BEETHOVEN'S MISSA SOLEMNIS
TACTUAL PUBLICATION AND DEDICATION TO ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH  (SUMMARY)



 



Archduke Rudolph
 

INTRODUCTION

 

The time frame of this brief summary of available, relevant information with respect to the dedication of the Missa solemnis to Archduke Rudolph,  spans from the end of the time of its creation in the year 1823 up to 1825, thus into the year after its first performance, and with that, also into the time of Beethoven's successful negotiations for its publication with B Schott's Sons in Mainz.

 

"FROM THE HEART . . . TO THE HEART"

 

Thayer (p. 818-819) describes this time in Beethoven's life as a time of great inspirations and creations:  the Mass was nearly complete and only required a few minor corrections and changes.  Finally, the time has come in which Beethoven was able to hand the work over to the man who provided the outward incentive for its composition.  As Thayer writes, Beethoven commented on this in his letter of February 27, 1823, to the Archduke.  Let us feature this letter in its original, with our translation of it into English:  

Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph

                                                                               [Wien,] am 27ten Febr.[1823][1]

Euer Kaiserliche Hoheit!

    Ich war schon heute Früh in der Burg, zwar nicht, (denn ich war noch nicht angezogen,) um E.K.H. einen Besuch zu machen, sondern nur durch Zips[2] melden zu laßen, daß ich da gewesen, u. mich höchst erfreute über die ankunft allhier,[3] allein ich fand die Wohnung E.K.H. nicht mehr, u. da ich irgendwo anklopfte, wo ich glaubte, daß E.K.H. sich befinden, so schien es, daß mein Anzug gar zu sehr auffiel, ich machte mich daher geschwind fort, u. melde mich jezt nur noch heute schriftlich bey E.K.H. an.  Morgen werde ich mich anfragen, u. meine Aufwartung machen, u. zugleich zu hören, ob die Gewohnten Musikal. Geistesübungen wieder stattfinden sollen u. wann?  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 dran denkt; daß E.K.H. mir aber allzeit gegenwärtig gewesen, beweisen die hier folgenden Abschriften einiger Novitäten,[6] welche schon mehrere Monathe für E.K.H. bereit gelegen, allein ich wollte s[olche]* nicht eher als mit der [Me]ße zugleich absenden, letztere wird nur gebunden, u. alsdenn E.K.H. Ehrfurchtsvoll von mir überreicht werden[7] -- indem ich mich höchst erfreue, E.K.H. mich wieder persönlich nahen zu können, ersterbe ich EhrfurchtsVoll

Euer Kaiserliche Hoheit Treu gehorsamster Diener

                                                                                                          Beethoven

An Seine Kaiserl. Hoheit u. Eminenz Den Durchlauchtigsten Erzherzog Rudolph etc etc

Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph

                                                                                [Vienna,] the 27th of Febr.[1823][1]

Your Imperial Highness!

    Already this morning, I have been at the Burg, but not (since I had not been properly attired, yet) to pay a visit to Y.I.H., but rather to only let it be announced through Zips[2] that I had been there and that I was most delighted about your arrival here,[3] alone, I could not find the rooms of Y.I.H. any more, and since I knocked somewhere, where I believed that Y.I.H. might be staying, it appeared that my attire was too peculiar, so that I quickly retreated and now only report to Y.I.H. in writing.    Tomorrow, I shall enquire and pay a visit in order to also hear as to whether and if so when the usual musical exercises are supposed to take place?  It looks terrible that I have not written to Y.I.H. all this time, but I have been wanting to wait until I had sent the Mass[4]; but then there were really terrible mistakes in it and to such an extent that every part had to be read over[5]; it was delayed further by many other affairs that could not be put off, which led to still other circumstances to hinder me, for so much confronts a man when he least expects it.  However, that I have had Y.I.H. continually in mind is shown in the copies of some new publications[6]  that are being sent which have been ready for Y.I.H. for several months; but I did not want to send them on ahead of the Mass.  This last is being bound and after that will be respectfully handed over by me to Y.I.H.[7]--in being very delighted about being able to once again approach Y.I.H. in person, I remain, most respectfully,  

Your Imperial Highness' faithful and most obedient servant 

                                                                                                          Beethoven

To His Imperial Highness and Eminence the most Exalted Archduke Rudolph etc etc

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No.  1586, p. 64-66]

[Source:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter was obviously written shortly before Beethoven handed over the dedicatory score of the Missa solemnis and that, on the basis of this, the year to be added was that of 1823; to  [2]: refers to Franz Joseph Zips, the personal valet of Archduke Rudolph; to [3]: refers to the fact that, coming from Olmütz, Archduke Rudolph arrived in Vienna on February 25, 1823; to [4]: refers to op. 123; to [5]: refers to the fact that the copy of the score of the Missa solemnis that Beethoven handed over to Archduke Rudolph [which, according to the GA, is in the possession of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde) contains numerous corrections in Beethoven's own handwriting; to [6]: according to the GA, this probably refers to the works that Beethoven had composed since September 1822, op. 124, WoO 98 and WoO 3; to [7]: refers to the fact that, according to Archduke Rudolph's very own entry in his Musikalien-Register, Beethoven had handed the Mass over on March 19, 1823; details taken frm p. 66.]

Thayer also reports that the handing-over of the dedicatory copy of the score to Archduke Rudolph took place on March 19, 1823:   "Missa Solemnis.  Partitur.  This beautifully written MS. was delivered by the composer himself on March 19, 1823" (Thayer: 819).

With respect to this, Maynard Solomon (p. 210) writes that on the autography of the Missa solemnis, there was written a message to Archduke Rudolph, for whom the Mass was composed:  "From the heart--may it go to the heart!"[51:  Kinsky-Halm, p. 361]" (Solomon: 210).

 

 WHAT HAPPENED IN-BETWEEN . . .

. . . regarding all aspects of the progress of the Missa solemnis, you can find information in the various, already existing pages of this section on this work.   . . .

 

THE DEDICATION THAT WAS FEATURED IN THE PUBLICATION

 

Therefore, here, we can concentrate on the dedication of this work and note with respect to it that Thayer (p. 969) reports that on November 25, 1825, Beethoven wrote to Schott & Sons in Mainz and that he promised the publisher to send him the metronome markings according to Mälzel, for the Mass in D Major, soon.   However, let us quote the relevant passage from this letter:   

 Beethoven an B. Schott's Söhne in Mainz

                                                                               [Wien, 25. November 1825]

Euer Wohlgeboren!

   Die Tempobezeichnung nach Mälzl's Metronom wird nächstens folgen;[1] ich sende Ihnen hier den Titel der Messe.

Missa

composita, et

Serenissimo ac Eminentissimo Domino Domino

Rudolpho Joanni Caesareo Principi et Archiduci Austriae S.R.E.

Tit. S. Petri in monte aureo Cardinali et Archiepiscopo Olomucensi

profundissima cum veneratione dicata[2]

a

Ludovico van Beethoven.  . . . "

Beethoven to B. Schott's Sons in Mainz

                                                                                                [Vienna, November 25, 1825]

Esteemed Sir!

   The tempo markings pursuant to Mälzl's metronome will follow at the next opportunity;[1] here, I send you the title of the Mass.  

Missa

composita, et

Serenissimo ac Eminentissimo Domino Domino

Rudolpho Joanni Caesareo Principi et Archiduci Austriae S.R.E.

Tit. S. Petri in monte aureo Cardinali et Archiepiscopo Olomucensi

profundissima cum veneratione dicata[2]

a

Ludovico van Beethoven.  . . . "

 

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 6, Letter No.  2094, p. 188-189]

[Original:  Mainz, Stadtbibliothek; to [1]: refers to the fact that Beethoven never sent the metronome markings to the publisher; to [2]: according to the GA, Kalischer refers to the difference between "dicare" [=consecrate] and "dedicare" [=dedicate].  However, the original edition featured "dedicata"; details taken from p. 189].

 

Kalischer's reference to the difference between "dicare" and "dedicare" and Beethovens "consecretion" of the Mass to Archduke Rudolph, in his letter to the publisher, in contrast to the latter's "dedication" in print reminds us, once more, of the spirit in which Beethoven had "dedicated" this work to his patron.

Since Beethoven's letter leads us right into the midst of his negotiations with respect to the publication of this work, we can now turn to our chronological discussion of this topic. 

 

NEGOTITATIONS WITH
SCHOTT & SONS, MAINZ

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