BEETHOVEN'S MISSA SOLEMNIS
PERFORMANCE HISTORY DURING BEETHOVEN'S LIFE TIME
FIRST PERFORMANCE IN ST. PETERSBURG



 



The Peterof near St. Petersburg
 

 

 

1823:  GALITZIN'S SUBSCRIPTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE FIRST PERFORMANCE

 

With respect to this, in our thoughts, we might wish to return to the 'Russian' part of our look at Beethoven's negotiations for the subscription of the Missa solemnis, in which we also mentioned that, in his letter of August 3, 1823, Prince Galitzin suggested to Beethoven that he, Galitzin, with the composer's approval, launch a subscription campaign in St. Petersburg and that, with respect to this, he, himself, was willing to subscribe to a copy of the score for the full subscription price of 50 ducats.  The purpose for this subscription was to have a copy on hand to work with towards the performance of the Mass as an oratorio in a concert for the benefit of the widows and orphans of St. Petersburg's musicians.  This was planned for the Christmas season 1823.  As we already know from our discussion, Galitzin received the work on November 29, 1823, and in his letter to Galitzin of December 13, 1823, Beethoven still referred to some further corrections.   

Let us present you with the relevant correspondence of this time between Beethoven and Galitzin:    


Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin an Beethoven

                                                                                  [St. Petersburg, 3. August 1823][1]

    Excusez moi, Monsieur, si j'ai été quelque tems sans répondre à votre dernière lettre;[2] des chagrins domestiques, qui ne sont pas encore dissipé en ont été la cause.  Une maladie cruelle qui depuis un mois menace tous les jours, d'emporter un enfant unique[3] que j'ai, m'à distrait de tout autre occupation.  Déjà vous avez dû recevoir une lettre de moi où je vous annonçcai que S.M. avait daigné souscrire à vôtre oeuvre.[4] En vous demandant à m'autoriser à vous trouver des souscriptions dans la Société j'ai pensé que vous changerez le plan de souscription parceque les amateurs de musique qui je connais ne seraient pas en état de donner 50# pour une partition écrite.  Mais je pense que si vous vous dédidiez à fair imprimer votre OEuvre en fixant le prix de l'exemplaire à 4 ou 5 ducats on pourrait peut étre trouver une cinquantaine de souscriptions, ce qui serait plus facile que de trouver 4 ou 5 personnes qui consentissent à fair une dépense de 50#.  Tout ce que je puis faire c'est de vous prier de me mettre au nombre de vous souscripteurs, et de m'envoyer un exemplaire dès que vous pouvez, afin que je puisse faire l'écécuter au concert pur les veuves des musiciens qui a lieu tous les ans vers Noël.[5]  Je vous suis infiniment reconnaissant d'avoir pensé à m'envoyer vos deux dernières productions pour le piano:[6] ma femme[7] qui cultive cet instrument et qui est aussi une de vos grandes admiratrices, s'en rejouit d'avance.

    Adieu, Monsieur, recevez l'assurance de tous les voeux que je forme pour vôtre santé et votre prospérité.

Votrie bien dévouß serviteur

                                                                                                                 P. Nicolas Galitzin

Prince Nikolaus Galitzin to Beethoven

                                                                                  [St. Petersburg, August 3, 1823][1]

    Pardon me, Sir, that it took some time before I answered your last letter [2]; family matter that have not yet found their conclusion were the cause.  An illness, cruel beyond all measure, which afflicted my only child[3], has kept me away from all other activities.  You should already have received a letter from me in which I advised you that His Majesty is pleased to subscribe to your work.[4]   I would like to ask you to allow me to find subscribers for your work in our society, so that you would, perhaps change the subscription plan to that effect, since the music lovers that I know would not be able to pay 50 ducats for a copy of the score.  However, I think that, in the event that you should decide to print the work for subscription purposes, for a price of 4 or 5 ducats, one could, perhaps, find fifty subscribers, which would be easier than finding 4 or 5 persons who would agree to pay a price of 50# ducats.   All that I can do is to ask you to let me know the number of your subscribers and to ask you to send me, as soon as you can, a copy of the score, so that, around Christmas, I could arrange for the performance of the work for the benefit of the widows and orphans of the musicians.[5] I am eternally grateful to you that you have thought of sending me your two latest piano works[6].  My wife[7] cultivates this instrument and is also one of your great admirers here and is looking forward to them, already.  

    Farewell, Sir, and rest assured of all of my good wishes for your health and your well-being.  

   Your faithful servant

                                                                                           Prince Nikolaus Galitzin.

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No.  1724, p. 208-209]

[Original: not known; text, according to the GA, pursuant to TDR V, p. 554f.; to [1]: refers to dating according to TDR; to [2]: refers to the fact that, according to the GA, it can not be determined to what letter by Beethoven Galitzin is referring to; to [3]: refers to the fact that the name of the child is not known and to the fact that it died, soon; to [4]: refers to Letter No. 1664 of  June 2, 1823; to  [5]: refers to the first and, at the same time, complete performance of the Missa solemnis, which only took place on April 7, 1824; to [6]: according to the GA, this refers to printed copies of op. 111 and op. 120; to [7]: refers to Elena Alexandrowna Saltikowa; details taken from p. 209.]

Beethoven an Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin in St. Petersburg

                                                                                                [Baden, 17. September 1823]

[Beethovens Bitte um Anweisung von 50 Dukaten als Honorar für die subskribierte Partiturabschrift der Missa solemnis auf das Bankhaus Henikstein.[1]]

Beethoven ton Prince Nikolaus Galitzin in St. Petersburg

                                                                                      [Baden, September 17, 1823]

[Beethoven asks for the dispatch of 50 ducats as fee for the copy of the score of theb Missa solemnis, through the Banker Henikstein.[1]]

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No. 1743, p. 229-230]

[Original:  not known; existence derived from Letter No. 1746 of Oct. 3, 1823 and from  BKh 4, p. 148; to [1]: refers to the fact that, with the banker Henikstein, there were already 50 ducats for the first string quartet that Galitzin had commissioned but that, perhaps, Henikstein was not willing to pay the money out without express instructions by the Prince;  details taken from p. 229-230.]

Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin an Beethoven

                                                                               [St. Petersburg, 3. Oktober 1823][1]

    Je reçois à l'instant vôtre lettre du 17.[2] et je m'impresse d'y répondre, et d'enjoindre à la maison Henikstein de vous remettre immédiatement les 50# je croyais depuis longtems à votre disposition.[3]  Tachez seulement qu'elle me soit expédiée au plus tôt pur qu'elle puisse être exécutée ici pour Noël.[4] -- J'arrive dans ce moment d'un long vouage que j'ai fait dans les provinces meridioneles de la Russie pour retablir un peu la santé de ma femme, fortement enbranlée par le perte qu'elle a faite de son enfant.[5] -- De toutes les pertes qu'on peut essayer dans ce bas monde, clle de son enfant et assurément le plus sensible.  Mais enfin on n'est pas ici pas pour les plaisirs, et Dieu ne vous ôte rien qu'il ne nous rende au centuple dans cette vie où dans l'autre. J'espère que les infirmités dont vous souffrez recevront un considerable soulagement par le cure des bains de Baaden, qui me sont bien connues, ayuant passé mon enfance à Vienne depuis 1804 à 1806. -- Je joins içi une lettre pour Monsieur Henikstein[6] et je vous prie me faire savoir pour quelle époque vous avez besoin des 150 ducats pour les Quatuors[7]  et je vous les ferai tenir directement.  Agréez l'assurance de ma haute estime et des sentiments d'un parfait devouement.

                                                                                                      Pce Nicolas Galitzin.

Prince Nikolaus Galitzin to Beethoven

                                                                               [St. Petersburg, October 3, 1823][1]

    I have just received your letter of the 17th[2] and am replying to it and am also about to instruct the banker Henikstein to immediately pay out to you the 50 ducats which I, as I believe, had already sent there some time ago.[3]  Only ensure that the Mass will be sent to me as soon as possible so that it can be performed at Christmas time, here[4]--I have just returned from a long journey to southern Russia that I undertook for the sake of the restoration of my wife's health that had been badly affected by the loss of her child.[5]--Of all losses that one can suffer here on earth, certainly, that of one's own child is the most painful one.  However, we are not here on earth for pleasure's sake, and God does not take anything from us that he does not return to us, hundredfold, in other ways, during this life.  I hope that your treatment at Baden, which I still know from my stay in Vienna during my childhood, in the years 1804 to 1805, brought relief from the illnesses from which you suffer.--To this letter, I am adding a letter to Herr Henikstein[6] and bask you to advise me when you will require the 160 ducats for the three string quartets[7], and I shall send them to you, directly.  Please rest completely assured of my respect and of my complete affections.  

                                                                                        Prince Nikolaus Galitzin

[Source: Ludwig van Beeethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No.  1746, p. 231-232]

[Original:  not known; Text, according to theGA, pursuant to TDR V, p. 555f., to [1]: refers to the fact that, as date, TDR lists "23. September/3. Oktober 1823"; to [2]: refers to Letter No. 1743, which has not been preserved; to [3]: refers to the fact that, already in February, 1823, Prince Galitzin had sent 50 ducats for the first string quartet; to [4]: refers to the copy of the score of the Missa solemnis, to which Galitzin has subscribed on August 3,  1823; to [5]: refers to Letter No. 1724; to [6]: refers to the fact that this enclosed letter has not been preseved; to [7]: refers to the fact that this amount was only due in 1825/26 with the dispatch of the three Galitzin Quartets,  op. 127, op. 132 and op. 130; details taken from p. 232.]

Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin an Henikstein & Comp.

                                                                                         [St. Petersburg, 3. Oktober 1823]

[Galitzin gibt die Anweisung, die bereits im Februar 1823 überwiesenen 50 Dukaten, die ursprünglich als Honorar für ein Streichquartett gedacht waren, an Beethoven gegen Übergabe einer Partiturabschrift der Missa solemnis auszuzahlen.  Bei Ablieferung eines der von ihm bestellten Streichquartette soll Heniksein auf Galitzins Rechnung nochmals 50 Dukaten an Beethoven auszahlen.]

Prince Nikolaus Galitzin to Henikstein & Comp.

                                                                                         [St. Petersburg, October 3, 1823]

[Galitzin instructs that the 50 ducats that he had already sent in February, 1823, and which were intended to be payment for the first string quartet, should be paid out to Beethoven when he would hand over the copy of the score to the Missa solemnis.  On delivery of the string quartet that he had commissioned, Henikstein was to pay to Beethoven a further 50 ducats.]

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtasugabe, Vol. 5, Letter No.  1747, p. 232]

[Original: not known, according to the GA, the existence of the letter can be derived from Letters No. 1749 and No. 1746. details taken from p. 232.]

Henikstein & Comp. an Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin in St. Petersburg

                                                                                                            Vienne 25. Oct. 1823.

Monseigneur.

    Nous avons l'honneur d'accouser la reception de la gracieuse Lettre ve V.[otre] A..[ltesse] en Date du 3. courant.[1] et d'accompagner en même temps quittance de Mr. L. v. Beethoven de 50# en or, effectifs,[2] que nous lui avons payés d'ordre et pour compte de V.A. comme honoraire de la Messe[3] que nous avons expédiée par l'entremise de la haute chancellerie de l'Etat. -- Nous observons en outre qu'à mesure q'un des 4 Quatuors[4] sera termine, V.A. nous en fera passer le montant, et la prions de voulois bien agréer etc. etc.

Henikstein & Comp. an Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin in St. Petersburg

                                                                                                            Vienne 25. Oct. 1823.

Monseigneur,

we have the honor of confirming receipt of the letter of your Excellency of the 3rd of this month and to, at the same time, confirm to you the receipt of the amount of 50 gold ducats by Herr  L. v. Beethoven, which we have paid to him on your instructions in payment of the fee for the Mass[3], which we have sent off through the High State Chancellery.--We further note that the instruction for the payment of one of the four string quartets has become null and void, for which you had sent us this amount, and remain, respectfully etc. etc. 

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No. 1749, p. 233]

[Original: not known, Text, according to the GA, pursuant to TDR V, p. 556; to [1]: refers to the fact that Letter No. 1747 has not been preserved; to [2]: refers to the receipt that is dated October 22, 1823; to [3]: refers to the copy of the score of the Missa solemnis that Galitzin had subscribed to on August 3, 1823; to [4]: refers to the fact that Galitzin had only commissioned three string quartets and that he had agreed to pay a fee of 50 ducats each for them; details taken from p. 233.]

 Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin an Beethoven

                                                                               Petersbourg le 29 novembre 1823.

J'ai reçu avec une joie inexprimable, Monsieur la messe que vous venez de composer,[1] et n'ayant pu en juger jusqu' à prèsent que par l'examen de la partition, je lui ai trouvé cette Sublimité qui preside à toutes vos Compositions, et qui rendent vos oeuvres inimitables.  Je m'occupe à faire executer ce bel ouvrage d'une maniére  digne de celui qui l'a Composé,[2] et de ceux qui se font une fête de l'entendre.  Je crois mêmes qu'il serait difficile partout ailleurs de brouver les mêmes resources pour l'execution d'un oratorio comme à Petersbourg.  Les chantres de la Cour qui éxecuteront les choeurs, et les parties de Solo, sont très nombreux et assurement les meilleurs qu'on puisse entendre tant pour la beauté de leur voix que pour l'ensemble. -- Je regrette fort de n'avoir pas encore reçu les Sonates pouir Clavessin que vous m'aves annoncées il y a longtemps;[3] je suis avide de tout ce qui vient de vous, et je posséde tout autre instrument.  Je me plais même dans mes momens de loisir à arranger en quotuor quelques unes de vos belles Sonates pour clavessin seul, et comme je ne joue pas de cet instrument je me plais à les executer en quotuor.[4]  J'ai Cependant entendu aussi toutes ces pièces éxecutées sur le clavessin, car M. Zeuner[5] qui a le bonheur d'être connu de vous, et qui est un de vos plus grands admirateurs, frequente journallement ma maison, et je ne le tiens jamais quitte sans qu'il ne m'ait joué quelque piéce de votre Composition. C'est Ainsi qu'elles me sont devenues toutes familières, et c'est à cet artiste distingué que je dois mon gout pour la musique, lo Connaissance de vos ouvrages, et surtout de les savoir apprécier.

      Le mauvais gout qui regne en Europe me revolte, et la charlatanerie italienne m'excède; mais tout cet enthousiasm pour les gargouillades iteliennes passera avec la mode et vos chefs d'oeuvres sont immortels.  Je suis bien impatient de posseder un quotuor nouveau de vous,[6] mais je vous prie du reste de n'y pas faire attention, et de ne Consltuer la dessus que vos insporation et les dispositions de vôtre esprit.  Car personne mieux que moi ne sait qu'on ne Commande pas au Genie, mais qu'il faut le laisser faire, et nous savon du reste que dans vôtre vie privée vous n'êtes pas homme à Sacrifier l'interêt le l'art à l'interêt personnel, et que de la musique de Commande n'est point vôtre fait. -- Je vous prie seulement de vous reppeler de moi dans vous moments d'inspirations.

    Puisse le Ciel nous conserver encore longtems une vie aussi précieuse que la vôtre, en vo[us ren]dant * une santé pour le retablissement de [la]quelle * je fais des voeux bien sincères.  T[rop] * jeune pour avoir connu le celebre Mozart, [et] * n'ayant assisté qu'aux dernières années de Haydn, que je n'ai fait qu'entrevoir dans mon enfance à Vienne,[7] je me rejouis d'ètre le Conteporain du troisieme hèros de la musique, qui ne peut trouver que dans eux des égaux, et que l'on doit à juste titre proclamer le Dieu de la melodie et de la harmonie. --

Agréex, je vous prie l'expression bien sincère des sentimens que je vous ai voués.

                                                                                           Prince Nicolas Galitzin

Prince Nikolaus Galitzin to Beethoven

                                                                              Petersburg the 29th of November 1823.

To Monsieur Louis van Beethoven in Vienna in Austria

    With indescribably you I have, very dear Sir, received the Mass that you have composed,[1] and thus far, I could only discern from looking at the score, that we have found a sublimity in it that is prevalent in all of your compositions and that makes your works incomparable.  I shall occupy myself with ensuring that this work will be performed in a manner that is befitting and does honor to its composer and to the guests who will be present at that occasion.[2]  I believe that everywhere else, it would be difficult to find the same means for the performance of such an oratorio, as we have them in Petersburg.  The court singers and choirs that will perform the solo parts are very numerous and certainly the best that one can hear, with respect to the beauty of the voices, and with respect to the overall impression.  --I very much regret not to have received, yet, the piano sonatas that you had announced to me, a long time ago;[3] I am very keen on all of your works and I am in possession of such for all other instruments.  In my spare time, it is a delight for me to arrange some of your beautiful piano sonatas as string quartets and, since I do not play the piano, I also like to perform them as quartets.[4]  However, I have also heard all of these pieces performed in the piano, since Herr Zeuner[5], who had the fortune of making your acquaintance, and who is a great admirer of your works, often frequents my house and never leaves it without having played one or the other work of your composition.  Thus, your works have become quite familiar to me, and it is this distinguished artist through whom I have acquired my musical taste and my knowledge of your works and their full appreciation.   

The bad taste and the Italian charlatanry that prevail in Europe, upset me greatly; however, all the enthusiasm for Italian gimmicks will pass with time, and your works will remain immortal.  I am very impatient to own a new quartet by you,[6] however, I ask you to take no heed of this and not to let yourself be distracted from your inspirations.

May heaven preserve such a valuable life as yours, for a long time, for us, and for your health and for its preservation, I send you my sincerest wishes.  Too young to still have known the celebrated Mozart, and *, during the last yeears of Haydn during my stay in Vienna in my childhood{7], not having been supported in making his acquaintance,  I enjoy being the contemporary of the third hero of music who shall not find his equal and who, rightfully, carries the title of God of music, melody and harmony.--

Pleas accept the most sincere expression of my devotion to you. 

                                                                                       Prince Nikolaus Galitzin.

To Herr Ludwig van Beethoven in Vienna in Austria.

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No.  1752, p. 234-236]

[Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; zu *: refers to loss of text due to seal damage; to [1]: refers to the copy of the score of op. 131 123 which, after October 22, 1823, had been sent off through the Russian Embassy in Vienna to St. Petersburg; with respect to this, the GA refers to the receipt of the same date and to Letter No. 1749; to [2]: refers to the fact that the Mass was performed in St. Petersburg on April 7, 1824, as the GA points out, at the first complete performance of op. 123; to [3]: refers to the fact that Beethoven, in a letter of around June 21, 1823, that has not been preserved, had announced the dispatch of printed copies of op. 111 and of the Diabelli Variations, op. 120; according to the GA, the parcel was apparently lost; to [4]: here, the GA refers to Lev Ginsburg, Ludwig van Beethoven und Nikolai Galitzin, in BJb 4 (1962), p. 61f.; to [5]: refers to Karl Traugott Zeuner [1775 - 1841], a pianist, composer and student of Türk and Clementi, who had settled in St. Petersburg after 1805; to 6]: refers to the fact that, on November 9, 1822, Galitzin had commissioned three string quartets from Beethoven; to [7]: refers to the fact that Galitzin had come to Vienna at the age of ten and that he lived there from 1804 to 1804, see Letter No. 1746; details taken from p. verweist darauf, dass Galitzin im Alter von 10 Jahren nach Wien kam und dort von 1804 bis 1806 lebte, details taken from p. 235-236.]

Beethoven an Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin in St. Petersburg

                                                                                                   [Wien, 13. Dezember 1823]

    Pardonnez-moi, mon Prince honoré!  Lorsque l'exemplaire de la Messe vous fut envoyé, je me trouvai encore à Baen,[1] et il y a peu de temps que par lese exemplaires qui furent remis à quelcques autres de mes Souscripteurs, je m'aperçcus, à mon grand dépit, du défaut de la premiere feuille du Gloria, que j'avais fair couper de l'original pour empêcher toute fraude ou vol de la part du copist; c'est pourquoi je crains que cette feulle ne manque aussi à l'exemplaire que Vous avez reçu.[2]  Que je suis faché de cet accident fatal, qouique arrivée sans ma faute!  Cependant j'espère que cette feuille vous viendra encore à juste temps.  En cas que cele ne fût pas, vous pourriez peut-être Vous procurer pour quelche temps l'exemplaire tout à fait complete, qui a été envoyé S.M. L'empereur de la Russie.[3]  Au commencement du Gloria (In Gloria Dei patris) le Tempo a été oublié, qui doit être marqué de la manière cijointe.

                              Allo maestoso e moderato

(Notenbeispiel)

                              In    glo ---------------------------------------------

    Je viens de recevoir votre lettre si aimable du 29 Nov.,[4] mais c'est avec tristesse et battement de coeur que je la reçcois.  Au premier jour de poste qui viendra, j'aurai l'honneur d'y répondre.

                                                                                                     louis van Beethoven

Vienne le 13 Dec. 1823.

P.S.

    Je ne me souviens pas, si je n'ai, de la raison indiquée, aussi fait couper la dernière feuille du Gloria; pour prévenir à toute méprise, j'aurai l'honneur de vous l'envoyer presque en même temps avec la première.  Mais si la fin du Gloria que vous trouverez écrite au commencement de la page suivante, ne manque pas, je supplie Votre Altesse de m'en avertir.

                 Vni primo (Notenbeispiel)

                        Canto (Notenbeispiel)

                         Bassi (Notenbeispiel)

                                                                                                                      La fin du Gloria

A son Altesse Le Prince Nicolas de Galitzin à St. Pétersbourg (en Russie) Aux soins de mrs. Stieglitz et Compie, Banquiers.

Beethoven to Prince Nikolaus Galitzin in St. Petersburg

                                                                                          [Vienna, December 13, 1823]

Pardon me, my very esteemed Prince!  When the copy of the Mass was sent to you, I was still at Baden[1] and it took some time until the copies to my other subscribers had been sent off, until I, to my greatest regret, had to discover the error on the first page of the Gloria, which I had to keep out of the original, in order to avoid any betrayal or theft by the copyist; therefore, I am afraid that this page is also missing in your copy which you have received.[2]  I am very sorry for this fatal error which occurred without my fault!  However, I hope that this page will reach you, still in time.  In the event that this should not be the case, you might, perhaps, be able to obtain the complete copy that had been sent to His Majesty the Czar of Russia.[3]  At the beginning of the Gloria (In Gloria Dei patris) the tempo has been forgotten which has to be marked in the enclosed manner, 

                              Allo maestoso e moderato

(Note Sample)

                             In    glo ---------------------------------------------

I just received your kind letter of November 29th,[4] but it is with sadness and ecxitement, that I have rece3ived it.  I shall have the honor of replying to it by the next mail day.  

                                                                                                           louis van Beethoven  

P.S. 

I do not recall whether I did not have the last page of the Gloria not cut due to the indicated reason; in order to avoid any confusion, I shall have the honor of sending you this page almost simultaneously with the first one.  However, in the event that the conclusion of the Gloria which you will find at the beginning of the following page, is not missing, I ask your Excellency to inform me of it.  

     Vni primo (Note Sample)

     Canto (Note Sample)

     Bassi (Note Sample)

                                                                                           The Conclusion of the Gloria

To his Excellency Prince Nikolaus Galitzin in St. Petersburg (in Russia) Attention to  Stieglitz & Co., Bankers. 

[Quelle: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Band 5, Brief Nr. 1757, S. 240-241]

[Original: by the hand of the nephew Karl; signature and notes by v Beethoven, Geneva, Bibliothèque publique et universitaire; to [1]: refers to the fact that Beethoven has submitted the copy of the score of the Missa solemnis for Prince Galitzing to Henikstein on October 22, 1823; to [2]: refers to the fact that Galitzin had received a coplete copy, ad his reply of December 30, 1823  (Letter No. 1763] show; to [3]: refers to the fact that the copy of the score for the Czar had apparently been submitted to the Russian Embassy in Vienna at the end of June, 1823, see Letter No. 1684; to  [4]: refers to Letter No. 1752; details taken from p. 241.]

Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin an Beethoven

                                                                              [St. Petersburg, 30. Dezember 1823][1]

    Je viens de recevoir, Monsieur, vôtre lettre du 13. Decembre avec l'envoi de la premiere page du  G l o r i a.[2] J'ai été assez heureux pur que l'eexemplaire que j'ai reçu ait été complet et rien n'y manqua à ce qu'il me semble -- je m'en serais apperçu depuis longtems parceque j'étudie tous les jours la partition et sans avoir entendu ce chef-d'oeuvre je l'ai dans la tête.  Le tems que vous avez crû ne pas être marqué dans le morceau i n   g l o r i a  p a t r i s  se trouve aussi marqué dans la partition mais au lieu de  m a e s t o s o    e   m o d e r a t o  il est dit   a l l e g r o   m a   n o n   t r o p p o  e   b e n    m a r c a t o,[3] ce revient presque au même.  Lundi prochain nous ferons la premire grande répétition a grand orchestre de la Messe, mais elle ne pourra être exécutée qu'au mois de Fevrier en Carême.[4]  Je mets tous mes soins à ce que ce chef-d'oeuvre soit exécuté d'une manière digne de son celèbre auteur. -- J'attends avec impatience la lettre que vous me promettiez comme tout ce qui vient de vous.[5]  Faites moi savoir si vous n'avez pas besoin de 50# pour le 1er Quatuor je vous les ferai tenir incessament.[6] -- J'aurais désiré aussi que vous m'envoyeriez les temps de tous les morceux de la messe d'après le métronome de Maelzel[7] ce qui nous donnera une plus juste idée de la manière[8] dont vous voulez que les mouvements soient pris.  Je vous engage même beaucoup à faire cette opération pur toutes les oeuvres que vous avez composés; car j'ai souvent observß de grandes variations dans la manière dont on exécute votre musique, et pour trancher la question et les différens avis il faudrait de vous même les mouvemens dans les quels vous désirez qu'on joue toutes vos compositions.  Le métreonome de Maelzel me semble précieux pour cette communication.-- Adieu, Monsieur, recevez l'assurance bien sincère d'un dévouement et d'une admiration sans bornes.

                                                                                              Pce Nicolas Galitzin.

Je n'ai pas encore la musqie dont vous mavez annoncé l'envoi.[9] -- Mais j'ai trové chez les Marchands de Musique d'ici votre oeuvre 120 qui est 33 Variations etc.  Ce morceau est un chef-doeuvre comme tout ce qui vient de vous, on ne peut qu'admirer l'heureuse fécondité que la science de l'harmonie vous inspire dans ce morceau. -- Je ne connais pas les oeuvres qui se trouvent entre la dite OEuvre 120 et la Sonate Oeuv. 111.[10]  Je n'ai pas pû me les procurer et je m'adresse à vous pour vous demander qu'elles sont les oeuvres qui me manquent, afin que je puisse les procurer.

 

Prince Nikolaus Galitzin to Beethoven

                                                                              [St. Petersburg, December 30, 1823][1]

    Right now, dear Sir, I have received your letter of December 13th with the first page of the  G l o r i a.[2]  I was very glad that the copy that I had received was completed and that nothing was amiss with respect to it.--for a long time, I have studied the score, every day, and without having heard this work, I have it in my head.  The tempo that you have indicated is also marked in the  i n   g l o r i a   p a t r i s  section of the score, however, instead of  m a e s t o s o   e   m o d e r a t o  it is designated as a l l e g r o    m a   n o n   t r o p p o   e   b e n   m a r c a t o,[3] this returns almost at the same spot.   Next Monday, we will hold our major orchestra rehearsal of the Mass; however, it can not be performed until the month of February or during Lent.   I shall wholly concentrate on ensuring that this work will be performed in such a dignified manner that it will do its famous author justice.--I await, as everything that comes from you, with impatience the letter that you have promised me.[5]  Let me know whether you need 50# for the first Quartet; I shall dispatch the sae to you, immediately.[6]--I would also have wished that you would send me the Tempi of all movements of the mass with metronome markings pursuant to Mälzel[7], which would provide us with a more precise impression of the way[8] in which you would want them performed.  I even ask you to provide those markings for all works that you have composed, for I have observed great differences in the way in which your music is performed, and in order to clarify the question as to the different views on this, one would need from you these markings for all movements so that one would know how to play your compositions.  For this purpose,  Mälzels metronom appears valuable to me--Fare well, dear Sir, and accept my sincere assurance of my boundless devotion and admiration.  

                                                                                          Prince Nikolaus Galitzin.

I have not yet received the music that you had promised to me[9], but I have found your work no. 120 in one of the local music shops, the 33 variations etc.  This piece is a work with respect to which one, as with respect to everything that comes from you, can only admire the fortunate fertility with which the science of harmony has guided you.--I do not know the works between the said op. 120 and your Sonata, op. 111[10].  I was not able to obtain those and therefore am turning to you in order to ask you to let me know whether I am missing those works, so that I can try to obtain them.  

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No.  1763, p. 246-247]

[Original:  not known, Text, according to the GA, pursuant to TDR V, p. 557 ff.; to [1]: refers to dating pursuant to TDR; to [2]: refers to Letter No. 1757; to [3]: refers to the fact that the indication of the tempo can also be found in the original edition of op. 123; to  [4]: refers to dating pursuant to the Russian calendar; to [5]: refers to the fact that, in Letter No. 1757, Beethoven had promised to reply to Galitzin's letter of November 29, 1823, on the next 'postal' day; to [6]: refers to the fact that, already in February 1823, Galitzin had sent 50 ducats for the first string quartet; to [7]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had not provided metronome markings to the Mass; to [8]: refers to the erroneous version in TDR; to [9]: refers to printed copies of op. 111 and op. 120; to [10]: refers to the works between op. 111 and op. 120, which, in part, had not been published, yet; details taken from p. 247.]   


Since Thayer's report (p. 924-925) mainly provides accompanying explanations to the above-noted letters,  we can use these in order to summarize the state of this matter at the end of 1823, as follows:  

1.  When, on November 29, 1823, Prince Galitzin received the copy of the score to the Missa solemnis, according to Thayer, a page of the Gloria was missing that Beethoven, out of caution, had left out of the autograph in order to prevent his manuscript from being stolen while it was being copied; 

2.  As the above-noted letter by Beethoven of December 13, 1823, to Prince Galitzin shows, Beethoven promised him that the missing page would follow, soon; 

3.  In his reply of December 30, 1823, Prince Galitzin wrote that the Mass would probably be performed in St. Petersburg in February or around Easter, 1824.  

 

SPRING 1824:  PREMIERE OF THE MISSA SOLEMNIS IN ST. PETERSBURG 

Thayer's comments (p. 925) indicate that, after Prince Galitzin had paid his subscription to the Missa solemnis out of the funds (50 ducats) that he had already dispatched to Vienna (through the Viennese banker Henikstein), he again grew impatient with respect to the first string quartet he had commissioned and conveyed to Beethoven that he, in the event that he needed money, he would gladly provide him with it.  In his letter of March 11, 1824, in which he discusses this matter, he also advised Beethoven that the premiere of the Missa solemnis would take place on April 7, 1824.  Let us take a look at the original text of this letter, followed by our translation into English:  

 

 Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin an Beethoven 

                                                                                              Petersbourg le 11 mars 1824.

 Monsieur

    Il ya déjà quelque temps qu je n'ai reçu aucune nouvelle de vous[1] ce qui me cause véritablement de la peine.  Je crains que ce ne soit votre santé qui est alterée et qui me prive de la réalisation de vos promesses.[2]  Je sais que vos occupations sont si nombreuses que les réclamations étrangères doivent vous être à charge. -- Veuillez je vous prie me faire savoir à quelle époque je puis espérer les quatuors que j'attends avec tout l'impatience, et si vous avez besoin d'argent, veuillez tirer la somme que vous voudrez sur M.M. Stieglitz et Co* à Petersbourg, qui paieront à votre ordre tout ce que vous tirerez sur eux. -- Nous voici arrivés bientôt à l'epoque ou nous devons entrendre votre chef-d'oeuvre[3] Cette epoque a été retardée pour donner aux chantres les temps de bien connnaître leurs parties qui ne sont pas faciles.  En outre nous comptons faire un dizaine de répetitions générales pour que cet oeuvre soit représenté avec toute la perfection que mérite sa sublimité.--Jusqu'à présent nous n'avons fait qu'une répétition de l'orchestre sans choeurs pour vérifier les parties copiées.  Mais il s'était introduit tantes de fautes, que nous n'avons pu mettre aucune suite à notre répétition devant nous arrêter à chachue instant pour corriger les fautes.--Il s'est aussi trouvé beaoucoup de fautes d'omission dans la partition[4]: toutes ces difficultés nous ont  fait remettre définitivement au 7 avril la réprésentation du bénéfice des veuves des musiciens au profit de quelles j'ai fait hommage de la partition.

    Veuillez je vous prie m'accorder un mot de réponse et me croire le plus sincère et le plus zélé de vos admirateurs et amis.

                                                                                                     P.[rince] Nicolas Galitzin.

  P.S. De toutes les oeuvres que vous avez composées il en est une je m'ai jamais pu me procurer, c'est l'oeuvre 56 qui je crois est un concert pour pianoforte, violon et violoncelle.  Je n'en connais que la polonaise arrangé à mains qui est extraite de cette oeuvre.[5] -- Pourrai-je espérer de votre extrême complaisance que vous voudriez bien me la faire dès que vous pourrez.

Prince Nikolaus Galitzin to Beethoven 

                                                                                                                                                                              Petersburg, the 11th of March, 1824

Dear Sir,

   It has been some time since I have received news from you[1], which really pains me.  I am afraid that it is your health that has changed and that jeopardizes the realization of your promises[2].   I know that your activities are so numerous that requests from abroad must be a burden to you.--Will you kindly inform me when I can hope for the quartets which I am expecting with great impatience, and, in the event that you require money, you can acquire the desired amount from M.M. Stieglitz & Co. in St. Petersburg, who, upon your request, will dispatch the desired amount to you.  By now, we almost have arrived at the time in which we will perform your work here[3].  This has been postponed so that the choir leader would have enough time to familiarize himself with all parts, which are not easy.  Moreover, we intend to hold ten general rehearsals so that this work will be performed with the required perfection that its sublime character deserved.--Until today, we have only held one choir rehearsal in order to try out the copied parts.  However, a mistake has crept in so that we could not hold a repetition of the choir rehearsal but rather had to stop in order to immediately correct the mistakes.--We also found many omission errors in the score[4]: all of these difficulties caused us to postpone the benefit concert for the widows of the musicians, for which purpose I selected the score, to April 7th.  

Will you please let me have an answer and please consider me as one of your most sincere and enthusiastic admirers and friends.  

                                                                                                    Prince Nikolaus Galitzin

P.S.  Of all the works that you have composed, there is one that I was not yet able to obtain, namely op. 56, which, as I believe, is a Concerto for Piano, Violin and Violoncello.  Of it, I only know the "fourhanded" Polonaise that has been published as a reduction of this work.[5]--May I hope for your utmost kindness of sending me this work, as soon as you can.  

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe Vol. 5, Letter No. 1789, p. 283-284]

[Original:  not known; text pursuant to TDR V, p. 558f., to [1]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had last written to Galitzin on December 13, 1823, in reply to which the latter had written to him on December 30, 1823; to [2]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had promised Galitzin the composition of various string quartets in January, 1823; to  [3]: refers to the Missa solemnis, the St. Petersburger premiere of which Galitzin organized; to [4]: refers to the copy of the score of the Missa solemnis, that Galitzin had received from Beethoven for 50 ducats; to ]5]: refers to the fact that the third movement of op. 56 had been published as a piano reduction with the title Polonaise concertante by Kühnel in Leipzig, in 1808; details taken from p. 283-284.]

 

Thayer (p. 925) also refers to Galitzin's report of the first performance of the Missa solemnis in his letter to Beethoven of April 8, 1824, which we want to quote from the Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe with our translation into English:  

 

 Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin an Beethoven

                                                                                                    [Petersburg, 8. April 1824]

    Je m'empresse de vous donner, Monsieur, des nouvelles de l'execution de vôtre  sublime chef d'oeuvre que nous avons fait connaitre au public d'içi  avant hier soir.[1] Depuis plusieurs mois mon impatience etait extrême d'entendre ecouter cette musique dont j'entrevoyais toutes les beautés dans la partition. L'effet que cette musique a fait sur le public est inexplicable, et je ne crains pas d'exagerer que pour ma part à moi je n'ai jamais rien entendu de si sublime; j'en excepte même les chefs d'oeuvres de Mozart qu'aavec leurs eternelles beautés, ne m'ont pas fait naitre les mêmes sensations que vous m'avez données  Monsieur par le Kyrie, et le Gloria de votre messe.  La savante harmonie et la touchante mélodie du Benedictus transportent l'ame dans un sejour vraiement bienheureux.  Enfin toute cette oeuvre est un trésor de beauté.  On peut dire que vôtre genie a dévancé les siécles et qu'il n'y a peut être pas d'auditeur assez eclairés pour gouter toute la beauté de votre musique, mais c'est la posterité qui rendra hommage et qui benira votre mémoire , bien mieux que ne pourront le faire vos contemporains.  Le Prince Radzivil qui, vous le savez est un grand amateur de musique, est arrivé depuis quelques jours de Berlin, [2] et a assisté a la representation de votre messe, qu'il ne connaissait pas encore: il en a été ravi tout comme moi, ete comme tout les assistans. -- J'espère que votre santé se rétablit et que vous nous donnerez encore plusieurs productions de votre sublime génie. -- Pardonnez moi l'ennui que je vous cause souvent par mes lettres, mais c'est le tribut sincère d'un de vos plus grands admirateures.

                                                                                      P.[rince] Nicolas Galiztin

S. Petersbourg le 8 avril 1824.

A Monsieur Monsieur Louis van Beethoven a Vienne.

Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin an Beethoven

                                                                                                    [Petersburg, 8. April 1824]

I take the liberty of providing you with a report of the performance of your sublime work which we gave here in public, yesterday.[1]  For several months, my impatience grew to an extraordinary degree, since I wanted to hear the music, the beauties of which I had seen beforehand, in the score.  The effect that this music made in public, is inexplicable, and I am afraid that it is not an exaggeration when I convey to you that I, for my part, have never heard anything so sublime, and with respect to that, I do not even exclude the works of Mozart that I have heard and that, with their immortal beauty, could not evoke the same emotions that you, revered Sir, have conveyed through the Kyrie and Gloria of your Mass.  The learned harmony and the moving melody of the Benedictus transports one into an extraordinarily blissful sphere.  In short, this work is full of beauty.  One can say that your genius is ahead of its time for centuries and that today's listeners are not educated enough, yet, in order to appreciate the beauty of your music; however, it will be in times to come that listeners will show you their respect and reverence and in which they will preserve your memory better than it is done by your contemporaries.   Prince Radziwill, who, as you know, is a great musical amateur, has arrived here from Berlin, for a few days[2], and he helped with the performance of the Mass that he did not know, yet.  He was as enthused about it as I and as all other volunteers. --I hope that your health has been restored and that you will still present us with many products of your sublime genius.--Forgive me that I am a burden to you with my letters, but they are the sincere tribute of one of your greatest admirers. 

                                                                                           Prince Nikolaus Galitzin

Petersburg, the 8th of April, 1824

To Herr Herr Louis van Beethoven in Vienna.

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No. 1807, p. 298]

[Original: Vienna, Wiener Beethoven-Gesellschaft; to [1]: refers to the fact that the performance took place on April 7, 1824; to [2]: refers to the fact that Prince Anton Heinrich Radziwill, administrator of the Grand Duchy of Posen, was one of the subscribers to the Missa solemnis; details taken from p. 298.]

                                                                                                                  

 

To this letter we can still note that also Thayer (in his footnote no. 62 on p. 925) points out that Prince  Galitzin was wrong when he, in his letter, referred to the evening of the day before yesterday as the evening of the first performance of the Mass, since it took place on April 7, 1824.  In doing to, Thayer relied on Boris Schwarz  (Thayer's Sourcee:  Boris Schwarz, "More Beethoveniana in Soviet Russia," MQ, Vol. 49, 1963, p. 147-149), who, on the basis of various Russian periodicals and papers, determined that it took place on March 26 (according to the Russian calendar, thus, according to the Western calendar, on April 7).   Moreover, also the May 27, 1824, edition of the Leipzig Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitschrift referred to March 26th as the date of the St. Petersburg premiere of the Mass.  In addition, Prince Galitzin, in his letter to Beethoven of March 11, 1824, had advised the latter that the premiere would take place on April 7th, 1824.  

To Galitzin's letter of thanks to Beethoven of April 8, 1824, Roger Fiske, in his work, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, which was published in 1979, noted:  

"The Vienna performances had been forestalled, it will be remembered, by one in St Petersburg on 7 April, and in spite of the waspishness he displayed later on the subject it is supposed that the driving force behind this performance was Prince Nikolas Galitzin.  About thirty years old, he was an industrious promoter of musical events in St Petersburg as well as an amateur cellist of some ability.  But musical standards in Russia cannot have been as high as those in Central Europe, and both choir and orchestra must have found the problems of the Credo insuperable.  The letter of thanks and congratulation that the Prince wrote to Beethoven the day after the concert included the ominous sentence:  'Your genius is centuries before its time.'  Though he praised with ecstasy the Kyrie and the Gloria, and considered that 'the masterly harmony and the moving melody of the Benedictus transport the heart to a plane that is truly blissful', he made no mention of the Credo and the probability is that is was omitted.  . .  .  ' (Fiske: 27).

As Thayer (p. 926) further reports, Beethoven replied to Galitzin with his letter of May 26, 1824.  Since this letter has been preserved, we can feature its original text here and provide you with our translation into English:  

 Beethoven an Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin in St. Petersburg

                                                                                                    vien am 26ten May 1824.

Mein Verehrter Geliebter Fürst!

    So viele ihrer Liebenswürdigen Zuschriften unbeantwortet,[1]-- schreiben sie es nur der Überhäufung von Beschäftigungen zu, gewiß sonst keiner Nachläßigkeit von meiner Seite -- zulezt noch zu ein paar Akademien aufgefordert,[2] wobey ich Zeit und Geld verlohren, zur Schande unserer jezigen Einrichtungen Viens mußte ich das opfer eines gewesenen Tänzers Duport <weren> Pächter des Kärtnerthors werden[3] -- erlaßen sie mir die gemeinen Details, welche sie ebenfalls empören u. anekeln würden so wie mich deren widerhohlung und Beschreibung; nur sey es mir vergönnt ihnen zu sagen, daß ich viel Zeit u. Geld verlust dabey hatte.--ich vernehme hier, daß jezt in Petersburg auch die Meße als oratorium im großen gegeben werden soll,[4] meine Umstände zwingen mich, da man hier gar nichts für mich vielmehr wider mich thut, eine 2te kleine Prenumeration einzuschlagen auf dieses werk, u. so zwar, wie I.[hre] d.[urchlaucht mir einmal schrieben ein gestochenes Exemplar der partitur für 5 Dukaten in gold anzubiethen,[5] welche Partitur in einem  halben Jahre erscheinen u. abgeschikt werden könnte, die Einladung dazu kann ich erst ihnen mit nächster Post schicken --

    ihr ihnen so lange versprochenes quartett werden sie bald erhalten vieleicht auch die andern,[6] wäre nur die nachfrage u. aufmunterung von allen Seiten nach großen werken nicht so stark,[7] das Bedürfniß der Zeit erfodert es, der Armuth wird dadurch aller orten beholfen u. gesteuert, welcher Antrieb solche Werke zu fördern! -- da ich wohl denken kann, daß sie selbst zu diesem Zwecke Werke gebrauchen, so werde ich I.[hrer] d.[urchlaucht] eine neue overture[8] ein Terzett, welches von 3 hiesigen Italienern gesungen trefflich aufgeführt wurde,[9] übersenden, sollten sie eine neue große sinfonie, welche mit einem Finale, wobey Chöre u. Solostimmen einfallen,[10] wünschen, so würde ich auch selbst in Partitur abschreiben laßen, Es brauchte keiner sonstigen Belohnung als nur Vergütung der CopiaturKosten--vieleicht wäre es möglich, daß durch ihre Bemühungen die Meße Sr. Majestät der Kayserin von Rusl.[and] könnte gewidmet werden,[11] vieleicht gar, daß ein so großmüthiger Monarch wie der Kayser von Rusland, mir eine Pension jährl. auswerfen würde, wofür ich alle Großen werke von mir Sr. Majestät zuerst übersenden würde, u. auch aufträge Sr. Majestät schnell erfüllen würde u dadurch auch der Nothleidnden Menscheit zeitlich geholfen werden könnte. --

    hier beyfolgend ein Abdruck der Medaille[12] von Sr. Majestät von Frankreich zum Zeiche[n]* ihrer Zufriedenheit mit meiner Meße die Medaille wiege ein halb Pfund in Gold, u. italienische verse auf mich[13] -- das ist <nur> die glänzende AußenSeite des Genies, nur die AußenS[eite . . . ?}*

Ihre Du[rch]laucht* mit aller liebe u[nd V]erehrung verharre[nder]

                                                                                                                  Beethoven

A Monseigneur Le Prince Nicolas de Galizin à St. Petersbourg

Aux soins des Mess. Stieglitz et Comp. banquiers.

Beethoven to Prince Nikolaus Galitzin in St. Petersburg

                                                                                           Vienna the 26th of May,  1824.

My beloved, revered Prince!

    So many of your kind letters unanswered.[1]--Attribute this only to an over-abundance of acticities, certainly not any other neglect on my part--most recently, also having been requested to give a couple of academies,[2] wherby I lost time and money, to Vienna's shame, I had to become the victim of a certain dancer named Duport, the tenant of the Kärntnerthor-Theater[3]--spare me the common details which would also upset and disgust you, as would me their repetition and description; I should only have the chance of telling you that I incurred a great loss of time and money with that,--here, I learned, that in Petersburg, the Mass is planned to be performed in great style as an oratorio.[4]  my circumstances force me, since here, one is not doing anything for me but rather against me, namely, as your Highness once wrote to me, to offer a printed copy of the score for 5 gold ducats,[5] which score could be published and sent off within half a year, the invitation for that, I can only send you with the next mail--

    your quartet that I had promised you, a long time ago, you will receive soon, perhaps also the others,[6] if the request and encouragement for me to write great works would only not be so strong, from all sides,[7] the needs of the time require it, poverty is helped in that way, everywhere, what an incentive to further such works!--Since I can well imagine that you, yourself, require works for such a purpose, I shall send your Highness a new overture[8], a Terzett that has been splendidly sung by 3 local Italians here,[9] should you wish to receive a new great symphony which ends with a finale in which choirs and solo voices join in,[10], I would have it copies in score, myself.  As a reward, I would only require the reimbursement of the copying costs--perhaps, with your mediation and help, it would be possible that the Mass could be dedicated to Her Majesty, the Empress of Russia,[11], perhaps, such a magnanimous monarch would even set out an annual pension for me, in exchange of which I would send his Majesty all of my great works, first and also carry out all of his commissions expediently, through which, in turn, suffering mankind would be helped, as well.-- 

    enclosed with this you will also find an imprint of the Medal[12] from His Majesty the King of France, as a token of His appreciation of my Mass, the Medal weighs half a pound in bold and Italian verses about me [are shown][13]--this is only the glittering outside of the genius, only the outside  . . . ?}*

Remaining, with all love and reverence, your

                                                                                                                  Beethoven

A Monseigneur Le Prince Nicolas de Galizin à St. Petersbourg

Aux soins des Mess. Stieglitz et Comp. banquiers.

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. V, Letter No.  1841, p. 328-330]

[Original: Paris, Musée Adam Mickiewicz; to [1]: refers to Letters No. 1763, 1789 and 1807 of December 12, 1823, respectively March 11, 1824 and April 8, 1824; to [2]: refers to the Academies of May 7th and May 23rd, 1824; to [3]: refers to Louis Antoine Duport, the administrator of the Kärtnerthortheater; to [4]: refers to the fact that obviously, in Vienna, it was not yet known that the Missa solemnis had already been performed in St. Petersburg on April 7, 1824; to [5]: refers to Letter No. 1724 of August 3, 1823 and to the plan of the prenumeration of printed copies of the score; to [6]: refers to the first of the three Galitzin Quartets, op. 127, which was only completed in February, 1825; to [7]: refers to the fact that Beethoven was urged to compose and oratorio and an opera; to [8]: refers to op. 124; to [9]: refers to op. 116; to [10]: refers to op. 125; to [11]: refers to the fact that Galitzin referred Beethoven's Letter No. 1835 of June 16, 1824, to Count  Nesselrode; to [12]: probably refers to the printed version which was published as an appendix to edition No. 25 of the Viennese AMZ of April 28, 1824; to [13]: refers to the Ode A Lodovico van Beethoven by Calisto Bassi, which had been performed in the academy of May 23, 1824 and which, according to the GA, on account of its references to the circumstances of Mozart's death, prompted the attention and activity of the censorship authorities; details taken from p. 329-330.]

 

In this context, Thayer points out that, in his letter of May 5, 1823, Galitzin had asked Beethoven to send him a letter written in his own hand and in German language, so that he would also own a letter from Beethoven's own hand, which the composer did with this letter.  

Thayer (p. 927) then refers to Galitzin's reply of June 16 to Beethoven.  As we can see from the text below, Galitzin confirms having received Beethoven's letter of May 26 and that he was very delighted about it and that he would reply to him with the next mail.  Thayer also refers to Galitzin's post script, namely, that in case of need, Beethoven could always turn to him: 

 Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin an Beethoven

                                                                                            S. Petersbourg le 16 juin 1824.

   Je viens de recevoir, Monsieur, vôtre lettre du 26 May[1] qui m'a a causé un plaisir [sic] inexprimable, comme celui que j'éprouve chaque fois que je reçois devos letteres.  Je m'empresse d'y repondre par la premiére poste.  

Prince Nikolaus Galitzin to Beethoven

                                                                            St. Petersburg, the 16 th of June, 1824.

Dear Sir, I have just received your letter of May 26th, which gave me an indescribable pleasure, as every time, when I receive one of your letters. I shall respond to it with the next post.

. . . 

I ask you to accept my reassurance of my sincere friendship and boundless reverence.  

                                                                                                          N. Galitzin

    Should you find yourself even in the slightest difficulty, please turn to me, quickly.  I shall consider myself happy to be able to be of service to you. 

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No.  1845, p. 332-333]

[Original: Vienna, Wiener Beethoven-Gesellschaft; to [1]: refers to Letter No. 1841;  details taken from p. 333.]

Fürst Nikolaus Galitzin an Beethoven

                                                                                              [St. Petersburg, 28. Juli 1824]

    . . . J'ai lu dans les journaux le relation de la brillante Academie que vous avez donne à Vienne.[2]  Céla me fait désirer encore plus ardamment le faire Consaissance avec ce sublime chef-d'oeuvre.  Que n'aurait-je donné pour être à Vienne dans ce moment. L'ingratitude de cette Capitale pour vous me révolte, et je pense que vous vous seriez vien mieuz trouvé si vous n'y aviez fixé vôtre séjour.  Même à présent je suis convaincu que si vous voulez voyager en Europe sans autres trésors que vos productions, et sans d'autres recommendations que vos immortels chefs d'oeuvre, vous verréz courir l'univers au devant de vus. Vôtre soule presence à Paris, Londres, feraient oublier tout le reste, et les Académies que vous y donneriez ne réssembleraient pas à cella de Vienne.  Vous avez des enthousiastes par toût, et combien d'autres qui n'ont presque pas entendu de vos Compositions, le deviendront quand ils auront assistés aux académies que vous donneriez.  Ce que je vous dis là, je le désire autant pour vôtre interêt que pour Vôtre gloire, et pur la gloire de la science.  Le Génie est réveré partout vous trouveréz des amis, des admirateurs! ... Ne m'en voulez pas pour le veu que je fais de vous voir sortir de Vienne, je desirerai que tout le monde sût vous apprecier et vous admirer comme moi. -- on dit que vous travaillez à un opéra Melusine de Grillpartzer, et à une Cantate de Bernard.[3] o puisse je bientôot connaitre tous ces chef d'oeuvres! -- Quant à mes Quatuors,[4] mon impatience les recommande à vôtre amitié [p]our* moi.

votre bien dévoué

                                                                                           P.[rince] N. Galitzin

ce 28 juillet 1824.

A Monsieur Monsieur Louis van Beethoven à Vienne en Autriche

Prince Nikolaus Galitzin to Beethoven

                                                                                           St. Petersburg, July 28, 1824.

. . . In the newspapers, I have read about your splendid Academy that you have given in Vienna.[2]  This kindled my wish to become acquainted with this sublime work.  What would I only have given to be in Vienna at that time.  The ingratitude of this city repulses me.  I think that you would have fared better, had you selected another city.  Even now, I am convinced that, should you travel through Europe without any treasures other than your immortal works, you would shake the world upside down.  Your presence alone in Paris or London would make the rest forgotten, and the academies that you would give there would in no way reflect those in Vienna.  You have fans, everywhere, who have barely heard of your compositions and who would become your fervent admirers once they would have heard the academies that you would give there.  What I am telling you here, I am doing for your own interest and for your honor and for the honor of science. Genius is revered, everywhere, you will find friends and admirers!...Therefore, I want to see you departing from Vienna, since I wish that everyone can admire you as I am doing.-- . . . 

Yours very devotedly, 

                                                                                           P.[rince] N. Galitzin

the 28th of July, 1824.

To Herr Herr Louis van Beethoven in Vienna in Austria

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No. 1854, p. 341-343]

[Original:  Vienna, Wiener Beethoven-Gesellschaft;  to [2]: refers to various reports about the Academy of May 7, 1824; details taken from p. 342-343.]

 

The second letter of Galitzin that we quoted in passages, above, is Galitzin's actual reply to Beethoven's letter to him of May 26, 1824, and refers to the Viennese premiere of parts of the Missa solemnis and the Ninth Symphony.  All further correspondence between Galitzin and Beethoven refers to the string quartets Galitzin had commissioned.  

Therefore, we can conclude this section about the first, perhaps even complete, performance of the Missa solemnis in St. Petersburg, with the following comment by Thayer: 

"After the first performance of the Missa Solemnis, for which he had been primarily responsible, he presented his copy of the written score to the Philharmonic Society of St. Petersburg. . . .  For awhile he contemplated a repetition of the Mass" (Thayer: 977-978).

Whether or not such a second, partial or complete, performance of the Missa ever took place, is something that we as lay persons can not determine, since Thayer's standard biography does not confirm it, while Fiske, in turn, reports:  

"The Missa Solemnis was repeated in St Petersburg the following year" (Fiske: 27).

While the further fate of the relationship between Beethoven and Galitzin is that of the fate of the string quartets Galitzin had commissioned, here, we can turn to our discussion of Beethoven's dedication of the Missa solemnis to Archduke Rudolph. 

 

TO THE DISCUSSION OF THE
DEDICATION TO ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH

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