BEETHOVEN'S FOURTH SYMPHONY


 



The Lobkowitz Palais in Vienna
in Beethoven's Time
 


A SLENDER GREEK MAIDEN
BETWEEN TWO NORDIC GIANTS?
 - INTRODUCTORY THOUGHTS

On two of three traditionalists of "musical" romanticism, namely on Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn, Beethoven's Fourth Symphony had a very positive impact: Schumann once described it as a "slender Greek maiden between two Nordic giants" (the Third and Fifth Symphonies; Source:  Thayer-Deiters-Riemann, Vol. 3, p. 15), and, according to TDR, Felix Mendelssohn valued it so highly that he chose it as one of the works to be performed on the occasion of his first evening as conductor and director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.  On the third traditionalist, on Carl Maria von Weber, however, it had quite a different impact:   In an article of his that was published on December 27, 1809, in the Stuttgart "Morgenblatt für gebildete Stände", an article that was extracted from his novel Künstlerleben (that would remain a fragment); in it, as "TDR" reports, he even referred to "desparate cries of fear" by the contrabass, on account of increasing technical difficulties in this work  (Source: TDR Vol. 3, p. 15). 

In order for us to gain a somewhat lively impression of the variety of contemporary opinions and of other details of the creation of this symphony, let us embark on a new journey of discovery into its creation.  

CREATION HISTORY

To what time do its first traces go back?  Lewis Lockwood (p. 217) reports that two sketches for the finale of Op. 60 can be found on sketches that belong to the "Leonore" sketchbook from the year 1804.  

However, as Lockwood reports, since one of the sketchbooks from this time has been lost, we are not well informed with respect to the development of this symphony.  He thinks that in these years, 1804, 1805 and into the spring of 1806, Beethoven first concentrated on his composition and first revision of his only opera Fidelio (Leonore) and that only after that was he able to concentrate on more intensive work on other compositions, among them Op. 60. 

These indications of first traces of this work and of the period during which he set any work on it aside give us strong clues with respect to Beethoven's general life circumstances during these years that were filled with his opera work, but also with his growing friendship with Josephine von Brunsvik.  We already discussed  these circumstances, namely in our online biography, in our creation history of Fidelio, and in our overall discussion of Beethoven's relationship to women, in our section on Nietzsche and Beethoven.   

TDR (Vol. 3, p. 9-10) and Thayer-Forbes (Vol. 1, p. 411) also discuss Beethoven's setting aside of his work on this symphony.  

Assumptions with respect to the precise moment of Beethoven's taking up work on it, again, circle around the discussion of his whereabouts during the summer season of 1806, which we already entered into at length, in our creation history of Op. 59.  This discussion led to the result that there was no other evidence for Beethoven's whereabouts during this summer than his late summer and fall stay at Grätz, with Prince Lichnowsky.  In his table form presentation of Beethoven life facts, Klaus Kropfinger (p. 31) also only mentions this stay. 

Beethoven's letter of September 3, 1806, to Breitkopf & Härtel not only serves as "evidence" for the fact that, at least from this day on, he stayed at Grätz, but in it, he also refers to this symphony, in his own handwriting:  

   "Beethoven an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                Grätz am 3ten HeuMonath.[= September] 1806

                                                     P.S.

    Etwas viel zu thun und die kleine Reise hieher konnte ich ihren Brief[1] nicht gleich beantworten -- obschon ich auf der Stelle entschloßen war, ihre Anerbietungen einzugehen, indem selbst meine Gemächlichkeit bey einem solchen Vorschlage gewint, und manche unvermeidliche Unordnung hinwegfällt -- ich verpflichte mich gern in Deutschland niemand anderm meine Werke als ihnen zu geben, auch selbst auswärts nicht anders <in> als in diesen hier jezt ihnen angezeigten Fällen: nemlich indem mir vortheilhafte Anerbietungen von auswärts von verlegern gemacht werden, <die> werde ich es ihnen zuwissen machen, und sie sind anders <gesonnen> gestimt dafür, so werde ich gleich ausmachen, daß sie das selbe werk in Deutschland für ein geringeres honorar von mir ebenfalls erhalten können -- der zweite Fall ist: falls ich von Deutschland auswandere, welches wohl geschehen kann, daß ich meine Werke als denn sey es in paris oder london Fr[e]y verkaufen kann, doch sie ebenfalls wie oben auch wieder, wenn sie Lust dazu haben, daran Theil nehmen können --

    sind ihnen diese Bedingungen recht, so schreiben sie mir -- ich glaube, daß es so ganz zweckmäßig für sie und mich wäre -- sobald ich ihre Meynung hierüber weiß -- können sie also gleich von mir 3 Violin quartetten[2] ein neues Klawierkonzert[3], eine neue sinfonie[4], <ein>die Partitur meiner oper[5], und mein oratorium[6] haben -- 

    . . .

    mit wahrer Hochachtung ihr

                                                                                                       Ludwig van Beethowen

"Beethoven to Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                Grätz on the 3rd Hay Month[= September] 1806

                                                     P.S.

    A great deal to do and the little journey here did not allow me to answer your letter[1] right away--although I was resolved, immediately, to consider your suggestions, since also my comfort gains with these amenities, and since many an unavoidable disorder would fall away--gladly, I agree to give my works to no-one in Germany but you, even outside of Germany, with the exception of the instances indicated to you, now: namely, when advantageous offers are made to me by foreign publishers, I will advise you, and if you are not inclined, otherwise, I will agree to it, right away, that you can also receive that work from me for Germany, for a lower fee, as well--the second instance is if I should decide to leave Germany, which may well happen, so that, in this event, I shall be able to sell my works freely in Paris or London, however, also in this case, you will, if you are so inclined, have the opportunity of participating--  

   if you can agree to these conditions, write to me--I believe that this is quite practical for you and me--as soon as I will know your opinion with respect to this--you can receive from me, right away, 3 string quartets[2] a new piano concerto[3], a new symphony[4], <a> the score to my opera[5] and my oratorio[6]-- 

    . . .

    with true esteem your

                                                                                                       Ludwig van Beethowen

   Nb. My present stay is here in Silesia, as long as fall lasts--with Prince Lichnowsky--who sends you his greetings--my adress is to L. v. Beehowen in Troppau --

To H. Breitkopf and Härtel in Leipzig"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 1, Letter No. 256, p. 288-289; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; to [1]: probably refers to Letter No. 255 of July 11,1806, that, according to the GA, has not been preserved; to [2]: refers to Op. 59; to [3]: refers to Op. 58; to [4]: refers to Op. 60; to [5]: refers to Op. 72; to [6]: refers to Op. 85; details taken from p.  289].

As already TDR (Vol. 3, p. 9-10) has argued, Beethoven's offer of this work allows us at least to assume that he had taken up work on them again.  With respect to a possible reason for this, Barry Cooper writes:  

 

 



Grätz near Troppau

 

"While at work on the second quartet, in late summer, Beethoven travelled with Prince Lichnowsky to stay at his castle at Grätz in Silesia, near the town of Troppau (now Opava, near the Czech-Polish border), some 140 miles north-east of Vienna.  This was only about thirty miles from the castle of Count Franz von Oppersdorff, by Oberglogau (Glogowek), and Lichnowsky and Beethoven took the opportunity to visit the count.  It may have been on this occasion that Oppersdorff commissioned the Fourth Symphony from Beethoven.  " (Cooper: 158-159). 

 



Oberglogau 1786

 

 

With respect to Count Oppersdorff, TDR (Vol. 3, p. 10-11) and Thayer-Forbes (Vol. 1, p. 4**) report that he held a small orchestra and that, due to this, he only hired servants who could also play a musical instrument.  His contact with Prince Lichnowsky is explained by the Count's having had close ties to the Austrian nobility either by being related to or befriended with them.   As TDR reports, during Beethoven's and Lichnowsky's visit, the Count's orchestra is supposed to have performed for them his Second Symphony.  In this, TDR relies on a Prussian government official by the name of Albrecht whose father was born in Oberglogau and who, having served Count Oppersdorff as legal counsel, was also a member of his orchestra.  At the performance of the Second Symphony, he reportedly made Beethoven's acquaintance.  

As Barry Cooper reports, the Fourth Symphony was completed rather quickly. 

From all of this, we can at least conclude that Oppersdorff commissioned from Beethoven "a" symphony.  As Thayer-Forbes (p. 410) reports, sketches "prove" that Beethoven's work on the Fifth Symphony, Op. 67, had already been begun but that they were also set aside in favor of his work on the Fourth Symphony.  Beethoven's inscription on the manuscript was: "Sinfonia 4ta, 1806 L.v. Bthvn" (TF: 410).  Thayer-Forbes (p. 411) also lists this work as having been completed in 1806.  

While we can not determine the precise completion date of this work, Beethoven's November 18, 1806, letter to Breitkopf & Härtel also contains a hint with respect to the further fate of this symphony:  

"Beethoven an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                                             [Wien, 18. November 1806]

                                                                 P.S.

     Theils meine Zerstreuungen in schlesien,[1] Theils die Begebenheiten ihres Landes[2] waren Schuld, daß ich ihnen noch nicht auf ihren lezten Brief[3] antwortete -- ist es daß die Umstände sie verhindern etwas -- mit mir einzugehen, so sind sie zu nichts gezwungen -- nur bitte ich sie mir gleich mit der nächsten Post <mit der> zu antworten, damit falls sie sich nicht mit mir einlassen wollen -- ich meine Werke nicht brauche liegen zu laßen[4] -- in Rücksicht eines Kontraktes auf 3 Jahre wollte ich diesen wohl gleich mit ihnen eingehen, wenn sie sich gefallen laßen wollten, daß ich mehrere Werke nach England oder Schottland oder Frankreich verkaufte, Es versteht sich, daß die Werke, erhalten, oder die sie von mir erhalten, oder die ich ihnen Verkaufte, auch bloß ihnen allein gehörte[n] nemlich: durchaus ganz ihr Eigenthum und nichts mit denen von Frankreich oder England oder Schottland gemein hätten - nur müste mir die Freyheit bleiben auch andere werke an eben genannte länder zu veraüßern -- Doch in Deutschland wären sie der Eigenthümer  meiner Werke und kein einziger anderer Verleger -- gerne würde ich dem Verkauf meiner Werke in jene Länder versagen, allein ich habe z.B. von Schottland aus so wichtige Anträge, und ein solches honorar, was ich von ihnen doch nie fodern könnte,[5] dabey ist <das Ausland> eine Verbindung mit dem Ausland für den Ruhm eines Künstlers, und im Falle er eine Reise macht immer wichtig -- da ich z.B. bey den Anträgen von Schottland noch die Freyheit habe dieselben werke in Deutschland und Frankreich zu Verkaufen, so könnten sie z.B. diese für Deutschland und Frankreich gern von mir erhalten -- so daß ihnen für ihren Absaz alsdenn nur London und vieleicht Edinburg (in Schottland) abginge-- auf diese Art <glaube ich, es> Wollte ich recht gern den Kontrakt auf 3 Jahre mit ihnen eingehen, sie würden noch immer genug von mir bekommen -- da die Bestellungen jener Länder doch manchmal mehr in einem indiwiduellen Geschmack gefodert werden, welches wir in Deutschland nicht nöthig haben -- übrigens aber glaube ich, daß das Kontrakt schließen gar nicht nöthig wäre, und daß sie sich ganz auf mein Ehrenwort, was ich ihnen hiermit gebe, verlassen sollten, daß ich ihnen in Deutschland vor allen den Vorzug gebe, versteht sich, daß an diesen Werken weder Frankreich noch Holland Theil nehmen können -- nur sie der alleinige Eigenthümer sind -- halten sie es nun wi[e] sie wollen hierin --

    mir macht das Kontrakt schließen eine Menge Umstände, das honorar <were> würde ich ihnen für jedes Werk anzeigen -- und so billig als möglich -- für jetzt trage ich ihnen 3 Quartetten[6] und ein Klawierkonzert[7] an -- die versprochene Sinfonie[8] kann ich ihnen noch nicht geben, weil ein vornehmer Herr[9] sie von mir genommen, wo ich aber die Freyheit habe, sie in einem halben Jahr heraus zu geben -- <für das Konzert verlange ich von ihnen 300 Gldn in> Ich verlange von ihnen 600 fl. für drey  Quarttetten, und 300 fl. für das Konzert Beyde Summen in Konwenzions-Gulden nach dem zwanzig<er> Gulden Fuß -- das liebste wäre, wenn sie Awiso gäben, daß das Geld bey ihnen oder bey einem sonst bekannten Wechsler erliege, worauf ich alsdann einen Wechsel von hier nach Leipzig ausstellen würde--Sollte ihnen <diese> dieser Weg nicht recht seyn, so kann ich auch geschehen laßen, daß sie mir für die Summe im 20 fl. Gulden[-Fuß] einen nach dem Kurse richtig berechneten Wechsel zuschicken

    vieleicht ist es möglich, daß ich die Sinfonie vileicht darf bälder stechen laßen als <sie glauben> ich hoffen durfte bisher, und dann können sie solche bald haben -- antworten sie mir nur bald -- damit ich nicht aufgehalten werde -- übrigens seyn sie überzeugt, daß ich immer ihre Handlung allen Andern gern vorziehe und ferner vorziehen werde --

mit Achtung ihr ergebenster Diener

                                                                                                                 LvBthwn

Vien am 18ten November 1806

An Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig."

"Beethoven to Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                                             [Vienna, November 18, 1806]

                                                                 P.S.

     Partly my diversions in Silesia,[1] partly the events in your country[2] were to blame for my not replying to your last letter[3]--in the event that circumstances prevent you from entering into an agreement with me, you are not obligated to anything--I only ask you to reply to me with the next post, so that, if you do not want to enter into an agreement with me--my works will not lie fallow[4]--with respect to a three-year-contract, I would wish to enter into it with you, right away, if you were to agree that I could sell various works to England or France at the same time.  Of course, the works that you would receive from me or which I would sell to you, would only belong to you, in that they would be completely owned by you and would have nothing to do with them of France or England or Scotland--only, I would have to retain the liberty to also sell other works to the named countries--however, in Germany, you would be the exclusive owner of my works and no other publisher--I would be glad to forego selling my works to those countries, alone, for example, from Scotland, I have received such important proposals and such a fee, that I could, after all, never ask of you[5].  Moreover, a connection with foreign countries  is always important for the fame of an artist, particularly in the event of his travels to these parts--since I, for example, in the case of the works for Scotland, still have the liberty of selling them in France and Germany, you could gladly receive them from me--so that, with respect to their sale, you would only miss the London and Edinburgh sales--in this manner, I believe, I would gladly enter into a three-year-contract with you, you would still receive enough from me--since the commissions from these countries are sometimes held in their particular taste(s), which would not be necessary in Germany--otherwise, I believe that the closing of a contract would not even be necessary and that you could entirely rely on my word of honor that I give you, herewith, namely that I give you preference above all in Germany; it is understood that neither France nor Holland could take part in these works--only you would be their exclusive owner--you can make arrangements as you please in this--  

    Closing contracts causes me a great deal of inconvenience; I would indicate the fee for every work to you--as low as possible--for now, I am offering you 3 quartets(6) and a Piano Concerto(7)--the promised symphony(8), I can not give to you, yet, since a gentleman of quality[9] has taken it from me, whereby I, however, have the liberty of publishing it in half a year--<for the Concerto, I ask for 300 florins from you in> I ask for 600 florins for the three quartets, and 300 florins for the concerto both sums in convention florins at 20 foot--I would prefer if you would give an "aviso" and would leave the money with you or with an exchange agent who is known to you, in exchange for which I could issue a draft to Leipzig--if you should not be able to agree to this, I could also arrange that your send me a draft for the sum at 20 foot according to the exchange rate.  

    Perhaps it is possible that I could have the symphony etched sooner than <you believe> I could hope hitherto, and then you could have the same, soon--only reply to me, soon--so that I am not held up--otherwise, be convinced that I always prefer your company over all others and always will do so-- 

with esteem your most devoted servant

                                                                                                                 LvBthwn

Vienna on the 18th of November 1806

To Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig."

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 1, Letter No. 260, p. 292 - 294; Original: Wiesbaden, Breitkopf & Härtel; to [1]: with respect to this, the GA points out that from August to the end of October, 1806, Beethoven stayed at Grätz near Troppau as Prince Lichnowsky's guest; to [2]: refers to the fact that, on October 14, 1806, the Prussian-Saxon army was decisively defeated in the two battles near Jena and Auerstedt, by Napoleon; to [3]: refers to Letter No. 257, which has not been preserved; to [4]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had offered this publisher Op. 58, Op. 59, Op. 60, Op. 72, and Op. 85, see Letter No. 256; to [5]: refers to Letter No. 259; to [6]: refers to Op. 59; to [7]: refers to Op. 58; to [8]: refers to Op. 60; to [9]: according to the GA, this might possibly refer to Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz, in whose Vienna Palais the work was first performed privately in March, 1807; details taken from p. 294]. 

With respect to the identify of the "gentleman of quality" who had taken the "symphony" (Op. 60) from Beethoven, two possibilities offer themselves.  According to the GA, it might have been Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz.  Contrary to this, traditional Beethoven literature and, at least in his Beethoven book that was published in 2000, also Barry Cooper (p. 159) still maintains that:  

"Oppersdorff paid Beethoven 500 florins for six month's exclusive use, and may have received a score as early as November, although the fee was not paid until the following February (Cooper: 159).

An earlier, not uninteresting discussion in TDR of Beethoven's letters to Count Oppersdorff (Vol. 3, p. 11-12) that Beethoven's receipt to Count Oppersdorff of 500 florins that was appeared to be dated February 3, 1807 (which also Thayer-Forbes, p. 432 mentions), was an attachment to Beethoven's letter to Oppersdorff in which he addressed the latter as follows: 

"Beethoven an Graf Franz von Oppersdorff[1] in Troppau

                                                                                    [Wien, März 1808][2]

daß Sie mir mein Geliebter entflohen sind, ohne mir auch nur etwas von ihrer Abreise zu wissen zu machen, hat mir wircklich wehe gethan -- Es hat sie vieleicht etwas von mir verdroßen, doch gewiß nicht mit meinem Willen -- heute habe ich ein wenig Zeit um ihnen mehr schreiben zu können, ich will ihnen daher nur noch melden, daß ihre Sinfonie[3] schon lange bereit liegt, ich sie ihnen nun aber mit nächster Post schicke -- . . . " 

"Beethoven to Count Franz von Oppersdorff[1] in Troppau

                                                                                    [Vienna, March 1808][2]

that you, my dear, have escaped me, without letting me know anything of your departure, has really hurt me--Perhaps, you were displeased with me, but certainly not with my wanting it to be so--today, I have a little bit of time to write you more, therefore, I want to let you know that your symphony[3] has been lying ready here, for a long time, and I will send it to you wit the next post-- . . . "                                                                                

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe Vol. 2, Letter No. 325, p. 12-13; Original:  In private hands; to [1]: refers to Count Oppersdorff; to [2]: according to the GA, this refers to the most probable information with respect to the dating of this letter, namely, Beethoven's mentioning in it of his finger injury, which happened in March 1808; according to the GA, in his letter of March 1808, Stephan Breuning wrote about it to his brother-in-law, Franz Gerhard Wegeler; details taken from p. 13; this letter will be featured in full here, in its appropriate context].  

Here the full German text from "TDR":

»Daß Sie mir, mein Geliebter, entflohen sind, ohne mir nur etwas von ihrer Abreise zu wissen zu machen, hat mir orntlich wehe gethan - Es hat sie vielleicht etwas von mir verdrossen, doch gewiß nicht mit meinem Willen - Heute habe ich dazu wenig Zeit um ihnen mehr schreiben zu können, ich will ihnen daher nur noch melden, daß ihre Sinfonie schon lange bereit liegt, ich sie ihnen nun aber mit nächster Post schicke - 50 fl. können sie mir abhalten, da die Copiaturen welche ich für sie machen lassen, billigstens 50 fl. ausmacht - im Fall sie aber die Sinfonie nicht wollen, machen sie mir's noch vor künftigen Posttag zu wissen - im Fall sie selbe aber nehmen, dann erfreuen sie mich sobald als möglich mit den mir noch zukommenden 300 fl. - Das letzte Stück der Sinfonie ist mit 3 Posaunen und flautino - zwar nicht 3 Pauken, wird aber mehr Lärm als 6 Pauken und zwar bessern Lärm machen - an meinem armen unverschuldeten Finger curire ich noch, und habe seit 14 Tägen deswegen gar nicht ausgehen können - leben sie wohl - lassen sie mich liebster Graf bald etwas von sich hören - mir geht es schlecht -

A Monsieur
le comte d'Oppersdorf
a
Troppau
(en Silesie).

in Eile
Ihr
ergebenster
Beethoven.

(besonderes Blatt)

Quittung über 500 fl welche ich vom Grafen Oppersdorf. empfangen habe, für eine Sinfonie, welche ich für denselben geschrieben habe -
Laut meiner
eigenen Handschrift
Ludwig van Beethoven.«

1807 am 3ten Februar<< [Source: TDR Bd. 3, S. 12-13; the text below Beethoven's closing greeting refers to a separate sheet on which Beethoven is reported to have written:  "Receipt for 500 fl which I have received from Count Oppersdorff for my symphony, which I have written for him.  Written by myself, Ludwig van Beethoven 1807 the 3rd of February").

TDR has doubts with respect to the date of February 3, 1807, and, with respect to the main part of the letter, including Beethoven's reference to his finger injury, refers to the possibility that this letter might rather have been written in the spring of 1808.  Interesting enough is that the GA feature of this letter [GA letter no. 325] does not present the "separate sheet" and its content.

The time difference between Beethoven's hasty departure from Troppau, after his falling-out with Prince Lichnowsky--which led him back to Vienna at the end of October, 1806--and his letter of November 18, 1806 to Breitkopf & Härtel leaves at least some room for the possibility that Beethoven might have given the manuscript of Op. 60, which he would then have taken along, to Prince Lobkowitz.  As indication of his presence in Vienna after October 31, 1806, might also serve his letter to George Thomson in Edinburgh that the GA places between November 1 and November 9, 1806 (GA Bd. 1, Letter No. 259, p.290-292) , which begins with "Vienne le 1. - 9bre".

As lay people, we can not do more than ponder these possibilities. 

Before we take a look at the first performances of the Fourth Symphony, let us provide you with a chronological presentation of Beethoven's unsuccessful publication attempts as reflected in his correspondence with Breitkopf & Härtel.

BEETHOVEN'S UNSUCCESSFUL NEGOTATIONS
WITH BREITKOPF & HÄRTEL

Although we already took a brief look at Beethoven's fall 1806 correspondence with  Breitkopf & Härtel, here, we should consider it, anew.  As we already know, already on September 3, 1806, Beethoven offered his Fourth Symphony, that was at least on its way to being completed, to this Leipzig publisher:  

"Beethoven an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                Grätz am 3ten HeuMonath.[= September] 1806

                                                     P.S.

    Etwas viel zu thun und die kleine Reise hieher konnte ich ihren Brief[1] nicht gleich beantworten -- obschon ich auf der Stelle entschloßen war, ihre Anerbietungen einzugehen, indem selbst meine Gemächlichkeit bey einem solchen Vorschlage gewint, und manche unvermeidliche Unordnung hinwegfällt -- ich verpflichte mich gern in Deutschland niemand anderm meine Werke als ihnen zu geben, auch selbst auswärts nicht anders <in> als in diesen hier jezt ihnen angezeigten Fällen: nemlich indem mir vortheilhafte Anerbietungen von auswärts vom verlegern gemacht werden, <die> werde ich es ihnen zuwissen machen, und sie sind anders <gesonnen> gestimt dafür, so werde ich gleich ausmachen, daß sie das selbe werk in Deutschland für ein geringeres honorar von mir ebenfalls erhalten können -- der zweite Fall ist: falls ich von Deutschland auswandere, welches wohl geschehen kann, daß ich meine Werke als denn sey es in paris oder london Fr[e]y verkaufen kann, doch sie ebenfalls wie oben auch wieder, wenn sie Lust dazu haben, daran Theil nehmen können --

    sind ihnen diese Bedingungen recht, so schreiben sir mir -- ich glaube, daß es so ganz zweckmäßig für sie und mich wäre -- sobald ich ihre Meynung hierüber weiß -- können sie also gleich von mir 3 Violin quartetten[2] ein neues Klawierkonzert[3], eine neue sinfonie[4], <ein>die Partitur meiner oper[5], und mein oratorium[6] haben -- 

    . . .

    mit wahrer Hochachtung ihr

                                                                                                       Ludwig van Beethowen

   Nb. Mein jeziger Aufenthalt <in> ist hier in schlesien, so lange der Herbst dauert -- bey Fürst Lichnoswky -- der sie grüßen läßt -- meine adresse ist an L. v. Beehowen in Troppau --

An H. Breitkopf und Härtel in Leipzig"

"Beethoven to Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                Grätz on the 3rd Hay Month[= September] 1806

                                                     P.S.

    A great deal to do and the little journey here did not allow me to answer your letter[1] right away--although I was resolved, immediately, to consider your suggestions, since also my comfort gains with these amenities, and since many an unavoidable disorder would fall away--gladly, I agree to give my works to no-one in Germany but you, even outside of Germany, with the exception of the instances indicated to you, now: namely, when advantageous offers are made to me by foreign publishers, I will advise you, and if you are not inclined, otherwise, I will agree to it, right away, that you can also receive that work from me for Germany, for a lower fee, as well--the second instance is if I should decide to leave Germany, which may well happen, so that, in this event, I shall be able to sell my works freely in Paris or London, however, also in this case, you will, if you are so inclined, have the opportunity of participating--  

    if you can agree to these conditions, write to me--I believe that this is quite practical for you and me--as soon as I will know your opinion with respect to this--you can receive from me, right away, 3 string quartets[2] a new piano concerto[3], a new symphony[4], <a> the score to my opera[5] and my oratorio[6]-- 

    . . .

    with true esteem your

                                                                                                       Ludwig van Beethowen

   Nb. My present stay is here in Silesia, as long as fall lasts--with Prince Lichnowsky--who sends you his greetings--my adress is to L. v. Beeyhowen in Troppau --

To H. Breitkopf and Härtel in Leipzig"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 1, Letter No. 256, p. 288-289; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; to [1]: probably refers to Letter No. 255 of July 11,1806, that, according to the GA, has not been preserved; to [2]: refers to Op. 59; to [3]: refers to Op. 58; to [4]: refers to Op. 60; to [5]: refers to Op. 72; to [6]: refers to Op. 85; details taken from p.  289].

The publisher did not take long to reply: 

"Breitkopf & Härtel an Beethoven

                                                                                            [Leipzig, 13. September 1806]

[Der Verlag bittet um Angabe des Honorars für die ihm angebotenen Werke op. 58, op. 59, op. 60, op. 72 und op. 85.  Unter der Voraussetzung, dass das Honorar annehmbar sei und die Verlagsrechte ohne Einschränkung an ihn abgetreten würden, wolle er mit Beethoven einen Kontrakt auf drei Jahre abschließen.]"

"Breitkopf & Härtel to Beethoven

                                                                                            [Leipzig, September 13, 1806]

[The publishers ask Beethoven to indicate his fees for the offered works, op. 58, op. 59, op. 60, op. 72 and op. 85.  Provided that the fees will be acceptable and that the exclusive publications rights would go to them, they would offer Beethoven a contract for three years.]"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 1, Letter No. 257, p. 289; Original: not known, according to the GA, derived from Letters No. 256 and No. 260; details taken from p. 289].

As we already know, a "gentleman of quality" to whom Beethoven reportedly gave the symphony prevented him from having it ready for delivery to this publisher when he wrote his next letter to Leipzig on November 18, 1806:

"Beethoven an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                                             [Wien, 18. November 1806]

                                                                 P.S.

     Theils meine Zerstreuungen in schlesien,[1] Theils die Begebenheiten ihres Landes[2] waren Schuld, daß ich ihnen noch nicht auf ihren lezten Brief[3] antwortete -- ist es daß die Umstände sie verhindern etwas -- mit mir einzugehen, so sind sie zu nichts gezwungen -- nur bitte ich sie mir gleich mit der nächsten Post <mit der> zu antworten, damit falls sie sich nicht mit mir einlassen wollen -- ich meine Werke nicht brauche liegen zu laßen[4] -- in Rücksicht eines Kontraktes auf 3 Jahre wollte ich diesen wohl gleich mit ihnen eingehen, wenn sie sich gefallen laßen wollten, daß ich mehrere Werke nach England oder Schottland oder Frankreich verkaufte, Es versteht sich, daß die Werke, erhalten, oder die sie von mir erhalten, oder die ich ihnen Verkaufte, auch bloß ihnen allein gehörte[n] nemlich: durchaus ganz ihr Eigenthum und nichts mit denen von Frankreich oder England oder Schottland gemein hätten - nur müste mir die Freyheit bleiben auch andere werke an eben genannte länder zu veraüßern -- Doch in Deutschland wären sie der Eigenthümer  meiner Werke und kein einziger anderer Verleger -- gerne würde ich dem Verkauf meiner Werke in jene Länder versagen, allein ich habe z.B. von Schottland aus so wichtige Anträge, und ein solches honorar, was ich von ihnen doch nie fodern könnte,[5] dabey ist <das Ausland> eine Verbindung mit dem Ausland für den Ruhm eines Künstlers, und im Falle er eine Reise macht immer wichtig -- da ich z.B. bey den Anträgen von Schottland noch die Freyheit habe dieselben werke in Deutschland und Frankreich zu Verkaufen, so könnten sie z.B. diese für Deutschland und Frankreich gern von mir erhalten -- so daß ihnen für ihren Absaz alsdenn nur London und vieleicht Edinburg (in Schottland) abginge-- auf diese Art <glaube ich, es> Wollte ich recht gern den Kontrakt auf 3 Jahre mit ihnen eingehen, sie würden noch immer genug von mir bekommen -- da die Bestellungen jener Länder doch manchmal mehr in einem indiwiduellen Geschmack gefodert werden, welches wir in Deutschland nicht nöthig haben -- übrigens aber glaube ich, daß das Kontrakt schließen gar nicht nöthig wäre, und daß sie sich ganz auf mein Ehrenwort, was ich ihnen hiermit geben, verlassen sollten, daß ich ihnen in Deutschland vor allen den Vorzug gebe, versteht sich, daß an diesen Werken weger Frankreich noch Holland Theil nehmen können -- nur sie der alleinige Eigenthümer sind -- halten sie es nun wi[e] sie wollen hierin --

    mir macht das Kontrakt schließen eine Menge Umstände, das honorar <were> würde ich ihnen für jedes Werk anzeigen -- und so billig als möglich -- für jetzt trage ich ihnen 3 Quartetten[6] und ein Klawierkonzert[7] an -- die versprochene Sinfonie[8] kann ich ihnen noch nicht geben, weil ein vornehmer Herr[9] sie von mir genommen, wo ich aber die Freyheit habe, sie in einem halben Jahr heraus zu geben -- <für das Konzert verlange ich von ihnen 300 Gldn in> Ich verlange von ihnen 600 fl. für drey  Quarttetten, und 300 fl. für das Konzert Beyde Summen in Konwenzions-Gulden nach dem zwanzig<er> Gulden Fuß -- das liebste wäre, wenn sie Awiso gäben, daß das Geld bey ihnen oder bey einem sonst bekannten Wechsler erliege, worauf ich alsdann einen Wechsel von hier nach Leipzig ausstellen würde--Sollte ihnen <diese> dieser Weg nicht recht seyn, so kann ich auch geschehen laßen, daß sie mir für die Summe im 20 fl. Gulden[-Fuß] einen nach dem Kurse richtig berechneten Wechsel zuschicken

    vieleicht ist es möglich, daß ich die Sinfonie vileicht darf bälder stechen laßen als <sie glauben> ich hoffen durfte bisher, und dann können sie solche bald haben -- antworten sie mir nur bald -- damit ich nicht aufgehalten werde -- übrigens seyn sie überzeugt, daß ich immer ihre Handlung allen Andern gern vorziehe und ferner vorziehen werde --

mit Achtung ihr ergebenster Diener

                                                                                                                 LvBthwn

Vien am 18ten November 1806

An Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig."

"Beethoven to Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                                             [Vienna, November 18, 1806]

                                                                 P.S.

     Partly my diversions in Silesia,[1] partly the events in your country[2] were to blame for my not replying to your last letter[3]--in the event that circumstances prevent you from entering into an agreement with me, you are not obligated to anything--I only ask you to reply to me with the next post, so that, if you do not want to enter into an agreement with me--my works will not lie fallow[4]--with respect to a three-year-contract, I would wish to enter into it with you, right away, if you were to agree that I could sell various works to England or France at the same time.  Of course, the works that you would receive from me or which I would sell to you, would only belong to you, in that they would be completely owned by you and would have nothing to do with them of France or England or Scotland--only, I would have to retain the liberty to also sell other works to the named countries--however, in Germany, you would be the exclusive owner of my works and no other publisher--I would be glad to forego selling my works to those countries, alone, for example, from Scotland, I have received such important proposals and such a fee, that I could, after all, never ask of you[5].  Moreover, a connection with foreign countries  is always important for the fame of an artist, particularly in the event of his travels to these parts--since I, for example, in the case of the works for Scotland, still have the liberty of selling them in France and Germany, you could gladly receive them from me--so that, with respect to their sale, you would only miss the London and Edinburgh sales--in this manner, I believe, I would gladly enter into a three-year-contract with you, you would still receive enough from me--since the commissions from these countries are sometimes held in their particular taste(s), which would not be necessary in Germany--otherwise, I believe that the closing of a contract would not even be necessary and that you could entirely rely on my word of honor that I give you, herewith, namely that I give you preference above all in Germany; it is understood that neither France nor Holland could take part in these works--only you would be their exclusive owner--you can make arrangements as you please in this--  

    Closing contracts causes me a great deal of inconvenience; I would indicate the fee for every work to you--as low as possible--for now, I am offering you 3 quartets(6) and a Piano Concerto(7)--the promised symphony(8), I can not give to you, yet, since a gentleman of quality[9] has taken it from me, whereby I, however, have the liberty of publishing it in half a year--<for the Concerto, I ask for 300 florins from you in> I ask for 600 florins for the three quartets, and 300 florins for the concerto both sums in convention florins at 20 foot--I would prefer if you would give an "aviso" and would leave the money with you or with an exchange agent who is known to you, in exchange for which I could issue a draft to Leipzig--if you should not be able to agree to this, I could also arrange that your send me a draft for the sum at 20 foot according to the exchange rate.  

    Perhaps it is possible that I could have the symphony etched sooner than <you believe> I could hope hitherto, and then you could have the same, soon--only reply to me, soon--so that I am not held up--otherwise, be convinced that I always prefer your company over all others and always will do so-- 

with esteem your most devoted servant

                                                                                                                 LvBthwn

Vienna on the 18th of November 1806

To Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig."

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 1, Letter No. 260, p. 292 - 294; Original: Wiesbaden, Breitkopf & Härtel; to [1]: with respect to this, the GA points out that from August to the end of October, 1806, Beethoven stayed at Grätz near Troppau as Prince Lichnowsky's guest; to [2]: refers to the fact that, on October 14, 1806, the Prussian-Saxon army was decisively defeated in the two battles near Jena and Auerstedt, by Napoleon; to [3]: refers to Letter No. 257, which has not been preserved; to [4]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had offered this publisher Op. 58, Op. 59, Op. 60, Op. 72, and Op. 85, see Letter No. 256; to [5]: refers to Letter No. 259; to [6]: refers to Op. 59; to [7]: refers to Op. 58; to [8]: refers to Op. 60; to [9]: according to the GA, this might possibly refer to Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz, in whose Vienna Palais the work was first performed privately in March, 1807; details taken from p. 294]. 

However, with their letter of November 26, 1826, the publishers advised Beethoven that, on account of the recent war and the economic situation, they were not in a position to accept his offer: 

"Breitkopf & Härtel an Beethoven

                                                                                               [Leipzig, 26. November 1806]

[Der Verlag ist mit Beethovens Vorschlägen in Brief 260 nicht einverstanden und verzichtet unter Hinweis auf die kriegsbedingte schlechte Ertragslage auf den Ankauf der angebotenen Werke]"

"Breitkopf & Härtel to Beethoven

                                                                                               [Leipzig, November 26, 1806]

[The publishers could not agree to Beethoven's suggestions and, referring to the bad economic situation on account of the recent war, they had to decline his offer]"

[Source;  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 1, Letter No. 261, p. 294; Original:  not known; content derived from registration note on Letter No. 260 and from the fact that the negotiations were broken off; with respect to this, the GA also listed Muzio Clementi's Letter of February 22, 1807, to the publisher: 

"Beethoven ed io siam diventati buoni amici alla fine.  Abbiamo fatto un accordo, pel quale mi cede la proprieta per li Stati Britannici, in 3 quartetti, una Sifonia, un Overtura, un Concerto a Violino, ed un Concerto da Piano e Forte.  Ho fatto questo accordo con lui in consequenza della vostra lettera, data di 20 Gennajo, nella quali mi dite  n o n   p o t e r   a c c e t a r e ,  a causa della guerra, le sue proposizioni. L'ho pregato di trattar con voi per la Germania" [Unsere eigene Übersetzung:  "Beethoven and I have finally become good friends.  We have entered into an agreement, according to which he will give me the publication rights for Britain for three quartets, a symphony, an overture, a Concerto for Violin and a Concerto for the Pianoforte. I have entered into this agreement with him as a consequence of your letter of January 20th, in which you wrote that you, on account of the war, were not able to accept his offer.  I have asked him to negotiate with your, with respect to Germany; details taken from p. 294]. 

Here, it would, perhaps, be interesting to gain an overall impression of Beethoven's correspondence with Leipzig, but also at the war situation "on location"  [Jena and Auerstedt], by taking a look at records of Goethe's circumstances during this time at Jena and Weimar, but also by following further links on this topic:  

Beethoven's early Correspondence with Leipzig
Jena and Weimar in October 1806

 

FIRST PERFORMANCES IN THE YEAR 1807

With respect to this, we can rely both on TDR and on Thayer-Forbes.  Let us first take a look at the report in the last edition of the standard biography:

"The manner in which Beethoven received support from the aristocracy is suggested in a report from Vienna, dated February 27 (1807) to the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung:  "Beethoven's big symphony in E-flat, which has been recently reviewed so scrupulously and impartially in these pages, will be performed along with the other two symphonies by this composer (in C and D) and also with a fourth still unknown symphony by him, in a very select circle that contributed a very considerable sum for the benefit of the composer" (Thayer-Forbes: 415).

Those of you who read some German might enjoy taking a look at the original text: 

"Beethovens grosse Sinfonie aus Es, die in Ihren Blättern vor kurzem mit so viel Unparteylichkeit und Anstand beurtheilt worden ist, wird, nebst den beyden andern Sinfonieen dieses Komponisten (aus C u. D.) nächstens, mit einer vierten, noch ganz unbekannten Sinfonie von ihm, in einer sehr gewählten Gesellschaft, welche zum Besten des Verfassers sehr ansehnliche Beyträge subscribirt hat, aufgeführt werden. . . " (AMZ No. 9, March 18, 1807, column 400, with the Vienna report dated February 27, 1807).

Thayer-Forbes then refers to the report on these concerts in the April edition of the  Journal des Luxus und der Mode:

"Beethoven gave two concerts at the house of Prince L., at which nothing but his own compositions were performed; namely his first four symphonies, an overture to the tragedy Coriolan, a pianoforte concerto and some airs from the opera Fidelio.  Richness of ideas, bold originality and fullness of power, which are the particular merits of Beethoven's muse were very much in evidence to everyone at the concerts; yet many found fault with a lack of noble simplicity and the all too fruitful accumulation of ideas which on account of their number were not always adequately worked out and blended, thereby creating the effect more often of rough diamonds" (Thayer-Forbes: 415-416).

With respect to this text, we can also offer you the German original: 

»Beethoven gab in der Wohnung des Fürsten L. zwei Konzerte, worin nichts als seine eigenen Kompositionen aufgeführt wurden; nämlich seine vier ersten Sinfonien, eine Ouvertüre zu dem Trauerspiele 'Coriolan', ein Klavierkonzert und einige Arien aus der Oper Fidelio. Ideenreichtum, kühne Originalität und Fülle der Kraft, die eigentlichen Vorzüge der Beethovenschen Muse, stellten sich in diesen Konzerten jedem vernehmbar dar; doch tadelte mancher auch die Vernachlässigung einer edlen Simplizität und die allzufruchtbare Anhäufung von Gedanken, die wegen ihrer Menge nicht immer hinlänglich verschmolzen und verarbeitet sind, und daher öfter nur den Effekt wie ungeschliffene Diamanten hervorbringen.« (TDR Vol. 3, p. 8-9).

Both Thayer-Forbes (p. 415-416) and TDR (p. 8-9) ask the question whether "L" refers to Lobkowitz or Lichnowsky.  However, both editions express the opinion that the former would have been meant.  

 



The Lobkowitz Palais in Vienna
during Beethoven's Time

 

This probably allows us to conclude that Op. 60 was first performed at the Palais Lobkowitz, in a private performance.  Also Kinderman (p. 120) and Cooper (p. 165) refer to the private concerts of February 1807, with Kinderman explicitly referring to the Lobkowitz Palais.  

The second performance of Op. 60 during this year--that is known to us--, according to the AMZ No. 10, in its Vienna report in column 268-287, saw Beethoven conduct the work, himself:  

"W i e n , d. 16ten Jan. . . .

    Die moderne Musik führt mich am natürlichsten zu der neuen  B e e t h o v e n s c h e n   Sinfonie aus B, welche im hiesigen Liebhaberkonzerte unter der Direktion des Komponisten selbst wiederholt wurde.  Sie gefiel im Theater nicht besonders, hier erhielt sie vielen, und, wie mich dünkt, verdienten Beyfall:  denn das erste Allegro ist sehr schön, feurig und harmonienreich gearbeitet, und auch Menuett und Trio haben einen eigenen, originellen Charakter.  Bey dem Adagio wäre es vielleicht zu wünschen, dass der Gesang nicht so sehr auf die einzelnen Instrumente vertheilt wäre, ein Gebrechen, das auch der sonst so reichen und feurigen  E b e r l schen Sinfonie aus D moll manchmal im Effekte schadet"( --

-- "Vienna, the 16th of Jan. . . .

   Modern music leads me most naturally to the new Beethovenian Symphony in B [major] which, in the local Liebhaberkonzerte, was repeated under the direction of the composer.  In the theatre, it did not please, very much, but here, it received much, and as I think, deserved applause:  since the first Allegro is very beautiful, fiery and full of harmony, and also the minuet and trio have their own, original character.  With respect to the Adagio one would, perhaps, wish that the singing would not be spread over the single instruments, a fault that is also characteristic of the otherwise rich and fiery Symphony in d minor by Eberl").

Kropfinger's table (p. 32) points out that this Liebhaberkonzert took place on December 27, 1807. 

However, what were the circumstances of Beethoven's actual publication of this Symphony?  

 

PUBLICATION AND DEDICATION OF THE FOURTH SYMPHONY

Beethoven's further attempts at publishing Op. 60 began in the spring of 1807.  With respect to this, Barry Cooper reports:  

"In early April 1807 the London-based composer, pianist, piano-maker and publisher Muzio Clementi arrived in Vienna on his way to Rome.  Beethoven was a great admirer of Clementi's piano sonatas, and his own early sonatas follow Clementi's more closely than any other composer's; but he had been weary of associating with him during Clementi's previous visits in 1802 and 1804, and no proper contact had been made.  This time, however, the ice was broken and they rapidly agreed on a publication contract.  This was dated 20 April and witnessed by Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein (who about this time took over Carl's former role as Beethoven's secretary):  Clementi was to receive the British publication rights to Beethoven's five largest-scale works:  the Fourth Piano Concerto, the 'Razumovsky' Quartets, the Fourth Symphony, the Violin Concerto and Coriolan (Opp. 58-62).  . . . Three works, the piano concerto, the symphony, and the overture--were despatched by courier almost immediately on 22 April.  . . . He also eventually published the 'Razumovsky' Quartets and the Violin Concerto (in both versions), but surprisingly, he never published any of the three works sent by courier.  The courier was travelling to London via Russia and the precious manuscripts were probably lost in transit" (Cooper:  166-167).

Confirmation of the contract between Beethoven and Clementi is already contained in the GA comment to Letter No. 261 (the publisher's refusal to accept Beethoven's offer, in their letter of November 26, 1806):  

"Breitkopf & Härtel an Beethoven

                                                                                               [Leipzig, 26. November 1806]

[Der Verlag ist mit Beethovens Vorschlägen in Brief 260 nicht einverstanden und verzichtet unter Hinweis auf die kriegsbedingte schlechte Ertragslage auf den Ankauf der angebotenen Werke]"

[The publishers could not agree to Beethoven's suggestions and, referring to the bad economic situation on account of the recent war, they had to decline his offer]"

[Source;  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 1, Letter No. 261, p. 294; Original:  not known; content derived from registration note on Letter No. 260 and from the fact that the negotiations were broken off; with respect to this, the GA also listed Muzio Clementi's Letter of February 22, 1807, to the publisher: 

"Beethoven ed io siam diventati buoni amici alla fine.  Abbiamo fatto un accordo, pel quale mi cede la proprieta per li Stati Britannici, in 3 quartetti, una Sifonia, un Overtura, un Concerto a Violino, ed un Concerto da Piano e Forte.  Ho fatto questo accordo con lui in consequenza della vostra lettera, data di 20 Gennajo, nella quali mi dite  n o n   p o t e r   a c c e t a r e ,  a causa della guerra, le sue proposizioni. L'ho pregato di trattar con voi per la Germania" [Unsere eigene Übersetzung:  "Beethoven and I have finally become good friends.  We have entered into an agreement, according to which he will give me the publication rights for Britain for three quartets, a symphony, an overture, a Concerto for Violin and a Concerto for the Pianoforte. I have entered into this agreement with him as a consequence of your letter of January 20th, in which you wrote that you, on account of the war, were not able to accept his offer.  I have asked him to negotiate with your, with respect to Germany; details taken from p. 294]. 

That Beethoven also wanted to see his works published in France is confirmed by his following letters:  

"Beethoven an Ignaz und Camille Pleyel[1] in Paris

                                                                              Wien den 26. April 1807.

    Ich bin gesonnen, nachstehende sechs neue Werke an eine Verlags Handlung zu Paris, an eine in London und an eine in Vienne zugleich, jedoch unter der Bedingung zu verkaufen, daß sie an jedem dieser drey Orte erst nach einem bestimmten Tage erscheinen dürfen.[2]  Auf diese Art glaube ich meinen Vortheil in Beziehung auf die schnelle Bekanntmachung meiner Werke, und dann in Beziehung des Preises sowohl meinem, als dem Vortheil der verschiedenen Verlags Handlungen zu vereinigen die Werke sind:[3]

1)   eine Symphonie                                        4)  3 Quators

2)   eine Ouverture,                                         5)  ein Concert für's Klawier

       komponiert für das Trauerspiel               6)  das Violin Concert arrangé

       Coriolan von H. Collin                                  für das Klavier

 3)   ein Violin Concert.                                        avec des notes additionelles

Ich trage Ihnen den Verlag dieser Werke für Paris an, und mache Ihnen, um durch schriftliches Handeln die Sache nicht in die Länge zu ziehen, gleich den sehr billigen Preiß von 1200 Gulden Augsburger Current.[4]  Diese Summe würden Sie mir dann bei Ihrem hiesigen Korrespondenten oder Wechsler in guten Augsburger Wechseln gegen Empfang der 6 Werke auszahlen lassen, und Ihr Korrespondent hätte dann auch <d> für die Versendung zu sorgen,  Da ich nicht zweifle, daß Ihnen dieser Antrag gefällt, so ersuche ich Sie um eine baldige Antwort, damit diese Werke, welche alle schon bereit liegen, dann unverzüglich Ihren hiesigen Korrespondenten können übergeben werden.

    Was den Tag der Herausgabe betrift; so glaube ich für die 3 Werke der ersten Kolone den 1. 7br (September),[5] und für die der zweiten Kolone den 1. 8ber (Oktober) d.J. bestimmen zu können.

                                                                              Ludwig van Beethowen

    Mein lieber verehrter Pleiel -- Was machen sie, was ihre Familie, ich habe schon oft gewünscht bey ihnen zu seyn, bis hieher war's nicht möglich, zum Theil war auch der Krieg dran schuld, ob man sich ferner davon müßte abhalten laßen -- oder länger? -- so müßte man Paris wohl nie sehen -- --

    mein lieber Camillus, so hieß, wenn ich nicht irre der Römer, der die bösen Gallier von Rom wegjagte,[6] um diesen Preiß, mögte ich auch so heißen, wenn ich sie allenthalben vertreiben könnte, wo sie nicht hingehören -- was machen sie mit ihrem Talent lieber Camill -- ich umarme sie beyde Vater und sohn von Herzen, und wünsche neben dem Kaufmännischen, was sie mir zu schreiben haben, auch vieles von dem, was sie selbst und ihre Familie angeht zu wißen -- leben sie wohl und vergeßen sie nicht ihren Wahren Freund

                                                                                                 Beethowen" 

"Beethoven to Ignaz and Camille Pleyel[1] in Paris

                                                           Vienna the 26th of April, 1807.

    I am inclined to sell the six new works listed below to a publisher in Paris, to one in London, and to one in Vienna at the same time, however, under the condition that in each of these three locations, they only may appear after a certain date.[2]  In this way I believe that I can combine my advantage with respect to the speedy publication of my works, and then with respect to the price, with the advantage to the various publishers.  The works are:[3]

1)  a symphony                            4)  3 quartets
2)  an overture,                            5)  a concerto for the piano
     composed for the tragedy      6)  the violin concerto arranged
     Coriolan by H. Collin                  for the piano
3)  a Violin Concerto.                       with additional notes

    I am offering you the publication of these works for Paris, and offer you, in order not to prolong the matter through written negotiations, right away, the very reasonable price of 1,200 florins in Augsburg currency.[4]  You would then pay out to me this sum to your Viennese correspondent or exchange partner in good Augsburg drafts, in exchange for the receipt of the six works, and your correspondent would then also have to take care of the delivery of the works.  Since I do not doubt that this offer will be to your liking, I ask you for a quick reply so that these works which are already ready for dispatch can be handed over to your correspondent without delay.  

    As far as the publication date is concerned, I believe that I can name the 1st of September for the three works of the first column, and for those of the second column the 1st of October, as the publication dates.  

                                                                              Ludwig van Beethowen

    My dear revered Pleiel --What are you doing, what are your family doing; often, I have wished that I could be with you; up to now, it has not been possible.  Partly, the war was also to blame for it, if one has to abstain from it further--or longer?--that way, one might never see Paris-- --  

    my dear Camillus, that was the name, if I am not wrong, of the Roman who chased the bad Gauls out of Rome,[8] for this price, I would also like to be named thus, if I could chase them out where they do not belong--what are you doing with your talent my dear  Camill--I sincerely embrace you both, father and son, and, in addition to the business matters you will have to write to me about, I also want to know much of what concerns you and your family--farewell and do not forget your true friend  

                                                                                                 Beethowen 

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. I, Letter no. 277, p. 308-310]

[Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; to [1]: refers to Ignaz Joseph Pleyel [1757-1831], Austrian-born composer, music publisher and piano maker and pupil of Vanhal and Haydn who, after touring and performing in Italy, Strasbourg and London, settled in Paris in 1795 and, in 1802, with his  "Bibliotheque musicale" opened the first known series of pocket book scores, as well as to his son Camille Pleyel [1788-1855], composer, pianist and music publisher; to [2]: refers to the fact that no contract was formed with Pleyel; to [3]: refers to Op. 60, Op. 62, Op. 61, Op. 59, Op 58 as well as to the arrangement of Op. 61 as piano concerto; to [4]:  refers to the florin of Augsburg currency, which had the equivalent value of the Austrian convention currency; to [5]:  refers to the fact that, in his contract with Clementi, Beethoven had agreed not to publish the three works of the first column outside of Britain, before the 1st of September, 1807; to [6]:  refers to Beethoven's reference to Marcus Furius Camillus, the second founder of Rome who, in 390 BC, chased the Gauls out of Rome; details taken from p. 310.] 

"Beethoven an Nikolaus Simrock in Bonn

                                                                       Wien den 26. April 1807

    Ich bin gesonnen nachstehende sechs neue Werke an eine Verlags Handlung in Frankreich, an eine in England, und an eine in Wien zugleich, jedoch unter der Bedingung zu verkaufen, daß sie erst nach einem bestimmten Tage erscheinen dürfen.[1]  Auf diese Art glaube ich meinen Vortheil in Rücksicht der schnellen Bekanntmachung meiner Werke, und dann in Rücksicht des Preises sowohl meinen als den Vortheil der verschidenen Verlags Handlungen zu vereinigen.  die Werke sind: 

1)  eine Symphonie                            4)  3 Quatuors
2) eine Ouverture,                              5) ein Concert für's Klavier
    komponiert für das Trauerspiel     6) das Violin Concert arrangé
    Coriolan von H. Collin                       für das Klavier
3) ein Violin Concert.                             avec des notes additionelles

    Ich trage Ihnen an, diese Werke in Paris herauszugeben, und mache Ihnen, um durch schriftliches Handeln die Sache nicht in die Länge zu ziehen, gleich den sehr billigen Preiß von 1200. Gulden Ausburger Current; welche Summe Sie mir bey Ihrem hiesigen Korrespondenten oder Wechsler in guten Augsburger Wechseln gegen Empfang der sechs Werke auszahlen <zu> lassen würden.  Ihr Korrespondent hätte alsdann auch für die Versendung zu sorgen.  Da ich nicht zweifle, daß Ihnen dieser Antrag ansteht; so ersuche ich Sie, mir bald zu antworten, damit diese werke, welche alle bereit liegen, dann unverzüglich Ihrem hiesigen korrespondenten können übergeben werden. -- Was den Tag der Herausgabe betrifft, so glaube ich für die 3 Werke der ersten Kolone den 1. 7br, und für die der zweiten Kolone den 1. 8br d.J. bestimmen zu können.

                                                                               Ludwig Van Beethowen"

"Beethoven to Nikolaus Simrock in Bonn

                                                              Vienna, the 26th of April, 1807

    I am inclined to sell the six new works listed below to a publisher in France, to one in England, and to one in Vienna simultaneously, however, under the condition that they many only be published after a certain date.  In this way I hope to combine my advantage with respect to the rapid publication of my works, and with respect to the price, with the advantage to the various publishers.  The works are:  

1)  a symphony                            4)  3 quartets
2)  an overture,                            5)  a concerto for the piano
     composed for the tragedy     6)  the violin concerto arranged
     Coriolan by H. Collin                  for the piano
3)  a Violin Concerto.                       with additional notes

    I am offering you the publication of these works in Paris and offer you, in order not to delay the matter through written negotiations, right away, the very favorable price of 1,200 florins in Augsburg currency, which sum you will pay out to me through your Viennese correspondent or exchange partner, in form of good Augsburg drafts in exchange for these works.  Your correspondent would then also be responsible for the delivery of the works.  Since I do not doubt that you will like this offer, I ask you to reply to me right away so that these works that are already ready for dispatch can immediately be handed over to your correspondent.  As far as the publication date is concerned, I believe that I can indicate Sept. 1 for the works of the first column and for those of the second column, October 1st.  

                                                                               Ludwig Van Beethowen"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. I, Letter no. 278, p. 310-311]

[Original:  from the hand of Ignaz von Gleichenstein, signed by Beethoven; Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1] here, the GA refers to the contract with Muzio Clementi of April 20, 1807 and to the offer to Pleyel (letter no. 277]; details taken from p. 311.]

At least his old Bonn friend Simrock replied: 

"Nikolaus Simrock an Beethoven

                                                                    Bonn den 31. Mai 1807.

    Gestern erhielt ich lieber L. v. Beethoven Ihr mir sehr Werthes vom 26. April.[1]  Da durch die Mit-Verleger in Wien und England, mein Gewinn auf Frankreich eingeschränkt ist, wo ihre Werke außer Paris, und da bei weitem nicht nach Verdienst benutzt werden können.  Nun noch der Krieg, wo Alles, was nur Bezug auf Handel hat, völlig still liegt, noch unter keiner Epoche seit dem 15jährigen Krieg[2] lag der Musik-Handel so sehr darnieder, als nun, und fällt täglich tiefer.  Ein Englischer Verleger spürt das nicht so, denn[3] die österreichische Monarchie hat Frieden.  Ganz anders ist es mit dem nördlichen Deutschland und Frankreich.  Selbst einige Jahre Frieden werden die Wunden nicht heilen.  Alles, was ich in meiner dürren Lage kann, schraubt sich auf 1600 Livres[4] ein, wenn Sie diese Umstände, lieber Herr Beethoven genau erwägen wollen, so werden Sie selbst finden, daß ich sehr viel thue, so wenig Ihnen das gegen England scheinen mag.  Nur noch ein Umstand -- noch ist es ein Problem ob man mir dieses von Ihnen übertragene Eigenthum nicht nachsticht -- mehrere französische Verlager behaupten, der Compositeur müsse Citoyuen francais sein, um sein Recht übertragen zu können.  Beweise hiervon habe ich an Cramer's Etudes[5], welche Mrs. Erard als ihr Eigenthum in Paris herausgaben, aber von Sieber, einem Engländer[6] gleich nachgestochen, und Mrs. Erard haben aber bis diese Stunde nicht reklamirt.  Dieser Umstand erfordert demnach wieder eine andere Maßregel.  Ich schlage demnach vor -- Im Fall Sie mein Gebot billig finden, Sie möchten ohne Zeit-Verlust diese Werke an Herrn von Breuning[7] senden.  Ich zahle demselben gleich 300 Livres baar und gebe ihm einen wechsel auf mich selbst, von 1300 Lives in 2 Jahren zahlbar, wenn man mir in Frankreich keines dieser Werke nachsticht.  Ich werde übrigens alle Maßregeln  nehmen, welche mir mein Eigenthum sichern, nach den Gesetzen.

2000 Franc habe ich offerirt."

Nikolaus Simrock to Beethoven

                                                         Bonn the 31st of May, 1807.

    Yesterday, I received, dear Beethoven, your very esteemed [letter[] of April 26th[1]  Since, on account of the co-publishers in Vienna and England, my profit is limited to France, where your works can be used besides in Paris, and there, by far, not as deserved.  And then [there is] still the war, where everything that is only related to trade, is lying completely still; at no time, since the 15-year-war[2], has the music trade been as down as now, and daily, it falls even lower.  An English publisher does not feel that as much, since [3] the Austrian monarchy is at peace.  This is quite different with respect to northern Germany and France!  Even several years of peace will not heal the wounds.  All that I can do in my constrained situation amounts to 1,600 livres[4]; if you, dear Herr Beethoven, consider these circumstances, then you will find, for yourself, that I am doing very much, as little as that might appear to you, compared to England.  There is one more obstacle--there still exists the problem that one might print pirate copies of the works you grant me ownership of--several French publishers say that the composer must be a French citizen in order for him to transfer his ownership rights.  Evidence of this I have with Cramer's etudes that Mrs. Erard published as their property in Paris, but of which a pirate copy was made immediately by Sieber, an Englishman[6], and to this hour, Mrs. Erard have not complained.  Therefore, this circumstance requires another measure.  Therefore I propose, if you find my offer fair, that you send the works, without delay, to Herr von breuning[7].  I will pay to the same 300 livres cash, right away and I will give him a draft issued in my name, in the amount of 1,300 livres, payable in 2 years, if one does not print pirate copies of the works in France.  Moreover, I will take all steps to secure my ownership, according to the law.   

I have offered 2000 Francs.

 

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. I, Letter no. 282, p. 313-314]

[Original:  not known; text pursuant to the first print of TDR III, p. 31ff.; to [1]: according to the GA this refers to Letter no. 278; to [2]: according to the GA, this time has been calculated from the outbreak of the first coalition war in April, 1792; to [3]: refers to the note by TDR:    "Statt dieses 'denn' dürfte wohl 'und' zu lesen sein"["instead of 'denn,' it might read 'und'"; to [4]: this refers to the fact that this amount euqalled approximately 1,0-00 florins in Viennese currency; to [5]: according to the GA, this probably refers to Johann Baptist Cramer's Etude de Pf. en 42 Exercises doigtes dans les differns Tons, calcules pour faciliter les Proges de ceux qui proposent d'etudier cet Instrument a Fond, which appeared both through Erard in Paris and Sieber in Paris; to [6]: according to the GA, this refers to Gerog Sieber who hailed from Franconia in Germany and who held the French citizenship to [7]: refers to Stephan von Breuning; details taken from p. 314.]

In his lines from June 13 and June 16, 1807, Beethoven also makes comments on his "French" endeavors: 

"Beethoven an Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein

                                                                     [Baden, 13. Juni 1807][1]

Lieber gleichenstein --

    die <Nacht> vorgestrige Nacht hatte ich einen Traum, worin mir vorkam, als sey's du in einem Stall, worin du von ein paar prächtigen Pferden ganz bezaubert und hingerissen wurdest, so daß du alles rund um dich her vergaßest.

    dein Hut-Kauf ist schlecht aus gefallen, er hat schon gestern morgen in aller Früh einen Riß gehabt, wie ich hieher bin, da er zu viel Geld kostet, um gar so erschrecklich angeschmiert zu werden, so must du Trachten, daß sie ihn zurück nehmen, und dir einen andern geben, du kannst das diesen schlechten Kaufleuten derweil ankündigen, ich schike dir i[h]n wieder zurück -- das is gar zu arg --

    Mir geht es heut und gestern sehr schlecht ich habe erschreckliches Kopfweh, -- der himmel helfe mir nur hievon -- ich habe ja genug mit einem übel -- wen du kannst schicke mir Bahrdt übersezung des Tacitus[2[] -- auf ein andermal mehr, ich bin so übel, daß ich nur wenig schreiben kann -- leb wohl und -- <träume>denk an meinen Traum und mich --

                                                                          dein treuer Beethowen

Baaden am 13ten Juni

    aus dem Briefe von Simrock[3] erhellt, daß wir wohl von Paris -- noch eine Günstige Antwort erwarten dürfen -- sage meinem Bruder[4] eine günstige Antwort hierüber, ob du's glaubst, so daß alles noch einmal geschwind abgeschrieben wird --

schick mir deine Nummer von deinem Hause[5] -- --

Pour Mr. de Gleichenstein Antworte mir Wegen dem Hut --"

Beethoven to Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein

                                                                     [Baden, June 13, 1807][1]

Dear Gleichenstein --

    the <night> the night before last I had a dream in which I thought that you were in a stable, where you were quite charmed by a few beautiful horses, so that you forgot everything around you.  

    your hat purchase turned out badly, already yesterday morning, it had a tear when I came here;, since it cost too much money in order for a person to be duped so terribly, you have to take care that they take it back and that they give you another one; in the meantime, you can let these bad merchants know about it, I will send it back to you--this is too bad-- 

   Today and yesterday, I felt very bad; I have a terrible headache--heaven help me against it--I have enough with one affliction--if you can, send me Bahrdt's translation of Tacitus[2]--more another time, I am feeling so bad that I can only write little--farewell and--think of my dream and me-- 

                                                                     your faithful Beethowen

Baaden on the 13th of June

    from Simrock's[3] letter it becomes clear that we might get a favorably reply from Paris--let my brother[4] have a favorable reply with respect to it, if you believe it, so that everything will be quickly copied, again-- 

send me the number of hour house[5] -- --

Pour Mr. de Gleichenstein Reply with respect to the hat-- 

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. I, Letter no. 283, p. 315]

[Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]:  refers to the fact that the year can be derived from the mention of Simrock's letter of May 31, 1807; to [2]: probably refers to the edition of Cornelius Tacitus, Sämltiche Werke Übersetzet von D. Carl Friedrich Bahrdt, Wien-Prag 1796, 2. Aufl. 1801; to [3]: refers to letter no. 282; to [4]: probably refers to Johann van Beethoven, see letter no. 288; to [5]: refers to Gleichenstein's Vienna apartment in the inner city, no. 155, Hohe Brücke, on the 2nd floor, and to letter no. 287; details taken from p. 315.]

"Beethoven an Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein

                                                                  [Baden, 16. Juni 1807][1]

    Ich hofte von dir eine Antwort[2]--Was den Brief von Simrock anbelangt, so glaube ich, daß man diesem mit Modifikation doch die Sachen geben könnte, da es doch immer eine gewisse Summe wäre,[3] man könnte mit ihm den Kontrakt auf nur Paris machen, Er kann doch hernach thun, was er will -- so könnte das Industrie-Komtoir nichts dagegen einwenden -- Was glaubst du?  -- Mir gehts noch nicht sehr gut, ich hoffe es wird besser werden -- komm bald zu mir -- ich umarme dich von Herzen -- viele Emphelungen an einen sehr gewissen Ort

                                                                             dein Beethowen

Baaden am 16ten Juni

    Meinem Freunde Gleichen-Stein ohne Gleichen im Guten und bösen das Numero Von Gleichensteins Wohnung"

Beethoven to Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein

                                                                      [Baden, June 16, 1807][1]

    I hoped for an answer from you[2]--AS far as the letter of Simrock is concerned, I believe that one could give him the things with modifications, since it would still be a certain sum;[3] one could make a contract with him only for Paris; after that, he can still do what he wants--in this way, the Industrie-Komptoir could not have any objections--What do you think?--I am still not very well, I hope that it will get better--come to me, soon, I embrace you sincerely--many greetings to a very particular place 

                                                                             your Beethowen

Baaden on the 16th of June

    To my friend Gleichen-Stein, without equal (Gleichen) in good and bad, the number of Gleichenstein's apartment. 

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. I, Letter No.  284, p. 316]

[Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]: according to the GA, this refers to the fact that the year can be derived from the mention of Simrock's letter; to [2]: refers to the fact that Beethoven was waiting for an answer to his letter no. 283; with respect to this, the GA notes that Gleichenstein replied on June 13, 1807, but that the content of the letter has not bee preserved;  to [3]:  refers to the fact that in letter no. 282 Simrock had offered a fee of 1,600 livres; details taken from p.  316.]

While Beethoven's attempts with respect to Pleyel did not yield any results, with respect to Simrock can be noted, that the later published the Fourth Symphony in score in 1823. 

About the time that Beethoven, in July 1807, already turned his attention towards his invitation to Eisenstadt, in his correspondence with Prince Esterhazy (on the 26th of that month), he also tired, through his friend Gleichenstein, to dispatch the completed works that were now destined for the Viennese publisher, the Kunst- und Industriekontor, to them and to see to receiving payment from them:  

"Beethoven an Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein

                                                               [Baden, vor dem 23. Juli 1807][1]

    Lieber guter Gleichenstein -- dieses sey so gut dem Kopisten Morgen zu übergeben -- Es ist wie du siehst, wegen der Sinfonie[2] -- übrigens falls er nicht fertig ist, Morgen mit dem quarett[3] so nimmst du's weg, und gibst es sodann in's Industrikommtoir -- Meinem Bruder[4] kannst du Sagen, daß ich ihm gewiß nicht mehr schreiben werde -- die Ursache, warum, weiß ich schon, sie ist diese, weil er mir Geld geliehen hat, und sonst einiges ausgelegt, sl<,> ist er, ich, kenne meine Brüder, jezt schon besorgt, da ich's noch nicht wiedergeben kann, und wahrscheinlich jezt der andere[5], den der Rache-Geist gegen mich beseelt, auch an ihm -- das beste aber ist, daß ich die ganze 15 Hundert gulden[6] aufnehme (vom Industrie-Komtoir) und damit ihn bezahle, dann ist die Geschichte am Ende -- der Himmel bewahre mich, Wohlthaten von meinen Brüdern empfangen zu müßen -- gehab dich wohl -- grüße West[7] -- dein

                                                                                        Beethowen

Nb.  Die Sinfonie schickte ich von hier an's Industrie Komtpoir sie werden sie wohl erhalten haben --

Wenn du wieder herkömst bring etwas vom guten Siegellack mit --

An Seine Hochwohlgebohrnen den Hr. Von Gleichenstein. in Vien

abzugeben auf der Hohen Brücke No 155 2ten oder 3ten Stock[8]"

Beethoven to Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein

                                                           [Baden, before July 23, 1807][1]

    Dear good Gleichenstein--be so good to hand this over to the copyist, tomorrow--It is, as you see, because of the Symphony[2]--by the way, if he is not finished with the quartet, tomorrow,[3] take it away from him, and then bring it to the Industrie-Kommtoir--You can tell my brother[4] that I will certainly not write to him, anymore--I know the reason, it is because he has lent me money and has advanced this and that, otherwise, he is, I know my brothers, already worried now, since I can not pay it back, yet, and now, probably the other one[5] who is filled with a spirit of revenge against me, is also [nerving] him--the best, however, is if I take up the entire 15 hundred florins[6][from the Industrie-Komtoir] and pay him with it, then the story is at an end--heaven save me from having to take alms from my brothers--take care--greet West[7]--your  

                                                                                        Beethowen

Nb.  I sent the symphony from here to the Industrie Komptoir; they will probably have received it--

When you come here, again, bring something of the good sealing wax with you--   

To the Esteemed Hr. Von Gleichenstein. in Vienna

to deliver at the Hohe Brücke No 155 2nd or 3rd floor[8]

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtaugsabe, Vol. I, Letter no. 287, p. 317-318]

[Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]:  refers to the fact that this letter appears to be related to the issue of the payment of the honorarium by the Kunst-und Industrie-Comptoir; to [2]: refers to Op. 60; to [3]: refers to one of the quartets of Op. 59; to [4]: refers to Johann van Beethoven; to [5]: refers to Karl van Beethoven; to [6]: probably refers to the honorarium that Beethoven had negotiated with respect to the above-noted works; to [7]: refers to the writer Joseph Schreyvogel; to [8]: refers to the fact that from Gleichenstein's family correspondence, one can deduce that the Baron lived on the 2nd floor of the mentioned building; details taken from p. 318.]

"Beethoven an Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein

                                                                    [Baden, 23. Juli 1807][1]

    lieber guter G! -- du kamst nicht gestern -- ohnehin müste ich dir doch heute schreiben -- nach schmidts Resultat darf ich nicht länger hier bleiben[2] -- daher bitte ich dich die Sache mit dem Industrie-Komtoir so gleich vorzunehmen,[3] was das Schachern betrift, solches kannst du meinem Bruder apotheker[4]--<geben> übertragen, -- da die Sache selbst aber von einiger Wichtigkeit ist, und du bisher immer mit dem Industrie Komptoir für mich dich abgabst, so kann man dazu aus mehrern ursachen meinen Bruder nicht gebrauchen -- hier einige Zeilen wegen der Sache an das I.[ndustrie] K.[ontor][5] -- Wenn du Morgen kömmst, so Richte es so ein, daß <du> ich mit dir wieder hinein fahren kann --

leb wohl ich habe dich lieb, und magst du auch alle meine Handlungen Tadeln -- <so> die du aus einem falschen Gesichtspunkt ansiehst, so sollst du mich darin doch nicht übertreffen -- vieleicht kann West[6] mit dir kommen -- --

                                                                       dein beethowen"

Beethoven to Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein

                                                                       [Baden, July 23, 1807][1]

    dear good G!--you did not come yesterday--in any event, I had to write to you, today--according to Schmidt's result I may not stay here, any longer[2]--therefore, I ask you to take the matter of the   Industrie-Komtoir right away,[3] as far as haggling is concerned, you can leave that to my brother pharmacist[4]-however, since the matter is of some importance, and since thus far, you have always dealt for me with the Industrie Komptoir, due to various reasons, one can not use my brother--here a few lines in the matter to the  I.[ndustrie] K.[ontor][5]--if you com tomorrow, arrange it in such a way that I can drive back [to the city] with you--  

farewell and stay fond of me, and even if you criticize all of my actions--<so> which you see from a wrong viewpoint, you shall not surpass me in it--perhaps, West[6] can come with you-- --  

                                                                       your beethowen

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. I, Letter no. 288, p. 318-319]

[Original:  London, British Library; to [1]: according to the GA, the date of this letter can be derived from the letter that was enclosed with it, to the Kunst- und Industrie-Comptoir, of Jul. 23, 1807, Letter no. 289; to   [2]: refers to Johann Adam Schmidt's letter of July 22, 1807; to [3]: refers to the payout of the honorarium; to [4]: refers to letter no. 289; to [5]: refers to Joseph Schreyvogel; details taken from p. 318.]

"Beethoven an das Kunst- und Industrie-Comptoir

                                                                              (Baden, 23. Juli 1807][1]

                                                P.T.

    Herr Von Gleichenstein mein Freund -- hat ihnen in Rücksicht meiner einen Vorschlag zu machen, wodurch sie mich ihnen sehr verbindlich machen würden, wenn sie ihn annähmen[2] -- nicht Mißtrauen in Sie führt diesen Vorschlag herbey, nur meine jezigen starken Ausgaben in Rücksicht meiner Gesundheit, und eben in diesem Augenblick unüberwindliche Schwierigkeiten, da, wo man mir schuldig ist, Geld zu erhalten --

                                                                         ihr ergebenster Beethowen

Baden am 23ten Juny"

Beethoven to the Kunst- und Industrie-Comptoir

                                                                             (Baden, July 23, 1807][1]

                                                P.T.

    Herr Von Gleichenstein, my friend--has to make a suggestion on my behalf which I would be very much obliged if you could accept[2]--not mistrust in you is the cause for it, only my present high expenses on account of my health and momentary, insurmountable difficulties to receive money there, where one owes it to me--   

                                                             your most devoted Beethowen

Baden on the 23rd of June

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtaufabe, Vol. I, Letter no. 289, p. 319]

[Original:  in private hands; to [1]: according to the GA, this refers to the fact that, although Beethoven dated the letter the "23rd of June", within the context of the concurrent letter to Gleichenstein (letter no. 288], the 23rd of July is to be assumed as date; to [2]: probably refers to a suggestion with respect to the payout of the fee for the works bought by the Kunst- und Industrie-Comptoir, Op. 58 - Op. 62, see letters no. 287 and no. 290; details taken from p. 319.]

"Beethoven an Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein

                                                           [Baden, nach dem 23. Juli 1807][1]

   Ich denke -- du läßt dir wenigstens 60 fl. über die 15 hundert bezahlen, oder wenn du glaubst, daß es mit meiner Rechtschaffenheit bestehen kann -- die Summe von 16 hundert -- ich überlasse dir's jedoch ganz, nur muß Rechtschaffenheit und Billigkeit dein Pol seyn, wonach du dich richtest."

Beethoven to Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein

                                                           [Baden, after July 23, 1807][1]

   I think--you have them pay you 60 fl. over the fifteen hundred, or, if you believe, that this agrees with my uprightness--the sum of 16 hundred--however, I leave that up to you, entirely, only, righteousness and fairness has to be your pole according to which you act.  

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. I, Letter no. 290, p. 319-321]

[Original:  not known; text, according to the GA, pursuant to Nohl II, No. 28, whereby Nohl probably had at his disposal a copy that was made in 1865 of the autograph that, at that time, was in the possession of Gleichenstein's widow Anna in Freiburg; to [1]: according to the GA, this letter is connected to the payout of the fee for the works bought by the  Kunst- und Industrie-Comptoir, Op. 58 - Op. 62; details taken from p. 321 .]

Thayer-Forbes lists Op. 60 as having been published in 1808 by the Kunst- und Industrie-Kontor, and as having been dedicated to Count Graf Franz von Oppersdorff:

"The publications of the year 1808 were:

By Kunst- und Industrie Comptoir:

. . .

. . .

. . .

Symphony no. 4 in B-flat major, Op. 60, dedicated to Count Franz von Oppersdorff" (Thayer-Forbes: 461-452).

Beethoven's own confirmation of the just-completed business with this Viennese publisher is contained in his letter of June 8, 1808 to Breitkopf & Härtel:

"Beethoven an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                       Vien am 8ten Juni [1808][1]

Euer Hochwohlgebohrn!

   . . .

   . . . -- ich könnte auch dieselbigen Werke an das Industrie-Komtoir hier überlaßen, wenn ich wollte, da sie voriges Jahr auch 7 Große Werke[8] von mir genommen, welche nun beynahe alle schon im Stich zu haben sind -- . . . "

Beethoven to Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                               Vienna the 8th of June, [1808][1]

Esteemed Sir!

   . . .

   . . . -- I could also leave the same works to the Industrie-Komtoir here, if I wanted, since last year, they took 7 large works[8[ from me, which, by now, can almost all be had in print-- . . .    

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe Vol. 2, Letter no. 327, p. 14-15]

[Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to l1]: according to the GA, the year can be derived from the registration note by the publisher; to [8]:  refers to Op. 56 - Op. 62; details taken from p. 15.]

With respect to Beethoven's further documented contact with the dedicatee, Count Franz von Oppersdorff, we can also reply on the composer's original letters from the Henle Gesamtausgabe.  In March 1808, Beethoven promised Oppersdorff to send a symphony to him that he had promised, a long time ago:  

"Beethoven an Graf Franz von Oppersdorff[1] in Troppau

                                                                                    [Wien, März 1808][2]

daß Sie mir mein Geliebter entflohen sind, ohne mir auch nur etwas von ihrer Abreise zu wissen zu machen, hat mir wircklich wehe gethan -- Es hat sie vieleicht etwas von mir verdroßen, doch gewiß nicht mit meinem Willen -- heute habe ich ein wenig Zeit um ihnen mehr schreiben zu können, ich will ihnen daher nur noch melden, daß ihre Sinfonie[3] schon lange bereit liegt, ich sie ihnen nun aber mit nächster Post schicke -- 

150 fl. könen sie mir abhalten, da die Copiatiuren welche ich für sie machen laßen, <wobey> Wenigstens 50 fl. ausmacht[4] -- im Fall sie aber die Sinfonie nicht wollen, machen sie mir's noch vor künftigen Posttag zu wissen -- im Falle sie selbe aber nehmen, dann erfreuen sie mich sobald als möglich mit den mir noch zukommenden 300 fl.[5] -- Das lezte Stück der Sinfonie ist mit 3 Posaunen und flautino -- zwar nicht 3 Pauken, wird aber mehr lärm als 6 Pauken und zwar bessern lärm machen -- an meinem armen-unverschuldeten Finger curire ich noch, und habe seit 14 tägen deswegen gar nicht ausgehen können -- leben sie wohl -- lassen sie mich liebster Graf bald etwas von si[ch] hören -- mir geht es schlecht --

in Eil ihr ergebenster

                                                                                                         Beethowen"

A Monsieur le comte d'Oppersdorf a Troppau (en Silesie)"

"Beethoven to Count Franz von Oppersdorff[1] in Troppau

                                                                                    [Vienna, March 1808][2]

that you, my beloved, have fled without telling me anything about your departure, has really hurt me--Perhaps, something about me has displeased you--Today, I have a little bit of time to write you more, and therefore, I want to let you know that your symphony[3] had been lying ready here, for a long time and that I will send it to you with the next post-- 

You can keep off 150 fl., since the copies that I have had made for you amount to at least 50 fl.[4], however, if you do not want the symphony, let me know before the next post day--however, in the event that you will take it, then delight me with the 300 fl. that are still due to me[5]--The last piece of the symphony is with 3 trombones and flautino--however, not 3 kettledrums, but it will make more noise than 6 kettledrums and a better one, at that--I am still curing my poor, innocent finger, and on account of it, I have not been able to go out for 14 days--farewell--let me hear something from you soon, dearest court--I am not well-- 

in haste your most devoted

                                                                                                         Beethowen.

A Monsieur le comte d'Oppersdorf a Troppau (en Silesie)"

 [Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe Vol. 2, Letter No. 325, p. 12-13; Original:  in private hands; to [1]: refers to Count Oppersdorff; to [2]: according to the GA, this refers to the probably indication for the dating of the letter, Beethoven's further mentioning of his "poor, innocent finger", thus his finger injury of March 1808 about which, according to the GA, Stephan von Breuning, in his letter of March 1808 wrote to Franz Gerhard Wegeler; to [3]: refers to Op. 67, as, according to the GA, becomes clear from the indication of instruments for the finale (3 trombones, flautino); to [4]: according to the GA, this refers to the fact that on Mach 29, 1808, Beethoven had confirmed to Count Oppersdorff the receipt from him of 150 florins in "Bankozettel"; with respect to this, the GA relies on TDR Vol.  3, p. 12; to [5]: according to the GA, this refers to the fact that Beethoven obviously has received one ore more advance payments and that the remaining amount that was mentioned here could not be proven, since neither the amount of the fee nor the processing of the payment(s) is known; details taken from p. 13). 

Thus it was, at this time, not the Fourth Symphony but rather the Fifty Symphony, Op. 67, that Beethoven meant to send to Oppersdorff.   However, it should take until November 1808 that Beethoven would correspond with Oppersdorff, again.  From his lines to him of November 1st, it becomes clearer what had happened to Op. 67:  

"Beethoven an Graf Franz von Oppersdorff in Troppau

                                                                             Vien am 1-ten November 1088 [=1808]

Bester Graf!

    Sie werden mich in einem falschen Lichte betrachten, aber Noth zwang mich die Sinfonie, die für sie geschrieben, und noch eine Andere dazu an Jemanden andern zu veräußern[1] -- seyn sie aber versichert, daß sie die jenige, welche für sie bestimmt ist,[2] bald erhalten werden --

    Ich hoffe sie werden immer wohl gewesen seyn, wie auch ihre Frau Gemahlin, der ich bitte, mich Bestens zu emphelen -- ich wohne Grade unter dem Fürsten Lichnowsky, im Falle sie einmal mir in Vien die Ehre ihres Besuches geben wollen, bey der gräfin Erdödy -- [3] meine Umstände bessern sich -- ohne Leute[4] dazu nöthig zu haben,[5] welche ihre Freunde mit Flegeln[6] Traktieren wollen[7] -- auch bin ich als Kapellmeister zum König von Westphalen berufen, und es könnte wohl seyn, daß ich diesem Rufe folge -- leben sie wohl und denken sie zuweilen an ihren ergebensten Freund

                                                                                                        Beethowen

An Graf Oppersdorf"

"Beethoven to Count Franz von Oppersdorff in Troppau

                                                                             Vienna the 1st of November 1088 [=1808]

Best Count!

    You will see me in a wrong light, but dire circumstances forced me to sell the symphony that I had intended for you, and yet another, to someone else[1]--however, rest assured that the one that is intended for you,[2] you will receive soon--

    I hope that you will have been well, all the time, as well as your wife, to whom I ask you to send my best--here, I am living beneath Prince Lichnowsky, in the event that you would wish to give me the honor of your visit in Vienna, with Countess Erdödy--[3] my circumstances are improving--without requiring people[4] who[5] want to attack their friends with ruffians[6][7]--also, I have been offered the appointment of Kapellmeister to the King of Westphalia, and it might well be that I will follow this invitation--farewell and sometimes think of your most devoted friend

                                                                                                           Beethoven

To Count Oppersdorff"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 340, p. 26 -27; Original: Harvard College Library; to [1]: refers to Op. 67 and Op. 68; to [2]: refers to Op. 68; to [3]: refers to three hyphens; to [4]: refers to triple underlining; to [5]: refers to double underlining; to [6]: refers to triple underlining; to [7]: according to the GA, this is an allusion to Beethoven's falling-out with Prince Karl Lichnowsky in the fall of 1806 at Grätz near Troppau; details taken from p.  27].

Whether Count Oppersdorff ultimately received the manuscript or a copy of the Fourth Symphony, does not become clear from Beethoven literature.  However, we know that he entered music history as its dedicatee. 

In the next section, we want to trace the further fate of this work during Beethoven's life time.  

THE FURTHER FATE OF OP. 60 DURING BEETHOVEN'S LIFE TIME 

With respect to this, we can again rely on the Leipziger Allgemeine Musikzeitung as source of information.  In January 1811, it reported on the Leipzig benefit concert of the fall of 1810:  

"Leipzig.  Concertmusik.  (Fortsetzung aus dem 64ten Stück des vorigen Jahrg.s.)  Das jährliche Concert zum Besten der von Alter schwachen Mitglieder und Wittwen des musikal. Instituts, wurde mit Beethovens Symphonie No. 4. (Wien, Industrie-Comptoir) eröffnet.  Dies, wie es scheint, noch wenig bekannte, geistreiche Werk (B dur, Es dur, B dur) enthält, nach einer feierlichen, herrlichen Einleitung, ein feuriges, glanz- und kraftvolles Allegro, ein kunstreich und sehr anmuthig durchgeführtes Andante, ein ganz originelles, wunderbar anziehendes Scherzando, und ein seltsam gemischtes, aber wirksames Finale.  Im Ganzen ist das Werk heiter, verständlich und sehr einnehmend gehalten, und nähert sich den mit Recht so beliebten Symphonien dieses Meister No. 1. und 2. mehr, also denen No. 5. u. 6.  Im Schwung der Begeisterung möchten wir es am meisten mit No. 2. zusammenstellen; von dem Wunderlichen und die Wirkung mehr Hindernden als Fördernden in einzelnen Wendungen, wodurch B. in der letzten Zeit manche Ausführende scheu, und manche Zuhörer irre macht, findet sich hier nicht allzuviel.  Die nicht weniger als leicht auszuführende Symphonie wurde trefflich gegeben, und fand einstimmigen Beyfall.   . . . " [AMZ No. 13, January 23, 1811, column62-63; --

--"Leipzig.  Concert Music.  (Continuation of the 64th piece from last year's issue).  The annual Concert for the benefit of the elderly and widows of the musical institute was opened with Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 (Vienna, Industrie-Comptoir).  This, as it appears, still little known, ingenious work (B-major, E-flat-major, B-major) contains, after a solemn, wonderful introduction, a fiery, glamorous and forceful Allegro, an artful and very gracefully executed Andante, an entirely original, wonderfully attractive Scherzando, and a curiously mixed, but effective finale.  Overall, this work is serene, understandable and very engaging, and close to the rightfully popular symphonies no. 1 and 2 of this master, more than his symphonies no. 5 and 6.  In our enthusiasm, we want to compare it most with his symphony no. 2; of the curious turns that hinder rather than further the effect, with which B. recently confused some executing musicians and listeners, there is not much to be found here.  The symphony that is not any less than light to execute was performed splendidly and applauded unanimously"].

In the following year, the AMZ reports about a Mannheim performance of this work during the winter of 1811/12:  

"In den folgenden Concerten hörten wir, ausser einigen bekannten, gediegenen Haydnschen und Mozartschen Symphonien, . . . und Beethovens grosse, aus B dur, dessen Ouverture zum Coriolan, . . . " [AMZ No. 14, of 1812, column 383; --

--"In the following concerts we heard, in addition to some known, proven Haydn and Mozart Symphonies, ... and Beethoven's great Symphony in B-major, his Overture to Coriolan,  .  .  . ].

The 1812/13 season provided yet another opportunity to report on the 13th concert of the Leipzig concert season, in AMZ No. 15:

"Leipzig.  Wir geben von der zweyten Hälfte der diesjahrigen Winter-Concerte, wie wir bei der ersten gethan, eine kurze Anzeige des Inhalts, um die Leser in den Stand zu setzen, über das Institut und was dafür gethan wird, zu urtheilen, und verweilen nur bei noch ungedruckten oder doch sehr wenig bekannten Werken, um die Aufmerksamtkeit darauf zu lenken. 

    13tes Conc.  Symphonie von Beethoven aus B dur; sie wurde trefflich und mit vielem Beyfall ausgeführt.  . . . "  [AMZ No. 15 of April 14, 1813, column 253; --

-- "Leipzig.  Of the second half of this years winter concerts, as we have done of the first, we will provide a brief description of its content in order to put the readers into the position to judge about the institute and what is done for it, and only discuss still unprinted or still very little known works, to draw attention to them.

   13th Concert.  Symphony by Beethoven, in B-major; it was performed splendidly and to much applause. . . . "].  

As Thayer-Forbes (p. 557) reports, in 1813, Beethoven sent some works to Varena in Graz for local performances:  

"On May 27th Beethoven wrote to Varenna that he was sending him three choruses, and a bass aria with chorus from the Ruinen von Athen as well as a march and two symphonies.  These last were the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies" [Thayer-Forbes: 557).  

The relevant passage can again be quoted from the Henle Gesamtausgabe:

"Beethoven an Joseph von Varena in Graz

                                                                                Vien am 27-ten May 1813

Mein Werther V.!

    Im Voraus ihnen zu melden, was ich ihnen schicke, kann wohl nicht schaden -- Vieleicht können sie mehr oder Weniger davon brauchen[1] -- Sie erhalten . . . -- statt <2 Sinfonien erha> Einer Sinfonie erhalten sie 2 Sinfonien 1-tens die Verlangte Ausgeschrieben und duplirt -- 2tens eine andere welche mir scheint, daß sie sie auch noch nicht in G.[raz] aufgeführt haben,[7] auch ausgeschrieben -- . . . 

    Vielen Dank für ihren Wein, ebenfalls danken sie den Würdigen frauen für ihr mir geschiktes Zuckerwerk.[10]

                                                                                           ihr Freund Beethowen"

"Beethoven to Joseph von Varena in Graz

                                                                                Vienna on the 27th of May, 1813

    To tell you in advance what I will send you, can not be any harm--perhaps you can make use of more or less of it[1]--You will receive . . . --instead of <2 symphonies> one symphony you will receive 2 symphonies 1st the requested, written-out and copied one--2nd another one which appears to me that you have not performed it in Graz, yet,[7] also copied-- . . .

    Many thanks for your wine, also thank the worthy women for the sweets they sent me.[10]

                                                                                            your friend Beethoven"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 652, p. 349-350; to [1]: refers to the fact that the shipment was intended for the benefit concert of June 6, 1813, in Graz; to [7]: refers to Op. 60 and Op. 67, with respect to which the GA refers to Letter No. 661; details taken from p. 350].  

That Beethoven really sent these works becomes clear from his lines to Varena, of July 4, 1813:  

"Beethoven an Joseph von Varena in Graz

                                                                                    Baden am 4-ten Juli -- 1813

Mein Werther Herr!

    . . . 

    was die Werke anbelangt, die sie von mir empfangen, so bitte ich sie folgende mir sochleich mir zurückzusenden, indem sie nicht mir angehören nemlich:  die Sinfonie aus c moll[2], die Sinfonie aus B dur[3], . . . 

. . .

ihr Schuldner und Freund

                                                                                       Beethowen . . . "

"Beethoven to Joseph von Varena in Graz

                                                                                    Baden on the 4th of July -- 1813

My worthy Sir!

   . . .

   as far as the works are concerned, that you have received from me, I ask that you send me back the following, right away, since they do not belong to me:  the symphony in c minor[2], the symphony in B-major[3], . . .

   . . .

your debtor and friend

                                                                                       Beethowen . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 661, p. 356-357; to [2]: refers to Op. 67; to [3]: refers to Op. 60; details taken from p. 357].

In the year 1814, in volume no. 16 of the AMZ, the public could read:  

"Die gründlichen Recensionen mehrerer Werke Beethovens in diesen Blättern, z.B. der beyden trefflichen Trios für Fortepiano, Violin und Violoncell, der Fantaisie mit Chor, und einiger seiner Symphonien, machen den Wunsch nach mehreren ähnlichen Beurtheilungen sehr begreiflich.  So ist die Symphonie des Meisters aus B dur zwar einigemal schon kurz und treffend charakterisiert, aber doch nirgends ausführlich beurtheilt worden.  Und verdient sie es wohl weniger, als eine der übrigen? . . . " [AMZ No. 16, 1814, column123;--

--"The thorough reviews of various Beethoven works in these volumes, for example, of the two splendid trios for fortepiano, violin and violoncello, the fantasy with chorus, and some of his symphonies, evoke the understandable wish for some similar reviews.  Thus, the symphony of the master, in B-major, has already been characterized briefly and succinctly, several times, but not been reviewed thoroughly.  And does it deserve this any less than his other symphonies? . . . "]. 

As Thayer-Forbes (p. 879) reports, the first score of Op. 60 was published by Simrock in 1823.  

In conclusion of our look at the further fate of Op. 60 during Beethoven's lifetime, we can refer to Maynard Solomon's report on the year 1825:  

"In 1825 alone, in addition to the first performance of the Quartets, opp. 127 and 132, there were concerts featuring the Fourth and Seventh Symphonies and the Archduke Trio op. 97. . . . " (Solomon: 270).

After our look at the further fate of the Fourth Symphony during Beethoven's life time, let us turn to contemporary reviews.  

ON ITS MUSICAL CONTENT AND MODERN MUSIC CRITICISM

Lewis Lockwood, with his report on the Fourth Symphony, in his 2003 Beethoven book, also offers us a good overview of its musical content:  

"Though many writers and listeners regard the Fourth Symphony as a regression, they could hardly be more mistaken.  Once the Eroica had enlarged the landscape of the symphony, Beethoven's next four-movement symphony was inevitably compared with it, and connoisseurs looked long and hard to see whether the composer had tried to match it or had shifted his ground.  His decision to return to a smaller scale, to reduce length and density but also to invest a smaller framework with subtlety, action, and lyricism, showed that, paradoxically, he was aiming to broaden his new symphonic framework still further by showing that the epic, heroic model was only one of a number of potential aesthetic alternatives.  The Fourth showed that less could be as much, perhaps more.

    The first difference is one of scale.  All four movements are shorter than their counterparts in the Eroica. As in the Second Symphony the first movement opens with a harmonically adventurous, but now deliberate and slow-moving Adagio introduction that mingles B-flat major and B-flat minor, then packs a far-flung modulatory scheme--entailing the transformation of the flat-sixth G-flat into F#, its pitch equivalent, with varied consequences--into its second half before slipping back to the home dominant and clearing the way for the Allegro main section.  The intervallic relationship of B-flat to G-flat plays a role throughout the entire work, emerging in different ways in each movement.  The first movement exposition spins out a set of vigorous contrasting themes, a sequence in which one rhythmically profiled theme after another sweeps across the landscape.  After remarkable elaborations of its motivic material in the development, one of the movement's most striking passages comes at the long preparation for the recapitulation.  Instead of a lengthy stay on the dominant, the harmony settles down to the tonic, B-flat major, well before the actual start of the recapitulation.  The tonic harmony is anchored by having the tympani hold the tonic pitch, B-flat, in a long steady roll while the strings slowly build up a crescendo based on the upbeat figures that have been prominent from the beginning.  The whole gradually grows in volume to its climax, tonic harmony giving way to louder tonic, and all at once the moment of recapitulation has arrived as part of a vast sweep of events, all of which took place over the single tonic harmony.

    In this work the basic condition is that of direct gestural action at various speeds, much more than of the pensive, logical, developmental side of symphonic thought, as in the Eroica.  A key to this aspect of the Fourth, when compared with the Third, is the work's complete avoidance of fugal writing, for which it literally has no time as it moves forward to new, rhythmically well-defined ideas in each movement rather than making room for a contrapuntal exegesis built on just one of them.  As it turns out, the same absence of fugal writing characterizes each of the even-numbered symphonies (4, 6, and 8) as opposed to the odd-numbered (3, 5, 7, and, ultimately, 9).  The aesthetic dualism of the even- and odd-numbered symphonies starts here.

    A second difference is in the instrumentation.  In the Fourth, Beethoven reverts to the orchestra of late Mozart or Haydn:  one flute, the other winds in the usual pairs, two horns (instead of three as in the Eroica), trumpets, tympani, and strings.  the wind writing brings new orchestral colors as early as a bassoon solo in the Adagio introduction, a canon between clarinet and bassoon in the first movement, gorgeous wind writing in the slow movement foreshadowing Schumann and Brahms, and virtuosic passage work for the bassoon again in the finale.  The emergence of the tympani as a dramatic factor in the first movement has already been noted, but the tympani play an equally important role in the slow movement and Scherzo.

    The Fourth stands out for it grace, energy, and lightness, for its feeling of godlike play among delicately poised forces.  Schumann, whose affinity for it seems so natural in the light of his own instrumental style, called it "the Greek-like slender one" among Beethoven symphonies.  Rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic features of high subtlety inhabit every movement.  Occasionally we sense what Theodor W. Adorno called a virtual suspension of time in certain passages--"as they swing back and forth, the passages become the pendulum of time itself."  Different speeds and energies of motion dominate the first movement, the Scherzo, and the finale; contemplative beauty governs the Adagio.  The slow movement, a sensuous slow rondo, inaugurates the Romantic type of expressive major-mode orchestral Adagio, replete with contrasts between sharply defined rhythmic figures and sweeping, beautiful melodic lines. . . .

    The Scherzo breaks a new formal path that Beethoven later followed in a number of middle-period works.  It is made up of five parts instead of three, with a second return of the Scherzo and Trio following the normal Scherzo-Trio-Scherzo da capo form.  Syncopation in the Scherzo theme immediately recalls the Scherzo of Opus 18 No. 6, another B-flat major work, and the gentle contrast of wind-dominated Trio to string-dominated Scherzo evokes late Haydn, whose own last symphonies in this key, Nos. 98 and 102, could not have been far from Beethoven's mind.  But the work remains wholly Beethovenian, never more so than in the surprising gestures that conclude the slow movement and the Scherzo: both end not with quiet cadences but with powerful fortissimo strokes.

    The finale, a perpetuum mobile in running sixteenth notes almost from start to finish, brings back humor and wit to Beethoven's symphonic finales, surpassing the First Symphony's 2/4 finale in this and other respects.  That the opening four-note figure can be a subject for development comes as no surprise in itself, but the lights and shadows in which it is later seen are an unsurpassed source of wonder.  . . . " (Lockwood: 214-217).

Maynard Solomon offers us a brief, concise comment: 

"If Beethoven's "grand manner" symphonic style had partly shaped the Piano Sonatas opp. 53 and 57, and the Razumovsky Quartets, his latest orchestral works, with their temporary retreat from exalted rhetoric into a more lyrical, reflective, and serene style, appear to have taken on certain qualities of a magnified chamber music.  What Bekker wrote of the Fourth Piano Concerto holds in some measure for the Violin Concerto and the Fourth Symphony as well: viz., that they are "characterized by the quiet, reflective gravity, by a latent energy, capable from time to time of expressing intense vitality, but unusually preserving the mood of tranquility." . . . Although these works return in some measure to high-classic models--Haydn in the Fourth Symphony, Mozart in the concertos--Beethoven had now arrived at a new classic style of a more personal and individual cast" (Solomon: 202).

Also William Kinderman's report is somewhat briefer than many of his other comments and concentrates on the first movement of Op. 60:  

"The first movement of the Fourth Symphony in B-flat major op. 60 offers another example of Beethoven's extraordinary use of the timpani, here in connection with an unorthodox approach to recapitulation.  The general character of the Allegro vivace is energetic and even boisterous, but Beethoven withdraws into a subdued pianissimo towards the end of the development.  Mysterious drum rolls are heard on B, and the music lingers for some moments in the remote key of B major, as hushed, transparent descending scales unfold in the strings, while the timpani are silent.  Beethoven then returns to the harmony of B-flat major while maintaining the enigmatic pianissimo.  The drum rolls recur, first intermittently, then as a sustained tonic pedal held for 23 bars until the beginning of the recapitulation.  There is no cadence, the approach to the reprise is a protracted crescendo, in which the motivic texture penetrates and then fills the tonal space above the rumbling drum until the recapitulation in the fortissimo by the full orchestra.

A fascinating aspect of this passage is that the drum sounds on B can be heard, at least in retrospect, as a subtle foreshadowing of the actual recapitulation, which is ushered in by the long timpani roll on the tonic.  The modulation to B major, on the other hand, introduces suffici8ent contrast to enable Beethoven to relinquish any dominant preparation, or indeed any cadence whatever. . . . . " (Kinderman: 118).

Barry Cooper's comment deals mainly with the flowing transitions in this symphony:  

"After the enormous size of the Eroica it was inevitable that Beethoven's next symphony would be on another scale, but the Fourth is still very substantial and contains many innovations within its traditional four-movement structure.  One of the most notable is new approaches to the links between sections--an issue already explored recently in the Fourth Piano Concerto.  The slow introduction merges into the main Allegro without any clear break, and the actual change of time signature is notated four bars before the arrival of the main theme; then at the repeat of the exposition, what sounds like the end of the slow introduction is incorporated into the lead-back, further blurring the structural outlines.  At the recapitulation there is still more ambiguity:  after a striking enharmonic change, in which the timpani play a prominent role, the main theme arrives without the four-bar preparation found in the exposition, implying retrospectively that these four bars are not a true part of the exposition.

    The raised profile given to the timpani in the first movement is continued in the second,  Here a prominent accompanying motif first heard in bar in in the second violins and later played by the entire orchestra (bar 9) is eventually given just to the timpani (bars 64 and 102).  Integrating the timpani into the thematic design--an idea already introduced in the C minor piano concerto--became of increasing interest to Beethoven from now on" (Cooper: 159-159).

We hope that these critical comments and our entire journey of discovery provided you with some reading pleasure.  

 

INTERESTING LINKS

Our links on the topic offer you further reading material but also the opportunity to gain a lively impression of this work by accessing some listening samples.  We wish you a great time of discovery! 

The Fourth Symphony at the Classical Music Pages (English)

Hector Berlioz' Essay on Beethoven's Symphonies:
The Section on the Fourth Symphony (English)

Beethoven Symphonies: Classical Music Archives

Beethoven's Symphonies: Classical Midi Connection

Beethoven's Symphonies als "Real Audio File"-Listening Samples at Dominic Prevot's English Beethoven Website

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Cooper, Barry: Beethoven.  (Master Musician Series, edited by Stanley Sadie). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Damm, Sigrid:  Christiane und Goethe.  Eine Recherche.  Ungekürzte Lizenzausgabe der RM Buch und Medien Vertrieb GmbH und der angeschlossenen Buchgemeinschaften.  Originalausgabe: Insel Velag,  Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig, 1998.

Kinderman, William.  Beethoven.  Oxford + New York, Oxford University Press, 1997.

Ludwig van Beethoven.  Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe. [6 Bände]  Im Auftrag des Beethoven-Hauses Bonn edited by Sieghard Brandenburg.  Munich: 1996, G. Henle Verlag.

Solomon, Maynard. Beethoven. New York: Schirmer Books, Paperback Edition 1979.

Thayer's Life of Beethoven, edited by Elliott Forbes. Princeton, New Jersey Princeton University Press, 1964.

A. W. Thayer: Ludwig van Beethovens Leben. Nach dem Original-Manuskript deutsch bearbeitet von Hermann Deiters, 5 Volumes, Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1907 (Vol. 4), 1908 (Vol. 5), 1910 (Vol.  2), 1911 (Vol.  3), 1917 (3rd edition, Vol. 1).