BEETHOVEN'S MISSA SOLEMNIS
CREATION HISTORY
FROM THE FIRST SKETCHES TO THE COMPLETED SCORE



 



Angels Making Music. Around 1510
Matthias Grünewald
from the Isenheim Altar
(Colmar, Alsace, France, Unterlinden Museum)
 

INTRODUCTION

As you can see from the layout of the start page to this section, we are presenting every aspect of the creation of this work on a separate page, so that we now turn to the actual creation history on this page, while we will discuss Beethoven's marketing strategies on various subsequent pages.  Let us therefore, after we discussed the actual occasion for the composition of the Missa solemnis on the previous page, now turn to the first beginnings of Beethoven's work on it.   

 

On the Progress of the Missa solemnis in the Year 1819

Thayer (p. 720) writes that Anton Schindler, in the second edition of his Beethoven biography, ascribed the first beginnings of Beethoven's work on his great mass to the late fall of the year 1818 and that he noted with respect to them that the composer had embarked on it without any invitation or commission, while, in the first edition of his biography, Schindler had ascribed these beginnings to the winter of 1818/1819.  Thayer considers Schindler's report in the first edition of his biography to be more realistic.   

In support of his view, Thayer refers to the first sketchbook containing notes to the Missa (as it was known at the time of the publication of the Thayer-Forbes edition of the Beethoven standard biography in 1964), a sketchbook of the so-called Wittgenstein collection, in which pages 4 - 15 show sketches to the Diabelli Variations and in which the following pages show sketches to the Kyrie of the Missa.    Unger's discussion of this sketchbook that, according to Thayer, goes out from the discussion of the Diabelli Variations and that refers to the earlier contention that work on them had only begun in early 1820, while this sketchbook evidences the beginning of this work to the first months of 1819, since the election of Archduke Rudolph as Archbishop of Olmütz had taken place on June 4, 1819, and since his appointment must have been known a few months before that.   On the basis of this, argues Thayer-Forbes, Unger must have come to the conclusion that Beethoven, in light of the installment of Archduke Rudolph in March, 1820, must have begun working on his mass as soon as possible, probably in the first months of the year 1819.  

In this context it is certainly of interest and of benefit to us to also consult Barry Cooper's remarks (p. 271-272):   

" . . .  Thus his preliminary work on the Missa solemnis, which included writing out the entire Latin text with German translation and annotations, probably began in February, well before the first conversation-book reference from early April, which was once thought to indicate approximately the start of the project.[17: BKH, i. 42; see Winter, 'Riddles', 222-4; Drabkin, Missa solemnis, 11-15.  . . . 

. . . On the other hand Beethoven could not have made much progress on the Mass in February-April before turning to Op. 107 No. 3 and the Diabelli Variations; for the batch of Kyrie sketches in the Wittgenstein Sketchbook, immediately after the Diabelli sketches and therefore dating from about June, while showing recognizable material for the 'Kyrie eleison', contains extremely primitive sketches for the 'Christe' in which only the key--not even the metre--has been established (Ex. 15.3).  Surprisingly, however, there are virtually no further sketches for this movement.  Some writers have conjectured that Beethoven simply did not make many, but it seems inconceivable that he would have created such a sizeable, original and sophisticated movement without very extensive sketches; to do so would have run counter to all his normal procedures.  Most likely the remaining Kyrie sketches were made mainly in pocket books now lost.  The few in 'Wittgenstein' are followed by many pages devoted to the Gloria, and the Mass then remained his principal compositional preoccupation for the rest of the year" (Cooper: 271-272).

The determination of the time frame in which Beethoven had begun with his work on the Missa solemnis also allows us to take a look at his life circumstances during that time: 

-   On February 1, 1819, Beethoven submitted his plans for the education of his nephew Karl to the Viennese Magistrate; 

-   Antonie Brentano's February 22, 1819, letter to Johann Michael Sailer gives us a very lively impression of Beethoven's attempts at finding an alternate choice for Karl's education: 


Antonie Brentano an Johann Michael Sailer[1] in Landshut

                                                                                           Frankfurt den 22ten Feb. 1819.

Lieber lieblicher Freund!

    Möge es Sie nicht unangenehm befremden, daß ich Sie schon wieder mit einem Briefe belästige, aber als Vermittler gewählt Sie um eine Gefälligkeit, ja um ein Gutes Werk anzusprechen, wahr denn es handelt sich um die Wohlfahrt, ja ich glaube sogar um die Rettung eines Menschen, daher zögere ich nicht mit allen Vetrauen das Sie so herzlich einflößen, zu Rath und That Sie aufzufordern.

    Wien, meine herrlich liebe Vaterstadt, voll großer Vorzüge & hat doch, zum Theil als sehr große ins aeußere Leben lockende Stadt, zum Theil besonders jezt, bey großer Unsicherheit pecuniairer Verhältniße, und den daraus entspringenden unabsehbaren schlechten Folgen für Moralität durch alle Klassen, den großen Nachteil höchst erschwerter Möglichkeit, ja fast Unmöglichkeit der zweckmäßigen Erziehung eines gewöhnlichen Knabens, gesteigerter Beschwerde bey einen in unseeligen Constellationen gebohrnen wie jenen, dessen Rettung durch Entfernung zu bezwecken wäre.  Einziger feuriger 11 bis 12jähriger Sohn[2] unbemittelter Aeltern, dessen Vater[3] todt, dessen Mutter[4] öffentlich als Diebinn und tief gesunkenes Wesen voll intriguen und den gemeinsten Lebens Verkettungen, ihrer Mutterrechte durch die Gerichte entsezt, ist dieser, mir als sehr talentvoller von großen Anlagen mit Leichtigkeit zum Lernen mir geschilderter Knabe, bey einen unbeschreiblichen Leichtsinn, seit seines Vaters Tode der vor 3 Jahren erfolgte der Fürsorge des Oheims, Vaters Bruder anheim gestellt.  Dieser große vortreffliche Mensch, dessen Nahmen ich Ihnen hier beylege, als Mensch noch größer als als Künstler, läßt es die größte Angelegenheit seines Lebens sein den Umständen das möglichste abzugewinnen, aber bey seinen weichen Herzen, glühenden Gemüthe, fehlervollen Gehör, bey seinen groß erfüllten Künstler Berufe, und den wenig reinen Hülfsmitteln die dem Erzieher dort zu Gebothe stehn, bey der Vereinzlung des Knabens im Hauße des Oncle und der Unvollkommenheit der öffentlichen Anstalten, bey den ewig regen gefährlichen Intriguen Geist der Mutter & & kommt bis jezt nicht einmahl ein erträgliches Stückwerk heraus, und er wünscht diesen talentvollen leichtsinnigen Knaben nach einer katholischen, nicht zu kostspieligen Universität zu schicken, wo nebst dem unsichtbaren Schuzgeist ihm noch ein sichtbarer, für seine Rettung und Erhaltung liebreich besorgter, beygegeben wäre, der Himmel hat ihm Landshut eingegeben,[5] und da er durch eine meiner Verwandten erfahren hat daß ich so glücklich bin Sie persönlich zu kennen, Sie den er schon lange im Geiste verehrt, hat er sehr eifrig gewünscht daß ich Ihnen die Sache vorstelle; anfrage ob Heil dort für den Knaben sey, ob er, der in der 3ten Schule sey, dort bey fortgesezten Studien auch Zeichnen und französisch lernen könne, und wie hoch sich die Kosten des Aufenthalts eines solchen Studenen belaufen könnten.

    Da Sie lieber Sailer recht gut wissen wie es jedem Menschen zu Muthe ist, so wissen Sie auch recht gut was Sie jenem der mit so warmen Willen, so herzlichen Vertrauen, und ihm so nöthigen Erwartungen wie dieser B. anfrägt, zu antworten haben,[6] er ist natürlich, einfach, und weise, rein wohlwollend, und die schönste und sicherste Annäherung ist wenn Sie ihm schreiben wie er es verdient, nemlich als ob Sie ihn schon lange kennten, den Sänger frommer Lieder.  Am kürzesten geht der Brief directe, er hofft darauf, weil ich ihn ihm verheißen ließ, da sich das liebreiche von Ihnen voraus sagen läßt. 

. .  .

Ihre ergebene

                                                                                                      Winkler Hausfrau.

Antonie Brentano to Johann Michael Sailer[1] in Landshut

                                                                                           Frankfurt, the 22nd of Feb. 1819.

Dear, lovely friend,

    May you not be affected unpleasantly by my burdening you with yet another letter, however, since I have been chosen as a mediator I am asking you for a favor, nay, for a good deed, since it truly concerns the welfare, I believe, even the salvation, of a human being, and therefore I do not hesitate to address you in all confidence, you, who so sincerely inspires me with it, in order to obtain your advice and to ask for your assistance.   

    Vienna, my wonderful, dear native city, full of great advantages, still has, partly as a large city that entices its inhabitants and visitors to lead a superficial life, partly and particularly now in a time of great pecuniary uncertainty, and due to the unforeseeable consequences for the morality of all classes, the great disadvantage of the great difficulty, nay, even impossibility,  of the implementation of an adequate education for a common boy who is encumbered by having been born into unfortunate circumstances, whose salvation could be achieved by his removal from there.  The only, fiery, 11 to 12-year-old son(2) of parents without means, whose father[3] is dead, whose mother[4], as a publicly known thief and as a creature who has sunken very low, full of intrigues and embroiled in the most common entanglements of life, deprived by the courts of her right to the guardianship of her son, this is the boy who has been described to me as talented, endowed with great talent and a facility for studying, yet also endowed with an indescribable carelessness, who, for the last three years, has been entrusted to the guardianship of his uncle, the brother of his father.   This great, excellent man, whose name I enclose herewith, who, as a man, is even greater than as an artist,  allows this, his most important task of his life, to be accorded the greatest possible attention and care under the circumstances, yet, with his soft heart, his fiery mind, his fault hearing, with his great calling as an artist, and with the little, pure help that a guardian has at his disposal there, with the solitude of the boy in the house of his uncle and with the imperfection of the public educational facilities, with the constantly active mind of his mother who is set on scheming plots and intrigues, thus far, the result has only been barely sufferable patchwork, so that he wishes to send this talented, yet careless boy to a catholic, not too expensive university, where, in addition to an invisible guardian angel, he would also have a visible one who would be lovingly concerned with his safety and education, heaven has put Landshut into his mind,[5] and since, from one of my relatives, he has learned that I have the fortune of knowing you personally, you, whom he has already revered in his mind, for a long time, it has become his fervent wish that I should present his case to you and enquire if there might be salvation found for the boy, there and if he, who is in the third class (translator's note: of secondary school), could continue his studies there and also add courses in drawing and French, and what costs would arise for such a student. 

    Since You, dear Sailer know very well how men feel, yet also what you can say to him, B., who is enquiring with such a fervent desire, with such a sincere trust, considering his necessary expectations,[6], he is natural, simple and wise, purely well-meaning, and the most beautiful and secure approach would be if you were to write him as he deserves it, namely, as if you had known him, for a long time, the singer of pious songs.  The fastest way would be to send the letter directly, since I let him know that the gracious and kind can be predicted from you.    

. .  .

Your devoted

                                                                                                      Winkel Housewife.

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No. 1289, p. 241-243]

[Original:  Bischöfliches Zentralarchiv Regensburg; to [1]: refers to Johann Michael Sailer [1751-1832], a Catholic theologian, professor of moral and pastoral theology in Landshut since 1800, and from 1821 on, chapter head of the Regensburg cathedral, where he was subsequently appointed as Bishop; in general, Sailer had been a very well-known theologian in German, from 1817 on who, by the Catholic church in Vienna, was accused of liberalism, mysticism and a moving away from the church and its norms.  As the GA reports, the Viennese Redemptorist Klemens Hofbauer (for more information, see: Blessed Clement Mary Hofbauer (Catholic Encyclopedia)) spoke out against Sailer (for more information, see: Johann Michael Sailer (Catholic Encyclopedia)) and considered his possible appointment as bishop in Austria for dangerous; to [2]: refers to Beethoven's nephew Karl; to [3]: refers to Caspar Karl van Beethoven; to [4]: refers to Johanna van Beethoven; to [5]: refers to the fact that, according to the GA, plans for the education of Karl outside of Vienna had first been considered and discussed by Beethoven in the fall of 1818, when he had to recognize that the education of Karl by a private teacher was inadequate;  moreover, as the GA reports, Beethoven intended to remove Karl completely from the influence of his mother; as to when Beethoven had enlisted the help of Antonie Brentano, can not be ascertained, as the GA holds; to [6]: refers to the fact that Sailer's reply has not been preserved.  However, as the GA reports, from a letter of the Viennese Magistrate to the Viennese Head of Police, the "Stadthauptmann", of May 7, 1819, it can be seen that Sailer had actually contacted Beethoven and assured him of his acceptance of Karl at a reasonable fee; details taken from p. 242-243]. 

-   Since the above-noted GA notes provide some information on Beethoven's indirect contact with Johann Michael Sailer, we might, perhaps, wish to take a look at Lewis Lockwoods lenghty, interesting comment on Sailer:  

"During the same year in which he began work on the Missa solemnis he was in touch with the orator and theologian Johann Michael Sailer, a prominent figure in the anti-establishment wing of German Catholicism.  Sailer, an ex-Jesuit, spent the years from 1799 to 1821 as teacher in the university of Landshut in Bavaria, going on from there to the important German Catholic post at Regensburg in 1821 where he became bishop in 1829.  Rejecting the more orthodox official frameworks of Catholicism, Sailer insisted on the primacy of the individual believer's interior experience of faith and spirituality.  He distinguished three forms of religiosity:   first, mechanical, literal observance, which he thought was no better than heresy; second, a scholastic mode, that was almost entirely conceptual in nature; and third, a highly personal spirituality, through which alone an individual could approach the inner world of religious feeling and meaning.[6]

    As a ninteenth-century commentator on Sailer expressed it,

The basic experience of modern man, since he began to stretch his awareness, beginning in the middle of the century of the Enlightenment and even in Catholic southern Germany, was the conviction that human dignity was incompatible with the [individual's] remaining a passive and mechanical element in the larger traditional scheme of relationships . . . [W]hat counted was to realize the inalienable right and reasonable duty of personal freedom.  A man who is conscious of his own personal worth can only accept as true and as real that part of the traditional body of belief that he has made his own, either through the workings of his own mind or by the most inward feeling [durch innerste Empfindung.] Everything else is dangerous heresy, empty literal orthodoxy.[7]" (Lockwood: 403-405).

Also here, we can observe that the line between Beethoven's life and work becomes blurred when we consider that he wanted to entrust the care of his nephew to a theologian whose religious views he shared, views that might also have had an influence on his outlook on his composition of the Missa solemnis.  

-   We already discussed Beethoven's letter of March 3rd to Archduke Rudolph on the last page of this section.  Returning here to his guardianship conflicts, with respect to the events of this month it should be noted that von Tuscher was appointed as Karl's guardian at the end of March, after Beethoven had been advised that he should be prudent enough to step back from this appointment, for the time being.  

-   While Beethoven, as Thayer reports, went to Mödling on May 12th, for the summer, his nephew Karl stayed at  Blöchlinger's Institute.  However, von Tucher's guardianship over Karl should not last long, since already on July 5, he applied to the Viennese Magistrate to be freed from this obligation.  

-   With respect to Beethoven's life circumstances during his stay at Mödling we have several, partially anecdotal, details at our disposal.  Let us first take a look at the following report by Thayer:  

"In 1810 Adolf Martin Schlesinger had opened his own book store in Berlin.  Starting with a music lending library, he soon developed what was to be Berlin's first music publishing house.  A few years later his son, Moritz, followed in his father's footsteps and opened a music publishing house in Paris.  Father and son worked closely together and often published simultaneously.  The Schlesingers were intelligent enough to cultivate Beethoven's friendship and eventually they were to be rewarded with the publication of, among other things, his last three pianoforte sonatas and the string quartets, Op. 132 and Op. 135[30]  In 1819 the father sent Moritz to Vienna to become acquainted with Beethoven. According to young Schlesinger's reminiscences written forty years later,[31: For the second edition of A.B. Marz's Ludwig van Beethoven Leben und Schaffen, 1863. (Unger, op. cit., pp. 25-6]] he was first introduced to the composer by Haslinger in the Steiner shop in Vienna, and Beethoven asked him to visit him in Mödling,[32: Schlesinger writes "Baden" but this is obviously wrong for the year 1819] which happened a few days later.

"After getting out of the wagon I went to the inn and found Beethoven there, who came out of the door in a fury and slammed it hard behind him.  After I had dusted off a bit I went to the house which was designated as his dwelling.  His housekeeper told me that it would be better not to speak to him as he had returned home in a rage.  I gave her my visiting card which she brought to him, and after a few minutes to my great astonishment she came out again and bade me enter.  Inside I found the great man at his writing desk.  Immediately I wrote that I was glade to make his acquaintance.  This (the fact that I wrote) made a favorable impression.  He let himself go immediately and told me that he was the most miserable man in the world; a minute ago he came out of the inn where he had asked for a piece of veal which he especially desired; but there was none there--all this with a very serious and dark expression.  I comforted him; we spoke (I always writing) of other things and so he detained me for two hours; then feeling that I would tire or upset him I wanted often to get up but he always held me back.  After leaving him I hurried back to Vienna in my wagon and asked the inn boy if there was any roast veal available.  Upon finding where was I left it on the platter, well covered up, and, without writing a word, I gave it to the man waiting with the carriage to take to Baden [Mödling] and present it to Beethoven in my name.  One morning soon afterwards I was still lying in bed when in came Beethoven, who kissed and embraced me and said I was the best fellow he had ever met; never had anything made him so happy as this veal for which at that moment he had had such a longing" (Thayer: 734).

-   A renewed, potential blurring of the lines between Beethoven's life circumstances and his compositional work found expression in his July 29, 1819, letter to Archduke Rudolph:  

 Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph in Baden

                                                                                         [Mödling, 29. Juli 1819]

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit!

    Schon mit leidwesen empfieng ich die Nachricht von einer neuen Unpäßlichkeit I.K.H, da ich aber weiter keine bestimmten Nachrichten habe so beunruhige ich mich sehr -- ich war in Vien, um aus der Bibliothek I.K.H. das mir tauglichste aus zusuchen,[1] die Hauptabsicht ist das geschwinde Treffen +u. mit der bessern Kunstvereinigung, wobey aber practische Absichten ausnahmen machen können--+ <worin>wofür <die>unß die Alten zwar doppelt Dienen, indem meistens Reeler Kunstwerth, (Genie hat doch nur unter ihnen der Deutsche Händel u. Seb. Bach gehabt.) allein Freyheit, weiter gehn ist in der Kunstwelt, wie in der ganzen großen schópfung, zweck, u. sind wir neueren noch nicht ganz so weit, als unsere altvordern in Festigkeit, So hat doch die verfeinerung unsrer Sitten auch manches erweitert, meinem erhabnen Musik Zögling, se[l]bst nun schon mitstreiter um die Lorbeern des ruhms, darf Einseitigkeit nicht vorwurf werden, et iterum venturus judicare Vivos -- et mortuos --

. . . Ich fand einigen Widerstand bey der Aussuchung der Musik in Vien von Sr. Exzellenz dem Hr. Obersthofmeister [5], Es ist nicht der Mühe werth, I.K.H. damit schriftlich beschwerlich zu fallen, nur so viel muß ich sagen, daß durch d.g. mancher talentvolle guter u. edler Mensch sich würde von I.H.H. zurückschrecken laßen, wer nicht das Glück hätte, ihre vorzüglichen Eigenschaften des Geistes u. Herzens in der Nähe kennen zu lernen; -- Baldige baldige Wiederherstellung wünsche ich I.K.H., u. mir einige Nachricht zu meiner Beruhigung --

Ihro Kaiserl. Hoheit Gehorsammster treuster Diener

                                                                                             l.v. Beethoven.

Mödling am 29ten Juli 1819

Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph in Baden

                                                                                         [Mödling, July 29, 1819]

Your Imperial Highness!

    With regret, I received the news of a new indisposition of Y.I.H., however, since I do not have any further news, I am very concerned--I have been to Vienna inorder to select the most suitable material from the Library of Y.I.H.,[1] the main intention is speedy follow-up + and with the better "Kunstvereinigung" (translator's note: in keeping with William Kinderman's contention of not translating this expression directly [see quotation below], we are following suite by merely "quoting" Beethoven's expression], whereby, however, practical intentions may make exceptions--+and whereby [or: wherefor]  the old ones (translator's note: refers to the old masters] serve us doubly, in that, mostly, real artistic worth, (genius, however, can only be found among them with the German Handel and Seb. Bach), alone the freedom to go further is the purpose of art as the purpose of creation, and if we modern ones (meaning: mondern composers, translator's note] are not yet advanced as far in our steadfastness as the old masters had been, the refinement of our customs has expanded on many a thing, my exalted music pupil, himself now already a fighter for the laurels of fame, may not be accussed of one-sidedness, et iterum venturus judicare Vivos -- et mortuos --

. . . I found some resistance in my selection of music in Vienna, on the part of His Excellency, the Herr Obersthofmeister [5], It is not worth to bother Y.I.H. with it, only this much I have to say that on account of such conduct, many a talented, good and novle man could be deterred from seeking contact with Y.I.H. if he has not already had the fortune of getting to know the excellent qualities of your heart and mind, from first experience;--I wish Y.I.H. speedy recovery and myself some news for my consolation-- 

Your Imperial Highness' most obedient, faithful servant 

                                                                                             l.v. Beethoven.

Mödling am 29ten Juli 1819

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe Vol. 4, Letter No. 1318, p. 297-298]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde; to [1]:  according to the GA this might refer to study material Beethoven obtained in connection with the composition of the  Missa solemnis and/or for the compositional instruction of the Archduke; to [5]: refers to Count Ferdinand von Laurencin d'Armont; details taken from p. 298].

In connection with Beethoven's work on the Diabelli Variations, William Kinderman discussed the above letter as follows: 

"Beethoven also assimilates into this comic masterpiece variations embodying his most serious, exalted, or transcendental styles.  Some of these pieces seem to allude to Handel and, especially, to Johann Sebastian Bach, the great artistic predecessors noted by Beethoven in his aforementioned letter to the Archduke Rudolph of 29 July 1819--the letter containing his evocative expression Kunstvereinigung.  In the same document Beethoven mentions his researches in the archduke's music library, work presumably connected with his labours on the Missa solemnis" (Kinderman: 215-216).

- As Thayer (p. 734) reports, in August of this year, in spite of many indispositions (in this regard, Thayer refers to Beethoven's letters to the Archduke of August 15 and 31), Beethoven was intensively working on the Missa solemnis, with occasional 'excursions' into the Ninth Symphony.  Schindler, Thayer continues, has rendered a lively and wretched report on the sometimes most disadvantageous circumstances under which his work progressed:  

"Towards the end of August, accompanied by the musician Johann Horzalka still living in Vienna, I arrived at the master's home in Mödling.  It was 4 o'clock in the afternoon.  As soon as we entered we learned that in the morning both servants had gone away, and that there had been a quarrel after midnight which had disturbed all the neighbors, because as a consequence of a long vigil both had gone to sleep and the food which had been prepared had become unpalatable.  In the living-room, behind a locked door, we heard the master singing parts of the fugue in the Credo--singing, howling, stamping.  After we had been listening for a long time to this almost awful scene, and were about to go away, the door opened and Beethoven stood before us with distorted features, calculated to excite fear.  He looked as if he had been in mortal combat with the whole host of contrapuntists, his everlasting enemies.  His first utterances were confused, as if he had been disagreeably surprised at our having overheard him.  Then he reached the day's happenings and with obvious restraint he remarked:  'Pretty doings, these [Saubere Wirthschaft.], everybody has run away and I haven't had anything to eat since yesternoon!"  I tried to calm him and helped him to make his toilet.  My companion hurried on in advance to the restaurant of the bathing establishment to have something ready for the famished master.  Then he complained about the wretched state of his domestic affairs, but here, for reasons already stated, there was nothing to be done.  Never, it may be said, did so great an artwork as is the Missa Solemnis see its creation under more adverse circumstances!" (Thayer: 734-736). 

-   As Thayer  (p. 734-736)  further reports, this incident certainly happened, while Schindler's memory also played him a trick with respect to the man who was with him during that visit, since F. Luib had alerted Horzalka to this story, while the latter knew nothing about it.  Moreover, Thayer writes, Schindler must have erred with respect to the movement of the Missa, since it can not have been the Credo on which Beethoven worked in August, 1819.    As Thayer writes, Schmidt-Görg ascribed Beethoven's work on the Credo  to November-December of this year.  As Thayer further argues, it might have been that Beethoven worked on the final fugue of the Gloria, "In Gloria Dei Patris". 

Returning to Beethoven's second letter to Archduke Rudolph of August, 1819, we can note here that it has been written on the 30th of August.  In it, Beethoven writes: 

 Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph

                                                                                    [Mödling, 30. August 1819]

   Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit!

     . . . 

    Ich hoffe es wird wohl bald auch mit mir beßer gehen, so vieles übel hat wieder nachtheilig auf meine Gesundheit gewirkt, u. ich befinde mich gar nicht gut, indem ich schon wieder seit einiger Zeit mediziniren muß, wo ich kaum einige Stunden des Tags mich mit dem Theuersten Geschenk des Himmels meiner Kunst u. mit den Musen agbeben kann, ich hoffe jedoch mit der Meße zu stande zu kommen, so, daß selbe am 19ten, falles es dabey bleibt, kann aufgeführt werden, wenigstens würde ich in Verzweiflung gerathen, wenn es mir durch meine übeln Gesundheits-Umstände versagt solle seyn, bis dahin fertig zu seyn,[2] ich hoffe aber, daß meine innigsten wünsche für die Erreichung werden erfüllt werden -- . . . 

. . . -- Gott erhalte I.K.H. u. schütte immer fort das FüllHorn seiner gnaden über I.K.H. heiliges Haupt -- u. mir erhalte Gott immer ihre gnädigen gesinnungen. --

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit gehorsamster treuster Diener

                                                                                               L.v.Beethoven         

Mödling am 30ten <septemb>august. 1819

Meine Kränklichkeit wird meinen Unordentlichen Brief bey I.K.H. entschuldigen.[5]

Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph

                                                                                    [Mödling, 30. August 1819]

   Your Imperial Highness!

     . . . 

    I hope that things will get better with me, too, so much evil has, again, affected my health in a disadvantageous manner, and I am not well, at all, in that, for some time now, I had to take medications and in that I can hardly spend a few hours a day with the most precious gift from heaven, with my art and with the muses, yet I hope that I can complete the mass so that it, if the date remains, can be performed on the 19th, at least, I would be in despair if the evil circumstances of my health would prevent it from being completed by that time,[2] however, I hope that my innermost wishes for its completion will be fulfilled--  . . . 

. . . -- God preserve Y.I.H. and continue to pour out his blessings over the sacred head of Y.I.H.--and may God always preserve your kind consideration of me.-- 

Your Imperial Highness' most obedient faithful servant 

                                                                                               L.v.Beethoven         

Mödling on the 30th of <septemb>august. 1819

My illness will excuse my disorderly letter with Y.I.H.[5]

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No. 1327, p. 312-313].

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde; to [2]: refers to the fact that the Missa solemnis was intended for the instalment of Archduke Rudolph as Bishop of Olmütz. According to the GA, the ceremony took place on March 9, 1820, might, however, have been planned for the 19th of March, while Beethoven was only able to complete the mass during 1822 and while he handed over to the Archduke a carefully written and revised copy on March 19, 1823.  to [5]: refers to this addition on the last page of the letter; details taken from p. 313].                         

                                         

- Letter No. 1331 of the Gesamtausgabe (Vol. 4, p. 316) shows that the Viennese Magistrate took Beethoven's guardianship over his nephew away from Beethoven and that it appointed his mother, Johanna van Beethoven, as legal guardian, with the City Sequestor  Leopold Nußböck as co-guardian.

- In Letter No. 1341 of the Gesamtausgabe, probably written by Beethoven on October 10, 1819, and addressed to Ferdinand Ries in London, Beethoven reports to his former pupil, among other things,  " . . . ich melde Ihnen nur, daß ich eine neue große Meße beinahe vollendet" (Vol. 4, p. 323, " . . . I also report that I have almost completed a new great mass").

- From Beethoven's Letter (GA No. 1345, Vol. 4, p. 327-328) of October 15, 1819, to Archduke Rudolph can be concluded that he returned to Vienna, soon thereafter.  

- On October 30th, Beethoven (GA Letter No. 1350, Vol. 4, p. 335-337) submitted his appeal against his removal as guardian of Karl to the Magristrate, which was rejected by the latter on November 4, 1819 (GA Letter No. 1351, Vol.  4, p. 338).  

Thayer, too (p. 743) reports of Beethoven's diligent work on the Missa solemnis and also refers to his above-quoted letter to Ferdinand Ries with the optimistic report, that it was 'almost completed'.  In opposing Schindler, Thayer refers to the fact that Beethoven also mentioned doubts that he might be able to complete the Mass in time for Rudolph's installment, since, with time, the work took on greater dimensions than originally intended.    As Thayer (p. 743) further reports, from a conversation book of the time, it can be determined that the Gloria was nearly completed an that Beethoven had intended to have it performed in a concert around Christmas time.  After this plan was mentioned, again by a friend, Beethoven was to have replied that it might be too late to include it in a Christmas concert, but that it might be possible to perform it at a concert during the following Lent.   

With respect to further  "Missa" sketchbooks that have been preserved, Thayer (p. 720) refers to a sketch book in pocket book format that had been acquired by the Beethoven-Haus in 1899 and that Dr. Joseph Schmidt-Görg transcribed and published and ascribed to the time between December 1819 up to about the middle of April, 1820.  As Thayer reports, the 44-page sketchbook contains some sketches to the second part of the Gloria, some ideas to the Sanctus and one to the  Agnus Dei.  Therefore, Thayer argues, the Kyrie and the Gloria were written in 1819, while work on the Credo only began in the fall of that year.    

Before we turn to the progress of Beethoven's work on the mass in the year 1820, Beethoven's progress on this work during the year 1819 allows us to take a look at the mentioning of various motivations for the composition of this work.  Thayer's report on Schindler's comment, namely that Beethoven had taken up this work 'without invitation or commission', refers us back, once more, to our previous page on the actual occasion for the composition of the Mass, which, in spite of the occurrence of an 'actual occasion' for the composition of the work, also allows room for Schindler's remark to some extent, namely insofar as Beethoven found motivation within himself to take this 'actual occasion' and to set himself the task of composing a work in the honor of his exalted pupil.  

Lewis Lockwoods comments on the religious and theological viewpoints of Johann Michael Sailer lead us again back to our page on Beethoven's inner motivation for the composition of the Mass, since the 'Leitmotiv' of Sailer's thoughts, namely the incompatibility of the human dignity of an enlightened Christian with a purely mechanically-based experience of faith, certainly appears to agree with Beethoven's views and therefore could also serve as an ideal 'Leitmotiv' for the compositional style of this Mass.  

Returning to Beethoven's Letter of July 29, 1819 to Archduke Rudolph and to his mentioning of his search for material in the library of the Archduke and with respect to his studies for the preparation of source material for the Missa solemnis, we can still refer to Maynard Solomon's comment  (p. 259), "Kanne, a prolific (but unsuccessful) composer as well as a theologian, physician, and poet, was the most interesting--and most eccentric--of this group.  He counseled Beethoven on literary and aesthetic matters and evidently, as Kirkendale argues, guided him through the abstruse literature on Catholic liturgy and ecclesiastical music during the composition of the Missa solemnis".

In conclusion of this brief reference to various comments on Beethoven's motivation for the composition of the Mass, we can still quote William Drabkin's comment in his book on the Missa solemnis:

"In a parallel vein, Carl Dahlhaus suggested that Beethoven's second Mass might well have been deliberately written against the background of an essay on Church music by the writer and composer E.T.A. Hoffmann (Dahlhaus 1987: 237).  Dahlhaus suspected that Beethoven had read Hoffmann's 'Alte und Neue Kirchenmusik', which appeared in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung in 1814 . . . " (Drabkin: 5).

Whether we wish to follow Drabkin's and Dahlhaus' contentions or not, at the end of our look at the progress of the 'Missa' during the year 1819, they give us further 'food for thought'.  Perhaps, they also prompt us to take another look at Hoffmann's essay:  



Hoffmanns Essay 'Alte und neue Kirchenmusik'



 


 Stieler's Portrait of Beethoven



'Pictorial' Interlude...

After our second reading of E.T.A. Hoffmanns article, a brief look at the circumstances in which the above portrait that depicts Beethoven, holding the manuscript of the Missa solemnis, was created, might lead us back from the world of spiritual imagination into that of pictorial imagination.  As Thayer (p. 760-761) reports, the Munich portrait painter Joseph Stieler began his work on this portrait at the end of 1819, when he was in Vienna to paint the portrait of Emperor Franz.  According to Thayer, Stieler also remained in Vienna during the first months of 1820 and very likely made Beethoven's acquaintance through an introductory letter by Franz Brentano.  Beethoven seemed to get along well with him and allowed him three sittings.  However, since Beethoven could not sit still for much longer than that, Stieler had to complete the painting from memory.  As Thayer writes, in the end, the painting remained rather 'sketchy'.  A look at some conversation book entries of this time provides us with a lively impression of these sittings:   

- In Conversation Book No. 7 (from about January 22 - February 23, 180), p. 260, Stieler's handwritten entry:   "Setzen Sie sich doch gefälligst   als wenn Sie schreiben   um die Stellung zu probieren" ["Kindly set yourself  as if you were writing  in order to try the position out";

- In the same book on p. 268, Stieler's entry:  "Das Bild muß trocknen  wen es trocken ist, werde   ich Ihnen schreiben wenn   Sie mir wieder eine Stunde schenken können" - "The painting has to dry  when it is dry  I will write to you when you can grant me another hour";

- In Conversation Book No. 8 (from about February 25 to about March 12, 1820), p. 308-309, Neberich's entry:   "Stieler hatte etwas Kath[arrh] ist aber wieder wohl.  --  Hinterlaßen Sie mir gefälligst den  b e s t i m m t e n   Tag bey Stieler" - "Stieler had something of a cold, but is well, again--kindly let me know a  c e r t a i n  day for Stieler";

- In Conversation Book No. 9 (from about March 11 to about March 19, 1820), p. 338, Stieler:  "haben Sie nach Francfurt  geschrieben das ich ihr portrae  angenfangen habe --  Küchelgen ist sehr geschickt.  --  Sie müßen ja die Bestim- mung ihres Bildes niemand sagen.  ich sage das ich   es für mich male.  -- heute habe ich eine guthe Sitzung gehabt, weil ich Ihnen viel beobachtet habe. --" "have you written to Frankfurt that I have begun your portrait--Küchelgen (translator's note:  very likely refers to one of the Bonn Kügelgen twin brothers and friends of Beethoven's youth} is very skilled.--You must not mention who your portrait is meant for.  I will say that I am painting it, for myself.--today, I had a good sitting, since I have observed you a great deal.--";

In Conversation Book No. 10 (from about March 20 to the end of March, 1820), p. 383: Oliva:  "-- Ist Stiller mit Ihrem Portraite fertig -- Stiller ist kein Mittglied der hiesigen academie" "--is Stiller done with your portrait--Stiller is not a member of the local academy"; 

- In the same book, on p. 385, Stieler's entry:  "es wird Ihnen zu lange dauern.  allein was heute  gemacht wird ist  überstanden für  ein andermahl;" "it will take too long for yo.  alone, what can be done today, is behind us for some other time;"

- In the same book, on p.  387: Stieler's entry: "noch 10 Minuten dann sind wir fertig" "still another 10 minutes, then we will be done".  

As Thayer (p. 760-761) further reports, in April, 1820, Stieler asked Beethoven in what key his Mass is composed, since he wanted to write this on the score that Beethoven was holding, in the portrait, to why Beethoven replied:  'Missa solemnis in D-Dur' ('Missa solemnis in D-Major', and Stieler thanked him  'viele Tausendmale' (many thousand times) for his patience and still assured him that he would send the painting to Brentano.  Thayer further reports that Beethoven's friends still mentioned the painting several times in the conversation books, whereby Schindler expressed the opinion that he preferred Schimon's portrait of him, while Joseph Czerny and Oliva ascribed to Stieler's portrait a great likeness to Beethoven.    As Thayer reports, Stieler visited Beethoven in Mödling in July, 1820, and wrote into the conversation book, "Before the exhibition I shall paint your portrait again, but full life-size.  Your head makes an excellent effect full face, and it was so appropriate because Haydn was on one side and Mozart on the other."  As Thayer further writes, Stieler dated the portrait in oils to the year 1819, which can only refer to the beginning of his work on it.  Moreover, Schindler reportedly noted that Beethoven was satisfied with the facial expression although he did not consider the way he held his head correct, since he always, even when he was in pain, tended to hold his head high, as his contemporaries were used to seeing him.  Thayer also mentions that Fr. Dürck made a lithography from this portrait that Artaria published in 1826.  

As Thayer concludes this topic, the portrait remained in the possession of the painter's family, for some time, then went through several hands and ended up in the possession of Countess Sauerma in Berlin, in whose possession its was when Frimmel and Kalischer inspected it for the purpose of describing it.    Frimmel is reported as having found the depiction of Beethoven's face as 'passable', while he found the nose too broad and also criticized his hands and considered Beethoven's pensive expression as the best feature of the portrait.  In addition, Thayer reports, he also mentioned that, in the event that the excellent portrait painter Stieler would have had time, he would have evened out many of these incongruities.  As Thayer reports, at the time of this comment by Frimmel, the painting was in the possession of Privy Councillor H. Hinrichsen who must have acquired it from the Leipzig music publisher C.F. Peters.  

 

On the Progress of the Missa solemnis in the Year 1820

After our look at Stieler's painting of Beethoven's portrait we move on to taking a look at Beethoven's progress on the Mass in the year 1820.   As Thayer (p. 757-758) reports, Beethoven continued to work on the Missa in the year 1820, although it is not easy to determine how far he had progressed with it, by that time.  At least, he must have considered his progress so substantial that, he offered the work to Nikolaus Simrock in Bonn for 125 Louis d'or in his letter of February 10, 1820.  We will discuss the topic of Beethoven's initial negotiations with publishers for the publication of the work in various separate pages.   

Contrary to Thayer's report, Archduke Rudolph's installment as Archbishop of Olmütz did not take place on March 20, 1820, but on the 9th of that month (see Thayer: 758; Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No. 1375, p. 381-382, n. 4; Lockwood: 384).  However, at this time, the Mass was not completed, yet.  With respect to Beethoven's possible outlook on this matter and with respect to his situation at that time, Barry Cooper comments:  

" . . . Karl's welfare was paramount for him.  It took precedence over her rights as a mother, if Karl was in danger of being corrupted by her; it superseded Beethoven's own desire to have Karl with him, so that he was prepared to send him to the best school available, wherever it was, his own personal comforts could be sacrificed to give whatever financial support was necessary (and he was eventually left very short of funds); and, most remarkably, he was even prepared to set aside his devotion to his Art, in order to bring about a satisfactory outcome for Karl.  The Mass, composed for one of his closest and most admirable friends, lay only half finished by the day of Rudolph's enthronement in Olmütz on 9 March.  The day which Beethoven had predicted would be 'the most glorious of my life' never happened.  Recognizing his sacrifices, he noted in his Memorandum of 18 February a quotation from Janus Anysius: 'Lite abstine, nam vincens, multum amiseris.' (Abstain from litigation, for even if you win, you will have lost much.)[31: Anderson, Letters, 1389]  He had indeed lost much; but the titanic struggle, generated by his intense love for Karl, was essential in his view, and he was overjoyed at the final outcome" (Cooper: 278).

What had happened in the first month of 1820, with respect to his struggle for the guardianship of Karl?  Perhaps, we should take a look at the most important events in this respect:  

-  Beethoven's submission to the Royal and Imperial Court of Appeal of Lower Austria bears the date of January 7, 1820; in it, he states his reasons as to why the guardianship of Karl should be returned to him and why Karl's mother Johanna should lose her guardianship rights, again; in stating these reasons, Beethoven also points out that since the time of his removal as Karl's guardian, his nephew's scholastic progress had declined and that he would be ready to share this duty with a co-guardian, on account of his hearing difficulties; for this duty, he suggests the educator of the children of Prince Lobkowitz, Carl Peters.  (Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No. 1363, p. 359-362); as the GA reports, the Court of Appeal demanded an extensive report from the Vienna Magistrate that was to be submitted by February 4, 1820 and that, according to GA note No. 15, was rendered on February 5, 1820;  

-  In Conversation Book No. 6 (from the beginning to the end of January, 1820), on p. 198, the following entry by Beethoven's nephew can be found: "Sie hat mir so viel <ge> zugesprochen, daß ich ihr nicht mehr widerstehn konnte; es ist mir leid, daß ich damahls so schwach war, und bitte dich deßwegen um Verzeihung; aber ich <se> werde micht jetzt gewiß nicht mehr verleiten lassen. -- Ich habe nicht gewußt, was es für Folgen haben könnte, als ich beym Magistrate so sprach.  Allein wenn es nochmahl zu einer Untersuchung komt, so werde ich alles widerrufen, was ich damahls Unwahres gesagt habe! -- " ("She has talked at me so much that I could not resist her, anymore; I am sorry that I was so weak, at that time and ask you for forgiveness, for it; now, I shall certainly not be coaxed into it, again.--I did not know what consequences there could be when I spoke to the Magistrate in this way.  Alone, if there should be another investigation, I shall refute every untruth that I have told, then!--")

-  At the beginning of February, 1820, Beethoven wrote to his lawyer, Dr. Johann Baptist Bach  and enclosed a draft with it (as the GA reports, this refers to the draft of a submission to the Court of Appeal by Beethoven, dated February 18, 1820) and discussed in it the behavior of the Magistrate, Certificates and his struggle for Karl and details with respect to Karl's estate (Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No. 1366, p. 364 - 367);

- On March 6, Beethoven wrote a letter to the Magistrate Council Carl Magnus Winter, in which he announces his submission of the draft that he had written up under date of February 18, 1820; among other things, in it, he points out that "Laut den eigenen Aussagen meines Neffen muste er<,> dort von seiner eigenen Mutter angestiftet u. verleitet, mehrere Unwahrheiten gegen mich vorbringen . . . " ["According to my nephews own statement, being misled by his mother, he had to tell some untruth against me"];

- On April 20, 1820, the Viennese Magistrate drafted a letter to Beethoven in which he was advised that Johanna van Beethoven was to be removed from the guardianship over her son and that it would be returned back to him and to his co-guardian, Karl Peters; (Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No. 1382, p. 389 - 390).

Life experience and knowledge of human nature will allow many reader to draw their own, hopefully impartial, conclusions from what has been mentioned, above.  How did Beethoven's correspondence with Archduke Rudolph proceed during this time?  With respect to this, we have some letters at our disposal that we should quote directly, here:   

 

Erzherzog Rudolph an Beethoven 

                                                                                    [Olmütz, 25. März 1820]

Lieber Beethoven!

    Da ich Hierher bestimmt bin, so mußte ich Wien schnell verlassen,[1] sonst hätte ich mich, von so manchen mir daselbst wehrten Gegenständen <mich> nie trennen können, damit Sie aber sehen, daß auch in der Entfernung, ich an dieselben denke, so schreibe ich Ihnen diese paar Zeilen.

   Es war mir leid daß ich Sie vor meiner Abreise nicht gesehen, aber überzeugt von Ihren Gesinnungen, hoffe ich daß Sie fleissig für mich komponieren werden,[2] wenn nur auch ich fähig wäre etwas Ihrer wehrtes zuwege zu bringen, da ich aber schon mehrere Beweise Ihre Nachsicht habe so werde ich wenn ich etwas vollendet habe, bis jetzt hatte ich noch keinen Augenblick Zeit dazu, es Ihnen zur Austellung der Fehler, und meiner Belehrung übersenden.

   Wenn nur mein Wunsch erfüllt wäre daß Ihre Gesundheit, wie Ihr Geist in ruhigen Zustande wären.[3]  Ich war recht glücklich, bin gut hierher gekommen, habe die etwas angreifenden Cerimonien meines Einzuges,[4] mit dem Göttlichen Beistande, glücklich überstanden und befinde mich wohl.

    Da die Tonkunst immer meine erfreulichste Erholung bleibt, so habe ich schon einige Diletanten Concerts beygewohnt, und habe zu meinem Erstaunen einige recht geschickte Talente gehört.  Da man meine gerechte Vorliebe für Ihre Kompositionen kennt, so hat man mich mit einer, für Olmütz verwunderlich guten Aufführung Ihre Simphonie aus dem A dur[5] efreut, ich habe manche Stellen in Wien schlechter ausführen gehört besonders das erste Allegro, da ich dieselbe sehr liebe so war ich ganz begeistert dabey.

   Es wird mich freuen bald gute Nachrichten von Ihnen zu erfahren,[6] und wenn die für mich etwas beschwerliche Karwoche,[7] glücklich überstanden ist, so werde ich es versuchen meine Gedanken in Noten zu bringen und Ihnen als einen neuen Beweis zu schicken wie sehr ich auch in der Entfernung bin

Ihr ergebener 

                                                                                          Rudolph mpria

Olmütz the 25th of March, 1820

Archduke Rudolph to Beethoven 

                                                                                    [Olmütz, March 25, 1820]

Dear Beethoven!

    Since I was destined for her, I had to leave Vienna quickly,[1] otherwise I would not have been able to part with treasured subjects, there, however, in order that you can see that I also think of them from afar, I am writing you these few lines.  

   I was sorry that I did not see you before my departure, yet I was convinced of your good intentions and hope that you will diligently compose for me,[2] if only I, too, would be capable of producing something that is worthy of you, however, since I already have ample proof of your leniency, I will do so when I have completed something, up to now I did not have a moment's time to send it to you for your notation of my mistakes, for my erudition.  

   If only my wish would be fulfilled that your health as well as your mind would be in a calm state.[3]  I was quite happy, have arrived safely here, and, with God's help I have overcome the somewhat strenuous ceremonies of my instalment[4] and am well.  

    Since music will always remain my most delightful relaxation, I have already attended some concerts performed by diletantes and, to my amazement, have heard some quite talented performers.  Since one knows my justified predilection for your compositions, one has delighted me with a performance of your Symphony in A-Major[5] which was quite good for Olmütz; some passages I have heard executed worse in Vienna, particularly the first Allegro, and since I love it very much, I was quite enthused about it.  

   I shall be glade to hear good news from you, soon[6] and when Holy Week, which will be somewhat difficult for me, has passed, I shall try to turn my thoughts into notes and to send them to you as proof for the fact that also in the distance I am 

Your devoted 

                                                                                          Rudolph mpria

Olmütz the 25th of March, 1820

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No.  1375, p. 381-382]

{Original:  in private hands; to [1]: refers to Archduke Rudolph's departure on March 6, 1820; to [2]: refers to a possible aside with respect to the still incomplete Missa solemnis op. 123; to [3]: refers to the possibility that Archduke Rudolph refers here to Beethoven's emotional engagement in his guardianship struggle; to [4]: refers to the fact that on March 8, 1820, Archduke Rudolph solemnly celebrated his arrival in Olmütz and on the next day his installment; to [5]: refers to op.  92; to [6]: refers to Beethoven's reply of April 3, 1820, Letter No. 1378; to [7]: refers to the week of March 26, 1820 to April 1, 1820; details taken from p. 381-382].


 Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph in Olmütz

                                                                                 [Wien, 3. April 1820]

   Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit!

    So viel ich mich erinnere, zeigte man mir, als ich mich bey ihnen einfinden wollte, an, daß Hochstdieselben unpäßlich wären, ich kamm jedoch Sonntags Abends, um mich zu erkundigen, indem man mir versichterte, das I.K.H. Montags nicht fortreisen würden, meiner Gewohnheit nach mich nicht lange im Vorzimmer aufzuhalten, eilte ich nach erhaltener Auskunft, obschon, wie ich merkte, mir der Hr. Thürsteher noch etwas sagen wollte, geschwinde wieder fort, leider erfuhr ich Montags Nachmittags, daß I.K.H. wirklich nach O.[lmütz] sich begeben hatten,[1] ich gestehe es, Es Verursachte mir eine höchst schmerzhafte Empfindung, jedoch mein Bewustseyn, nicht irgend etwas Verfehlt zu haben, sagte mir wohl bald, daß, wie es in d.g. Momenten des Menschlichen Lebens zu gehen plfegt, auch hier wohl der Fall eingetreten seyn konnte, ich honnte wohl denken, wie I.K.H. übermaßen überhäuft von Cerimonien u. von Neuheit der Eindrücke nicht viel Zeit für anderes übrig hatte in O., sonst hätte ich mich gewiß be[e]ilt I.K.H. im schreiben zuvor zu kommen. -- nun wünsche ich aber, daß I.K.H. mich gnädigst darüber aufklärten, wie Lange Sie ihren Aufenthalt in O. festgesezt haben, hier hieß es: I.K.H. würden bis Ende May wieder hieher sich begeben,[2] vor einigen Tägen hörte ich Unterdeßen, daß Höchstdies.[elben] anderthalb Jahre in O. verbleiben werden, ich habe vieleicht deswegen schon falsche Maaßregeln ergriffen, jedoch in Rücksicht I.K.H. nicht, sondern in Rücksicht meiner,[3] sobald ich nur eine Nahcricht hierüber habe, werde ich alles weiter aufklären, übrigens bitte ich I.K.H. manchen Nachrichten über mich kein gehör zu verleihen, ich habe schon manches hier Vernommen, welches man Geklatsche nennen kann, u. womit man Sogar I.K.H. glaubt dienen zu können,[4] wenn I.K.H. mich einen ihrer werthen Gegenstände nennen, so kann ich zuversichtlich sagen, daß I.K.H. einer der mir Werthesten Gegenstände im Universum sind, bin ich auch kein Hofmann, so glaube ich, daß I.K.H. mich haben so kennen gelernt, daß nicht bloßes kaltes Interesse meine sache ist, sondern wahre innige Anhänglichkeit mich allzeit an Höchstdieselben gefesselt u. beseelt hat, und ich könnte wohl sagen, Blondel ist längst gefunden, u. findet sich in der Weelt kein Richard für mich, so wird Gott mein Richard seyn.[5] -- Wie es scheint wird meine Idee, ein quartett zu halten, gewiß das beste seyn, wenn man schon im großen solche Productionen in O. leistet,[6] so könnte durch ein solches noch bewundrungswürdiges für die Tonkunst entstehen in Mähren. -- sollten nach obigen Gerüchten I.K.H. im May wieder hieher kommen, so rathe ich, bis dahin mir ihre Geisteskinder aufzu behalten, weil es beßer, wenn ich jezt selbte erst noch von ihnen vortragen höre, sollte aber wirklich ein so langer Aufenthalt in O. stattfinden, so werde ich selbe mit gröstem Vergnügen empfangen, u. mich bemühen, I.K.H. zudem höchsten Gipfel des Parnaßes zu geleiten -- Gott erhalte I.K.H. zum Besten der Menschheit u. besonders ihrer Verehrer gänzlich gesund u. ich bitte mich gnädigst bald wieder mit einem schreiben zu beglücken, von meiner Bereitwilligkeit ihre Wünsche allzeit zu erfüllen, sind höchstdies.[elben] ohnehin überzeugt.

Ihro Kaiserl. Hoheit Treu Gehorsammster Diener

                                                                                                    l.v. Beethoven.

Vien am 3-ten april 1820

Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph in Olmütz

                                                                                 [Vienna, April 3, 1820]

   Your Imperial Highness!

    As far as I remember, when I wanted to come to see you, I was advised that you were indisposed; however, I cam on Sunday evening in order to find out, since I was assured that Y.I.H. would not depart; since it is my custom not to remain in the ante-room for too long, I left after I had received the information, although, as I noticed, the Herr Doorkeeper still wanted to say something, but I quickly dashed off; unfortunately, on Monday afternoon I learned that Y.I.H. had readily departed for O.[lmütz],[1] I admit that it caused me some pain, although, my conscience that I had not failed soon told me that, as this happens in such moments in human life, as this could also have happened, here, that Y.I.H. must have been very inundated with ceremonies and that you might not have had much time, yet, in O., with all the new impressions you are faced with, otherwise I would certainly have made haste to be the first one to write.--However, now, I would wish that Y.I.H. might kindly advise me as to how long you have determined to stay in O., here, they said:  Y.I.H. would return here by the end of May,[2] however, a few days ago, I heard that Y.I.H. would stay in O. for one and a half years, and on account of this, I might already have taken wrong measures, however, out of consideration for myself, not out of consideration for Y.I.H.[3] as soon as I will have some news with respect to this, I will explain more, otherwise, I ask Y.I.H. not to put too much stake into news about me; here, I have already heard this and that which one could call gossip with which one even hopes to be able to serve Y.I.H.[4] when Y.I.H. calls me one of his treasured subjects, then I can say with confidence that Y.I.H. is one of the most valuable subjects in the universe to me, and while I am not a courtier, I still believe that Y.I.H. has come to know me in such a way as to know that not only cold interest is what motivates me but rather that true, sincere devotion has always bound meto Y.I.H., and I might even say that Blondel has already been found, and if there can not be found any Richard for me in the world, then God will be my Richard.[5]--As it appears, my idea to keep a quartet will certainly be the best if the already stage such large productions in O.[6], then such a small ensemble could still do something admirable for music in Moravia.--should Y.I.H., following the above-mentioned hunches, return in May, then I advise to keep your brain children until then, since it would be better if I would hear them performed by you, however, should your stay in O. be really longer, then I will receive them with pleasure and will strive to lead Y.I.H. to the highest summit of the Parnassus--God keep Y.I.H. in best health, for the best of mankind and particularly for the sake of those who revere you and I ask you to grant me the grace of receiving a letter from you, very soon, of my willingness to fulfill your wishes at all times, Y.I.H. is convinced, in any event.  

Your Imperial Highness' faithful most devoted servant 

                                                                                                    l.v. Beethoven.

Vienna the 3rd of April, 1820 

[Quelle: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Band 4, Brief Nr. 1378, S. 385 - 386]

[Original: Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde; to [1]: refers to the departure of Archduke Rudolph on March 6, 1820; to [2]: refers to the entry by the copyist Schlemmer in BKh 1, p. 331; to [3]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had hoped to be appointed as Kapellmeister once Archduke Rudolph would be installed as Archbishop, as well as for an improvement of his salary; to [4]: refers to the fact that in this case, Beethoven might have had Count Ferdinand Troyer in mind whom Bernard had accused of exerting a negative influence over Archduke Rudolph; to [5]: refers to the saga of the liberation of Richard the Lionhearted by the singer Blondel when this English king was captured and held at the Dürnstein Fortress in Austria, on his return from Palestine, which might also be a veiled hint at Beethoven's wish for an improvement of his life circumstances, see Note [3]; to [6]: refers to the Symphony in A-Major, op. 92 and to its performance in Olmütz; detailes taken from p. 386-387.]                                                           


After our look at the correspondence between Beethoven and Archduke Rudolph, let us move on to Barry Cooper's further comment on the slow progress of the Mass: 

"Once Beethoven had realized that his Mass would not be ready in time for Archduke Rudolph's enthronement as Archbishop of Olmütz on 9 March 1820, he began turning his attention to other compositions.  The Mass remained his primary long-term project, in preference to the Diabelli Variations or the two symphonies for London, but it was no longer a priority and was not even mentioned directly in correspondence between him and the archduke during March and April. . .  . " Cooper: 279).

While Beethoven, as Thayer (p. 761) reports, also this year discussed his move to Mödling with his friends and confidants (in this connection, Thayer refers to a conversation book entry of May, 1820), we might be able to determine his approximate departure for Mödling from the dating of his correspondence that is contained in Volume 4 of the Gesamtausgabe of Beethoven Letters, which would ascribe his departure to the beginning of June (his last letter that he wrote from Vienna, namely to Adolph Marin Schlesinger in Berlin, bears as date the 31st of May, 1820, while the first letter that he appeared to have written from Mödling, a draft of some lines to his nephew Karl, was dated June 20, 1820).  As Thayer (p. 761) reports, Beethoven did not take quarters at the Hafner-House, again, since the owner of that building did not want to take him back on account of the noise that he had caused in the previous year.  Rather, Beethoven rented a house in the Babenbergerstraße and paid 12 Gulden extra for the use of a balcony so that he would have a pleasant view.  Thayer lists as address Babenbergerstraße 116, called the 'Christhof', that Beethoven had intended to buy, the fall before.  As Thayer further reports, Beethoven also took his baths in Mödling.  

As Barry Cooper (p. 280) reports, Beethoven finished the Credo in Mödling by the end of June, while Thayer (p. 761) reports that in Mödling, he mainly worked on his Mass that was, however, not nearly completed, yet. Among the sketches of this time, Thayer writes, one can find some for the Credo and some for the Agnus Dei.  In August, Schindler is reported as having asked Beethoven:   "Is the score for the Benedictus completed?--Are those the sketches for the Agnus?" (Thayer: 761).  

When Beethoven returned to Vienna from Mödling can only be determined indirectly from his reply to Nikolaus Simrock's letter of September 23, 1820 dated November  28, 1820:  

"Ihren lezten Brief empfieng ich auf'm Lande,[1] nachdem Sr. kaise[r]l. Hoheit, der Kardinal sich gerade von hier wieder zu <ihrer> Seiner Residenz zurück begaben [sic] hatten, u. ich den ganzen Sommer hindurch mich 2 3 mal wöchentlich zu selbem in die stadt begeben muste, ward mein mir theures Landleben nicht wenig gestört, erst im Octob. war ich im stande mein Versaumtes landl. etwas nach zu hohlen, in dieser Zeit kam ihr Brief . . . " (Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No. 1418, p. 422; -- "Your last letter I received in the country side,[1] after His Imperial Highness the Cardinal had just left to return to his Residence and after I had to visit him in the city, all summer long, two to three times, each week, due to which my cherished country life had been disturbed, considerably; only in October was it possible for me to make up for what I had missed out on, and during this time, your letter arrive . . . "). 

In addition to information on the length of his stay at Mödling, these lines also give us impression of his discomfort due to the weekly visits to the city and the resulting interruption of his country life.  

From all this can be learned that Beethoven, according to his own statement, stayed at Mödling well into October, 1820.  As Barry Cooper (p. 282-283) reports, at this time, Beethoven again worked intensively on the Mass, so that his sketches contain a great deal of material on the Benedictus and the Agnus Dei.  According to Cooper, until into October of this year, the Benedictus had only been roughly sketches and was then worked on more intensively, while the Agnus Dei was only begun, thereafter.  As Cooper further comments, each movement took on greater dimensions than originally intended and, as Cooper further states, this can also be seen from the fact that the 'Dona nobis' of the Agnus Dei grew longer than planned.   

 

BEETHOVEN'S 'ILLNESS' YEAR 1821 . . .    

As we already know from our Biographical Pages, in 1821, Beethoven again faced serious health struggles and also experienced a human loss of which we, however, do not know how it might have affected him or not:   

"The beginning of the year 1821 found Beethoven still at his home in the suburb Landstrasse, and, it would seem, working as hard as his health permitted.--In the Novellistik section of the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, January 10, 1821, appears:  "Herr von Beethofen was sick with a rheumatic fever.  All friends of true music and all admirers of his music feared for him.  But now he is on the road to recovery and is working actively.""  (Thayer: 775-776).

"A letter of March 7 to Adolf M. Schlesinger in Berlin starts:

Noble Sir!

   Perhaps you are thinking disparagingly of me, but you may soon change when I tell you that for six weeks I have been laid up with a severe rheumatic attack; but now it is much better.  . . . " (Thayer: 776).

"Before recounting what is known concerning Beethoven in 1821, a final word should be said concerning his old love, Josephine née Brunsvik, since 1810 Baroness von Stackelberg. . . .  Josephine died on March 31, 1821.   . . .  There is no known evidence of any communication after Ludwig's poignant close to their correspondence in 1807; it is known only that Josephine's last years were years of suffering from ill health"  (Thayer:  775).  

With respect to Beethoven's likely progress on the Mass, Barry Cooper comments:  

"  . . . Thus it seems highly probable that he completed a score of the Mass during 1821 before revising it the following year.  Whether this score was practically completed before his eight-month illness (January-August), or was worked on intermittently during that period, has not yet been confirmed, but it makes little difference in practice" (Cooper: 285-286).

As Thayer (p. 776) reports, Beethoven went to Unterdöbling for the warm season and fell ill with jaundice, there.  With respect to this, he wrote the following lines to Archduke Rudolph:  

Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph

                                                                                 Unterdöbling am 18ten Jul 1821[1]

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit.

    Ich hörte gestern von Höchstdero Ankunft hier, welches, so erfreulich es mir wäre, nun ein trauriges Ereigniß für mich geworden, da es ziemlich lange werden dörfte, bis ich so glücklich seyn kann, I.K.H. aufzuwarten, schon lange sehr übel auf entwickelte die Gelbsucht vollständig in mir eine höchst ekelhafte Krankheit, ich hoffe wenigstens, daß ich doch so weit hergestellt werden werde, daß ich noch I.K.H. hier vor ihrer Abreise sehe[2] -- auch den vergangenen Winter hatte ich die stärksten Rheumatischen zufälle[3] -- vieles liegt in meiner Traurigen Lage, was meine Ökonomischen Umstände betrift, bisher hoffte ich durch alle mögliche Anstrengungen endlich darüber zu Siegen, Gott, der mein innres kennt, u. weiß, wie ich als Mensch überall meine Pflichten, die mir die Menschlichkeit Gott u. die Natur gebiethen, auf das heiligste erfülle,[4] wird mich wohl endlich wieder einmal diesen Trübsaalen entreißen -- Die Meße wird I.K.H. noch hier überreicht werden,[5] die Ursachen der Verzögerung derselben erlaßen mir I.K.H. gnädigst, die Details davon könnten nicht anders als wenigstens unangenehm für I.K.H. seyn -- sehr gerne hätte ich I.K.H. machmal von hier aus geschrieben, allein I.K.H. hatten mir gesagt, daß ich abwarten sollte, bis höchstdieselben mir schreiben würden, was sollte ich nun thuen, vieleicht würde Es I.K.H. sogar unangenehm gewesen seyn, wenn ich nicht ihre Worte geachtet, u. ich weiß, Es gibt Menschen, welche mich gern bey I.K.H. verleumden,[6] u. dies thut mir sehr weh, ich glaube daher, öfters nicht anders thun zu können, als mich still zu verhalten, bis I.K.H. wünschen etwas zu sehen oder zu hören von mir. -- ich hörte von einer Unpäßlichkeit I.K.H., ich hoffe, daß es von keiner Bedeutung ist, der Himmel schütte seinen Segen in den Reichsten Füllhörnern auf I.K.H. herab, ich hoffe, daß es doch nicht zu lange anstehen wird, bis ich so glücklich bin, I.K.H. sagen zu können, wie sehr ich bin

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit gehorsamster treuer Diener

                                                                                                     Beethoven

Unterdöbling No 11[7]

Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph

                                                                                 Unterdöbling the 18th Jul 1821[1]

Your Imperial Highness.

    Yesterday, I heard of your arrival here, which, as joyful as it would be to me, has turned into a sad occasion for me, since it might take rather long until I will have the fortune of seeing Y.I.H., having already been unwell for some time, I developed a full-blown  jaundice, a most disgusting illness; at least, I hope that I will be restored enough in order to still see Y.I.H. before your departure[2]--also last winter, I suffered from the most severe rheumatic attacks[3]--much of my unfortunate circumstances is related to my economic situation; so far, I have undertaken all manner of things in order to overcome it, God, who knows my innermost and who also knows how I fulfill my duties that my humanity, God and nature command me, like a sacred trust,[4] will relieve me of from all this misery.--The Mass will still be handed over to Y.I.H. whil you are here,[5] Y.I.H. will spare me to mention the causes for the delay, as the details can be nothing but unpleasant to Y.I.H.--I would have like to write to Y.I.H. from here, alone Y.I.H. have told me that I should wait until you will write to me, yourself, what was I to do, perhaps it would have been unpleasant to Y.I.H. if I would not have followed your request and I know that there are people who prefer to speak ill of me towards Y.I.H.,[6] and this hurts me very much, therefore, sometimes, I believe that I can do nothing but stay calm until Y.I.H. wishes to see something or hear something from me.--I heard of an indisposition of Y.I.H. and hope that it is nothing serious, heaven may pour out its blessings over Y.I.H. and I hope that it will not be too long before I can tell Y.I.H. that I am  

Your Imperial Highness' most obedient servant 

                                                                                                     Beethoven

Unterdöbling No 11[7]

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No.  1436, p. 444-445]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde; to [1]: refers to Note 1 in letter no. 1437, with respect to the date; to [2]: refers to the fact that up to the end of August, 1821, Beethoven suffered from jaundice and that he went to Baden to take the baths, in September; to [3]: refers to Letter No. 1428 of March 7, 1821, in which Beethoven wrote of a rheumatic fever; to [4]: this might be a reference to Beethoven's financial burden of looking after his nephew; to [5]: refers to the fact that Beethoven only delivered the Mass, op. 123, on March 19, 1823; to [6]: refers to the fact that a comment of this kind was already made in Letter No. 1378 of April 3, 1820; to [7}: refers to the fact that Haus Unterdöbling Nr. 11 was located "An der Winterzeil"; details taken from p. 445.]


A further letter of Beethoven to the Archduke provides us with information on the progress of his illness:  

 

Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph

                                                                                  [Unterdöbling, Juli/August 1821][1]

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit!

    Innigst gerührt empfieng ich gestern Ihr gnädiges Schreiben an mich,[2] unter dem Schatten eines Grünenden Herrlichen Früchte tragenden Baumes ebenfalls grünen zu dürfen, ist ein Labsaal für menschen, welche das höhere fühlen u. zu denken Vermögen, So ist mir auch unter der Aegide I.K.H. -- Mein Arzt[3] versicherte mir gestern, daß es sich mit meiner Krankheit beßere, jedoch muß ich noch immerfort eine ganze mixtur binnen 24 Stunden ausleeren, welche, da Sie abführt, mich äußerst schwächt, u hiebey bin ich noch gewzungen alle Tage, wie I.K.H. aus den Beygelegten verhaltungsRegeln[4] meines Arztes ersehn, große Bewegung zu machen, Unterdeßen ist Hoffnung da, daß ich bald, wenn auch noch nicht ganz hergestellt, doch werde noch viel um I.K.H. seyn können während ihres hiesigen Aufenthaltes -- indem ich in dieser Hoffnung lebe, wird auch sicher meine Gesundheit noch schneller wieder als gewöhnlich sich einstellen, -- Der Himmel segne mich durch I.K.H., u der Herr selbst sey immer über u mit I.K.H., höheres gibt es nichts, als der Gottheit sich mehr als andere Menschen nähern, u. von hier aus die strahlen der Gottheit unter das Menschengeschlecht verbreiten -- tief durchdrungen von der Gnädigen Gesinnung I.K.[H.] gegen mich hoffe ich baldigst mich ihnen selbst nahen zu können. --

Ihro Kaiserl. Hoheit gehorsamster treuer Diener

                                                                                                  Beethoven

Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph

                                                                                  [Unterdöbling, July/August 1821][1]

Your Imperial Highness!

    Deeply moved I received your letter of yesterday that is addressed to me,[2] to thrive under the shade of a blooming, fruit-bearing tree is a delight for men who sense and think higher things, and that is how I feel under aegis of Y.I.H.--My doctor[3] assured me yesterday, that my illness is slowly abating, however, I still have to empty out an entire mixture every 24 hours that, since it acts like a purgative, it weakens me extraordinarily, and on top of this I am, as Y.I.H. can see from the attached recommendations by my physician[4], also forced to get about a great deal.   Yet, there is hope that I will be better, soon, if not entirely restored, so that I might still see a great deal of Y.I.H. during your stay here--living with this hope, my health will certainly be restored sooner than usual,--Heaven may bless me through Y.I.H. and the Lord be with Y.I.H., there is nothing higher than to get closer to the Godhead than other men and to spread the light of God from there over all of mankind--deeply moved by the graceful consideration of Y.I.H. towards me, I hope to be able to be close to Y.I.H. very soon.--  

Your Imperial Highness' most obedient faithful servant 

                                                                                                  Beethoven

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No.  1438, p. 446-447]

[Original: Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde; to [1]: refers to the watermark and to the fact that, according to the GA, letters written on this kind of paper should be ascribed to the year 1821 and that the mentioned illness could be the jaundice from which Beethoven suffered in July and August of that year; to [2] refers to the fact that this letter has not been preserved; to [3]: refers to Dr. Jakob Staudenheim; to [4]: refers to the fact that this paper has not been preserved and that Beethoven very likely enclosed it since he was afraid that with out it, his excuse might not have been believed; details taken from p. 446-447.]

As Thayer (p. 776-777) reports, Dr. Stauderheim prescribed a stay at Baden for Beethoven, where he went on September 7th and where he lived at Rathausgasse No. 94.  

Thayer (p. 779)  further reports that, although Beethoven had announced in his letter to Archduke Rudolph of July 18, 1821, that the Mass would still be handed over during his stay in Vienna, while the work could certainly not have been entirely completed and that the slow progress of Beethoven's work on it can be, in part, explained with his illnesses of this year.  

 

Near Completion:  The Missa solemnis in the Year 1822

As we know from our Biograpical Pages, at the beginning of 1822, Beethoven lived at No. 224, Hauptstraße Landstraße, in the Landstraße suburb.  From Thayer (p. 784) we learn that at this time, the draft to the Missa solemnis score was complete. 

Maynard Solomon (p. 265) and Thayer (p. 813) are not wrong in pointing out that Beethoven still would add some "finishing touches" to the "completed" draft score.  With respect to this, Barry Cooper writes: 

"While working on his last two sonatas Beethoven must have thought frequently about the Missa solemnis; and he returned to it--specifically the 'Dona'--immediately after completing Op. 111.  He was still not fully well, and complained in May of having had gout on the chest for four months, but he could do at least some work.  It was probably at this stage, around April-June 1822, that this section was expanded to its present length; he also made minor adjustments to the other movements during these and the ensuing months, as is evident from the sketchbook Artaria 201, and arranged for a fresh copy of the Mass to be written out.  Although a few slight alterations were made later still, it seems to have reached virtually its final form by summer 1822" (Cooper: 291).

Therefore it is not surprising that, on July 6, 1822, Beethoven wrote to Ferdinand Ries in London:   " . . . mein Größtes Werk ist eine große Meße,[4] welche ich ohnlängst geschrieben habe . . . " (Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No. 1479, p. 509-510; " . . . my greatest work is a great Mass,[4] that I have recently written . . . " to [4]: refers to op. 123; information taken from p. 509-510).  

As Thayer reports, Beethoven spent the summer of this year in Oberdöbling and went to Baden in September and October.  

Thayer mentions twice (p. 784 and p. 813) that the original score for the Mass, with the exception of last touch-ups, was completed by the end of 1822.  

 

Last Finishing Touches and Handing-Over of the Score to Archduke Rudolph:
The Missa solemnis in the Year 1823

 



Waldmüller's Beethoven Portrait  (1823)

 

In 1823, we can find the first traces of the completion of a copy of the score of the Mass that was to be handed over to Archduke Rudolph, in Beethoven's letter to his patron of February 27th.  Archduke Rudolph had arrived from Olmütz on February 25th.  Let us take a look at these lines:  

"  . . . Es sieht abscheulich aus, indem ich die ganze Zeit E.K.H. nicht geschrieben, allein ich wollte immer warten, bis ich die Meße[4] geschikt hätte, da aber wirklich erschreklich daran gefehlt war, u. zwar So, daß jede Stimme <vor>mußte durchsehen werden[5], so verzögerte Es sich bey so vielen andern nicht aufzuschiebenden Beschäftigungen, wozu noch andere Umstände getreten, die mich in diesen hinderten, wie denn so manches dem Menschen begegnet, wo er am wenigsten daran denkt; . . . " (Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No. Nr. 1586, p. 66; " . . . It looks terrible that I have not written to Y.I.H. the entire time, alone I always wanted to wait until I had sent the Mass[4], however, since there was really so much still lacking, and that to such an extent that every part had to be reviewed,[5] it was delayed in the face of many other pressing matters, in addition to other circumstances that prevented me, as man always has to encounter so much of which he thinks, the least; . . . " -- to [4]: refers to op. 123; to [5]: refers to the fact that the copy of the score that has been handed over to Archduke Rudolph shows many corrections in Beethoven's own handwriting; details taken from p. 66). 

Thayer (p. 820) mentions the 19th of March, 1823 as the date on which Beethoven handed the score over to Archduke Rudolph and points out that the earliest date at which the Mass would have attained its present form could have been the middle of this year.  When all last revisions and touches that were applied after the completion of the Mass in draft form might have been applied, can not be clearly determined from Thayer's report:   

"But with the elaboration of the sketches the Mass was not really finished, for subsequently Beethoven undertook many changes.  The Allegro molto which enters in the Credo at the words "et ascendit" is shorter in the autograph than in the printed edition.  At the entrance of the words "et iterum" and "cujus regni" the autograph is in each case two measures shorter than in the printed score.  In the autograph, and also in the copy which Beethoven gave to the Archduke, the trombones do not enter till the words "judicare vivos et mortuous."  There are no trombones in the Gloria.  The trombone passage which now appears just before the entrance of the chorus on "judicare" was formerly set for the horns.  After the words "et mortuous" the trombones are silent until the end of the Credo in the autograph; they enter again in the beginning of the Sanctus, but are silent at the next Allegro.  They occur in the Benedictus but are wanting in the Agnus Dei.  He made so many changes in the tympani part of the Agnus Dei that he wore a hole in the very thick paper.  From the nature of these supplementary alterations it is to be concluded that considerable time must have elapsed before they could all be made" (Thayer: 819).

After our look at the creation of the Missa solemnis, from its first sketches to the completed score, we move on to taking a  look at Beethoven's Marketing Strategies that began with his unsuccessful negotiations with various publishers. 

 

TO THE CHRONOLOGIAL OVERVIEW
OF BEETHOVEN'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH VARIOUS PUBLISHERS

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