Scene from Zuccarelli's 'Bacchanal'




Already at the time at which Beethoven offered his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies to the Leipzig publisher Breitkopf & Härtel, he thought of composing a further symphony.  With respect to this, let us take a look at his letter from the year 1808: 

"Beethoven an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                                                       [Heiligenstadt, etwa 10. Juli 1808] . . . 

Euer Hochwohlgebohrn!

 . . . -- ich gebe ihnen . . . die 2 Sinfonien[4], . . . und noch zwei andere Sonaten <oder> für's Klawier oder statt diesen vieleicht noch eine Sinfonie[6] . . . "

"Beethoven to Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                                                       [Heiligenstadt, about the 10th of July, 1808] . . . 

Highly-Wellborn Sir!

 . . . -- I give you  . . . the  2 Symphonies[4], . . . and still two other Sonatas for Piano and, in their stead, perhaps still a Symphony[6] . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, p. 16-17; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [4]: refers to Op. 67 and Op. 68; to [6}: according to the GA, this refers to projects that were not realized; details taken from p. 17].

In the chapter to the year 1808, TF mentions something similar: 

"The fact that Beethoven was already thinking of writing a seventh symphony is shown both by these letters to the publishers and by the letter to Count Oppersdorff . . . " [TF: 434].

How vast Beethoven's life span is that covers the time in which his Seventh Symphony should play a certain role, can be seen from his lines to Haslinger, from the year 1823:  

"Beethoven an Tobias Haslinger

                                                                                                                  [Wien, vielleicht Februar 1823]

Bester A----t!

   . . .

   zu lezt ist noch beyzufügen der Klawierauszug der Sinfonie in A der Klawierauszug der Sinfonie in F.[4] -- . . . "

"Beethoven to Tobias Haslinger

                                                                                                                  [Vienna, perhaps in February, 1823]

Best A----t!

   . . .

   at last, the piano reduction of the Symphony in A the piano reduction of the Symphony in F are to be included[4] -- . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No. 1593, p. 72-73; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [4]: refers to Op. 92 and Op. 93; Information taken from p. 72 -73].

This vast time span thus stretches from the time of Beethoven's receiving his annuity [March 1, 1809], before the first performance of the works that were offered to Breitkopf & Härtel angebotenen Werke [in December 1808], to the time of his composition of his last great public works, the Ninth Symphony and the  Missa solemnis.

Let us first follow the first traces of the composition of the Seventh Symphony.  



The "Petter" Sketchbook

1.  Thayer-Forbes's Discussion

That 1809 was not the year in which Beethoven began his work on Op. 92 becomes clear from the following comment from Thayer-Forbes's chapter to this year:  

"Mention should be made of the so-called Petter sketchbook, now part of the Bodmer collection in Bonn.  Unger has resolved the conflict between Thayer and Nottebohm concerning the date of this sketchbook by a closer study of the properties of the paper used.  The book consists of two parts which did not originally belong together: a first section of only 9 sheets belonging to the year 1809 and a second section of 65 sheets belonging to the second half of 1811.[11: See Max Unger, "Eine Schweizer Beethoven-Sammlung," NBJ, v. (1933), p. 455]  Thus work on the seventh and eighth symphonies which occurs almost completely in the second section of the sketchbook was not really started at all this year as Thayer had supposed.  At this time there are only the merest hints of the works to come.  What follows is Thayer's description of the significant material in the first 18 pages which can be dated, as he suggests, the winter of 1808-1809" {TF: 473].

In the chapter to the year 1810, Thayer-Forbes writes that Thayer's "conception of the barrenness of the decade 1810-1819 would have been modified had he known that not only the main work but the origin of most of the important melodic ideas of the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies occurred in 1811 and 1812, and not in 1809 as he had supposed. . . . " [TF: 483].

In the chapter to the year 1811, the Thayer-Forbes edition of 1964 again discusses the Petter Sketchbook: 

"According to Unger, the last 130 pages of the Petter sketchbook are to be dated from the middle of 1811 to well into the following year.  Thayer believed that most of them were to be dated 1809.  The importance in the redating of these sketches is the establishment of 1811 as the year in which work started on the seventh and eighth symphonies, and even early attempts at what was to become the choral section of the Ninth Symphony.  Thayer's summary of these pages follows:

          Viola [Note sample]

With few interruptions, such as a theme for a "symphony without drums," "good triplets of another sort," the Allegretto and Finale of the Seventh Symphony are the subject of the studies for more than forty pages.  That modest gem--the theme of the Allegretto--is still the same throughout; but how astonishing the number and variety of forms for its setting, that were tested, before the majestic, the sublime simplicity was attained, which satisfied the exquisite taste of its creator! [Theyer-Forbes: 518-519].

With respect to the Seventh Symphony, TF's discussion of the Petter Sketchbook arrives at the result that his work on this symphony had begun in 1811.  

2. The "Petter" Sketchbook at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn

Let us introduce some interesting quotes from the first page of the Sketchbook Collection of the Digital Beethoven-Haus in Bonn: 

"The so-called Petter Sketchbook (HCB Mh 59) with its 74 leaves is today still almost complete. Several leaves were, however, removed after Beethoven's death and were passed on to others."

"Most of the sketches in this book are for the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies."

"The Petter Sketchbook has a characteristic watermark, which is seldom to be found in Beethoven's papers."

" . . . More important for the identification are, however, the stitch holes. . . . "

It is further reported that Gustav Adolf Petter, a one-time owner of this sketchbook, had it newly bound but that already previously, during Beethoven's life time, the pages must have been bound.   As is explained, the old binding was not along the fold as was the newer one. "Instead two holes were made in the margin about one centimetre from the fold and 16,5 cm apart, through which thread was to be drawn.  The measurements of the two holes and the distance between them allow single leaves to be easily assigned to a miscellany."  [Source: Ludwig van Beethoven, Skizzenblatt zur Sinfonie Nr. 7 op. 92, 2. und 4. Satz, Autograph. Beethoven-Haus Bonn, BH 120 [Cited on July 29,  2007].

Here, we want to provide you with an opportunity to take a look at these digital sketchbook  versions, yourself, and also to read the interesting comments to them, yourself: 

Ludwig van Beethoven, Skizzenblatt zur Sinfonie Nr. 7 op. 92, 2. und 4. Satz,
Autograph. Beethoven-Haus Bonn, BH 120

Ludwig van Beethoven, Skizzenblatt zu den Ruinen von Athen op. 113
sowie zur Sinfonie Nr. 7 op. 92, 1. Satz,
Autograph Beethoven-Haus Bonn, BH 105

Ludwig van Beethoven, Skizzenblatt zur Sinfonie Nr. 7 op. 92,
1. und 2. Satz, Autograph
Beethoven-Haus Bonn, BH 123

Ludwig van Beethoven, Skizzenbuch "Petter", Autograph
Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung H. C. Bodmer, HCB Mh 59

Ludwig van Beethoven, Skizzenblatt zur Sinfonie Nr. 7 op. 92, Autograph
Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung H. C. Bodmer, HCB Mh 85

Ludwig van Beethoven, Skizzenblatt zur Sinfonie Nr. 7 op. 92, 2. Satz,
Autograph Beethoven-Haus Bonn, NE 110

Ludwig van Beethoven, Skizzenblatt zur Sinfonie Nr. 7 op. 92, Autograph,
Fragment Beethoven-Haus Bonn, NE 128

Beethoven's Life Circumstances and the Progress of his work on Op. 92 

As Barry Cooper reports, in the year 1811, Beethoven left Teplitz very refreshed and  

"apparently made a brief visit to Lichnowsly's castle at Grätz before returning home.  He now planned to write an opera, if a suitable text could be found, and started on his Seventh Symphony . . . " [Cooper: 205].

Beethoven's correspondence of the fall of 1811 reflects his negotiations with Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, his stay at Teplitz and also his 'usual' Viennese contacts:  

- In his letter of October 8, 1811 to the Leipzig publisher, Beethoven first thanked him for his invitation to Leipzig and then discussed Archduke Rudolph's possible appointment as Primas of Hungary:  "I, myself am offering myself to His Imperial Highness who, as Primas of Hungary, would have and income of not any less than 3 millions, so that I would spend 1 million purely for myself [of course, I am referring to all good musical sprits that I would invoke on my behalf]  . . . " [Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter  No. 523, p. 214-218; Original: Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection];

- In his letter of October 11, 1811, to Elisa von der Recke in Berlin Beethoven apologized that he could not accept the invitation to Naumann's Church Music[2]. [Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe Vol. 2, Letter No. 524, p. 218-220; Original:  Hannover, Stadtbibliothek; to [2]: verefers to a performance of Naumann's Mass in Dresden, information taken from pages 218-220];

- In his letter of the same date to Christoph August Tiedge in Berlin Beethoven affirmed that "as brief as our get-together was, we soon found out about ourselves and nothing was strange between us  . . . " [Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No.  525; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus,  Bodmer Collection];

- Beethoven's last letter to Berlin was that to the singer Amalie Sebald and has, unfortunately, only been preserved as a fragment, so that we do not know what he wrote to his ' . . . zartfühlende Amalia"  [Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe Vol. 2, Brief No. 526, p. 221 - 222; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection];

- Most of the remaining, dated letters of the year 1811 consist of Beethoven's notes to his supporting friend Nikolaus Zmeskall, and on December 6, 1811,   Elise von der Recke sent him Tiedge's Urania and Elegien sas well as some of her texts. 

Beethoven's Ljfe Mask by Klein (1812)


Cooper also discusses Beethoven's further activities during this winter: 

 "During the winter of 1811-12, when he was again plagued by poor health, Beethoven completed nine more Irish folksong settings for Thomson, which he despatched in February, but his main work was on the Seventh Symphony . . . " [Cooper: 206].

Let us also follow Beethoven's traces in his correspondence of this winter: 

- On January 19, he complained to Nikolaus Zmeskall: " . . . unfortunately, I am always too free and you, never-- . . . " [Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 543, p. 235; Original: Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek];

- In his next lines to Zmeskall, according to the GA written around January 26, 1812, but only mailed on February 2nd, Beethoven wrote:  "we are ill again" [Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 544, p.235; Original: Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection];

- On January 28, Beethoven wrote two letters, namely one to Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig [Letter No. 545, Vol. 2, p. 236-238], in which he enclosed the second letter [Np. 546 to August von Kotzebue, Vol. 2, p. 238-240];

- Beethoven's letter of February 2nd to Zmeskall has as an attachment the note of January 26 [Letter No. 544]; in it, he asked Zmeskall, "that your servant gets someone for us to clean out the rooms . . .  -- but soon -- carnival animal[4] !!!!!!!!!!!!" [Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 548, p. 241; Original: Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek; to [4]: refers to the carnival season that ended on February 12; details taken from p. 241];

- In February, Beethoven corresponded with Varena in Graz with respect to a possible benefit concert for the Girls' School of the order of the Ursulines, also with Zmeskall, his aid in quill cutting whom he called the "world's first quill cutter" [Letter No. 550, Vol. 2, p. 243], received mail from Leipzig with the rebuttal of Beethoven's complaints about "erroneous publications" [Letter No. 551, Vol. 2, p. 243], further a letter from Baron Schweiger in the name of Archduke Rudolph, in which it is indicated that the latter was willing to pay Beethoven's salary of 1500 florins in redemption bonds and, in Letter No. 555 to Breitkopf & Härtel he referred to the publisher's expression of "rough tone poets." asked for "3 lieder by Göthe but right away" and complained that he had not yet received Mozart's Requiem and also that his Mass Op. 86 had not been published, yet;  on February 29, with Letter No. 556 [Vol. 2, p. 247-249] he sent an approved copy of the Irish folk song, mentioned by Cooper, to Tomson in Edinburgh, and also wrote two further notes to the "Damned former little Music Count" Zmeskall;

- In March, Beethoven received a letter from Reval, from Kotzebue [No. 559, Vol. 2, p. 250], in which the latter, according to the GA, agreed to write an opera libretto for him; Beethoven also corresponded with Ignaz von Baumeister {Letter No. 561, Vol.  2, p. 251] and Franz Rettich [Letter No. 562, Vol. 2, p. 251-252] regarding the Overtures [Op. 113 und Op. 117], and further with Joseph von Varena in Graz {Letters No.  563, Vol. 2, p. 232-233 and No. 564, Vol. 2, p. 253, sending him, among other things, also Op. 113, the Overture to "Die Ruinen von Athen"]; 

- At the end of March and the beginning of April, in the Gesamtausgabe, we can see some notes by Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph [Vol. 2, Letters No. 565, p. 254, No. 566, p. 254-255, No. 567, p. 255, No. 568, p. 255-256, No. 570, p. 257, and No. 571, p. 257-258], in which Beethoven repeatedly apologized for not having been able to visit him, on account of his own ill health, and in Letter No. 569 to Varena in Graz he asked for Op. 113 back, for copying].

With this, we end our look at Beethoven's correspondence of the winter of 1811/1812, since, as Cooper refers to:  

" . . . the autograph score of which is dated 13 April 1812"  [Cooper: 206].  

Also Solomon [p. 218] writes that "The Seventh Symphony was completed in April 1812".

Thayer-Forbes [p. 527] refers to further correspondence by Beethoven that mentions his new symphony: 

"The new symphony, to which there are allusions in the correspondence of this year,[6: Beethoven's letters to Varena on May 8th and July 19th, A 369 and 378] was the Seventh . . " [TF: 527].

Also in his letter to Breitkopf & Härtel, which the publisher [according to TF, p. 519] received on June 1, 1812, Beethoven referred to his completed 'Seventh'.  Let us take a look at the original text:  

"Beethoven an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                                                                   [Wien, um den 25. Mai 1812][1]

. . .

   leben sie wohl ich schreibe 3 neue sinfonien, wovon eine bereits vollendet,[4] . . . "

"Beethoven tn Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig

                                                                                                                   [Vienna, around the 25th of May 1812][1]

. . .

   farewell, I am writing 3 new symphonies of which one is already completed,[4] . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No.. 577, p. 263 - 264; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus,  Bodmer Collection; to [4]: refers to Op. 92, the original score of which, according to the GA, bears the date "1812. 13th of April"; information taken from p. 263-264].

Let us close our creation history with Thayer-Forbes's report:

"The compositions of the year were:

1811-12.  Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 . . . " [TF: 547].




Rehearsal and Failed Attempts at premiering the Work in the Spring of 1813

1.  Beethoven's Life Circumstances in the Interim Period

From our Biographical Pages we know that in the summer of 1812, Beethoven stayed in Bohemia, visiting the baths for health reasons and that, in July 1812, he wrote his famous letter to his Immortal Beloved there and that, from his summer stay in Bohemia he returned home via Linz, to visit his brother Nikolaus Johannes and became embroiled in bitter arguments with him on account of his, in Beethoven's eyes, immoral life style, with respect to his common-law marriage with his housekeeper Therese. Beethoven is even reported as having tried to put a stop to this situation.  

In what emotional and financial state Beethoven was at the beginning of 1813, becomes clear from two letters that he wrote in January, 1813:

"Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph

                                                                                                                         [Wien, 6. Januar 1813][1]

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit!

    Ich war eben gestern ausgegangen, als ihr gnädiges Schreiben[2] bey mir anlangte-- was meine Gesundheit anbelangt, so ist's wohl dasselbe, um so mehr, da hierauf Moralische Ursachen wirken, die sich sobald nicht scheinen heben zu wollen, um so mehr, da ich nur alle Hülfe bey mir selbst suchen, und nur in meinem Kopf die Mittel dazu finden muß . . . "

"Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph

                                                                                                                         [Vienna, January 6, 1813][1]

Your Imperial Highness!

    Yesterday, I was out when your gracious letter arrived[2]--as far as my health is concerned, it is the same, all the more, since moral reasons have an impact on it that do not appear to vanish, very soon, all the more, since I have to seek all help within myself, and since I have to find the means for that only in my head; . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe Vol. 2, Letter No. 615, p.313-314; Original:  Vienna, Society of the Friends of Music; to [1]: refers to the fact that the letter is an answer to the Archduke's letter of the previous day, Letter No. 614 of January 3, 1813; to [2]: refers to Letter No. 614; details taken from p. 314].

"Beethoven an Gräfin Maria Eleonora Fuchs

                                                                                                     [Wien, kurz nach dem 6. Januar 1813][1]

Meine liebe Gräfin!

    wie leid thut es mir nicht ihrer Einladung folge leisten zu können, allein ich habe eben etwas sehr dringendes zu schreiben, denn leider ist dieses das einzige, was mir übrig bleibt troz allen Aufopferungen, die ich gemacht, wenn ich nicht vor Hunger umkommen will -- und einen meiner Unglücklichen kranken Brüder[3] nicht ebenfalls Umkommen laßen will -- . . . "

"Beethoven to Countess Maria Eleonora Fuchs

                                                                                                     [Vienna, shortly after January 6, 1813][1]

My dear Countess!

    I am sorry that I can not take you up on your invitation; alone, I have to write something very urgent, right now, since this is the only thing that remains for me, in spite of all sacrifices that I have made, if I do not want to starve--and if I also do not want to let one of my unfortunate, ill brothers, starve, as well-- . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe Vol. 2, Letter No. 616, p. 314-315; Orginal: in private hands in Austria; to [1]: refers to Countess Maria Eleonora Fuchs, nee von Gallenberg, married to Graf Franz Xaver Fuchs, the sister of the composer, Count Wenzel Robert von Gallenberg and therefore also the sister-in-law of Giulietta Guicciardi; to [2]: refers to Pierre Rode's concert in the large Redoutensaal on January 6, 1813; to [3]: refers to Kaspar Karl van Beethoven, who was suffering from tuberculosis; detaisl taken from p. 315].

Beethoven's life circumstances during this winter were also influenced by his struggle for the payment of that part of his annuity that he had lost due to the death of Prince Kinsky [as can be seen in his correspondence with Princess Marie Charlotte Kinsky, of February 12, 1813, and in the correspondence of Dr. Johann Nepomuk Franz Lippa with Johann Michael Obermiller in this matter [Letter No. 627 of March 22, 1813 and Letter No. 628 of March 26, 1813] and by his negotiations with George Thomson in Edinburgh [see Letter No. 621 of February 2, 1813 by Beethoven to Thomson, Letter No. 623 of February 19, 1813 by Thomson to Beethoven, Letter No. 626 of March 6, 1813, by Fries & Comp. to George Thomson, and Letter No. 629 of March 27, 1813, by George Thomson to Beethoven] .

2.  On the Rehearsal of the Symphony and on Beethoven's Futile Attempts at Premiering the Work in the Spring of 1813 

With respect to Beethoven's plans of premiering the Seventh Symphony, we should first take a brief look at his correspondence with Joseph von Varena in Graz in the year 1812, thus at a time in which this work had just been completed: 

"Beethoven an Joseph von Varena in Graz[1]

                                                                                                                  Vien am 8ten May 1812

Hochgeehrtester Herr!

    immer kränklich und viel beschäftigt, konnte ich ihre Briefe nicht beantworten--

. . .

    --für die künftige Akademie zum besten der ehrwürdigen Ursulinerinnen verspreche ich ihnen sogleich eine ganz neue Sinfonie [9], . . . "

"Beethoven to Joseph von Varena in Graz[1]

                                                                                                                  Vienna the 8th of May 1812

Highly Esteemed Sir!

    constantly ailing and very busy, I was not able to answer your letters--  

. . .

    --for the upcoming Academy for the benefit of the honorable Ursulines, I promise you, right away, an entirely new Symphony [9], . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 576, p. 261-263; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus,  Bodmer Collection; to [1]: according to the GA, this refers to the fact that the recipient of the letter can be guessed at from the context; to [9]: refers to Op. 92; details taken from p. 262-263].

"Beethoven an Joseph von Varena in Graz

                                                                                                              Teplitz am 19ten Juli (1812)

   Sehr spät kommt mein Dank für die guten Sachen, die mir die würdigen Frauen alle zum Naschen geschickt,[1] beständig kränklich in Vien muste ich mich endlich hierher flüchten, Unterdessen besser spät als gar nicht, und so bitte ich sie den Ehrwürdigen Frauen Urselinerinnen alles angenehme in meinem Namen zu sagen, übrigens braucht es so viel Dank nicht, ich Danke [dem] der mich in stand gesezt, hier und da mit meiner Kunst nüzlich zu seyn--sobald sie von meinen geringen Kräften zum besten der E.F. wieder Gebrauch machen wollen, schreiben sie nur an mich, eine neue Sinfonie ist schon bereit dazu, da der Erzherzog Rudolf sie abschreiben ließ,[2] so <ko>machet ihnen diese gar keine Unkosten-- . . . --Wollen die E.F. übrigens glauben, daß sie mir was gutes erzeigen, so sollen sie mich mit ihren Zöglingen in ihr frommes Gebeth einschließen-- . . .  "

"Beethoven to Joseph von Varena in Graz

                                                                                                              Teplitz the 19th of July (1812)

   Very late are my thanks in coming, for the good things that the worthy Ladies had sent for me to nibble on,[1] constantly ailing, in Vienna, I finally had to flee here.  In the meantime, better late than never, and thus I ask you to convey to the honorable Ursuline Ladies everything good in my name, by the way, so many thanks are not needed, I thank [him] who has enabled me to be of use to my art, here and there--as soon as you want to make use of my humble skills again, for the benefit of the H.L. [honorable ladies], just write to me, a new Symphony is already in waiting for that, since the Archduke Rudolph had it copiedm[2] so that this will not amount to any costs to you-- . . . --If the H.L. think that they want to do something good for me, they could include me, with their charge, in their pious prayers--  . . .  "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 587, p. 27-279; Original:  Washington, Library of Congress; to [1]: according to the GA, this refers to a gift of gratitude that the Ursulines presented for Beethoven's support of their bene3fit convert of March 29, 1812; to [2]: refers to Op. 92; details taken from p. S. 279].

These letters of Beethoven show that already in the spring and summer of 1812 he thought of giving the Seventh Symphony to the Graz Ursulines for one of their benefit concerts.  In March, 1813, he would return to this idea:  

"Beethoven an Joseph von Varena in Graz

                                                                                                               [Wien, März 1813][1]

Mein Werther Herr!

. . .  -- Meine Gesundheit ist nicht die beste--und unverschuldet ist eben meine sonstige Lage wohl die Ungünstigste meines Lebens--übrigens wird mich das und nichts in der welt nicht abhalten, ihren eben so unschuldig leigenden Konwent-Frauen so viel als möglich durch mein geringes Talent zu helfen[3]--

    daher stehn ihnen 2 ganz neue Sinfonien[4] zu Dienste, ... "

"Beethoven to Joseph von Varena in Graz

                                                                                                               [Vienna, March 1813][1]

My worthy Sir!

. . .  -- My health is not the best--and, without my fault, my other situation is probably the most unfavorable of my life--by the way, this and nothing in the world will keep me to help your equally innocently suffering Convent Ladies as much as possible with my humble talent[3]--

    therefore, they have 2 entirely new Symphonies[4] at their disposal, ... "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 630, p. 333-334; Original:  Harvard, College Library, Locker-Lampson-Warburg-Brimson-Album (MS Eng 870 (79A)); to [1]: refers to the writing of the letter in March 1813, which, according to the GA, can be derived from its content; to  [3]: refers to a benefit concert in Graz for the Ursuline "Mädchen-Erziehungsanstalt" [Girls' Institute]; to [4]: refers to Op. 92 and Op. 93; details taken from p. 334].

From this time on we can observe various further activities with respect to the Seventh Symphony.  From the next letter by Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph we learn that he had this Symphony copied, already in 1812, and that it was soon to be rehearsed in his Vienna residence:

"Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph

                                                                                                                         [Wien, wohl 14. April 1813][1]

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit!

    Es ist nicht möglich bis Morgen um Eilf Uhr die Stimmen[2] verdoppelt zu haben, die Kopisten haben für diese Woche meistens viel zu schreiben, ich Glaube daher, daß sie gnädigst den Auferstehungs-Tag künftigen Sonnabend nehmen,[3] bis dahin bin ich auch gewiß wieder Hergestellt, und kann beßer Dirigiren, welches mir morgen etwas schwer geworden wäre troz Meinem Guten willen, Freytags hoffe ich sicher aus zu gehen, und mich Anfragen zu können.

ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit treuer Gehorsamster 

                                                                                                                         ludwig van Beethowen"

"Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph

                                                                                                                         [Vienna, probably the 14th of April 1813][1]

Your Imperial Highness!

    It is not possible to have the parts[2] doubled by eleven o'clock tomorrow, for this week, the copyists mostly have to write a lot, therefore, I believe that you might most graciously take the Ascension Day next Saturday,[3] until then I will certainly also be restored and will be able to better conduct, which would have been difficult for me, tomorrow.  On Friday, I certainly hope to go out in order to be able to call on You.  

Your Imperial Highness's faithful most obedient 

                                                                                                                         ludwig van Beethowen"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No.  634, p. 337; Original:  Vienna, Society of the Friends of Music; to [1]: according to the GA this refers to the fact that the time at which these lines were written can be derived from their content, namely during Holy Week 1813, from April 11 - 17, probably a day before the planned orchestra rehearsal and at least two days before Friday, the 16th of April, thus probably on Wednesday, the 14th of April, 1813; to [2]: probably refers to the parts of the Eighth Symphony, Op. 93, since already in 1812, Archduke Rudolph had the parts to the Seventh Symphony, Op. 92, copied; to [3]: according to the GA this refers to the fact that the rehearsal only took place on April 21, 1813, in the residence of the Archduke at the Vienna Hofburg; details taken from p.  337].

Beethoven's next letter to the Archduke refers to Beethoven's--temporary giving up on his intentions to lend the Seventh Symphony out for a Graz benefit concert performance and represent his request to his patron to assist him with an Academy Concert:  

"Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph

                                                                                                                        [Wien, wohl 16. April 1813][1]

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit!

    Ich frage mich an, ob ich, nun ziemlich wieder hergestellt, ihnen diesen Abend aufwarten soll? -- zugleich nehme ich mir die Freyheit ihnen eine geho[r]samste Bitte darzulegen, ich hofte, daß wenigstens bis jezt meine Trüben Umstände sich würden erheitert haben, allein--Es ist noch alles im alten Zustande, daher muste ich den Entschluß fassen 2 Akademien zu geben, meine frühern Entschlu¨sse D.G. bloß zu einem Wohlthätigen Zweck zu geben,[2] mußte ich aufgeben, denn die selbsterhaltung heischt es nun anders. -- Der Universitäts-Saal wäre am Vortheilhaftesten und Ehrenvollsten für mein jeziges vorhaben, und meine gehorsamste Bitte besteht darin, daß I.K.H. <nur>die Gnade hätten, nur ein Wort an den Dermaligen Director magnificus der Universität Durch den Baron Schweiger gelangen zu laßen, wo ich den gewiß diesen Saal erhalten würde -- In Ewartung einer gnädigen Bewilligung meiner Bitte Verharre ich

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit gehorsamster

                                                                                                                         ludwig van Beethowen"

"Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph

                                                                                                                        [Vienna, probably April 16, 1813][1]

Your Imperial Highness!

    I am enquiring whether I, pretty well restored, may call on you this evening?--at the same time I also take the liberty of presenting to you a most obedient request,  I hoped that at least by now my unfavorable circumstances would have cheered up a bit, alone--everything is still in the same state, therefore I had to resolve to give 2 Academies, my former resolutions to give them only for benefit purposes[2] I had to give up, since self-preservation dictates otherwise, now.--The University Hall would be the most advantageous and honorable for my present plans, and my most humble request consists of enquiring whether Your Imperial Highness would have the graciousness of sending only a word to the present  Director magnificus of the University, through Baron Schweiger, so that I would certainly be granted the use of the Hall--In anticipation of your gracious granting of my request I remain 

Your Imperial Highness's most obedient

                                                                                                                         ludwig van Beethowen"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 635, p. 337 - 339; Original:  Vienna, Society of the Friends of Music; to [1]: with respect to this, the GA points out that the letter is connected to Beethoven's plans to premiere his Symphonies Op. 92 and Op. 93 in April 1813; to [2]: refers to the fact that Beethoven originally intended to have both Symphonies premiered at a benefit concert in Graz; to [3]:according to the GA this refers to Franz Xaver Matoschek who held this post from 1812 to November 1813; details taken from p.  339].

At the same time, Beethoven also wrote a few lines to Schweiger:

"Beethoven an Baron Joseph Schweiger von Lerchenfeld

                                                                                                                         [Wien, wohl 16. April 1813][1]

    lieber Freund!  ich habe heute den gnädigsten Herrn und zwar schriftlich gebeten, sich für mich zu verwenden, daß ich den Universitätssaal für 2 Akademien, welche ich gedenke zu geben und geben muß, da alles noch im alten, erhalte--da ich sie, sey es auch, was das Glück oder Unglück herbeygeführt, noch immer für meinen besten Freund halte, so habe ich den Erzherzog gebeten, daß sie sich in seinem Namen deshalb dey dem jezigen Rectorer U.[niversität] für mich verwenden mögten--wie auch dieses ausfalle, so biette ich sie mir baldmöglichst den Entschluß unseres gnädigsten Herrn bekannt zu machen, damit ich ferner suche, wie ich mich aus dieser fatalen lage für mich und meine Kunst herauswinde--diesen Abend komme ich zum Erzherzog

                                                                                                                          ihr Freund Beethowen"

"Beethoven to Baron Joseph Schweiger von Lerchenfeld

                                                                                                                         [Vienna, probably April 16, 1813][1]

    Dear friend! today, I have asked the most gracious Lord, and that in writing, to arrange for me to receive the University Hall for 2 Academies that I think to give and that I have to give, since everything is still the same--since I still consider you my best friend, no matter what fortune or misfortune has brought, I have asked the Archduke that you will ask the present Rector of the University in his name--whatever the result may be, I ask you to let me know the decision of our most gracious Lord as soon as possible so that I can move on in my striving to free myself and my art from this fatal situation of mine--tonight, I am going to see the Archduke

                                                                                                                          Your friend Beethowen"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven, Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 636, p. 339; Original:  Vienna, Society of the Friends of Music; to [1]: according to the GA, this refers to the fact that this letter was written on the same day as Letter No. 635; information taken from p.  339].

As Beethoven's next letter to Zmesakll shows, the use of the University Hall was refused to him, right away: 

"Beethoven an Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                      [Wien, 19. April 1813][1]

Der UniversitätsS.[aal] mein werther Z. ist -- abgeschlagen -- Vorgestern erhielt ich diese Nachricht, seit gestern krank konnte ich nicht zu ihnen kommen, und auch heute nicht, um die zu sprechen -- Es bleibt wahrscheinlich nichts, als das Kän[t]nerthor Theater oder das an der Vien, und zwar glaube ich nur eine A.[kademie]--geht das alles nicht, so müßen wir zum augarten unsere Zuflucht nehmen, dort müssten wir freylich 2 A.[kademien] überlegen sie mein lieber ein wenig mit, und theilen sie mir ihre Meynung mit -- Vieleicht werden mogen die sinfonien beim Erzherzog Probirt,[2] + wenn ich aus gehen kann. -- + welches ich ihnen zuwissen machen werde.

ihr Freund


Für Hr von Zmeskall Wohlgebohrn"

"Beethoven to Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                      [Vienna, April 19, 1813][1]

The University Hall, my worthy Z., has been--refused--the day before yesterday, I received this news, since yesterday, I have been ill and could not visit you, and also not, today, in order to speak to you--Probably, all that remains are the Kärn[t]nerthor Theater or that an der Wien, and I believe only one A.[cademy]--if that does not work, then we have to resort to the augarten, there, of course, we have to consider  2 A.[cademies], my dear, think a bit along these lines with me and let me know your opinion--perhaps, tomorrow, the Symphonies will be rehearsed at the Archduke's[2] + if I can go out.-- + which I will let you know.

your friend


For Hr von Zmeskall, Esquire"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol.  2, Letter No. 638, p. 340-341; Original:  Vienna, Austrian National Library; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter according to the recipient's note; to [2]: refers to the rehearsal of Op. 92 and Op. 93 that only took place on April 21st; details taken from p. 341].

As we can see from Beethoven's lines to Zmeskall, he now had to try to secure for his Academy concert(s) one of the Vienna theatres or the Augartensaal. 

One day before the rehearsal at Archduke Rudolph's, Beethoven also let Zmeskall know about it:  

"Beethoven an Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                                 [Wien, 20. April 1813][1]

    Ich danke ihnen derweil lieber Z. und melde ihnen nur, daß morgen Nachmittag Um 3 uhr die Probe von den sinfonien[3] und overture[3] beym Erzherzog seyn wird--doch werde ich sie morgen <Nach>Vormittag noch genauer davon unterrichten vor der Hand habe ich sie schon angesagt. --

ihr                                                                                                                                             Beethowen"

"Beethoven to Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                                 [Vienna, April 20, 1813][1]

    In the meantime, I thank you, dear Z., and let you know that tomorrow afternoon, at 3 o'clock, the rehearsal of the symphonies[3] and overture[3] will take place at the Archduke's--however, I will tell you more about it tomorrow morning, for now, I have at least let you know.-- 

your                                                                                                                                             Beethowen"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No.  639, p. 341; Original:  Vienna, Austrian National Library; to [1]: refers to the fact that the rehearsal took place on April 21, 1813; to [2]: refers to Op. 92 and op. 93; to [3]: probably refers to Op. 117, König Stephan; or to Ruinen von Athen, Op. 113; details taken from p. 341].

On the same day, Beethoven explained to Archduke Rudolph the reason for the latest delay of the rehearsals: 

"Beethoven an Erzherzog Rudolph

                                                                                                                                  [Wien, 20. April 1813][1]

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit!

   Ich sehe, daß Baron Schweiger sie noch nicht von meinem gestrigen überfalle benachrichtigt hat, d.H. ich wurde plözlich von einem solchen fieber überfallen, daß ich gänzlich ohne Bewusstseyn war, ein Verwundeter Fuß mag dazu beygetragen haben, heute ist es Unterdessen Unmöglich auszugehen, morgen bin ich aber sicher hergestellt, und bitte also Ihro Kaiserl. Hoheit auf Morgen Nachmittag das Orchester[2] Um Dreyviertel auf 3 uhr bestellen zu laßen, damit die Herrn M.[usiker] desto zeitlicher kommen, und Zeit genug wird auch die 2 overturen[3] zu probiren, sollten das letztere I.K.H. wünschen, so brauchte ich 4 Hörner, bey den Sinfonien sind jedoch nur 2 d.g., zu der besezung der Sinfonien[4] wünschte ich wenigstens 4 Violinen, 4 Sekund 4 Prim, 2 Kontrabäse  2 Violonschel.. -- ich bitte nur mich gnädigst heute wissen zu laßen, was sie beschließen werden, kein größeres Vergnügen kann mir <se>Werden, als meinem Erhabenen Schüler meine Werke Hören zu machen, Gotte gebe ihnen nur bald ihre Gesundheit wieder, indem ich mich oft dehalb ängstige --

Ihro Kaiserliche Hoheit gehorsamster

                                                                                                                                        ludwig van Beethowen"

"Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph

                                                                                                                                  [Vienna, the 20th of  April, 1813][1]

Your Imperial Highness!

   I see that Baron Schweiger has not advised you, yet, of my yesterday's health incident, meaning that all of a sudden, I was attacked by such a fever that I was completely unconscious, my injured foot might have contributed to it; today, it is impossible for me to go out, but tomorrow, I will be completely restored, und thus I ask Your Imperial Highness to arrange for the orchestra[2] to be there tomorrow afternoon at a quarter to three, so that the musicians will arrive all the sooner and so that we will have enough time to also rehearse the two overtures[3], if Your Imperial Highness would wish the latter, I need 4 horns, for the Symphonies, however, only two are needed; for the Symphonies[4] I would wish at least 4 violins, 4 second ones, 4 first ones, 2 contrabasses, 2 violoncellos...--I only ask to graciously let me know today what You have decided, there can be not greater pleasure than to let my exalted student hear my works, God give that Your health will be restored, soon, for which I am often afraid-- 

Your Imperial Highness's most obedient

                                                                                                                                        ludwig van Beethowen"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 640, p. 342; Original:  Vienna, Society of the Friends of Music; to [1]:  refers to the fact that the letter was written one day before the rehearsal, namely on April 20, 1813; to [2]: refers to the fact that the Archduke did not have an orchestra of his own, but that musicians from various institutions had to be engaged; to [3]: refers to the Overtures from Op. 113 and Op. 117; to [4]: refers to Op. 92 and Op. 93; details taken from p. 342].

One day after the rehearsal, Beethoven still had a great deal to discuss with Zmeskall: 

"Beethoven an Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                                         [Wien, 22. April 1813][1]

    Ich war schon bey ihnen lieber Z. obschon ihr bediente[r] sagte, daß sie gar nicht in die Kanzley[2] giengen, so halte ich dieses für einen Irrthum -- wissen sie schon etwas, könnte ich sie sprechen, wär's mir lieb, besonders wegen gestern[3], und der besonders schlecht mitspielenden, wobey Hr. Kraft sohn[4] obenan steht --

                                                                                                                                          ganz ihr Beethowen

Für H.[errn] von Zmeksall Wohlgeborn"

"Beethoven to Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                                         [Vienna, the 22nd of April, 1813][1]

    I already went to see you, dear Z. although your servant said that you did not go to the office[2] at all, I consider this to be a mistake--if you already know something, if I could speak to you, I would like that, particularly with respect to yesterday[3], and with respect to the particularly bad players, of which Hr. Kraft son[4] is the foremost-- 

                                                                                                                                          entirely your Beethowen

For H.[err] von Zmeksall Well-born"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No.  642, p. 343; Original:  Bonn-Beethoven-Haus; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter according to the recipient's note; to [2]: refers to the fact that Zmeskall was a Secretary at the Hungarian Court Chancellery; to [3]: refers to the fact that on April 21, 1813, a big rehearsal of Beethoven's Symphonies Op. 92 and Op. 93 took place at the residence of Archduke Rudolph; to [4]: refers to the cellist Nikolaus Kraft, son of the cellist Anton Kraft, member of the ensemble of Prince  Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz; details taken from p. 434].

Perhaps still on the same day Beethoven wrote to Zmeskall with respect to, in his eyes, still favorable information on his concert plans:  

"Beethoven an Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                                       [Wien, wohl 22. April 1813[[1]

    lieber Z!  sollte ich sie noch heute gegen Abend sprechen können, so wär mir's sehr lieb, Mir scheint nicht, daß man auf solche Aüßerungen etwas unternehmen könne.  Der Erzherzog sagte:  "Wenn ich den Lobkowitz sehe, werde ich mit ihm sprechen"  Zuvor sagte er, er glaube, daß es zu spät sey[2] -- leben sie wohl werden sie nicht unwillig.

                                                                                                                                          ihr Beethowen"

"Beethoven to Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                                       [Vienna, probably the 22nd of April, 1813[[1]

    Dear Z!  If I could still speak to you tonight, I would like that, it does not appear to me that one can do something on account of such statements.  The Archduke said: "When I see Lobkowitz, I will speak to him"  Before he said that he believed that it was too late[2]--farewell and do not become unwilling.

                                                                                                                                          ihr Beethowen"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 643, p. 344; Original:  Vienna, Austrian National Library; to  [1]: refers to the fact that this letter is connected to a planned Academy Concert in April 1813; to  [2]: refers to the fact that the most favorable time for a benefit concert was Holy Week; details taken from p. 344].

Even on April 23, Beethoven was still hopeful: 

"Beethoven an Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                                       [Wien, 23. April 1813][1]

   lieber Z.  Es Wird alles gut gehn, der Erzherzog wird diesen Fürst fizlipuzzly[2] Gehörig bey den Ohren nehmen -- laßen sie mir sagen, ob sie heute oder wann immer im Wirtshs Hesse essen[2] -- dann bitte ich sie mir ob "Sentivanny"[3] recht geschrieben ist, da ich an ihn auch zugleich um den chor schreiben will[4] -- Abreden muß ich auch mit ihnen welchen Tag wir aussuchen,[5] übrigens müßen sie sich von der Verwendung des Erzherzogs nichts merken laßen, denn erst Sonntags[6] kommt der Fürst Fizly puzly zum Erzherzog, merkte dieser böse schuldner etwas voraus, so würde er suchen auszuweichen --

ganz ihr


"Beethoven to Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                                       [Vienna, the 23rd of April, 1813][1]

   Dear Z.  Everything will be alright, the Archduke will take this Prince fizlipuzzly[2] veritably by his ears--let me know whether you will dine at the Hesse Inn today or whenever[2]--the I ask you [to let me know] if "Sentivanny"[3] is spelled right since I want to write to him and also to the choir, at the same time[4]--I also have to discuss with you what day we should choose,[5] by the way, you must not let on about the Archduke's involvement, since only on Sunday[6] will Prince Fizly puzly visit the Archduke, if this terrible debtor should notice something beforehand, he would try to evade the situation-- 

entirely your


[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 644, p. 344-345; Original:  Vienna, Austrian National Library; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter according to the recipient's note; to [2]:  refers to Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz; to [3]: refers, according to the GA, probably to Mark von Szen-Ivanyi, the Director of the New German Theatre in Pest; to [4]: probably refers to one of the choruses from Op. 113 or Op. 117; to [5]:  refers to a possible date for the benefit concert in one of the theatres under the supervision of Prince Lobkowitz; to [6]: refers to April 25, 1813; details taken from p. 344-346].

On April 26, Beethoven received a positive answer but one that was not very useful: 

"Beethoven an Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                                       [Wien, 26. April 1813][1]

    Nach dem 15ten May oder wenn solcher vorbey will mir Lobkowiz einen Tag im Theater geben,[2] mir scheint, das ist so viel als gar keiner -- und fast bin ich gesonnen an gar keine Akademie mehr zu Denken -- der oben wird mich wohl nicht gänzlich wollen zu grunde gehen laßen --

                                                                                                                                        ihr Beethowen"

Für Herrn von Zmeskall Wohlgebohrn"

"Beethoven to Nikolaus Zmeskall

                                                                                                                                       [Vienna, the 26th of April, 1813][1]

    After May 15th or when it is over, Lobkowitz wants to give me a day at the theatre,[2] it appears to me that is as much as no day--and I am almost inclined not to think of an Academy anymore, at all--the One up High will certainly not let me perish, entirely-- 

                                                                                                                                       Your Beethowen"

For Herr von Zmeskall Well-born"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No.  645, p. 345; Original:  Vienna, Austrian National Library; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter according to the recipient's note; to [2]: refers to the fact that, the day before, Arhduke Rudolph had interevened on Beethoven's behalf, with Lobkowitz and that an Academy Concert that was to be held after May 15 did not look very promising, from a financial point of view, since at that time, a great deal of Viennese society would have left the city; details taken from p.  345].

After this, Beethoven was only left with the choice of an Augarten Concert.  How would the Seventh Symphony fare with respect to that option?

"Beethoven an Ignaz von Baumeister

                                                                                                                                     [Wien, 30. April 1813][1]

    Ich ersuche euer Wohlgebohrn mir die Stimmen Von der Sinfonie in A sowie auch meine partitur zu schicken,[2] Seine Kaiserliche Hoheit können immer wieder <darü>diese M.[anuskripte] haben, jedoch brauche ich sie zu der Morgigen Augarten Musick[3] -- da ich eben ein Paar Billets erhalte, schicke ich ihnen selbe, und bitte sie Gebrauch davon zu machen

mit Achtung ihr ergebner

                                                                                                                                      Ludwig Van Beetoven"

"Beethoven to Ignaz von Baumeister

                                                                                                                                     [Vienna, the 30th of April, 1813][1]

    I ask Your Well-born to send me the parts of the Symphony in A as well as my score,[2] His Imperial Highness can always have these  M.[anuscripts], however, I need them for the Augarten Music for tomorrow[3]--since I just received a few tickets, I am sending you these, and ask you to make use of them

with Esteem your devoted

                                                                                                                                      Ludwig Van Beethoven"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 646, p. 345-346; Original:  Vienna, Austrian National Library; to [1]: with respect to this, the GA points out that Beethoven, after the faltering of the plans for an Academy Concert at the University Hall or in one of the Viennese theatres, he turned his attention to the Augartensaal, in which Ignaz Schuppanzigh regularly held concerts.  In 1813, only one concert took place there, namely on May 1st.  This letter, according to the GA, was written on the day before,  on April 30, 1813; to [2]: refers to the fact that in the summer of 1812, Archduke Rudolph had the Seventh Symphony, Op. 92, copied and that the score and the orchestral pars were part of his music collection; to [3]:  refers to the fact that in Schuppanzigh's Augarten Concert of May 1, 1813, it as Op. 67 and not Op. 92 was performed; in addition, the Triumphal March from Tarpeja WoO 2a was played, since possibly, the there was not enough rehearsal time for Op. 92; details taken from p. 346]. 

Let us now , after looking at Beethoven's futile attempts at premiering Op. 92, take a look at his life circumstances during the summer of 1813, after which we will turn to the actual premiere of the Seventh Symphony.  


Beethoven's Life Circumstances during the Summer of 1813

Beethoven's overall situation of this time is already known to us from our Biographical Pages, but also from already quoted letters from the year 1813:    While the payments for Beethoven's annuity, on the part of Prince Kinsky and his heirs and on the part of Prince Lobkowitz, were in considerable arrears and while he had to solely rely on Archduke Rudolph's part of 1,500 florins, Beethoven also had to deal with the emotional aftermath of the loss of his "Immortal Beloved", and he also had to financially support his brother Kaspar Karl, who was suffering from tuberculosis.  A look at the correspondence of this summer shows us the progress of these developments:  

- Beethoven's further letters to Varena in Graz [Henle Gesamtausgabe Vol. 2, Letters No. 652, [p.349-350], No. 653 [p. 350-351], and No. 654 [p. 351]], all probably written on May 27, 1813, show us that at the Graz Benefit Concert of June 6, 1813, it were not Op. 92 and Op. 92 that were performed but rather the symphonies Op. 60 and Op. 67;  

- Still on this day, Beethoven reported to Archduke Rudolph at Baden that he had arrived there, too, and that he was at his disposal as music teacher and organizer of small musical events [Vol. 2, Letter No. 656, p. 352-353], to which his patron, as can be seen from his letter of June 7, 1813, already looked forward to; 

- Beethoven's further letters show that he could not stay at Baden, all the time, but that he had to return to the city now and then. On July 4, from Baden [Letter No. 661, p. 356-357] he thanked Varena in Graz for a miniature painting that had been sent to him as a present and for the reimbursement of his copying costs, and on July 24, 1813, he wrote to Archduke Rudolph from Vienna and apologized that he would be held up in the city until the end of this month [Letter No. 662, p. 357-358];

- On July 24, from Vienna, he also wrote to the financial custodian of the, in the meantime, almost bankrupt Prince Lobkowitz, Prince Joseph von Schwarzenberg, explained his financial situation to him with respect to the still outstanding annuity payments and asked for the payment of the Lokowitz arreas of approximately 1,200 florins [since Sept. 1, 1811] [Letter No. 663, p. 360-362] and, probably at the same time, he drafted a letter to Anton Wilhelm Wolf in Prague with respect to the Kinsky arrears, with respect to the facts presented almost a similar letter [No.664, p. 363-366] ;

- Beethoven's letter of the end of August and the beginning of September, to Count Graf Franz Brunsvik in Ofen has already been written from Vienna and signify to us the end of his Baden summer sojourn. The month of September saw several urgent quill requests to Zmeskall, while in October, this friend assisted him with servant employment matters.  

Thus having arrived in November 1813, we are approaching the time of more serious concert plans, which we will discuss in the next section. 

On the Premiere of the Seventh Symphony 

With respect to the securing of a concert hall, Thayer-Forbes reports: 

"Beethoven wrote to the Archduke to ask that he speak a good word in his behalf through Baron Schweiger to the "Rector Magnificus" of the University, so that he might secure University Hall for his concerts.[21 See A 439]-0- This time the use of the Hall was granted and the 8th of December was fixed for his concert." [Thayer-Forbes: 565].

With respect to this it should still be noted that for the late summer and fall of 1813, Vol. 2 of the Henle Gesamtausgabe does, unfortunately, not contain any correspondence by Beethoven to the Archduke, while we will recall Beethoven's request in writing to this patron of the spring of 1813. 

With respect to Beethoven's collaboration with Mälzel we refer you to our creation history of the so-called "Battle Symphony":  


To the so-called "Battle Symphony", Op. 91


With respect to the rehearsals Thayer-Forbes reports:

"Young Glöggl was in Vienna, visited Beethoven, and was by him granted the privilege of attending the rehearsals.  "I remember," he writes, "that in one rehearsal the violin players refused to play a passage in the symphony and rebuked him for writing difficulties which were incapable of performance.  But Beethoven begged the gentlemen to take the parts home with them--if they were to practise it at home it would surely go.  The next day at the rehearsal the passage went excellently, and the gentlemen themselves seemed to rejoice that they had given Beethoven the pleasure."

Spohr, playing among the violins, for the first time saw Beethoven conduct and was surprised in the highest degree, although he had been told before hand of what he now saw with his own eyes.  He continues:  "Beethoven had accustomed himself to indicate expression to the orchestra by all manner of singular bodily movements.  So often as a sforzando occurred, he tore his arms, which he had previously crossed upon his breast, with great vehemence asunder.  At piano he crouched down lower and lower as he desired the degree of softness.  If a crescendo then entered he gradually rose again and at the entrance of the forte jumped into the air.  Sometimes, too, he unconsciously shouted to strengthen the forte. . . .  It was obvious that the poor man could no longer hear the piano of his music.  This was strikingly illustrated in the second portion of the first Allegro of the Symphony.  In one place there are two holds, one immediately after the other, of which the second is pianissimo.  This, Beethoven had probably overlooked, because he began again to beat time before the orchestra had begun to play the second hold.  Without knowing it, therefore, he had hurried ten or twelve measures ahead of the orchestra, when it began again and, indeed, pianissimo, Beethoven to indicate this had in his wonted manner crouched clean under the desk.  At the succeeding crescendo he again became visible, straightened himself out more and more and jumped into the air at the point where according to his calculation the forte ought to begin.  When this did not follow his movement he looked about in a startled way, stared at the orchestra to see it still playing pianissimo and found his bearings only when the long-expected forte came and was visible to him.  Fortunately, this comical incident did not take place at the performance."[22: Spohr, op.cit. pp. 200-1202]." [TF: 565-566]


Beethoven Conducting


With respect to the concert program, Thayer-Forbes writes:

"Mälzels first placards announcing the concert spoke of the battle-piece as his property; but Beethoven objecting to this, others were substituted in which it was said to have been compoosed "out of friendship for his visit to London."  No hint was conveyed of M&auml;lzels share in the composition.

The programme was:

I.  "An entirely new Symphony," by Beethoven (the Seventh, in  A major), 

II.  Two marches played by Mälzels Mechanical Trumpeter, with full orchestral accompaniment--the one by Dussek, the other by Pleyel.

III.  Wellington's Victory" [Thayer-Forbes:  566].

As TF [p. 566] further reports, the success of the performance was so great that a second concert was held on Sunday, December 12, 1813, with admittance at the same prices, namely 5 and 10 florins.  The net proceeds from both concerts was, according to TF, 4006 florins and was handed over "reverently: to the  "hohe Kriegs-Präsidio" for designated purpose.  as was reported in the Wiener Zeitung of December 20, 1813.   The Wiener Allg. Mus. Zeit., the LeipzigeAMZ and the Beobachter are reported as having featured very favorable reports, but also lively descriptions of the effect of the music on the listeners, whose applause almost reached ecstasy.  

Spohr reported that at both concerts, the audience requested a repetition of the Allegretto of the Seventh Symphony.  Schindler rightfully described these events as belonging to the most important moments in Beethoven's life, "at which all the hitherto divergent voices, save those of the professional musicians, united in proclaiming him worthy of the laurel"[TF: 566]. 

As TF further reports, Schindler also preserved a note of thanks by Beethoven that was, unfortunately, not published.  For the reasons, we refer you to the above link to the creation history of the so-called "Battle Symphony", Op. 91.  

Here, it is very appropriate to feature the report from Vienna from the Leipzig Allgemeine MusikalischenZeitung on the concerts of December 8 and 12: 

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

  Wien, d. 7ten Jan.  Uebersicht des Monats Dezember.

. . . 

    Concerte.  Einen der interessantesten und höchsten Genüsse erhielten die Freunde der Tonkunst am 8ten und 12ten durch Veranstaltung eines Concerts im grossen Saale des neuen Universitätsgebäudes.  Der Unternehmer war der rühmlichst bekannte  k k. Hofmechaniker, Hr. Mälzel, und die Einnahme (das Billet zu 10, und 5 Fl. W.W.) zum Vortheile, der, unter dem Oberbefehl des Hrn. Generals der Cavallerie, Grafen von Wrede, in der Schlacht bey Hanau invalid gewordenen kaiserlich - österreichischen und königlich-bayerschen Krieger bestimmt.  Die dabey vorgekommenen Musikstücke waren:  1)  Eine ganz neue Symphonie (A dur) von Hrn. L. van Beetoven. 2) Zwey Märsche für die Trompete von Dussek und Pleyel, mit Begleitung des ganzen Orchesters, vorgetragen von dem bekannten mechanischen Feldtrompeter des Hrn. Mälzel.  3)  Eine grosse Instrumental-Composition von Hrn. van Beethoven, benannt:  Wellingtons Sieg in der Schlacht bey Vittoria, wovon der erste Theil die schlacht, der zweyte die Sieges-Symphonie ausmacht.  Längst im In- und Auslande als einer der grössten Instrumental-Componisten geehrt, feyerte bey diesen Ausführungen Hr. v. B. seinen Triumph.  Ein zahlreiches Orchester, durchaus mit den ersten und vorzüglichsten der hiesigen Tonkünstlern besetzt, hatte sich wirklich aus patriotischem Eifer und innigem Dankgefühl für den gesegneten Erfolg der allgemeinen Anstrengungen Deutschlands in dem gegenwärtigen Kriege zur Mitwirkung ohne Entschädigung vereinigt, und gewährte, unter der Leitung des Componisten, durch sein präcises Zusammenwirken ein allgemeines Vergnügen, das sich bis zum Enthusiasmus steigerte.  Vor allem verdiente die neue, zuerst genannte Symphonie jenen grossen Beyfall und die ausserordentlich gute Aufnahme, die sie erhielt.  Man muss dieses neueste Werk des Genies' B.s selbst, und wohl auch so gut ausgeführt hören, wie es hier ausgeführt wurde, um ganz seine Schönheiten würdigen und recht vollständig geniessen zu können.  Ref. hält diese Symphonie, nach zweymaligem Anhören -- ohne dass ihr jene feste Durchführung und Verarbeitung der Hauptgedanken, die wir in den übrigen Werken dieses Meisters anzutreffen gewohnt sind, mangelte -- für die melodiereichste, gefälligste und fasslichste unter allen B'schen Symphonien.  Sie muss, gut ausgeführt, überall und bey allen nur Aufmerksamen nach Wunsch ansprechen.  Das Andante (A moll) musste jedesmal wiederholt werden, und entzückte Kenner und Nichtkenner. -- Was sodann die Schlacht betrifft -; . . . " [AMZ 1814, Spalte/Column 70-71; --

--  "  N E W S

  Vienna, the 7th of January.  Overview of the month of December.

. . . 

    Concerts.  One of the most interesting and highest pleasures is what the Friends of music experiences on the 8th and 12th through the performance in the great Hall of the new University building  The organizer was the most well-known R.I. Court Mechanic,  Hr. Mälzel, and the proceeds (the ticket for 10 and 5 Fl. Viennese Currency) was destined for the benefit of the invalids of the Imperial Austrian and Royal Bavarian forces that fought in the Battle of Hanau, under the supreme command of the General of the Cavalry, Count von Wrede.  The pieces of music featured were:  1)  An entirely new Symphony (in A major) by Hr. L. van Beethoven, 2) two marches for the trumpet by Dussek and Pleyel, with the accompaniment of the entire orchestra, performed by the well-known mechanical field trumpet of Hr. Mälzel,  3)  a great instrumental composition by Hr. van Beethoven, entitled:  Wellington's Victory in the Battle near Vittoria, of which the first part comprises the battle, and the second part the Victory Symphony.   Already well-known and honored here and abroad as one of the greatest instrumental composers, at these performances, Hr. v. B. celebrated his triumph.  A large orchestra, entirely manned by the first and most excellent musicians, had truly, and without reservations, united out of patriotic fervor and innermost gratitude for the blessed success of the general efforts of Germany in the present war, and, under the supervision of the composer, through its precise execution, provided a general pleasure that grew to enthusiasm. Above all, the new, first-mentioned Symphony deserved its great applause and the extraordinarily favorable reception it received.   One has to hear this new work that sprung of the genius of B., and also as well executed as on these occasions, oneself, in order to appreciate its beauties completely.   The reviewer considers this symphony, after he has heard it twice -- without it lacking that firm development and execution of its main ideas, as we are used to find them in the other works of this master --  the most melodious, pleasant and understandably of all of B's symphonies.  Well executed, it has to please all those who pay proper attention to it, everywhere.   Each time, the Andante [in A minor) had to be repeated, and delighted both connoisseurs and the general audience. -- As far as the 'Battle' is concerned; --- "].

Here, it is also appropriate to report about Beethoven's own benefit concert of January 2, 1814.  With respect to this, we have at our disposal a letter by Beethoven to Baron Johann Baptist Pasqualati, which we are quoting in full:  

"Beethoven an Baron Johann Baptist Pasqualati[1]

                                                                                                                [Wien, Ende Dezember 1813][2]

    Baumann der Schauspieler[3] der heute mit mir zu reden hatte, glaubt, daß man die Preise auf 1 und 2fl. setzen solle,[4] nemlich unten ein fl. oben 2 fl., indem die Sachen denn doch schon 2mal gegeben worden"

"Beethoven to Baron Johann Baptist Pasqualati[1]

                                                                                                                [Vienna, at the end of December 1813][2]

    Baumann the actor[3] who had to speak to me today believes that one should set the prices at 1 and 2 fl.[4] namely at the bottom 1 fl. and on top 2fl, since the pieces had already been given twice "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 681, p. 384; Original: not known, text, according to the GA, pursuant to the first print in Nohl II, No. 97; to [1]: refers to the fact that the letter is related to Beethoven's benefit concert of January 2, 1814, for which the tickets were sold at Pasqualati's office; to [2]: refers to the fact that the success of the first two performances of Op. 91 and Op. 92 on December 8 and 12 led to their being repeated on January 2, 1814; to [3]: probably refers to Friedrich Baumann or his less famous brother Anton; to [4]: refers to the fact that the ticket prices were set at 2 and 3 florins; details taken from p. 384].

 Let us now turn to the publication and dedication of the Seventh Symphony.  




With respect to this, we should first take a look back at the spring of 1812 when the Seventh Symphony had been completed in April.   Around May 25, 1812, Beethoven wrote in a letter:

"Beethoven an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig:

                                                                                                                         [Wien, um den 25. Mai 1812][1]


. . .

    leben sie wohl ich schreibe 3 neue sinfonien, wovon eine bereits vollendet,[4] . . .  "

"Beethoven to Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig:

                                                                                                                         [Vienna, around May 25, 1812][1]


. . .

    farewell, I am writing 3 new symphonies, of which one is already completed,[4] . . .  "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 2, Letter No. 577, p. 263-264; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus,  Bodmer Collection; to [1]: according to the GA this refers to the fact that the letter, as noted by the publisher, arrived in Leipzig on June 1, 1812 and that the time of its dispatch has been calculated accordingly; to [4]:  refers to Op. 92; according to the GA, the autograph that, at present, is located in Krakau, in the "Biblioteka Jagielolonska", bears the date: "1812.  13th of April", with which, according to the GA, reference is probably made to the completion of the autography; details taken from p. 263-264].

Barry Cooper discusses that Beethoven did not give the Seventh Symphony and other major works of this time to this Leipzig publisher:

"He also now had a collection of unpublished works to offer to publishers.  He did not revive his association with Breitkopf & Härtel, however, but turned to a relatively new local publisher, Sigmund Anton Steiner.  When Beethoven's funds had been exhausted in 1813, Steiner had lent 1500 fl. to help support Carl and his family, but instead of using his new wealth to refund Steiner in 1815, Beethoven gave him some compositions.  The full list of what Steiner acquired at that time appears in a document dated 29 April 1815:

Fidelio, full score

Der glorreiche Augenblick, full score

String Quartet (Op. 95)

Vocal trio (Tremate, Op. 116)

Wellingtons Sieg

Symphony No. 7

Symphony No. 8

Piano Trio (Op. 97)

Violin Sonata (Op. 96)

Three overtures (Die Ruinen von Athen, König Stephan, 'Namensfeier')

Twelve 'English Songs'.

Steiner thus became Beethoven's principal publisher until the 1820s, although several works on the list did not appear for some years" [Cooper: 236-237].

Here, we should insert a few explanatory words with respect to the way in which we will proceed in this section and with respect to Beethoven's life circumstances during this period.

Since Beethoven's attempts at also trying to have this Symphony published in England can not easily be separated from his simultaneous efforts at having them published in Vienna, both endeavors will be presented together, in chronological form.  

The period of 1814 - 1816, in which these efforts took place, represents Beethoven's transition from his enjoyment of his popularity in the wake of the Congress of Vienna, to his difficulties with his guardianship over his nephew Karl.  With respect to these issues, we can refer you to the appropriate section of our Biographical Pages.    


At the end of 1814 and at the beginning of 1815, thus at the time of the Congress of Vienna that saw Europe's rulers gathered there, Beethoven was also considering to dedicate the piano reduction of the Seventh Symphony to the wife of Tsar Alexander I. of Russia,  Elisabeta Alexejewna.


Empress Elisabeta
Alexejewna of Russland



"Beethoven an einen Bekannten in Wien[1]


                                                                               [Wien, Ende Dezember 1814/Anfang Januar 1815][2]

Werther Freund!

    Wie sie es am besten finden, ich glaube aber beßer an fürst Narischkin[3] als an die Kaiserin zu schreiben, jedoch das Original davon aufzubewahren, daß im Fall die Krankheit Narischkins fort währt, man sich an einen andern oder an die Kaiserin selbst wendet.  Ihro Durchlaucht haben mir die sehr angenehme Nachricht ertheilen laßen, daß die Kaiserin mein kleines opfer mit wohlgefallen aufgenommen habe,[4] in so fern ist mein höchster wunsch erfüllt -- aber wie sehr würde ich mich geehrt finden wenn ich der Welt es bekannt machen könnte, Theil daran nehmen laßen (drücken sie das alles beßer aus) dur[ch] vorsezung ihres Namens etc

    da man die große Sinfonie in A[5] als eine der glücklichsten Produkte meiner schwachen Kräfte  (sehr bescheiden <)> auszurdüken [ansieht] so würde ich mir die Freyheit nebst der Polonaise auch diese im Klawierauszuge Sr. Majestät vorzulegen[6] --

. . . "

"Beethoven to an unknown recipient in Vienna[1]


                                                                               [Vienna, at the end of December, 1814 or the beginning of January, 1815][2]

Worthy Friend!

    As you find it best, but I believe that it is better to write to Prince Narischkin[3] than to the Empress, however, the original should be preserved in the event that Narishkin's illness will continue, so that one can turn to someone else or to the Empress herself.   His Serene Highness had the pleasant news conveyed to me that the Empress received my small offering with pleasure,[4] insofar, my highest wish has been fulfilled--however, I would consider myself very honored if I could let the world know and take part in it (you can express this all much better), by adding her name [as the dedicatee] etc.  

    since one considers the great Symphony in A[5] as one of the most fortunate products of my weak powers (very modest), I would like to take the liberty of, in addition to the Polonaise, also presenting to Her Majesty the piano reduction of it[6] --

. . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 766, p. 88-89; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; to [1]: Thayer and Mac Ardle/Misch, according to the GA, assumed that the recipient was Zmeskall; however, the way the letter is addressed does not lend itself to this assumption; to [2]: refers to the fact that the letter was written after the completion of the Polonaise Op. 89 in December 1814 and prior to Letter No. 778 to Johann Nepomuk Kanka, of January 14, 1815; to [3]: refers to Prince Alexander Lwowitsch Narischkin, the Head Chamberlain of the Russian Emrpess Elisabeta Alexejewna, who had accompanied her to the Congress of Vienna; to  [4]:  refers to the Polonaise, Op. 89; to [5]: refers to Op. 92; to [6]: refers to the fact that this was obviously done; according to the GA, the Piano Reduction of Op. 92 that was published by S. A. Steiner and Comp. in November 1816 was dedicated to the Empress; details taken from p. 89].

As can be seen from Beethoven's letter of February 1, 1815 to Sigmund Steiner, the "piano reductions", thus also that of Op. 92, were supposed to be arranged by Steiner and corrected afterward by Beethoven:  

"Beethoven an Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                 Wien den 1. Februar 1815.

Wohlgebohrenster General Leutnant![1]

    Ich habe ihre Zuschrift an meinen Bruder[2] heute erhalten, und bin damit zufrieden, doch muß ich sie bitten die Unkosten der Klavierauszüge noch außerdem zu bestreiten, da ich erstlich alles in der Welt bezahlen muß und alles theurer als andre, so würde mir das schwer fallen; ohnehin glaube ich nicht, daß sie sich über das Honorar von 250# beschweren können -- aber ich möchte mich auch nicht gern beschweren, daher besorgen Sie die Auszüge selbst,[3] doch sollen alle von mir übersehen, und wo es nöthig, verbessert werden, ich hoffe, daß sie damit zufrieden sind. --

    Nebstdem könnten sie wohl meinem Bruder die Sammlungen von Clementis, Mozarts, Haidns Klavierwerke zugeben, er braucht sie für seinen kleinen Sohn[4], thun sie das mein allerliebster Steiner und seyn sie nicht von Stein, so steinern auch ihr Name ist -- leben sie wohl vortrefflicher Generalleutenant ich bin wie allezeit

Ihr ergebenster Obergeneral

                                                                                                                                Ludwig van Beethoven"

"Beethoven to Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                Vienna, the 1st of February, 1815.

Most Well-born General Lieutenant![1]

    Today, I have received your letter to my brother[2] and am satisfied with it, but I have to ask you to also bear the cost for the piano reductions, since I, firstly, have to pay everything in the world and everything more dearly than others, so that it would be difficult for me; in any event, I do not believe that you can complain about the fee of 250#--however, I also do not like to complain, therefore, take care of the reductions, yourself,[3] however, all of them shall be revised by me and, where necessary, corrected, I hope that you are satisfied with this. -- 

    Moreover, you were probably able to give to my brother the collections of Clementi's, Mozart's, Haidn's piano works, he needs them for his little son[4], do that, my most dear Steiner and do not be as hard as stone, no matter how stony your name is--farewell most excellent General Lieutenant, I am, as always, 

your most devoted Supreme General

                                                                                                                                Ludwig van Beethoven"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 780, p. 109; Original:  not known, text pursuant to first print in Thayer III, p. 498; to [1]:  refers to the humorous military nicknames Beethoven used in corresponding with Steiner; to [2]: refers to Kaspar Karl van Beethoven.  According to the GA, Steiner's letter has not been preserved; to [3]: according to the GA, this probably refers to the piano reductions of Op. 116, Op. 91, Op. 93 and Op. 92 that have been listed in the publishing contract of May 20, 1815 as points 5 - 8; to [4]: refers to Beethoven's nephew Karl van Beethoven; details taken from p. 109].

With respect to the receipt of the works that Beethoven gave to Steiner, we can offer you a link to the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn:

Eigentumsbestätigung [Receipt] for S.A. Steiner, dated April 29, 1815 [In the Digital Beethoven-Haus in Bonn] 

Here, it is appropriate, after having moved slightly ahead in time with this link, to return to our chronological sequence and to feature Johann von Häring's and Beethoven's letter to Sir George Smart in London:

"Johann von Häring and Beethoven to Sir George Smart in London

                                                                                                                          [Viennam Narch 16 and 19, 1815]

My dear Sir George

    I see by the papers that You have brought forth in the theatre Beethoven's battle and that it was received with considerable applause;[2] I was very happy to find that your partiality to Mr. B's compositions is not diminished, and therefore I take the liberty in his name to thank You for the assistance you afforded in the performance of that uncommon piece of musick.  He has arranged it for the Pianoforte, but having offered the Original to His R.[oyal]] H.[ighness] the Prince Regent, he durst not venture to sell that arrangement, to any Editor, until he knew the Prince's pleasure not only with respect to the dedication, but in general.[3]  Having waited so many months without receiving the least acknowledgment, he begged me to apply to you for advice.  His idea is to dispose of this arrangement and of several other original Compositions to an Editor in London -- or perhaps to several united, if they would make a handsome offer -- they would besides engage, to let him know the day of the appearance for sale of the respective pieces, in order that the Editor here may not publish one copy before the day to be mentioned.  At the end of this letter follows the list of such compositions with the price which the author expects.  I am persuaded, Sir George, You will exert yourself to benefit this great genius.  He talks continually of going to England, but I am afraid that his deafness, seemingly increasing does not allow him the execution of this favorite idea.

    You are informed without doubt that his opera: Fidelio, has had the most brillant success here,[4] but the execution is so difficult that it would not suit any of the English houses.

    I submit here his list with the prices -- None of the following pieces has ever been published, but N. 2. 4. & 9 -- have been performed with the greatest applause. --

    1 Serious Quartetto for 2 Violins, tenor and bass[5]. -- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Guins.

   2 Battle of Vittoria[[6] -- Score . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70  "

   3 "                "             arranged for the Pianoforte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30  "

   4 A Grand Symphony[7] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Score . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  70  "

  5        "            "          arranged for the P.F. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 "

  6  A Symphony[8] -- Key f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 "

  7          "                      arranged . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 "

  8  Grand Trio for the Pinaoforte Violin & Violoncello[9] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 "

  9  Three overtures for a full orchestra[10] . . . . . . . . . . . . each . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  30 "

10  The three arrangements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . each . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15 "

11  A Grand Sonata for the Pianoforte & Violin[11] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25 "

The above is the product of four Years labour.

    Our friend Neate has not yet made his appearance here[12] -- nor is it at all known where he is roving about.  We -- I mean mostly amateurs -- are now rehearsing Handel's Messiah[13] -- I am to be leader of the 2d. Violins; there will be this time 144 Violins -- first and second altogether, and the singers and remainder in proportion. -- I have been so unfortunate as not to receive a single line or answer from England since my stay in Vienna which is near 3 months; this discourages me very much from writing, for I have dispatched immediately after my arrival several letters and have been continuing to send letters, but all in vain.  Amongst those to whom I wrote about 2 months ago, is our friend Disi[14] -- pray if you meet him, give him and his very respectable family my best regards.  I have passed so many happy hours in his house, it would be highly ungrateful for me to forget such an amiable family.--

    Beethoven happening to call on me just now, he wishes to address a few lines to you, which you find at the bottom of this. -- My direction is:

                                                                                      Monsieur Jean de Häring

                                                                                            No. 298 Kohlmarkt.


    Poor B. is very anxious to hear something of the English editors, as he hardly can keep those of this city from him, who tease him for his works. --

    Give me leave to thank you for the trouble you have taken several times, as I understand, in taking my works under your protection, by which I don't doubt all justice has been done. I hope you will not find it indiscreet if I solicit you to answer Mr. Häring's letter as soon as possible.  I should feel myself highly flattered, if you could express your wishes, that I may meet them, in which You will always find me ready as an acknowledgement of the favors you have heaped upon my children. --

    Yours gratefully

                                                                                                       Ludwig van Beethowen

Vienna 16. March 1815

    And now I shall beg, my dear Sir George, not to take this long letter amiss, and to believe that I am always, with the greatest regard,

your most humble & ob't serv't.

                                                                                                                                      John Häring

Vienna 19. March 1815

Sir George Smart Great Portland Street London"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 790, p.119-122; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]: refers to Johann von Häring, the business partner of Franz Joseph Breuß von Henikstein, the owner of the "k.k. priv. Baumwollgarngespinst-Fabrik nach englischer Art"; to [2]: refers to the fact that, on February 10 and 13, 1815, Sir George Smart had staged Beethoven's Battle Symphony Op. 91 in London's Drury Lane Theatre, with great success; to [3]: refers to the fact that, at the beginning of 1814, Beethoven has sent to the Prince Regent and later King George IV. of England a score copy of Op. 91 but that he has not received a reply or confirmation; to [4]: refers to the fact that on May 23, 1814, the third version of Beethoven's opera Fidelio had been performed with great success at the Viennese Kärntertortheater and that it had been repeated several times, thereafter; to [5]:refers to Op. 95; to   [6]: refers to  Op. 91; to [7]: refers to Op. 92; to [8]: refers to Op. 93; to [9]: refers to Op. 97; to [10]: refers to the Overtures from Op. 113 and Op. 117t as well as to the Overture Zur Namensfeier, Op. 115; to [11]: refers to Op. 96; to [12]:  refers to the fact that in May 1815 Charles Neate came to Vienna; to [13]: refers to concerts put on by the Society of the Friends of Music on April 20 and 23, 1815; to [14]: probably refers to the Belgian harpist and composer Dixi who lived in London; details taken from p. 121-122].

In April/Mai 1815, Beethoven expressed his regrets to Pietro Mechetti--whose contact, according to the GA, is to be placed into the year 1815 and whose publishing firm published the original edition of the Polonaise Op. 89 in March 1815 and the original edition of the Lieder WoO 143 in June 1815--that he could not let  him have his major works that were available in this year, among them Op. 92:   

"Beethoven an Pietro Mechetti

                                                                                                                               [Wien, April/Mai 1815][1]

Euer wohlgebohrn!

    ich sehe, daß Herr Schuppanzig einige Verwirrung verursacht habe, ich hatte ihm aufgetragen, ihnen zu sagen, daß sich etwas anderes ereignet habe, wodurch ich diesmal zu meinem Bedauern nicht meinem Wunsche nach mit ihnen über die bewußten Werke{2] unterhandeln konnte. --  ich werde ihnen dieser Tage selbst die Ursache sagen warum? und ich weiß sie werden mich alsdenn selbst entschuldigen -- ich bedaure nur, daß Hr. S.[chuppanzigh] sie nicht früher auf mein Begehren hievon unterrichtet hat. --

Unterdessen bin ich mir Achtung ihr[3]

Für Seine wohlgebohrn Hr. von Mechetti"

"Beethoven to Pietro Mechetti

                                                                                                                               [Vienna, April/May 1815][1]

Your Well-born!

    I realize that Herr Schuppanzig caused some confusion.  I had asked him to tell you that at this time, something else happened on account of which, with my regrets, I cannot follow my wishes in negotiating with you regarding certain works[2]--I will tell you the reason for this myself, one of these days, and I know that after that, you will excuse me, yourself--I only regret that Hr. S.[chuppanzigh] did not advise you of this as I had asked him to do. 

In the meantime, I remain, respectfully, your[3]

For the well-born Hr. von Mechetti"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No.  804, p. 138; Original:  Washington, Library of Congress; to [1]:  with respect to this the GA points out that Beethoven's contacts with Mechetti have been confirmed for the year 1815 and that, in March 1815, Mechetti's firm published the original edition of the Polonaise Op. 89 and in June 1815 the original edition of the Lieder< WoO 143,  Des Kriegers Abschied; the GA further points out that on May 20, 1815, Beethoven entered into a contract with S.A. Steiner that tied him to this publisher, for several years; on account of this, as the GA points out, this letter must have been written during the period of Beethoven's negotiations with S. A. Stainer; to [2]: always provided that the dating is correct, this should refer to  Op. 72, Op. 91-93, Op. 95-97, Op. 113, Op. 115, Op. 117 and Op. 136; to [3]:  refers to the fact that, according to the GA, the signature has been cut out of the page; details taken from p. 138].

On May 20, 1815, Beethoven asked Steiner for some scores that he had given to him for printing, among them also Op. 92: 

"Beethoven an Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                                       [Wien, 20. Mai 1815][1[

Bester ganz erstaunlichster General-Lieutenant!

    ich brauchte noch einige Partituren wie z.B. die von der Sinfonie in A[2], die vom quartett für Violin in F moll[3] <ists>und <wenn sie>das singterzett[4] -- alles dieses können sie Montag, samt den 2 andern Partituren[5] zurück erhalten.[6]  Es sind einige Fremde hier,[7] denen ich es nicht abschlagen kann, einiges von meinen neuern Werken zu zeigen, übrigens hoffe ich nicht, daß sie hiebey was suchen, wo nichts zu suchen ist -- gegen 3 uhr diesen Nachmittags schicke ich um obgesagtes gesagte!!!  leben sie wohl unverwelklichster, Unsterblichster G. L.

                                                                                                                                        ihr generallissimus Beethowen

Für Hr. von Steiner"

"Beethoven to Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                                       [Vienna, May 20, 1815][1[

Best, quite amazingr General-Lieutenant!

    I still need some scores, as, for example, that of the Symphony in A[2], that of the Quartet for Violin in F minor[3] und <id you> [have] the vocal triot[4]--all this you can, including the other 2 scores[5], have back on Monday[6].  There are some foreigners here[7] whom I can not refuse to show something of my newer works; by the way, I do not hope that you are trying to see something into this that is not there---towards 3 o'clock this afternoon, I will send for the above-mentioned!!!!  farewell, you very likely imperishable, most immortal G. L.   

                                                                                                                                        Your generallissimus Beethowen

For Hr. von Steiner"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 807, p.139-141; Original:  Basel, Universitätsbibliothek; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter according to Steiner's note as to when he received it; to [2]: refers to Op. 92; to [3]: refers to Op. 95; to [4]: refers to Op. 116; to [5]: refers to Op. 96 and Op. 115; to [6]: according to the GA this refers to the fact that, according to a note by Haslinger on Letter No. 885, Beethoven had already returned the scores of Op. 96 and Op. 115 on May 20, 1815 and not later as he had indicated, on Monday; to [7]: according to the GA, this refers to the possibility that Beethoven needed these works for Charles Neat who had arrived in Vienna in May, 1815; details taken from p.  141].

Eigentumsbestätigung [receipt] for S.A. Steiner, dated May 20,  1815 [At the Digital Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]  

The reason for this request becomes clear if one looks at footnote 7 to this letter:  Charles Neate had arrived in Vienna and Beethoven might have wished to give him some works for England.  In this context, we will also remember Beethoven's and Häring's letter of the March of this year to Sir George Smart in London.

On June 1st,  with respect to the marketing of his latest works, Beethoven also turned to Johann Peter Salomon in London and asked him to negotiate with an English publisher on his behalf: 

"Beethoven an Johann Peter Salomon in London

                                                                                                                                 Vien am 1ten Juni 1815

Mein Verehrter Lands-Mann!

     Immer hoffte ich den Wunsch erfüllt zu sehn, Sie einmal selbst in London zu sprechen zu hören, allein immer standen mir diesen wunsch auszuführen, mancherley Hinderniße entgegen. -- und eben deswegen, da ich nun nicht in dem Falle bin, hoffe ich daß sie mir meine Bitte nicht abschlagen werden, die darin Besteht, daß Sie die Gefälligkeit hätten, mit einem dortigen verleger zu sprechen, und ihm folgende Werke von mir anzugtragen[1] "Großes Terzett für Klawier, violin, und Violonschell [60#[2]] Sonate für Klawier mit einer Violine 6o#  Große Sinfonie in A (eine meiner Vorgzüglichsten] kleinere Sinfonie in F. -- Quartett für 2 violinen Viola und Violonschell in F moll. -- Große Oper in Partitur 30# -- Kantate mit Chören und SoloStimmen 30# -- Paritur der Schlacht von Vittoria auf Welligton's Sieg 80# wie auch der Klawierauszug <. . . #,[3] (wenn er, wie man mich hier versichert, nicht schon heraus ist[4] -- ich habe nur beyläfig zu einigen Werken das honorar beygefügt, welche ich glaube für England recht zu seyn, überlaße aber bey diesen wie bey den andern ihnen selbst, Was Sie am besten finden, daß man dafür gibt. --

    ich höre zwar Kramer ist auch verleger,[5] allein mein Schüler Riess schrieb mir vor kurzem, daß selber öffentlich sich gegen meine Komposizionen erklärt habe,[6] ich hoffe aus keinem andern Grunde, als der Kunst zu nüzen, und so habe ich gar nichts darwider einzuwenden, will jedoch Kramer etwas von diesen schändlichen Kunstwerken besizen, so ist er mir so lieb als jeder andere verleger. -- ich behalte mir bloß vor, daß ich selbe Werke auch einem hiesigen verleger geben darf,[7] so daß diese Werke <bloß für deutschland und England wären> eigentlich nur in London und Vien herauskommen würden, und zwar zu gleicher Zeit. --

. . .

ihr Verehrer und Freund

                                                                                                                              ludwig van Beethowen.


Mr. Salomon most renowned virtuoso in the service of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent

London Newman street. Oxford street no. 70"

"Beethoven to Johann Peter Salomon in London

                                                                                                                                 Vienna the 1st of June, 1815

My Revered Fellow Countryman!

     I always hoped to see my wish fulfilled that I would have the chance of speaking to you in London, myself, alone many obstacles were in may way of fulfilling my wish.--And for that very reason, since I am not in this situation, I hope that you will not refuse my request which consists of asking you for the favor to speak to a local publisher and to offer him the following works of mine[1] "Grand Trio for Piano, Violin and Violoncello 60#[2]] Sonata for Piano with one Violin 6o#  Grand Symphony in A (one of my most excellent ones] smaller Symphony in F. -- Quartet for 2 Violins Viola and Violoncello in F minor. -- Grand Opera in score 30# -- Cantata with Choruses and SoloParts 30# -- Score of the Battle at Vittoria on Wellington's Victory 80# as well as the Piano Reduction <. . . #,[3] (if it has not, as one assures me here, already been published[4]--to some works, I have just, as an aside, added the fee which I believe to be correct for England, but, as with the other words, I will leave it up to you what you find best that one will pay for them.--  

    I hear that Kramer is also a publisher,,[5] alone my pupil Riess recently wrote to me that he publicly expressed himself against my compositions,[6] I hope that this was due to no other reason than to serve art, and therefore, I have nothing to say against it, however, if Kramer wants to own anything of these shameful works of art, I will accept him as I would accept any other publisher.--I only reserve the right that I may give the same works also to a local publisher here,[7] so that these works would only be for Germany and England and that they would actually only be published in London and Vienna, and that at the same time. --

. . .

Your admirer and friend

                                                                                                                              ludwig van Beethowen.


Mr. Salomon most renowned virtuoso in the service of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent

London Newman street. Oxford street no. 70"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 809, p. 142-144; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus,  Bodmer Collection; to [1]: according to the GA, the sequence of works is as follows: Op. 97, Op. 96, Op. 92, Op. 93, Op. 95, p. 72, Op. 136 and Op. 91; according to the GA, Beethoven has already asked George Smart, in his Letter No. 790 of March 19, 1815, to act on his behalf with respect to these works, with the exception of Op. 136; as the GA reports, Salomon arranged the contact with Robert Birchall who purchased the Piano Reductions Op. 91 and Op. 92 as well as the Violin Sonata Op. 96 and the Piano Trio Op. 97; to [2]: refers to the fact that the first number, according to the GA, has been written over and is therefore illegible; to [3] refers to the crossing-out of a price indication and to illegibility; to [4]: refers to the fact that a piano reduction of Op. 91 had not been published, yet; to [5]: refers to Johann Baptist Cramer [1751 - 1858], a German pianist and composer who lived in London and who had established himself there as a publisher in 1805 and who had partnered up with Samuel Chappell in 1810 and with Robert Adison and Thomas Frederick Beale in 1824; to [6]: refers to the fact that such a letter by Ries, according to the GA, has not been preserved; to [7[: refers to the fact that Beethoven had alsready sold these works to S.A. Steiner in Vienna; details taken from p. 143].


Letter of June 1, 1815 to Johann Peter Salomon in London
[In the Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]


As can be seen in note 1 to the above letter, Salomon established the contact with Robert Birchall.  On October 28, Beethoven wrote the following letter to the latter: 

"Beethoven an Robert Birchall in London

                                                                                                                   Vien am 28ten oktober 1815

Euer Wohlgebohrn!

   Ich melde ihnen, daß Die Schlacht und SiegsSimphonie auf Wellingtons Sieg[1] im Klawierauszuge schon vor mehrern Tagen noch London abgeschikt worden, und zwar an das Hauß Thomas Coutts & C in London[2] wo sie selbe abholen können. -- ich bitte sie sich so viel als möglich zu beeilen, dieselbe zu stechen, und mir den Tag zu bestimmen, wann sie solche herausgeben wollen, damit ich diesen dem hiesigen verleger[3] bey Zeiten anzeigen könne -- mit den nachfolgenden 3 Werken[4] hat es nicht so große Eile nöthig, die sie ehestens erhalten werden, und wo ich ihnen den Tag mir die Freiheit nehmen werde, selbst bestimmen werde. --

    Hr. Salomon wird die Güte haben, ihnen näher auseinander zu sezen, warum es mit der Schlacht und Siegessimphonie mehr Eile hat.[5] --

    in Er[w]artung* einer sehr baldigen Antwort in Rücksicht der Bestimmung Tages der Herausgabe des nun erhaltnen Werkes

verbleibe ich ergebner Diener

                                                                                                                              Ludwig van Beethowen

Mr. Birchall music Seller Nr. 133 New Bond Street London"

"Beethoven to Robert Birchall in London

                                                                                                                   Vienna, the 28th of october 1815

Your Well-Born!

   I advise you that the piano reduction of the Battle and VictorySymphony on Wellington's Victory[1] has already been sent to London, several days ago, namely to Thomas Coutts & C in London[2] where you can pick the same up.--I ask you to hurry as much as possible with the etching and to determine the day on which you want to publish the work so that I can let my local publisher know in good time[3]-- with respect to the following 3 works[4] which you will receive the soonest and with respect to which I will take the liberty of determining the day, myself,, there is less of a hurry.--

    Hr. Salomon will be so kind as to explain to you why there is more of a hurry with respect to the Battle and VIctorySymphony.[5]-- 

    In anticipation of a quick reply with respect to the determination of the publication date of the work that you will now have received 

I remain your devoted servant

                                                                                                                              Ludwig van Beethowen

Mr. Birchall music Seller Nr. 133 New Bond Street London"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 844, p. 172-173; Original:  London, British Library; to [1]: refers to Op. 91; to [2]: refers to the fact that this has been added by someone else; to [3]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had sold Op. 91 to S. A. Steiner in Vienna; to [4]:  refers to the fact that, in addition to Op. 91, Birchall hade also purchased the Piano Reduction to Op. 92 (which was published as Op. 98 on 7. Jan, 1817), the Violin Sonata, Op. 96 (which was published on Oct. 29, 1816) and the Piano Trio Op. 97 (which was published on December 5, 1816); to [5]: refers to the fact that the contact to Birchall had been established by Johann Peter Salomon; details taken from p. 173].

As can be seen from these lines, at this time, Beethoven had not yet sent off the Piano Reduction to Op. 92.  However, he had given a copy of the score to Charles Neate. 

That the Piano Reduction was still in Vienna, can also be seen from these lines by Beethoven to Steiner: 

"Beethoven an Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                                   [Wien, 30. Oktober 1815][1]

    Lieber Steiner!  Es ist eine Pohlnische Gräfin hier, welche so sehr für meine Kompositionen eingenommen ist, wie <ich>sie es nicht verdienen, sie wünschte, daß Sie den Klawierauszug der Sinfonie in A[3] so ganz nach meinem Sinne spielte, u. da sie sich nur heute u. morgen hier aufhält, so <wünschte>mögte sie dieses bey mir spielen --. . . . ?>ich bitte sie daher recht sehr mir selben, wenn es auch des Diabolus DiabelliSchrift ist, auf heute oder Morgen <auf> nur einige Stunden zu leihen,[4] ich gebe ihnen Mein Ehrenwort, daß kein Gebrauch davon zu ihrem Nachteil gemacht werde.

ihr ergebenster

                                                                                                                                   l. v. Beethowen

an Seine wohlgebohrn H. v. Steiner"

"Beethoven to Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                                   [Vienna, October 30, 1815][1]

    Dear Steiner!  There is a Polish Countess here who is as fond of my compositions, as I do not deserve it, she wanted to play the Piano Reduction of the Symphony in A[3] entirely according to my view and since she will only stay here today and tomorrow, she wanted to play it in my presence here-- . . . ?>therefore, I ask you very kindly to lend it to me today or tomorrow for a few hours,[4] I give you my word of honor that I will not make use of it to your disadvantage.  

your most devoted

                                                                                                                                   l. v. Beethowen

to His Well-Born H. v. Steiner"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 847, p. 174-175; Original: Berlin, Staatsbibliothek; to [1]: refers to dating according to recipient's note; to [2]: refers to the fact that the name of the Polish countess could not be found out; to [3]: refers to Op. 92; tou [4]: refers to the fact that Anton Diabelli had written out both the two-handed as well as the four-handed Piano Reduction of Op. 92; however, since it was only published in November 1816, Beethoven asked for Diabelli's autograph; details taken from p. 175].

On November 22, 1815, Beethoven advised his pupil Ferdinand Ries in London that he had sent off the Piano Reduction to Op. 92 to Thomas Coutts in London:

"Beethoven an Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                                         Mittewoche am 22ten November Vien 1815.

    lieber R. ich eile ihnen zu schreiben, daß ich heute den Klawierauszug der Sinfonie in A auf die Post an das Hauß Thomas Coutss & Co.[1] abgeschickt habe,[2] da der Hof nicht hier ist, gehn beynahe gar keine oder Selten Kurire, auch ist dies überhaupt der sicherste Weeg--die Sinfonie müßte gegen März herauskommen, den Tag werde ich bestimmen,[3] Es ist dießmal zu lange zugegangen, als daß ich den Termin kürzer bestimmen könnte-- . . . -- ich bitte Sie recht sehr lieber Rieß Sich anzu[n]ehmen um diese Sachen, auch damit ich das Geld erhalte,[5] Es kostet viel bis alles hinkommt, u. ich brauche es -- ich habe 600 fl. an meinem Gehalt jährlich eingebüßt, zu Zeiten der B.[anko] Z.[ettel] war es gar nichts, dann kamen die E.[einlösungs.[scheine] und hierbey verlohr ich diese 600 fl. mit mehreren Jahren verdruß u. gänzlichem Verlust des gehalts[6] nun sind wir auf dem Punkte, daß die E.[inlösungs.[scheine] schlechter als ehmals die B.Z. waren, ich bezahle 1000 fl. Haußzins, machen sie sich einem Begriff von dem Elend, welches das Papiergeld hervorbringt[6].--mein armer unglücklicher Bruder ist eben gestorben,[7] er hatte ein schlechtes weib[8], ich kann sagen, er hatte einige Jahre die Lungensucht, und um ihm das leben leichter zu machen, kann ich wohl das, was ich gegeben, auf 10000 fl. W.w. anschlagen, das ist nun freylich für einen Engländer nichts--aber für einen armen deutschen, oder vielmehr österreicher sehr viel, der <er>arme hatte sich in seinen lezten Jahren sehr geändert, und ich kann sagen, ich bewe[eine]* ihn von Herzen, und mich freut es um[somehr]* mir selbst sagen zu können, daß ich mir in Rüksicht seiner Erhaltung nichts zu schulden kommen ließ.-- sagen Sie dem Hr.[9] daß er Hr. Salomon[10] u. ihnen das Brief Porto, welches Sie ihre Briefe an mich und die meinigen an Sie kosten, vergüte, derselbe kann mir es abziehen an der Summe, die er mir zu bezahlen, ich habe gern, daß diejenigen welche für mich wirken so wenig als möglich leiden. --

. . .

leben sie herzlich wohl lieber R.

ihr Freund


Wien Herrn Ferdinand Ries chez. Mrs. B.A. Goldsmidt, London"

"Beethoven to Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                                         Wednesdays, on the 22nd of November Vienna 1815.

    dear R. I am hurrying to write to you that today, I have sent by post the Piano Reduction of the Symphony in A to Thomas Coutts & Co.[1] [2], since the Court is not here, hardly any couriers are going, in any event, this is the safest way--the Symphony should be published by March, I will determine the date,[3] This time it took to long for me to determine the date--  . . . -- I ask you very kindly dear Ries to take care of these matters, so that I will receive the money,[5] It costs a lot until everything arrives, and I need it--I have lost 600 fl. of my annuity, at the time of the B.[anko] Z.[ettel] it was nothing, then there came the E.[einlösungs.[scheine] and thereby I lost these 600 fl. with several years of hassle and entire loss of my annuity[6]  and now it is such that the E.[inlösungs.[scheine] are worse than the B.Z. were, before, I am paying 1000 fl. annually in rent, just imagine the misery that paper money is causing[6].--my poor, unhappy brother has just died,[7] he had a bad wife[8], I can say, for several years, he suffered from consumption, and in order to make his life easier, I can, what I have given, estimate to run up to 10000 fl. in Viennese currency, of course, that is nothing for an Englishman--but for a poor German, or rather, Austrian, that is very, very much, the poor chap has changed a great deal in his last years, and I can say that I cry for him sincerely, and I am all the more glad that I can tell myself that, with respect to his upkeep, I do not have to blame myself.--Tell Hr.[9] that he should reimburse you and Hr. Salomon[10] for the postage that you had to lay out for your and my letters, he can deduct it from my fee that he is owing me, I prefer it if those who are acting on my behalf have to suffer as little as possible.--

. . .

farewell, dear R.

your friend


Vienna Herr Ferdinand Ries chez. Mrs. B.A. Goldsmidt, London"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 854, p. 180-181; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]: refers to the fact that the names of the company and that of Birchall had been added by someone else here and at the end of the letter; to  [2]: refers to the fact that the manuscript was meant for Robert Birchall who had purchased the piano reductions of Op. 91 and Op. 92, together with Op. 96 and Op. 97; to [3]: refers to the fact that the publication of Op. 92, Op. 96 and Op. 97 in London has been postponed several times, since the publication by the Viennese publisher Steiner was delayed time and again; to [5]: refers to the fact that Birchall paid 130 Dutch Ducats for Op. 91, Op. 92, Op. 96 and Op. 97; with respect to this the GA refers to Beethoven's receipt and ownership confirmation of March 9, 1816; to [6]: refers to the monetary loss due to the currency reform of 1811 and the negotiations with the heirs to the Kinsky estate and to the administrators of Prince Lobkowitz; to [7]: refers to Kaspar Karl van Beethoven's death on November 15, 1815; to  [8]: refers to Johanna van Beethoven; to [9]: refers to the publisher Robert Birchall; to [10]: refers to the fact that Johann Peter Salomon had established the contact with Birchall; details taken from p. 181].

Letter of November 22, 1815 to Ferdinand Ries
[In the Digital Archies of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]

As becomes clear from these lines, when he wrote them, Beethoven was influenced by the immediate impression and impact on him of his brother Caspar Carl's death.  It might also be understandable that he, in his correspondence with his former pupil who was a member of a Bonn family he had been very close to that he did not hold back with  expressing his anguish over his own financial situation.  

Beethoven's following lines of the same date to Birchall clarify as to when the Piano Reduction had been sent on its way to Coutts:  

"Beethoven an Robert Birchall in London

                                                                                                                                   Wien den 22. Nov. 1815.

    Inliegend erhalten Sie den Clavierauszug der Symphonie in A[1].  . . .

Mit Hochachtung verharre ich ergebenst

                                                                                                                  Ludwig van Beethoven Mp."

"Beethoven to Robert Birchall in London

                                                                                                                                   Vienna, November 22, 1815.

    Enclosed you receive the Piano Reduction of the Symphony in A[1].  . . .

With Esteem I remain, most devotedly, 

                                                                                                                  Ludwig van Beethoven Mp."

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 855, p. 181-182; Original: not known, text pursuant to the first print by Friedrich Chrysander, Beethoven's Verbindung mit Birchall und Stumpff in London in: Jahrbücher für Musikalische Wissenschaft I (1863), p. 430; to [1] refers to Op. 92; details taken from p. 182].

Ries's reply to Beethoven of December 18, 1815, confirms receipt of the Piano Reductions to Op. 91 and Op. 92 in London:  

"Ferdinand Ries an Beethoven

                                                                                                                 [London, 18. Dezember 1815]

[Laut GA teilt Ries Beethoven mit, dass er die Klavierauszüge von Wellingtons Sieg Op. 91 und der Siebten Symphonie Op. 92 inzwischen erhalten habe und erkundigt sich nach dem Widmungsträger des Klavierauszugs von Op. 92.   Ries teilte auch mit, dass er die Durchsicht der bei Birchall erscheinenden Werke übernehmen wird.]"

"Ferdinand Ries to Beethoven

                                                                                                                 [London, December 18, 1815]

[According to the GA, Ries informed Beethoven that the Piano Reductions of Wellingtons Sieg Op. 91 and of the Seventh Symphony, Op. 92 had arrived and that he asked Beethoven who the Piano Reduction of Op. 92 should be dedicated to.  He also advised Beethoven that he would oversee the works that were to be published by Birchall.]"  

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 864, p. 187-188; Original: not known, content derived from Ries's reply notes on Letter No. 854 and on Letter No. 879; details taken from p. 188].

Beethoven's January 20, 1816, letter to Ries reiterates the receipt in good order by London of the Piano Reductions to Op. 91 and Op. 92, but it also mentions that Charles Neate was about to leave Vienna:  

"Beethoven an Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                                                 Vien am 20ten Jenner. -- 1816

    Mein lieber Rieß ich ersehe aus ihrem Schreiben vom 18ten Jenner[1] daß Sie alle zwei Sachen richtig erhalten haben[2] da keine Kourire gehn ist dies wohl mit der Post das Sicherste, allein Es kostet viel, ich werde ihnen die Rechnung von dem was ich hier für Kopiatur u. Postgeld bezahlt habe nächstens schicken,[3] Es ist für einen Engländer Sehr wenig, aber destomehr für einen armen österreichischen Musikanten!  Sehn Sie, daß mir dieses Herr B[irchall] vergütet, da er die Kompositionen für England sehr wohlfeil hat. --

    Neate der schon jeden Augenblick fort wollte, dann aber wieder bleibt, bringt die ouverture mit,[4] ich habe alle Ermahnungen deswegen von ihnen u. unserem verstorbenen S.[alomon] immer kundgemacht. --

    Die Sinfonie wird der Kaiserin von rußland gewidmet.[6] -- Der Klawierauszug der Sinfonie in A darf aber nicht eher als im Monat Juni herauskommen, eher kann der hiesige verleger nicht.[7]  -- Kündigen sie dieses lieber guter R. sogleich Hr. <S>B. an.[8]  -- . . . 

    und nun meinen herzlichen Dank lieber r[ies] für alles, was sie mir gutes erweisen, u insbesondere noch der correcturen wegen.[10] -- Der Himmel segne Sie u. mache ihre fortschritte immer größer, woran ich den herzlichsten antheil nehme -- emphelen sie mich ihrer Frau.  wie allzeit ihr aufrichtiger Freund

                                                                                                                                Ludwig van Beethowen


Monsieur Ferdd Ries chez Mess.s B. A. Goldsmidt[11]  32 Foley Place Cavendish Square


"Beethoven to Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                                                 Vienna, the 20th of January. -- 1816

    My dear Rieß from your letter of January 18th[1] I see that you have received the two things in good order[2] since there are no couriers going at this time, shipping by mail is most secure, alone it costs much, at the next opportunity I will send you the bill for that which I have paid in copying and shipping costs.[3]  For an Englishman, it is very little, but all the more for a poor Austrian musician!  See to it that Herr B[irchall] will reimburse me for that, since he has received the compositions for England at a very affordable price.--  

    Neate who wanted to leave any moment here but then stayed on, will bring the overture with him.[4] with respect to it, I have conveyed all of your and our deceased S.[alomon]'s cautionary remarks.-- 

    The Symphony will be dedicated to the Empress of Russia[6]--The Piano Reduction of the Symphony in A, however, may not be published earlier than in the month of June, the local publisher cannot arrange it any sooner.[7]--Dear good R. let Hr. <S>B. know this, immediately.[8]-- . . . 

    and now my sincere thanks dear r[ies] for everything good that you have done for me, particularly with respect to the corrections.[10]--Heaven bless you and increase your progress more and more, in which I sincerely rejoice--recommend me to your wife.  As always, your sincere friend  

                                                                                                                                Ludwig van Beethowen


Monsieur Ferdd Ries chez Mess.s B. A. Goldsmidt[11]  32 Foley Place Cavendish Square


[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 879, p. 208-209; Original:  Koblenz, Wegeler Collection; to [1]: refers to Letter No. 864 of December 18, 1815, which has not been preserved; to [2]: refers to the Piano Reduction of Op. 91 and Op. 92; to  [3]: refers to Letter No. 899 of February 10, 1816; to [4]: refers to Op. 115 and the Overtures to Op. 113 and Op. 117; to [6]: refers to the fact that the Piano Reduction of Op. 92 was to be dedicated to Empress Elisabeta Alexejewna of Russland and to the fact that Birchall's edition merely showed: "Dedicated to Her Majesty The Empress of Russia"; to [7]:refers to the fact that Steiner's edition of the Piano Reduction only appeared in November, 1816; to [8]: according to the GA, this refers to the fact that Ries advised Birchall's assistant Lonsdale immediately after receipt of the letter; to [10]:  refers to the fact that Ries took on the job of reviewing the Beethoven works printed by Birchall; to [11]: refers to the fact that this passage has been written by a different person; details taken from p. 208-209].


Letter of January 20, 1816 to Ferdinand Ries
[In the Digital Archive of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]


With respect to the progress of the Viennese publication of the Seventh Symphony, Beethoven's letter of January 1816 to Steiner shows that the publisher was to receive the [parts from the premiere of the work from him, soon:  

"Beethoven an Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                            [Wien, Januar 1816][1]

    mein lieber Steiner sobald sie mir die oper, welche ich brauche warum habe ich ihnen gesagt,[2] schicken, können sie die stimmen der Sinfonie[3] jeden Augenblick haben -- nicht vertragsmäßig sondern aus Gefälligkeit geschieht dieses -- Beleidigungen beantworte ich gar nicht. --

ihr ergebener

                                                                                                              ludwig van Beethowen

   alles übrige, wie oder warum ich es habe, bin ich jeden Augenblick bereit zu verantworten"

"Beethoven to Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                            [Vienna, January 1816][1]

    my dear Steiner as soon as you will send me the opera that I need [I have told you why[2], you can have the parts  of the Symphony[3] any moment--this happens not according to contract but as a favor--I am not replying to insults, at all.-- 

your devoted

                                                                                                              ludwig van Beethowen

   everything else, how or why I have it, I am ready to justidy any time" 

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No.  885, p. 214-215; Original:  Berlin, Staatsbibliothek; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter repeats the request from Letter No. 884 for the score of Fidelio and that it has been written a few days after it; to [2]: refers to the revision of the string quartet version of Op. 72; to [3]: refers to the fact that Steiner needed the parts of the premiere of the Symphony that Beethoven went through for his edition of the orchestra parts that was published in November 1816; with respect to this, the GA refers to Letter NO. 886 and to the fact that, according to the receipt dated May 20, 1815, Steiner had only acquired the score to Op. 92; details taken from p. 215].  

These are the lines with which Beethoven sent Steiner the parts of the Symphony: 

"Beethoven an Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                        [Wien, Januar 1816][1]

    Hier mein lieber St. sende ich ihnen die Stimmen der Sinfonie in A[2], ich war der erste, der Diabelli es antrug, daß sie aus diesen die Sinfonie stechen sollten, folglich kann diese sprache die Sie deswegen gegen mich führen, auf keinerlei weise stattfinden. -- . . . "

"Beethoven to Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                        [Vien, January 1816][1]

    Here my dear ST. I am sending you the parts to the Symphony in A[2], I was the first who had offered them to Diabelli so that you could etch the Symphony from these, therefore, the language that you are using towards me can not be tolerated, in any way.-- . . . " 

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No.  886, p. 215-216; Original:  Berlin, Staatsbibliothek; to [1]: according to the GA, from the content it can be concluded that this letter was written after Letter No. 885; to [2]: with respect to this, the GA points out that the parts to the Symphony that have been used for the etching of the plates for the publication of Op. 92 are to be found at the Society for the Friends of Music in Vienna, today; details taken from p. 216].  

In the following farewell letter to Neate, Beethoven asked him not to speak about the works that he had given to him and that he wanted to tell him the reason for it in person:  

"Beethoven an Charles Neate

                                                                                            [Wien, Ende Januar/Anfang Februar 1816][1]

    mon cher ami je vous prie de ne parler pas de ces oeuvres, que je vou[s] donnerai pour vous et pour l'angleterre,[2] les raisons<de>pour cela, je vous dirai sincerement en bouche --

vortrai vrai ami


j'espere de vous voir bientot, quant a moi, je viendrai le plus possible ches vous.

Pour Monsieur de Neate"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 889, p. 217; Original: Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]: according to the GA, this letter is related to Neate's departure from Vienna; to [2]: refers to the fact that Neate received copies of the scores to Op. 61, Op. 72, Op. 92, Op. 95, Op. 102, Op. 112, Op. 113, Op. 115, Op. 115 and Op. 136t; details taken from p.  217].

Letter of the end of January or the beginning of February 1816 to Neate
[In the Digital Achives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]

In his letter to Ferdinand Ries of February 10, 1816, among other things, Beethoven listed the copying costs for the Seventh Symphony: 

"Beethoven an Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                                         Wien den 10.t Februar. 1816.

Werthester Freund.

    Ich zweifle nicht, daß Sie meine Zuschrift v.[1]            erhalten haben werden; mit gegenwärtigen zeige ich Ihnen blos an, daß ich nunmehr auch unter den 3 dieß das gran Trio. u die Sonate an H[errn] Birchall mittels des Hauses Thomas Coutts & C.o geschickt habe,[2] wofür er an lezteres die bedungene Summe von 130 holl[ändischen] Ducaten zu bezahlen hat.[3]  Allein außer dem treffen ihn die Auslagen für Copiatur und das Postporto, zumal lezteres blos seinetwegen, um ihn schnell zu bedienen, an die Briefpost ausgeleget ward; die dieße note finden Sie am Ende dieses, -- ich bitte Sie angelegentlich sich eifrigst zu verwenden daß H[err] Birchall gedachten Spesenbetrag in #10 holländ[isch] reducirt, an die H[erren] Coutts & C.o bezahle[4] da der Verlust dieser Summe einen großen Theil meines ganzen Honorars aufzehrte -- ich glaube bald Gelegenheit zu finden H[errn] Birchall auf andere Art verbinden zu können.

Ich sehe recht bald Ihrer Antwort entgegen und verharre mit freundschaftlicher Achtung Ihr ergebener Freund

                                                                                                                                                     ludwig van Beethowen



Gran Trio. -- -- --              22 Feuilles.                                    f. 22. Wiener Währung

Sonate. -- --                        9         d.[ito]                                     9                d.[ito]

Grand Sinfonie                12.        d.[ito]                                   12

                                                                                                f. 43 -- W.W.                                 in holl Duc. 3

Porto.   1t Paquet Sinf. in Amsterd. f 7.10 holl. C.

                             do.        hier           7        W.W.                                                                        in Duc. d.  2

d[ito] 2t Paquet Trio & Sonat.      

   Francatur in Amsterd. f. 15.40  in Conv. Mz.                        in d.o

   d.o            in Wien       f.  19.      Wiener Währ[ung]   in d.o                                           ________5.             

                                                      Betrag sämtl[icher] Spesen holl Duc. 10.    


M.r Ferd'd Ries pr adr. B.A. Goldschmidt


"Beethoven to Ferdinand Ries in London                                                                                                        

                                                                                          Vienna the 10th of February, 1816.

Most worthy friend,

    I do not doubt that you have received my letter of [1]          with the present one I  am merely reporting that now, under date of the 3rd inst. I have sent off the  grand Trio. and the Sonata to H[err] Birchall through the house of Thomas Coutts & C.o ,[2] for which he has to pay to the latter the presupposed sum of 130 Dutch Ducats.[3]  Alone, in addition to this he is obliged to pay the copying and postage costs, since the latter was only paid to the post here so that he could be served quickly; you will find this note at the end of this [letter].--I ask you urgently to see to it that H[err] Birchall pays the said disbursement amount in #10 [Dutch] reduced to Messrs. Coutts & C.o[4] since the lost of this sum would eat up a great part of my entire fee--I believe that I will soon find an opportunity to be able to oblige H[err] Birchall in some other way.  

I look forward to your early reply and remain with respect and friendship your devoted friend 

                                                                                                                                                     ludwig van Beethowen



Gran Trio. -- -- --              22 Feuilles.                                    f. 22. Viennese currency

Sonata. -- --                        9         d.[ito]                                     9                d.[ito]

Grand Symphony                12.        d.[ito]                                   12

                                                                                                f. 43 -- W.W.                                 in Dutch Duc. 3

Postage   1t Paquet Symph. in Amsterd. f 7.10 Dutch. C.

                             do.        here           7        V.C.                                                                        in Dutch Duc. 2

also 2t Paquet Trio & Sonat.      

   Postage  in Amsterd. f. 15.40  in Conv. Money                        in d.d.

   also            in Vienna       f.  19.      Vienn. Curr.                     in d.d                                           ________5.             

                                                      Amount of all Disbursements Dutch Duc. 10.    


M.r Ferd'd Ries pr adr. B.A. Goldschmidt


[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 899, p. 224-225; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]: refers to the fact that the writer left room for the insertion of the date of the letter and refers to Letter No. 879 of Jan. 20, 1816; to [2]: refers to Letter No. 895 of February 3, 1816, with which Beethoven sent the manuscripts for the etching of Op. 96 and Op. 97; to  [3]: t that Birchall remitted the amount on March 9, 1816; to [4]: refers to the fact that Birchall remitted the amount on March 15, 1816 and that Beethoven was only able to receive it on August 3, 1816; with respect to this, the GA refers to Letter No. 958 of August 14, 1816; to [5]: refers to the fact that this passage has been crossed out by another hand and been replaced with "Foley Place Cavendish Sq.r 38"; details taken from p. 225].

With his letter to Ries of February 28, 1816, Beethoven repeated his reference to the incurred disbursements and to his desire to have them reimbursed to him by Birchall:

"Beethoven an Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                            Vien am 28ten Februar 1816

Mein lieber Rieß!

    Schon längst[en]s habe ich ihnen geschrieben, daß <die>das trio u. Sonate auch abgeschikt worden,[1] beym lezten Briefe bat ich sie, da ich so viele auslagen noch hatte, daß sie sorge trügen, daß H.[err] B.[irchall] diese Unkosten welche wohl wenigstens 10 dukaten in Gold machen mir vergüte, ohnedem hat er die Klawierauszüge für gar nichts beinahe erhalten, nur der Umstand, daß man damals nicht glabute, daß der hiesige Verleger so lange brauche um die Schlacht, die noch nicht heraus ist heraus zugeben, machte, daß man um ein so geringes honorar dieselben an H. B. gegeben.[2] -- . . . "

"Beethoven to Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                            Vienna, the 28th of February 1816

My dear Rieß!

    Already some time ago, I have written to you that the Trio and Sonata have also been sent off.[1]  With my last letter, I asked you, since I had so many costs, to arrange for H.[err] B.[irchall] to reimburse me for them in the amount of  at least 10 ducats in gold, in any event, he has received the Piano Reductions for next to nothing, only the circumstance that, at that time, I did not believe that that the local publisher would take so long to publish the "Battle" that has not been published, yet, is the reason that H. B. was granted such a low fee.[2]-- . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No.  908, p. 233-234; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, to [1]: refers to Op. 97 and Op. 96; to [2]: according to the GA, Beethoven had originally quoted 220 ducats for Op. 96, Op. 97 and Op. 91 (score and piano reduction), see his letter No. 809 of July 1, 1815 to Johann Peter Salomon; the GA also points out that, with respect to the two PIano Reductions to Op. 91 and Op. 92, as well as for Op. 96 and Op. 97, Beethoven had come to an agreement with Birchall to be paid 130 ducats, see Letter No. 855 of November 22, 1815; details taken from p. 234].     

The Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn offers us a look at Beethoven's receipt to Birchall for these works, dated March 9, 1816:  


Eigentumsbestätigung [Receipt] of March 9, 1816 for Birchall
[In the Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]

With the following lines to Beethoven, Ries advised his former teacher of Birchall's reimbursement of his costs in the amount of 10 ducats but also mentioned his pleasure at the study of the new, Seventh, Symphony:  

"Ferdinand Ries an Beethoven

Monsieur L. van Beethoven a Vienne.  Mölker Bastey,[im]Pasqualatischen Hause.[1]

                                                                                                          London, 19. Maerz 1816.

Mein lieber Beethoven.

    Ich erhielt Ihren letzten Brief,[2] und gieng sogleich zu Birchall -- der von Anfang gar nicht darann wollte, indem er ungeheures Porto hier zu zahlen hatte -- doch ist es mir endlich gelungen, und Sie werden wahrscheinlich schon den Ertrag von 10 Dul. an Hrn. Fries & Comp. angewiesen erhalten haben.[3]  Unendlich viel Vergnügen machte es mir, die Sache nach Ihrem Wunsch erfüllen zu können.  Schreiben Sie mir, welcher Kayserin von Rußland die arrangirte Sinfonie dedicirt worden.  Es sind deren Zweye, die Alte verwittwete, und die Frau des jetzigen Kaysers.[4]

. . .

. . . außerordentlich neugierig war ich, die Partitur der Sinfonie in A zu sehen[8] -- und ich kann Ihnen nicht sagen, welchen Genuß es mir verschaffte.  . . . "

"Ferdinand Ries to Beethoven

Monsieur L. van Beethoven a Vienne.  Mölker Bastey,[im]Pasqualatischen Hause.[1]

                                                                                                          London, March 19, 1816.

My dear Beethoven.

    I received your last letter,[2] and immediately went to Birchall--who, initially, did not want to oblige, at all, since here, he had to pay an exorbitant amount in postage--however, finally, I succeeded, and and you will probably already have received the amount of 10 ducats sent to  Hr. Fries & Comp..[3]  I was immensely please to be able to solve the matter to your satisfaction.  Write to me to which Empress of Russia the arranged Symphony is to be dedicated.  There are two [empresses], the old widow and the wife of the present Tsar.[4]   

. . .

. . . I was extremely curious to see the score to the Symphony in A[8]--and I can not tell you what pleasure it brought me. . . . "  

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 917, p. 243-245; Original:  not known, text pursuant to Musikerbriefe aus fünf Jahrhunderten, edited by La Mara, Vol. 2, Leipzig o.J. [1886] p. 73ff; to [1]: refers to the fact that Ries used an old address; to [2]: according to the GA, Ries refers to Letter No. 899 of February 10, 1816, that had arrived in London on February 26th; to [3]: refers to the fact that Birchall had sent the amount off on March 15, 1816; to [4]: refers to the fact that the Piano Reduction to Op. 92 was dedicated to Empress Elisabeta Alexejewna, Princess of Baden, the wife of the reigning Tsar Alexander I; to [8]: refers to Op. 92; details taken from p. S. 244-245].

With the following lines to Ries, Beethoven again refers to his copying cost:  

"Beethoven an Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                                                    Vien am 3ten April 1816

Mein lieber riese, wahrscheinlich wird Herr V.[1] nun <all>das trio u. Sonate[2] erhalten haben, in den Vorigen Briefen habe ich noch 10 dukaten für die Kopiatur u. Porto verlangt,[3] wahrscheinlich werden sie mir diese 10# noch auswirken -- immer habe ich einige Sorge, daß sie für mich viel für Porto auslegen mußen, ich wünschte recht sehr, daß sie so gütig wären, mir alle meine Briefe an Sie anzurechnen, da ich sie ihnen den[n] von hier aus vom Hause Frieß an das Hauß Coutts in london will vergüten laßen. -- Sollte der Verleger V. kein Hinderniß finden, welches er aber sogleich auf der Post an mich anzuzeigen ersucht wird, so <kann> soll die Sonate +mit Violin+ hier im Monath Juni am 15ten desselben herauskommen, das Trio am 15-ten Juli, wegen dem Klawierauszug der Sinfonie[4] werde ich es noch Hr. V. zuwissen machen, wann <es>er herauskommen soll.-- . . . "

"Beethoven to Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                                                    Vienna, the 3rd of April, 1816

My dear Ries, probably, by now, Herr V.[1] will have received the Trio and Sonata[2], In my previous letters I had asked for the [reimbursement of] the copying and mailing costs,[3] probably, you will still send me these 10#--I am always somewhat worried that you have to lay out a great deal of postage for me; I wish very much that you would be so kind to bill all of your letters to me so that I can reimburse you for them from here through the house of Frieß to the house of Coutts in london.--Should the publisher V. not find any handicap which he should advise me of by post immediately, the Sonata+with Violin+ can be published here in the month of June on the 15th inst. the Trio on the 15th of July, with respect to the Piano Reduction of the Symphony[4] I will let

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 923, p. 247-248; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus,  Bodmer Collection; to [1]: reers to Birchall; to [2]: refers to Op. 97 and Op. 96; to [3]: refers to Letter No. 899 of February 10, 1816; to [4]: refers to Op. 92; details taken from p. 248].

Letter of April 3, 1816, to Ferdinand Ries
[In the Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]


The following lines by Beethoven of May 1816 to Charles Neate welcome the latter back in England:  

"Beethoven to Charles Neate in London

                                                                                                    [Vienna, May 18,  1816]

My dear Neate!

   By a lettre of Mr. Ries I am acquainted with your happy arrival at London.[1\  I am very well pleased with it, but Still better I should be pleased, if I had learned it by yourself.]  Concerning our business I know well enough, that for the performance of the greater works, as:  the Symphony, the cantata, the Chorus and the Opera[2] you want the help of the philharmonic Society, and I hope your endeavor to my advantage will be Successful.

. . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No.  937, p. 261-262; Original;  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]: refers to Letter No.  917 of March 19, 1816; to [2]:  refers to Op. 92, Op. 136, Op. 112 and Op. 72; details taken from p. 262].

Letter of May 18, 1816 to Charles Neate in London
[In the Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]


Beethoven's letter of June 11, 1816, to Ferdinand Ries refers to the Piano Reduction of Op. 92 that Birchall was to publish:


"Beethoven an Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                                                Vien am 11ten Juni 1816

. . . <der>Mit dem Klawierauszug der Sinfonie in A[4] kann sich H.[err] B. in bereitschaft sezen, indem, sobald mir der hiesige Verleger den Tag sagen wird, ich solches gleich ihnen oder B. zuwissen machen werde. -- . . . "


"Beethoven to Ferdinand Ries in London

                                                                                                                Vienna on the 11th of June, 1816

. . . With respect to the Piano Reduction of the Symphony in A[4]  H.[err] B. can get ready since, as soon as the local publisher will tell me the day, I will let you or B. know, right away. -- . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 940, p. 264-265; Original: Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [4]: refers to Op. 92; information taken from p. 265]


Letter of June 11, 1816 to Ferdinand Ries
[In the Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]

In August, 1816, Christopher Lonsdale wrote to Beethoven on behalf of Birchall and expressed his astonishment at the fact that the composer had not yet received the payment of the 10 ducats: 

"Christopher Lonsdale to Beethoven

                                                                                                            [London,] Aug. 14, 1816.


    Mr. Birchall received yours of the 22nd. of last Month[1] and was surprised to hear you have not yet received the additional L 5.0.0. to defray your Expenses of Copying &c. . . .

. . .

    Mr. Birchall wishes particularly to have the Declaration[3] return'd to him as soon as possible and likewise wishes you to favor him with the Dedications and Operas which are to be put to the Trio -- Sonata -- and the Grand Symphony in A.[4] . . . 

For R. Birchall

                                                                                                              C. Lonsdale."

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 958, p. 2180-283; Original: not known, text according to Londdale's draft, published by Friedrich Chrysander in Beethoven's Verbindung mit Birchall und Stumpff in London, in: Jahrbücher für Musikalische Wissenschaft 1 (1863), p. 432f.; to [1]: refers to Letter No. 951; to [4]: refers to Op. 97, Op. 906 and the Piano Reduction of Op. 92; details taken from p. 281].

As we can see from this letter, Birchall also asked for the receipt regarding the works that he had purchased and for the names of the dedicatees. 

In his letter of September 9 to Häring, Beethoven sent him the receipt that Birchall had requested and made a veiled reference to his disappointment with Neate:   

"Beethoven an Johann von Häring[1]

                                                                                                                   [Baden, 9. September 1816]

Euer wohlbgebohrn!

    Sie erhalten hier von mir die[2] nach London bestimmte schrift, ebenfalls von mir unterschrieben[3] --

    Zwei Fälle mit Engländer machten mich schüchtern,[4] obwohl Herrn B.[irchall] unrecht geschehen ist;[5] -- haben Sie die Gefälligkeit ihm mich zu emphelen, wegen den Titeln <des>der+verschiedenen+ <Werkse>werke[6] werde ich ihm in einigen Tägen selbst schreiben. . . . "

"Beethoven to Johann von Häring[1]

                                                                                                                   [Baden, September 9, 1816]

Your Well-born!

    Here you are receiving from me the script that is bound for London[2], also signed by me[3] --

    Two instances with Englishmen made me timid,[4] although Herrn B.[irchall] was treated wrongly;[5]--be so kind as to send him my regards, with respect to the titles of the various works[6] I shall write to him in a few days, myself. . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 973, p. 296-297; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]: refers to Häring als recipient; to [2]: refers to the original sequence of words, "die von mir"; to [3]: refers to the receipt of March 9, 1815, for Birchall; according to the GA, Peter Joseph Simrock who had visited Beethoven in Baden was the one who delivered it; see Letter No. 1001; to [5]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had made the signing of the receipt for Burchall conditional on the payment of his copying and postage costs but that he did not know that Birchall had already sent the amount off in March, 1816, see Letter No.  958 of August 14, 1816; to [6]: see Letter No.. 958; details taken from p. 297].

Letter of September 9,  1816 to Häring
[In the Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]


With his lines of October 1, 1816 to Birchall,  Beethoven finally confirmed receipt of the  10 ducats for the copying costs and also referred to his "disappointment" in Neate:  

"Beethoven an Robert Birchall in London

                                                                                                                             Vienna 1. Oct.r 1816

My Dear Sir

    I have duly received the 5 L's[1] and thought previously You would not increase the number of Englishmen neglecting their word and honor, as I had the misfortune of meeting with two of this sort.[2]  In reply to the other topics of your favor, . . . The Piano Arrangement of the Symphony in A is dedicated to the Empress of the Russia[n]s -- meaning the wife of the Emp.r Alexander -- Op.98[4]

. . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No.  982, p. 303-305; Original:  San Jose, The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, San Jose State University; to [1]: refers to the receipt of August 3, 1816; to [2]: refers to Prince Regent George of England and to  Charles Neate; to [4]: refers to the Piano Reduction of Op. 92 that was published by Birchall at the beginning of January 1817, and to its having been listed at v Stationers Hall on January 7, 1817, with this opus number; details taken from p. 304].

On October 7, 1816, Beethoven drafted to following letter to  Sir George Smart in London, in which he discussed his concerns with respect to Charles Neate:

"Beethoven to George Smart in London

                                                                                                                 [Vienna, around the 7th of Oktober 1816][1]

Dear Sir George,

   . . . Mr. Neate had in his possession other more essential works, he chose those three and it is very unfortunate that on account of them according to his judgment my musical name is all at once sunk to nothing.  He paid twenty-five guineas for each of these overtures as his property according to a formal writing I gave him,[10] but for all the other manuscript works which I gave him, he returned nothing at all, not even a complimentary letter of acknowledgement or thanks.  These works are:[11]

    Score of a Symphony in A.  First movement in A, second in A minor, third in F, fourth in F.

    Score of a great Cantata, consisting of a Chorus in A No. 1, No. 2, Rec. in B with Chorus in F. No. 3, Rec. in B and air with chorus.

    No. 5 Rec. in A and Quartett in A, NO. 6. Chorus in C.

    Score of a Grand Opera:  Fidelio.

    Do. of a great Chorus in D.  Words of Göthe:  Tiefe Stille.

    Do. of a Quartett in F minor for 2 Viol., ten. and Bass.

    Do. of a Sonata in C Piano and Violoncello. 

. . . All the above compositions were delivered to Mr. Neate in confidence and with the power to dispose of them for my sole benefit in London.  I still am the right owner of them.  The 5 guineas, which he has paid for copying them, and for which I thought he would think himself sufficiently repaid by performing them at his leisure, may be restituted to him on delivering the works to you.

     I therefore take the liberty to empower you herewith to receive of Mr. Neate the above cited 7 works and I hope to his honour he will have no objection of delivering them into your hands.  My view is that you should first select some of them, and arrange a concert for my benefit.  After that you are welcome to give one or two nights for yourself -- I hope it will be with success.  Finally you'll please to offer these works of which some at least will easily enough find purchasers, for sale, I leave it entirely to the high sense of honour and love for the art, which Mr. Häring repeatedly assured me none possessed more than yourself.  At least I am thoroughly persuaded that the two Englishmen, who have treated me very ill -- very meanly -- are very rare exceptions of the general character of your great nation.  These two are the prince Regent[12] and Mr. Neate -- enough of them! . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 983, p. 305 - 307; Original:  not known, text pursuant to H. Bertram Cox und C.L.E. Cox, Leaves from the Journals of Sir George Smart, London 1907, p. 52ff.; to [1]: refers to the fact that Smart received the letter on October 25, 1816; to [10]: refers to the receipt of February 5, 1816, in which the Philharmonic Society in London is named as owner; to [11]: refers to Op. 92, Op. 136, Op. 72, Op. 112, Op. 95 and Op. 102; details taken from p.  307].

At the end of October, 1816, Neate finally found time to write to Beethoven and to explain his reasons for his silence: 

"Charles Neate an Beethoven

                                                                                                                  London, Oct. 29th 1816

My dear Beethoven

    Nothing has ever given me more pain than your letter to Sir George Smart.[1] I confess that I deserve your censure, that I am greatly in default, but must say also, that I think you have judged too hastily, and harshly, of my conduct.  The letter I wrote you,[2] some time since, was written at a moment when, I was in such a state of mind and spirits, that I am sure had you seen me, or known my sufferings, you would have excused every unsatisfactory passage in it.  Thank God!  it is now all over!  I have attained the object I was then in search of; I am married to that same girl[3] of whom you speak and who I assure you is quite worthy of the sufferings I have experienced.  I was only married on the second of this month and was just on the point of writing to you, to inform you of the event, when Sir George called with your letter.  I do not know how to begin an answer to it, I have never been called upon in my life to justify myself, because it is the first time that I ever stood accused of dishonor, and what makes it the more painful is, "that I should stand accused by the man who of all in the world, I most admire and esteem, and one also, whom I have never ceased to think of, and with for his welfare, since I made his acqu[a]intance"[.]  But as the appearance of my conduct has been so unfavorable in your eyes, I must tell you again, of the situation I was in, previous to my marriage.  The family of my Wife objected to me only only on account of my profession.  I had all my future happiness at statue so I therefore did (for a time) not appear professionally until the question was quite decided, whether or not, it might be over-ruled.  It now is so, and I remain in my profession and with no abatement of my love of Beethoven!  during this period I could not myself do anything publicly, nor would I trust any other, to do that for you, which I was so anxious to do myself, and consequently, all your music, remained in my drawer, unseen and unheard.  I however did make a very considerable attempt with the Philharmonic to acquire for you, what I thought you fully entitled to.  I offer'd all your Music to them, upon condition that they made you a very handsome present, this, they said they cou'd not afford, but propdsed to see and hear, your music, and then offer a price for it;[4]  I objected, and replied, "that I should be asham'd that your music should be put up, by auction, and bid for! -- that your name, and reputation were too dear to me,["} and I quitted the meeting with a determination to give a Concert, and take all the trouble myself -- rather than that your feelings should be wounded by the chance of their disapproving of your works.  I was the more apprehensive of your disapproval, from the unfortunate circumstance of your overtures[5], not being well received -- they said they had no more to hope for, from your other works -- I was not a director last season but I am for the next, and then I shall have a voice which I shall take care to exert!  I have offered your Sonatas[6] to a printer, but they say they are too difficult and would not be saleable, and consequently make offers, such as I cannot accept, but when I shall have played them to a few professors, their reputation will naturally, be increased by their merits, and I hope to have better offers.  The Symp[h]ony you read of in the Mo'rg Cronicle, I believe to be, the one in C minor it certainly was not, the one in A -- for it has not been played at a Concert,[7]  I am exceedingly glad, that you have chosen Sir George Smart, to make your complaints of me to, as he is a man of strict honor, and very much your friend, had it been anybody else, your complaint might have been listened to, and I injured all the rest of my life.  But I trust I am too respectable, to be thought unfavourably of, by those who know me.  I am however, quite willing to give up every sheet I have of yours, if you again desire it.   Sir George will write by the next post, and will confirm this.  I am sorry you say, that I did not even acknowledge my obligation to you, because I talked of nothing else in Vienna, as every one there who knew me, can testify.  I even offer'd my purse, which you generously, always declined:  I must indeed be a a Scoundrel, if I am capable of what you suspect me!

Pray my dear friend believe me to remain ever yours most sincerely

                                                                                                                                                           C Neate"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 987, p. 310-312; Original: not known, text pursuant a copy in Neate's own handwriting, Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; too [1]:  refers to Letter No. 983; to [2]: not preserved; to [3]: refers to Catherine Mary Cazenove; to [4]: refers to the General Meeting of the Philharmonic Society of March 14, 1816; to [5]: refers to Op. 115 and the Overtures to Op. 113 and Op. 117; to [6]: refers to  Op. 102; to [7]: refers to Letter No. 936 of May 15, 1816 and to Letter No.  983 of the beginning of October and to the fact that Beethoven was of the opinion that Neate had Op. 92 performed; details taken from p. 312].  

With respect to this, the Henle Gesamtausgabe also provides us information as to George Smart's letter in defense of Neat, dated October 31, 1816, that he had written to Beethoven: 

"George Smart an Beethoven

                                                                                                                              [London, 31. Oktober 1816]

[Laut GA verteidigt Smart Charles Neate, der durch seine Lebensumstände nach seiner Rückkehr nach London verhindert gewesen sei, sich für Beethovens Belange einzusetzen. . . . ]

"George Smart to Beethoven

                                                                                                                              [London, 31st of October 1816]

[According to the GA, Smart defended Charles Neate who, on account of his life circumstances, had been prevented to look after Beethoven's matters.  . . . ]

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 988, o. 312; Original not known, existence of letter derived from Letter No. 1017 of December 18.1816, which represents a reply; Information taken from p. 312].

More of the same on 'erroneous' publishers?  Beethoven's displeasure in light of the faulty prints of his works is already known to us.  Therefore, we should not be surprised by his letter to Steiner:  

"Beethoven an Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                     [Wien, Anfang November 1816][1]

    Die Geschichte mit dieser Sinfonie ist mir sehr verdrießlich, da haben wir nun das Unheil! -- weder die gestochnen Stimmen noch die Partitur sind Fehlerfrey,[2] in die schon fertigen Exemplare müßen die Feler mit Tusch verbeßert werden,[3] wozu Schlemmer[4] zu brauchen, übrigens ist ein Verzeichniß aller Fehler ohne Ausnahme zu drucken, u. zu verschicken,[5] der roheste Kopist häte gerade die Partitur so geschrieben, wie sie jezt gestochen, ein d.g. Fehlervolles mangelhaftes werk ist noch nicht von mir auf diese weise im stich erschienen -- das sind die Folgen von dem nicht korrigiren wollen, u. von dem mir es nicht vorher zur übersicht gegeben zu haben -- + oder mich dran zu mahnen. + dieselben Exemplare, welche ich jezt hier überschicke,[6] sind mir nur mit den darnach verbesserten baldmöglichst zuzustellen, damit ich ihre Richtigkeit oder Unrichtigkeit einsehe -- so bestraft sich der Eigensinn selbst u. unschuldige müßen mit darunter leiden -- ich mag nichts mehr für mich von dieser geradbrechten verstümmelten sinfonie wißen. -- Pfui teufel -- --:-- --:-- ! so ist euch also wirklich der Grundsaz zuzuschreiben, daß ihr das publikum achtungsloß behandelt, u. dem Autor gewissenloß seinen Ruhm schmälert!!! volti subito[7] da ich krank war u. noch bin,[8] u. das Verlangen des Publikums nach diesem werk etc das sind Entschuldigungen, die ihr anführen könnt; bey verkündigen des verzeichnisses der Fehler; --

behüt euch Gott

hol euch der Teufel. -- "

"Beethoven to Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                     [Vienna, at the beginning of November 1816][1]

    The story with this Symphony is very disagreeable to me, there we have the predicament!--neither the etched parts nor the score are error free,[2] in the already completed copies, the errors have to be corrected in ink,[3] for which Schlemmer[4] is to be used; by the way, a list of all errors, without exception, is to be printed and to be distributed,[5] the roughest copyist would just have written the score as it has been etched now, such a work of min, full of errors has never been published in this--those are the consequences of not wanting to apply corrections and of not having given it to me for review--+or of not reminding me of it.+the same copies, that I am sending you here,[6] are to be sent to me with the corrected material as soon as possible so that I can check its correctness or incorrectness--thus obstinacy is punishing itself, and innocent ones have to suffer from it--for my part, I do not wish to know more of this stammered, mutilated symphony.--Fie, devil -- --:-- --:-- ! thus one has to ascribe to you the principle that you treat the public carelessly and that you, without conscience, diminish the reputation of the authort!!! volti subito[7] since I was ill and still am[8] and the request by the public for the work etc. those are excuses that you can list with the publication of the errors: -- 

may God keep you

may the devil take you. -- "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 991, p. 315-315; Source:  Berlin,, Staatsbibliothek; to [1]: refers to the original edition of the Symphony Op. 92 that was published at the beginning of November, 1816; to [2]: refers to the fact that the copies of the original edition of Op. 92 [the parts and the score] showed many etching errors, indeed, and that a part of them was corrected in the plates, later; to [3]: according to the GA, this refers to the fact that it can not be determined whether Steiner followed up on this request; to [4]:  refers to the fact that the copyist Schlemmer had already taken part in the copying of the parts for the premiere; to [5]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had also asked for such a list of errors in his Letters No. 992 and No. 993; to [6]: refers to the fact that Beethoven's correction copies have not been preserved; to [7]: refers to the change in pages; to [8]: refers to the fact that, since about mid-October, 1816, Beethoven had been suffering from a lengthy Entzündungskartarrh" [cold and infection]; details taken from p. 316].

Also Beethoven's following request to Steiner should be "familiar" to us in some way from other instances:  

"Beethoven an Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                        [Wien, Anfang November 1816][1]

    Ich bitte vor allem, da&slzlig; das Verzeichniß der Fehler gemacht werde, so wohl der einzelnen Stimmen als der Paritutr, <man> ich werde es alsdenn mit den einzelnen Stimmen u. der Partitur vergleichen, dieses muß alsdenn eiligst in alle Weltgegenden gesendet werden, Es is traurig, daß es so seyn muß, allein es ist nun nicht anders, auch sind d.g. Fälle in der littearischen Welt schon oft da gewesen. -- nur weiter keinen Eigen u. Starrsinn, sonst wird das übel immer ärger -- . . . "

"Beethoven to Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                        [Vienna, at the beginning of November 1816][1]

    Above all, I ask that the list of errors be prepared, both of the parts and of the score; I will then compare it with the parts and the score and it will then have to be sent out into all directions, at once.  It is sad that it has to be so, alone it cannot be otherwise, moreover, such instances have already occurred in the literary world, often.--Only, further no obstinacy, otherwise, the evil will become worse and worse-- . . . "

{Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 992, p. 316-317; Original:  Berlin, Staatsbibliothek; to [1]: refes to the fact that this letter is related to the correction work that had to be done on the original edition of Op. 92, after its publication in November, 1816; information taken from p. 316]. 

Had Steiner really employed better etchers before?  At least, Beethoven thought so: 

"Beethoven an Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                      [Wien, Anfang November 1816][1]

   die Stecher sind sehr unmusikalisch, aus allem sieht man, daß ihr früher beßere gehabt. -- das Verzeichniß der Fehler[2] muß nun nachdem auf schlechtem Paper Gedruckten Exempl. gemacht werden das heute korrigirte Exemplar bitte ich mir mit dem darnach verbesserten (welches ich hoffe, daß die lezte Korrektur ist[)], zurückzusenden. -- die korrigirten einzelnen Stimmen habe ich noch nicht empfangen, wünsche sie ebenfalls auf's baldigste zu sehn -- der Adjutant ist gebeten auf alles angezeigte zu merken, damit es gehörig aus geführt werde.  Volti subito[3] mehr presto prestissimo damit das verzeichniß der peccata fortgeschikt werde -- Wegen den Zeichen im Andante[4] < > besonders nachzusehen -- wegen dem Mißverstand der vorschläge Nb: [Notenbeispiel] nicht statt diesen einen Bogen [aufwärtsgerichteter Bogen] oder [abwärts gerichteter Bogen].[5]

    Ei der Teufel hol euch -- die künftige Korrectur ist auf beßerem Ausdruckvollerem Papier zu machen, damit man beßer unterscheiden könne -- hol euch der Teufel? behüt euch Gott"

"Beethoven to Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                                      [Vienna, at the beginning of November 1816][1]

   the etchers are very unmusical, from all that one can see that you had better ones, previously.--the list of errors[2] now has to be prepared according to the copies that have been printed on the bad paper.  The copy that has been corrected, today, I request back with the revision of it (which I hope that will be the last correction]. -- the corrected, single parts, I have not received, yet, I wish to see them the soonest, as well--the Adjutant [aide] is being asked to note everything that has been marked on it, so that it will be carried out appropriately.   Volti subito [very soon][3] rather presto prestissimo [the fastest] so that the list of peccata [errors] will be sent off--With respect to the signs in the   Andante[4] < > to be looked up, particularly--with respect to the misunderstanding of the suggestions Nb: [Note sample] not instead of an arc [ascending arc] or [descending arc].[5]

    Fie, may the devil take you--the future correction has to be printed on the better, more expressive paper, so that one can differentiate better--the devil take you? God may keep you" 

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 993, p. 317-318; Original:  Wien, Stadt- und Landesbibliothek; to [1]: refers to the fact that the letter is related to the corrections of Op. 92; to [2]: refers to Beethoven's request of a printed list of errors that was supposed to be sent after the erroneous copies of the first edition of Op. 92; to [3]: refers to a change in pages; to [4]: refers to the fact that the second movement of Op. 92, in the autograph and in the original edition, shows the tempo designation Allegretto, that, however, in contemporary criticism and by Beethoven, himself, often, reference was made to Andante; to [5]: refers to the fact that, according to the GA, it is not clear what Beethoven refers to here; details taken from p. 317 - 318]

On November 8, 1816, Lonsdale wrote to Beethoven on behalf of Birchall.  In it, finally, the matter of the payment of Beethoven's disbursements was laid to rest, the publication of the Piano Reduction of Op. 92 within a week was announced and the apparently still outstanding receipt was requested, once more:  

"Christopher Lonsdale to Beethoven


                                                                                                              [London,] Nov 8 [1816][1]


    In Answer to your's of the October[2] I am desired by M.r Birchall to inform you, he is glad to find you are now satisfied respecting his promise of paying you the L 5 --.--. in Addition to what you before received according to Agreement[3] -- but he did not think you would have <lost a day> delayed sending the receipted signed <by you> after the receipt of the <L>130 -- Ducats merely because you had not received the L 5 -- -- which latter sum was not <agreed to be> included in the receipt[4] -- <altho in your last letter you acknowledge the rest of L 5 no mention is made of the Receipt you promised to return as soon as you had rec.d the ole.> Till it arrives M.r Birchall cannot at any rate enter into any fresh arrangement, as his first care will be to secure those Pieces he has already paid you for, & see how they answer his purpose as a Music Seller, & without the rec.t he cannot prevent any other Music Seller from publishing them . . . 

    The Sum.y in A will be quite ready for Publication in a Week; M.r Ries <has it now looking over> -- (who has kindly undertaken the inspection of your Works) has it now looking over -- but it will not come out till de day comes you may appoint.[7] 

. . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 996, p. 319-321; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; to [1]: refers to the fact that the year of the letter can be derived from its contextual connection to Letter No. 982 of October 1, 18186; to [2]: refers to Letter No.  982; to [3]: refers to the fee of 130 ducats for the Piano Reductions to Op. 91 and Op. 92 as well as for Op. 96 and Op. 97; to [4]: refers to the receipt of March 9, 1816; to [7]: refers to the fact that Beethoven gave the go-ahead for the publication of the Piano Reduction only on December 14, 1816, although the parallel Viennese edition by S. A. Steiner had already been published in November, 1816; details taken from p. 320].

Beethoven's following lines to his helper Häring would indicate that the receipt for Op. 91 and Op. 92 would finally be on its way to England, soon: 

"Beethoven an Johann von Häring[1]

                                                                                                                       [Wien, Ende November 1816][2]

Euer Wohlgebohrn!

    Ich gab  vor einiger Zeit Hr. Simrock aus Bonn[3] die von mir unterschriebene schrift des Hr. Birchall in London,4] Hr. S.[imrock] betheuerte mir, daß er ihnen selbe einhändigen würde, u. ich ließ sie bitten diese schrifte den Hr. Frieß u. Kompagnie gefälligst zur übermachung nach London an Hr. B.[irchall] zu übergeben;[5] -- 

    ich erhalte aber nun vor einigen Tägen einen Brief von Hr. B.,[6] woraus zu ersehn, daß er diese schrift noch nicht erhalten, im Falle sie se[l]be also bey Frieß noch nicht agegeben haben, <oder>so bitte ich sie mir selbe zurückzuschicken, sollten sie aber selbe auf eine andere Art nach London gesendet haben, so bitte ich sie mir es zuwissen zu machen. --

<ihr>Euer Wohlgebohrnn <ihr> ergebenster diener

                                                                                                                                             l.v. Beethowen"

"Beethoven to Johann von Häring[1]

                                                                                                                       [Vienna, at the end of November 1816][2]

Your Well-born!

    Some time ago, I gave to Hr. Simrock of Bonn[3] the receipt by Mr. Birchall from London that I had signed[4].  Hr. S.[imrock] assured me that he would hand the same over and I had asked you to give this paper to Hr. Frieß & Company for dispatch to London to Hr. B.[irchall];[5] -- 

    however, a few days ago, I received a letter from Hr. B.,[6] from which can be seen that the latter has not received this paper, yet; in the event that you have not given the same to Frieß I ask you to return the same to me; however, should you have sent the same to London in another manner, I ask you to please let me know.-- 

Your Well-born's most devoted servant

                                                                                                                                             l.v. Beethowen"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 1001, p. 324; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]: refers to Häring as recipient; to [2]: refers to the fact that this letter represents a reaction to Lonsdale's letter of November 8, 186t; to [3]: refers to Peter Joseph Simrock's visits of Beethoven in September 1816 in Baden and Vienna and to his return to Bonn in the same month; to  [4]: refers to the receipt for the Piano Reductions to Op. 91 and Op. 92 as well as for Op. 96 and Op. 97, dated March 9, 1816; to [5]: refers to Letter No. 973 of September 9, 1816; to [6]: refers to Letter No. 996 of November 8, 1816; details taken from p. 324].  

Letter of the end of November 1816 to Häring
[In the Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]

After the correction of the faulty original edition of Op. 92, Beethoven also wanted to provide Count Fries, the dedicateee of the Symphony, with proper copies and therefore turned to Haslinger:  

"Beethoven an Tobias Haslinger

                                                                                    [Wien, Ende November/Anfang Dezember 1816][1]

    Ich bitte noch heute mir ein Exemplar von der Partitur der sinfonie in A jedoch schön zu senden, indem ich dem gr. Frieß, wie gebraüchlich 2 Senden muß, wenn es möglich nicht später als 3 uhr.

An den Adjutanten (noch auch im Poenfall[2])"

"Beethoven to Tobias Haslinger

                                                                                    [Vienna, end of November, beginning of December 1816][1]

    I ask me to send me a copy of the score of the Symphony in A, today, since, as usual, I have to send 2 to Count Fries, if possible, no later than 3 o'clock.  

To the Adjutant (still also in the case of guiltl[2])"

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 1010, p. 332-333; Original:  Wien, Stadt- und Landesbibliothek; to[1]: refers to the fact that the Symphony Op. 92 was dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries and that the Beethoven very likely hade handed over the copies for the dedicatee to the latter soon after the publication of the original edition, but only after the correction of the errors, thus about at the end of November or the beginning of December; to [2]: according to the GA this is a reference to the faulty original edition that Haslinger had overseen; details taken from p.  332-333.

Beethoven also asked Steiner for a further copy of the score:

"Beethoven an Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                    [Wien, nach November 1816][1]

Es wird in Eil ein partitur Exemplar der sinfonie in A ersucht. -- 

                                                                                                   der g----s!..!!"

[Quelle: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Band 3, Brief Nr. 1011, S. 333; Original: Autograph, London, Dr. Alan Tyson; zu [1]: verweist darauf, dass das Billett nach Erscheinen der Symphonie Op. 92 (November 1816) geschrieben wurde; Angabe S. 333 entnommen]. 

On  December 14, 1816, Beethoven confirmed to Birchall in London, giving him his "word of honor", that he had forwarded the receipt to Fries & Co.:

"Beethoven to Robert Birchall in London

                                                                                                        Vienna 14. Dec. 1816 - 1055 Sailerstette

Dear Sir

   I give you my word of honor that I have signed and delivered the receipt to the house Fries & C.o some day last August,[1] who as they say have transmitted it to Coutts & C.o where yo'll have the goodness to apply.  Some error might have taken place that instread of C. sending it to you, they have been directed, to keep it till fetched.  Excuse this irregularity but it is not my fault, nor had I ever the idea of withholding it from the circumstance of the 5 L not being incuded.[2]  Should the receipt not come forth at C. I am ready to sign any other, and you shall have it directly with return of post. -- . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 1013, p. 334-335; Original:  Den Haag, Gemeentmuseum; to [1]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had forwarded the receipt on September 9, 1816 (Letter NO. 973) to Häring for dispatch; to [2]: with respect to this, the GA refers to Letter No. 951 of July 22, 1816 to Birchall; details taken from p. 334].

Also Charles Neate would finally receive a conciliatory letter from Beethoven (and Häring) to his letter of October 29, 1816: 

"Beethoven and Johann von Häring to Charles Neate in London

                                                                                                            Vienna 18. Dec. 1816

My dear Sir

    Both letters to M.r Beethoven and to me arrived.[1]  I shall first answer his as he has made out some memorandums and would have written himself, if he was not prevented by a rheumatic feverish cold.  -- He says:  What can I answer to your warmfelt excuses?  Past ills must be forgotten and I wish you heartily that you have safely reached the longwished for port of love.[2]  Not having heard of you I could not delay any longer the publication of the Symphony in A which appeared here some few weeks ago[3] -- It certainly may last some weeks longer before a Copy of this publication appears in london, but unless it is soon performed at the philharm. and something is done afterwards for me by way of a benefit, I don't see in what manner I may reap some good.[4]  The loss of your interest last season with the philh. when all my works in your hands were unpublished, has done me great harm -- but it could not be helped -- and at this moment I know not what to say.  Your intentions are good, and it is to be hoped that my little fame may yet help.  -- . . . -- Try what can be done with M.r B. or as you think best.  I was very sorry to hear that the 3 overtures were not liked in London.[11]  I by no means reckon them among my best works (which however I may boldly say of the Symphony in A) but still they were not disliked here and in Pest, where people are not easily satisfied.  Was there no fault in the execution?  Was there no party spirit? --

    And now I shall close with the best wishes for your welfare, and that you enjoy all possible felicity in your new situation of life. --

Your true friend

                                                                                                                                 Louis van Beethoven. . . .  "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 1016, p. 337-341; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus,  Bodmer Collection; to [1]: refers to Letter No. 987 of October  29,.1816 to Beethoven; to [2]: refers to the fact that on October 2, 1816, Neate had married Catherine Mary Cazenove; to [3]: refers to Op. 92, namely to the score to the parts and various arrangements that were published by Steiner in November 1816; to [4]: refers to the fact that, with the publication of the Symphony, the exclusivity of a staging of it by Neate in London was lost and that also the score of the work could no longer be sold to an English publisher; to [11]: refers to Letter No.  987 of October 29, 1816; details taken from p. 340-341].

Letter of December 18, 1816 to Charles Neate in London
[In the Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]


Beethoven also thanked George Smart for his mediation: 

"Beethoven to George Smart in London

                                                                                                           Vienna 18. Dec.r 1816. 1055 Sailerstette 3. Stock

My dear Sir

    You honor me with so many encomiums and compliments that I ought to blush, tho' I confess they are highly flattering to me, and I thank most heartily for the part you take in my affairs. They have rather gone a little back through the stange situation in which our lost -- but happily recovered -- friend, M.r Neate, found himself entangled.  Your kind letter of 31. Oct.r[1] explained a great deal and to some satisfaction and I take the liberty to enclose an answer to M.r Neate,[2] of whom I also received a letter,[3] with my entreaties to assist him in all his undertakings in my behalf. 

   . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No.  1017, p. 341-342; Original: Cambridge, Fitzwilliams Museum; to [1]: refers to Letter NO. 988 which has not been preserved; to [2]: refers to Letter No. 1016; to [3]: refers to Letter NO. 987 of October 29, 1816; details taken from p. 342].

With these lines to Haslinger, Beethoven also asked for confirmation of receipt of the letters to be sent to Neate and Smart  in England:

"Beethoven an Tobias Haslinger

                                                                                                        [Wien, 29. Dezember 1816][1]

Seine wohlgebohrn der Hr. Adjutant werden ersucht erstens mir die 2 rcepisse über die neulich abgesendeten Briefe[2] noch heute durch eine Ordonnanz zu zusenden, sollten aber die Briefe nicht abgegeben worden seyn, so bittet man selbe mir sogleich zurück zu schicken. --

. . . ferners ist an dr. Reger[3] mit beyfolgender Adresse[4] der Klawierauszug von der sinfonie in A ... zu übermachen . . . alsdennn ist an Hr. v. Ploschek[6] ebenfalls mit heutigem Postwagen zu senden die Partitur der Sinfonie in A, . . . "

"Beethoven to Tobias Haslinger

                                                                                                        [Vienna, 29th of December 1816][1]

His well-born Hr. Adjutant is asked to first to still send to me today the two receipts for the recently sent-off letters through an ordnance[2]; however, in the event that the letters have not been handed over, one is asking to return them back to me, immediately.  

. . . further, to Dr. Reger[3] with the following address[4] the Piano Reduction of the Symphony in A ... is to be sent . . . then to Hr. v. Ploschek[6] also by post coach is to be sent the score of the Symphony in A, . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe Vol. 3, Letter No. 1020, p. 345-346; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter was written one day after Letter No. 1019; to [2]: possibly refers to the two letter to Charles Neate and George Smart of December 18, 1816; to [3]: refers tof Dr. Josef Reger, lawyer, in Prag; to [4]: refers to the fact that the address has not been preserved with the letter; details taken from p.  345-346].

Letter of December 29, 1816 to Haslinger
[In the Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn

In his Letter of March 20, 1817, to Steiner, Beethoven also asked for a copy of the score of Op. 92 for a benefit concert of the Witwengesellschaft: [for the benefit of widows]

"Beethoven an Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                       [Wien, kurz nach dem 20. März 1817][1]

G ---- l ----- l ---- t Amt!

    Es fehlen alle Berichte während ich von den beständigen Verräthereyen u. Komplotten höre, auch Wohl selbst wahrnehme, die dies u. d.g. sowie mehrere andere Umstände könnten eine gänzliche Auflösung des g----l----l---t Amts herbeyführen?!! -- für jezt, da die wittwenGesellschaft die Sinfonie in A aufführt, braucht sie ein Exemplar der Partitur derselben, welche sie nach dem Gebrauch zurükstellen will, selbiges Exemplar hat das g----l l----t A---t dem Hof -- allerhöchstens Hofkapellmeister Salieri[2] Patriarchen seiner guten Gesinnungen für deutsche Gesang-Musick. u. deutsche sänger allerUnterthänigst zuzustellen, auch ihm zugleich für die glückliche phisiokratische Erfindung für die Stimme Gottes die gehörige Höhe u. Stimme gefunden zu haben[3] mit größter Ehrfurcht zu danken. --

                                                                                                                         dero Contra ut

an das g ---- l l ---- t Amt."

"Beethoven to Sigmund Anton Steiner

                                                                                                       [Vienna, shortly after the 20th of. March, 1817][1]

G ---- l ----- l ---- t Office!

    All reports are missing while I hear of the constant betrayals and intrigues and also am aware of them; this as well as several other cistumstances would lead to the complete dissolution of the g----l----l---t Office?!! -- for now, since the Witwengesellschaft is going to perform the Symphony in A, it needs a copy of the score of the same, which it wants to return after use, this copy is to be forwarded most reverently by the  g----l l----t O---e to the Court--to the highest Hofkapellmeister Salieri[2] patriarch of his good intentions for German Vocal Music and German singers, and he is also to be thanked, at the same time, for his fortunate physiocratic invention to have found for the voice of God the appropriate register[3] , with the greatest reverence. --

                                                                                                                         your Contra ut

to the g ---- l l ---- t Office."

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 4, Letter No. 1097, p. 39-40; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter was written shortly after March 20 and before March 31, 1817; to [2]:  refers to the fact that Salieri was Pice President of the Tonsozietät ; to [3]: refers to Salieri's report that, four days before Gluck's death, he had told him that for some time he had not been sure whether, in his Cantata, "die von dem Dichter Gott selbst in den Mund gelegten Worte im Tenor oder Basse schreiben solle" [he should write the words of God for tenor or bass] and that he, finally, had decided on the register, "weil diese Stimme von oben herab gehört werden müsse, folglich durchdringender, und für den gegenwärtigen Zweck von einer richtigeren Wirkung seyn würde" [since the voice should be heard from above and thus should be more urgent and of a more correct effect for the present purpose]; details taken from p. 40].

Letter of March 20, 1817 to Steiner
[In the Digital Archives of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]

The last letter contained in GA with respect to Op. 92 refers to Beethoven's request of Haslinger for a copy of the Piano Reduction of the same; 

"Beethoven an Tobias Haslinger

                                                                                                                  [Wien, vielleicht Februar 1823]

Bester A----t!

   . . .

   zu lezt ist noch beyzufügen der Klawierauszug der Sinfonie in A der Klawierauszug der Sinfonie in F.[4] -- . . . "

"Beethoven to Tobias Haslinger

                                                                                                                  [Vienna, probably February 1823]

Best A----t!

   . . .

   finally there is to be added the Piano Reduction of the Symphony in A [and] the Piano Reduction of the Symphony in F.[4] -- . . . "

[Source:  Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 5, Letter No. 1593, p. 72-73; Original:  Bonn, Beethoven Haus, Bodmer Collection; to [4]: refers to Op. 92 and Op. 93; information taken from p. 72 -73].

Letter, probably of February 1823, to Haslinger
[In the Digital Archives fo the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn]

After our look at the relevant correspondence regarding the publication of the Seventh Symphony, we might wish to take a look at comments to this matter in Thayer-Forbes and in other biographical works, particularly with respect to the publication in England: 

With respect to the eventual publication of the Piano Reduction of the Symphony, Cooper offers the following overview: 

"Unlike Napoleon's army, however, Beethoven's music had succeeded in crossing the English Channel, and was already becoming popular in London when in 1814 he sent a score of Wellingtons Sieg to the Prince Regent (later George IV), to whom the work was dedicated.  He was angered and disappointed that the prince sent no reward or acknowledgement in return, but the prince did pass the score on to Sir George Smart, who conducted the work in London on 10 February 1815, where it was an enormous success.  When Beethoven heard the news he contacted Smart asking him to find an English publisher for his latest compositions.  The works on the list sent to Smart included all those bought by Steiner except the vocal ones.  Eventually one publisher, Robert Birchall, agreed to take four of the works--the Violin Sonata, the 'Archduke' Trio, and the piano arrangements of Wellingtons Sieg and the Seventh Symphony--for a total of L65." [Cooper: 237-238].

With respect to the Seventh Symphony and Beethoven's attempts at marketing it in England, Lewis Lockwood writes: 

"Beethoven mentioned the Seventh Symphony in a letter of 1815 to Johann Peter Salomon in London, in which he asked for help in finding a British publisher.  He told Salomon that he was ready to offer, among other works, "a grand symphony in A major (one of my most excellent works)." . . .  " [Lockwood: 231-232].

In the chapter to the year 1816, Thayer-Forbes notes that: 

"The letters to Smart, Salomon and Ries were not in vain; through their efforts, especially Salomon's, Mr. Robert Birchall, Music Publisher of No. 133 New Bond St., was induced to purchase four of the works enumerated by Häring, viz, the pianoforte arrangements of the "Wellington's Victory" P. 91, and Symphony in A, Op. 92; the Trio in B-flat, Op. 97, and the Sonata for Pianoforte and Violin, Op. 96, for "the sum of one hundred and thirty gold Dutch ducats--value in English currency, sixty-five pound."  The correspondence between the composer and the publisher begins with a letter from Beethoven, dated October 28th, in which he informed Birchall that the Battle Symphony in pianoforte arrangement had been sent ahead of the other three works.  He urged him to print it speedily for reasons which "Hr. Salomon will have the goodness to explain." [Thayer: 623].

In the chapter to the year 1816 Thayer-Forbes also refers to the works that Beethoven had given to Charles Neate:

" . . . The works entrusted to him, as remembered by Mr. Neate forty-five years afterward, were:  1) a copy of the Violin Concerto, Op. 61, with a transcription of the solo for Pianoforte on the same paper, which Beethoven said he himself had arranged and was effective; 2) the two Sonatas for Pianoforte and Violoncello, Op. 102, with a dedication to Neate; 3) the Seventh Symphony in score; 4) Fidelio in score; and 5) the String Quartet in F minor, Op. 95--all in manuscript . . . " [TF: 636].

With respect to this, we might also recall Beethoven's  letter to Neate [Letter No. 889 of the end of January or the beginning of February, 1816, see above], in which he also asked Neate not to talk about the works that he had given him and that he would tell him the reason for that in person.

TF then refers to Beethoven's letter of January 20, 1816 to Ries [Henle-Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No.  879, p. 208-209, see above]:

"On January 20, Beethoven wrote the following letter to Ries in London:

                                                                                                                                         Vienna, January 20, 1816

My dear Ries I see from your letter of January 18 that you have safely received both works--As no couriers are going, the post is probably the safest, but it costs a great deal.  I will send you the bill for what I have paid here for copying and postage soon.  It is very little for an Englishman far much fore for a poor Austrian musicus!  See that Mr. B[irchall] recompensates me for this, since for England he has the compositions very cheaply--Neate, who has been about to go every moment, but always remains, will bring the overtures with him.  Over and over again I have explained to him the injunctions touching them given by you and our deceased S[alomon]--

    The symphony will be dedicated to the Empress of Russia--  The pianoforte arrangements of the Symphony in A must not be published before the month of June, however, since the local publisher cannot do so before this--  Tell this at once to Hr. B., my good R.--

    The Sonata with violin, which will go from here by the next post, may also be published in London in the month of May--- but the Trio later.  [It will also arrive by the next post).  I will fix the date myself later.--

    And now my heartiest thanks, dear R, for all the kindness you have shown me and particularly for the corrections.--  Heaven bless you and make your progress ever greater in which I take the heartiest interest.--   Commend me to your wife.

                                                                                                                                          As always, your sincere friend,

                                                                                                                                                         Ludwig van Beethoven" [TF 637].

TF the finds it necessary to mention "certain facts" in order to sow reasons why Neate did not sell any of the works that he had been given and also in order to quote from further letters:  

"It is necessary here to state certain facts, both to explain the failure of M>r Neate to sell any of these works to the London publishers, and to render some of the letters to come intelligible" [TF: 637]:

   "The Philharmonic Society was an association of the first musisians of London and its vicinity, and no city on earth could at that time present such an array of great names.  Here are a few of them taken alphabefically from its roll:  Atwwood, Ayton, Bridgetower, Clementi, Cramer, Carnaby, Dragonetti, Horsley, Lindley, Mazzinghi, Mori, Noldi, Novello, Ries, Shield, Smart, Spagnoletti, Viotti, Watts, S. Webbe, Naniewicz.  Imagine the disappointment of these men, fresh from the performance of the C minor Symphony, when they played through the overtures to Die Ruinen von Athen and Koenig Stephan, which, however interesting to a Hungarian audience as introductions to a patriotic prologue and epilogue in the theatre, possess none of those great qualities expected from Beethoven and demanded in a concert overture!  Nor was the "Namensfeier" thought worthy of its author.  Ries speaks thus of the matter:  "After I had with much trouble persuaded the Philharmonic Society to permit me to order three overtures from him, which should remain its property, he sent me three, not one of which, in view of Beethoven's great name and the character of these concerts, could be performed, because expectation was tense and more than the ordinary was asked of Beethoven.  A few years later he published all three and the Society did not think it worth while to complain.  Amongst them was the overture to Die Ruinen von Athen, which I consider unworthy of him."  But when it became known that none of the three--Op. 115 possibly excepted--was new, and that not one of them had been composed to meet the Society's order, is it surprising that this act of Beethoven's was deemed unworthy of him, disrespectful, nay, in insult to the Society, and resented accordingly?" [TF: 637-638].

TF then discusses the matter with Birchall:  

    "Another matter was personal with Mr. Birchall.  That publisher, having at least (early in February) received the last of the works published by him,, immediately deposited with Coutts and Co. the sums agreed upon, to the composer's credit, and forwarded the following "Declaration" to Vienna for signature, leaving the day of the month blank--as it still remains--to be inserted when signed: . . . " [TF 638]:

"Received . . . . March, 1816, of Mr. Robert Birchall--Music Seller, 133 New Bond street, London--the sum of One Hundred and thirty Gold Dutch Ducats, value in English Currency Sixty-Five Pounds, for all my Copyright and Interest, present and future, vested or contingent, or otherwise within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the four following Compositions or Pieces of Music composed or arranged by me, viz:

    1st A Grand Battle Sinfonia, descriptive of the Battle and Victory at Vittoria, adapted for the Pianoforte and dedicated to his Royal Highness, the Prince Regent--40 Ducats.

    2nd.  A Grand Symphony in the Key of A, adapted to the Pianoforte and dedicated to

    3rd.  A Grand Sonata for the Pianoforte, Violin and Violoncello in the Key of B-flat.

    4th.  A Sonata for the Pianoforte with an Accompaniment for the Violin, dedicated to

    And in consideration of such payment I hereby for myself, my Executors and Administrators promise and engage to execute a proper Assignment thereof to him, his Executors and Administrators or Assignees at his or their Request and Costs, as he or they shall direct.  And I likewise promise and engage as above, that none of the above shall be published in any foreign Country, before the time and day fixed and agreed on for such Publication between R. Birchall and myself shall arrive" [TF: 638].

Instead of this document that, as TF writes, was so important to Birchall's security, he received another demand by Beethoven for another 5 Pounds, according to this Memorandum:

                                         "Copying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.10.0

                                         Postage to Amsterdam . . . . . . 1.  0.0

                                         Trio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.10.0


                                                                                        L5.0.0 [TF: 638].

This is reported as having been conveyed through a letter to Ries of February 10 [Henle-Gesamtausgabe, Letter No. 889, p. 224-225, see above].    On February 28 [Henle-Gesamtausgabe, Vol.  3, Letter No 908, p. 233-234, see above] and on April 3 [Henle-Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 923, p. 247-248, see above] Beethoven reportedly repeated his demand of further 10 ducats respectively 5 Pounds.  Then, in May, he is reported as having written the following letter, of which Ries did not pass on the entire text:  

                                                                                                                        "Vienna, May 8, 1816

My dear Ries:

    My answer to your letter comes somewhat tardily; but I was ill, had much to do and it was impossible for me to answer you sooner.-- Now only the most necessary things--not a heller of the 10 ducats in gold has yet arrived, and I am already beginning to believe that the Englishmen, too, are only magnanimous in foreign lands; so alas with the Prince Regent from whom I have not even received the copyists' fees for my Battle with was sent to him, nor even written or oral thanks.  Fries deducted 6 fl. Convention money for postage.  Tell B. this--and see that you yourself get the draft for the 10 ducats, otherwise it will be like the first time-- What you tell me about Neate's undertaking would be desirable for me.  I need it; my salary amounts to 3400 florins in paper, I pay 1100 house-rent, and my servant and his wife nearly 900 fl., you can figure out what remains.  Moreover, I have got to care wholly for my little nephew.  Till now he has been in an Institute; this costs me close to 1 100 fl. and thus is hard for me, so I must establish myself in decent housekeeping and have him live with me-- How much one must earn in order to live here!  And yet there is never an end for-for--for--you know it already--  As to the dedications, I will wait for another time--  A few orders as well as the Akademie would also be welcome from the Philharmonic Society--  Besides my dear pupil Ries ought to sit down and dedicate something good to me which the master would also respond and repay in kind.--  How shall I send you my portrait?  I hope to have news from Neate, too; urge him on a bit.  Be assured of my sincere interest in your future.  Urge Neate to get to work and to write--  My best regards to your wife.  Unfortunately I have none.  I found only one, whom I shall doubtless never possess; but I am not a woman-hater on that account.  Your true friend, Beethoven" [TF: 639; --

-- for the German text, see Henle-Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 937, p. 261-262, see above].

Thayer-Forbes then reports that the L5 were deposited with Coutts & Co. on March 15, 1816 and that Fries received the amount on May 13th.  However, month  after month passed, and Beethoven's sending of the receipt was still outstanding.   TF argues, that the "justice, propriety, delicacy" of this new demand was indisputable and refers to the  "historical importance" that rests alone on the unpleasant effect that it and the correspondence that was connected with it had on the London publishers.  When Neat, having become familiar with the overture debacle through a letter to him, arrived in London, he was certainly already prepared for the coldness with which is suggestions with respect to Beethoven would be received.  However, according to TF, he was surprised that no-one wanted to listen to him, at all and that he had pleaded with Birchall that he would buy the overtures, to which the latter is reported as having replied that he would not even print them if they were given to him for free.  With respect to the [im]possible purchase of the score of the Seventh Symphony by the Philharmonic Society, TF writes: 

    "As to the score of the Symphony in A (the Seventh), it was folly to expect that the Philharmonic Society would pay a large sum for the manuscript of a work already (March 6) advertised in Vienna for subscription at the price of twenty-five florins.

    It is another instance of Beethoven's unlucky tendency to suspect the conduct and motives of others, that seeing in a newspaper a notice of the production of one of his Symphonies by the Philharmonic Society, he at once assumed that it was the Seventh and that Neate had given the use of his manuscript!

    Under such circumstances Neate could do nothing for Beethoven; nor could he well disclose the true cases of his failure; so the composer characteristically assumed that he would do nothing, and, as will be seen, gave vent to his wrath in terms equally bitter and unjust." [TF:640].

Thayer-Forbes further argues, that the progress of the negotiations with respect to the compositions that were to be published in London, can be followed by reading Beethoven's letter of June 11, 1816, to Ries: 

"The publisher here has applied to me to have the Trio published in London on the last day of August, for which I beg of you kindly to speak with Herr B.-- H.B. can get himself in readiness concerning the pianoforte arrangement of the Symphony in A, since as soon as the publisher here tells me the day I shall immediately let you or B. know--

    As I have not heard a syllable from Neate since his arrival in L., I beg you to tell him to give you an answer whether he has sold the Quartet in F minor as I want to publish it here simultaneously, and what I may expect in reference to the Violoncello Sonatas.  Of all the other works which I sent by him I am almost ashamed to speak, even to myself for having again been so trustful as to give them to him wholly without conditions trusting that his friendship and care for my interests would find a way-- I was given to read a translation of a report in the Morning Cronicle about the performance of the Symphony.  The same thing will probably happen to this as well as all the other works which I have to N. as happened to the Battle; I shall probably get nothing for them as I got nothing for that work except to read about the performance in the newspapers. . . . . " [TF: 643].

Thayer-Forbes  [p: 649] regrets that Beethoven's pride as an artist did not have a taming effect on his correspondence as far as financial matters were concerned, and that this again leads to the matter with Mr. Birchall.  Beethoven is reported as having finally discovered that Fries & Co. had credited him the L5, so that, on August 3, 1816, he signed a receipt.  However, this was too late in order to prevent the arrival of the following letter from England: 

                                                                                                                                                     "August 14, 1816.


    Mr. Birchall received yours of the 22d of last month and was surprised to hear you have not yet received the additional L5.0.0 to defray your expenses of copying, etc.  He assures the above sum was paid to Mrssrs. Coutts and Co., March 15th last, to be transmitted to Messrs. Fries and Co., of Vienna for you, which he supposed you would receive as safe as the previous sum.  In consequence of your last letter, inquiry has again been made at Messrs. Coutts and Co., respecting it and they have referred to their books and find that Messrs. Fries and Co., were written to on the 13th of May, and in that letter the following extract respecting you was contained.

                                                                                                                                                  London, May 13, 1816.

"To Messrs. Fries and Co.:

    "We have received from Mr. Birchall a further sum of five pounds [L5] on your account for the use of Mr. Beethoven.  You will therefore please to account to that gentleman for the same and include the amount in your next bill upon us.

                                                                                                                                               "Coutts and Co."

    If Mr. Beethoven will call on Messrs. Fries and Co., and get them to refer to that letter, no doubt it will be immediately paid, as there is a balance in their favor at Messrs. Coutts and Co., of L5.0.0, which was not included in their last Bill on London.

   Mr. Birchall is sorry you have not received it so soon as you ought, but he hopes you will be convinced the fault does not lay [sic[ with him, as the money was paid the day after Mr. Ries spoke about it.

    Mr. Birchall wished particularly to have the Declaration returned to him as soon as possible and likewise wishes you to favour him with the Dedications and opus numbers, which are to be put to the Trio, Sonata and the Grand Symphony in A.  The publication of the Sonata has been delayed a long time in consequence of that, but he hopes you will not delay forwarding all on the receipt of this.  When you write again Mr. Birchall will be glad to know your sentiments respecting writing Variations to the most favourite English, Scotch or Irish airs for the Pianoforte with an accompamiment either for the violin or violoncello--as you find best--about the same length as Mozart's airs "La dove prende" and "Comoma o tortorella" and Handel's "See the Conquering Hero Comes"; with your Variations, be so good, when you oblige him with your terms, as to say whether the airs need be sent to you; if you have many perhaps mentioning the same will be sufficient.  In fixing the price Mr. Birchall wishes you to mention a sum that will include copying and Postages.

                                                                                                                                                     For R. Birchall,

                                                                                                                                                              C. Lonsdale" [TF 649-650].              

    Beethoven's English reply to Birchall, according to TF, bears the stamp of Häring and was only signed by the composer:  

                                                                                                                                                  "Vienna, October 1, 1816.

    My dear Sir:

    I have duly received the L5, and thought previously you would not increase the number of Englishmen neglecting their word and honour as I have the misfortune of meeting with two of this sort.  In reply to the other topics of your favour, I have no objections to write Variations according to your plan and I hope you will not find L30 too much, the accompaniment will be a flute or violin or a violoncello; you'll either decide it when you send me the approbation of the price, or you'll leave it to me.  I expect to receive the songs or poetry--the sooner the better, and you'll favour me also with the probable number of works of Variations you are inclined to receive of me.

    The Sonata in G with the accompaniment of a violin is dedicated to his Imperial Highness, Archduke Rudolph of Austria--it is Op. 96.  The Trio in B[flat] is dedicated to the same and is Op. 97.  The Piano arrangement of the Symphony in A is dedicated to the Empress of the Russians--meaning the wife of the Emp. Alexander--Op. 98.

    Concerning the expenses of copying and posting, it is not possible to fix them beforehand, they are at any rate not considerable and you'll please to consider that you have to deal with a man of honour, who will not charge one 6d [sixpence] more than he is charged for himself.  Messrs Fries and Co., will account with Messrs. Coutts and Co.  The postage may be lessened as I have been told.

    If offer you of my works the following new ones.  A grand Sonata for the pianoforte alone L40.  A Trio for the Piano with accompt. of Violin and Violncello for L50.  It is possible that somebody will offer you other works of mine to purchase: for ex. the Score of the Grand Symphony in A.  With regard to the arrangement of this Symphony for the piano, I beg you not to forget that you are not to publish it until I have appointed the day of its publication here in Vienna.  This cannot be otherwise without making myself guilty of a dishonourable act--but the Sonata with the violina nd the Trio in B-flat may be published without any delay.

    With all the new works which you will have of me or which I offer you, it rests with you to name the day of their publication at your own choice.  I entreat you to honour me as soon as posbile with an answer having many orders for compositions and that you may not be delayed.  My address or direction is:

                                                                                                                    Monsieur Louis van Beethoven,

                                                                                                               No. 1055 and 1056 Sailerstätte, 3te Stock,


You may send your letter if you please direct to your,

                                                                                          Most humble servant,

                                                                                                                     Ludwig van Beethoven" [TF: 650].

    TF [p. 651] then reports that Beethoven not only complained to Ries about Neat but also to Sir Charles Smart in such a bitter tone that Ries only showed the letter to Neate, himself, but not to others.  With respect to this, we refer to Letter No. 983 from Vol. 3 of the Henle-Gesamtausgabe, that Beethoven had written on October 7th and that relevant passages have already been quoted here, above. AS TF reports, Neate then expressed his disappointment and his amazement at Beethoven's reaction in his letter of October 29, 1816, to the composer.  [We have already quoted this letter above  [Henle-Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 3, Letter No. 987, p. 310-312].  Here we can also refer to the already quoted letter of October 31, 1816 to Beethoven  [Letter No.  988, Vol. 3, p. 312], in which Smart defended Neate towards Beethoven.  

TF [p. 651-652] then features Lonsdale's letter of November 8, 1816 to Beethoven:  

  "In November, Mr. Lonsdale wrote as follows in behalf of Mr. Birchall:

                                                                                                                                                London, November 8, 1816.


    In answer to yours of the 1st October, I am desired by Mr. Birchall to inform you, he is glad to find you are now satisfied respecting his promise of paying you L5 in addition to what you before received according to agreement; but he did not think you would have delayed sending the receipt signed after the receipt of the 130 ducats merely because you had not received the L5. . . . , which latter sum was not included in the receipt.  Till it comes Mr. Birchall cannot, at any rate, enter into any fresh arrangement, as his first care will be to secure those pieces he has already paid you for, and see how they answer his purpose as a Music Seller and without the receipt he cannot prevent any other Music Seller from publishing them.  In regard to the airs with variations, the price of L30, which is supposed you mean for each, is considerably more than he could afford to give, ever to have any hopes of seeing them repay him.  If that should be your lowest price--Mr. Birchall will give up his idea of them altogether.  The Symphony in A will be quite ready for publication in a week; Mr. Ries (who has kindly undertaken the inspection of your works) has it now looking over--but it will not come out till the day comes you may appoint.

    Mr. Birchall fears the Sonata in G and the Trio in B-flat have been published in Vienna before his [20:  According to KHV, pp. 270, 272, both were advertised on July 29th]--He will be obliged to you to inform him of the day, when you write, that they were published.  I am sorry to say, that Mr. Birchall's health has been very bad for two or three years back, which prevents him from attending to business and as there are, I fear, but little hopes of his being much better, he is less anxious respecting making any additions to his catalogue than he otherwise would have been; he is much obliged to you for the offer of the Sonata and the Trio, but he begs to decline it for the reasons before mentioned.

    Hoping to hear soon respecting the paper sent for your signature,

                                                                    I am Sir, for Mr. Birchall, etc.

                                                                                                                                             C. Lonsdale.

    P.S.  The Sonata in G is published and the Trio will be in a few days.  Is Mr. Beethoven's opera Fidelio published?  Where and by whom?" [TF: 651-652].

In reply to this letter, Beethoven is reported as having sent a letter to Birchall dated December 14, 1816:  

                                                                                                                  "Vienna, December 14, 1816 --1055 Sailerstaette.

Dear Sir:

    I give you my word of honor, that I have signed and delivered the receipt to the house, Fries and Co., some day last August, who, as they say, transmitted it to Messrs. Coutts and Co., where you'll have the goodness to apply.  Some error might have taken place that instead of Messrs. C. sending it to you, they have been directed to keep it till fetched.  Excuse this irregularity, but it is not my fault, nor had I ever the idea of withholding it from the circumstance of the L5 not being included.  Should the receipt not come forth at Messrs. C., I am ready to sign any other and you shall have it directly with return of the post--

    If you find variations--in my style--too dear at L30, I will abate, for the sake of your friendship, one-third--and you have the offer of such variations as fixed in our former letters for L20 each air--

    Please to publish the Symphony in A immediately, as well as the Sonata--and the Trio--they being ready here.

    The grand opera Fidelio is my work.  The arrangement for the pianoforte has been published here under my care, but the score of the opera itself is not yet published.  I have given a copy of the score to Mr. Neate under the seal of friendship and whom I shall direct to treat for my account in case an offer should present--I anxiously hope your health is improving.  Give me leave to subscribe myself, Dear Sir,

                                                                                                                           Your very obedient serv't,

[Postmark, Dec. 31, 1816.]                                                                                                               Ludwig van Beethoven" [TF: 654].

According to TF this letter concluded Birchall's correspondence since Birchall's successor, Mr. Lonsdale, after the death of Birchall, did not find a further contact with Beethoven worthwhile. 

To conclude our look at this matter, we might arrive at the following summary:

1.  In 1814, Beethoven has sent "Wellington's Victory" to the English Prince Regent and had also dedicated the work to him.   Since he neither received a reply nor an acknowledgement that it had been received, his "usual anger" developed in him against such inaction.  The news that the Prince Regent had passed the work on to Sir George Smart appears to have triggered three trains of thought in him:  On the one hand, he hoped that, due to the popularity of this work, his other, newer works would also be successful in England; on the other hand, he thought of the Prince Regent as "one" of the unreliable Englishmen, and thirdly, secretly he might also have feared that his other works might meet a similar fate in England, with the end result that he would not reap any financial benefits.     

2.  George Smart's success with Op. 91 then prompted Beethoven to ask his help in finding an English publisher for his newest works, and as we know, the efforts by Beethoven's English friends, particularly those of Johann Peter Salomon, led to finding Birchall as a purchaser of the already mentioned works, including the Piano Reduction to Op. 92 [in summer/fall, 1815]..    

3.  To the English composer and musician Charles Neate, who arrived in Vienna in May, 1815, Beethoven gave various scores to take with him to England, among them also that of Op. 92, in the hope that Neate would be able to do something for him, there.   As we know, with his letter of the end of January of the beginning of February, 1816, Beethoven said farewell to Neate and 'welcomed him home to England' with his letter of May 18, 1816, but did not hear from him in response.    

4.  From our look at the above-quote letters from the Henle-Gesamtausgabe we know the real reason for Neate's silence, but also of Beethoven's 'usual anger' in the interim period, in which he believed Neat to be the "second Englishman" who could not be relied upon and who "misappropriated" his works and who had his Symphony Op. 92 performed without telling him about it, although it was another symphony that had been performed.  To Thayer-Forbes's argument that Neate, on the basis of the disappointment of the Philharmonic Society in the Overtures that Beethoven had sent them and on the basis of Birchall's problems, "could not act otherwise", a second, very important reason for Beethoven's ill success with the works that he had given to Neate lies in Neate's own personal situation and would appear to exonerate him even more.  

5.  Birchall's problems with Beethoven arose out of a combination of various time-related and behavior-related circumstances on Beethoven's part.   Birchall had the terrible misfortune of purchasing Beethoven's works at a time in which the composer was in the midst of one of his major life crises, namely that of the loss of his brother and of the beginning of his guardianship problems with respect to his nephew.  Under these circumstances, it might not come as a terrible surprise that Beethoven did not conduct his "English negotiations" with more diplomacy than during "normal" periods of his life.    

What he take out of this look at the above-presented material depends on our own, individual outlook.  This Beethoven friend prefers to examine all available facts calmly and to try to show understanding for all who were affected by this situation and to subsequently move on to rejoice in that which remains, namely one of Beethoven's most beautiful symphonies. 

Count Moritz von Fries


With respect to the publication of Op. 92, in the chapter to the year 181t, TF reports:  

"The publications of the year were:

. . .

By Steiner:

. . .

Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries." [TF: 660].

After our very thorough look at the publication and dedication of this symphony, let us take a look at its further fate during Beethoven's lifetime.  



After the first performances of Op. 92 in December 1813, a further performance would soon follow.  TF reports that:  

"The Wiener Zeitung of February 24th contains the advertisement of the "Akademie, next Sunday, the 27th inst. in the large Redoutensaal," announcing "a new symphony not yet heard and an entirely new as yet unheard terzetto" as novelties. 

. . .

The report in the Allg. Mus. Zeit. contains the programme in full with a few short and pertinent observations:

1.  The new symphony (A major) which was received with so much applause, again.  The reception was as animated as at the first time; the Andante (A minor) the crown of modern instrumental music, as at the first performance had to be repeated. . . . 

. . .  One of Beethoven's own memoranda gives the exact number of the string instruments:  "At my last concert in the large Redoutensaal there were 18 first violins, 18 second, 14 violas, 12 violoncellos, 7 contra-basses, 2 contra-bassoons."  Whether the audience numbered 5000, as Schindler reports, or 3000, which is more likely, the clear pecuniary profits of the two concerts were very large.  . . . " [TF: 575-577].

With respect to yet another performance of the Symphony in this year, Thayer-Forbes writes:  

"Beethoven had announced a grand concert for November 20, in the large Redoutensaal but advertisements in the Wiener Zeitung of the 18th postponed it till November 22nd, then till the 27th, and finally till the 29th.  On November 30th, the newspaper reports:  "At noon yesterday, Hr. Ludwig v. Beethoven gave all music-lovers an ecstatic pleasure.  In the R.I. Redoutensaal he gave performances of his beautiful musical representation of Wellington's Battle at Vittoria, preceeded by the symphhohy which had been composed as a companion-piece.  Between the two works an entirely new . . . cantata, Der glorreiche Aguenblick.  One would like to know what Beethoven said when he read this; for the symphony supposed by the writer to be composed as a companion-piece (Begleitung) to the "Wellington's Victory" was the magnificent Seventh!

. . . All the contemporary notices agree as to the enthusiastic reception of the Symphony and the Battle . . .  The concert, with precisely the same programme, was repeated in the same hall on Friday, December 2d, for Beethoven's benefit--nearly half the seats being empty!  And again in the evening of the 25th for the benefit of the St. Mark's Hospital, when, of course, a large audience was present. . . . " [TF: 599-600].

After the publication of the work by Steiner in the year 1816, the Leipzig Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung reviewed it as follows:  

                                                                                  "A L L G E M E I N E

                                                                M U S I K A L I S C H E   Z E I T U N G 

The 27th of November.                                                        No. 48.                                           1816.


Seventh grand Symphony, in A major, by Ludwig van Beethoven.  92st work.  Complete Score.  Property of the Publishers.  Vienna, by S. A. Steiner u. Comp.

This symphony, on the publication of which we, with delight, congratulate the public, delivers new proof of Beethoven's inexhaustible talent.  It is the same  of which our correspondent reported on its brilliant performances in Vienna during the last year, that had been met with overwhelming applause; and [he] also [reported] on various characteristics of this work, such as of its general effect.  For that very reason, here, the reviewer will concentrate on a description of this work, particularly with respect to its most characteristic and excellent features.     

    The work is comprised of four truly great main movements.  The introduction to the first Allegro is formed by a  Poco sostenuto, A major, C-time.  The ingenious composer knows, right from the beginning, how to draw the listener in and to captivate him.      When the entire orchestra strikes the full and most fully expressed chord, A major, with a quarter note, the oboes immediately enter into the following song: [note sample].  This song is immediately and freely imitated by the clarinets, horns and bassoons and led towards the dominant.  Here, the violins develop the second main idea in a run of thirds, to which the viola adds a sixth in half-time [note sample] which then unites two themes that appear in this form, accompanied by all wind instruments in full chord:  [note sample].  When the movement then turns towards C mauor, oboes, clarinets and bassoons play the following soft melody: [note sample], which is then taken up by the string instruments, while the wind instruments accompany it with a unique figure.  After a repetition of the above-mentioned two main ideas, whereby now also the wind instruments play their powerful half-notes, and after a repetition of the before-mentioned cantabile, now in F major, the violins, as if teasing the first flute and oboe together, provide a transition to the vivace, which is built on the following motif:   [note sample].   In the 27th measure, the entire orchestra, after a fermata, sets in fortissimo, with the violins and the horns taking up the theme, while the trumpets and kettledrums, together with the basses, play the introductory figure of dotted eighth-notes.  Now, several imitations by the first violin, flute, oboe, bassoon and bass follow, the last in inversion, and a modulation towards G-sharp major, E-flat major and E major, which, due to their uniqueness, should at least be outlined here:  [note sample].  The transition to the repetition of the first part is provided by a  Unisono of all string instruments, to which all wind instruments, each time in the 5th eighth, sound a piercing E: [note sample].  The second part begins equally characteristically, in which all components of this beautiful movement are actually developed and executed with the known ingenuity of the composer:  [note sample].  After several striking sidesteps and imitations in app parts, extended here, shortened there, the main motive returns in the tonic, however, in quite a different manner:  the first violins play the basic melody, the second violins, together with the violas, hover in 16th-notes, the basses work with the theme in a counter-movement, and all wind instruments, every second measure, play short, fully-voiced chords.   As friendly as the bright evening star, after two fermatas (the seventh on E and A), the first oboe sets in with the theme, in D major, against which flute, clarinet and fagot huddle in various registers.  Again, the first motif sounds in full force, and again modified in a strange manner.   In unison with the 8 reed instruments, the first violins play the two introductory measures, after which the basses immediately take up the two following ones and, so-to-say, complement them, while the horns hold the dominant to it.  After 4 measures, which are reminiscent of the final figure of the first part (now in A major), two general pauses follow; then, quietly, a lonely A-flat is sounded, with a grace note and the resonance of the wind instruments.  Again a general pause.  Now the basses, in A-flat major, set in with that transitory movement that was first heard in C major, and here and there, the violins hint at the theme, and in the following original manner, the composer returns 'home': [note sample] by concluding this skillfully woven movement with a strong cadence, in which all instruments execute the figure that has been held onto throughout. 

    The second piece is an Allegretto, in A minor, in two-four time, which, since its premiere in Vienna, has become a favorite of all connoisseurs and amateurs alike that also speaks to those who are not well-versed in music, through its naivete and a certain, hidden, irresistible  charm; thus far, every time, its repetition has been enthusiastically enforced.    After two measures, powerfully played by the wind instruments and then descending to a pianissimo---, the violas, violoncellos and basses are whispering the following, mysterious chant that deserves its space here all the more since out of it, the creative whole emerges: [note sample].   The first variation [if I may say so] of this lovely theme emerges when the 2nd violin takes up the previous chant of the viola, in a middle register, an octave higher and when it is accompanied by the other [instruments] in the following manner:  [note sample].  Since, with the 24th measure, the theme is ending again, the first violin set in with the same motif, and the chant of the viola is adopted by the 2nd violin, both in the higher octave, and the lower registers are designed as follows:  [note sample].  Gradually, the music ascends: oboes, bassoons, horns and flutes, in the second measure, indicate the four-part chords, and now, after this forceful and irresistibly exciting crescendo, the full orchestra sets in.  All wind instruments carry, in unison, play the upper registers of the theme.  Trumpets and kettledrums play the key-notes, the first violin supplies the second part in the high octave, and in the same manner, it is replacing the viola, and the violoncellos, together with the basses, alternate in playing running triplets. [Note sample]. 

     In the same manner in which these, in the beginning, so simple masses formed a colossus, and, one can truly say, in which they have emerged in a terrifying manner, they gradually dissolve and fade away, and a tender song, in D-major, played by a clarinet and a bassoon, with a hovering violin accompaniment and pizzicato basses, appears like a mild ray of sun after a dark night of thunderstorms.  With various imitations of the wind instruments, whereby, an E-major horn creates a particular effect, and with this interesting evasion, the composer leads the movement towards C-major: [note sample] and from there back to A-minor, where the flute, oboe and bassoon execute the second, or actually the counter-theme, treated in a new manner by the accompanying string instruments [note sample].  Soon after that, the main theme returns, with a new counter-subject, in fugue-style, first in two, then in four parts, and foreshortened: [note sample], and in the largest forte, the full orchestra sets in again, whereby the quartet performs the song in full chords, the horns, trumpets and kettledrums, with their garish E, thunder in-between, and whereby the remaining wind instruments execute the running figure of the previous counter-theme.  Once more, the mind is calmed by that lovely song in A-major, and once more, the movement moves through C-major [note sample].  The finale consists of the first 24 measures that now are performed in isolated fashion, by all wind instruments, alternating in two and three parts, and to which the string instruments play the tonic chord in pizzicato style.  Since, in this manner, one takes the word out of the other's mouth, with the beginning measures, the harmony of the whole dies away. 

    The place of the minuet is taken up by a scherzando and presto in Beethoven's actual manner, in F major, two-four time, Trio, meno Presto, D major, utterly capricious.   Already the first part of the presto, which begins in F major, ends in A-major: the second is a true fox hunt, full of original turns.  The trio is introduced by an A that is held for four measures and doubled, which continually serves as basis and about which the clarinets, bassoons and horns execute a beautiful song.  In the second part, the horn is particularly prominent; the final passage is also very imposing, since the full orchestra plays the theme and since the trumpets and kettledrums continually play in the dominant.   The return to the first presto occurs with the following modulation: [note sample].  After the scherzando and trio have been repeated, again, the composer, at the da capo of the first, makes an ignanno, again touches the motif of the trio with four measures, but then quickly hurries on to the finale.     

    In the finale, Allegro con brio, A major, two-four time, again, an immense sense of mischief hovers about, and all instruments constantly tease each other.  This is begun by a full E-major chord, then a pause, then again the same chord, but with a small seventh, once again a pause, and then there follow eight measures, twice, of which each part is repeated by itself, in which the first violins fix the theme and in which the full orchestra provides the accompaniment with strong, marked notes:  [note sample].  Soon thereafter, this motif appears separated in the following manner:  [note sample].  The second part on which this piece is built, renders a jumping, dotted figure through the violins, whereby the peculiar accompaniment with its dissonances almost sounds East-Indian (one knows from Jones and Dalberg what is meant by that] and, due to this peculiar design, one should take a closer look at it: [note sample].  Equally new and quite surprising is the final cadenza of the first part:  [note sample].  The composer opens the second part in F-major, and during its course, touches on A-minor, C-major, D-minor, B-major, A-major and so forth, and, with wise economy, uses all contrapuntal features in order to achieve a great deal with little and, as one is used from him, does not neglect any instrument.

     And thus we have performed our very pleasant duty by making the readers of this periodical, as far as space allows, acquainted with at least an outline, with the most outstanding beauties of this wonderful work, in detail.  The most beautiful part of it, its spirit, can not be put in words here or anywhere else.  Soon, all of Germany, France and England will agree with us and will only complain that we have not mentioned enough of the beauties of this work, that we have not said enough about it, at all.  In the event that this requires an apology, one will concede that we wanted to announce this wonderful work as soon as possible, at the time of its publication; a further discussion of it, however, was impossible.--May the courageous publisher soon present us with the promises second new symphony [in F major] and, in general, may be be supported in this costly undertaking, as he deserves, which, considering the true and lively sense for the truly great in music and considering the general admiration of B's genius, can not be doubted.  The edition deserves full praise.  Some printing errors that, in spite of all care, have crept in, can easily be corrected.  The work has been published in various arrangements, as was done with the well-known Beethovenian Battle music, and this is known from the advertisement of the publisher."  [AMZ 1816, Column 817- 822].

In spite of this excellent review, in December 1816, the work, as Maynard Solomon reports, was already received with less enthusiasm:  

"Although he no longer performed in public as a pianist, he continued to perform annually as a conductor, a role for which he had never been well suited.  He conducted the Seventh Symphony at a concert for the Hospital of St. Mark on December 26, 1816, the Eighth Symphony at a Christmas concert for the Hospital Fund in 1817, and the Seventh once again on Janary 17, 1819, at a charity concert.  Two other charity concerts, of March 30 and 31, 1817, featured the Seventh Symphony and Christus am Oelberge.

    Beethoven's music no longer aroused popular enthusiasm, however.  At the 1816 concert the Seventh Symphony was faintly applauded and the beloved Allegretto failed to receive its customary encore, facts which Beethoven's friends at the Wiener Musik-Zeitung quaintly attributed to the "dense crowding of the audience [which] hindered the free use of their hands."" [Solomon: 250-251].

As Thayer-Forbes reports, in the year 1819: 

"Beethoven made a single appearance as conductor in this year.  It was on January 17 at a concert given for the benefit of the Widows and Orphans of the Juridical Faculty of the University.  The orchestra was largely composed of amateurs and the programme began with the overture to Prometheus and ended with the Seventh Symphony.  Among the listeners was P.D.A. Atterbom, the Swedish poet, who wrote a sympathetic account of it." [TF: 733].

In the chapter to the year 1820, Thayer-Forbes offers us an interesting look at Beethoven's opinion on the "programmatic" view of his works:  

"It was through Dr. M¨ller that we know somewhat of Beethoven's view on the subject of analytical programmes.  Among the zealous promoters of the Beethoven cult in Bremen, was a young poet named Dr. Karl Iken, editor of the Bremer Zeitung, who, inspired by the Familien-Concerte, conceived the idea of helping the public to an understanding of Beethoven's music by writing programmatic expositions of the symphonies for perusal before the concerts.  Some of his lugubrations were sent to Beethoven by Dr. Müller, and aroused the composer's ire.  Schindler found four of these "programmes" among Beethoven's papers, and he gave the world a specimen.  In the Seventh Symphony, Dr. Iken professed to see a political revolution.  "The sign of revolt is given; there is a rushing and running about after a multitude; an innocent man, or party, is surrounded, overpowered after a struggle and hailed before a legal tribunal.  Innocence weeps; the judge pronounces a harsh sentence; sympathetic voices mingle in laments and denunciations--they are those of widows and orphans; in the second part of the first moment the parties have become equal in numbers and the magistrates are now scarcely able to quiet the wild tumult.  The uprising is suppressed, but the people are not quieted; hope smiles cheeringly and suddenly the voice of the people pronounces the decision in harmonious agreement. . . .  But now, in the last movement, the classes and the masses mix in a variegated picture of unrestrained revelry.  The quality still speak aloofly in the wind instruments,--strange bachhantic madness in related chords--pauses, now here, now there--now on a sunny hill, anon on flowery meadow where in merry May all the jubilating children of nature vie with each other with joyful voices--that past the fancy," 

    It is scarcely to be wondered at that such balderdash disgusted and even enraged Beethoven.  In the fall of 1819, he dictated a letter to Müller--it has, unfortunately been lost--in which he protested energetically against such interpretations of his music.  He pointed out, says Schindler, who wrote the letter for him, the errors to which such writings would inevitably give rise.  If expositions were necessary, they should be confined to characterization of the composition in general terms, which could easily and correctly be done by any educated musician [50: Biogr., 1, pp. 208-11 [TDR IV, 206]]" [TF: 765-766].

Let us conclude this section with the following words by Solomon:  

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




With respect  to the musical content we can refer you back and ahead on this page:  On the one hand, the AMZ review of the year 1816 offers a good description of the Symphony's content, from a contemporary viewpoint, while William Kinderman's critical comment offers a good modern overview.  



However, let us begin this section with Maynard Solomon's comments:  

"That the meanings of music are not translatable into language is a philosopher's truism.  Kierkegaard wrote that music "always expresses the immediate in its immediacy" and that it was therefore "impossible to express the musical in language."  And Nietzsche, in The Birth of Tragedy, noted that "language, the organ and symbol of appearance, can never succeed in bringing the innermost core of music to the surface.  Whenever it engages in the imitation of music, language remains in purely superficial contact with it."  Such warnings, however, have never stopped commentators (including, I fear, this one) from putting forth unprovable speculations as to the "meaning" of one or another of Beethoven's masterpieces.  Nowhere has this tendency been more manifest than in nineteenth-century interpretations of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony.  Berlioz heard a "Ronde des Paysans" in the first movement; Wagner called the symphony the "Apotheosis of the Dance"; Lenz saw it as a second Pastoral Symphony, complete with village wedding and peasant dances; Nohl visualized a Knigth's Festival and Oulibicheff the masquerade or diversion of a multitude drunk with joy and wine.  For A.B. Marx it was the wedding or festival celebration of a warrior people.  More recently, Bekker called it a "bacchic orgy," and Ernest Newman described it as "the upsurge of a powerful dionysiac impulse, a divine intoxication of the spirit."

    Quaint as these interpretations now seem, it may be worthwhile to seek some underlying common denominator in the opinions of so eminent a group of critics.  Clearly, a work that so powerfully symbolizes the act of transcendence, with it attendant joyous and liberating feelings, can be represented in language by an infinity of specific transcendent images--which may tell us as much about the free associations of their authors as about Beethoven and his music.  But the apparently diverse free-associational imagery of these critics--images of masses of people, the powerful rhythmic energy discharged in action or in dance, of celebrations, weddings, and revelry--comprises, at bottom, variations upon a single image:  that of the carnival or festival, which, from time immemorial, has temporarily lifted the burden of perpetual subjugation to the prevailing social and natural order by periodically suspending all customary privileges, norms, and imperatives.   Examples of such festivals can be found in the Greek Cronia, the Roman Kalends and Saturnalia, the French "Fest of Fools," the English "Lords of Misrule," the medieval folk carnivals and feasts, and those primitive rituals and ceremonies which annually turned society inside out.  Freud offered a psychological explanation of these events:  "In all renunciations and limitations imposed upon the ego, a periodical infringement of the prohibition is the rule; this indeed is shown by the institution of festivals, which in origin are nothing less nor more than excesses provided by law and which owe their cheerful character to the release which they bring."  Of course, much more is involved here than the "cheerful."  In the festival there is a joyous lifting of all restraints; a licensed eruption of the profane and the scatological, and an outpouring of mockery, ridicule, and satire expressing a comic vision of life untinged by tragic modalities.

    It was apparently a festal quality which the nineteenth-century critics sensed in the Seventh Symphony and which is present as well in the Eighth, for the latter is an offshoot from the same creative impulse.  In Ernest Newman's words, it "takes the overspill of the mighty Seventh," voicing, like its companion, "a mood of joyous acceptance of life and the world."  Wagner, too, saw the psychological similarity--and the festal character--of the two symphonies:  "Their effect upon the listener is precisely that of emancipation from all guilt, just as the aftereffect is the feeling of Paradise forfeited, with which we return to the phenomenal world."

    Both symphonies omit the traditional slow movement--i.e., the movement of sorrow and contemplation, of mourning and tragedy--present in all other Beethoven symphonies.  Indeed, the Eighth, with its Minuet and its Allegretto scherzando, goes further in this respect than the Seventh, for the Seventh has a long slow introduction to the first movement and a dreamlike Allegretto which at least appears slow by contrast with its neighbouring Vivace and Presto movements.  Riezler touched on the essence of their similarity when he wrote that their professions of faith were "not called upon to fight and conquer a hostile power."  They exist in a festive Paradise, outside of time and history, untouched by mortality.  They transport us into a sphere of laughter, play, and the exuberant release of bound energy.  Here, as Bakhtin writes of the medieval festival, "for a short time life came out of its usual, legalized and consecrated furrows and entered the sphere of utopian freedom."" [Solomon: 212-213].

Above, we already referred to Kinderman's comment:

"In 1827 a reviewer of the Seventh Symphony and professed admirer of Beethoven's earlier works asked 'what had become of the good man in his later period?  Did he not succumb to a kind of insanity?'  The tone of the review echoes that of other dismissive contemporary assessments of  Beethoven; it is the length, strong contrasts, and expressive vehemence of the music that provoked rejection: ' . . . the whole thing lasts at least three-quarters of an hour, and is a true mixture of tragic, comic, serious, and trivial ideas, which spring from one level to another without any connection, repeat themselves to excess, and are almost wrecked by the immoderate noise of the timpani'.  A similar judgment was attributed, probably falsely, to Carl Maria von Weber by the untrustworthy Anton Schindler, Beethoven's self-appointed secretary and biographer; according to Schindler, Weber is supposed to have declared that the Seventh Symphony showed Beethoven 'ripe for the madhouse'.

    Despite such reactions, the A major Symphony, and particularly its Allegretto, rapidly became one of Beethoven's most popular works.  Perhaps no other work by Beethoven is so intensely animated and driven by the power of rhythm.  In response to this quality Wagner dubbed the symphony 'the apotheosis of the dance', and imaginative commentators have produced various programmatic interpretations.  Solomon has sought a common denominator for these opinions in the notion of a 'festive Paradise, outside of time and history, untouched by mortality.'  For the Seventh Symphony, unlike the Fifth, does not involve struggle against adversity, even if a darker, contrasting range of character emerges in the A minor Allegretto.  It is an accident of history that the first performances of this radiant symphony in 1813 and 1814 exactly coincided with the celebration of the victory over Napoleon.

    The slow introduction is the most weighty in all Beethoven's symphonies, and it generates out of the most fundamental relationships of sound and time a propulsive rhythmic energy that is to infuse the entire work.  Especially important is the series of four short but emphatic chords with a descending bass heard at the outset.  These sonorities are placed two bars apart in the 4/4 metre; they outline the harmonic progression I-V-V[7]-IV.  Connecting these majestic chords are motifs of legato half-notes, heard first in the oboes and then in the other wind instruments.  Beethoven soon reinterprets this opening gesture in compelling fashion.  Beginning in bar 15, the harmonic progression over a descending bass is restated, but the chords are sustained in the winds and trumpets and played fortissimo.  The oboe line in half-notes is assigned to the violins.  At this moment Beethoven introduces a third rhythmic level--a texture of rising scales in detached sixteenth-notes that spans and connects the various pitch registers  outlined by the chords.  The power of this music derives in part from its synthesis of three rhythmic levels, which subdivide the basic slow pulse of the chords according to precise proportions.  Thus the larger, controlling impulses at the beginning of each two-bar group are divided into four, in half-notes, and these impulses in turn are divided into eight, yielding 32 sixteenth-notes in each two-bar unit.  The tension generated by these relationships depends on the fact that Beethoven's second rhythmic division doubles the proportions of the first.  At the same time, the rising scales 'compose out' the sound of the chords through the tonal space.  They are derived from the chords, yet they introduce an energy that later serves to prepare the rhythmic transition into the Vivace.

    The fortissimo passage combining the three rhythmic levels changes the harmonic progrression from the outset of the movement.  The descent of the bass is now chromatic, tracing the pitches A-G#-F#-F-E, and Beethoven alters the harmonies to effect a modulation to C major, the key of the ensuing dolce subject, played first in the winds and then in the strings.  This theme reappears in the slow introduction in F major, which, like C, is a significant key in the main body of the movement.  But Beethoven's use of these mediant and submediant tonalities in the introduction is not merely a foreshadowing of later events.  Above all, it enables him to set the gracious dolce melody into marked tonal contrast with the rest of the introduction, before integrating both in the passage that leads into the beginning of the Vivace.

    The dolce passages are not just episodes in the introduction.  They are more like musical samples, excerpts of a pleasant, charming style that could not puzzle or offend Beethoven's listeners.  His treatment of these passages in the slow introduction of the Seventh illustrates Nietzsche's comment about Beethoven's writing 'music about music'.  For in the second episode a transformation takes place.  Beethoven repeats the rhythm of the tune in the strings, while a rhythmic and dynamic intensification leads to the structural downbeat on the dominant in bar 53.  Twice the winds attempt to carry on a musical discourse whose harmonic texture and dotted rhythm is unmistakably related to the earlier dolce episodes.  But these interjections are not taken up; the stronger rhythmic impulses and their reverberations are reasserted and then seemingly distilled to their essence.  Beethoven restructures his framework of rhythmic levels to absorb the dotted rhythm drawn from the dolce theme.  The crucial turning-point at the end of the introduction occurs as the dotted rhythm is infused with this intense energy, creating thereby the ostinato figure of a dotted rhythm in 6/8 metre that dominates large sections of the first movement.

    Other passages in Beethoven most comparable to this generative process in the Seventh Symphony include not only the slow introductions in the Second and Fourth symphonies but also the slow introductions to some of his instrumental finales.  One is reminded, very distantly, of the Introduzione of the Waldstein Sonata and, much more concretely, of the introduction to the finale of the Hammerklavier Sonata.  Quite unlike the symphony, however, these movements begin in a quiet, almost motionless state of calm.  The opening of the Seventh Symphony, by contrast, harbours virtually inexhaustible reserves of rhythmic energy that spill over into every one of the four movements.

    The famous Allegretto in A minor also features a prominent rhythmic ostinato, which endows this movement with a processional aura, imposing a strong unifying character that is felt throughout the variations of the theme and even the contrasting episodes in the major.  Here is one of the sources of inspiration for Schubert's many processional pieces associated with the Romantic theme of the wanderer.  The following, propulsive scherzo in F major emphasizes iambic rhythms, whereas the closing Allegro con brio displays a considerable diversity of rhythmic figures and patterns.  The trio of the scherzo, on the other hand, represents the still centre of the symphony.  Its majestic, yet almost static character is conveyed in part by impressive pedal points on A that resound through extended passages, played fortissimo in the trumpets and drum.  Yet even here, a suggestion of processional movement is retained; according to a report from Abbe Stadler, the theme of the trio was drawn from an Austrian pilgrimage hymn.

    In the Allegro con brio finale Beethoven's main theme itself becomes an ostinato, a kind of revolving calm whose driving momentum is reflected in insistent syncopation in the winds and low strings.  The primary motif is like a coiled spring, whose tension permeates the broader thematic idea that circles in quarter-notes around C#, the third degree of A major.  This is hardly the idea of a madman.  What is involved is a sudden fourfold rhythmic augmentation of the basic motif, so that the rapid motivic contour that had occupied less than one bar of music is suddenly enlarged over several bars, while the structural accent on E is reflected in the prolonged notes of the winds and horns.  Here, as elsewhere in the Seventh Symphony, Beethoven does indeed 'spring from one level to another', but the connections are real and tangible.  The music is dependent on these relationships and it only truly comes alive when they are felt and conveyed in the performance" [Kinderman: 153-159].

Barry Cooper tries to describe what, in his view, is unique about this work:  

"Each of his symphonies possesses a markedly distinctive character and inhabits an entirely different sound world.  In the Seventh, the most fundamental element is the energetic, repetitive rhythmic patterns found in every movement, justifying Wagner's description of the work as the 'apotheosis of the dance'.  The second movement, with its constant alternation of dactyls and spondees throughout several repetitions of the main theme (a theme originally conceived in the context of the third 'Razumovsky' Quartet), makes a particularly powerful rhythmic impact, although a more lyrical countermelody is almost as prominent.

Another feature contributing to the distinctive sound of this symphony is the horns:  since the symphony is in A major, the horns are crooked in A, giving them an unusually high register that Beethoven exploits to the full.  Also prominent is the use of drone basses--perhaps an offshoot of his work on the Irish folksongs, where this type of harmony was common.  In the first movement, almost the entire first subject is harmonized by a pedal A; this procedure, coupled with the prominent horns and galloping rhythms, give the movement an open-air quality that can also be detected in the finale.  The repeated notes that characterize the second-movement theme are transformed into repeated As in the bass to accompany the central theme in A major (bars 101ff.).  The trio section of the third movement has drones almost throughout; and in the finale the main theme is accompanied by repeated Es.  Thus these four movements are bound together by harmonic as well as rhythmic similarities.

Tonally the symphony is also very distinctive and unified.  The slow introduction, which is so extended that it almost becomes a movement in itself, makes two extended excursions from A major, to C and F, and both keys play important roles later on.  C major is the main key in the development section, where F major also appears briefly.  The second movement is in A minor, but its central section in A major contains a very striking modulation into C, from where the music works back to A minor.  The third movement, a scherzo in all but name, is actually in F major, though with a first section that rapidly modulates to A as a reminder of the key of the symphony as a whole.  Then in the finale the keys of C and F are once again prominent in the development section.  Indeed, the repeated emphasis on these two keys seems to provide a pointer to Beethoven's next symphony, which is in F and was begun immediately after the Seventh.  . . . " [Cooper: 206-207].

Lewis Lockwood describes what holds this work together 'musically':  

    "Needing no title such as "Eroica" or "Pastoral" to indicate its aesthetic category, the Seventh stands up to the Fifth in it strength and decisiveness.  Unlike the Fifth it does not traverse a quasi-narrative journey from minor to major, nor does it have a cyclic return of material form one movement to another.  It resembles the Fifth in that rhythmic action is of the essence in both.  However, the unity of the Seventh stems not from the reappearance of a single essential rhythmic figure in all movements, but rather from the rhythmic consistency that governs each movement and the vitality, the elan, that drives the whole work.

    Each movement is based on a small set of memorable rhythmic figures, with one of them singled out as the leading element.  The persistence of each rhythmic set throughout each movement substantially shapes the aesthetic profile of the whole.  Of course, the use of a small number of definite rhythmic cells, even of a single figure to dominate a first movement, had been a specialty of Beethoven's from early in his career.  Piano Sonata Opus 2 No. 3 and the first movement of the String Quartet Opus 18 No. 1 come to mind, not to mention the first movement of the Fifth, but there are many more examples.  The same had been true of many of his slow movements and finales, while in the Scherzos of his quartets and symphonies the dynamic propulsive qualities of the movements often derive from the insistent repetitions of a basic figure in compound or simple triple-meter that is designed to carry the bulk of the musical material.

    But in the Seventh Symphony the projection of rhythmic action into the foreground is even more fundamental.  This is why Berlioz compared the first movement to a "peasant dance" ("ronde des paysans"") and why Wagner called the whole work the "apotheosis of the dance."  Duple meter, in various simple and compound forms that include triplet subdivisions of two main beats per measure, dominates the whole work.  The first movement features a three-noted dotted figure in almost every measure.  In the second, a compound figure of a quarter plus two eighth notes fills the movement from beginning to end, interwoven with other material in a rich tapestry of counterstatements.  The Scherzo is driven forward incessantly by its own initial figure and by the basic Scherzo rhythm of three even quarter notes that follows.  And the finale is a manic expansion of the possibilities latent in the hammering four-note figure with which it opens.  In each movement ostinato passages repeat a single figure over and over again, especially in the coda of the first movement, where the bass repetition suggested to Carl Maria von Weber that Beethoven was now "ready for the madhouse."  The wide range of dynamics includes more instances of fortissimo and pianissimo than any other of his symphonic works.

    As we know from the "Kreutzer" Sonata and the much later Quartet Opus 132, Beethoven liked to intermingle minor and major when his tonic was A, and he also liked to have one movement in F major.  Since the first movement is in a major and the second in A minor, the Scherzo offers contrast by shifting to F major; then its D-major Trio (with its own special rhythmic figures and character) stands in apposition to F major, somewhat in the same way that F and D major worked with one another at the opening of the Scherzo of the Sixth.  Beethoven's use of F major for the Scherzo also relates well to the harmonic layout of the grand "Poco sostenuto" that introduces the first movement, one of the longest and most elaborate introductions Beethoven ever wrote.

    The slow movement, which ranks with the most beautiful in formal and thematic conception of any middle-period work, is primarily a set of variations superimposed on a typical slow movement form.  The formal layout is A[1], B[1], A[2], B[2], Coda, with strictly alternating keys of A minor and A major.  The basic rhythmic figure of the introduction haunts the entire movement, an incessant presence against which the A-minor theme emerges as a countermelody.  To the bleakness of the A sections, the B sections bring repose and consolation with even-flowing quarter-note motion in the winds and lower strings, while triplets brush against them.  Meanwhile, far below in the bass register, the first unit of the basic rhythmic figure of A[1] repeats throughout.  Beyond all this, the entire A[1] section works out a vast scheme of incrementation, from low to high registers and from two to four octaves.

    The whole plan anticipated the incrementation from low to high registers from piano to fortissimo, that Beethoven later uses in the introduction of the first movement of the Ninth Symphony.   In the Seventh the slow and deliberate style feeling of the first part of this movement beings in a quiet lower terrain, then gradually rises and gains in strength until it fills the musical space.  The clear dramatization of spatial form is essential to the psychological effect of the movement, as listeners have intuitively understood from its first performances, and it partly accounts for the fame of this movement beyond any other in the symphony.

    The Scherzo uses the five-part form we encountered in the Fourth Symphony and in some other middle-period works.  The Scherzo is fully presented three times and the Trio twice, with room for slight modifications of the Scherzo in its second appearance; then a coda grounds the form.  And the Finale, the post propulsive 2/4 Allegro con brio Beethoven had written up to that time, is in a sprawling sonata form, this time with the exposition repeated (a feature not associated with all finales) and an enormous coda that is the longest section of the movement.  With its unrestrained rhythmic energy and power of sonority, rising to fortissimo, the coda brings this colossal symphony to an end" [Lockwood: 232-234].




The Seventh Symphony at the Digital Arhives of the  Beethovenhaus in Bonn

Hector Berlioz on the Seventh Symphony (in Eglish)



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

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

Lockwood, Lewis. Beethoven - The Music and the Life. New York: 2002. Norton & Company.

Ludwig van Beethoven.  Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe. [6 Bände]  Im Auftrag des Beethoven-Hauses Bonn herausgegeben von Sieghard Brandenburg.  München: 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.