offered
you some more _bagatelles_, but I by no means press you to take them. If
you wish only to have the four, so be it; but in that case I must make a
different selection. Herr ---- has not as yet got anything from me. Herr
---- begged me to make him a present of the songs for the "Journal de la
Mode," which, in fact, I did not write for money; indeed, I find it quite
impossible to act in every case according to so much _per cent_. It is
painful for me to calculate in this manner oftener than is absolutely
necessary. My position is far from being so brilliant as you think, &c.,
&c. It is not possible to listen to all these proposals at once, being far
too numerous, but many cannot be refused. A commission is not always quite
in accordance with the inclinations of an author. If my salary were not so
far reduced as to be no salary at all, I would write nothing but
symphonies for a full orchestra, and church music, or at most quartets.
Of my minor works, you can still have Variations for two oboes and one
English horn, on the theme from "Don Giovanni," "_La ci darem la mano_,"
and a Gratulation Minuet for a full orchestra. I should be glad, likewise,
to have your opinion about the full edition of my works.
In the most desperate haste, your obedient
[Footnote 1: It was reduced from 4000 gulden to 800.]
TO F. RIES,--LONDON
Vienna, December 20, 1822.
MY DEAR RIES,--
I have been so overburdened with work that I am only now able to reply to
your letter of November 15. I accept with pleasure the proposal to write a
new symphony for the Philharmonic Society. Although the prices given by the
English cannot be compared with those paid by other nations, still I would
gladly write even gratis for those whom I consider the first artists in
Europe--were I not still, as ever, the poor Beethoven.
If I were only in London, what would I not write for the Philharmonic! For
Beethoven, thank God! can write--if he can do nothing in the world besides!
If Providence only vouchsafes to restore my health, which is at least
improving, I shall then be able to respond to the many proposals from all
parts of Europe, and even North America, and may thus perhaps be some day
TO IGNAZ RITTER VON SEYFRIED.
MY DEAR AND WORTHY BROTHER IN APOLLO,--
I heartily thank you for the trouble you have taken in aiding my
_charitable work_. I rejoice that its success is universally admitted,
and hope you will never fail to let me know when it is in my power to serve
you by my poor talents. The worthy municipal corporation is, no doubt,
thoroughly convinced of my good-will; in order to give fresh proofs of it,
we ought to have a friendly interview as to the mode in which I can best
serve the corporation. When such a master as yourself takes an interest in
us, our pinions ought never to droop.
I am, with the warmest esteem,
[Footnote 1: Seyfried, at a concert for the benefit of the Burgher
Hospital, performed Beethoven's grand fugue _Fest Ouverture_ (in C major,
in Op. 124), 1822, in celebration of the opening of the new Josephstadt
Theatre. The written parts were returned to him with the grateful thanks of
LIFE'S TROUBLES AND CLOSE.
1823 TO 1827.
Vienna, Feb. 8, 1823.
MY BRAVE COLLEAGUE IN ART,--
I write, having a favor to ask of you, for we are now so distant from each
other that we can no longer converse together, and, indeed, unhappily, we
can seldom write either. I have written a grand mass, which might also be
given as an oratorio (for the benefit of the poor, a good established
custom here). I do not wish to publish it in the usual way, but to dispose
of it to some of the leading courts alone. I ask fifty ducats for it. No
copies are to be sold except those subscribed for, so that the mass will
be, as it were, in manuscript; but there must be a fair number of
subscribers, if any profit is to accrue to the author. I have made an
application to the Prussian embassy here, to know if the King of Prussia
would vouchsafe to take a copy, and I have also written to Prince
Radziwill, to ask him to interest himself in the affair. I beg you likewise
to do what you can for me. It is a work that might likewise be useful to
the Academy of Singing, for there is scarcely any portion of it that could
not be almost entirely executed by voices. The more these are increased and
multiplied in combination with instruments, the more effective would be the
result. It ought to be appropriate also as an oratorio, for such societies
as those for the benefit of the poor require marks of this kind. Having
been an invalid for some years past, and consequently my position anything
but brilliant, I have had recourse to this scheme. I have written much; but
as to profits, they are nearly _nil_! The more do I look upwards; but both
for his own sake, and that of others, man is obliged to turn his eyes
earthwards; for this, too, is part of the destiny of humanity. I embrace
you, my dear fellow-artist, and am, with sincere esteem,
[Footnote 1: Zelter was in Vienna in 1819.]
TO F. RIES,--LONDON.
... Manage this as soon as you can for your poor friend. I also expect my
travelling route from you. Things have become quite too bad here, and I am
fleeced worse than ever. If I do not go at all, lo! and behold a _crimen
laesae_!... As it seems that you wish soon to have a dedication from me, I
gladly comply with your request, much more so than with that of any great
man; though, _entre nous_, the devil alone can tell how soon one may fall
into their hands! The dedication to you will be written on the new
symphony; and I hope I shall at length receive yours to me.
B. is to open the letter he took charge of for the King [George IV.], in
which he will see what I have written to His Majesty on the subject of the
"Battle of Vittoria." The tenor of the enclosed is the same; but not a word
as to the mass. Our amiable friend B. must try to get me at least a
battle-axe or a turtle for it! The engraved copy of the score of "The
Battle" must also be presented to the King. This letter will cost you a
good deal [seventeen shillings]; but I beg you will deduct it from your
remittance to me. How much I regret being so troublesome! May God prosper
Say all that is amiable to your wife till I come myself. Beware! you think
me old; but I am a young veteran!
Yours, as ever,
[Footnote 1: On February 24, 1823, Beethoven wrote to the King of England
that, so far back as 1813, he had sent him "Wellington's Victory," but
never had received any communication on the subject; he, therefore, now
sent an engraved copy of the work, which had been intended for him since
1815. He closed the letter by saying: "Convinced of the discrimination and
kindness which your Majesty has always evinced in protecting and
encouraging art and artists, the undersigned ventures to hope that your
Majesty will graciously take the matter into consideration, and vouchsafe
to comply with his respectful solicitation."]
MY VERY BEST OPTIMUS OPTIME,--
Pray try to hunt out a philanthropist who will advance me some money on a
bank-share, that I may not put the generosity of my friends too much to the
test, nor myself be placed in difficulty by the delay of this money, for
which I have to thank the fine plans and arrangements of my precious
You must not let it appear that this money is really wanted.
Don't forget the bank-share. It is greatly needed; it would be very
annoying to be brought into court; indeed, I would not be so for the whole
world. My brother's conduct is quite worthy of him. The tailor is appointed
to come to-day, still I hope to be able to get rid of him for the present
by a few polite phrases.
TO HERR KIND.
I intend to call on you at latest on Wednesday afternoon at four o'clock,
when I will settle everything.
March 15, 1823.
HIGHLY ESTEEMED SIR,--
I joyfully take advantage of this opportunity to address you. I have done
so frequently in spirit, as I prize your theatrical works beyond others.
The artistic world has only to lament that, in Germany at least, no new
dramatic piece of yours has appeared. Highly as all your works are valued
by true connoisseurs, still it is a great loss to art not to possess any
fresh production of your great genius for the theatre.
True art is imperishable, and the true artist feels heartfelt pleasure in
grand works of genius, and that is what enchants me when I hear a new
composition of yours; in fact, I take greater interest in it than in my
own; in short, I love and honor you. Were it not that my continued bad
health prevents my going to see you in Paris, with what exceeding delight
would I discuss questions of art with you! Do not think that this is merely
intended to serve as an introduction to the favor I am about to ask of you.
I hope and feel convinced that you do not for a moment suspect me of such
I recently completed a grand solemn mass, and have resolved to offer it to
the various European courts, as it is not my intention to publish it at
present. I have therefore solicited the King of France, through the French
embassy here, to subscribe to this work, and I feel certain that his
Majesty would, at your recommendation, agree to do so. _Ma situation
critique demande que je ne fixe pas seulement, comme ordinnaire, mes voeux
au ciel; au contraire, il faut les fixer aussi_ ["_aussi_" in Beethoven's
hand] _en bas pour les necessites de la vie._ Whatever may be the fate of
my request to you, I shall forever continue to love and esteem you, _et
vous resterez toujours celui de mes contemporains que je l'estime le plus.
Si vous me voulez faire un extreme plaisir, c'etait si vous m'ecrivez
quelques lignes, ce que me soulagera bien. L'art unit tout le monde_, how
much more, then, true artists, _et peut-etre vous me dignez aussi_ to
include me in that number. _Avec le plus haut estime_,
_Votre ami et serviteur_,
[Footnote 1: Cherubini declared that he never received this letter.]
I am not sure whether the other copy was corrected or not, so I send you
this one instead. As to N. in S----, I beg you not to say a word; Bl. is
already very uneasy on the subject. In haste, your friend,
[Footnote 1: We cannot understand what induced Beethoven, who lived in the
same house with Schindler, to write to him; but he often did so to persons
with whom he could easily have spoken, partly in order to get rid of the
matter while it was in his thoughts, and also because he was a great deal
from home; that is, going backwards and forwards from one lodging to
another, having often several at the same time.]
TO HERR PETERS,--LEIPZIG.
Vienna, March 20, 1823.
The other three marches are only to be sent off to-day, as I missed the
post last week. Irregular as I have been on this occasion in our
transactions, you would not think me so culpable if you were here, and
aware of my position, a description of which would be too tedious both for
you and me.
I have now an observation to make with regard to what I have sent off to
Several sets of wind instruments may combine in the performance of the
Grand March, and if this cannot be done, and a regimental band is not
strong enough for its present arrangement, any bandmaster can easily adapt
it by omitting some of the parts.
You can, no doubt, find some one in Leipzig to show you how this can be
managed with a smaller number, although I should regret if it were not to
appear engraved exactly as it is written.
You must forgive the numerous corrections in the works I send; my old
copyist no longer sees distinctly, and the younger one has yet to be
trained, but at all events there are no errors left.
It is impossible for me to comply at once with your request for a stringed
and a pianoforte quartet, but if you will write to me fixing the time you
wish to have both works, I will do what I can to complete them. I must,
however, apprise you that I cannot accept less than 50 ducats for a
stringed quartet, and 70 for a pianoforte one, without incurring loss;
indeed, I have repeatedly been offered more than 50 ducats for a violin
quartet. I am, however, always unwilling to ask more than necessary, so I
adhere to the sum of 50 ducats, which is, in fact, nowadays the usual
The other commission is indeed an uncommon one, and I, of course, accept
it, only I must beg you to let me know soon when it is required; otherwise,
willing as I am to give you the preference, I might find it almost
impossible to do so. You know I wrote to you formerly that quartets were
precisely what had risen most in value, which makes me feel positively
ashamed when I have to ask a price for a _really great work_. Still, such
is my position that it obliges me to secure every possible advantage. It is
very different, however, with the work itself; when I never, thank God,
think of _profit_, but solely of _how I write it_. It so happens that two
others besides yourself wish to have a mass of mine, and I am quite
disposed to write at least three. The first has long been finished, the
second not yet so, and the third not even begun. But in reference to
yourself, I must have a certainty, that I may in any event be secure.
More of this next time I write; do not remit the money, at any rate till
you hear from me that the work is ready to be sent off.
I must now conclude. I hope your distress is, by this time, in some degree
Vienna, March 25, 1823.
I avail myself of the present opportunity to send you my best wishes. The
bearer of this asked me to recommend her to you; her name is Cornega; she
has a fine _mezzo soprano_, and is a very artistic singer, and has,
moreover, been favorably received in several operas.
I have also specially considered your proposals about your Academy for
Singing. If the Mass is ever published, I will send you a copy free of all
charge. There is no doubt that it might be almost entirely executed _a la
capella_; in which case, however, the work would have to be arranged
accordingly; perhaps you have patience to do this. Besides, there is
already a movement in the work quite _a la capella_, and that style may be
specially termed the true church style. Thanks for your wish to be of
service to me, but never would I accept anything whatever from so highly
esteemed an artist as yourself. I honor you, and only wish I could have an
opportunity to prove this by my actions.
I am, with high consideration,
Your friend and servant,
TO HIS IMPERIAL HIGHNESS THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
The Spring of 1823.
YOUR IMPERIAL HIGHNESS,--
It must still be some days before I can wait on you again, as I am in the
greatest hurry to send off the works that I named to your R.H. yesterday,
for if they are not punctually dispatched, I might lose all profit. Your
R.H. can easily understand how much time is occupied in getting copies
made, and looking through every part; indeed, it would not be easy to find
a more troublesome task. Your R.H. will, I am sure, gladly dispense with my
detailing all the toil caused by this kind of thing, but I am compelled to
allude to it candidly, though only in so far as is absolutely necessary to
prevent your R.H. being misled with regard to me, knowing, alas! only too
well what efforts are made to _prejudice your R.H. against_ me. But time
will prove that I have been in all respects most faithful and attached to
your R.H., and if my position were only as great as my zeal to serve your
R.H., no happier man than myself would exist.
I am your R.H.'s faithful and obedient servant,
_Imprimis._--Papageno, not a word of what I said about Prussia. No reliance
is to be placed on it; Martin Luther's table-talk alone can be compared to
it. I earnestly beg my brother also not to remove the padlock from his
lips, and not to allow anything to transpire beyond the
_Finis._--Inquire of that arch-churl Diabelli when the French copy of the
Sonata in C minor [Op. 111] is to be published. I stipulated to have five
copies for myself, one of which is to be on fine paper, for the Cardinal
[the Archduke Rudolph]. If he attempts any of his usual impertinence on
this subject, I will sing him in person a bass aria in his warehouse which
shall cause it and all the street (Graben) to ring!
[Footnote 1: Schindler relates: "The royal decision (to subscribe for a
copy of the mass) was brought to Beethoven by the Chancellor of the
Embassy, Hofrath Wernhard. Whether Prince Hatzfeld [the Ambassador] made
the following offer from his own impulse, or in consequence of a commission
from Berlin, is not known. At all events, the Hofrath put this question in
the name of the prince to the great composer, 'Whether he would be disposed
to prefer a royal order to the fifty ducats' [the sum demanded for the
mass]. Beethoven replied at once, 'The fifty ducats.' Scarcely had the
Chancellor left the room when Beethoven, in considerable excitement,
indulged in all kinds of sarcastic remarks on the manner in which many of
his contemporaries hunted after orders and decorations, these being in his
estimation generally gained at the cost of the sanctity of art."]
[Footnote 2: Schindler relates that Diabelli had refused to let Beethoven
again have the MS. of the Sonata, which he had repeatedly sent for when in
the hands of the engraver, in order to correct and improve it. Diabelli
therefore coolly submitted to all this abuse of the enraged composer, and
wrote to him that he would note down the threatened bass aria, and publish
it, but would give him the usual gratuity for it, and that Beethoven had
better come to see him. On this Beethoven said no more. This Sonata is
dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph, and is also published by Schlesinger.]
TO F. RIES,--LONDON.
Vienna, April 25, 1823.
The Cardinal's stay here of a month robbed me of a great deal of time,
being obliged to give him daily lessons of two or three hours each; and
after such lessons I was scarcely able next day to think, far less to
write. My continued melancholy situation compels me, however, to write
immediately what will bring me in sufficient money for present use. What a
sad revelation is this! I am, besides, far from well, owing to my many
troubles,--weak eyes among others.
But do not be uneasy, you shall shortly receive the Symphony; really and
truly, my distressing condition is alone to blame for the delay. In the
course of a few weeks you shall have thirty-three new variations on a theme
[Valse, Op. 120] dedicated to your wife.
Bauer [First Secretary to the Austrian Embassy] has the score of the
"Battle of Vittoria," which was dedicated to the then Prince Regent, and
for which I have still to receive the costs of copying. I do beg you, my
dear friend, to remit me as soon as possible anything you can get for it.
With regard to your tender conjugal discussion, you will always find an
opponent in me,--that is, not so much an opponent of yours as a partisan of
your wife's. I remain, as ever, your friend,
TO HERR LISSNER,--PETERSBURG.
Vienna, May 7, 1823.
Herr v. Schuppanzigh assured me, when he was here, that you were anxious to
acquire some of my productions for your house. Perhaps the following works
might suit your purpose, namely: six _bagatelles_ for pianoforte, 20 gold
ducats; thirty-five variations on a favorite theme for pianoforte, forming
one entire work, 30 gold ducats; two grand airs with chorus, the poetry by
Goethe and Matthisson, which can be sung either with instrumental or
pianoforte accompaniment, 12 gold ducats.
I request an answer as soon as possible, for others also wish to have my
I am, sir, your obedient
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN.
You must hunt out from Schlemmer [the copyist] what is still wanting in the
"Kyrie;" show him the postscript, and so, _satis_, no more of such a
wretch! Farewell! arrange everything; I am to bind up my eyes at night, and
to spare them as much as possible; otherwise, says Smetana, I shall write
little more music in the time to come.
[Footnote 1: "We arrived at Hetzendorf on May 17" is written by Carl in
Beethoven's note-book of 1823; and on this note is written, in the
"scamp's" hand, Hetzendorf, 1823.]
[Footnote 2: "By the word 'Samothracian,' Beethoven alludes to the
Samothracian Mysteries, partly grounded on music. Their mutual
participation in the Beethoven Mysteries is intended to be thus indicated.
Among the initiated were also Brunswick, Lichnowsky, and Zmeskall." [From a
note of Schindler's on the subject.]]
Hetzendorf, 1823 (?).
Pray, forward the packet to-day, and inquire this afternoon, if possible,
about the housekeeper in the Glockengasse, No. 318, 3d Etage. She is a
widow, understands cookery, and is willing to serve merely for board and
lodging, to which, of course, I cannot consent, or only under certain
conditions. My present one is too shameful. I cannot invite you here, but
be assured of my gratitude.
I enclose the letter to Herr v. Obreskow [Charge d'Affaires of the Russian
Legation]; as soon as I receive the money, I will immediately send you 50
florins for your trouble. Not a word more than what is absolutely
I have advertised your house. You can mention, merely as a casual remark at
the right moment, that France also remitted the money to you.
Never forget that such persons represent Majesty itself.
[Footnote 1: Louis VIII. sent a gold medal for his subscription copy of the
Mass on February 20, 1824.]
I beg you will kindly write out the enclosed invitation neatly for me on
the paper I send you, for Carl has too much to do. I wish to dispatch it
early on Wednesday. I want to know where Grillparzer lives; perhaps I may
pay him a visit myself. You must have a little patience about the 50
florins; as yet it is impossible for me to send them, for which you are as
much to blame as I am.
[Footnote 1: It is well known that in the winter of 1822-23 Beethoven was
engaged in the composition of an opera for the Royal Theatre; for which
purpose Grillparzer had given him his _Melusina_.]
I send K.'s [Kanne's] book [libretto]. Except the first act, which is
rather insipid, it is written in such a masterly style that it does not by
any means require a first-rate composer. I will not say that on this very
account it would be the more suitable for me; still, if I can get rid of
previous engagements, who knows what may or will happen! Please acknowledge
the receipt of this.
I wish to know about Esterhazy, and also about the post. A letter-carrier
from the Mauer [a place near Hetzendorf] was here; I only hope the message
has been properly delivered. Nothing as yet from Dresden [see No. 330]. I
mean to ask you to dine with me a few days hence, for I still suffer from
my weak eyes; to-day, however, for the first time, they seem to improve,
but I scarcely dare make any use of them as yet.
P.S. As for the Tokay, it is better adapted for _summer_ than for
_autumn_, and also for some fiddler who could _respond_ to its noble fire,
and yet _stand firm as a rock_.
[Footnote 1: A musical friend had sent the _maestro_ six bottles of genuine
Tokay, expressing his wish that it might tend to restore his strength.
Schindler, he says, wrote to Beethoven at Hetzendorf, to tell him of this,
and received the above answer, and the order through "Frau Schnaps" to do
as he pleased with the wine. He sent one bottle of it to Hetzendorf, but
Beethoven at that time had inflamed eyes.]
I cannot at present accept these tempting invitations [from Sonntag and
Unger]; so far as my weak eyes permit, I am very busy, and when it is fine,
I go out. I will myself thank these two fair ladies for their amiability.
No tidings from Dresden. I shall wait till the end of this month, and then
apply to a lawyer in Dresden. I will write about Schoberlechner to-morrow.
June 18, 1823.
You ought to have perfectly well known that I would have nothing to do with
the affair in question. With regard to my being "liberal," I think I have
shown you that I am so on principle; indeed, I suspect you must have
observed that I even have gone _beyond_ these principles. _Sapienti
[Footnote 1: Franz Schoberlechner, pianist in Vienna, wrote to Beethoven on
June 25, 1823, to ask him for letters of introduction to Leipzig, Dresden,
Berlin, and Russia, etc. The _maestro_, however, wrote across the letter,
"An active fellow requires no other recommendation than from one
respectable family to another," and gave it back to Schindler, who showed
it to Schoberlechner, and no doubt at his desire urged Beethoven to comply
with his request. Beethoven, however, did not know Schoberlechner, and had
no very high opinion of him, as he played chiefly _bravura_ pieces, and,
besides, on the bills of his concerts, he pompously paraded all his titles,
decorations, and as member of various societies, which gave ample subject
for many a sarcastic remark on the part of Beethoven.]
TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH.
Vienna, June 1, 1823.
I have been always ailing since Y.R.H. left this, and latterly afflicted by
severe inflammation of the eyes, which has now in so far subsided that for
the last eight days I have been able once more to use my sight, though very
sparingly. Y.R.H. will perceive from the enclosed receipt of June 27, the
dispatch of some music. As Y.R.H. seemed to take pleasure in the C minor
Sonata, I thought I did not take too much on myself by surprising Y.R.H.
with the dedication. The Variations have been written out for at least
five or six weeks past, but the state of my eyes did not permit me to
revise them thoroughly myself. My hope of being entirely restored proved
vain. At last I made Schlemmer look them over, so, though they may not look
very neat, still they are correct. The C minor Sonata was engraved in Paris
in a very faulty manner, and being engraved here from that copy, I tried to
make it as correct as possible. I intend shortly to send you a beautifully
engraved copy of the Variations. With regard to the Mass that Y.R.H.
wished should be more generally known, my continued bad health for some
years past, causing me to incur heavy debts, and compelling me to give up
my intention of going to England, induced me to ponder on some mode of
improving my condition. This Mass seemed well adapted to my purpose. I was
advised to offer it to different courts. Painful as this was to me, I felt
that I should have cause for self-reproach if I neglected doing so. I
therefore applied to various courts to subscribe to the Mass, fixing the
price at fifty ducats; the general opinion being that this was not too
much, and if there were a good many subscribers, the scheme would not be
unprofitable. Hitherto the subscription is indeed flattering to me, as
their Majesties of France and Prussia have each taken a copy. I also
received a letter from my friend Prince Nicolaus Gallizin a few days ago,
from Petersburg, in which this most amiable Prince mentions that H.M. the
Emperor of Russia had become a subscriber, and that I should soon hear
further on the subject from the Imperial Russian Embassy. Notwithstanding
all this (and though there are some other subscribers), I have not yet
realized as much as the sum a publisher offered me for it; the only
advantage being that the work remains _mine_. The costs of copying are also
great, and further increased by three new pieces being added, which, as
soon as they are completed, I will send to Y.R.H. Perhaps you would not
think it too much trouble to apply to H.R.H. the Grand Duke of Tuscany to
take a copy of this Mass. The application was indeed made some time ago to
the Grand Duke of Tuscany through the agent here, V. Odelga, who faithfully
assured me that the proposal would be graciously accepted. I place no great
faith, however, in this, as some months have elapsed, and no notice has
been again taken of the application. As the affair is now set agoing, it is
but natural that I should do all I can to attain my desired object. The
undertaking was from the first disagreeable to me, and still more so to
mention it to Y.R.H., or to allude to it at all, but "_necessity has no
law_." I only feel grateful to Him who dwells above the stars that I now
begin once more to be able to use my eyes. I am at present writing a new
symphony for England, bespoken by the Philharmonic Society, and hope it
will be quite finished fourteen days hence. I cannot strain my eyes as yet
long at a time; I beg therefore Y.R.H.'s indulgence with regard to your
Variations, which appear to me very charming, but still require closer
revision on my part. Y.R.H. has only to persevere, especially to accustom
yourself to write down your ideas at once at the piano, quickly and
briefly. For this purpose a small table ought to be placed close beside the
piano. By this means not only is the imagination strengthened; but you
learn instantly to hold fast the most fugitive ideas. It is equally
necessary to be able to write without any piano; and sometimes a simple
choral melody, to be carried out in simple or varied phrases, in
counterpoint, or in a free manner, will certainly entail no headache on
Y.R.H., but rather, in finding yourself thus right amid the centre of art,
cause you very great pleasure. The faculty of representing precisely what
we wish and feel comes by degrees; an essential _desideratum_ for a
noble-minded man. My eyes warn me to conclude. With every kind and good
wish for Y.R.H., I remain, &c., &c.
If Y.R.H. should confer the happiness of a letter on me, I beg you will
address to me at Vienna, for I shall receive all my letters here safely
forwarded by the post from there. If agreeable to Y.R.H., I would beg you
to recommend the Mass to Prince Anton in Dresden, so that the King of
Saxony may subscribe to it, which he will, no doubt, do if Y.R.H. shows any
interest in the matter. As soon as I know that you have actually done me
this favor, I will forthwith apply to the General-Director there of the
Royal Theatre and of Music, whose office it is to arrange these things, and
send him a request to procure a subscription from the King of Saxony, which
I am reluctant to do without a recommendation from Y.R.H.
My opera, "Fidelio," was performed with much applause in Dresden at the
festivities there in honor of the visit of the King of Bavaria, when their
Majesties were all present. I received this intelligence from the
above-named director-general, who asked me for the score through Weber, and
afterwards sent me really a very handsome present in return. I hope Y.R.H.
will excuse my intruding such a request on you, but Y.R.H. knows that I am
not usually importunate. Should, however, the slightest obstacle arise to
render my request disagreeable to you, I shall not be the less convinced of
your generosity and kindness. Neither avarice, nor the love of speculation,
which I have always avoided, prompted this scheme; but necessity compels me
to use every effort to rescue my self from my present condition. Candor is
best, for it will prevent my being too hardly judged. Owing to constant ill
health, which has prevented my writing as usual, I have incurred a debt of
200 to 300 florins C.M., which can only be discharged by vigorous
exertions on my part. If my subscription succeeds better than it has
hitherto done, it will be an effectual help, and if my health improves, of
which there is every hope, I shall be able once more to resume my
compositions with fresh energy. In the mean time I trust Y.R.H. will not be
offended by my candor. Had it not been the fear of being accused of not
sufficiently _bestirring_ myself, I would have persevered in my usual
silence. As to the recommendation, I am at all events convinced that Y.R.H.
is always glad to effect good results for others when _possible_, and that
you are not likely to make any exception in my case.
[Footnote 1: This Sonata, Op. 111, dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph, was
composed in 1822, and published by Schlesinger in the beginning of 1823.]
[Footnote 2: These _Variations_ are, no doubt, the 33 C major Variations
for pianoforte, Op. 120, on a waltz of Diabelli's, dedicated to Madame
Brentano, composed in 1823, and published in the June of the same year.]
[Footnote 3: The Grand Mass in D.]
[Footnote 4: The symphony which Beethoven declared he had completed in
fourteen days was the 9th in D minor, composed in 1822 or 1823, first
performed on the 7th May, and published in 1826.]
[Footnote 5: The Archduke's Variations alluded to by Beethoven are not
published or now known.]
[Footnote 6: In a letter from the Archduke Rudolph of July 31, 1823, he
says, "My brother-in-law, Prince Anton, has written to me that the King of
Saxony is expecting your beautiful Mass."]
[Footnote 7: The director-general of the musical Court band and opera in
Dresden (1823) was Von Koenneritz.]
[Footnote 8: This debt of 200 to 300 florins had only been incurred by
Beethoven in order not to sell out his shares in the Austrian Loan; he was
in no need.]
Hetzendorf, July 1, 1823.
I am myself writing to Wocher [cabinet courier to Prince Esterhazy? No.
333], and for more speed I send by Carl, who chances to be driving in, the
application to Prince E. Be so good as to inquire the result; I doubt its
being favorable, not expecting much kindly feeling on his part towards me,
judging from former days. I believe that female influence alone ensures
success with him in such matters; at all events, I now know, by your
obliging inquiries, how I can safely write to this Scholz. The bad weather,
and more especially the bad atmosphere, prevented my paying her [Countess
Schafgotsch] a visit about this affair.
P.S. Nothing yet from Dresden! Schlemmer [the copyist] has just been here
asking again for money. I have now advanced him 70 Gulden. Speculations are
for commercial men, and not for poor devils like myself. Hitherto the sole
fruit of this unlucky speculation [a subscription for his Mass] are only
more debts. You have, no doubt, seen that the "Gloria" is completed. If my
eyes were only strong again, so that I could resume my writing, I should do
well enough. [Written on the cover:] Are the Variations [Op. 120] sent off
yet to London? N.B.--So far as I can remember, it was not mentioned in the
application to Prince Esterhazy that the Mass was to be delivered in
manuscript only. What mischief may ensue from this! I suspect that such was
the intention of Herr Artaria in proposing to present the Mass _gratis_ to
the Prince, as it would give Artaria an opportunity for the third time to
steal one of my works. Wocher's attention must be called to this.
Of course, there is nothing obligatory on Papageno in the matter.
[Footnote 1: Beethoven wrote the Mass in C for him in the year 1807, which
was by no means satisfactory to the prince when performed at Eisenstadt in
the year following, and conducted by Beethoven himself.]
[Footnote 2: Scholz, music director at Warmbrunn in Silesia, had written a
German text for the Mass in C. Beethoven also wished to have from him a
German translation from the Latin words adapted to the music of the Grand
Mass. Schindler says, that the words "prevented my visiting her" refer to
Countess Schafgotsch, whom Beethoven wished to see on account of Scholz,
who unhappily died in the ensuing year. His text, however, is given in the
TO PILAT, EDITOR OF THE "AUSTRIAN OBSERVER."
I shall feel highly honored if you will be so good as to mention in your
esteemed journal my nomination as an honorary member of the Royal Swedish
Musical Academy. Although neither vain nor ambitious, still I consider it
advisable not wholly to pass over such an occurrence, as in practical life
we must live and work for others, who may often eventually benefit by it.
Forgive my intrusion, and let me know if I can in any way serve you in
return, which it would give me much pleasure to do.
I am, sir, with high consideration,
Hetzendorf, July, 1823.
MOST WORTHY RAGAMUFFIN OF EPIRUS AND BRUNDUSIUM!--
Give this letter to the editor of the "Observer," but write the address on
it first; ask him at the same time whether his daughter makes great
progress on the piano, and if I can be of any use to her by sending her a
copy of one of my compositions. I wrote that I was an "_honorary_ member;"
I don't know, however, whether this is correct; perhaps I ought to have
said, "a corresponding member;" neither knowing nor caring much about such
things. You had also better say something on the subject to _Bernardum non
sanctum_ (editor of the "Vienna Zeitschrift"). Make inquiries, too, from
Bernard about that knave Ruprecht; tell him of this queer business, and
find out from him how he can punish the villain. Ask both these
philosophical newspaper scribes whether this may be considered an honorable
or dishonorable nomination.
Master flash in the pan, and wide of the mark! full of reasons, yet devoid