BEETHOVEN'S MISSA SOLEMNIS
PERFORMANCE HISTORY
DURING BEETHOVEN'S LIFE TIME
INCOMPLETE FIRST PERFORMANCES IN VIENNA



 



The Kärntnertortheater in Beethoven's Days
 

INTRODUCTION

While our chronological presentation of the negotiations with respect to the subscription of the Missa solemnis led us up to the year 1825, with respect to the discussion of the first Viennese performances of this work, we have to return to the year 1824.  

Since we know, from the relevant section of this time in our Biographical Pages, and from our extensive creation history of the Ninth Symphony, that the incomplete first Viennese performances of the Missa solemnis occurred at the time of the first performance of the Ninth Symphony and since we already rendered a general chronological presentation with respect to both works, in our Biographical Pages, here, we can particularly concentrate on all details with respect to the Missa solemnis, but also on information that has not yet been discussion in our Biographical Pages.  

 

CHOICE OF THE PERFORMANCE VENUE

From our Biographical Pages, we already know that the first performance of both works originally was to take place in the Theater-an-der-Wien but that Beethoven ultimately decided on the  Kärntnerthortheater  (Thayer:  905ff).   Schindler's letter to Duport of April 24, 1824, also discusses many details that Thayer refers to:  

 

Anton Felix Schindler an Louis Antoine Duport

                                                                            [Wien, 24. April 1824]

Copie.[1]

Eurer Wohlgeborn!

   Ich habe die Ehre als Organ des H.[errn] Lud. van Beethoven E. W. seinen Wunsch hiemit zu eröffnen, daß er gesonnen sey, seine große musik. Academie im k.k. Theater n.[ächst] d.[em] Kärntherthore abzuhalten, geden dem, daß E.W. ihm zu diesem Zwecke säMmtliche Solo-Sänger, das sämmtliche Orchest.[e]r] u Chor Personale nebst der nöthigen Beleuchtung für die Summe von 400 fr C.M. gütigst überlassen.

   Sollte der Erfolg dieser Acad.[emie] H.[errn] v Beethoven veranlassen, selbe ein oder zwey Mahl in Zwischenräumen von 8 oder höchstens 10 Tagen zu wiederhohlen, so wünscht Er hiezu das k.k. Hoftheater n.[ächst] d.[em[ Kärntnerthore unter obigen Bedingungen wieder zu erhalten.

   Ferner hat H.[err] v Beethoven beschlossen, die Leitung dieser Acad.[emie] den HH. Umlauf[2] und Schupanzigh[3] zu übertragen, deßhalb wünscht Er auch, daß von Seite der Ad[ministraa]tion das Nöthige verfügt werde, daß ihm hierin von dem Orchester keine Schwirigkeit gemacht werde.

   Die Soloparten wünscht H.[err] v Beethoven den Delles Sontag[4] u Unger[5[, u H.[errn] Preisinger[6] zu übergeben, u hofft, die Ad.[ministra[tion] werde auch in Rücksicht dessen seinem Wunsche entsprechen.

   Der musik. Verein[7] hat aus Gefälligkeit für H.[errn] v Beethoven übernommen, das Orchest.[er] mit seinen vorzüglichsten Mitgliedern zu verstärken, so daß also im Ganzen 24 Violinen 10 Violen, 12 Bassi & Viol[once]lli nebst doppelter Harmonie zusammen kommen, daher es auch nothwendig ist, das ganze Orchest.[er] auf die Bühne zu stellen, so wie es bey großen Oratorien überhaupt der Fall ist.

   Schlüßlich habe ich nur noch hinzuzufügen, daß das frühere Arrangement mit Sr Excellenz dem H.[errn[ Grafen v Palfy[8] sich aus dem Grunde zerschlagen hat, weil gegenwärtig wegen Mangel an tüchtigen Sängern an der Wien <nicht> die Soloparten nach dem Wunsche des H.[errn[ v Beethoven nicht besetzt werden konnten, so wie, daß Se Excellenz ausdrücklich wünschte, daß H.[err] Klement[9] das Orchest.[er] dirigiren sollte, welches H.[err] v Beethoven schon längst H.[errn] Schuppanzigh zugedacht hat, u davon aus vielen Rücksichten nicht mehr abgehen konnte.

   Ich ersuche E.W. nur noch inständigst, sich über alles dieses alsbald schriftlich an H.[errn] v Beethoven zu erklären;[10] so wie den ersten Abend zu dieser Acad.[emie] sobald als möglich zu bestimmen, u selben nicht nur nicht über den 3ten oder 4ten May hinauszuschieben.

Ich habe die Ehre mich mit der ausgezeichnetesten Hochachtung zu nennen E.W. ergebenster

                                                                                         Ant Schindler mp        

Wien den 24. April 1824.

Von Aussen.

A Mons. L. Duport, Directeur du Theatre Imp. de l'Opera etc

Anton Felix Schindler to Louis Antoine Duport

                                                                                                [Vienna, April 24, 1824]

Copy.[1]

Esteemed Sir!

   I have the honor to advise you, on behalf of H.[errn] Lud. van Beethoven, of his intention to hold his great musical Academy in the Royal and Imperial Court Theater next to the  Kärntherthor, provided that for this purpose, you, esteemed Sir, will kingly let him have all solo singers, and all orchestra and choir personnel, in addition to the required lighting, for the sum of  400 fr C.M..

   In the event that the success of this Acad.[emy] should prompt H.[errn] v Beethoven to repeat the same once or twice within 8 or ten days each, at the most, then he wishes to obtain the Royal and Imperial Court Theater next to the Kärntnerthor for the same conditions, again. 

   Further, H.[err] v Beethoven has resolved to entrust the direction of this  Acad.[emy] to Herren Umlauf[2] and Schupanzigh[3], therefore, he also wishes, that, on the part of the Ad[ministraa]tion, necessary steps will be taken that no difficulties will arise from the orchestra.  

   H[err] v Beethoven wishes to entrust the solo parts to Delles Sontag[4] and Unger[5[, and to H.[ern] Preisinger[6], and hopes that also with respect to this, the ad.[ministra[tion] will abide by his wishes. 

   As a favor to H.[err] v Beethoven, the Music Society[7] has agreed to augment the orchestra with its most excellent members, so that, altogether, there will be 24 violins, 12 basses and violoncellos in addition to double harmony, for which reason it is necessary to put the entire orchestra on the stage as it is generally done in the case of great oratorios.  

   Finally, I only have to add that the earlier arrangement with His Excellency the H.[err[ Count v Palfy[8], due to this reason, has fallen apart, since, at this time, due to a lack of good singers, at the [Theater-an-der] Wien, the solo parts can not be cast to the satisfaction of  H.[errn[ v Beethoven, also, His Excellency explicitly requested that H.[err] Klement[9] was to lead the orchest.[ra], which H.[err] v Beethoven had, for a long time, intended H.[errn] Schuppanzigh to do, and, due to many considerations, could not retract from this long-standing arrangement.  

   I urgently ask you, esteemed Sir, to write to H.[err] v Beethoven with respect to this, very soon;[10] as well as to determine the first evening for this Acad.[emy] as soon as possible and not to postpone the same beyond the 3rd or 4th of May.  

With the utmost respect, I have the honor of remaining your Esteemed Sir's most devoted 

                                                                                         Ant Schindler mp        

Vienna the 24th of April, 1824.

From Outside.

A Mons. L. Duport, Directeur du Theatre Imp. de l'Opera etc

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No. 1818, p. 307-309]

[Original:  Berlin, Staatsbibliothek; to [1]: refers to Schindler's later comment: "Brief von A. Schindler an H.[errn] Louis Duport, Administrator (nomine Barbaja) des kais. Operntheaters in Wien" ["Letter by A. Schindler to H.[err] Louis Duport, administrator (aka Barbaja) of the Imperial Opera Theater in Vienna"]; to [2]: refers to Michael Umlauf (1781-1842, from 1815 to the take-over of the Court Theater by Barbaja one of the six Kapellmeister at the Courth Theater; to [3]: refers to Ignaz Schuppanzigh; to [4]: refers to Henriette Sontag, who, according to the GA, came to Vienna in 1822 where she was engaged by the Kärntnerthortheater; to [5]: refers to Caroline Unger (1803-1877), who, from 1819 to 1825, was Court singer at the Kärtnerthortheater; to [6]: refers to Joseph Preisinger (1796-1865), who had been engaged by the Kärntherthortheater as bassist in 1824; to [7]: refers to the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna; to [8]: refers to the fact that, according to the GA, it had originally been planned to hold the academy concert at the Theater-an-der-Wien; to [9]: refers to Franz Joseph Clement (1780-1842), from  1802 on orchestra director at the Theater-an-der-Wien; to [10]: refers to the fact that a reply by Duport to Schindler has not been preserved; details taken from p. 308-309.]                   

 

Thayer (p. 906) reports that this new arrangement was changed insofar, as May 7, 1824, was chosen as the day for the first performance.  

 

CLARIFICATION OF FURTHER DETAILS

 

As Thayer (p. 906ff.) reports, many details still had to be clarified and many obstacles still had to be overcome: 

Ticket Prices

As Thayer reports, Beethoven wanted an advance on the usual admission fee, for which reason Duport reportedly submitted an application to the Minister of the Police, which was rejected, however.  If the following note actually reflects Beethoven's own words, it would describe the situation in the most lively manner:   

Beethoven an Anton Felix Schindler (Fragment)

                                                                                 [Wien, Ende April 1824][1]

   Ich bin nach dem sechswöchentlichen Hin- und Herreden schon gekocht, gesotten und gebraten.  Was soll endlich werden aus dem vielbesprochenen Concert, wenn die Preise nicht erhöht werden?  Was soll   m i r   bleiben nach so viel Unkosten, da die Copiatur allein schon so viel kostet?

Beethoven to Anton Felix Schindler (Fragment)

                                                                                 [Vienna, at the end of April 1824][1]

   After six weeks of discussions, I feels as if I have been cooked, steamed and fried.  I wonder what will finally become of the much-talked-about concert, when the prices can not be set higher?  What will remain for  m e with the many expenses, since the copying alone costs already so much? 

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No.  1825, p. 314]

[Original:  not known, text, according to the GA, pursuant to Anton Schindler, Biographie von Ludwig van Beethoven, Münster[3]1860, 2. Teil, p. 69; to [1]: refers to the fact that, after lengthy negotiations for his Academy of May 7, 1824, Duport had promised Beethoven the Kärntnerthortheater and that part of the box seats were tied to subscription (prices], so that Duport, in order to secure Beethoven's share, had promised to raise the prices for the remainder of the seats; according to the GA, on April 27, 1824, Beethoven learned that permission had not been granted for this by the police; with respect to this, the GA points out that, in the event that this fragment is genuine, it must be connected to this news; details taken from p. 314.]

 

Soloists

Once more, Thayer (p. 906) discusses the selection of the soloists.   Henriette Sontag was chosen instead of Therese Grünbaum since Beethoven had known her since 1822 and was fond of her.  Anton Haitzinger was chosen as tenor, instead of Jäger, since the latter, out of collegiality, did not want to take this part away from a singer of the Kärntnerthortheater.  To this, Schindler comments as follows in a conversation book of this period: 

"Jäger kann im Kärtnerthor nicht singen, u bittet Sie deßhalb sehr um Vergebung.  Allein er will sich mit dem Tenoristen darin nicht verfeinden, so auch steht er in offener Fehde noch mit Dup.[ort] . . . . " (BKh. Vol. 6, p. 96--

--"Jäger can not sing at the Kärtnerthor and therefore ask you to forgive him.  Alone, he does not want to make an enemy of the tenorist of that Theater and he is also still openly engaged in differences with Dup.[ort]").

Forti and Preisinger were competitors for the bass part, whereby Preisinger was considered more suitable for Beethoven's music and since he also had taken part in the rehearsals.  According to Thayer, for him, Beethoven even changed the recitative in the symphony; however, ultimately, Preisinger could not master the tessitura of that part so that, in his stead, Seipelt from the Theater-an-der-Wien was engaged.  

Selection of the parts of the Missa solemnis

Since the Academy Concert would have been too long with the planned Overture, op. 124, the Mass in D-Major, op. 123 and the Ninth Symphony, op. 125, Beethoven decided that the Gloria of the Mass should not be performed.  After rehearsals had begun, Beethoven also decided to leave off the Sanctus.  

Copying Work

The extensive copying work was, as Thayer reports, taken on by a team of copyist, under the supervision of Schlemmer's widow, the wife of Beethoven's main copyist who had passed away in 1823.  As Thayer reports, parts of the Missa solemnis were also printed in as lithographies by Haslinger:

 

Beethoven an Tobias Haslinger

                                                                                         [Wien, April 1824][1]

Für Herrn von Tobias Haßlinger General Adjutanten

Werther Tobias.

    Es braucht keiner andern Stimmen als für die neuen Besten Vereins Mitglieder, nach den hier mitgeg. Stimmen sollten aber die Platen corrigirt werden[2] sonst setzt's wieder eine Correktur voraus - Piringer ist angewiesen die Besten 8 Violinisten, die Besten 2 Bratschisten die besten 2 Conter Bässe

                                                     (Notenbeispiel)

Die Besten 2 Violoncellisten wenn auch einige Perücken tragen auszusuchen, denn um so viel soll das Orchester verstärkt werden.

                                                                                             Amicus Beethoven

Beethoven to Tobias Haslinger

                                                                                                [Vienna, April 1824][1]

For Herr von Tobias Haßlinger General Adjutant

Worthy Tobias.

    No other parts are required than those for the new best Society members, however, according to the parts provided here, the plates should be corrected [2], otherwise, another correction will be required--Piringer has been instructed to select the best 8 violinists, the best 2 violists the best 2 contrabasses 

                                                     (Note Sample)

the best 2 violoncellists even if some are wearing wigs, since the orchestra should be augmented by that many.  .

                                                                                             Amicus Beethoven

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No.  1827, p. 315-316]

[Original:  not known, Text pursuant to Otto Erich Deutsch, Zu Beethovens großen Akademien von 1824, in: ÖMZ 19 (1964); to [1]: refers to the fact that the letter is connected to the preprarations for the academy concert of May 7, 1824; to [2]: refers to the fact that part of the performance material for op. 123 and op. 125 (singing voices] was printed in lithographical manner; details taken from p. 316.]

 

Censorship Problems

As Thayer (p. 906) reports, the Catholic Church in Vienna was very much opposed to the performance of sacred or church music in theaters.  For this reason, initially, the censor refused his permission for the performance of parts of the Missa solemnis.   Thayer writes that Schindler had suggested to Beethoven that he should write to the censor Sartorius:  

Beethoven an Franz Sartori[1]

                                                                             [Wien, kurz nach dem 10. April 1824][1]

Euer Wohlgebohrn!

   Indem ich höre, daß es schwierigkeiten verursachen werde, einige Kirchenstücke Abends in einer Akademie an der vien[3] zu geben von der Seite der k.k. Censur,[4] so kann ich nicht anders als ihnen sagen, daß ich hiezu aufgefordert worden bin,[5] daß schon alles hiezu erforderliche abgeschrieben u. beträchtliche Kosten verursacht hat, u. die Zeit zu kurz sogleich andere neue werke zum vorschein kommen zu machen -- übrigens werden nur 3 Kirchenstücke u. zwar unter dem Titel Hymnen aufgeführt werden[6]

   ich ersuche E.w. dringend sich um diese Angelegenheit anzunehmen, da man ohnehin bey jedem Unternehmen der Art mit so vielen schwierigkeiten zu kämpfen hat, sollte die Erlaubniß hiezu nicht gestattet werden, so kann ich versichern, daß es nicht mögl. seyn wird, eine Akademie zu geben, u. die ganzen copiatur Kosten für nichts aus gelegt worden --

   ich hoffe sie erinnern sich noch meiner

Euer wohlgebohrn mit Achtung Ergebenster

                                                                                                                 Beethoven

An Seine wohlgebohrn Hr. v. Sartorius k.k. Censor

Beethoven to Franz Sartori[1]

                                                             [Vienna, shortly before the 10th of April, 1824][1]

Esteemed Sir!

   Since I have heard that it would pose difficulties to perform some church pieces in an academy [in the Theater]-an-der-Wien[3], on the part of the Royal and Imperial Censorship,[4] I can not do otherwise but tell you that I have been requested to present these pieces,[5] and that there have already been incurred considerable copying costs and since the time is too short to come up with some other, new works--in any event, only 3 church pieces, which are presented as hymns, will be performed[6]  

   I urgently ask you, esteemed Sir, to take care of this matter, since one, in general, has to fight against many difficulties in every undertaking of this kind; should permission not be granted for the performance, I can assure you that it will not be possible to give an academy, and the entire copying costs have been incurred for nothing--  

   I hope you still remember me

Yours devotedly, Esteemed Sir, with respect 

                                                                                                                 Beethoven

To the Esteemed Hr. v. Sartorius Royal and Imperial Censor

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No.  1810, p. 301-302]

[Original: Berlin, Staatsbibliothek; to [1]: refers to Dr. Franz Sartori, R.I. Government Secretary and Director of the Central Book Revision Office in Vienna; to [2]: refer to the fact that finally, the Kärntnertortheater was chosen; to [3]: refers to the Theater-an-der- Wien as originally chosen venue; to [4]: refers to the fact that with respect to this, Beethoven probably relied on Schuppanzigh who, at the beginning of April had brought him the news, "daß die Censur nicht erlauben wird, daß man das Credo, Agnus dei auf dem Theater Zettel setzen darf" ["that the Censorship will not allow that one prints Credo, Agnus Dei on the program note; to [5]: refers to the "address" by the Viennese music lovers to Beethoven; to [6]: refers to the Kyrie, Credo and Agnus of the Missa solemnis; according to the GA, from the conversation books we learn that the permission for the performance of the pieces from the Missa was applied for and obtained through the Secretary of the Theater-an-der-Wien, Wilhelm Vogel, and that on April 17, 1824, Beethoven was in possession of the permission to print the program notes, while, after his change of the performance venue, Duport took care of the final censorship matters.  The GA further points out, that the letter was found in Schindler's belongings and that, in spite of the applied seal, it can be assumed that the letter was not delivered to Sartori; details taken from p. 301-302.]

Thayer points out that this letter was not successful.  When we consider the GA references to [6], this might not be a surprise if the letter has, indeed, not been sent.  Thayer mentions that Beethoven finally obtained the permission for the performance of the pieces from the Missa solemnis through the mediation of Count Moritz von Lichnowsky with the Chief of Police,  Sedlnizky.  

 

REHEARSALS

 

With respect to the rehearsals that took place from the end of April up to and including May 6, 1824, Thayer (p. 907) reports that:  

1.  The choir director of the Kärntertortheater, Dirzka, was making good progress with the choirs and that he was     satisfied with them; 

2.  Schuppanzigh rehearsed with the strings in the rehearsal room of the Ridotto;

3.  The soloists rehearsed under Beethoven's supervision and with Umlauf's 'help', and that sometimes even in his apartment.  Since the singers were more used to Rossini's lighter music, in the beginning, they had a hard time to adjust to the more challenging demands of Beethoven's music, which was particularly the case with respect to the choral ending of the Ninth Symphony.  However, as Thayer reports, Beethoven 'steadfastly' refused any changes.  Caroline Unger is reported as having called him a 'tyrant over all the vocal organs' and, when he still did not give in, she is reported as having said to Henriette Sontag:  "Well, then we must go on torturing ourselves in the name of God!"; 

4.  The concert master demanded that the passage in the fugue of the fugue of the Credo of the Missa solemnis be changed, since none of the female singers could reach the highest notes.  Also with respect to this, Beethoven remained 'steadfast';

5.  Duport had agreed to two main rehearsals and that even a third rehearsal had been planned but that it, due to a ballet rehearsal, could not take place;  

6.  Beethoven, during the last rehearsal on May 6, at the Kyrie, was "dissolved in devotion and emotion" and, after the rehearsal of the Ninth Symphony, hugged all amateurs at the exit.   (According to Thayer, Holz mentioned Beethoven's having been "dissolved in devotion and emotion" to Otto Jahn, while the comment with respect to his hugging of the amateurs goes back to Fuchs).

 

CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT

Let us provide you with a quote of the original official concert announcement from a facsimile depiction in the Conversation Book Volume 6, inserted after p. 96, followed by Thayer's quote in an English translation of it:  

 G   r  o  ß  e
musikalische Akademie
von

Herrn L.van Beethoven,
welche
morgen, am 7. May 1824,
im k.k. Hoftheater nächst dem Kärntnertore,

abgehalten wird.

___________________________________


Die dabey vorkommenden Musikstücke sind die neuesten Werke
des Herrn Ludwig van Beethoven.
Erstens.  Große Ouverture.
Zweitens.  Drey große Hymnen mit
Solo- und Chor-Stimmen.
Drittens.  Große Synphonie, mit im Finale
eintretenden Solo- und Chorstimmen,
auf Schillers Lied, an die Freude.

    Die Solo-Stimmen werden die Dlles. Sontag und Unger und die Herren Haizinger und Seipelt vortragen.  Herr Schuppanzigh hat die Direktion des Orchesters, Herr Kapellmeister Umlauf die Leitung des Ganzen und der Musik-Verein die Verstärkung des Chors und Orchesters aus Gefälligkeit übernommen.

Herr Ludwig van Beethoven selbst wird an der Leitung des Ganzen Antheil nehmen.

Die Eintrittspreise sind wie gewöhnlich.

    Die Logen und gesperrten Sitze sind am Tage der Vorstellung an der Theaterkasse, in der Kärthnerstraße Nro 1038, im Eckhause beym Kärntnerthore, im ersten Stocke, zu den gewöhnlichen Amtsstunden zu haben.

Freybillets sind ungültig.
Der Anfang ist um 7 Uhr abends. 

 

"GRAND
MUSICAL CONCERT

by
HERR L. v. BEETHOVEN
which will take place
To-morrow, May 7, 1824
in the R.I. Court Theatre beside the Kärtnerthor.

The musical pieces to be performed are the latest works of Herr Ludwig van Beethoven.
First: A Grand Overture
Second: Three Grand Hymns with Solo and Chorus Voices.
Third: A Grand Symphony with Solo and Chorus Voices entering in the finale of Schiller's Ode to Joy.
The solos will be performed by the Demoiselles Sontag and Unger and the Herren Haizinger and Seipelt. Herr Schuppanzigh has undertaken the director of the orchestra, Herr Kapellmeister Umlauf the direction of the whole and the Music Society the augmentation of the chorus and orchestra as a favor.
Herr Ludwig van Beethoven himself will participate in the general direction.
  Prices of admission as usual.
Beginning at 7 o'clock in the evening" (Thayer: 907-908).

As Thayer reports, the Overture was that to the Consecration of the House (Weihe des Hauses), the 'hymns' the Kyrie, Credo and Agnus Dei of the Missa solemnis.  Duport is reports as having participated in the drafting of the concert announcement and also wanted to say in it that Beethoven will conduct with Umlauf.  Schindler is reported as having pointed this out to Beethoven in a conversation book and to have added:  

"Nun da wußte ich kein[en] Bescheid zu geben, folglich unterblieb es jetzt.

---

die Ouv.[erture[ könn[en[ Sie schon ganz allein dirig[ieren]

es würde ihr Gehör zu sehr anstrengen, daher würde ich nicht zum Ganzen rathen. 

--- . . . " (BKh, Band 6, S. 79; --

-- "Now, to this I did not know what to say, so that it was left off.

--

you can conduct the Overture by yourself

it would be too hard on your ears, so that I would not advise you to conduct everything.

-- . . . ").

 

THE ACADEMY CONCERT OF MAY 7, 1824

 

As Thayer (p. 908) reports, the theater was crowded.  Only the Imperial box was empty, although Beethoven, accompanied by Schindler, had "gone in person" to the Court, to invite the Imperial family.  Some of its members, Thayer writes, even promised to attend.  However, the Emperor and the Empress had left Vienna a few days before that and Archduke Rudolph, who might have liked to be present, was in  Olmütz.  However, Thayer reports of some new and old friends of Beethoven who did not want to miss this event.  Baron Zmeskall who, by this time, was already bedridden, had himself carried in in a sedan chair.  

As Thayer further reports, some of Vienna's best musicians performed in the orchestra:   Mayseder, Böhm, Jansa, Linke, etc.  

With respect to the fairly well-known basic facts of this performance, we would like to refer you to our creation history of the Ode to Joy as well as to the relevant section of our Biographical Pages.  With respect to information that is of more particular interest to us here, we can report that Thayer's report, to a great extent, relies on the July 1, 1824, article of the Leipzig Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitschrift, so that we want to present you with the original text and with our translation into English: 

 

" N A C H R I C H T E N.

__________________

   Wien.  Musikalisches Tagebuch vom Monat May. . . .

    Am 7ten ebendaselbst:  Große musikalsiche Akademie des Hrn. Ludwig van Beethoven, Ehrenmitglied der königl. Akademieen der Künste und Wissenschaften zu Stockholm und Amsterdam, dann Ehrenbürgers von Wien, worin seine neuesten Werke producirt wurden, nämlich:  1. Grosse Ouvertüre; 2. Drey grosse Hymnen, mit Solo- und Chorstimmen; 3. Große Symphonie, mit im Finale eintretenden Solo- und Chorstimmen auf Schillers Lied an die Freude.  Die Solo's sangen die Demoiselles Sonntag und Unger, die Herren Haitzinger und Seipelt; der Musikverein verstärkte das Orchester und den Chor, Hr. Schuppanzigh dirigirte an der Violine, Hr. Kapellmeister Umlauf führte den Commandostab, und der Tonsetzer selbst nahm an der Leitung des Ganzen Antheil; er stand nämlich dem amtirenden Marschall zur Seite, und fixirte den Eintritt eines jeden Tempo, in seiner Original-Partitur nachlesend, denn einen höheren Genuss gestattet ihm leider der Zustand seiner Gehörswerkzeuge nicht.  Aber wo soll ich Worte hernehmen, meinen theilnehmenden Lesern Bericht zu erstatten über diese Riesenwerke, und zwar nach  e i n e r, hinsichtlich der Gesangspartie wenigstens noch keineswegs genugsam abgerundeten, Production, wozu auch die statt findenden drey Proben bey so aussergewöhnlichen Schwierikgeiten, nicht hinreichen, mithin auch weder von einer imponierenden Gesammtkraft, noch von einer gehörigen Vertheilung von Licht und Schatten, vollkommener Sicherheit der Intonation, von feineren Tinten und nuancirtem Vortrag eigentlich die Rede seyn konnte.  Und dennoch war der Eindruck unbeschreiblich gross und herrlich, der Jubelbeyfall enthusiastisch, welcher dem erhabenen Meister aus voller Brust gezollt wurde, dessen unerschöpfliches Genie uns eine neue Welt erschloss, nie gehörte, nie geahnte Wunder-Geheimnisse der heiligen Kunst entschleyerte! -- . . .  --- Die drey Hymnen sind Hauptsätze aus des Componisten neuester Messe, welche er bereits in Abschrift mehreren erlauchten Mäcenaten zugesendet, und wofür er erst kürzlich vom Könige von Frankreich eine kostbare, eigens ihm zu Ehren ausgeprägte goldene Medaille dafür als Andenken erhalten hat. --- Das Kyrie, D dur, ist ein feyerliches, wahrhaft religiöses Andante, welches nach dem Christe, H moll, worin in ungerader Taktart nach streng contrapunktischer Kunst die Stimmen auf weitgedehnter Bahn sich fortwälzen und dahin schlängeln, mit fremden Harmonieenfolgen wiederkehrt, und im Ganzen weniger einem kindlich frommen Bittgesang, als vielmehr dem wehmuthsvollen Flehen eines zerknirschten, im Staube anbetenden Volkes ähnlich sieht. --- Die Behandlung des Credo ist in der That ungewöhnlich, und höchst originell; sowohl die Grundtonart, B dur, als das Zeitmass wird oft, vielleicht etwas gar zu oft gewechselt und das Ohr ist beynahe kaum vermögend, den raschen Wechsel aufzufassen; beym consubstantialem patri beginnt ein kurzes, aber sehr kräftiges Fugato; von schauervoller Wirkung ist der pathetische, eintönige Choral auf die Glaubensworte:  et incarnatus est, und die schmezrlich rührenden Klagelauge:  passus et sepultus est, mit ihrer dissonirenden Violinbegleitung lassen sich nicht in Worten beschreiben.  Gross gedacht und bezeichnet ist die stätige Figuration beym: cujus regni non erit finis, aber sonderbar überrascht fühlt man sich, das:  et vitam venturi saeculi als langsame Fuge anstimmen zu hören; wohl wird die Bewegung beym Eintritt eines Contrathema ein wenig beschleunigt, aber das erste Moderato kehrt wieder, die Solostimmen führen noch einen breiten, reichverzierten Satz auf:  Amen durch, und das Ganze endet leise, mit einem gleichfalls langen, verhallenden Nachspiele des concertirenden Orchesters.  Wenn es erlaubt wäre, bey einer Kirchencomposition von Effekt zu sprechen, in jenem Sinne nämlich, als ein Tongedicht seine Macht über unser Gemüth ausübt, so könnte auch nicht geleugnet werden, dass gerade dieser zögernde, ängstlich erwartete Schluss die früheren Eindrücke schwächt, weil sich eben gar kein denkbarer Grund dazu auffinden lässt, als der Wille, einen eigenen Weg zu wandeln.  In manchen Fällen ist es doch angemessener, den hergebrachten Formen treu zu bleiben.  Wer fühlt sich bey einer feurigen Prachtfuge von Naumann, Haydn, Mozart, nicht hoch begeistert, gleichsam auf Seraphsschwingen himmelwärts emporgehoben? --- Der Charakter des Agnus Dei (H moll) ist bange Schwermuth und tiefe Trauer; die fremdartige Anwendung der vier Waldhörner bringt hier eine ganz eigenthümliche Wirkung hervor.  Mit dem Dona fällt ein gemüthliches Allegretto, D dur, 6/8, ein, welches mit schönen Nachahmungen fortgesponnen wird, bis plötzlich der Satz sich nach B dur wendet, die Pauke, gleich einem fertigen Donner, auf der Dominante zu wirbeln anfängt, der Solo - Sopran, ohne bindenden Rhythmus, recitativartig nochmals:  Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi intonirt, welchen Ausruf die Trompeten mit einer leisen Intrada in B beantworten, bis endlich der volle Chor in das furchtbar grässliche: Miserere nobis losbricht.  Was der Tonsetzer mit dieser Phrase eigentlich beabsichtigt habe, möchte schwer zu entziffern seyn; eben so wenig dürfte ein zureichender Grund aufgefunden werden, wozu der später folgende Instrumentalsatz, ein fugirtes Presto im 2/4, wohl hier eingeschaltet ward, bey welchem alle Singstimmen schweigen, und erst mit der Recapitulation des Dona, als Schlussstein des Ganzen, wieder in Wirksamkeit traten.  Alles etwas gedrängter und weniger zerstückt, ist ein frommer Wunsch. --- . . . Nur  e i n  Wunsch, nur  e i n  Verlangen ist die baldige Wiederholung dieser Wunderwerke. . . . " (Report featured in the Leipziger Allgemeinen Musikalischen Zeitschrift of July  1, 1824, (Fascimile Print Edition, Vol.  26, p. 438-440; --

--

" N E W S.

__________________

   Vienna.  Musical Diary of the Month of May. . . .

    On the seventh, there:  grand musical academy of Herr Ludwig van Beethoven, Honorary Member of the Royal Academies of Arts and Sciences in Stockholm and Amsterdam, also Honorary Citizen of Vienna, in which his latest works were performed, namely:   1. Grand Overture; 2. Three great hymns, with solo voices and choir; 3. Grand Symphony, with a Choral ending on Schiller's Ode to Joy.  The solo parts were sung by Demoiselles Sonntag and Unger, and the Herren Haitzinger and Seipelt; the Music Society augmented the orchestra and the choir, Herr Schuppanzigh directed with the violin, Herr Kapellmeister Umlauf wielded the baton and the composer, himself, took part in the overall direction of the performance; he assisted the marshall-in-charge and fixed the entrance of each tempo, reading in his original score, since the state of his hearing does not allow him a greater pleasure.   Where shall I find the words to report to my interested readers of these gigantic works, and that after  o n e production that, with respect to the singing voices and choirs, after three rehearsals under such extraordinary circumstances that were wrought with difficulties, was not entirely well-balanced.  Therefore, one can not speak of a homogenous force, nor of an adequate distribution of lights and shades, absolute certainty with respect to intonation, of more subtle coloring and of nuances in the performance.   And yet, the impression as indescribably profound and wonderful, and the cheerful, enthusiastic applause was showered upon the sublime master with heartfelt sincerity, a master whose inexhaustible genius opened new worlds to us and unveiled never-heard, never-thought-of, miraculous wonders of sacred art!--  . . .  --- The three hymns are the main movements from the new Mass of the composer, copies of which he has already sent to several exalted patrons, and for which, recently, as a memento, he has received a precious medal from the King of France that was especially coined for this purpose.---The Kyrie, in D Major is a solemn, truly religious Andante, in  which, after the Christe, in B Minor, in triple time, according to strict contrapuntal art, the voices wind follow a broad, winding path, with returning harmonic sequences, and which, in general, is less of a childlike, pious prayer than rather more of a fervent plea by  remorseful souls who prostrate themselves before God.--The treatment of the Credo is unusual, indeed, and highly original; both the tonic, B-flat Major, as well as the tempo, are changed often, perhaps even too often, and the ear can hardly follow the sudden changes:  with the consubstantialem patri, a brief, but very strong fugato beings; of terrifying effect is the monotonous chorale to the words et incarnatus est, to be sung with pathos, and the painfully-moving lament of passus et sepultus est, with its dissonant violin accompaniment, can not be described with words.  Grand in concept and by indication is the constant figuration at the cujus regni non erit finis; however, one finds oneself rather to hear the et vitam venturi saeculi set in as a slow fugue; while speed is picked up to an extent at the entry of a counter-theme, the first moderato returns and the solo voices still   perform a broad, richly decorated passage on the Amen, and the entire movement ends quietly, with a long, reverberating 'echo' being provided by the orchestra.  If it were allowed to speak of effect in the case of a sacred work, namely in that sense that a tone poem holds power over our emotions, one could not entirely deny that this hesitant, fearfully anticipated finale weakens earlier impressions, since one can not find any other imaginable reason than the will to walk one's own path.   In some cases, it is still more appropriate to adhere to the traditional forms.  Who does not feel enthused about a fiery, wonderful fugue by    Naumann, Haydn, Mozart, virtually lifted up by angel wings?---The Agnus Dei (B Minor) is characterized by fearful melancholy and deep mourning; here, the peculiar use of four horns creates an entirely unique effect.   With the Dona,  an emotional   Allegretto, in D Major, 6/8, sets in which is spun further in beautiful imitations, until suddenly, the movement turns towards B Major, and the kettledrum, like a sudden thunder, starts whirling at the dominant, and when the solo soprano, without a binding rhythm, in recitative style, once again, intones Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, which exclamation the trumpets answer with a quiet intrada in B-Major, until, ultimately, the entire choir breaks out into the terrible, horrible  Miserere nobis.   It is difficult to discern what the composer intended with this phrase; likewise, one might not easily find a valid reason why the subsequent instrumental passage, a fugue-style presto in 2/4 time, was inserted, in which the singing voices remain silent and only return with the recapitulation of the Dona, as a closing gesture to the entire movement.   Everything a bit more compact and less fragmented, that is a fervent wish.-- . . . However, there is  o n e  major wish,  o n e desire: a repetition of these miraculous works in the near future. . . .  "

ENTHUSIASTIC RESONANCE

 

As Thayer reports, Beethoven's friends gathered after the performance in order to congratulate him.  In this respect, Thayer relies on and  quotes from a conversation book of the time, which also reflects Beethoven's initial satisfaction.  Let us feature a direct quote from the German text, followed by our translation into English:  

"SCHINDLER:  ich habe nie im Leben so einen wüthenden u doch herzlichen Applaus gehört als heute.  

                                                                                            -------------

der 2te Satz der Symph.[onie[ wurde einmahl ganz vom Beyfall unterbrochen. 

                                                                                            -------------

u hätte wiederhohlt werden sollen.

                                                                                            -------------

der Empfang war mehr als kaiserlich -- den 4 Mahl stürmte das Volk los. 

                                                                                            -------------

zuletzt wurde Vivat gerufen

                                                                                            -------------

die Harmonie hat sich sehr wacker gehalten -- nicht die allermindeste Stöhrung hörte man. 

                                                                                            -------------

als das Parterre zum 5ten Mahl Beyfallrufen anfing, schrie der Polizey Comißär Ruhe 

                                                                                            -------------

dem Hof nur unmittelbar 3 Mahl aber Beethoven 5 Mahl. 

                                                                                            -------------

Mein Triumph ist nun erreicht, den jetzt kan ich von Herzen sprechen.  Ich fürchtete noch gestern im Stillen, daß die Meße werde verboten werden, weil

man hörte, der Erzbischof protestire dagegen! Nun hatte ich doch Recht, daß ich dem Polizey Comißär anfangs nichts gesagt habe.

Es wäre bey Gott geschehen!

                                                                                            --------------

im Hoftheater war es doch noch   n i e !

                                                                                            ______

nun, Pax tecum!" (BKh, Band 6, S. 160 - 161--

-- SCHINDLER:  never in my life did I hear such frenetic and yet cordial applause than today.  

                                                                                            -------------

Once the second movement of the Symph.[ony] was completely interrupted by applause. 

                                                                                            -------------

and should have been repeated.

                                                                                            -------------

the reception was more than imperial--for the people burst out in storm four times. 

                                                                                            -------------

at last there were cries of Vivat

                                                                                            -------------

the wind instrument did very bravely--not the slightest disturbance could be heard.  

                                                                                            -------------

when the parterre broke out in enthusiastic applause the 5th time the Police Commissioner yelled Silence 

                                                                                            -------------

the court only 3 successive times but Beethoven 5 times. 

                                                                                            -------------

My triumph is now attained, for now I can speak from my heart.  Yesterday I still feared secretly that the Mass would be prohibited because 

one heard that the Archbishop protested against it! After all I was right in at first not saying anything to the Police Commissioner. 

By God, it would have happened!

                                                                                            --------------

He surely never has been in the Court Theatre!

                                                                                            ______

well, Pax tecum!").

 

DISSONANT AFTERMATH

 

As Thayer (p. 910) reports, Joseph Hüttenbrenner and Schindler accompanied Beethoven home.  With respect to this, Schindler wrote:  

"Ich überreichte ihm den Kassen=Rapport. Bei dessen Anblick brach er in sich zusammen.  Wir rafften ihn auf und legten ihn auf das Sofa.  Bis spät in die Nacht hinein verweilten wir an seiner Seite; kein Verlangen nach Speise oder anderes, kein lautes Wort war mehr hörbar.  Endlich, nachdem wir merkten, daß Morpheus ihm sanft die Augen zugedrückt, haben wir uns entfernt.  Schlafend, noch in der Konzert-Toilette, fanden ihn am andern Morgen auf derselben Stelle seine Dienstleute" (Stephan Ley: Beethoven, p. 326, see Thayer's comments to the next conversation book entries, but here our translation of this comment by Schindler:  

"I gave him the cashier's report.  At the sight of his he fell apart.  We gathered him up and laid him on the sofa.  Until late into the night, we remained at his side; no request for food or anything else, no loud word could be heard.  Finally, after we realized that Morpheus had softly closed his eyes, we left.  The next morning, his servants found him in the same spot, still in his concert attire").

The next day, Schindler wrote into the conversation book:  

"SCHINDLER: <das ganze Volk ist zedrükt  zertrümert über die Größe Ihrer Werke -- >

___

diese Akad.[emie] würde Ihnen in Paris u London gewiß 12 bis 15 tausend Gulden eingetragen haben, hier können es so viele hunderte seyn. -- Sie müssen doch seit gestern nur zu deutlich einsehen, daß Sie Ihren Vortheil mit Füßen treten, wenn Sie noch lange hier in diesen Mauern bleiben.  kurz ich habe keine Worte, mich so wie ich IHr Unrecht gegen sich selbst, fühle, auszudrücken

wenn Karl zu Mittag nach Hause kömt, so seyn Sie so gütig, ihn nach dem Collegium, also um 5 Uhr in die Caßa zu bestellen, wo ich ihn erwarte.  In seiner Gegenwart wird die Caßa abgeschlossen, u er empfängt das Geld.

___

so hohle ich ihn um 5 Uhr auf der Universität ab.

___

haben Sie sich denn schon wieder erhohlt, von der gestrigen Anstrengung.

___ " (BKh, Vol. 6, p. 166-167; with respect to this, it should still be noted that Thayer writes that these entries prove that Schindler's report of having shown the cash report to him still on the night of the performance, must be wrong; let us provide you with our translation into English of the above:  

--  SCHINDLER: <the people are crushed by the greatness of your works-- >

___

in Paris and London, this Acad.[emy] would surely have brought you 12 to 15 thousand florins, here, it can only be as many hundreds of them.--Since yesterday, you really have to clearly realize that you forfeit your chances if you stay within these walls, much longer.  In short, I have no words of how to express what I feel at your doing yourself injustice 

when Karl comes home at noon, be so good and order him to the Collegium, to the Cash Register, at 5 o'clock, where I shall wait for him.  In my presence, the cash register will be closed, and he will receive the money.   

___

thus I shall pick him up from the University at 5 o'clock.  

___

have you recuperated from yesterday's exertion.  

___ ").

Thayer  (p. 911) then points out that the gross receipts were 2,200 florins "in depreciated Vienna money", of which, after payment of the major costs, 420 florins remained, of which, however, some minor disbursements still had to be paid.  With respect to this, we can quote from the July 1, 1824, AMZ concert report, as follows:   

"Per Parenthesin:  die Einnahme betrug -- da das Abonnement der Logen und Sperrsitze  n i c h t  aufgehoben war -- 2200 Fl. W.W. davon erhielt die Administration für Ueberlassung des Abends, Orchesters- und Sängerpersonals 1000 Fl.; die Copiatur belief sich auf 700 Fl.; -- Nebenauslagen: 200 Fl.; Ueberschuss: netto 300 Fl. W.W. oder 120 Fl. in Silber. --- " (AMZ Facsimile Edition, Vol. 26, p. 441-442; --

-- "Per Parenthesin:  the gross revenue--since the subscription [prices] for the boxes and stalls were  n o t  raised--2,200 Florins in Viennese currency; of this, the administration received 1,000 florins for the rent of the facility, the orchestra and the signers; the copying costs were 700 florins;--additional costs: 200 florins; net revenue: 300 florins in Viennese currency or 120 florins in silver").

Thayer (p. 911-912) then discussed Beethoven's reaction to this.  Perhaps, Schindler's 'lively' rendition of these circumstances might be interesting:  

"Beethoven glaubte, Umlauf, Schuppanzigh und mir für die gehabten Mühen einigen Dank schuldig zu sein.  Er bestellte daher wenige Tage nach der zweiten Akademie ein Mahl beim 'Wilden Mann' im Prater. Mit einer von düsteren Wolken umhangenen Stirne erschien er in Begleitung seines Neffen unter uns, benahm sich kalt, bissig und krittlig in allen seinen Worten.  Eine Explosion war zu gewärtigen.  Kaum hatten wir an der Tafel Platz genommen, als er auch schon das Gespräch auf den pekuniären Erfolg der ersten Aufführung im Theater lenkte, ohne Umschweife herausfahrend, daß er hierbei vom Administrator Duport in Gemeinschaft mit mir betrogen worden sei.

    Umlauf und Schuppanzigh bemühten sich, ihm die Unmöglichkeit irgendeines Betrugs damit zu beweisen, daß jedes Geldstück durch die Hände der beiden Theaterkassierer gegangen, die Rapporte genau übereinstimmten, überdies noch sein Neffe zufolge Auftrags des Bruder Apothekers den Kassierern gegen alle Sitte als Kontrolleur zur Seite bleiben mußte.  Beethoven verblieb jedoch bei seiner Beschuldigung mit dem Zusatze, er sei von dem stattgefundenen Betrug von zuverlässiger Seite benachrichtigt.

    Nun war es Zeit, für diese Kränkung sich Genugtuung zu geben.  Eiligst entfernte ich mich mit Umlauf, Schuppanzigh aber, nachdem er auch einige Salven auf seine umfangreiche Person ausgehalten, folgte bald nach. . . . " (Stephan Ley, p. 327-328; --

"Beethoven believed that he owed Umlauf, Schuppanzigh and me a debt of gratitude for our help.  Therefore, a few days after the second Academy, he ordered a meal at the 'Wilde Mann' in the Prater.  He appeared among us, accompanied by his nephew, with a serious expression on his face and behaved coldly, sarcastically and critical with all of his remarks.  An explosion was to be expected.  Hardly had we sat down at the table, when he turned the conversation to the pecuniary success of the first performance in the theatre, coming right out with the statement that on this occasion, he had been betrayed by the administrator Duport, in collusion with me.

    Umlauf and Schuppanzigh tried to prove to him the impossibility of any betrayal, that every penny went through the hands of the theater cashier, that the reports tallied precisely and that, moreover, against all customs, on the order of his brother, the pharmacist, his nephew had to stay at the side of the cashiers, as a controller.  However, Beethoven insisted on his putting the blame on us, by adding that he had been informed of this betrayal by a reliable source.

    Now, it was time to obtain satisfaction for this insult.  Hurriedly, I left with Umlauf while Schuppanzigh, after receiving some assaults on his person, followed, soon. . . . ").

With respect to this, Thayer notes, that the 'reliable source' must have been Beethoven's brother Johann who obviously acted out of jealousy with respect to Schindler's role as Beethoven's confidant in business matters.  

Thayer then refers to Beethoven's letter to Schindler which he must have written to justify is behavior:  

Beethoven an Anton Felix Schindler:

                                                                                 [Wien, 13. Mai 1824][1]

    Ich beschuldige sie nichts schlechtem bey der Akademie, aber Unklugheit u. eigenmächtiges Handel[n] hat manches verdorben,[2] überhaupt aber habe ich eine gewiße Furcht vor ihnen, daß mir einmal ein Großes Unglück durch Sie bevorsteht. -- verstopfte Schleusen öfnen sich öfter plözlich, u. den Tag im Prat.[er] glaubte ich mich in manchen Stücken sehr empfindlich angegriffen von ihnen;[3] -- überhaupt würde ich eher ihre Dienste, die sie mir erweisen, gern öfter mit einem kleinen Geschenke zu vergüten suchen, als mit dem Tische, denn ich gesteht [=gestehe] es Es stört mich zu sehr in so vielem, sehn sie kein heiteres Gesicht so heißt es "heut war wieder übles wetter" denn bey ihrer gewöhnlichkeit, wie wäre es ihnen mögl. das ungewöhnliche nicht zu verkennen?!  Kurzum ich liebe meine Freyheit zu sehr, Es wird nicht fehlen, sie manchmal einzuladen für Beständig ist dies aber unmögl., da meine Ganze ordnung hiedurch gestört wird. --

   duport hat künftigen dienstag zur Akademie zugesagt,[4] denn in dem Landstä[n]dtischen saal, den ich Morgen Abends hätte haben können [5] gibt er die Sänger wieder nicht, auf die Polizey hat er sich auch wieder berufen,[6] gehn sie daher gefälligst mit dem Zettel u hören ob man nichts da[ge]gen das 2te mal hat -- umsonst hätte ich nimmermehr diese mir erwiesenen Gefälligkeiten angenommen, u. werde es auch nicht. -- was Freundschaft betrift so ist dies eine schwierige Aufgabe mit ihnen, mein wohl mögte ich ihnen auf keinen Fall anvertrauen, da es ihnen an überlegung fehlt u. sei eigenmächtig handeln u. ich sie selbst früher schon auf eine Nachtehilige weise für sie kennenlernte, so wie andere auch; -- ich gestehe es die Reinigkeit meines Karakters läßt es nicht zu, bloß ihre Gefälligkeiten für mich durch Freundschaft zu vergelten, ob ich schon bereit bin, ihnen gern zu dienen, was ihr wohl betrift.--

       

Beethoven to Anton Felix Schindler:

                                                                                        [Vienna,  May 13, 1824][1]

    I am not accusing you of anything bad with respect to the Academy, but imprudence and willful actions have spoiled many things.[2] ]In any event, in a certain way, I am afraid of you in that a great misfortune might be ahead of me, on account of you.--Very often, plugged drains open, all of a sudden, and all day long at the Prater, with respect to certain things, I felt myself attacked by you, very severely;[3]--in any event, I would prefer to compensate you for your services with small presents, here and there, than at the table, since I confess that many things bother me; if you do not see a cheerful face, then you say "today, the weather is bad, again" since, with your common outlook, how could you value that which is uncommon?!  In short, I love my freedom too much; I shall not fail to invite you on occasion, but on a regular basis, this is impossible, since my entire order is disrupted by it.--  

   Duport has agreed to the Academy for next Tuesday,[4] since in the  Landstä[n]dtische Saal which I could have had for tomorrow evening,[5] he will not add the singers, he has also referred to the police, again,[6] kindly go with the note and find out if one has any objections, the second time--I would never have accepted the favors shown me, for nothing, and will also not do so.--As far as friendship is concerned, that is a difficult task with respect to you, I would not want to entrust my well-being to you, for any reason, since you lack judgment and since you act willfully and since I have already come to know you to your disadvantage, earlier on, as have others;--I admit that the purity of my character does not allow me to compensate you for your favors with my friendship, although I am willing to serve you as far as your well-being is concerned.--   

                                                                                                                            B.

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Leter No.  1833, p. 320-321]

[Original:  Vienna, Stadt- und Landesbibliothek; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter was written a day before the original repetition of the academy concert, on May 14, 1824; to [2]: refers to the fact that it is not clear as to whether Beethoven's criticism refers to the first academy concert of May 7, 1824, or to the planning of the second academy concert that had to be postponed from May 14 to May 23, 1824.  According to the GA, later, Beethoven's family voiced suspicions that Schindler was trying to jeopardize the second academy concert; with respect to this, the GA refers to  BKh, Vol.  6, p. 250]; to [3]: refers to the fact that, on May 9, 1824, at the "Prater Dinner", which was attended by Beethoven, his nephew, Michael Umlauf, Schuppanzigh, Böhm and Schindler, a serious falling-out occurred between Beethoven and Schindler on account of the events of the first academy concert of May 7, 1824, so that Schindler abruptly left the company; to [4]:  refers to May 18, 1824, although the second academy concert only took place on May 23, 1824; to [5]:  refers to the fact that originally, Beethoven had planned for the second academy concert to take place on May 14, 1824 and that he had already applied for permission from the authorities; applied with the authorities to obtain permission for the second academy concert for May 14, 1824; to [6]: for comparison, the discussion of this matter with Ferdinand Piringer in BKh 6, p. 181f. is referred to and also to the fact that the police had to give permission for the performance of the movements from the Missa solemnis; details taken from p. 321.]

 

After this discussion of the less pleasant aftermath of the first academy concert, let us turn to the second performance that is already mentioned by Beethoven in his above letter to Schindler.  

 

THE SECOND ACADEMY CONCERT OF MAY 23, 1824

With respect to this, Thayer (p. 912) reports that a second concert had at least been planned since the original negotiations had been underway with Count Palffy.  Thayer further writes that, according to Schindler, Duport had offered to bear all costs of this second concert and to guarantee Beethoven 500 florins in Viennese currency (1,200 florins, Viennese standard), which Beethoven was to share with the theatre cashier.  However, as a concession to the public taste, Duport requested a change in the programme.  Thayer then also lists this programme.  Here, we can present you with the original text of a facsimile rendition of the concert announcement, from Vol. 6, page 97, of the Conversation Books, with our own translation into English:

Große musikalische Akademie,
von
Herrn Ludwig van Beethoven,
worin die Herren DAVID, DONZELLI, BOTTICELLI und Mad. DARDANELLI
singen werden, und welche
Sonntag den 23. May 1824, im k.k. großen Redouten=Saale,
um die Mittagsstunde,
abgehalten wird.
Die dabey vorkommenden Musikstücke sind die
neuesten Werke des Herrn Ludwig van Beethoven.

E r s t e n s. Große Ouverture.
Z w e i t e n s. Neues Terzett, componirt von Herrn L. van Beethoven,
gesungen von Mad. DARDANELLI, Herren DONZELLI und BOTTICELLI.
D r i t t e n s. Große Hymne, gesungen von Dlles. Songag, Unger, Harren Haizinger, Seipelt
und sämmtlichem Chorpersonale.
V i e r t e n s. Aire: Di tanti palpiti, gesungen von Herrn DAVID.
F ü n f t e n s. Große Symphonie, mit im Finale eintretenden Solo- und Chor-Stimmen,
auf Schillers Lied, an die Freude.

Herr Schuppanzigh hat die Direction des Orchesters,
Herr Kapellmeister Umlauf die Leitung des Ganzen,
und der Musik-Verein die Verstärkung des Chors
und Orchesters aus Gefälligkeit übernommen.
Herr Ludwig van Beethoven wird an der Leitung
des Ganzen Antheil nehmen.

Der Eintritt in den Saal ist 1 Gulden,
auf die Gallerie 2 Gulden C.M.

Eintrittskarten sind an der Theaterkasse, Kärnthnerstraße Nr. 1038,
im Eckhause beym Kärntnerthor, im ersten Stocke, zu den gewöhnlichen
Amtsstunden, am Tage der Akademie selbst aber Vormittag um 11 Uhr
bey der Cassa am Eingange des Saals zu haben.

Der Anfang ist um halb 1 Uhr.

Grand musical Academy,
by
Herr Ludwig van Beethoven,
wherein the Herren DAVID, DONZELLI, BOTTICELLI and Mad. DARDANELLI
will sing, and which will take place on
Sunday, the 23rd of May 1824, in the large R.I. Redouten=Saal,
at noon.
The musical pieces that will be perform are the latest works by Herr Ludwig van Beethoven.
 F i r s t. Grand Overture.
S e c o n d. New Terzett, composed by Herr L. van Beethoven,
sung by Mad. DARDANELLI, Herren DONZELLI and BOTTICELLI.
T h i r d. Grand Hymn, sung by Dlles. Sontag, Unger, Harren Haizinger, Seipelt
and the entire choir personnel.
F o u r t h. Aire: Di tanti palpiti, sung by Herr DAVID.
F i f t h. Grand Symphony, with Choral Ending, with Solo and Choir Voices,
to Schiller's Ode to Joy.

Herr Schuppanzigh will be the Concert Master,
Herr Kapellmeister Umlauf the Conductor,
and the Music Society will augment the choir
and the orchestra, as a favor.
Herr Ludwig van Beethoven will take part in the direction of the entire event.

Admittance to the Saal is 1 Florin,
to the Gallery 2 Florins C.M.

Tickets can be had at the box office, Kärnthnerstraße No. 1038,
in the corner house at the Kärntnerthor, on the second floor, during the usual office hours, on the day of the Academy, itself, however, at 11 o'clock at the box office at the entrance of the [Redouten]saal.

The Concert will begin at half past twelve.

 

From the announcement, it becomes clear that the second concert did not take place at the Kärtnertortheater, but rather in the great Redouten-Saal.  

This is also confirmed by Beethoven research in the Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe in note no. 3 to Letter No. 1831 by Beethoven, to those who took part in the academy concert of May 7, 1824, in which Beethoven refers to the second concert that was planned for May 14, 1824.  Here, the GA note:    "[3] Gemeint ist Freitag, der 14.5.1824 (s. BKh 6, S. 170f.).  Die zweite Akademie fand schließlich am 23.5.1824 im großen Redoutensaal statt" [In essence, this note points towards May 14, 1824, as the initially planned date for the second concert and that it finally took place on May 23, 1824, in the large Redoutensaal.] (GA Vol. 5, Letter No. 1831, p. 319).

As Thayer (p. 912) further reports, on this spring Sunday, the weather was very nice and warm and, due to this, not many Viennese gathered at the Redoutensaal for Beethoven's second concert.  The result of the meager attendance was a deficit of 800 florins.  Moreover, the enthusiasm of the audience was less than that at the first concert.  Beethoven, who was not enthused about the repetition of the concert, was discouraged and even reported as having had scruples to accept the sum that Duport had guarantted him.  

To Beethoven's dismay, Thayer further writes, his old aria, "Tremati, empi tremate" had been announced as a "new" work, although this work had been completed 20 years before and had already been performed in 1814.  Also Tobias Haslinger who had purchased the work but not published it, yet, had been puzzled by this.  Moreover, in the distribution of complimentary tickets, he was overlooked so that Beethoven had to apologize to him and also to explain to him that Duport had announced the terzett as a new work and not he (see GA, Vol. 5, Letter No. 1840, p. 327-328; not presented in full, here, since the main content is not related to the Missa solemnis).

In conclusion of this section on the second concert, let us also point out that, in Vol. 6 of the Conversation Books  (Books Nos. 61-76), Anton Schindler is still featured with entries, in Book No. 67 (from the second third of May, 1824, p. 169-198) and Book No. 69  (from about May 22 - 24, 1824, p. 223 - 230), but no longer in Book No. 70 from the end of May, 18214, which would allow us to leave room for the possibility that we was still assisting Beethoven with the preparations for the second concert.   

 

'PICTORIAL' DENOUEMENT

 


Decker's Sketch of Beethoven
 

Thayer's reference (p. 913) to the 'pictorial' denouement of Beethoven's May, 1824, concerts, namely the publication of a new portrait of the composer, a lithographic reproduction of the sketch by Stephan Decker, which appeared as appendix to the June 5, 1824, edition of the Wiener Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung that was edited by F.A. Kanne, provides us with further 'musical criticism' of these concerts, which, however, praised the composer rather than criticize his works.  As Thayer further reports, in 1824, Steinnmüller prepared a printing plate of this portrait for Artaria.  According to Thayer, Schindler and Frimmel agreed in their reports that the well-known Beethoven portrait by Kriehuber was a copy of Decker's sketch that, as Kanne's periodical reported, was made a few days after Beethoven's great May 1824 concert.  

After this consideration of all aspects of the incomplete Viennese performances of the Missa solemnis, let us turn to the first (perhaps) complete performance of this work in  St. Petersburg.

 

TO THE FIRST PERFORMANCE IN ST. PETERSBURG

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