The Project Gutenberg EBook of Life of Beethoven, by Anton Schindler

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Life of Beethoven

Author: Anton Schindler

Editor: Ignace Moscheles

Release Date: March 10, 2012 [EBook #39093]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Chuck Greif and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

image of the book's cover

The Editor's Preface.
Contents Volume I
Contents Volume II
Systematic Catalogue of All The Original Works By Ludwig Von Beethoven
[The original punctuation and spelling of the original have been
retained in this etext. Variations in spellings of place-names,
personal names and hyphenization have not been normalized.
(note of etext transcriber)]

Ludwig van Beethoven

T H E   L I F E


B E E T H O V E N,






I G N A C E   M O S C H E L E S, ESQ.,

Pianist to his Royal Highness Prince Albert.






Stamford Street.




ALTHOUGH on appearing for the first time as the Editor of a literary publication, my feelings may be somewhat like those of a child putting on a new dress, yet I feel the responsibility of my position far more than its novelty; for the subject of my first essay is one not to be approached by me, at least, without seriousness and reverence. That the amount, however, of this editorial responsibility may be thought neither greater nor less than it really is, I must beg leave to state my precise share in this publication, and to advert to the qualifications with which I have entered on my task.

In acceding to Mr. Colburn's request that I would add to the English translation of Schindler's Biography of Beethoven which he was about to publish, such explanatory notes, characteristics, and letters as might tend more fully to illustrate and complete the whole, I had to subscribe to one clause in the agreement between Mr. Schindler and the publisher, namely, that the work should be given as he wrote it, without omission or alteration. The Notes bearing my signature, then, are all that belong to me in these volumes. The Appendix is, however, of my collection, and will be found to consist of the following documents:—


Letters from Beethoven to Kapellmeister Hoffmeister and C. F. Peters, music-publishers, relative to the sale of some of his compositions.

Letter on the first appearance of Beethoven's "Fidelio."

Beethoven's Letters to Madame Bettine Von Arnim.

Letter of Madame Bettine Von Arnim to Göthe.

A Day with Beethoven.


Beethoven's Letters to Mademoiselle Von Breuning, Wegeler, and Ries.

Beethoven's Correspondence with Messrs. Neate and Ries.

Account of a Concert given by Beethoven at the Kaernthnerthor Theatre, Vienna.

Characteristics of Beethoven from Wegeler and Ries's "Notizen."

Additional Characteristics, Traits, and Anecdotes of Beethoven.

Beethoven's Last Moments.

Funeral Honours to Beethoven, and Miserere. Amplius. Libera, for four voices, with an Organ accompaniment, performed at the funeral.

Concert in aid of Beethoven's Monument, at Drury Lane Theatre, July 19th, 1837.

Sale of Beethoven's MSS. and Musical Library.

Systematic Catalogue of all the original Works of Beethoven, published by T. Haslinger, from Vienna.

Moscheles' complete Edition of Beethoven's Works, published by Messrs. Cramer and Co.

So far the task of explanation is easy; but I am now entering upon more delicate ground—my own qualifications for the editorship. If in stating these I appear to be somewhat prolix, I hope that a little indulgence may be conceded to me from my desire to show that my impressions of reverence for Beethoven's genius are not things of yesterday; but that I began early to follow him in his glorious creations, and to study his personal, as well as his artistical character, with an enthusiasm which years and experience have done nothing to diminish. To satisfy the craving which I felt, when a boy nine or ten years old, at Prague, for the best musical productions of the time, I subscribed to a library which afforded me the compositions of Dussek, Steibelt, Woelffl, Kozeluch, and Eberl—works of no insurmountable difficulty to me; though, indeed, so far from mastering them, I only ran through them, without particular attention to finish, enjoying in each its peculiar style. I had been placed under the guidance and tuition of Dionysius Weber, the founder and present director of the Prague Musical Conservatory; and he, fearing that, in my eagerness to read new music, I might injure the systematic development of my Piano-forte playing, prohibited the library; and, in a plan for my musical education which he laid before my parents, made it an express condition, that for three years I should study no other authors but Mozart, Clementi, and S. Bach. I must confess, however, that, in spite of such prohibitions, I visited the library, gaining access to it through my pocket-money. It was about this time that I learnt from some school-fellows that a young composer had appeared at Vienna, who wrote the oddest stuff possible—such as no one could either play or understand; crazy music, in opposition to all rule; and that this composer's name was Beethoven. On repairing to the library to satisfy my curiosity as to this so-called eccentric genius, I found there Beethoven's Sonate pathétique. This was in the year 1804. My pocket-money would not suffice for the purchase of it, so I secretly copied it. The novelty of its style was so attractive to me, and I became so enthusiastic in my admiration of it, that I forgot myself so far as to mention my new acquisition to my master, who reminded me of his injunction, and warned me not to play or study any eccentric productions until I had based my style upon more solid models. Without, however, minding his injunctions, I seized upon the piano-forte works of Beethoven as they successively appeared, and in them found a solace and a delight such as no other composer afforded me.

In the year 1809, my studies with my master, Weber, closed; and, being then also fatherless, I chose Vienna for my residence to work out my future musical career. Above all, I longed to see and become acquainted with that man who had exercised so powerful an influence over my whole being; whom, though I scarcely understood, I blindly worshipped. I learnt that Beethoven was most difficult of access, and would admit no pupil but Ries; and, for a long time, my anxiety to see him remained ungratified. In the year 1810, however, the longed-for opportunity presented itself. I happened to be one morning in the music-shop of Domenico Artaria, who had just been publishing some of my early attempts at composition, when a man entered with short and hasty steps, and, gliding through the circle of ladies and professors assembled on business or talking over musical matters, without looking up, as though he wished to pass unnoticed, made his way direct for Artaria's private office at the bottom of the shop. Presently Artaria called me in, and said, "This is Beethoven!" and, to the composer, "This is the youth of whom I have just been speaking to you." Beethoven gave me a friendly nod, and said he had just heard a favourable account of me. To some modest and humble expressions which I stammered forth he made no reply, and seemed to wish to break off the conversation. I stole away with a greater longing for that which I had sought than I had felt before this meeting, thinking to myself—"Am I then indeed such a nobody that he could not put one musical question to me?—nor express one wish to know who had been my master, or whether I had any acquaintance with his works?" My only satisfactory mode of explaining the matter and comforting myself for this omission was in Beethoven's tendency to deafness, for I had seen Artaria speaking close to his ear.

But I made up my mind that the more I was excluded from the private intercourse which I so earnestly coveted, the closer I would follow Beethoven in all the productions of his mind. I never missed the Schuppanzigh Quartetts, at which he was often present, or the delightful Concerts at the Augarten, where he conducted his own Symphonies. I also heard him play several times, which however he did but rarely, either in public or private. The productions which made the most lasting impression upon me, were his Fantasia with orchestral accompaniments and chorus, and his Concerto in C minor. I also used to meet him at the houses of MM. Zmeskall and Zizius, two of his friends, through whose musical meetings Beethoven's works first made their way to public attention: but, in place of better acquaintance with the great man, I had mostly to content myself on his part with a distant salute.

It was in the year 1814, when Artaria undertook to publish a piano-forte arrangement of Beethoven's "Fidelio," that he asked the composer whether I might be permitted to make it: Beethoven assented, upon condition that he should see my arrangement of each of the pieces, before it was given into the engraver's hands. Nothing could be more welcome to me, since I looked upon this as the long wished-for opportunity to approach nearer to the great man, and to profit by his remarks and corrections. During my frequent visits, the number of which I tried to multiply by all possible excuses, he treated me with the kindest indulgence. Although his increasing deafness was a considerable hindrance to our conversation, yet he gave me many instructive hints, and even played to me such parts as he wished to have arranged in a particular manner for the piano-forte. I thought it, however, my duty not to put his kindness to the test by robbing him of his valuable time by any subsequent visits; but I often saw him at Maelzel's, where he used to discuss the different plans and models of a Metronome which the latter was going to manufacture, and to talk over the "Battle of Vittoria," which he wrote at Maelzel's suggestion. Although I knew Mr. Schindler, and was aware that he was much with Beethoven at that time, I did not avail myself of my acquaintance with him for the purpose of intruding myself upon the composer. I mention these circumstances to show how very difficult of access this extraordinary man was, and how he avoided all musical discussion; for even with his only pupil, Ries, it was very seldom that he would enter into any explanations. In my later intercourse with him, he gave me but laconic answers on questions of art; and on the character of his own works, made only such condensed remarks as required all my imagination and fancy to develop what he meant to convey. The impatience naturally accompanying his infirmity of deafness, no doubt greatly increased his constitutional reserve in the latter part of life.

On subsequent visits to Vienna, after I had established myself in London, in the year 1821, Beethoven received me with increased cordiality; and that he counted on me as a friend I think is proved, by his intrusting me, during his last illness, with an important mission to the Philharmonic Society of London, of which mention is made in the following pages.

My feelings with respect to Beethoven's music have undergone no variation, save to become warmer. In the first half-score of years of my acquaintance with his works, he was repulsive to me as well as attractive. In each of them, while I felt my mind fascinated by the prominent idea, and my enthusiasm kindled by the flashes of his genius, his unlooked-for episodes, shrill dissonances, and bold modulations, gave me an unpleasant sensation. But how soon did I become reconciled to them! All that had appeared hard, I soon found indispensable. The gnome-like pleasantries, which at first appeared too distorted—the stormy masses of sound, which I found too chaotic—I have, in after-times, learned to love. But, while retracting my early critical exceptions, I must still maintain as my creed, that eccentricities like those of Beethoven are reconcileable with his works alone, and are dangerous models to other composers, many of whom have been wrecked in their attempts at imitation. Whether the musical world can ever recognise the most modern examples of effort to outdo Beethoven in boldness and originality of conception, I leave to future generations to decide.

But all that I have ever felt or thought of Beethoven, his elevation above all his contemporaries, and his importance to art, are so beautifully expressed by the celebrated critic, H. G. Nägeli, that I shall not forbear to avail myself of a passage in one of his lectures,[1] although the fear of being charged with vanity, from its containing a compliment to myself, might have deterred me from so doing. It may be necessary to premise that the critic considers J. S. Bach as the fountain-head of instrumental music, and ascribes its further and gradual development to C. P. E. Bach, J. Haydn, Mozart, Clementi, Cramer, Pleyel, until the art attained its climax under Beethoven at the beginning of the present century.—"Beethoven (says Nägeli) appeared a hero in the art; and where shall the historian find words to depict the regeneration he produced, when the poet himself must here feel at a loss? Music had received two-fold injury in its purity of style—I mean instrumental music, unaided by the charms of vocalisation, as it had existed at the point to which it had been elevated by the Bachs. Mozart's Cantabile, as contrasted with the strict school, and Pleyel's divertimento style, had diluted and debased it; and to Beethoven, the hero, do we owe its regeneration now and for ever. Instinctively original, keenly searching for novelty, resolutely opposing antiquated forms, and freely exploring the new world which he had created not only for himself but for all his brethren in the art, he may be said to have set to all a task, the solution of which is a constant regeneration of design and idea; thus giving full scope to the emanations of the mind. Beethoven's music wears an ever-varying aspect, bright in all its changes, yet could its language not at once become familiar to those, who had lulled their higher powers to rest with the hum of Divertimento's and Fantasias, whilst on all sides the worshippers of the Cantilena were heard to exclaim, 'And is such originality beautiful? and should there not be beauty to render originality palatable?'—little thinking that Beethoven's weapons were of a higher order, and that he conquered, not by winning over his hearers to the soft Cantilena alone, but by speaking in sounds unearthly, thrilling, penetrating, filling the soul, and carrying along—not individuals, but cities—even the whole of Europe. As to the art of piano-forte playing, that too gained a new aspect under him; running passages were set aside; the Toccata style took unexpected forms in his hands. He introduced combinations of distant intervals, original in their very aspect, and heightened by peculiarities of rhythm and staccato's, absorbing in their sparkling brilliancy the Cantabile, to which they formed a glaring contrast. Unlike Steibelt, Dussek, and some of their cotemporaries, in their endeavours to draw out the tone (filez le son), Beethoven would throw it out in detached notes, thus producing the effect of a fountain gushing forth and darting its spray on all sides, well contrasting with the melodious episodes which he still preserved. But a genius like his soon found the limits of piano-forte music too narrow a sphere to move in, and he produced, in turn, works for stringed instruments, and for a whole band. Nevertheless, he never would dive into the mysteries of the science of counterpoint; had he done so, he would have trodden the path of a J. S. Bach, and his imaginative vein, as well as his creative genius, might have been checked. Let us then bow to him, as the inventor, par excellence, of our era. The cotemporaries who vied with him at the beginning of the new century were—Eberl, Haak, Hummel, Liste, Stadler, Tomaschek, Weyse, and Wölffl; but he towered above them all, and did not cease to pour out endless stores of invention and originality, exciting in later years anew body of aspirants to enter the lists of inventive composition,—and with success. We name Feska, Hummel, Onslow, Reicha, Ries, the two Rombergs, Spohr, C. M. v. Weber; and of a yet later date, Kuhlau, Tomaschek, and Worzischek: these have been joined in the last few years by Carl Czerny and Moscheles. Thus do we live in an era fertile in genius, fertile in productions—an era, regenerated by the master spirit—Beethoven!"

But I will detain the reader no longer. If, in my preface, I have appeared to him tedious, I would beg him to remember the words of Pliny the younger—"I have not time to write a short letter, therefore I send you a long one."


3, Chester Place, Regent's Park,
      January, 1841.



F I R S T   V O L U M E.

INTRODUCTION by Schindler1
LIFE OF BEETHOVEN. FIRST PERIOD. [From his Birth to the Year 1800.]
Beethoven's Parentage—Contradiction of a Report on that subject—His musical Education—Tale of a Spider—Appointed Organist to the Chapel of the Elector of Cologne—Patronised by Count von Waldstein—Clever Trick played by him—His first Musical Productions—Haydn—Sterkel—Beethoven's Aversion to give Lessons—Youthful Friendships—He is sent to Vienna to improve himself under Haydn—Acquaintances made by him there—Dr. van Swieten—Prince and Princess Lichnowsky—Envy excited by his success—His indifference to Calumny, and to the Accidents of Birth or Wealth—M. Schenk, the corrector of his Compositions—His early Attachments—His Compositions during this Period—Prices paid for them—The Rasumowsky Quartett—Professional Tour—State of Musical Science at Vienna.25
SECOND PERIOD. [From 1800 to October, 1813.]
General View of the Second Period of Beethoven's Life—Composition of his "Christ on the Mount of Olives" and "Fidelio"—His brothers, Carl and Johann; their mischievous influence—His severe Illness—Remarkable Will addressed to them—His "Sinfonia Eroica," in honour of Napoleon—Count Moritz von Lichnowsky—Opera of "Fidelio"—Beethoven's Neglect of Vocal Performers—Their Intrigues and Cabals—His Passion for Julia—Letters to her—Disappointed Love—Countess Marie Erdödy—Beethoven as Director of the Orchestra—Animadversions on Statements of Ferdinand Ries—Beethoven forms a Friendship with Count Franz von Brunswick and Baron Gleichenstein—Prices paid for his Compositions during the Second Period—Misconduct of his Brothers—Defence of his Character against the charge of Cowardice—Annuity settled upon him, to keep him in Austria—His dislike of, and reconciliation with, Hummel—Foreign Visitors—Bettina Brentano—Göthe—Beethoven's frequent change of Residence—His Domestic Circumstances.71
THIRD PERIOD. [From November, 1813, till his Death, in 1827.] PART I.
Causes of Beethoven's preceding Troubles—Performance of his "Battle of Vittoria," for the Benefit of disabled Soldiers—Dishonest Conduct of M. Mälzel; its effect on Beethoven—Commencement of the Author's Acquaintance with him—Attention paid to Beethoven by the Allied Sovereigns at Vienna—Pitiful Conduct of Carl M. von Weber—Scotch Songs set to Music by Beethoven—Death of his elder Brother—He undertakes the Guardianship of his Son, whom he adopts—Diminution of his Annuity by the Failure of Prince Lobkowitz—He commences House-keeping—Law-suit with his Brother's Widow—Society for the Performance of Beethoven's Chamber Music, directed by Carl Czerny—Further Diminution of his Pension—His Pupil, the Archduke Rudolph, nominated Archbishop of Olmütz—Beethoven commences a Grand Mass for his Installation—Household Troubles—Waltzes and Bagatelles—Straitened Finances—Ignoble Application of Musical MS.—Performance of "The Ruins of Athens"—The "Land-owner" and the "Brain-owner"—Subscription of Sovereigns to Beethoven's new Mass—His Letter to Cherubini.143
Vindication of the Court of Austria from the charge of neglecting Beethoven—His quarrel with a Publisher at Vienna—Mortification arising from his Deafness—Wretched Lodging—Beethoven undertakes to write a new Opera, but is deterred by the prospect of coming in contact with German Singers—His ninth Symphony—Letter from the Archduke Rudolph—Italian Opera at Vienna—Flattering Memorial addressed to Beethoven—Concerts—His discourtesy to Vocal Performers—His credulity and hasty condemnation of his Friends—Is invited to visit England by the Philharmonic Society—Disgraceful conduct of Prince Nicholas von Galitzin—Severe illness—He sets aside a Fund as a Provision for his Nephew—Ingratitude and Misbehaviour of that Youth—Distressing circumstances in which he was involved by him—Beethoven's forlorn Situation—His last Illness—His letters to Moscheles—He is assisted by the Philharmonic Society—Total value of his Property—His Death—Post-mortem Examination.209
S U P P L E M E N T.
Letters from Beethoven to Kapellmeister Hofmeister and C. F. Peters, Music Publishers, relative to the Sale of some of his Compositions.239
Letter on the First Appearance of Beethoven's "Fidelio"262
Beethoven's Letters to Madame Bettine von Arnim265
Letter of Madame Bettine von Arnim to Göthe275
A Day with Beethoven286
I L L U S T R A T I O N S.
Portrait of BeethovenFrontispiece
Fac-simile of Beethoven's Hand-writing163
First Sketches of the Vocal Subjects of Beethoven's 9th SymphonyEnd of Appendix.



DURING the painful illness of full four months which terminated in the death of Ludwig van Beethoven, he was one day conversing with Hofrath von Breuning and myself on the subject of Plutarch's Lives. Breuning took advantage of the long-wished-for opportunity to ask Beethoven, apparently without any particular object, which of his contemporaries he should prefer for his biographer. Without the least hesitation, he replied, "Rochlitz, if he should survive me." He went on to say that it might be anticipated with certainty, that after his decease many officious pens would hasten to amuse the world with stories and anecdotes concerning him, utterly destitute of truth—for such is the usual lot of those who have had any influence upon their times. It was, therefore, his sincere wish that whatever might hereafter be said concerning him "should be in every respect strictly consonant with truth, no matter how hard it might bear upon this or the other person, or even upon himself."

This sentiment of Beethoven's, uttered at a moment when his dissolution appeared to us to be near at hand—though his physicians still held out to him some hopes of recovery, while at the same time they felt thoroughly convinced of its impossibility—this sentiment was too important for us to neglect following it up. In so doing, however, we were obliged to proceed with the utmost caution; as indeed we were in everything which, in his state of severe suffering, had any reference, however remote, to death: for his imagination, more excited than when in health, ranged through the universe, formed projects of tours, of prodigious compositions, and other enterprises. In short, he had no idea that death was so near, neither would he take any warning of its approach. In fact, all his desire was to live; for he still intended to do much, that none but himself, perhaps, was capable of accomplishing.

Prudence, therefore, enjoined us to refrain from touching upon that point, which he himself avoided, and to watch for a suitable opportunity when we should find him again disposed to speak further upon it. This opportunity occurred but too soon, as his end was evidently approaching. Sensible of the rapid decline of his physical powers, he now himself declared that all hope of his recovery was vain, and began to look death in the face with stoic fortitude.

Plutarch and other favourite Greek authors lay around him, and thus one day—it might be the seventh or eighth before his decease—he made some observations on Lucius Brutus, whose character he highly admired. This was a signal to Breuning and myself to resume the conversation, which we had dropped, with respect to his biographer, and to direct it according to our wishes. Resigned already to his fate, Beethoven read with great attention a paper on this subject, drawn up by his older friend Breuning, and then very calmly said, "There lies such a paper, there such another—take them, and make the best use you can of them; but let the truth be strictly adhered to in every point. For this I hold both of you responsible, and write on the subject to Rochlitz." Our object was now accomplished, for he gave us himself the necessary explanations respecting the papers. This memorable scene by the sick-bed of our beloved friend terminated in his desiring me to take charge of all the letters that were there, and Breuning of all his other papers, among which was the first version of the opera of "Fidelio," in score—an injunction with which we punctually complied.

After Beethoven's death, we resolved jointly to communicate to M. Rochlitz the wish of our deceased friend, when M. von Breuning was taken ill, and in two months followed him to the grave. This totally unexpected event placed me in a particularly unpleasant situation with regard to the joint duty undertaken for Beethoven. M. von Breuning's widow soon afterwards gave up to me the papers committed to the care of her deceased husband; and I was now obliged to apply singly on the subject to M. Rochlitz. This I did by a letter, dated the 12th of September, 1827. On the 18th of the same month I received the following answer:—

"I have long been aware how much there was great and noble in the character of our respected Beethoven, notwithstanding the eccentricity and roughness of his manner; and though, during my visit to Vienna in 1822, I conversed with him only a few times with frankness and confidence, this was owing solely to the complaint with which he was afflicted, and which was so great an obstacle to any intercourse with him. This, together with the cheerful acknowledgment of his extraordinary genius and professional merit, caused me to follow, to the best of my ability, the course of his mind and of his whole inward life, in so far as it is exhibited in his works, from his youth to his death. And as I availed myself also of every opportunity to gain, from time to time, authentic particulars concerning his outward life, I deemed myself, at his death, not wholly incompetent to be his biographer. I resolved, therefore, to undertake the office for Beethoven in the same manner that I had done for Karl Maria von Weber, by making their lives principal articles in the third volume of my work, Für Freunde der Tonkunst (For Friends of Music). To this is now added a further inducement in your proposal to supply me with materials, and the wish of Beethoven himself, conveyed to me through you. From all this put together, you may judge whether I feel disposed to comply with the wish expressed by you, as well as by several other friends of Beethoven's. So much the more mortifying is it, then, to me, that it is not in my power to do so. A life devoted in early years to close and almost unremitting application has, of late, been severely revenging itself upon me.... Hence I am at length compelled to submit to an almost total change of my former pursuits; and the most important part of this change is, that I sit and write much less than formerly; and, that I may not be again forced or enticed to break this rule, I decline undertaking any work of consequence. And thus I am obliged to renounce the fulfilment of your wish as well as my own.... I cannot tell you how it grieves me to give this answer; but we must all bow to necessity. Accept my thanks for your confidence."

Notwithstanding this positive refusal, I ventured to repeat my request to M. Rochlitz, at the same time offering to assist him in the task; as, in addition to the materials destined for his use, I was in possession of many important facts collected during an intercourse of many years with Beethoven, with which no other person was or could be acquainted, because they had arisen from my own connexion with the great man.

I was favoured as early as the 3rd of October with the answer of M. Rochlitz, from which I shall only make the following extract:—

"I thank you, in the first place, for the copy you have sent me of Beethoven's will.[2] I cannot tell you how much I was delighted with the cordial child-like goodness of heart which it so unequivocally displays, or how deeply I have been affected by the painful sufferings of his excellent soul. Most assuredly this document will produce the same effect on all who shall peruse it, the absolutely bad alone excepted. Indeed, I know not anything more favourable or more convincing that could be said of the deceased, in speaking of him, not as an artist, but as a man. I cannot undertake to comply with your wish as expressed in a new form; and it is of no use to either of us if I add I am sorry for it."

Upon these refusals of M. Rochlitz, adhering to the resolution that I had previously formed, in case that writer should decline the commission, not to resign the papers in my hands to any other person,—I took no further steps, and made up my mind to wait for suitable time and circumstances.

If we are to have a complete biography of Beethoven,—of the man who must be classed among the greatest that ages have produced,—we want no flights of poetry and imagination on the subject of his works, or the analysis of them, such as have already appeared by thousands, and will continue to appear, some good, some bad, according to the respective qualifications and powers of the authors, each of whom considered the genius of the great composer as his own rainbow, and consequently each in a different manner; but the main point is to show under what circumstances, and in what position, Beethoven produced his splendid and imperishable creations; consequently, to furnish facts, the greatest part of which one must have collected on the spot, and moreover have witnessed by the side of this extraordinary man, in order to be able to form a just estimate of their greater or less influence on his whole existence. In this position, affording a guarantee for truth and authenticity, there stands, as regards Beethoven, not one of his surviving friends excepting myself; neither is there any besides myself, who, at the time of the most important occurrences of his life, was constantly about his person, and assisting him in his occupations. This being the case, the most important part of the biography must necessarily have been furnished by me, whoever might ultimately have been its author.

I had a particular motive for not hurrying the publication of this work, namely, by withholding my friend's papers for a longer period, to soften the severe but just censure passed on many living persons who had previously sinned against the great master, and to spare them as much as possible, in order in some degree to mitigate Beethoven's express injunction, "to tell the rigid truth about everything." I say, to spare as much as possible; for the twelve years that have flown over Beethoven's grave have not undone the manifold wrongs, the bitter sorrows, and the deep injuries which he had to endure when living, and which brought his life and labours to a premature termination.

The notion which I had conceived twelve years ago, of the requisites necessary for a biography of Beethoven, at length became a settled conviction of my mind, amidst the various opinions concerning him, confusedly flung together by his numberless admirers. I was satisfied that it was the only correct view. On the other hand, in the possession of such copious materials (of only a small portion of which, however, I have availed myself)—urged, moreover, by his admirers, in nearly every country in Europe, not any longer to postpone the publication of this biography—I was induced to venture, with my own humble, unaided abilities, on the important enterprise. Without, therefore, stopping to examine all that has been said concerning Beethoven, and to correct inaccuracies, which would in the end have proved to be labour in vain, I adhere, on this point, to my preconceived notions, and shall endeavour to lay before the public in this work a series of unembellished facts, as the case requires, which shall enable the admirers of the illustrious deceased to comprehend and appreciate this lofty model of greatness of soul and of creative genius, in all its truth and reality. In the execution of this design, I follow a division not arising out of the history of the development of his genius, but purely from the various phases of his life, such as Beethoven himself would have adopted—that is to say, I divide his life and works into three periods; the first extending from his birth to the year 1800, the second from 1800 to October 1813, and the third from the last-mentioned date to his death in 1827.[3] It shall accordingly be facts that I shall chiefly endeavour to record, as nearly as possible, in chronological order, and with the closest adherence to truth; and among the statements advanced by others, it is only such as bear materially upon his character, or his way of thinking and acting, that I shall either rectify, or, if need be, contradict.

As the third period will claim the largest portion of this work, it obliges me, in order not be too voluminous, to treat more briefly of the first two periods, and this I can do without detriment to the important subject, since Dr. Wegeler and M. Ferdinand Ries, in their biographical sketches of Beethoven, published two years ago, have given so many characteristic traits of him. Wegeler, the respected friend of Beethoven from his youthful days, there records all that is requisite to be told concerning his birth and abode in Bonn; so that I think it quite sufficient to confine myself in places to communications made by him to me so far back as 1828, with reference to that period, because the thread of the narrative requires it; and that gentleman may infer from the reasons already assigned why I could not earlier comply with his repeated solicitations to accelerate the publication of this work. Unpleasant as was the notice, dated the 28th of October, 1834, which he gave me, that, on account of my long-protracted delay, he was determined to put his sketches to press, still I was obliged to let him act as he pleased. His sketches of the first years of Beethoven's life may be referred to as an authentic source; for the greater part of the particulars which they contain I have heard from the lips of the master himself.

As to the publication of Ferdinand Ries, I am sorry to be obliged to declare that Ries has in this performance said too much. Less would have been much more to the purpose. He seems almost to justify the remark of a friend and admirer of Beethoven's, who, soon after the appearance of that pamphlet, wrote to me as follows:—"From the tone assumed by Ries, one would imagine that Beethoven had lived exclusively for him; and, in writing those sketches and anecdotes, he seems to have kept his eye much more upon his own dear self than upon his friend and master."

Had Ries not recommended his performance in an unqualified manner, as an authentic source for a complete biography of Beethoven (which he does in his preface), and thus set himself up for an authority to be relied on by the future biographer of Beethoven, as well as by the public in general (though he had had no personal intercourse with him for full thirty-two years), I should not have made a single remark on him or his work, attaching no more importance to the latter than belongs to anecdotes in general: for aphorisms, notices, and anecdotes, constitute no logical connected whole, consequently they establish no opinion, though they assist to form one. The remarks, then, which, in my position, I think it my duty to make on the publication of Ries, in so far as it pretends to delineate the character of Beethoven, I submit on my part with all respect for the deceased, who was too early taken from us, for I too regarded him as my valued friend. He meant not designedly to tarnish the memory of one of the noblest characters, but yet he has done so. The motive of this mal-à-propos may possibly have originated as follows:—

At the time when Ries was a pupil of Beethoven's, he was quite as young as his judgment: he was, therefore, incapable of grasping, of comprehending, consequently also of judging, the immense sphere which even at that time was beginning to open upon the genius and upon the whole existence of his instructor. Hence it was only superficial matters, words dropped in vexation or in playfulness—in short, anecdotes, sometimes of greater, sometimes of less consequence—which struck him and impressed themselves on his memory; but which could by no means justify him in representing Beethoven's character as being so rude as he does in pages 81,[4] 83, 84, and 92, of his sketches—to say nothing of other passages. If the statements made there only by Ries are absolutely true, what a rude character was Beethoven!—how repulsive and inaccessible to juvenile talent!

In my conversations with Ries concerning Beethoven, at Frankfort, in the year 1833, I perceived all this but too plainly, and took the opportunity to set him right on many points. His memory had only retained a correct impression of the boisterous, heaven-assaulting giant, the recesses of whose mind the scholar, who had scarcely arrived at adolescence, was as yet incapable of exploring. He saw only the shell before him, but he had not discovered the right way to get at the inestimable kernel. Ten years later, and the man would probably have found it out. His short stay at Vienna in 1809, during the French occupation, was anything but calculated to furnish a better and more suitable basis for his opinions concerning Beethoven, or even to erase from his mind many an erroneous impression which it had received. With such indistinct notions Ries parted from his preceptor, at a time when, a mere student of the art, he could scarcely go alone, as indeed it was but natural to expect at the age of scarcely twenty years. Certain it is, that the Beethoven of 1805, when Ries left Vienna, was totally different from him of 1825; and I could sincerely wish that Ries, whose abilities I respect, had once more seen Beethoven, deeply bowed down by the severe vicissitudes which he had undergone, like a burnt-out volcano, which is only at times in commotion;—that he could have heard him, and learned from his own lips what was the most particular desire of our mutual friend.

To conclude, I entreat all the friends and admirers of Beethoven to accept the assurance that, in my account of my instructor and friend, my pen shall be guided by nothing but pure love for him, and pure and unfeigned love for truth. Too deeply penetrated with the high importance of the subject to be treated of, I shall adhere steadfastly to the determination to exert my best ability, and to keep aloof from prejudice of every kind.

Thus, then, I submit this work to the public, hoping that it may not merely furnish a biography of the great composer, but also a contribution to the history of his art. Conscious that I have spared no pains to fulfil this two-fold object, I trust that it will be acknowledged that I have written in the feeling of justice and of truth, notwithstanding the many rugged and dangerous rocks which I have had to encounter in the undertaking.





Beethoven's Parentage—Contradiction of a Report on that subject—His Musical Education—Tale of a Spider—Appointed Organist to the Chapel of the Elector of Cologne—Patronised by Count von Waldstein—Clever Trick played by him—His first Musical Productions—Haydn—Sterkel—Beethoven's Aversion to give Lessons—Youthful Friendships—He is sent to Vienna to improve himself under Haydn—Acquaintances made by him there—Dr. van Swieten—Prince and Princess Lichnowsky—Envy excited by his success—His Indifference to Calumny, and to the Accidents of Birth or Wealth—M. Schenk, the corrector of his Compositions—His early Attachments—His Compositions during this Period—Prices paid for them—The Rasumowsky Quartett—Professional Tour—State of Musical Science at Vienna.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN was born on the 17th of December, 1770, at Bonn. His father, Johann van Beethoven, was tenor singer in the electoral chapel, and died in 1792. His mother, Maria Magdalena, whose maiden name was Keverich, was a native of Coblentz; she died in 1787. His grandfather, Ludwig van Beethoven, who is conjectured on very good grounds to have been a native of Maestricht, was music-director and bass singer, and performed operas of his own composition, at Bonn, in the time of the elector Clemens August, whose fondness for magnificence is well known. Of this grandfather, who died in 1773, Beethoven retained a lively recollection even in his later years; and he frequently spoke with filial affection and fervent gratitude of his mother, "who had so much patience with his obstinacy."

The report that Beethoven was a natural son of Frederick William II., King of Prussia, first broached by Fayolle and Choron, which was reported in seven editions of the "Conversations-Lexicon," published by Brockhaus, and caused great vexation to Beethoven, was conclusively confuted by Dr. Wegeler, after Beethoven had requested him, in a letter written by me from his dictation, and dated the 7th of October, 1826,[5] "to make known to the world the unblemished character of his parents, and especially of his mother."[6]

Beethoven's education was neither particularly neglected nor particularly good. He received elementary instruction and learned something of Latin at a public school—music he learnt at home, and was closely kept to it by his father, whose way of life, however, was not the most regular. The lively and often stubborn boy had a great dislike to sitting still, so that it was continually necessary to drive him in good earnest to the piano-forte. He had still less inclination for learning the violin, and on this point I cannot help adverting to a tale, so ingeniously invented and so frequently repeated, relative to a spider, which, "whenever little Ludwig was playing in his closet on the violin, would let itself down from the ceiling and alight upon the instrument, and which his mother, on discovering her son's companion, one day destroyed, whereupon little Ludwig dashed his violin to shatters." This is nothing more than a tale. Great Ludwig, highly as this fiction amused him, never would admit that he had the least recollection of such a circumstance. On the contrary, he declared that it was much more likely that everything, even to the very flies and spiders, should have fled out of the hearing of his horrid scraping.

He made his first acquaintance with German literature, and especially the poets, in the house of M. von Breuning, in Bonn, whose family contributed greatly in every respect to the cultivation of his mind, and to whom Beethoven, till the last moment of his life, acknowledged his obligations with the warmest gratitude.

Beethoven received his first lessons from his father, but he had afterwards a far better instructor in a M. Pfeiffer, a man of talent, well known as music-director and oboist. Beethoven owed more to this composer than to any other, and he was grateful for his services, for he remitted money from Vienna to him, when in need of assistance, through M. Simrock, of Bonn. That van der Eder, organist to the court, really taught our Beethoven the management of the organ, as Dr. Wegeler merely conjectured, is a fact, as Beethoven himself related with many concomitant anecdotes. By the instructions of Neefe, the court-organist, Beethoven declared that he had profited little or nothing.

In the year 1785, Beethoven was appointed, by the Elector Max Franz, brother of the Emperor Joseph II., organist to the electoral chapel, a post obtained for him by Count von Waldstein, a patron of the arts, not only a connoisseur in music, but himself a practical musician, a knight of the Teutonic order, and favourite of the Elector.[7] To this nobleman Beethoven was indebted for the first appreciation of his talents, and his subsequent mission to Vienna. A circumstance which affords evidence of his extraordinary talent may be introduced here, since at a later period it appeared to Beethoven himself to be worth recording, and he often mentioned it with pleasure as a clever juvenile trick.

On the last three days of the Passion week, the Lamentations of the prophet Jeremiah were always chanted: these consisted of passages of from four to six lines, and they were sung in no particular time. In the middle of each sentence, agreeably to the choral style peculiar to the old church-music in general, a rest was made upon one note, which rest the player on the piano—for the organ was not used on those three days—had to fill up with a voluntary flourish, as is likewise usual in the accompaniment of other choral performances.

Beethoven told Heller, a singer at the chapel, who was boasting of his professional cleverness, that he would engage that very day to put him out at such a place, without his being aware of it, yet so effectually that he should not be able to proceed. Heller, who considered this as an absolute impossibility, laid a wager accordingly with Beethoven. The latter, when he came to a passage that suited his purpose, led the singer, by an adroit modulation, out of the prevailing mode into one having no affinity to it, still, however, adhering to the tonic of the former key; so that the singer, unable to find his way in this strange region, was brought to a dead stand. Exasperated by the laughter of those around him, Heller complained of Beethoven to the Elector, who, to use Beethoven's expression, "gave him a most gracious reprimand, and bade him not play any more such clever tricks."

When Haydn first returned from England, the electoral band gave him a breakfast at Godesberg, near Bonn. On this occasion Beethoven laid before him a Cantata, which gained him the commendation of the celebrated master, who exhorted the youthful composer to persevere in his professional studies. On account of several difficult passages for the wind instruments, which the performers declared themselves unable to play, this Cantata was laid aside and not published. Such is the statement of Dr. Wegeler. Though I have not the least doubt of Dr. Wegeler's accuracy, I never heard Beethoven himself say a word concerning any such first production; but well I recollect having been told by him that his best essay at composition at that period was a Trio for piano-forte, violin, and violoncello. This Trio was not published till after his death, about ten or eleven years ago, by Dunst, of Frankfort: its second movement, the Scherzo, may be regarded as the embryo of all Beethoven's Scherzos. The third movement of that Trio belongs in idea and form to Mozart—a proof how early Beethoven began to make him his idol. He seemed in fact to have totally forgotten the Cantata in question.

Beethoven's first compositions were the Sonatas copied into the Blumenlese of Speyer; in the next place the song, "Wenn Jemand eine Reise thut" (When a man on travel goes), and further, the music to a ballet performed during the carnival by the high nobility, the piano-forte part of which is said to be in the possession of M. Dunst, of Frankfort. This music, which was reputed to be the work of Count von Waldstein, was not at first published. Then came the Variations on Vieni amore, theme by Righini, which afforded the youthful author occasion to display his extraordinary talent. This was at his interview at Aschaffenburg with Sterkel, a celebrated performer of that day, and indeed the most accomplished piano-forte player whom Beethoven had ever yet heard. The doubt expressed by this highly-finished and elegant performer, whether the composer of these Variations could play them fluently himself, spurred on Beethoven not only to play by heart such as were printed, but to follow them up with a number of others extemporised on the spot; and at the same time he imitated the light and pleasing touch of Sterkel, whom he had never heard till then, whereas his own usual way of playing the piano was hard and heavy, owing, as Beethoven declared, not to his want of feeling, but to his practising a great deal upon the organ, of which instrument he was very fond.

Beethoven had, from his youth, as Dr. Wegeler relates—and as he himself often showed by the fact—a decided aversion to give lessons; and, in his later years, as well as formerly at Bonn, he always went to this occupation "like an ill-tempered donkey."[8] We shall see in the third period of his biography how he conducted himself when giving instruction to his most illustrious pupil, the Archduke Rudolph,[9] who entertained the deepest respect for his master, and with whom Beethoven had no need to lay himself under more restraint than if he had been in the house of a friend.[10]

With this brief account, the period which Beethoven passed in his birthplace, Bonn, might aptly close. He himself considered that time as the happiest portion of his life, though it was frequently embittered by disagreeable circumstances, originating chiefly in his father's irregular course of life. The members of the Breuning family were his guardian angels; for the numerous friendships which his superior talents gained him began already to be detrimental to his higher cultivation. This is too often the case with youthful genius, which disdains moderate praise and accepts flattery as a tribute justly due to it; and of course such a person seeks in preference the society of those from whom he hopes to obtain that gratification.

Under such circumstances, most fortunate was it for Beethoven that he received permission from the Elector, Max Franz, to reside for a few years at Vienna, for the purpose of improving himself under the tuition of Haydn. In the year 1792, Beethoven went to Vienna, the central point of everything great and sublime that Music had till then achieved on the soil of Germany. Mozart, the source of all light in the region of harmony, whose personal acquaintance Beethoven had made on his first visit to Vienna in the winter of 1786-7, who, when he heard Beethoven extemporise upon a theme that was given him, exclaimed to those present, "This youth will some day make a noise in the world"—Mozart, though he had been a year in his grave, yet lived freshly in the memory of all who had a heart susceptible of his divine revelations, as well as in Beethoven's—Gluck's spirit still hovered around the inhabitants of old Vindobona—Father Haydn, and many other distinguished men in every art, and in every branch of human knowledge, yet lived and worked together harmoniously—in short, no sooner had Beethoven, then but twenty-two, looked around him in this favoured abode of the Muses, and made a few acquaintances, than he said to himself—"Here will I stay, and not return to Bonn, even though the Elector should cut off my pension."

One of his first, and for a long time most influential acquaintances, was the celebrated van Swieten, formerly physician in ordinary to the Empress Maria Theresa, a man who could appreciate art and artists according to their real worth. Van Swieten was, as it were, the cicerone of the new comer, and attached young Beethoven to his person and to his house, where indeed the latter soon found himself at home. The musical treats in van Swieten's house consisted chiefly of compositions by Handel, Sebastian Bach, and the greatest masters of Italy, up to Palestrina, performed with a full band; and they were so truly exquisite as to be long remembered by all who had been so fortunate as to partake of them. For Beethoven those meetings had this peculiar interest, that he not only gained an intimate acquaintance with those classics, but also that he was obliged to stay longest, because the old gentleman had an insatiable appetite for music, so that the night was often pretty far advanced before he would suffer him to depart; nay, frequently he would not suffer him to go at all; for, to all that he had heard before, Beethoven was obliged to add half a dozen fugues by Bach, "by way of a blessing." Among the notes addressed by that eminent physician to Beethoven, and carefully preserved by the latter, one runs thus:—"If you are not prevented next Wednesday, I should be glad to see you here at half-past eight in the evening, with your night-cap in your pocket."

Nearly at the same time with van Swieten, our Beethoven made the acquaintance of the princely family of Lichnowsky, and this point in his life is of such importance, and led to such manifold consequences, that it behoves me to dwell upon it at some length.

The members of this remarkable family belonged altogether to those rarer natures which are susceptible to everything that is great and sublime, and therefore patronised and honoured art and science, as well as all that is chivalrous, to which the greater part of the nobility devote their exclusive attention. Prince Karl von Lichnowsky, Mozart's pupil, was a genuine nobleman, and, what is still more, a Mecænas in the strictest sense of the term; and at that time, when the Austrian nobility were universally noble-minded, there could have been found few to match him in that extensive empire. Of like disposition was his consort, the Princess Christiane, by birth Countess of Thun. In this resort of accomplished minds and polished manners, Beethoven found an asylum in which he continued for several years. Prince Lichnowsky became a paternal friend, the princess, a second mother, to the young musician. The prince assigned to him a yearly allowance of six hundred florins, which he was to receive till he should obtain some permanent appointment; and at that time this was no insignificant sum. The kindness of both these princely personages pursued him, as it were, and did not abate even when the adopted son, who was frequently obstinate, would have certainly lost that of any other patrons, and when he had deserved the severest reprehension. It was the princess in particular who found all that the often ill-tempered and sullen young man chose to do or to let alone, right, clever, original, amiable—and who, accordingly, contrived to make excuses for all his peccadilloes to the more rigid prince. At a later period Beethoven, in describing this mode of treatment, employed the following characteristic expression:—"They would have brought me up there," said he, "with grandmotherly fondness, which was carried to such a length that very often the princess was on the point of having a glass shade made to put over me, so that no unworthy person might touch or breathe upon me."[11]

Such extreme indulgence could not fail to produce its effects upon a temperament like Beethoven's, and it could not but operate detrimentally to the steady and undisturbed cultivation of his talent, which excited the attention and admiration of thousands. Whence was the necessary firmness to come in the conflicts with external life? Of course, then, the impetuous son of the Muse was every moment running his head against the wall, and was doomed to feel, as he would not hear. Van Swieten's counsels and admonitions, too, were frequently disregarded; and old "Papa" was content if the intractable Beethoven would but come to his evening parties.

If we find, in consequence, that Beethoven's manners were sometimes deficient in polish, the reason lies—in the first place, in his energetic nature, which broke through all barriers, and, spurning the etiquette of high life, would not submit to any shackles. Another not less powerful cause is to be sought in the indulgence and even in the admiration which his eccentricities met with from high and low; for there was a time when the name "Beethoven" had become a general password to which everything gave way.

That, in opposition to his admirers, there should be some who, eclipsed by the extraordinary success of the youthful master, felt themselves thrust into the background and mortified, was no more than might have been expected. Envy and jealousy brandished their weapons against the unaffected young artist pushing on in his career, whose internal as well as external originality afforded more than one assailable point. It was more especially the external, of such a nature as had never been observed in any artist, that envy and jealousy would not by any means acknowledge to be the natural consequence of his internal organization. In direct opposition to every exaggerated formality, and avoiding the broad, beaten track of mediocrity and every-day talent, while pursuing his own course, Beethoven could not but be misconceived by many whose view was not capable of embracing his horizon. He was also misjudged, as so many a true master-mind has been, in its intercourse with the various classes, because its peculiar notions of things, originating in the nature of Art, never tally with those of the multitude, which cannot assimilate with those of the artist. This peculiar mode of viewing things shows itself, sometimes more, at other times less, in every one of his works.

At this early period, a trait of character, that distinguished him throughout his whole life, manifested itself in young Beethoven. It was this—that he never defended himself against criticisms or attacks so long as they were not directed against his honour, but against his professional abilities, and never suffered them to have more than a superficial effect upon him. Not indifferent to the opinions of the good, he took no notice of the attacks of the malicious, and allowed them to go on unchecked even when they proceeded so far as to assign him a place, sometimes in one mad-house, sometimes in another. "If it amuses people to say or to write such stuff concerning me, let them continue so to do as long as they please:" this was his maxim, to which he adhered through all the vicissitudes of his professional life.

With this trait of character was associated already in early youth another, not less important for his professional career than the former, namely, that rank and wealth were to him matters of absolute indifference—accidents for which he had no particular respect; hence, in a man he would recognise and honour nothing but the man. To bow to Mammon and its possessors was nothing less, in his opinion, than downright blasphemy—the deepest degradation of the man endowed with genius; and, before he could pay the wealthy the ordinary respect, it was requisite that they should at least be known to him as humane and benevolent. On this point more particularly Beethoven was orthodox, and no temptation whatever could have produced a change of sentiment on that head any more than in his political creed. It was, therefore, perfectly natural that the prince should occupy no higher place in his estimation than the private citizen; and he held that mind alone, that divine emanation in man, rises, according to its powers, above all that is material and accidental; that it is an immediate gift of the Creator, destined to serve as a light to others. Hence it follows that Beethoven recognised the position allotted to him from above, and its importance in the universe, and that too in all humility, as may be clearly seen in the letters addressed to a lady of whom he was passionately enamoured, which will be given hereafter.

In the first number of the Leipzig Musikalische Zeitung of 1835, I took occasion, from an expression attributed to Beethoven in a Vienna journal[12] respecting the age at which a person ought to learn the theory of harmony and counterpoint, to say, that Beethoven, on his arrival at Vienna, knew nothing of counterpoint and very little of the theory of harmony. His imagination warm and active, his ear sensitive, and Pegasus ever ready, he composed away, without concerning himself about the indispensable scholastic rules. Such was the state of things, when he began to receive instructions from Haydn, and Haydn is said to have been always satisfied with his new scholar, because he permitted him to do as he liked; till the tables were turned, and the scholar became dissatisfied with the master, owing to the following circumstance:—

Among the professional men whom Beethoven knew and respected, was M. Schenk, composer of the music to the Dorfbarbier, a man of mild, amiable disposition, and profoundly versed in musical science. M. Schenk one day met Beethoven, when he was coming with his roll of music under his arm from Haydn. Schenk threw his eye over it, and perceived here and there various inaccuracies. He pointed them out to Beethoven, who assured him that Haydn had just corrected that piece. Schenk turned over the leaves, and found the grossest blunders left untouched in the preceding pieces. Beethoven now conceived a suspicion of Haydn, and would have given up taking instructions from him, but was dissuaded from that resolution, till Haydn's second visit to England afforded a fitting occasion for carrying it into effect. From this moment a coolness took place between Haydn and Beethoven. Ries heard Beethoven say that he had indeed taken lessons of Haydn, but never learned anything of him. (See his Notizen, p. 86.)[13] The conduct of Haydn in this case was variously construed, as he was known to be in other respects a conscientious man: but no certain motive can be alleged for it. M. Schenk continued to be from that time the confidential corrector of Beethoven's compositions, even after Albrechtsberger had undertaken to give him instructions in counterpoint. Here I must record a remarkable fact which serves to characterise both these old friends.

Owing to Beethoven's unsettled life, it was too frequently the case that for years he knew nothing about intimate friends and acquaintance, though they, like himself, resided within the walls of the great capital; and if they did not occasionally give him a call, to him they were as good as dead. Thus it happened, that one day—it was in the beginning of the spring of 1824—I was walking with him over the Graben, when we met M. Schenk, then far advanced between sixty and seventy. Beethoven, transported with joy to see his old friend still among the living, seized his hand, hastened with him into a neighbouring tavern called the Bugle Horn, and conducted us into a back room, where, as in a catacomb, it was necessary to burn a light even at noon-day. There we shut ourselves in, and Beethoven began to open all the recesses of his heart to his respected corrector. More talkative than he often was, a multitude of stories and anecdotes of long by-gone times presented themselves to his recollection, and among the rest the affair with Haydn; and Beethoven, who had now raised himself to the sovereignty in the realm of music, loaded the modest composer of the Dorfbarbier, who was living in narrow circumstances, with professions of his warmest thanks for the kindness which he had formerly shown him. Their parting, after that memorable hour, as if for life, was deeply affecting; and, in fact, from that day, they never beheld one another again.

As, in that classic period of musical activity, Beethoven was the sun which all strove to approach, and rejoiced if they could but catch a glance of his brilliant eye; it was natural that he should converse much with ladies, several of whom were always contending for his affections at once, as it is well known, and he more than once found himself, like Hercules, in a dilemma. Dr. Wegeler says in his publication (page 42) that "Beethoven was never without an attachment, and that mostly he was very deeply smitten." This is quite true. How could any rational person who is acquainted with Beethoven solely from his works, maintain the contrary?[14] Whoever is capable of feeling how powerfully the pure flame of love operates upon the imagination, more especially of the sensitive and highly-endowed artist, and how in all his productions it goes before him like a light sent down from Heaven to guide him, will take it for granted, without any evidence, that Beethoven was susceptible of the purest love, and that he was conducted by it. What genius could have composed the Fantasia in C without such a passion![15] And here be it observed, merely by the way, it was love for the Giulietta to whom that imaginative composition is dedicated, which inspired him while engaged upon it. Beethoven seems to have retained his affection for that lady as long as he lived. Of this I think I can produce striking evidence, but it belongs to the second period.

Wegeler's remark (p. 44) is perfectly true, that the objects of Beethoven's attachment were always of the higher rank. No prejudice on the part of Beethoven had anything to do with this, which arose solely from the circumstance of his having at that time most intercourse with persons in high life,—an intercourse promoted moreover by his connexion with the princely house of Lichnowsky. Beethoven frequently declared that at this time he was best appreciated and best comprehended as an artist by noble and other high personages. High, however, as the converse with such personages was calculated to raise him intellectually, still, in regard to love, and a permanent happiness arising out of it, that circumstance was not advantageous to him. I shall take occasion to treat by and by more explicitly of this interesting topic, and shall merely observe here that, though exposed to such manifold seductions, Beethoven had, like the demi-god of old, the firmness to preserve his virtue unscathed; that his refined sense of right and wrong could not endure anything impure, and in a moral respect equivocal, about it; and that, considered on this score, he passed through life, conscious of no fault, with truly virgin modesty and unblemished character. The higher Muse, who had selected him for such important service, gave his views an upward direction, and preserved him, even in professional matters, from the slightest collision with the vulgar, which, in life as in art, was his abomination. Would that she had done as much for him in regard to the civil relations of life, as they are called, to which every inhabitant of earth is subject! How infinitely higher would Beethoven's genius have soared, if, in the ordinary intercourse of life, he had not been brought into conflict with so many base and contemptible minds!

Among the compositions of such various kinds that belong to this period were, besides the three Sonatas dedicated to Haydn, the first three Trios, several Quartetts for stringed instruments, two Concertos for the piano-forte, the Septett, the First and Second Symphony, more than twenty Sonatas, and the music to Vigano's ballet "Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus" (The Creations of Prometheus), which was performed in 1799, at the Imperial Operahouse; but the most important of these were not printed till a later period. It may not be amiss here to remark that the numbers affixed to Beethoven's works do not indicate the order in which they were composed by the master, but that in which they were published. Many works he kept back, frequently for several years, for the purpose of severe correction, while later compositions were sent into the world without delay.[16] This mode of proceeding, it is true, produced a confusion in the continuous numbering of his works, which he himself knew not how to remedy. At first, he purposed to number the works in the order in which they were composed, though some that were earlier written might not be published till after later ones were already printed. From the chasms which it was on this account found necessary to leave open, arose disorder; and hence we meet with many a number twice and even thrice over in the catalogues, and others not at all. Thus, for example, in the catalogue annexed to the "Beethoven Studien," Op. 29 is prefixed first to three Sonatas, then to the Preludes, and once more to the Quintett in C. In M. Artaria's catalogue, No. 29 is even attached to four, No. 3 to six, and No. 75 to three works. The latter catalogue specifies in the whole one hundred and fifty-two different works of Beethoven's, with numbers and opus-figures, while catalogues containing merely opus-numbers exhibit only one hundred and thirty-eight.

That Beethoven had already at this time many more commissions for works than he could execute, we learn from his letter of the 29th of June, 1800, to Dr. Wegeler,[17] where he likewise mentions that he is paid what he charges for them; and it is interesting to remark how small are the sums then paid for the copyright of his works by publishers in comparison with those which he received twenty years later, as we shall see in the third period. In his letter of the 15th of January, 1801, to the music publisher, Hofmeister, in Leipzig,[18] there is a statement of the prices charged for some works, which may serve as a kind of standard for others. He asks, for instance, for the Septett twenty ducats (ten louis-d'ors), for the First Symphony twenty ducats, for the First Concerto ten ducats, and for the grand B major Sonata (Op. 22) twenty ducats.

During a period of at least ten or twelve years it was at Prince Lichnowsky's musical parties that almost all Beethoven's works were first tried, and the refined taste of the prince, as well as his solid musical acquirements, commanded such respect from Beethoven, that he readily followed his advice in regard to the alteration or improvement of this or that in his compositions—a point on which he was extremely self-willed. Thus, too, at a later period, he would rather hear censures than praise from those to whom he gave credit for comprehending him; and but very few performers could boast of being so fortunate as to be allowed to teach him the peculiarities and the treatment of their respective instruments. M. Kraft, the elder, and subsequently M. Linke, taught him the mechanism of the violoncello, M. Punto that of the horn, and M. Friedlowsky the elder that of the clarinet: and it was these artists whom Beethoven chiefly consulted respecting his compositions, and to whose arguments he listened, even when it went ever so much against the grain to alter this or that passage.[19]

The Quartett which so early as that time had attained high distinction, consisting of Schuppanzigh, first violin, Sina second violin, Weiss, Bratsche (viola) Kraft, the elder, alternating with Linke, violoncello; which at a later period acquired universal and well-deserved celebrity by the appellation of "the Rasumowsky Quartett"—this Quartett enraptured the musical circle of Prince Lichnowsky, and into the souls of these four superior artists did Beethoven in time breathe his own sublime spirit. Him only who can boast of such good fortune I call the scholar, the disciple, of a great master, who can and must further diffuse his precepts in all their purity. How to place the fingers on the instrument, how to perform difficult passages upon it, can be taught by thousands without possessing a single spark of genius. Not the skilful management of technicalities, the spirit alone is the truth of every art. And this spirit, which in Beethoven himself attained its full vigour only with the lapse of time, gradually grew up in this association composing that Quartett till it arrived at its full development, and thus it continued till Beethoven's death, though Messrs. Sina and Weiss had left Vienna, and their places had been supplied by two worthy successors, Messrs. Holz and Kaufmann.[20] The reunion of these four artists, over the musical purity of whose manners Beethoven never ceased to watch with anxiety, was justly regarded as the only genuine school for acquiring a knowledge of Beethoven's quartett-music, that new world full of sublime conceptions and revelations. A letter addressed by the great master to this Quartett—when, in 1825, one of his last difficult Quartetts was to be performed for the first time before a select audience, I must not here omit, on account of its humorous tenor, particularly as it proves at the same time Beethoven's anxiety in their behalf which has been alluded to above. It is verbatim as follows:—

"My dear Friends,

"Herewith each of you will receive what belongs to him, and is hereby engaged, upon condition that each binds himself upon his honour to do his best to distinguish himself and to surpass the rest.

"This paper must be signed by each of those who have to co-operate in the affair in question.


(Here follow the four signatures.)

If I further mention that, towards the end of this first period of his life, Beethoven made a professional tour, of but short duration, it is true, to Leipzig and Berlin; that he excited a great sensation in both these cities; and that his merits were duly appreciated, I think I may fairly conclude the first part of the life of that gigantic genius, who had thus far already marked out for himself the course which he meant to pursue, and from which he was not to be diverted, even by the storms that soon afterwards burst over the musical world. I shall therefore pause only to cast a rapid glance at the state of the art, and at the prevailing taste of that period.

In all Germany, and particularly in Vienna, music was much cultivated, and that chiefly good music (because then there was not so much bad produced as succeeding years have brought forth); for the lower classes, among whom there had previously been many attentive auditors, began to pay more and more attention to the divine art, but at the same time rarely possessed high mental cultivation, or had a just conception of the nature of music and its sublimest object, and upon the whole was still full of prejudices against every art;—when the number of composers was not yet swollen to legion, and was confined to those who were really qualified by Nature, though not always endowed with the lofty powers of genius. But all these persons meant honestly by art, which, now-a-days, is too rarely the case; and, to mean honestly by a matter to which one dedicates one's abilities, tends greatly to promote its success. The magicians of those days, Herder, Wieland, Lessing, Göthe, and many more; together with Gluck, Sebastian Bach and his sons, Mozart, Haydn, Salieri, and the aspiring Beethoven, had exercised such a beneficial influence on the nobler, the intellectual cultivation, especially of the superior classes, that art and science were reckoned by very many among the highest, the chief requisites of intellectual existence. In the German Opera, which, through Gluck and Mozart, had attained its acme, and arrived at the same degree of perfection and estimation as the Italian, truth of expression, dignity, and sublimity in every point, were far more highly prized than the mere fluency of throat, hollow pathos, and excitements of sense, studied in that of the present day. These two institutions operated powerfully on all who were susceptible of what is truly beautiful and noble. Haydn's "Creation," and Handel's Oratorios, attracted unprecedented auditories, and afforded the highest gratification, with bands of one hundred and fifty, or at most two hundred performers; whereas, in our over-refined times, from six to eight hundred, nay, even upwards of a thousand, are required by people in order to enjoy the din which this legion produces, while little or no attention is paid to the main point.[21] In short, at that time people thankfully accepted great things offered with small means, sought mind and soul in music as the highest gratification, and had no conception of that materialism which now-a-days presides over musical matters, any more than they had of the tendency of the gradual improvements in the mechanism of musical instruments and their abuse to lower taste. The dillettantism of that period remained modestly in its place, and did not offer itself for hire, as at the present day, in every province and in every country, paid sincere respect to art and artists, and arrogated to itself no position which the accomplished professional man alone should have occupied—a mal-practice now so common in many places. In a word, people really loved music without ostentation; they allowed it to operate upon them with its magic charms, no matter whether it was executed by four performers or by four hundred, and employed it in general as the surest medium for improving heart and mind, and thus giving a noble direction to the feelings. The German nation could still derive the inspiration of simple greatness, genuine sensibility, and humane feelings from its music; it still thoroughly understood the art of drawing down from the magic sphere of harmony the inexpressible and the spiritually sublime, and securing them for itself.

In and with those times, and among their noblest and best, lived Beethoven, in cheerful Vienna, where his genius found thousand-fold encouragement to exert its power, free and unfettered, and exposed to no other misrepresentations and enmity than those of envy alone.

This was a splendid era of art, such an era as may perhaps never recur; and, with special reference to Beethoven, the golden age. Under such circumstances, surrounded and beloved by persons of such delicate sentiments, he ought to have been completely happy; and he certainly would have been so but for a hardness of hearing, which, even then,—that is to say, in the latter years of this first period of his life,—began to afflict him, and was sometimes of long continuance. This complaint, which affected his temper, was subsequently aggravated into a dreadful disease, which rendered him inexpressibly miserable.


From 1800 To October, 1813.

General View of the Second Period of Beethoven's Life—Composition of his "Christ on the Mount of Olives" and "Fidelio"—His brothers, Carl and Johann; their mischievous influence—His severe Illness—Remarkable Will addressed to them—His "Sinfonia Eroica," in honour of Napoleon—Count Moritz von Lichnowsky—Opera of "Fidelio"—Beethoven's Neglect of Vocal Performers—Their Intrigues and Cabals—His Passion for Julia—Letters to her—Disappointed Love—Countess Marie Erdödy—Beethoven as Director of the Orchestra—Animadversions on Statements of Ferdinand Ries—Beethoven forms a friendship with Count Franz von Brunswick and Baron Gleichenstein—Prices paid for his Compositions during the Second Period—Misconduct of his Brothers—Defence of his Character against the charge of Cowardice—Annuity settled upon him, to keep him in Austria—His dislike of, and reconciliation with, Hummel—Foreign Visitors—Bettina Brentano—Göthe—Beethoven's frequent change of Residence—His Domestic Circumstances.

THIS second period is, from beginning to end, a complete labyrinth, in which the great composer was lost, and where the biographer, too, might lose his way along with him, if he were not to hold all the threads of this drama firmly and tightly in his hands, and if he were not intimately acquainted with the characters of all the actors in it. The "evil principle," in the shape of his two brothers, Carl and Johann, incessantly besets him, and pursues him wherever he goes. Fate deprives him of hearing, and thus bars the access to word or tone. A host of friends and admirers of all classes throng around him for the purpose of delivering him from both these evils; they pour their counsels into the ear of poor Beethoven, who listens only to those of the last friend, which, however, the "evil principle" is always at hand to counteract. The entanglements multiply: envy, intrigue, and all sorts of passions, strive to perform their parts to the best of their power, and close every avenue and outlet. With regret, the biographer is obliged here to inform the reader beforehand, that this drama unfortunately is not concluded in this second period: at the same time he admits with pleasure that, in the thousand conflicts and collisions, the sacred Muse conducted her high-priest with protecting hand, since she caused him to meet with several excellent friends, who found means to secure his confidence for a length of time, and assisted to bring him as unharmed as could be expected out of this labyrinth of human frailties and passions to the third period of his life.[22]

The scene before us shows but too plainly how difficult a task is here imposed upon the biographer, to unravel this tangled web, and, with its threads, to continue to weave the history with a due regard to truth and justice. He shall therefore be obliged to treat very summarily of the greater part of those unhappy circumstances, together with their causes; and to throw them overboard, wherever it can be done, as superfluous ballast, entreating the reader to have recourse to his own imagination for filling up the details of many a scene.

In the year 1800 we find Beethoven engaged in the composition of his "Christ on the Mount of Olives," the first performance of which took place on the 5th of April, 1803. He wrote this work during his summer-residence at Hetzendorf, a pleasant village, closely contiguous to the gardens of the imperial palace of Schönbrunn, where he passed several summers of his life in profound seclusion. There he again resided in 1805, and wrote his "Fidelio." A circumstance connected with both these great works, and of which Beethoven many years afterwards still retained a lively recollection, was, that he composed them in the thickest part of the wood in the park of Schönbrunn, seated between the two stems of an oak, which shot out from the main trunk at the height of about two feet from the ground. This remarkable tree, in that part of the park to the left of the Gloriett, I found with Beethoven in 1823, and the sight of it called forth interesting reminiscences of the former period. With respect to the above-mentioned Oratorio, I ought not to omit mentioning the circumstance, that Beethoven, in the last year of his life, found fault with himself for having treated the part of Christ too dramatically, and would have given a great deal to be able to correct that "fault." Towards the end of the autumn of 1800 his Second Symphony, and the Concerto in C minor, were performed for the first time.

It was during this period that his brother Carl (his real name was Caspar), who had some years previously followed him to Vienna, began to govern him, and to make Beethoven suspicious of his sincerest friends and adherents, from wrong notions, or, perhaps, even from jealousy. It was only the still undiminished authority of Prince Lichnowsky over Beethoven and his true interests, that intimidated the latter, and somewhat checked the perversity of his brother Carl, and thereby peace was still for a short time ensured to our Beethoven and those around him. At any rate, here already commences the history of Beethoven's sufferings, which terminated only with his death, and which originated not only in the conduct of his brother, but also in his own gradually increasing deafness, and the distrust which it engendered. This first brother was joined in time by a second, Johann, whose sentiments soon became identified with those of Carl; so that the mass of the counterpoise to the scale containing what was truly necessary and salutary for Beethoven became too compact, and defied all who were acquainted with his noble disposition and his aspiring genius, and who had striven to elevate the latter by means of the former. And how did Beethoven behave amidst the innumerable contradictions and contrasts that already everywhere pursued him? Like a boy, who, having dropped from an ideal world upon the earth, utterly destitute of experience, is tossed like a ball from hand to hand, consequently is entirely under the influence of others; and such was Beethoven's case throughout his whole life.

Let this serve the reader for a key to many an enigma that will hereafter present itself to him in regard to Beethoven's conduct. We perceive from this explanation how complicated those circumstances are already becoming, which must necessarily operate upon his mental and intellectual exertions, and ultimately on his whole physical existence. But, at the same time, we see how much depends on those about such a man, who continues in a sort of childhood, but whose mind attains a greatness that cannot harmonise with anything about him; whose will in everything becomes absolute law, even for the purpose of trying and condemning himself. Such was Beethoven throughout his whole life. Hence his never-ceasing opposition to every existing political institution; for, in his ideal world, everything was different—everything better; and whoever coincided in these notions, to him he attached himself, and frequently with the warmest affection. Such impressions, however, were but transient, owing, in many cases, to a too ready accordance with his notions, when this appeared to be the result not of conviction, but of personal respect for himself. This he termed flattery, and to him it was at all times particularly offensive.

In the first months of 1802, Beethoven was attacked by a severe illness, in which he was attended by Dr. Schmidt, the celebrated physician, whom he numbered among his esteemed friends, and to whom, in token of gratitude, he dedicated the Septett arranged by himself as a Trio. On his recovery he removed to Heiligenstadt, a village about seven miles distant from Vienna, where he passed the whole of the summer. There he wrote that remarkable will, which I sent after his death to the editor of the Wiener Theater Zeitung, and to M. Rochlitz, at Leipzig, for the Musikalische Zeitung, of that city. That document, which must not be omitted here, is to this effect:[23]

"For my Brothers, Carl and ... Beethoven.

"O ye, who consider or declare me to be hostile, obstinate, or misanthropic, what injustice ye do me!—ye know not the secret causes of that which to you wears such an appearance. My heart and my mind were from childhood prone to the tender feelings of affection. Nay, I was always disposed even to perform great actions. But only consider that, for the last six years, I have been attacked by an incurable complaint, aggravated by the unskilful treatment of medical men, disappointed from year to year in the hope of relief, and at last obliged to submit to the endurance of an evil, the cure of which may last perhaps for years, if it is practicable at all. Born with a lively, ardent disposition, susceptible to the diversions of society, I was forced at an early age to renounce them, and to pass my life in seclusion. If I strove at any time to set myself above all this, O how cruelly was I driven back by the doubly painful experience of my defective hearing! and yet it was not possible for me to say to people—'Speak louder—bawl—for I am deaf!' Ah! how could I proclaim the defect of a sense, that I once possessed in the highest perfection, in a perfection in which few of my colleagues possess or ever did possess it! Indeed, I cannot! Forgive me, then, if ye see me draw back when I would gladly mingle among you. Doubly mortifying is my misfortune to me, as it must tend to cause me to be misconceived. From recreation in the society of my fellow-creatures, from the pleasures of conversation, from the effusions of friendship, I am cut off. Almost alone in the world, I dare not venture into society more than absolute necessity requires. I am obliged to live as in exile. If I go into company, a painful anxiety comes over me, since I am apprehensive of being exposed to the danger of betraying my situation. Such has been my state, too, during this half year that I have spent in the country. Enjoined by my intelligent physician to spare my hearing as much as possible, I have been almost encouraged by him in my present natural disposition; though, hurried away by my fondness for society, I sometimes suffered myself to be enticed into it. But what a humiliation, when any one standing beside me could hear at a distance a flute that I could not hear, or any one heard the shepherd singing and I could not distinguish a sound! Such circumstances brought me to the brink of despair, and had well nigh made me put an end to my life: nothing but my art held my hand. Ah! it seemed to me impossible to quit the world before I had produced all that I felt myself called to accomplish. And so I endured this wretched life—so truly wretched, that a somewhat speedy change is capable of transporting me from the best into the worst condition. Patience—so I am told—I must choose for my guide. I have done so. Stedfast, I hope, will be my resolution to persevere, till it shall please the inexorable Fates to cut the thread. Perhaps there may be amendment—perhaps not; I am prepared for the worst—I, who so early as my twenty-eighth year, was forced to become a philosopher—it is not easy—for the artist, more difficult than for any other. O! God, thou lookest down upon my misery; thou knowest that it is accompanied with love of my fellow-creatures and a disposition to do good! O, men! when ye shall read this, think that ye have wronged me: and let the child of affliction take comfort on finding one like himself, who, in spite of all the impediments of nature, yet did all that lay in his power to obtain admittance into the rank of worthy artists and men. You, my brothers, Carl and ..., as soon as I am dead, if Professor Schmidt be yet living, request him, in my name, to write a description of my disease, and to that description annex this paper, that after my death the world may, at least, be as much as possible reconciled with me. At the same time, I declare both of you the heirs of the little property (if it can be so called) belonging to me. Divide it fairly; agree together, and help one another. What you have done to grieve me, that, you know, has long been forgiven. Thee, brother Carl, I thank in particular, for the affection thou hast shown me of late. My wish is that you may live more happily, more exempt from care, than I have done. Recommend virtue to your children; that alone—not wealth—can give happiness; I speak from experience. It was this that upheld me even in affliction; it is owing to this and to my art that I did not terminate my life by suicide. Farewell, and love one another. I thank all friends, especially Prince Lichnowsky and Professor Schmidt. I wish that Prince L.'s instruments may remain in the possession of one of you; but let no quarrel arise between you on account of them. In case, however, they can be more serviceable to you in another way, dispose of them. How glad I am to think that I may be of use to you even in my grave! So let it be done! I go to meet death with joy. If he comes before I have had occasion to develop all my professional abilities, he will come too soon for me, in spite of my hard fate, and I should wish that he had delayed his arrival. But even then I am content, for he will release me from a state of endless suffering. Come when thou wilt, I shall meet thee with firmness. Farewell, and do not quite forget me after I am dead; I have deserved that you should think of me, for in my lifetime I have often thought of you to make you happy. May you ever be so!

m. p. (L.S.)

"Heiligenstadt, October 6th, 1802."

On the outside was the following:—

"For my brothers, Carl and ..., to read and to execute after my demise.

"Heiligenstadt, October 10th, 1802.

"Thus, then, I take my leave of thee, and that with sorrow. Yes, the fond hope that I brought hither with me of cure, at least to a certain point, will now entirely forsake me. As the leaves of autumn fall withered to the ground, so is that hope become withered for me. Nearly as I came hither do I go away; even that lofty courage, which frequently animated me in the fine days of summer, has abandoned me. O, Providence! grant that a day of pure joy may once break for me! How long have I been a stranger to the delightful sound of real joy! When, O, God! when can I again feel it in the temple of Nature and of men?—never? Nay that would be too hard!"[24]

It was not till the autumn of 1802 that his state of mind had so far improved as to permit him to resume a plan which he had formed of doing homage to Napoleon, the hero of the day, in a grand instrumental work, and to set about its execution. But it was not till the following year that he applied himself in good earnest to that gigantic composition, known by the title of "Sinfonia Eroica," which, however, in consequence of various interruptions, was not finished till 1804. In the mean time Beethoven wrote several Sonatas and Quartetts, which were bespoken by various noble personages and publishers. The original idea of that Symphony is said to have been suggested by General Bernadotte, who was then French ambassador at Vienna, and had a high esteem for our Beethoven. So I was informed by several of his friends. Count Moritz Lichnowsky, (brother of Prince Lichnowsky), who was frequently with Beethoven in Bernadotte's company, and who is my authority for many circumstances belonging to this second period, gave me the same account. He was always about Beethoven, and was not less attached to him than his brother.[25] The particulars relative to this subject, communicated to me by Beethoven himself, I shall reserve for the third period, where I shall have occasion to make mention of a letter addressed, in 1823, to the King of Sweden, formerly General Bernadotte.

In his political sentiments Beethoven was a republican; the spirit of independence natural to a genuine artist gave him a decided bias that way. Plato's "Republic" was transfused into his flesh and blood, and upon the principles of that philosopher he reviewed all the constitutions in the world. He wished all institutions to be modelled upon the plan prescribed by Plato. He lived in the firm belief that Napoleon entertained no other design than to republicanise France upon similar principles, and thus, as he conceived, a beginning would be made for the general happiness of the world. Hence his respect and enthusiasm for Napoleon.

A fair copy of the musical work for the first consul of the French republic, the conqueror of Marengo, with the dedication to him, was on the point of being despatched through the French embassy to Paris, when news arrived in Vienna that Napoleon Bonaparte had caused himself to be proclaimed Emperor of the French. The first thing Beethoven did on receiving this intelligence was to tear off the title-leaf of this Symphony, and to fling the work itself, with a torrent of execrations against the new French Emperor, against the "new tyrant," upon the floor, from which he would not allow it to be lifted.[26] It was a long time before Beethoven recovered from the shock, and permitted this work to be given to the world with the title of "Sinfonia Eroica," and underneath it this motto: "Per festegiare il sovvenire d'un gran uomo."[27] I shall only add that it was not till the tragic end of the great Emperor at St. Helena, that Beethoven was reconciled with him, and sarcastically remarked, that, seventeen years before, he had composed appropriate music to this catastrophe, in which it was exactly predicted, musically, but unwittingly—alluding to the Dead March in that Symphony.

In the years 1804 and 1805, Beethoven was almost exclusively engaged in the composition of his Opera "Fidelio," in three acts, which was performed, for the first time, by the title of "Leonore," at the Theater an der Wien, in the autumn of 1805.[28] The fortunes which befel this extraordinary work and its author, till it was rounded into the form in which we now enjoy it, were more singular than perhaps any production of this kind before or since ever experienced; and I fear that I shall be too prolix, even if I relate only the more important circumstances and their consequences to the author.

It was the Overture in the first place that put our master in a painful situation. It was finished, but the composer himself was not thoroughly satisfied with it, and therefore agreed that it should be first tried by a small orchestra, at Prince Lichnowsky's. There it was unanimously pronounced by a knot of connoisseurs to be too light, and not sufficiently expressive of the nature of the work; consequently it was laid aside and never made its appearance again in Beethoven's lifetime.[29] M. Tob. Haslinger, of Vienna, to whom this Overture was transferred, among other things, by his predecessor, published it a few years since, numbered, Op. 138.

The second Overture (in C major, like the first) with which the Opera was first performed upon the stage, is indisputably the cleverest of the four Overtures that Beethoven wrote to Fidelio, and the one which best characterises the subject. But it was too difficult in the part of the wind-instruments, which always executed their task to the great vexation of the composer; it was therefore obliged to give way to a third (that published by Breitkopf and Härtel), which has the same motivo in the introduction as also in the allegro-movement, with small variations; but upon the whole is totally different from the second, which has not yet been published.

In the third Overture, which was substituted for the two former, too hard a task was imposed upon the stringed instruments, so that these also were found deficient in the requisite precision.

The fourth and last Overture (in E major) Beethoven wrote because the third was moreover deemed too long, and he would not agree to curtail it. It was not published till 1815, with the Opera, after the latter had been for many years replaced on the list of acting pieces; and this time, with partial alterations of the libretto, by Friedrich Treitschke.[30]

In my account of the first period, where I had occasion to mention Beethoven's anxiety for the improvement of the Schuppanzigh Quartett, I remarked that he never asked the singers if they could sing what he wrote, or if it would be necessary for him to make alterations here and there, to render their parts easier of execution. Thus, too, in composing he gave full scope to his genius, and paid too little attention to the precepts given him many years before by Salieri relative to the treatment of the vocal parts. Hence, at rehearsals, he came into unpleasant collisions with the singers; and it is well known that the kapell-meister Ignatz von Seyfried, who then had an engagement at the Theater an der Wien, was frequently obliged to act the part of mediator between Beethoven and the vocal performers, and that he gave him on this subject many a useful piece of advice, founded upon long experience.[31] If Beethoven had thus far encountered abundance of vexations, the measure of them was filled by the coldness with which the Opera was received at its first representation. The cause of this indifference was not the immoderate length and breadth of the whole upon so slender a pedestal as the meagre libretto was, but it was as much owing to the unlucky circumstance that the audience consisted chiefly of French military, who had entered Vienna a few days before, and were more familiar with the thunder of cannon than with sublime musical conceptions, especially when they could not understand anything of their nature and subject. This may serve in part to account for its slender success. But is not some blame to be attributed to Beethoven himself? He would not listen to advice from any quarter, and he had therefore to take a lesson from experience. But was all the experience in the world of any benefit to him? Alas, no!—as we shall see on a decisive occasion, which occurred in 1824, at the rehearsals of his second Mass, and the ninth Symphony.

At that time the friend of his juvenile years, Stephen von Breuning, was particularly serviceable to him. He spared neither advice nor active exertions in his behalf, and helped the inexperienced Beethoven through all the "intrigues and cabals" which he had to encounter on the part of the managers of the theatre and the vocal performers.[32] But, still too young, and of a disposition as inflammable as Beethoven himself, he was unable to avert any mortifications from the head of his friend, and only drew them down upon his own in an equal degree, and thus doubled his burden, which the interference of the "evil principle" rendered still more oppressive. Others, who wished as well to Beethoven in this affair as Breuning, were not sparing of their advice, and thus the unfortunate composer was involved in a maze of counsels and opinions, as he frequently was in the course of his life, from which nothing but his good genius and love ultimately extricated him. At that time he should have had at his elbow a friend like Wegeler, who, according to Beethoven's account, possessed the talent of giving a comic turn to everything that was likely to produce discord and strife between friends, thus putting them all in good humour with one another again. All the intrigues and cabals to which Beethoven was exposed on occasion of his first opera, might perhaps not have left behind that disagreeable impression which made him shrink from the mere idea of writing a second. It may be asked, where was then his powerful patron and friend, Prince Lichnowsky, who would probably have cut the knot? Shortly before the entrance of the French troops he quitted Vienna, with many thousand others, and did not return till the autumn of the following year.

After these fatal storms were over, and Beethoven's mind had somewhat recovered its composure, he wrote the fourth Symphony in B major, in point of form, indisputably the most finished of all; and thus storm and tempest were suddenly succeeded by the brightest sunshine. Rapid as such transitions are in nature, so rapid was the change in his tone of mind, and hence ensued not a few contrasts. A musical idea, for instance, which engrossed his imagination, could suddenly chase all clouds from his brow, and make him forget everything around him, excepting that central point in which all his feelings converged. This was the passion for his Julia, which had then attained its greatest intensity, and seemed to occupy all his thoughts. In the summer of 1806 he took a journey to an Hungarian bathing-place, on account of his gradually increasing deafness. There he addressed to the object of his affection the following three interesting letters, which I possess in his own hand-writing:—


"July 6th, 1806, morning.

"My angel, my all, my other self!—Only a few words to-day, and in pencil (written with yours). My future abode will certainly not be fixed till to-morrow. What a frivolous waste of time, &c.!—Why this profound sorrow, when necessity commands? Can our love subsist otherwise than by sacrifices, by not wishing for everything? Canst thou help it that thou art not wholly mine, that I am not wholly thine? Cast thine eyes on beautiful Nature, and let not thy mind be ruffled by that which must be. Love requires everything, and very justly: so it is I with thee, thou with me; only thou forgettest so easily that I must live for myself and for thee. If we were completely united, thou wouldst not feel this sorrow any more than I. My journey was terrible. I did not arrive here till four o'clock yesterday morning, for want of horses. At the last stage, I was warned not to travel at night, and told to beware of a certain wood; but this only spurred me on, and I was wrong: owing to the execrable roads—a bottomless by-road—the carriage broke down. Prince Esterhazy, who travelled hither by the other road, had the same accident with eight horses that I had with four. Nevertheless, I feel some pleasure again, as I always do when I have conquered some difficulty. But now let us pass rapidly from externals to internals. We shall soon meet again. I cannot communicate to thee to-day the observations which I have been making for some days past on my life. If our hearts were close to one another, I should certainly not make any such. I have much to say to thee. Ah! there are moments when I find that language is nothing! Cheer up!—continue to be my true, my only love, my all, as I to thee: as for the rest—we must leave it to the gods to dispose for us as they please.

"Thy faithful


"Monday evening, July 6th, 1806.

"Thou grievest, my dearest!—I have just learned that letters must be put into the post very early. Thou grievest! Ah! where I am, there art thou with me; with me and thee, I will find means to live with thee. What a life!!!! So!!!—Without thee, persecuted by the kindness of people here and yonder, which, methinks, I no more wish to deserve than I really do deserve it—humility of man towards men—it pains me—and when I consider myself in connexion with the universe, what am I, and what is he who is called the greatest? And yet again herein lies the divine in man!... Love me as thou wilt, my love for thee is more ardent—but never disguise thyself from me. Good night!—As an invalid who has come for the benefit of the baths, I must go to rest. Ah God! So near! So distant! Is not our love a truly heavenly structure, but firm as the vault of heaven!"


"Good morning, on the 7th of July, 1806.

"Before I was up, my thoughts rushed to thee, my immortal beloved; at times cheerful, then again sorrowful, waiting to see if Fate will listen to us. I cannot live unless entirely with thee, or not at all; nay, I have resolved to wander about at a distance, till I can fly into thine arms, call myself quite at home with thee, and send my soul wrapped up in thee into the realm of spirits. Yes, alas! it must be so! Thou must cheer up, more especially as thou knowest my love to thee. Never can another possess my heart—never!—never!—O God! why must one flee from what one so fondly loves! And the life that I am leading at present is a miserable life. Thy love makes me the happiest, and at the same time the unhappiest, of men. At my years, I need some uniformity, some equality, in my way of life; can this be in our mutual situation? Be easy; it is only by tranquil contemplation of our existence that we can accomplish our object of living together. What longing with tears after thee, my life, my all! Farewell. O continue to love me, and never misdoubt the most faithful heart of thy

"Beloved LUDWIG."

With such a heart as Beethoven's, is that to be believed which M. Ries says of him in his 'Notizen,' p. 117,—"He" (namely Beethoven) "was very often in love, but these attachments were mostly of very brief duration. One day when I was rallying him on the conquest of a fair lady, he confessed to me that this one had enthralled him longer and more powerfully than any—that is to say, full seven months."

But, with Beethoven's extraordinary susceptibility on the point of love, may he not actually have fared the same as others? How many phenomena pass before the eyes of a man, and leave behind an impression upon him only for moments or for days; till at length there comes one which instantly strikes deep into his heart, and incessantly goes before him, as his pole-star in all he does! This seemed indeed to be really the case with Beethoven. That he never forgot the lady in question is evident from his having frequently caused inquiries concerning her to be made by myself and others, and from the lively interest that he always took in everything relating to her. Circumstances forbid me to say more on this subject at present.

Another paper, likewise in his own hand-writing, of a rather later period, attesting his ardent longing for domestic happiness, runs literally thus:—"Love, and love alone, is capable of giving thee a happier life. O God, let me at length find her—her, who may strengthen me in virtue—who may lawfully be mine!"

It cannot admit of a doubt that, if Beethoven had had the good fortune to meet with a female of like condition with himself, whom he could have called his own, who had thoroughly known and loved him—this, with his eminent qualities for domestic life, would have proved the foundation of his happiness; and that, under these circumstances, the world would have many more productions of his genius to boast of than it now possesses. Beethoven needed such a Constanze as Mozart once called his (as artists and literary men in particular ought to have), who could, in like manner, have ventured to say to him, in a tone of kindness, "Stay at home, Ludwig, and work: such and such a one is waiting for what you promised," as Wolfgang's wife is reported to have frequently said to him. Such a woman would have deserved a monument, which he himself had no need of. To say that his deafness caused things to turn out otherwise, and that it was almost the only reason that Beethoven never enjoyed true happiness, is lamentable, but, alas! too true. It is remarkable that, notwithstanding the great confidence which he placed in me, on the subject of his attachments, I never heard anything drop from him but names which seemed to point that way; and it would not have become my youth to have questioned him concerning them. Thus even of the Giulietta, to whom I have adverted above, I have heard only casual mention by himself, and to this tender topic he would not suffer even his oldest friends to make allusion. What I have stated respecting her is nevertheless derived from the most authentic sources. The letters which I have inserted offer moreover incontestable evidence of the truth of what I have mentioned.

It is further said that Beethoven cherished a tender attachment to a Countess Marie Erdödy, to whom he dedicated the two splendid Trios, Op. 70. But to me it appears to have been no more than a friendly intimacy between the two.[33] On this subject I know nothing particular, excepting that this lady, who was fond of the arts, erected in honour of her instructor and friend, in the park of one of her seats in Hungary, a handsome temple, the entrance to which is decorated with a characteristic inscription, pertinently expressing her homage to the great composer.

As Beethoven once observed of himself that he was composing several things at the same time, so this continued to be his practice. Thus, in the years 1806, 1807, and 1808, in which the fourth, fifth, and sixth Symphonies—those giants of musical poesy—sprang from his brain, he wrote many other works, as the catalogue attests. His C minor Symphony, and the Pastorale, were not brought out at the same time, as M. Ries states (p. 83), but at different, distant, intervals, as they were composed. It may be rationally assumed, à priori, that, to bring out for the first time, and close on the heels of each other, three works of such extent—M. Ries even adds to them the Fantasia for the Piano-forte, with orchestra and vocal music—at a period when the orchestra had not attained that degree of perfection which it has in our days, borders on the impossible.

In this, as in the former period, Beethoven conducted almost all his greater works himself on their first performance. As director of the orchestra, he was neither good nor bad. His impetuosity did not permit him to arrive at the tranquillity and self-command requisite. Feeling himself what each individual instrument had to do, he strove to make each of the performers equally sensible of it, and lost himself in gesticulations, which caused a wavering in the orchestra. His hardness of hearing, whence his listening for the prescribed falling-in of particular instruments, moreover occasioned frequent delays in passages where the director ought to have urged the whole onward. At the time when his hearing was yet perfect, he had not often occasion to come in contact with the orchestra, and especially to acquire practice in the conducting department at the theatre, which is the best school for that purpose. In the concert-room the talent most fitted for this difficult function is never fully developed, and remains one-sided and awkward. Thus we see composers of eminence incapable of conducting the orchestra in the performance of their own works, if they have not previously acquired the necessary routine, in listening to, and in superintending, numerous bands. If, therefore, Beethoven was frequently involved in unpleasant altercations with his orchestra, this was no more than might have been expected, but never did he descend to coarseness and abuse; still less does a creature in Vienna know anything about such occurrences with the orchestra as are related by his friend and pupil, M. Ries (pp. 83 and 84), occurrences which "are said" to have happened in Vienna long after M. Ries had gone to Petersburg. And what conductor is there but sometimes gets into unpleasant squabbles with his orchestra, without any one ever attaching importance to them, or employing them as sources for a characteristic account of the man?[34]

musical notation; Rhythm of 3 bars.

This seems to be the proper place for mentioning that it was in this period that the friendships formed by Beethoven were increased by two, which had in general great influence over him, in the persons of Count Franz von Brunswick and Baron J. von Gleichenstein. Though not constantly resident in Vienna, they were frequently there, and Beethoven had opportunities of consulting them on matters of importance. Both possessing superior abilities and rare equanimity, and having penetrated deeply into his whole nature and his works, acquired such a control over Beethoven, without any assumption on their part, as enabled them to accomplish much that the officiousness of other friends could never have brought about. The former in particular possessed a profound comprehension of Beethoven's genius which I have never met with in so high a degree in any other of his admirers. Beethoven seems to have even then perceived this mental preponderance of that friend over others, when he dedicated to him the gigantic Sonata, Op. 57, and the Fantasia, Op. 77. "It must be of no ordinary quality," he probably thought, "if I am to honour a worthy friend according to his deserts."[35] To his friend, Baron von Gleichenstein, Beethoven dedicated the grand Sonata with Violoncello, Op. 69. Here I must further mention the Imperial Secretary M. von Zmeskall, who was one of Beethoven's warmest friends at that time, and who, like the two just mentioned, exercised considerable influence over him. To all these three excellent men the great master continued to be attached and grateful as long as he lived.

It was not the admiration of his genius, but a decided comprehension and appreciation of it, that attached Beethoven to a friend. For idolatrous admirers his heart was but a broad thoroughfare, along which thousands could go in and out without jostling against one another. And this is a sure sign of the truly superior genius, whose chief desire it is to be understood, and completely understood. Astonishment and admiration will then follow in due time and measure.

It will now be interesting to observe how much Beethoven's works had risen in value since the conclusion of the first and the beginning of the second period. Among his papers there is an agreement between him and Muzio Clementi, dated Vienna, the 20th of April, 1807, signed by both, and witnessed by Baron Gleichenstein. According to this agreement, Beethoven received from M. Clementi for duplicates of the following works:—1st. Three Quartetts; 2nd. The Fourth Symphony; 3rd. The Overture to Coriolanus; 4th. The Fourth Concerto for the Piano-forte; 5th. The Violin Concerto—for sale in England, the sum of two hundred pounds sterling. (All these works had already been disposed of to German publishers.) Clementi further engaged by this agreement to pay Beethoven the sum of sixty pounds sterling for three Sonatas that were not yet composed.

The valuable presents that Beethoven received about this time were numerous, but all of them vanished without leaving any traces behind; and I have heard friends of his assert that the "evil principle" strove to keep not only kindly disposed persons but valuables of every sort away from him. It is said that, when he was asked,—"What is become of such a ring, or such a watch?" he would always reply, after some consideration, "I do not know." At the same time he well knew how it had been purloined from him, but he never would accuse his brothers of such dishonesty; on the contrary, he defended them in all their proceedings, and, in their bickerings with others, even with his most tried friends, he generally admitted, if not loudly, yet tacitly, that his brothers were in the right, and thus confirmed them in their practices against his personal interests. In particular, all that his elder brother Carl did he most obstinately defended, as he was extremely fond of him, and placed great reliance on his abilities.[36]

At the time of the second French invasion, in 1809, Beethoven did not quit Vienna any more than he had done during the first. Had he on this occasion been concerned for his personal safety, and capable of such cowardice as M. Ries leaves the reader to suppose that he betrayed,[37] he could have taken a thousand opportunities to quit the capital before its occupation; and if, during its bombardment, he retreated to the cellar, he did no more than was done, at that critical moment, by the whole population; and Dr. Wegeler conjectures that he may have been moreover induced to take this precaution by the painful effect of the thunder of the cannon upon his ailing ear. No person that had any opportunity to observe Beethoven closely ever saw him timorous or cowardly; he was precisely the reverse, and knew neither fear nor apprehension: and this was quite in accordance with his natural character. Or is it to be presumed that he was timid and alarmed in the year 1809 alone? Did he not stay in Vienna and bring out his Fidelio during the first occupation of the French in 1805, though it was just as likely to have been preceded by a bombardment of the city?

In the year 1809 Beethoven was offered the appointment of Kapell-meister to the King of Westphalia, with a salary of 600 ducats. This offer of a secure provision was the first and the last he ever received in his life—the last, because his defective hearing incapacitated him for the functions of a director of music. But as it was considered discreditable for Austria to suffer the great composer, whom with pride she called her own, to be transferred to another country, an offer was made to him on the part of the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky, and Prince Lobkowitz, to settle upon him an annuity of 4000 florins in paper-money so long as he should not have any permanent appointment in the country, on this single condition, that he was not to leave Austria.[38] To this condition Beethoven acceded, and remained. But, so soon as the year 1811, the Austrian finance-patent reduced these 4000 florins to one-fifth; nevertheless Beethoven could not prevail upon his illustrious patrons to make any modification in the stipulations of 1809. How he fared in the sequel in regard to this fifth of his pension, how materially it was further diminished, we shall see at the proper place in the third period.

In the year 1810 Beethoven brought out his first Mass (Op. 86) at Eisenstadt, the summer residence of Prince Esterhazy. M. Hummel was then Kapell-meister to the prince. After the service, Prince Paul Esterhazy, who, it is well known, had a particular predilection for Haydn's church music, received our Beethoven and other eminent persons in his mansion. When the composer entered, the prince said to him in an indifferent tone—"But, my dear Beethoven, what have you been about here again?" in allusion to the work which had just been performed. Disconcerted by this expression of the prince's, Beethoven was still more so, when he saw Hummel stand laughing by the side of the prince. Fancying that he was laughing at him, and moreover that he could perceive a malicious sneer in his professional colleague, he could stay no longer in a place where his production was so ill appreciated. He left the prince's residence the same day, without ascertaining whether that obnoxious laugh had applied to him, or whether it might not more probably have been occasioned by the way and manner in which the prince expressed himself. His hatred to Hummel on this account struck such deep root, that I am not acquainted with any second instance of the kind in the course of his life. Fourteen years afterwards, he related this circumstance to me with as much asperity as though it had happened only the preceding day. But this dark cloud was dispelled by the energy of his mind, and this would have been the case much sooner had Hummel made friendly advances, and not kept continually aloof, which he did, owing to the fact that both had once been in love with the same lady; but Hummel was, and continued to be, the favoured suitor, because he had an appointment, and had not the misfortune to be hard of hearing.

When Beethoven heard, in the last days of his life, that Hummel was expected at Vienna, he was overjoyed, and said—"Oh! if he would but call to see me!" Hummel did call, the very day after his arrival, in company with M. And. Streicher; and the meeting of the old friends, after they had not seen each other for so many years, was extremely affecting. Hummel, struck by Beethoven's suffering looks, wept bitterly. Beethoven strove to appease him, by holding out to him a drawing of the house at Rohrau in which Haydn was born, sent to him that morning by Diabelli, with the words—"Look, my dear Hummel, here is Haydn's birth-place; it is a present that I received this morning, and it gives me very great pleasure. So great a man born in so mean a cottage!" Hummel afterwards paid him several visits, and every unpleasant circumstance that had occurred between them was totally forgotten at the first interview. They agreed to meet again the following summer at Carlsbad, but ten or twelve days afterwards Beethoven expired, and Hummel attended him to the grave.

As it is my intention, as well as my principle, to follow merely the more important incidents in Beethoven's life that stand in direct relation to his individuality, I shall record but one more fact which occurred in the year 1810, and which in its results was important to Beethoven.

That Beethoven was beset by visitors from the most distant countries, and but too often annoyed by them, must appear extremely natural, considering his position with regard to his contemporaries. If space permitted, I could relate interesting particulars of Germans, Russians, Swedes, Poles, Danes, French, and especially of English, who approached Beethoven with all the deference they would pay to a sovereign, and who, when they were in his presence and saw his unhappy situation, of which they could not before form any conception, were most of them overwhelmed with melancholy. With tears did many a lady of rank inscribe the assurance of her profound respect in his conversation-book, since he could no longer hear her voice; and with tears in their eyes, too, did most of them take leave of him.[39] Many such scenes did I witness while I was about him. Is the reader curious to learn how Beethoven behaved towards such visitors? Always with more than usual kindliness—talkative, cordial, witty—never as a prince in his realm, and never did he allow his visitors to perceive how deeply galling was his misfortune.

Among his female visitors, in 1810, was Bettina Brentano (von Arnim), of Frankfurt on the Mayne, who, in her letters to Göthe, has described what passed, and whose reports of her interviews with Beethoven in Göthe's Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde (Göthe's Correspondence with a Child), must be well known to many of the admirers of the great master. It is the latter circumstance that, for the reason assigned in the Introduction, induces me to make a brief remark on Bettina's statements.

Whoever reads, in the work just mentioned, (Göthe's Briefwechsel, Band ii. 190) what the evidently somewhat over-strained Bettina, in her letter of the 28th of May, 1810, puts into the mouth of Beethoven, cannot fail to set him down for a bel esprit and a most verbose talker, but very erroneously. Beethoven's mode of expressing and explaining himself, on all and every occasion, was throughout his whole life the simplest, shortest, and most concise, both in speaking and writing, as is everywhere proved by the latter. To listen to highly-polished and flowery phrases, or to read anything written in that style, was disagreeable to him, being contrary to his nature; still less was he himself an adept in it: in all respects simple, plain, without a trace of pompousness—such was Beethoven likewise in conversation. That he thought of his art in the way that Bettina describes, that he recognised in it a higher revelation, and placed it above all wisdom and all philosophy; this was a theme on which he did, indeed, often speak, but always very briefly. With what respect he regarded at the same time other arts and sciences, all of which he held to be closely connected with his own art, is peculiarly worthy of remark.

How would Beethoven have been astonished at all the fine speeches which the sprightly Bettina puts into his mouth—which would be well enough in a poetical work on the master—but, given as matter of fact, are indeed contrary to his whole nature! He would undoubtedly say,—"My dear Bettina, you, who have such a flow of words and ideas, must certainly have had a raptus when you wrote in that manner to Göthe."[40] Beethoven's letters to Bettina also attest the simplicity and unaffectedness of his way of expressing himself.[41] A single example will suffice to show this: Beethoven writes in 1812 from Töplitz, in Bohemia, to her among others—"Kings and princes can, to be sure, make professors, privy councillors, &c., and confer titles and orders, but they cannot make great men—minds which rise above the common herd[42]—these they must not pretend to make, and therefore must these be held in honour. When two men such as Göthe and I come together, even the high and mighty perceive what is to be considered as great in men like us. Yesterday, on our way home, we met the whole imperial family. We saw them coming from a distance, and Göthe separated from me to stand aside: say what I would, I could not make him advance another step. I pressed my hat down upon my head, buttoned up my great-coat, and walked with folded arms through the thickest of the throng. Princes and pages formed a line, the Archduke Rudolph took off his hat, and the Empress made the first salutation. Those gentry know me. I saw to my real amusement the procession file past Göthe. He stood aside, with his hat off, and bending lowly. I rallied him smartly for it; I gave him no quarter; flung in his face all his sins, and most of all, that against you, dearest Bettina: we had been just talking about you. Good God! if it had been my lot to pass such a time with you as he did, depend upon it, I should have produced many, many more great works. A composer is a poet too; he too can feel himself suddenly transported by a couple of eyes into a fairer world, where greater geniuses make game of him, and set him excessively hard tasks."

The results of the acquaintance with that interesting woman were, however, so important for Beethoven, that they might well excuse a whole volume of such inspired effusions of his and concerning him. Through her Beethoven became acquainted with the house of Brentano in Frankfort, in which he found a friend indeed. The following lines, addressed by Beethoven to me, in February 1823, show in the clearest manner what the Brentano family was to him:—"Try to find out some humane creature, who will lend me money upon a bank share, that, in the first place, I may not encroach too much on the liberality of my friend Brentano, and that by the delay of this money,[43] I may not get myself into distress, thanks to the notable measures and arrangements of my dearly beloved brother."

It was Bettina who, in like manner, paved the way to the personal acquaintance with Göthe, which actually took place in the summer of 1812, at Töplitz, as we have seen from Beethoven's letter quoted above: but, though Beethoven has praised Göthe's patience with him, (on account of his deafness) still it is a fact, that the great poet and minister too soon forgot the great composer: and when, in 1823, he had it in his power to render him an essential service, with little trouble to himself, he did not even deign to reply to a very humble epistle from our master. That letter was forwarded to him at Weimar, through the grand-ducal chargé d'affaires, and must, of course, have reached his hands.

In the years 1811 and 1812, nothing occurred of particular moment for the biographer of Beethoven. He lived in his usual way, in winter in the city, and in summer in the country, and adhered to his old custom of changing his place of abode as often in the twelvemonth as others do inns and places of diversion. Hence it was no uncommon thing for him to have three or four lodgings to pay for at once. The motives for these frequent changes were in general trivial. In one lodging, for instance, he had less sun than he wished, and, if his landlord could not make that luminary shine longer into his apartment, Beethoven removed from it. In another, he disliked the water, which was a prime necessary for him, and, if nothing could be done to please him on this point, Beethoven was off again; to say nothing of other insignificant causes, such as I shall have to illustrate by two comic anecdotes when I come to the years 1823 and 1824. In regard to his summer abodes, he was particularly whimsical. It was a usual thing with him to remove in May to some place or other on the north side of the city; in July or August to pack up all of a sudden and go to the south side. It is easy to conceive how much unnecessary expense this mode of proceeding must have entailed. In his last years, Beethoven was so well known throughout the whole great city as a restless lodger, that it was difficult to find a suitable place of abode for him. At an earlier period, it was his friend Baron Pasqualati who kept apartments in constant readiness for the fickle Beethoven; if he could not find any that he liked better, he returned, with bag and baggage, to the third or fourth floor at Pasqualati's, where, however, not a ray of sunshine was ever to be seen, because the house has a northern aspect. Beethoven, nevertheless, frequently resided there for a considerable time.

In these three years of the second period he laboured assiduously, and we see already nearly one hundred of his works in the catalogue. The price of them increased from year to year, and in the like proportion increased Beethoven's necessities, whims, and eccentricities, or whatever you choose to call them. Large as were the sums that he earned, he had not laid by anything; nor did his brother Carl, who at that time had the entire management of all his affairs, strive to prevail upon him to do so. The first impulse to secure by economy a competence for the future, was given by an excellent woman, whose name must not be omitted here: it was Madame Nanette Streicher (her maiden name was Stein), whose persuasions were beneficial to Beethoven in another point besides that just mentioned, inasmuch as they induced him again to mingle in society, though indeed but for a short time, after he had almost entirely withdrawn himself from it. Madame Streicher found Beethoven in the summer of 1813 in the most deplorable condition with reference to his personal and domestic comforts. He had neither a decent coat nor a whole shirt, and I must forbear to describe his condition such as it really was. Madame Streicher put his wardrobe and his domestic matters to rights, assisted by M. Andreas Streicher (a friend of Schiller's from his youth), and Beethoven complied with all her suggestions. He again took lodgings for the ensuing winter at Pasqualati's; hired a man-servant, who was a tailor and had a wife, but she did not live in the house with him. This couple paid the greatest attention to Beethoven, who now found himself quite comfortable, and for the first time began to accustom himself to a regular way of life, that is to say, in so far as it was possible for him. While his attendant followed his business undisturbed in the ante-room, Beethoven produced in the adjoining apartment many of his immortal works; for instance, the Symphony in A major, the Battle Symphony, the Cantata "Der glorreiche Augenblick" (the Glorious Moment), and several others. In this situation I will now leave him, and close the second period of his life, from the motley events of which the reader may, of himself, draw this conclusion:—that, if the first period of Beethoven's life may be justly called his golden age, that which immediately followed it was not a silver age, but an age of brass.



Causes of Beethoven's preceding Troubles—Performance of his 'Battle of Vittoria,' for the Benefit of disabled Soldiers—Dishonest Conduct of M. Mälzel; its Effect on Beethoven—Commencement of the Author's Acquaintance with him—Attention paid to Beethoven by the Allied Sovereigns at Vienna—Pitiful Conduct of Carl M. von Weber—Scotch Songs set to Music by Beethoven—Death of his elder Brother—He undertakes the Guardianship of his Son, whom he adopts—Diminution of his Annuity by the Failure of Prince Lobkowitz—He commences House-keeping—Law-suit with his Brother's Widow—Society for the Performance of Beethoven's Chamber Music, directed by Carl Czerny—Further Diminution of his Pension—His Pupil, the Archduke Rudolph, nominated Archbishop of Ollmütz—Beethoven commences a grand Mass for his Installation—Household Troubles—Walzes and Bagatelles—Straitened Finances—Ignoble Application of Musical MS.—Performance of 'The Ruins of Athens'—The 'Land-owner' and the 'Brain-owner'—Subscription of Sovereigns to Beethoven's new Mass—His Letter to Cherubini.

THE various troubles which Beethoven had to encounter in the second period of his life, of which we have just been treating, originated, firstly, in disappointed love; secondly, in his increasing deafness, for his right ear totally refused to perform its functions; and, thirdly, in his inexperience in matters of business, for the just comprehension of which nature had not endowed him with the requisite faculties. All the unpleasant things which had hitherto befallen him, to which belong the various collisions with his friends, were mere private matters, capable, indeed, of deeply affecting such a mind, but not of checking creative genius in its flights. Thus far he was a stranger to suits and courts of law, attempts upon the productions of his mind, and public quarrels with utterly unprincipled men. All these, and many other trials, awaited him in the period at which we have now arrived. They were not all of them provoked by him, but partly brought upon him by the pressure of circumstances, partly by intriguing persons, who strove on every occasion to turn his inexperience to their own private advantage. From these contests sprang circumstances deplorable for Beethoven, which had a most pernicious influence on his creative genius, as well as upon his temper, as we shall have occasion to observe in the course of this third period of his life.

The moment at which I have to resume the thread of his history, and to connect it with the preceding period, is that when Beethoven, in the autumn of 1813, was preparing for the performance of his Battle of Vittoria, and his A major Symphony, both which works he had just completed. The performance of these, with some other pieces of his composition, took place on the 8th and again on the 12th of December in the same year, in the hall of the University, for the benefit of the Austrian and Bavarian soldiers disabled in the battle of Hanau. A letter of thanks to all the co-operators in those two concerts, written by Beethoven's own hand, and destined for insertion in the Wiener Zeitung, lies before me, and possesses historical interest. Owing to the length of this document I can only venture here to introduce a few extracts from it. After Beethoven has, at the opening of this address, expressed his thanks for the assistance he has received, he proceeds thus:—"It was a rare assemblage of eminent performers, each of whom was inspired solely by the idea of being able to contribute by his talents something towards the benefit of the country; and who, without any order of precedence, co-operated, even in subordinate places, in the execution of the whole.... On me devolved the conduct of the whole, because the music was of my composition; had it been by any one else, I should have taken my place at the great drum, just as cheerfully as M. Hummel did[44], for we were all actuated solely by the pure feeling of patriotism and willingness to exert our abilities for those who had sacrificed so much for us." Respecting the composition of the orchestra, Beethoven expressly says—"M. Schuppanzigh was at the head of the first violins, M. Spohr and M. Mayseder co-operated in the second and third places; M. Salieri, the chief Kapell-meister, beat time to the drums and the cannonades; and Messrs. Siboni and Giuliani were likewise stationed in subordinate places."

No sooner was this patriotic act accomplished than Beethoven returned to his accustomed occupation, not dreaming to what unheard-of results (results specially injurious to him) his latest work, The Battle of Vittoria, would give occasion, and what treachery, on the part of a man whom he had always considered as his friend, would follow, nay, in a manner, spring out of, that solemn act.

M. Maelzel, the mechanist, inventor of the musical metronome, was one of Beethoven's warmest friends and adherents. In the year 1812, M. Maelzel promised the great composer to make him an apparatus for assisting his hearing. To spur him on to the fulfilment of this promise, Beethoven composed a piece—"Battle Symphony" (so he calls it himself)—for the Panharmonicon, recently invented by M. Maelzel. The effect of this piece was so unexpected that Maelzel requested its author to arrange it for the orchestra. Beethoven, who had long entertained the plan of writing a grand Battle Symphony, acceded to Maelzel's proposal, and immediately set about completing the work. By degrees four acoustic machines were produced, but only one of which Beethoven found serviceable, and used for a considerable time, especially in his interviews with the Archduke Rudolph and others, when it would have been too tedious to keep up a conversation in writing.

It was M. Maelzel who undertook the arrangement of the two concerts above-mentioned, and as this was no trifling job, Beethoven relinquished it to him without suspicion, occupied at home meanwhile with his composition. Hence it was that, in the first public announcement, Maelzel presumed to proclaim this work of Beethoven's his own property, as having been presented to him by the author. This assertion was flatly contradicted by Beethoven, upon which Maelzel declared that he claimed this work in payment for the machines which he had furnished, and for a considerable sum of money lent. As, however, he adduced no evidence to this point, Beethoven regarded what had taken place as an unbecoming joke of his friend's, and suspected nothing worse, though from that time the behaviour of this friend to Beethoven was beneath the dignity of an educated man.

Immediately after the first of those concerts, Beethoven received intimation from several quarters that Maelzel was seeking ways and means to appropriate that new work to himself in an illicit manner—a thing which the master, however, held to be impossible, for he had never suffered the scores to go out of his possession, and began to keep a watchful eye on the individual parts for the orchestra. But this caution came rather too late; for Maelzel had already found means to come at several of those parts, and to get them arranged in score.

It may be asked what object Maelzel could have to carry his dishonesty to such a length? He had projected a journey to England, and meant to make money there, and likewise on the road thither, with Beethoven's Battle-Symphony. By way of excusing his conduct in Vienna, he scrupled not to declare loudly that Beethoven owed him four hundred ducats, and that he had been obliged to take that work in payment.

These scandalous proceedings were for a considerable time a subject of general reprobation, and afterwards forgotten. In a few months, however, Maelzel set out for England, and Beethoven presently received intelligence from Munich that he had had the Battle-Symphony performed in that city, but in a mutilated shape, and that he had given out that the work was his property. It was now high time for Beethoven to take legal steps against Maelzel. From the deposition relative to that fact, which he delivered to his advocate, and which I possess in his own handwriting, I shall merely quote the following passage:—"We agreed to give this work (the Battle-Symphony), and several others of mine, in a concert for the benefit of the soldiers. While this matter was in progress I was involved in the greatest embarrassment for want of money. Abandoned by everybody here in Vienna, in expectation of a bill, &c., Maelzel offered to lend me fifty ducats in gold. I took them, and told him that I would return them to him here, or that he should have the work to take with him to London, if I should not accompany him; and that, in this latter case, I would give him an order upon it to an English publisher, who should pay him those fifty ducats." I must further mention a declaration made in this matter by Baron Pasqualati, and Dr. von Adlersburg, advocate to the court, and an address of Beethoven's to the performers of London. From that declaration, dated October 20th, 1814, it appears that Beethoven had in no wise relinquished to Maelzel the copyright of that work; and in the address to the performers of London, of the 25th of July, 1814, Beethoven adverts to the circumstance at Munich, and expressly says—"The performance of these works (the Battle-Symphony, and Wellington's Battle of Vittoria) by M. Maelzel is an imposition upon the public, and a wrong done to me, inasmuch as he has obtained possession of them in a surreptitious manner." He further warns them against that "mutilated" work; for it was ascertained that Maelzel had not been able to get at all the orchestral parts, and had therefore employed some one to compose what was deficient.[45]

This disgraceful proceeding I have deemed it my duty to state here without reserve, as its effect, both on Beethoven's temper, and on his professional activity, was extremely injurious. It served also to increase his mistrust of those about him to such a degree that for a considerable time it was impossible to hold intercourse with him. It was, moreover, owing to this cause that from this time forward Beethoven had most of his compositions copied at home, or, as this was not always practicable, that he was incessantly overlooking his copyists, or setting others to overlook them, for he considered them all as dishonest and open to bribery, of which indeed he had sufficient proofs. By that circumstance, of course, his suspicion on this point was kept continually awake; and, after such an encroachment upon his property, who would imagine that Beethoven could ever allow this pseudo-friend to hold intercourse with him, though indeed only by letter? This, nevertheless, was the case. When M. Maelzel was striving to bring his metronome into vogue, he applied, in preference, to Beethoven, at the same time intimating that he had then in hand an acoustic machine, by means of which the Composer would be enabled to conduct his Orchestra. Maelzel's letter on this subject, dated Paris, April 19th, 1818, lies before me, and communicates this intelligence. Nay, he even proposes in it that Beethoven should accompany him in a journey to England. Beethoven expressed his approbation of the metronome in a letter to Maelzel, but of the promised machine he never heard another syllable.

I shall here take leave to state that it was in the year 1814 that I first made Beethoven's personal acquaintance, which I had long been particularly desirous to do.[46] He was the man whom I worshipped like an idol, the composer all of whose works I heard and even practised during my studies at the Gymnasium of Olmütz, and all the public performances of which I now, as a member of the University of Vienna, made a point of attending. It was in the first months of 1814 that I found an opportunity to deliver, instead of another person, to Beethoven, who was then lodging in the house of Baron von Pasqualati, a note to which an immediate answer was required. He wrote an answer, asking meanwhile several questions, and, short as was this conversation, and though Beethoven took no farther notice of the bearer of the note, who had scarcely arrived at manhood, my longing merely to hear the voice of the man for whom I felt infinitely more esteem than for Kant and the whole corpus juris put together, was gratified, and the acquaintance, subsequently so important and eventful to me, was made. It was, however, not till the beginning of the year 1816 that I met him almost daily at a particular hour at the Flowerpot Tavern, and thus came into closer contact with him. But if I followed him with my veneration before my personal acquaintance with him, after that I was bound to him as though by a spell. Nothing that concerned him now escaped me, and, wherever I merely conjectured him to be, there I insinuated myself, and always accosted him frankly: a hearty shake of the hand invariably told me that I was not troublesome to him. The principal object for meeting at the above-mentioned place, where M. Pinterics, a friend of Beethoven's, a man universally respected, and a Captain in the Emperor's German Guard, were our never-failing companions, was the reading of the newspapers, a daily necessity to Beethoven. From that place he frequently permitted me to attend him in his walks, a privilege which I accounted one of the greatest felicities of my life, and for which, though overloaded with studies, I always contrived to find plenty of time. To render him service, whenever and wherever he needed it, became from that moment, till his decease, my bounden duty; and any commission that he gave me took precedence of every other engagement.

In the year 1814, Beethoven lost his old patron, Prince Carl von Lichnowsky, who died on the 15th of April.

The remarkable political epoch, when, in the autumn of 1814, the allied sovereigns and many other distinguished personages from the confederated states of Europe met in congress at Vienna, was likewise of importance and of pecuniary benefit to Beethoven. He was requested by the magistracy of the city of Vienna to set to music, as a Cantata, a poem by Dr. Weissenbach, of Salzburg, the purport of which was to welcome the illustrious visitors on their arrival within the walls of ancient Vindobona. It is the Cantata Der glorreiche Augenblick (The Glorious Moment), which has but very recently been published, with a different text, by the title of "Preis der Tonkunst" (Praise of Music). That this is one of the least meritorious of Beethoven's works every one must admit: he himself attached no value to it, though it procured him the diploma of citizenship of Vienna. As reasons for the inferiority of this composition may be assigned the very short time allowed him for the work, and the "barbarous text," from which his imagination could not derive a single spark of inspiration.[47] With respect to the latter, several curious scenes took place with the author, who was so hampered by the composer, that at last he was glad to relinquish the task of polishing to another. This Cantata was performed, together with the Battle of Vittoria and the A major Symphony, on the 29th of November, in the presence of the foreign sovereigns, some of whom made handsome presents to the composer.

Those memorable winter months at the end of 1814, and the commencement of 1815, were important to Beethoven in another respect. Numbers of the distinguished foreign visitors thronged to him to pay him their homage, and it was more especially at the parties of the Russian ambassador, Prince Rasumowsky, that the sovereign of the realm of harmony was accustomed to receive this. It is well known that the testimonies of warm esteem paid to Beethoven in the apartments of the Archduke Rudolph, by the highest personages who sought him there, were equally cordial and affecting. An interview of this kind with the Empress of Russia was particularly interesting, and Beethoven could not call it to mind without emotion. He used afterwards to relate, jocosely, how he had suffered the crowned heads to pay court to him, and what an air of importance he had at such times assumed. How differently, alas! did he fare ten years later! It was a new world, as it were, in which we all lived ten years afterwards in Vienna, where but one name—the name of Rossini—was destined to be thought of any value.

These extraordinary tokens of favour, conferred about that time on our Beethoven, made no change whatever in him: he continued to be just what he was before—Beethoven. In the spring of 1815 he gave several public performances of his A major Symphony, which had puzzled certain reviewers abroad as well as at home, to such a degree, that some of them went so far as to declare that "the extravagances of his genius had reached the ne plus ultra, and that Beethoven was now quite ripe for the mad-house." Oh! the pitiful creatures! It is much to be regretted that there should have been among them professional men, who sought in every possible way to mortify Beethoven, who themselves would fain have scaled Parnassus by force, and had scarcely ascended a few steps before they were seized with dizziness and tumbled backward to the bottom. One of these egotists, after a fall of this kind, cringed and bowed down to the very dust before Beethoven, beseeching that he would assist him to rise again, but it was too late.[48]

From this brief intimation, the reader may infer that, notwithstanding the gigantic greatness to which Beethoven had then attained, he was pursued by envy and hatred, though he turned out of every one's way, and ceased to hold intercourse with any of his professional brethren. He perceived but too clearly that all these gentry felt humbled and uncomfortable in his presence. Even M. Kanne, with whom he had most associated in early years, and to whose eminent talents he always paid the highest respect, was not oftener than twice or three times a-year in his company.

In the summer of 1815, Beethoven occupied himself exclusively with the composition, or instrumentation, of the "Scotch Songs," for Mr. George Thompson, of Edinburgh, the collector of national songs, who paid him a considerable sum for the work, as is evident from the correspondence. How many of these Scotch songs Beethoven set to music it was not possible for me to ascertain; but I believe that not near all of them have been published.

In the autumn of 1815, died his elder brother Carl, who held the office of cashier in the national bank of Austria. With the death of this brother commenced a new epoch for our Beethoven, an epoch of incidents and facts difficult to relate; and, could I here lay down my pen and leave the continuation of my work to another, I should feel myself truly happy. Here begins a most painful situation for the biographer who adopts this motto: "Do justice to the dead, and spare the living: with the former fulfil the desire of the deceased; with the latter, do the duty of the Christian, and leave Him who is above to judge."

To evade this dilemma is utterly impossible: it would be the same thing as to close here at once the biography of Beethoven, which the whole musical world desires to have as complete as possible, and which from this time acquires a higher interest; for not only is Beethoven brought, for the first time, by a conflict of circumstances, into closer contact with civil life, and binds up the rod for scourging his own back, but, through these new conflicts, the moral man Beethoven first gains occasion to show himself in all his energy, and even momentarily to outweigh the creative genius.

The value of that brother Carl, while living, to Beethoven we have several times had occasion to show. Whether it might not have been desirable for his creative genius, as well as for his peace with the world, that this brother had died many years earlier, I will not pretend to decide, but shall merely assert, that he ought not, on many accounts, to have died before Beethoven, as he left him burdens that could not fail to crush him but too speedily. In his will, dated November 14, 1815, Carl van Beethoven begged his brother Ludwig to take upon himself the guardianship of the son whom he left behind. How our Beethoven fulfilled this request will be shown in the sequel.

In a letter of the 22nd of November, 1815,[49] to M. Ries, Beethoven himself mentions the death of this brother, adding, "And I cannot estimate what I have given him to render his life more comfortable at less than 10,000 florins" (10,000 francs)—by which Beethoven cannot possibly mean all that he had given to his brother during his whole life, for that he was himself least capable of calculating. In the same letter he says, "He"—namely, his deceased brother,—"had a bad wife;" and if he had added, "both had a son who is now to be my son," he would have comprehended in one sentence the sources of the severest affliction of his future life.

At the death of his father, Beethoven's nephew was about eight years old, a handsome boy, the quality of whose mind also authorised great hopes. Perceiving this, and considering, on the other hand, what would become of him if he continued with his mother, he resolved to adopt him as his son.[50] But, as the boy's mother protested against this, while Beethoven persevered in his resolution, supporting himself upon the last will of his brother, the matter led to a lawsuit, the proceedings in which were commenced by the widow.

Before I continue the narrative of this unhappy transaction, it is necessary to mention another unpleasant circumstance relating to our master. Precisely at the time when Beethoven's young nephew became the bone of contention between his mother and his uncle, the interests of music in Vienna suffered severely through the failure of Prince Lobkowitz. This nobleman, who had become lessee of the Imperial Court Theatre—not for the sake of lucre, but out of genuine love to the arts—carried his zeal for all that is sublime and beautiful too far, and was obliged suddenly to stop. Owing to this circumstance, Beethoven lost the portion contributed by the prince to the pension settled upon him in 1809; and, as for any restitution, that was wholly out the question. Thus we see that the amount of that pension, reduced to one-fifth by the finance-patent in 1811, was now still further diminished.

At the time when the suit in question commenced (1816) Beethoven was engaged in setting up a household establishment of his own, which appeared to him to be indispensably necessary if he meant to keep his nephew, unassailed by the world, under his own care. Upon this prosaic business, so incongruous with all his habits, he fell to work, as he did upon everything else, earnestly and zealously. By way of intermezzo, I shall just introduce a little specimen of the manner in which he set about it. He seems to have made his first inquiries of a person conversant with housekeeping: a paper, containing on the left Beethoven's questions, and on the right the answers to them, written in masculine hand, is an interesting document of his spirit of enterprise. He asks, for instance:—

"1. What is a proper allowance for two servants for dinner and supper, both as to quality and quantity?"

On the right-hand side is given the answer, in most minute detail.

"2. How often should one give them meat?—Ought they to have it both at dinner and supper?

"3. Do the servants take their meals off the victuals cooked for the master, or have they their own separately: that is, have they different victuals from what the master has?

"4. How many pounds of butchers' meat are allowed for three persons?"

In this way the new housekeeper proceeds, and we discover in it a pleasing proof of his humanity.

The suit between Beethoven and his sister-in-law was carried before the court of nobles, the Landrecht of Lower Austria; the complaint was heard, and the proceedings were continued for a considerable time. The notion that the van prefixed to Beethoven's name was, like the German von, an indication of noble birth, seems to have been current in Austria from ancient times; the court, therefore, required no further evidence on that point. This suit did not hinge upon a point of law, a matter of meum and tuum, but Beethoven had to prove that his sister-in-law was an immoral woman, and consequently unfit to bring up her son. From the preceding part of this biography we have learned sufficient of his moral character, and likewise of his temper, to conceive how painful was the task which the necessity of furnishing evidence to this effect imposed upon our Beethoven—upon him to whom anything doubtful and equivocal in morals and character was so disgusting in any person that he could not bear to hear that person mentioned, and still less suffer him to come near him; and now, in order to rescue a child from certain perdition, to be compelled to expose in a court of justice the life led by one so nearly related to himself! The agitation in which he was kept for a long time by this circumstance deprived him of all equanimity; and had he not been absolutely forced to work, in order to support himself and his nephew, who had been provisionally given up to him on the part of the court, we should not have seen one great work produced by him during that inauspicious period; for even the 8th Symphony, which was performed for the first time in 1817, was fortunately conceived and partly composed before the commencement of that lawsuit.

In the course of the legal proceedings, which had already lasted a considerable time, it was intimated to the court that the word van, of Dutch origin, does not ennoble the family to whose name it is prefixed, according to the laws of Holland; that, in the province of the Rhine, in which Beethoven was born, it was held to be of no higher value; that, consequently, the halo of nobility ought to be stripped from this van in Austria also. Beethoven was accordingly required to produce proofs of his nobility. "My nobility," he exclaimed, with emphasis, "is here and here!" pointing to his breast and his head: but the court refused to allow the validity of the claim, and transferred the acts to the city magistracy of Vienna, as the proper court for commoners—after it had, however, by decision in the first instance, already acknowledged Beethoven's guardianship over his nephew.

This procedure, the transfer of the acts to the civil tribunal, though perfectly according to law, drove Beethoven beside himself; for he considered it as the grossest insult that he had ever received, and as an unjustifiable depreciation and humiliation of the artist—an impression too deep to be ever erased from his mind. But for his advocate,[51] who strove, with the affection of a friend, to allay his resentment on account of a resolution in exact accordance with the law, Beethoven would have quitted the country.

Just at the moment when the deeply-mortified master was indulging the hope that this suit, which had already lasted for some years, and occasioned him so much vexation and loss of time (during which time his nephew had been passed from hand to hand, and the system of instruction and education been changed as often as his coat), would soon be definitively terminated, the magistracy of Vienna reversed the decision of the tribunal of the nobles, and appointed Beethoven's sister-in-law guardian of her son. The consequence was that the suit was commenced afresh, and it was only after repeated unpleasant discussions, and through the indefatigable exertions of his advocate, that it was brought to a close in the year 1820; the Court of Appeal having confirmed the first decision of the Landrecht of Lower Austria. From Beethoven's memorial to the Court of Appeal, dated January 7th, 1820, which was written by himself, and the original of which lies before me,[52] I extract the following characteristic passage:—

"My wishes and my efforts have no other aim than that the boy may receive the best possible education, as his capacity authorises the indulgence of the fairest hopes, and that the expectation which his father built upon my fraternal love may be fulfilled. The shoot is still flexible, but, if more time be wasted, it will grow crooked for want of the training hand of the gardener; and upright bearing, intellect, and character will be lost for ever. I know not a more sacred duty than the superintendence of the education and formation of a child. The duty of guardianship can only consist in this—to appreciate what is good and to take such measures as are conformable with the object in view; then only has it devoted its zealous attention to the welfare of its ward: but in obstructing what is good it has ever neglected its duty."

Amidst these troubles, Beethoven needed other supporters besides his friend and legal adviser, Dr. Bach, to cheer him up and to keep him from sinking under them. These tried friends were too much concerned with his professional pursuits, as well as with the transactions of his life, not to be named here. They are M. C. Bernard, the esteemed poet and editor of the "Wiener Zeitung;" M. Peters, counsel to Prince Lobkowitz; and M. Oliva, at present professor of German literature in St. Petersburg. It was the second whom the Court of Appeal appointed co-guardian with Beethoven, at the special desire of the latter, on the ground of his deafness.

As it has been already observed, the boy, the object of this long dispute, had, during the course of it frequently to change his home, studies, and whole plan of education. Sometimes he was with his uncle, sometimes with his mother, and at others again at some school. But, notwithstanding this incessant change, his progress in music and in the sciences, especially in philology, was fully adequate to his capacity; and thus it seemed as though Beethoven would one day receive well-merited thanks, and that he would have joy, nothing but joy, over his nephew, in return for the inexpressible afflictions and mortifications which he had undergone during this suit of four years' continuance, and for the unexampled affection, care, nay even sacrifices, with which he prosecuted his education. Whether this prospect was realised, whether his hopes were accomplished, we shall see hereafter.

Before I again take up the thread of events in Beethoven's life, I think this may not be an unfit place for a cursory notice of the proceedings of a small association, composed of professional men and accomplished amateurs, which, though it was not intimately connected with the events of Beethoven's life, and neither had, nor could have, any influence upon them, yet furnishes occasion for showing in what favour and honour Beethoven's compositions, especially the chamber music, that really inexhaustible mine of the profoundest and most expressive musical poetry, was held by the better portion of the Vienna dilettanti and performers. The task undertaken by this modest society was to execute classic music in the chamber style, and Beethoven's in preference, before a small circle of auditors, capable of relishing its beauties. M. Carl Czerny gave the impulse to this society, so worthy of record in the history of the art, and was upon the whole its guiding principle. The meetings were held at his residence in the forenoon of every Sunday, and were continued with gradually increasing interest for three successive winters. It was another sort of divine worship, to which every one without exception and without announcement had free access. To the peculiar gratification of M. Czerny, Beethoven previously went through several of his greatest works with him, and frequently attended the performance at his side, and his presence had the effect of heightening the interest felt by all the members of the society to the warmest enthusiasm. At the pianoforte M. Czerny had worthy assistants in the accomplished Baroness Dorothea von Ertmann (to whom Beethoven dedicated his Sonata, Op. 101), and in Messrs. Steiner, von Felsburg, and Pfaller, in the civil service of the Imperial government. The concourse to this musical stoa, where every one might make himself acquainted with all that was most sublime, or at least acquire clearer conceptions of it, was always extraordinary; and kindred spirits there found opportunity for learning to know and to esteem each other. All foreign professional men and connoisseurs, who in their own countries could gain but obscure notions of the spirit of Beethoven's music, here found themselves at the fountain-head of the purest poesy, which never flowed so clear and so brilliant since those memorable parties at Prince Lichnowsky's (of which mention has been made in the first period), and perhaps never may again in that place where this gigantic genius, so far in advance of his age, lived and wrought. For, indeed, so totally is everything, both in prose and poetry, changed there since his time, that this master-mind is become almost a stranger in his earthly home. The doors of that memorable school, which powerfully elevated the mind and heart of all who frequented it, closed at the end of the third winter course for ever, because M. Czerny began thenceforward to devote himself to composition; and, with the opening of the Italian Opera, which speedily followed, all incitement to the cultivation of Beethoven's pianoforte music ceased. Thus it would be very likely that foreigners might now in vain seek an opportunity to hear a Sonata of Beethoven's in Vienna; for the banners of the present day are no longer inscribed with his immortal name.

The next event, directly affecting Beethoven, before the suit with his sister-in-law was quite over, and requiring to be recorded here, is the death of Prince Kinsky, whose heirs refused to pay the stipulated portion of the pension granted in 1809. The matter was accordingly brought into court, and Beethoven was more fortunate in this instance than he had been with regard to the share of Prince Lobkowitz. He recovered rather more than 300 florins, so that, with the 600 contributed by the Archduke Rudolph, he received thenceforward a yearly pension of 900 florins (about 600 rix-dollars), which he enjoyed without further diminution as long as he lived.[53]

The nomination of his most illustrious pupil, the Archduke just mentioned, whom he had raised to a high degree of proficiency, and who was the only one of his scholars that Beethoven had at the same time instructed in the theory of harmony—the nomination of this accomplished prince to be Archbishop of Olmütz, brought back our master to that branch of music which is the most sublime and likewise the most difficult, and for which, together with the Symphony, he had the greatest predilection, as he frequently declared. He resolved, namely, to write a grand Mass for the installation of the Archduke in his archiepiscopal see, which was fixed for the 9th of March, 1820. It was in the winter of 1818-19, that he set about this new work; the first movement of which, however, was of such vast dimensions, that it was impossible to calculate what time it would take to complete the work upon the same scale. It is necessary here to observe that, in those years, Beethoven, in spite of the troubles which he had undergone, enjoyed excellent health. At the very commencement of this new labour, he seemed to be quite a different man. The change was more particularly noticed by his earlier friends; and I must confess that, never, before or since that time, have I seen Beethoven in such a state of absolute abstraction from the world as was the case, more especially in the year 1819. Nay, were I not already past the age of forty, and had to judge of that state of mind and soul of my noble friend with the understanding of a youth of twenty, I should have many anecdotes of that remarkable period to relate, as another has done of earlier years, but which, after all, are but anecdotes, and ought no more to have been brought before a public forum than the table-talk of Martin Luther should have been.[54]

In the year 1819, while engaged in the composition of his second Mass, Beethoven was truly the boisterous, heaven-storming giant, and more particularly in the autumn, when he wrote the Credo, with the exceedingly difficult fugue. He lived at that time at Mödling, in the Hafner House, as it is called, where I paid him frequent visits, and witnessed most extraordinary incidents, many of them arising from the mismanagement of his domestic affairs: for he had continued to keep house ever since 1816, though his nephew was at an academy, and he, of course, quite alone. To enable the reader to form a clear conception of his domestic life at that period, and thence to draw the conclusion under what a yoke, imposed in a great measure by himself, this man sighed and suffered, and in what a state of constant irritation his temper was kept by it, I need but lay before him a short extract from his journal, which, for a period of several years, I possess in his own hand-writing.


"31st January. Given warning to the housekeeper.

15th February. The kitchen-maid came.

8th March. The kitchen-maid gave a fortnight's warning.

22nd of this month, the new housekeeper came.

12th May. Arrived at Mödling.

Miser et pauper sum.

14th May. The housemaid came; to have six florins per month.

20th July. Given warning to the housekeeper.


17th April. The kitchen-maid came. A bad day. (This means that he had nothing to eat, because all the victuals were spoiled through long waiting.)

16th May. Given warning to the kitchen-maid.

19th. The kitchen-maid left.

30th. The woman came.

1st July. The kitchen-maid arrived.

28th. At night, the kitchen-maid ran away.

30th. The woman from Unter-Döbling came.

The four bad days, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th August. Dined at Lerchenfeld.

28th. The woman's month expires.

6th September. The girl came.

22nd October. The girl left.

12th December. The kitchen-maid came.

18th. Given warning to the kitchen-maid.

27th. The new housemaid came."

But enough of this lamentable spectacle of domestic confusion!—and enough too of matter for incessant vexation for the master of a house, who concerns or is obliged to concern himself about such details. But such was Beethoven's domestic state, with very little alteration, till his death. The impossibility of making himself understood by his servants was the principal cause of the incessant changes, by which, it is true, nothing whatever was gained.

Let us now turn from the prosaic to the poetical side of his life.

At the time when the Archduke Rudolph was preparing for his journey to Olmütz, the Mass destined for the ceremony of his installation was scarcely one third finished; which, taking into account the time usually occupied by him in correcting each of his great works, was as much as to say that the first movement was not yet completed. And to state here at once when Beethoven gave the last finish to this his greatest work, I may add that it was not till the summer of 1822 at Baden (near Vienna), after he had been labouring more than three years at this gigantic performance. Thus the mass was finished only two years too late for its original destination.

In the winter months of 1821-22, Beethoven wrote the three piano-forte Sonatas, Op. 109, 110, and 111. The Grand Sonata in B major, Op. 106, he wrote during the suit with his sister-in-law. In the summer of 1819, just at the time when he was engaged in the composition of the Credo, he complied also with the urgent solicitations of a musical society consisting of seven members, who were then accustomed to play at the tavern balls, in the Briel, near Mödling, and composed some Waltzes for them, and even wrote out the parts. On account of the striking contrast displayed by that genius, which could move at one and the same time in the highest regions of musical poetry and in the ball-room, I made inquiry some years afterwards, when the master had once mentioned the circumstance, after this light-winged progeny; but the society in question was then broken up, and thus my search proved fruitless. Beethoven, too, had lost the score of these Waltzes. While he was engaged in the composition of the grand mass, I do not recollect his having written anything further than a few numbers of Bagatelles. Mr. P., the publisher of Leipzig, for whom they were destined, wrote to him after he had received them, intimating that he did not consider them worth the price agreed upon (ten ducats, I believe), and added the remark, that Beethoven ought to deem it beneath him to waste his time on trifles such as anybody might produce. Would that Mr. P. could have witnessed the effect of this well-meant lecture on the outrageous composer! It was, nevertheless, a salutary lecture, and came just at the right time, for the great master took pleasure in such relaxations of his powers (which at that time, it is true, he needed), and had written many more Bagatelles of the same kind. Dormitat aliquando Homerus.

From the foregoing particulars the reader may infer that the price of the four last-mentioned Sonatas and his pension constituted the whole of Beethoven's income from the year 1818 to 1822, just at a time when he had a considerable annual sum to pay for the education of his nephew, and when the preceding years of dearth had an injurious influence upon him. The state of his finances may be more clearly seen from the letters addressed to M. Ries, which, however (especially those written in 1819 and 1820), ought not to have been exposed to the public eye, but should have been suppressed by his friends Wegeler and Ries;[55] for the tenor of those letters would lead one to suppose either that Beethoven was almost starving, or that, like the modern composers, he had written notes solely for money.[56] This, however, was not the case, though it is a fact that his income during that period was far from covering his expenses. It was not until 1825 that the Mass was sold to a publisher. It was consequently in the years 1820 and 1821 that Beethoven suffered real want, as he was determined not to add any new debts to those which he had previously incurred. And yet, if the truth must be told, the privations which he suffered were voluntary; for he was in possession of some bank shares, which might have placed him above any want, if he had chosen to dispose of them. When, therefore, we hear that those four days marked in his Journal for 1820 as "bad days" were such, when, quite destitute of money, he was obliged to make his dinner of a few biscuits and a glass of beer, as I have heard from his own lips, I, for my part, am disposed to seek in that fact the origin of his subsequent parsimony, which served only to enrich an unworthy laughing heir; but more upon this subject in the proper place.

Of the year 1821 there is nothing particular to relate excepting an anecdote characteristic of his household system: it went on in its usual way. In the spring of that year, he again removed with bag and baggage to Döbling. On arranging his musical matters there, he missed the score of the first movement (Kyrie) of his grand Mass. All search for it proved vain, and Beethoven was irritated to the highest degree at the loss, which was irreparable; when lo! several days afterwards the whole Kyrie was found, but in what condition! The large sheets, which looked just like waste paper, seemed to the old housekeeper the very thing for wrapping up boots, shoes, and kitchen utensils, for which purpose she had torn most of them in half. When Beethoven saw the treatment to which this production of his genius had been subjected, he could not refrain from laughing at this droll scene, after a short gust of passion, and after the sheets had been cleaned from all the soils contracted in such unseemly company.

The 3rd of October, 1822—the name-day[57] of the Emperor Francis—was fixed for the opening of the new theatre in the Josephstadt, on which occasion the music to Die Ruinen von Athen, (The Ruins of Athens)[58] which Beethoven wrote in 1812, for the opening of the new theatre in Pesth, with a new text adapted to time and place, by Carl Meisel, several new pieces, and a new Overture, was to be performed.

In the month of July, Beethoven set about this new work; but that summer, which he passed in Baden, was remarkably hot, and therefore, he liked to seek the shade of the neighbouring woods, rather than to swelter in the house. It was not till the hottest part of the season was over, and then the day fixed for the opening was not far distant, that he fell to work in good earnest; and I recollect well, that the ballet-master was put to a pinch about a new composed chorus with a dance. He was in urgent want of the music for rehearsal, but Beethoven would not part with it, because he had not done filing and polishing. Thus it was not till the afternoon of the day when the first performance was to take place, that the orchestra, collected at random from all quarters, received the extremely difficult Overture in C major, with the double fugue, and that, moreover, with a thousand metrical errors. On the evening of the solemn opening, when, for want of the necessary rehearsals, not a single member of the orchestra was acquainted with his part, Beethoven was seated at the piano, having at his side the music-director Franz Gläser, as assistant-conductor, and I, escaping from my office, led the orchestra. This, as it were, ex-tempore solemnization, might justly be pronounced a total failure, as far as the music was concerned; and it was not till the next day that all the orchestral parts were corrected and studied. Beethoven, indeed, perceived the vacillation on the stage and in the orchestra, but was not sensible that he was the principal cause of it, through his intent listening and retarding the time.

On New-Year's day, 1823, Beethoven, his nephew, and myself were seated at dinner, when a New-Year's card was brought from his brother, who lived in the next house, signed "Johann van Beethoven, landowner" (Gutsbesitzer); Beethoven immediately wrote on the back of it, "Ludwig van Beethoven, brainowner" (Hirnbesitzer), and sent it back forthwith to the landowner. It was only a few days before this whimsical circumstance, that this brother braggingly told our master, that he would never be worth so much as he (Johann van Beethoven) was.[59] It may easily be conceived that our Beethoven was mightily amused by this boast.

During this winter (1823), Beethoven carried into effect the resolution which he had long before formed, of offering the new Mass, in manuscript, to the European courts, great and small, for the sum of fifty ducats—a business which he left entirely to my management, which was attended with innumerable formalities and difficulties, and required great patience. In his invitation to the subscription, Beethoven declared this work to be his "greatest" and his "best." And, in that addressed to the King of France, he called it "œuvre le plus accompli." Only four sovereigns, namely, the Emperor of Russia, and the Kings of Prussia, Saxony, and France, accepted the offer.[60] Prince Anton von Radziwill, governor of Posen, subscribed for the fifth copy, and M. Schelble, on behalf of his Cecilia club, at Frankfort on the Mayn, for the sixth and last.[61] The first of the sovereigns who subscribed was his majesty the King of Prussia.

A characteristic anecdote is connected with the notification made on this subject, through his majesty's ambassador. Whether the Prussian ambassador, the Prince von Hatzfeld, had instructions from Berlin, or whether he wished, from his own impulse, to see Beethoven decorated with a Prussian order, I never knew; but it is a fact, that the Prince commissioned the director of chancery, Hofrath W., to ask Beethoven whether he might not be disposed to prefer a royal order to the fifty ducats; in which case he would transmit his wish to Berlin. Beethoven, without a moment's consideration, replied with great emphasis—"Fifty ducats!" A striking proof how lightly he prized insignia of honour or distinctions in general. Offers of this sort he would have invariably declined, proceed from what quarter soever they might. Without despising the well-merited decoration of an order on the breast of this or that artist of his time, he never envied any man that distinction, but frequently lashed unmercifully one or the other of his contemporaries for their "longing and snapping after ribands," which, according to his notions, were gained only at the expense of the truth and the sacredness of art.

This is the proper place to state that Beethoven applied among others to Göthe, relative to the affair of the subscription to the Mass, soliciting his recommendation of it to the Grand-Duke of Weimar; but Göthe had already forgotten our Beethoven, for he did not even deign to answer him, and Beethoven felt extremely mortified. This was the first and the last time that Beethoven ever asked a favour of Göthe. In like manner, his letter on the same subject, in his own hand-writing, to the King of Sweden, remained unanswered. This correspondence, however, carried back Beethoven's remembrance to the time when the King of Sweden, as General Bernadotte, was ambassador of the French republic at Vienna; and he distinctly recollected that it was really Bernadotte who awakened in him the first idea of the Sinfonia eroica.

The King of France, Louis XVIII., acknowledged the transmission of this Mass from Beethoven by sending him a heavy gold medal, with his portrait, and on the reverse the inscription, "Donné par le Roi à Monsieur Beethoven," which royal present was the more gratifying to him because he conceived that he was indebted for it to the influence of Cherubini with his Majesty, which he had previously solicited. I subjoin this certainly not uninteresting letter, copied from Beethoven's draft of it, which he sent from the country to me in the city, with instructions what to do with it.

"Most respected Sir,

"With great pleasure I seize the opportunity of approaching you in writing. In spirit I do so very often, as I prize your works above all others of the theatrical class. The professional world, however, has to lament that, for a long time past, in our Germany at least, no new theatrical work of yours has made its appearance. Highly as your other works are estimated by competent judges, still it is a real loss to the art not to possess any new production of your genius for the stage. Genuine art is imperishable, and the genuine artist takes heartfelt delight in high productions of mind. Just so am I too transported whenever I hear a new work of yours, and take a greater interest in it than if it were my own; in short, I honour and love you. Did not my continual ill health prevent me from seeing you in Paris, with what extraordinary pleasure should I converse with you on musical subjects! Imagine not that, because I am going to ask a favour of you, this is merely the introduction to my request. I hope and am convinced that you do not impute to me so mean a way of thinking.

"I have just completed a grand solemn Mass, and purpose sending it to the European courts, because I do not intend to publish it for the present. I have, therefore, despatched, through the French embassy here, an invitation to his Majesty the King of France to subscribe to this work, and am persuaded that the King will be sure to take it upon your recommendation. Ma situation critique demande que je ne fixe pas seulement comme ordinaire mes vœux au ciel; au contraire, il faut les fixer aussi en bas pour les nécessités de la vie.

"Be the fate of my request to you what it will, I shall never cease to love and to respect you, et vous resterez toujours celui de mes contemporains que je l'estime le plus. Si vous me voulez faire un estrême plaisir, c'était, si vous m'écrivez quelques lignes, ce que me soulagera bien. L'art unit tout le monde,—how much more genuine artists! et peut-être vous me dignez aussi, de me mettre—to reckon me also among the number.

Avec le plus haut estime,
Votre ami et serviteur,

A French translation of this letter was sent to Cherubini, but he returned no answer.




Vindication of the Court of Austria from the charge of neglecting Beethoven—His quarrel with a Publisher at Vienna—Mortification arising from his Deafness—Wretched Lodging—Beethoven undertakes to write a new Opera, but is deterred by the prospect of coming in contact with German Singers—His ninth Symphony—Letter from the Archduke Rudolph—Italian Opera at Vienna—Flattering Memorial addressed to Beethoven—Concerts—His discourtesy to Vocal Performers—His credulity and hasty condemnation of his Friends—Is invited to visit England by the Philharmonic Society—Disgraceful conduct of Prince Nicholas von Galitzin—Severe illness—He sets aside a Fund as a Provision for his Nephew—Ingratitude and Misbehaviour of that Youth—Distressing circumstances in which he was involved by him—Beethoven's forlorn Situation—His last Illness—His letters to Moscheles—He is assisted by the Philharmonic Society—Total value of his Property—His Death—Post-mortem Examination.

THE court of Austria has very frequently been reproached by admirers of Beethoven's with having never done anything for him. The charge is true: but, if we examine this point more closely, and search for the motives, we shall perhaps find some that may excuse the imperial court for this backwardness.

We have already shown in the second period, when treating of the Sinfonia eroica, what were Beethoven's political sentiments. There needs, then, no further explanation to enable the reader to draw the certain conclusion, that a man, in whose head so thoroughly republican a spirit had established itself, could not feel comfortable in the vicinity of a court, and that this would not do anything to serve him. This is quite enough to elucidate in the clearest manner Beethoven's position in regard to the imperial court. Had not the Archduke Rudolph cherished such an enthusiastic fondness for music, and had not his spirit harmonized so entirely with Beethoven's and with his whole nature, he would have fled from him as he did from the whole court. The only exception was the Archduke Charles, the victor of Aspern, whom Beethoven always mentioned with veneration, as he knew to a certainty how well the illustrious hero could appreciate him; and this prince alone had admittance to his brother the Archduke Rudolph, when Beethoven was with him. This liberal patron of arts and artists, who united the purest humanity with the warmest attachment to his great instructor, probably adopted this precaution for the purpose of avoiding any collision with other members of the imperial family,[62] The excellent Count Moritz von Lichnowsky tried for a long time in vain to produce a change in Beethoven's sentiments on this point, till, in 1823, his efforts were, in some degree, successful. In the February of that year, this noble and indefatigable friend proposed to Count Moritz von Dietrichstein, at that time director of music to the court, that Beethoven should be commissioned to compose a Mass for His Majesty the Emperor, hoping by this expedient to bring the master nearer to the court, and, as it were, to reconcile it with him. Count von Dietrichstein, a profound connoisseur, immediately acceded to the suggestion, and I am enabled to communicate the results from the correspondence which took place between the two counts and Beethoven on the subject.

In a letter, dated the 23rd of February, from Count Dietrichstein to Count Lichnowsky, he writes, among other things, as follows:—

"Dear Friend,

" ...I here send you also the score of a Mass, by Reutter, which Beethoven wished to see. It is true that His Majesty the Emperor is fond of this style; but Beethoven, if he writes a Mass, need not stick to that. Let him follow the impulse of his great genius, and merely attend to the following points:—Not to make the Mass too long or too difficult in the execution;—to let it be a Tutti-Mass, and in the vocal parts to introduce only short soprano and alto solos (for which I have two capital singing boys)—but neither tenor, nor bass, nor organ solos. As to the instruments, he may introduce a violin, or oboe, or clarinet solo, if he likes.

"His Majesty is very fond of fugues, when well executed, but not too long;—the Sanctus, with the Hosanna, as short as possible, in order not to delay the Transubstantiation; and, if I may venture to add, on my own account, the Dona nobis pacem, connected with the Agnus Dei, without any particular break, and kept soft; which, in two Masses by Handel, (compiled from his Anthems)—in two Masses of Naumann's and the Abbé Stadler's—produces a particularly fine effect.

"Such are, briefly, according to my experience, the points to be observed; and I should congratulate myself, the court, and the art, if our great Beethoven would speedily set about the work."

Beethoven accepted this commission with pleasure. Accompanied by Count Lichnowsky, he called forthwith upon Count Dietrichstein, to confer more at large on the subject, and resolved to fall to work immediately; but this was all he did—not a step further could he be induced to stir. It was not any political crotchet that occasioned this stoppage. Frequent indisposition, a complaint of the eyes, and an untoward circumstance of an unexpected nature, were the causes of his deferring this undertaking. It was, moreover, just in the next autumn that the ideas of the 9th Symphony began to haunt his brain; and thus it happened that he thought no more of the Mass for the Emperor.

The unpleasant circumstance just alluded to arose out of a dispute with a publishing-house at Vienna (not now in existence), which was attended with consequences disagreeable to Beethoven. This house had long entertained the plan of drawing our master so entirely into its interest, that he should bind himself by contract to make over to it exclusively all that he should in future write. At the same time, this firm proposed to enter jointly with him into the publication of his complete works; a proposal which, in my opinion, was most favourable for Beethoven, and would very probably have been accepted, had it not been made dependent on the former plan. A formal scale (the original of which, with marginal remarks in Beethoven's own hand, is in my possession) was, in consequence, laid before him by the firm in question, in which every species of composition, from the Symphony and the Oratorio, down to the Song, was specified, together with the sum which it offered to pay for each. This tarif Beethoven was to sign. He consulted several persons on the subject, and, most of them having dissuaded him from entering into the engagement, he refused to place himself in a dependence so revolting to his whole nature. Why should no other publisher be allowed to adorn his shop with a work of Beethoven's, when the house in question already had so many of them? And why should the great master suffer his hands to be so tied as not to have the chance of getting a larger sum for this or that work from some other quarter? And why, besides, desire to secure a monopoly of the productions of mind?

As then the above plan failed to lead to the wished-for result, the other connected with it, relative to the publication of the collected works, likewise fell to the ground. The firm, in consequence, demanded of Beethoven the speedy repayment of the sum of eight hundred florins, advanced to him just at a time when he was in a very necessitous state, as not a single copy of the new Mass had yet found a subscriber. Highly indignant at the unfeeling conduct of a man who called himself his friend, and whose business had been for a long period so much indebted to Beethoven, our master directed his friend Dr. Bach to serve that house with a counter-requisition, insisting on its publishing immediately the manuscripts which had been for many years in its possession; namely—the first Overture to Fidelio—the Cantata Der glorreiche Augenblick (The Glorious Moment)—and several more; alleging, as a legal ground, that it was important to the mental as well as to the material interest of the author, that the productions of his mind should not be shut up for a series of years under lock and key. The other party replied—"We have bought and paid for those manuscripts, consequently they are our property, and we have a right to do what we please with them." Dr. Bach dissuaded Beethoven from carrying the affair into court, for he knew, from the suit with his sister-in-law, what a mischievous effect such judicial proceedings had upon his temper and his professional activity, both of which had already suffered in a high degree. He advised him to dispose of a bank share, in order to discharge the debt due to the publisher; but it was not till after long resistance that Beethoven could be prevailed upon to comply.

I mention this circumstance, which was one of the most galling occurrences in the life of the great master, for the purpose of showing, at the same time, how highly he prized his artistical freedom and independence. On the other hand, we see his small savings again diminished in consequence of this incident. Shortly before, one share parted with to pay a debt due to a true friend; and now, another to satisfy the house in question—what trials for the temper of one struggling with continual indisposition and annoyance!

In the spring of 1823, Beethoven again took up his quarters in the pleasant village of Hetzendorf, where the Baron von Pronay assigned to him a suite of apartments in his beautiful villa. Supremely happy as he felt, when, in the first days of his residence there, he explored the noble park, or overlooked the charming landscape from his windows; yet he soon took a dislike to the place, and for no other reason than because "the Baron, whenever he met him, was continually making too profound obeisances to him." On the 24th of August, he wrote to me that he could not stay there any longer, and requested me to be with him by five o'clock the following morning, to accompany him to Baden, and assist him to seek lodgings there. I did as he desired; and off he started, with bag and baggage, for Baden, though he had already paid for his lodgings at Hetzendorf for the whole of the summer. His English piano-forte, made by Broadwood, presented to him several years before by Ferdinand Ries, John Cramer, and Sir George Smart, accompanied him in all these peregrinations. At the sale of Beethoven's effects, this instrument was purchased by the court-agent, von Spina, of Vienna, in whose possession it still remains.[63]

At that villa, in Hetzendorf, Beethoven wrote the Thirty-three Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120,—a work which amused him exceedingly. At first there were to be but six or seven Variations, for which moderate number Diabelli offered him eighty ducats: but when he fell to work they soon increased to ten; presently to twenty; then to twenty-five; and still he could not stop. Diabelli, who was apprehensive of having too large a volume, when he heard of twenty-five Variations, was at last obliged to accept thirty-three Variations instead of seven, for his eighty ducats. It was about the same sum, that is to say eighty ducats, that Beethoven received for nearly every one of his last Sonatas.

On his return to Vienna, in the autumn of the same year, Beethoven received an invitation from the manager of the court opera-house to conduct his Fidelio, which, after a long interval, was again to be represented. The proofs of his unfitness for such a duty, on account of his almost total deafness, furnished by the opening of the Josephstadt theatre in the preceding year, were still before his eyes. Nevertheless, nothing on earth could dissuade him from accepting this invitation: at his desire I accompanied him to the rehearsal. At the very first movement, the absolute impossibility of proceeding was apparent, for not only did he take the time, either much quicker or much slower than the singers and the orchestra had been accustomed to, but retarded them incessantly. Kapell-meister Umlauf set things to rights as long as it was practicable; but it was high time to tell poor Beethoven plainly—This will not do. But neither M. Duport, the manager, nor M. Umlauf, had the courage to say so; and when Beethoven perceived a certain embarrassment in every countenance, he motioned me to write down for him what it meant. In a few words I stated the cause, at the same time entreating him to desist, on which he immediately left the orchestra. The melancholy which seized him after this painful incident was not dispelled the whole day, and even at table he uttered not a single word.

Beethoven, after this event, applied repeatedly to the army-surgeon, Smetana, to relieve his complaint, and he actually put him for some time on a course of medicine; but the most impatient patient served the physic as he had always done before. He not unfrequently took in two doses the medicines destined for the whole day; or, he forgot them entirely, when his ideas lifted him above the material world and carried him into loftier regions. How difficult he was to manage in this particular was well known to every medical man who had attended him, and in former years even to von Vehring, physician to the staff, though he durst venture to assume a certain authority over him.

It was in this year that the Society of the Friends of Music of the Austrian Empire in Vienna sent to our Beethoven the diploma of an honorary member of that society. It is right to observe that this society had already existed ten years, and during that time nominated many native and foreign professional men honorary members, for which reason Beethoven felt hurt that he had not been thought of before. He would, therefore, have sent back the diploma immediately, but suffered himself to be persuaded not to do so, and rather to take it in silence, without returning any answer to the society.

The diploma of honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Stockholm had been previously transmitted to him in the autumn of 1822.

Upon the whole, the year 1823 was thronged with incidents in Beethoven's life, the number of which was increased by the following circumstance:—Beethoven was quartered, by means of his brother Johann, in a dark lodging, fit at best for a shoemaker, and which, because it was cheap, was considered suitable for the "brainowner." But it was not this circumstance alone that made our master's life uncomfortable: in this lodging he had for his landlord a low-bred man, coarse in manners and disposition, who treated him with no more respect than if he had been a day-labourer. This was a miserable abode for Beethoven, who had been accustomed to something so very different; and the winter of 1822-23 might, owing to this fatal situation of the great composer, furnish plenty of matter for tales and humorous pieces. I know of but one cheering event which occurred while he was in that horrid den. In April, 1823, the Countess Schafgotsch, of Warmbrunn in Silesia, brought him his first Mass, with a new German text, written by M. Scholz, music-director at that place. We were just at dinner. Beethoven quickly opened the manuscript and ran over a few pages. When he came to qui tollis, the tears trickled from his eyes, and he was obliged to desist, saying with the deepest emotion, in reference to the inexpressibly beautiful text:—"Yes, that was precisely my feeling when I wrote this." This was the first and the last time that I saw him in tears. He was just about to send his second Mass to the same admirable writer, that he might adapt a German text to that also, when he received intelligence of his death; and I rejoiced exceedingly that I had been in time to inform that excellent man what an effect his work, which I still possess, had produced upon Beethoven.

In the first months of 1823 Beethoven was urged from various quarters to write an Opera, and the manager of the court opera-house was particularly desirous to have one of his composition. From Count Brühl, intendant of the court theatre at Berlin also, Beethoven received a commission to write an Opera for that house à tout prix. Dozens of opera texts were now collected, but he disliked them all; for he proposed to take a subject from the Greek or Roman history, to which objections were made on the absurd ground that those subjects had been already exhausted, and were no longer modern. At last came M. Franz Grillparzer with his Melusina. The subject pleased Beethoven, only he wished to have certain passages altered, which Grillparzer readily consented to do.[64] The poet and the composer were agreed upon the principal points of the alterations, and we were rejoicing in the prospect of seeing upon our boards Mademoiselle Henriette Sontag, whom Beethoven proposed to keep particularly in his eye, in the character of Melusina. But how did Beethoven disappoint us all! Annoyed by the recollection of what had happened with his Fidelio, he told no one that he had sent Grillparzer's manuscript to Count Brühl for his inspection. Of course we knew nothing about it till the Count's answer lay before us. The Count expressed himself much pleased with the poem, and merely remarked that there was a ballet performing at the court theatre of Berlin "which had a distant resemblance to Melusina." This observation, and the prospect of again coming into contact with German opera-singers, discouraged Beethoven to such a degree that he relinquished the idea of writing an Opera, and would not thenceforward listen to anything that might be said on the subject. I must, however, remark here that he was extremely delighted with the performances of the company then at the Italian Opera in Vienna,[65] to which belonged Lablache, Donzelli, Rubini, Paccini, Ambrogi, Ciccimarra; and among the ladies, Fodor-Mainville, Dardanelli, Ekerlin, Sontag, and Ungher; and was so particularly struck with the inspired Caroline Ungher, that he determined to write an Italian opera for that select band of priests and priestesses of Thalia. This design would certainly have been carried into execution in the following year (to which this new work was deferred on account of the already projected ninth Symphony), had not a fatal north wind blown away this and many other fine schemes, which we shall have occasion to notice hereafter.

In November, 1823, Beethoven began to compose the ninth Symphony, for which he brought many sketches from the country to town with him; and in February, 1824, this colossus was completed. It may not be uninteresting here to notice the way in which Beethoven contrived cleverly to introduce Schiller's song, "Freude, schöner Götterfunken," into the fourth movement of the symphony. At that time I was seldom from his side, and could therefore closely observe his struggles with this difficulty. The highly interesting sketches and materials for it, all of which I possess, likewise bear witness to them. One day, when I entered his room, he called out to me,—"I have it! I have it!" holding out to me his sketch-book, where I read these words, "Let us sing the immortal Schiller's song, 'Freude,'" &c., which introduction he afterwards altered to "Friends, not these tones!" This first idea will be found in the engraved fac-simile at the end of the Second Volume.

The recitative of the double-bass also was not comprehended in his original plan, and was added when he changed the above-mentioned introductory movement; in consequence of which it was necessary to give a different form to almost all that preceded, as the fundamental sentiment of that device required. He had nearly the same process to go through with the melody in the first verse which the bass-solo has to sing. The sketch-book shows a fourfold alteration, and above each he wrote, according to his practice, "Meilleur," as may be seen in the engraved fac-simile, No. II.[66]

In this, as the proper place for it, I shall introduce a correct copy of an autograph letter from the Archduke Rudolph to Beethoven, which serves to show the friendly relations subsisting between master and scholar.

"Vienna, July 31st, 1823."

"Dear Beethoven,—I shall be back again in Vienna on the 5th of August, and shall stay there for some days. I hope that your health will then permit you to come to town. In the afternoon from four till seven I am generally at home.

"My brother-in-law, Prince Anton,[67] has already written to me that the King of Saxony is expecting your beautiful Mass.

"As for D****r, I have spoken about him to our most gracious Sovereign, as well as to Count Dietrichstein. Whether this recommendation may prove serviceable I cannot tell, as there will be a competition for that appointment, at which each of the candidates must furnish proofs of his abilities. I should be very glad if I could render a service to this clever man, whom I heard with pleasure playing the organ last Monday at Baden, and the more so, inasmuch as I am convinced that you would not recommend an unworthy person.

"I hope that you have written your Canon; and beg you, if your health would suffer by coming to town, not to exert yourself too early, out of attachment to me.[68]

"Your sincere Friend and Scholar,



No. I.

Letters from Beethoven to Kappellmeister Hofmeister and C. F. Peters, Music Publishers, relative to the Sale of some of his Compositions.[69]

THE many attacks which have recently been made on the copyright of works by L. van Beethoven, which are my property, induce me to give a list of the compositions purchased from that author, which are the legitimate property of my house; namely:—

Concerto pour le Piano-forte avec Orch.Op.19
Septuor pour Violon., Alto, Clar., Cor.,
Basson, Violoncelle, et Contrebasse
Première gr. Sinfonie pour Orchestre"21
Gr. Sonate pour le Piano-forte"22
Deux Préludes dans tous les 12 tons majeurs
pour le Piano-forte ou l'Orgue
Romance pour Violon avec Orchestre"40
Sérénade pour le Pfte. et Flûte (ou
Notturno pour Pianof. et Alto"42
Ouverture de Prometheus, pour Orchestre"43
Quatorze Variations pour le Piano, Vln.,
et Violoncelle

Respecting the works Op. 20 and 21, which have lately been invaded without my consent, by arrangements by other hands, I find myself obliged to communicate the letters written on the subject by Beethoven in the years 1800 and 1801, which incontestably prove on the one hand my exclusive property in these compositions, (as also in Op. 19 and 22,) and furnish, on the other, a highly interesting illustration of the individuality of the great composer, then in the flower of his age. I keep back the evidence in regard to the other six works, Op. 39-44, till a similar attack, which I hope will not occur, shall be made upon them.


of the firm of C. F. Peters, Bureau de Musique.

NEUE ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR MUSIK, Leipsic, March 7, 1837.

Letters from Beethoven.


Vienna, December 15, 1800.

My dearest Brother in the Art,

I have many times thought of answering your inquiries, but am a dreadfully lazy correspondent; and thus I am an age making up my mind to form the dead letter instead of the musical note; but at length I have done violence to myself in order to comply with your request.

Pro primo, you are to hear of my regret, dearest brother in the art, at your not having applied to me sooner, so that you might have purchased my Quartetts, as well as many other things which I have now disposed of; but if you, my good brother, are as conscientious as many other honest engravers, who sting[70] us poor composers to death, you will know how to make a profit by them when they come out.

I will therefore briefly state what my good brother may have of me.

1stly. A Septett per il Violino, Viola, Violoncello, Contrabasso, Clarinetto, Corno, Fagotto—tutti obligati (I cannot write anything inobligato, because I came into the world with an obligato accompaniment). This Septett has been highly approved.

2ndly. A Grand Symphony for the orchestra.

3rdly. A Concerto for the Piano-forte, which, it is true, I do not assert to be one of my best, any more than another, which will be published here by Mollo (a hint for the Leipzig reviewers), since I reserve the better ones for my own use, in case I should make a musical tour; yet it would not disgrace you to publish it.

4thly. A Grand Solo Sonata.

This is all that I have to part with at this moment. By and by you may have a Quintett for stringed instruments, perhaps Quartetts too, and other things which I have not by me just now. In your answer you may fix your own prices; and as you are neither a Jew nor an Italian, and as I do not belong to either nation, we shall not disagree.

Fare you well, my dearest brother, and be assured of the esteem of

Your brother,


Vienna, the 15th (or some such day) of January, 1801.

I have read your letter, my dearest brother and friend, with great pleasure. I thank you heartily for the good opinion which you have formed of me and of my works, and sincerely wish that I may deserve it; and to M. K. (Kühnel) also I am in duty bound to express my thanks for the civility and friendship which he has shown me. Your doings give me much satisfaction, and I hope that, if there be any good to be gained for the art by my works, it may fall to the share of a genuine artist like you, and not to that of common traders.

Your intention to publish the works of Sebastian Bach is particularly gratifying to me, since I am all alive to the merits of those sublime productions: truly, Bach was the patriarch of harmony. May the sale of his works flourish! As soon as golden peace is proclaimed and you receive the names of subscribers, I hope to be able to do much to forward it myself.

As to our own affairs, since you will have it so, I offer you the following things:—Septett (about which I have already written to you), 20 duc.;[71] Symphony, 20 duc.; Concerto, 10 duc.; Grand Solo—Sonata, Allegro, Adagio, Minuetto, Rondo, 20 duc. This Sonata (in B flat) is of the true mettle, most beloved brother.

Now let me explain. You will perhaps be surprised that I make no difference between the Sonata, the Septett, and the Symphony, because I find that a Septett or a Symphony has not so large a sale as a Sonata; that is the reason why I do so, though a Symphony is incontestably of greater value. (N. B. The Septett consists of a short introductory Adagio, an Allegro, Adagio, Minuetto, Andante with variations, Minuetto, another short Adagio leading to a Presto.) The Concerto I set down at 10 duc., because, though well written, I do not consider it one of my best. Altogether, I cannot think that this will appear exorbitant to you; at any rate, I have endeavoured to make the charges as moderate as possible. As for the bill, since you leave it to my option, let it be drawn on Geimüller or Schüller. The whole sum, then, for all four works would be 70 ducats. I understand no other coin than Vienna ducats; how many dollars in gold that makes with you I know nothing about, because I am really no man of business or accountant.

And thus the tiresome business is settled: I call it so, because I heartily wish one could do without it in this world. There ought to be but one magazine of art, where the artist should have but to deliver his productions and to receive what he wants; but, as it is, one ought to be half a tradesman, and how is that to be borne?—Gracious God!—that is what I call tiresome. As for the L—— O——, let her talk; they will certainly not make anybody immortal by their tattle, nor will they rob him of immortality to whom Apollo has assigned it.

Now may Heaven preserve you and your colleague! I have been unwell for some time, so that I find it rather difficult to write even notes, much more letters. I hope we shall often have occasion to assure one another how much you are my friends, and how much I am

Your brother and friend,

A speedy answer. Adieu.


Vienna, April 22, 1801.

You have reason to complain of me, and not a little. My excuse is this: I have been ill, and had besides a great deal to do, so that it was scarcely possible for me to think of what I had to send you: then again perhaps the only thing like genius about me is, that my things are not always in the best order, and yet nobody is capable of putting them to rights but myself. Thus, for instance, I had, according to my practice, omitted writing the pianoforte part in the score of my Concerto, and I have but just written it, and therefore, for the sake of dispatch, I send it in my own not over-and-above legible Manuscript.

In order to let the works follow as nearly as possible in their proper order, I remark to you that you may put

To theSolo SonataOp.22

The titles I will send you very soon.

Set me down as a subscriber to Johann Sebastian Bach's works, and also Prince Lichnowsky. The arrangement of Mozart's Sonatas as Quartetts will do you credit, and assuredly be profitable. I wish I could be of more service in such matters, but I am an irregular man, and, with the best will, forget everything; but I have here and there mentioned the subject, and find that the plan is everywhere approved. It would be a capital thing if my good brother, besides publishing the Septett as it is, would arrange it for the flute also as a Quintett. This would be a treat for the lovers of the flute, who have already applied to me for this, and who would then swarm about it like insects, and feast upon it. As for myself, I have composed a ballet, but the ballet-master did not manage the business well. Prince L—— has given us a new production, which does not come up to the ideas which the papers gave us of his genius—a fresh proof of their judgment. The Prince seems to have taken Mr. M—— [72] of the Kasperle Theatre for his model, but without equalling even him.

Such are the pretty prospects with which we poor fellows here have to fight our way in the world.

My dear brother, now make haste to lay the works before the eyes of the world, and write to me soon, that I may know whether I have lost your confidence by my neglect.

To your partner Kühnel everything civil and kind. In future, you shall have everything without delay; and herewith fare you well, and continue to regard

Your friend and brother,


Vienna, June, 1801,

I am really somewhat surprised at the communication made to me by your agent in this place; nay, I am almost angry that you should think me capable of such a scurvy trick.

It would be a different thing if I had bargained for my things with shopkeepers intent only on gain, and had then clandestinely made another good speculation; but between artist and artist, it is rather too bad to impute such conduct to me. The whole appears to me to be either an invention to try me, or mere conjecture: at any rate, I confess, that before you received the Septett from me, I had sent it to London to M. Salomon (merely out of friendship, to be performed at his concert), expressly desiring him to take care not to let it get into other hands, as I meant to have it engraved in Germany; and you can make inquiry of him concerning this matter, if you think fit.

But, to give you a further proof of my honesty, I hereby assure you that I have not sold the Septett, the Concerto, the Symphony, and the Sonata, to any other person in the world but to you, Messrs. Hofmeister and Kühnel, and that you may formally consider them as your exclusive property, for which I pledge my honour. At any rate, you may make what use you please of this assurance.

For the rest, I can no more believe that Salomon is capable of so base a trick as to publish the Septett than I am to have sold it to him. I am so conscientious that I have refused several publishers the piano-forte arrangement of the Septett, for which they have applied to me,[73] and yet I do not even know whether you intend to make use of it in this manner.

Here follow the long-promised titles of my works.

In the titles there will be much to alter and improve: that I leave to you. I expect a letter from you immediately, and very soon the works, which I wish to see engraved, since others are already published and coming out with numbers relating to these.

I have written to Salomon; but considering your statement as a mere rumour which you have taken up rather too credulously, or as a conjecture which may have forced itself upon you, because you may accidentally have heard that I had sent it to Salomon, it only remains for me to add that I feel somewhat chilled towards friends so easy of belief, and as such sign myself,

Your friend,


Vienna, April 8, 1802.

Does the devil then ride you all together, gentlemen, to propose to me to make such a Sonata?

During the revolutionary fever, well and good, such a thing might have been done; but now, when everything is getting into the old track, when Buonaparte has concluded a concordat with the Pope—such a Sonata!

Were it a Missa pro Sancta Maria, a tre voci, or a Vesper, why then I would immediately take up the pencil, and write in huge semi-breves a Credo in unum; but, gracious God! such a Sonata in these new-fangled Christian times! Ho ho! leave me alone—that won't do.

Now my answer in the quickest tempo, The lady can have a Sonata by me, and I will follow her general design as far as æsthetic goes, but without following the prescribed keys, price five ducats, for which she shall have the use of it a year, and in that time neither she nor I shall have the right to publish it. After the expiration of this year, the Sonata is again mine—that is, I can and will publish it; and she can certainly, if she thinks that it will be any honour, request me to dedicate it to her.

Now God preserve you, gentlemen.

My Sonata is beautifully engraved, but it has been a confounded long while a-doing. Do send my Septett a little quicker into the world, because the P—— is waiting for it, and you know the Empress has it; and—so that I cannot answer for what may happen, therefore look sharp.

Mr. —— has lately republished my Quartetts, in large and small size, full of blunders and errata. They swarm in them like fish in water, that is, to infinity—questo è un piacere per un autore—that I call stinging[74] to some purpose. My skin is covered with stings and scratches with these charming editions of my Quartetts.

Now farewell, and think of me as I do of you. Till death your faithful



Vienna, September 22, 1803.

Hereby then I declare all the works about which you have written, as your property. Another copy shall be made of the list of them, and sent to you with my signature as your acknowledged property; and the offer of fifty ducats I accept. Are you satisfied now?

Perhaps, instead of the Variations with violoncello and violin, I can give you Variations on the piano-forte, for two performers, on a song by me, the poetry of which, by Göthe, must likewise be engraved, as I have written these Variations as a souvenir in an album, and consider them better than the others. Are you satisfied?

The arrangements[75] are not by me, but I have revised and improved them in part, so don't pretend to say that I have arranged, as that would be a lie, and I could not find either time or patience for such things. Are you satisfied?

Now farewell. I can but wish you to thrive in every way. Gladly would I make you a present of the whole, if I could get through the world in that way; but only consider; all about me get appointments, and have something certain to live upon; but, gracious God! how can a parvum talentum com ego look for an appointment at the Imperial court?

Your friend,


The following are extracts from letters written at a later and less cheerful period of life, and addressed to M. C. F. Peters of Leipsic:—


Vienna, July 26, 1822.

I write to you merely to say that you shall have the Mass,[76] together with a piano-forte arrangement, for the sum of 1000 florins, Vienna currency. By the end of July you shall receive it fairly copied in score, perhaps a few days later, as I am exceedingly busy, and have been, for five months, ailing: as one must go through works very carefully, if they are to go abroad, this is a matter that proceeds rather more slowly with me. —— shall in no case have anything more from me, as he has played me a Jewish trick; besides, he is not one of those to whom I would have sold the Mass. The competition for my works is at present very strong, for which I thank the Almighty, for I have lost a great deal.

I am moreover the foster-father of my brother's child, who is left wholly unprovided for. As this boy, now fifteen years old, shows a great capacity for the sciences, not only do his education and maintenance cost me a great deal of money at present, but I am obliged to think about the future, as we are neither Indians nor Cherokees, who, as you know, leave everything to God Almighty, and a pauper has but a melancholy existence of it.

I assure you, upon my honour, which, next to God, is the most sacred thing with me, that I have never asked any one to take commissions for me; I have always made it a particular point not to offer myself to any publisher, not out of pride, but because I wished to know how far the territory of my humble talent extends....

I conclude for to-day, wishing you all prosperity, and am, with esteem,

Your most obedient,


Vienna, August 3, 1822.

I wrote to you lately about my health, which is not yet quite restored: I am obliged to take baths, mineral waters, and at times, medicine.

I am therefore rather at sixes and sevens, especially as I am obliged at the same time to write, and then corrections run away with time. In respect to the Songs, and the other Marches and trifles, I have not yet made up my mind as to the choice, but I shall be able to furnish everything by the 15th of this month. I wait your determination about it, and shall make no use of your bill. As soon as I know that the money for the Mass and for the other works is here, all can be supplied by the 15th instant; but after the 15th I must go to a neighbouring bathing-place; I am therefore desirous to have no engagements on my hands for a while.

About all other matters, some day when I am not so pressed. Only do not take an unhandsome advantage of me: it pains me when I am obliged to bargain.

In haste, with respect,
Your most obedient,


Vienna, November 22, 1822.

In reply to your letter of the 9th of November, in which I fancied you meant to reproach me for my apparent neglect—and the money paid too, and yet nothing sent to you—unhandsome as this seems, I am sure you would be reconciled with me in a few minutes if we were together.

Your things are all done, except the selection of the Songs: they contain one more than was agreed upon.

Of Bagatelles I can send you more than the four determined upon; there are nine or ten others, and, if you write immediately, I could send them, or as many as you wish to have, along with the other things.

My health is not indeed completely restored by my baths, but I am better upon the whole; but another evil has now come upon me, since a person has taken me a lodging that does not suit me, and this is difficult to conquer, and has hindered me not a little, as I cannot yet get myself to rights here.

In regard to the Mass, the matter stands thus: I have one that has long been completely finished, but another that is not; tattle is what such as we are always liable to, and so you have been led into a mistake by it. Which of the two you should have, I know not yet; harassed on all sides, I should be forced almost to attest the contrary of the axiom—"The mind weighs nothing." I salute you cordially, and hope that the future will suffer an advantageous, and for me not dishonourable, connexion to subsist between us.



Vienna, December 20, 1822.

Having a leisure moment, I answer your letter to-day. Out of all that belongs to you, there is nothing that is not ready; but precious time is wanting to explain all the details that have prevented the copying and sending.

I recollect to have offered you in my last letter some more Bagatelles, but do not insist on your taking them; if you will not have more than the four, so be it—only in that case I must make a different choice. Mr. —— has not yet got anything from me. Mr. —— merely begged me to make him a present of the songs in the Modezeitung (Journal of Fashion), which I never composed exactly for pay, but it is impossible for me to deal in all cases by per cents.; it is difficult for me to reckon by them oftener than I am forced to do; besides, my situation is not so brilliant as you imagine.

It is impossible to give ear at once to all these solicitations; they are too numerous; but many things are not to be refused. Not always is that which people ask for suitable to the wish of the author. Had I anything in the shape of a salary, I would write nothing but grand Symphonies, Church Music, and besides, perhaps, Quartetts.

Of smaller works you might have—Variations for two oboes and one English horn on the theme in Don Giovanni, "La ci darem la mano;" a Minuet of Congratulation for a whole orchestra.[77] I should like to have your opinion too respecting the publication of the collected works. In the greatest haste,

Your most obedient,


Vienna, March 29, 1823.

It is only to-day that the other three Marches can be sent off; we missed the post this day week. Irregular as I have been with you on this occasion, it would not appear unnatural if you were here, and acquainted with my situation, a description of which would be too tedious for you as well as myself.

Respecting what has been sent off I have this remark yet to make: in the grand March, which requires so many performers, several regimental bands may unite; where this is not the case, and one regimental band is not strong enough, the Kapell-meister of such a band may easily help himself by the omission of some of the parts.

You will meet with some one in Leipzig who can show you how this can be managed with fewer performers, though I should be sorry if it were not to be published exactly as it stands.

I must beg you to forgive the many corrections in what you have received; my old copyist cannot see, and the younger must first be trained; but at least the whole is free from errors.

With a violin and a piano-forte Quartett it is impossible to supply you immediately; but if you write to me betimes, in case you wish for both works, I will do all that lies in my power. Only I must add, that for a violin Quartett I cannot take less than fifty ducats; for a piano-forte Quartett seventy ducats, or I should be a loser; nay, I have been offered more than fifty ducats a-piece for violin Quartetts, but I never like to charge too high, and shall therefore expect no more than fifty ducats from you, which, in fact, is now the usual price. The other commission is really an extraordinary one, and I naturally accept that too, only I must beg you to let me know soon, if you wish to have it, otherwise, willingly as I give you the preference, it might become almost impossible. You know I have already written to you that precisely Quartetts have risen more in price than anything else; so that in the case of a great work this makes one quite ashamed of one's self. My circumstances, however, require that I should be more or less guided by profit. It is another affair with the work itself; there, thank God, I never think of profit, but only how I write.

There are two persons besides yourself who have each wished to have a Mass, since I intend to write at least three—the first has long been completed, the second is not, and the third is not yet begun. But in regard to you, I must have a certainty, that I may be insured against all events.

More another day; do not remit the money for the whole together till you receive advice from me that the work is ready to be sent off. I must conclude. I hope that your vexation is now at least somewhat abated.

Your friend,

No. II.

Letter on the first appearance of Beethoven's Fidelio.

Hofrath Breuning to Dr. and Madame Wegeler.

Vienna, June 2, 1806.

Dear Sister and dear Wegeler,

*   *   *   *   *   *

As far as I remember, I promised in my last letter to write to you about Beethoven's Opera Fidelio. I know how interested you are about it, and I will fulfil my promise. The music is among the finest and most perfect that can be heard; the subject interesting—for it represents the liberation of a captive through his faithful and intrepid wife; but, in spite of all this, no work has occasioned Beethoven more trouble than this, and posterity alone will know how to value it. In the first place, it was given at a most unfavourable period—seven days after the entry of the French troops. The theatres were necessarily empty; and Beethoven, who at the same time found fault with some arrangement in the libretto, withdrew it after the third representation. Peace having been restored, he and I took it up again. I altered the whole of the libretto for him, which made it act better, less tiresomely, and quicker; and it was then given three times, with the greatest applause. Then his enemies about the theatre rose, and he, having given offence to many, particularly at the second representation, they have succeeded in preventing the further appearance of the work on the stage. Many difficulties had ere this been put in his way—one instance will suffice. He could not, at the second representation, obtain the reprinting of the bills with the altered title of Fidelio, so named in the French original, and published thus after the above-mentioned alterations.

Contrary to promise and expectation, the first title of "Leonora" was retained in the bills. Beethoven is the more hurt by this intrigue, as the non-performance of the opera, for which he is to be paid by a per centage at its production, throws him back considerably in his pecuniary arrangements, whilst the unworthy treatment has robbed him of so great a share of his zeal and love for the work that he will recover himself but slowly. I think I have on this occasion given him the most pleasure by writing and distributing in the theatre some lines on the opera, both in November, and at the production about the end of March. I will copy them here for Wegeler, knowing of old that he sets much value upon these things; and, having once made verses to celebrate his becoming Rector magnificus celeberrimæ universitatis Bonnensis, he may now see by comparison whether I am improved as a poet.

(Here follow two German poems.)

This copy has tired me out so completely, that I may fairly close this long epistle. I must only tell you that Lichnowsky has just sent the opera to the Queen of Prussia, and that I hope the Viennese will learn the value of what they possess, from its production at Berlin.


No. III.

Beethoven's Letters to Madame Bettine von Arnim.

[As I knew that my friend, Mr. H. F. Chorley, was in possession of copies of letters written by Beethoven to Madame Bettine von Arnim, I requested her permission to publish these highly-interesting documents, and received the following answer.—ED.]

Berlin, July 6, 1840.

Dear Mr. Moscheles,

You delight me beyond measure by asking me to consent to that, which of all earthly things I like best—namely, to be brought in contact with such of my cotemporaries as have become celebrated in literature and the fine arts. How happy, then, must I feel at becoming instrumental in the fulfilment of any wish of yours! Truly, there was no need of asking; I could not but feel honoured to be included in this memorial of Beethoven, and by a brother-spirit in the art too! I feel truly grateful that, while you are tracing the noblest features of Beethoven's glorious career, you will commemorate the happiness bestowed upon me by the greatest genius of his time. Misplaced, indeed, were that modesty, which could forbid my appearing in such a noble place, and under such distinguished auspices, and I confess that you are doing me a kindness in publishing the letters in question. Could I but render you some service in return! And pray let Mr. Chorley have his share of my gratitude for having made such a happy use of my communication.

Yours, &c.


Beethoven to Madame von Arnim.

Vienna, August 11, 1810.

Dearest Bettine,

Never was a fairer spring than this year's; this I say, and feel too, as in it I made your acquaintance. You must indeed have yourself seen, that in society I was like a fish cast on the sand, that writhes and struggles and cannot escape, until some benevolent Galatea helps it back again into the mighty sea; in very truth I was fairly aground. Dearest Bettine, unexpectedly I met you, and at a moment when chagrin had completely overcome me; but truly your aspect put it to flight; I was aware in an instant that you belong to a totally different world from this absurd one, to which, even with the best wish to be tolerant, it is impossible to open one's ears. I am myself a poor creature, and yet complain of others! this you will however forgive, with the kindly heart that looks out from your eyes, and with the intelligence that dwells in your ears;—at least your ears know how to flatter when they listen. Mine, alas! are a barrier through which I can have hardly any friendly intercourse with mankind, else, perhaps, I might have acquired a still more entire confidence in you. As it was, I could only comprehend the full expressive glance of your eyes, and this has so moved me that I shall never forget it. Divine Bettine, dearest girl!—Art! who comprehends the meaning of this word? with whom may I speak of this great divinity? how I love the recollections of the few days when we used to chat with each other, or rather correspond. I have preserved every one of the little scraps of paper on which your intelligent, precious, most precious, replies were given—thus, at least, may I thank my worthless ears that the best portion of our fugitive discourse is retained in writing.

Since you went I have had many uncomfortable hours, in which the power to do anything is lost. After you had gone away, I rambled about for some three hours in the Museum at Schönbrunn; but no good angel met me there, to chide me into good humour, as an angel like you might have done. Forgive, sweetest Bettine, this transition from the fundamental key;—but I must have such intervals, to vent my feelings. And you have written of me to Göthe, have you not? saying that I would fain pack up my head in a cask, where I should see nothing, and hear nothing, of what passes in the world; since you, dearest angel, meet me here no longer. But surely I shall at least have a letter from you. Hope supports me; she is indeed the nursing mother of half the world, and she has been my close friend all my life long;—what would have become of me else? I send, with this, written in my own hand, "Kennst du das Land?" as a memorial of the time when I first became acquainted with you; also I send another, which I have composed since I took leave of you, dear, dearest heart!

"Heart, my heart, what change comes o'er thee?
What wrings thee thus with pain?
What a strange sour world's before thee!
I know thee scarce again!"

Yes, dearest Bettine, answer me this question; write, and tell me what shall become of me since my heart has become such a rebel. Write to your truest friend,



Vienna, Feb. 10, 1811.

My dear beloved Bettine!

I have now had two letters from you, and learn from your letter to Antonia that you continue to think, and indeed far too favourably, of me. Your first letter I carried about with me all the summer through, and it has often made me happy. Although I do not often write to you, and you may hear nothing from me, yet, in thought, I write to you a thousand thousands of letters. How you feel yourself in the presence of all this world's rubbish I could have fancied, even had I not read it in your letters—this haranguing and gossiping about art, without anything done! The best delineation of this that I know, is found in Schiller's poem "Die Flüsse," where the Spree[78] is made to speak. You are going to be married, dear Bettine, or are married already, and I have not been able to see you once more before this. May every blessing which marriage can bestow flow upon you and your husband! What can I say to you of myself? "Pity my fate!" I exclaim with poor Johanna[79]—if I can but obtain a few more years of life, I will still thank for this, as for all other weal and woe, the most High, the all-embracing Power. Whenever you write of me to Göthe, select any expression that you can use, so as to convey to him the most fully my profound respect and admiration. I am, however, purposing to write to him myself, concerning Egmont, which I have set to music; and this solely from love for his poetry, which makes me happy; but, indeed, who can be sufficiently grateful to a great poet, the most precious jewel that a nation can possess? And now I must end, dear, good Bettine. I returned this morning as late as four o'clock from a Bacchanalian revel, at which I was even made to laugh heartily, and for which I am now tempted to weep nearly as much. Uproarious mirth often has the effect of casting me violently back upon myself. I owe Clemens[80] many thanks for his attention; as respects the Cantata, the subject is not of sufficient importance for us here; in Berlin it is a different matter: as regards our affection, his sister has so much of mine, that not much will remain for the brother's portion; will he be contented with this? And now farewell, my dear Bettine; I kiss you on the forehead, and therewith impress on it as with a seal all my thoughts for you! Write soon, write often, to your friend,




Dearest, good Bettine,

Kings and princes can indeed create professors and privy councillors, and bedeck them with titles and orders; but they cannot make great men—spirits that rise above the world's rubbish—these they must not attempt to create; and therefore must these be held in honour. When two such come together as I and Göthe, these great lords must note what it is that passes for greatness with such as we. Yesterday, as we were returning homewards, we met the whole Imperial family; we saw them coming at some distance, whereupon Göthe disengaged himself from my arm, in order that he might stand aside; in spite of all I could say, I could not bring him a step forwards. I crushed my hat more furiously on my head, buttoned up my top coat, and walked with my arms folded behind me, right through the thickest of the crowd. Princes and officials made a lane for me: Archduke Rudolph took off his hat, the Empress saluted me the first:—these great people know me! It was the greatest fun in the world to me, to see the procession file past Göthe. He stood aside, with his hat off, bending his head down as low as possible. For this I afterwards called him over the coals properly and without mercy, and brought up against him all his sins, especially those against you, dearest Bettine! We had just been speaking of you. Good God! could I have lived with you for so long a time as he did, believe me I should have produced far, far more great works than I have! A musician is also a poet; a pair of eyes more suddenly transport him too into a fairer world, where mighty spirits meet and play with him, and give him weighty tasks to fulfil. What a variety of things came into my imagination when I first became acquainted with you, during that delicious May-shower in the Usser Observatory, and which to me also was a fertilising one! The most delightful themes stole from your image into my heart, and they shall survive and still delight the world long after Beethoven has ceased to direct. If God bestows on me a year or two more of life. I must again see you, dearest, dear Bettine, for the voice within me, which always will be obeyed, says that I must. Love can exist between mind and mind, and I shall now be a wooer of yours. Your praise is dearer to me than all other in this world. I expressed to Göthe my opinion as to the manner in which praise affects those like us; and that by those that resemble us we desire to be heard with understanding; emotion belongs to women only (pardon me for saying it!): the effect of music on a man should be to strike fire from his soul. Oh, my dearest girl, how long have I known that we are of one mind in all things! the only good is to have near us some fair, pure spirit, which we can at all times rely upon, and before which no concealment is needed. He who will SEEM to be somewhat must really be what he would seem. The world must acknowledge him—it is not for ever unjust; although this concerns me in nowise, for I have a higher aim than this. I hope to find at Vienna a letter from you; write to me soon, very soon, and very fully. I shall be there in a week from hence. The court departs to-morrow; there is another performance to-day. The Empress has thoroughly learned her part; the Archduke and the Emperor wished me to perform again some of my own music. I refused them both; they have both fallen in love with Chinese porcelain. This is a case for compassion only, as reason has lost its control; but I will not be piper to such absurd dancing—I will not be comrade in such absurd performances with the fine folks, who are ever sinning in that fashion. Adieu! adieu! dearest; your last letter lay all night on my heart and refreshed me. Musicians take all sorts of liberties! Good Heaven! how I love you!

Your truest friend, and deaf brother,

No. IV.

Letter of Madame Bettine von Arnim to Göthe.[81]

Vienna, May 28, 1810.

* * * * And now I am going to speak to you of one who made me forget all the world besides. The world vanishes when recollections spring up—indeed it vanishes. It is Beethoven who made it vanish before me, and of whom I would fain speak to you. It is true I am not of age, yet I would boldly assert that he has far outstepped our generation—too far perhaps to be come up with: (shall I be understood or believed in this assertion?) No matter. May he but live until the great and mighty problem of his mind has ripened into maturity; may he but attain his own noble aim, and he will carry us on to loftier regions, to bliss more perfect than is yet known to us. Let me own it to you, dear Göthe, I do believe in a spell—not of this world, the element of our spiritual nature; and it is this that Beethoven calls around us by his art. If you would understand him, you must enter into his own magic circle; you must follow him to his exalted position, and occupy with him that high station which he alone can claim for a basis in this sublunary world. You will, I know, guess at my meaning, and extract truth from it. When could such a mind be reproduced?—when equalled? As to other men, their doings are but mechanical clock-work compared to his: he alone freely creates, and his creations are unthought of! What indeed could the intercourse with this world be to him, who before sunrise is at his holy work, who after sunset scarcely looks up from it, who forgets his bodily food, and, carried past the shallow banks of every-day life, is borne along the current of enthusiasm? He said himself, "When I lift up mine eyes I must sigh, for that which I behold is against my creed; and I must despise the world, because it knows not that music is a higher revelation than science or philosophy. Music is like wine, inflaming men's minds to new achievements, and I am the Bacchus serving it out to them, even unto intoxication. When they are sobered down again, they shall find themselves possessed of a spiritual draught such as shall remain with them even on dry land. I have no friend—I must live all to myself; yet I know that God is nearer to me than to my brothers in the art. I hold converse with him, and fear not, for I have always known and understood him. Nor do I fear for my works: no evil can befal them; and whosoever shall understand them, he shall be freed from all such misery as burthens mankind."

All this did Beethoven say to me the first time I saw him. A feeling of reverence came over me as I heard him speak his mind with such unbounded frankness, and that to me, who must have been wholly insignificant to him; and I was perhaps the more struck with his openness, having often heard of his extreme reserve, and of his utter dislike to converse with any one. Thus it was that I could not get any one to introduce me to him, but I found him out alone. He has three sets of apartments in which he alternately secretes himself: one in the country, one in town, and a third on the ramparts (Bastei). It was there I found him in the third floor. I entered unannounced; he was seated at the piano; I gave my name; he was most friendly, and asked me if I would hear a song which he had just been composing; and sang, with a shrill and piercing voice that made the hearer thrill with woefulness, "Know'st thou the land?" "Is it not beautiful?" said he, enthusiastically; "exquisitely beautiful! I will sing it again." He was pleased with my cheerful praise. "Most people are moved on hearing music, but these have not musicians' souls: true musicians are too fiery to weep." He then sang another song of yours, which he had lately been composing: "Dry not, ye tears of eternal love." He accompanied me home, and it was during our walk that he said all these fine things on the art—talking so loud all the while, and standing still so often, that it required some courage to listen to him in the street. He however spoke so passionately, and all that he uttered startled me to such a degree, as made me forget even the street. They were all not a little surprised at home on seeing me enter the room with him, in the midst of a large dinner-party. After dinner he sat down to the instrument and played, unasked, wonderfully, and at great length. His pride and his genius were working that out together which to any mind but his would have been inconceivable—to any fingers but his, impossible of execution.

He comes daily ever since—if not, I go to him; and thus I miss all sorts of gaieties, theatres, picture-galleries, and even the mounting of St. Stephen's church-steeple. Beethoven says, "Never mind seeing these things: I shall call for you, and towards evening we shall walk together in the Schönbrunn avenues." Yesterday, as we were walking in a lovely garden, everything in full bloom, and the open hot-houses almost intoxicating one's senses with their perfumes, he suddenly stopped in the oppressive heat of the sun, saying, "Göthe's poems exercise a great sway over me, not only by their meaning, but by their rhythm also. It is a language that urges me on to composition, that builds up its own lofty standard, containing in itself all the mysteries of harmony, so that I have but to follow up the radiations of that centre from which melodies evolve spontaneously. I pursue them eagerly, overtake them, then again see them flying before me, vanish in the multitude of my impressions, until I seize them anew with increased vigour, no more to be parted from them. It is then that my transports give them every diversity of modulation; it is I who triumph over the first of these musical thoughts, and the shape I give it, I call symphony. Yes, Bettina, music is the link between intellectual and sensual life. Would I could speak to Göthe on this subject, to see whether he could understand me! Melody gives a sensible existence to poetry; for does not the meaning of a poem become embodied in melody? Does not Mignon's song breathe all her feelings through its melody, and must not these very feelings be reproductive in their turn? The mind would embrace all thoughts, both high and low, and embody them into one stream of sensations, all sprung from simple melody, and without the aid of its charms doomed to die in oblivion. This is the unity which lives in my Symphonies—numberless streamlets meandering on, in endless variety of shape, but all diverging into one common bed. Thus it is I feel that there is an indefinite something, an eternal, an infinite, to be attained; and although I look upon my works with a foretaste of success, yet I cannot help wishing, like a child, to begin my task anew, at the very moment that my thundering appeal to my hearers seems to have forced my musical creed upon them, and thus to have exhausted the insatiable cravings of my soul after my 'beau ideal!'

"Speak of me to Göthe: tell him to hear my Symphonies, and he will agree with me that music alone ushers man into the portal of an intellectual world, ready to encompass him, but which he may never encompass. That mind alone whose every thought is rhythm can embody music, can comprehend its mysteries, its divine inspirations, and can alone speak to the senses of its intellectual revelations. Although spirits may feed upon it as we do upon air, yet it may not nourish all mortal men; and those privileged few alone, who have drawn from its heavenly source, may aspire to hold spiritual converse with it. How few are these! for, like the thousands who marry for love, and who profess love, whilst Love will single out but one amongst them, so also will thousands court Music, whilst she turns a deaf ear to all, but the chosen few. She too, like her sister-arts, is based upon morality—that fountain-head of genuine invention! And would you know the true principle on which the arts may be won?—It is to bow to their immutable terms, to lay all passion and vexation of spirit prostrate at their feet, and to approach their divine presence with a mind so calm and so void of littleness as to be ready to receive the dictates of Fantasy and the revelations of Truth. Thus the art becomes a divinity, man approaches her with religious feelings, his inspirations are God's divine gifts, and his aim fixed by the same hand from above, which helps him to attain it.

"We know not whence our knowledge is derived. The seeds which lie dormant in us require the dew, the warmth, and the electricity of the soil, to spring up, to ripen into thought, and to break forth. Music is the electrical soil in which the mind thrives, thinks, and invents, whilst philosophy damps its ardour in an attempt to reduce it to a fixed principle.

"Although the mind can scarcely call its own that, which it produces through inspiration, yet it feasts upon these productions, and feels that in them alone lies its independence, its power, its approximation to the Deity, its intercourse with man, and that these, more than all, bear witness of a beneficent Providence.

"Music herself teaches us harmony; for one musical thought bears upon the whole kindred of ideas, and each is linked to the other, closely and indissolubly, by the ties of harmony.

"The mind creates more readily when touched by the electrical spark: my whole nature is electric. But let me cease with my unfathomable wisdom, or I might miss the rehearsal. Write of me to Göthe—that is, if you have understood me; but mark me, I am not answerable for anything, although ready to be taught by him."

I promised to write to you as best I could. He took me to a grand rehearsal with full orchestra. There I sat quite alone in a box, in the vast unlit space: single gleams of light stole through crevices and knot-holes in the walls, dancing like a stream of glittering sparks. There I saw this great genius exercise his sovereignty. Oh! Göthe, no Emperor or King feels so entirely his power, and that all might proceeds from himself, as this Beethoven, who but just now in the garden was at a loss to find from whom it did come. He stood there with such firm decision; his gestures, his countenance, expressed the completion of his creation; he prevented every error, every misconception—not a breath but was under command—all were set in the most sedulous activity by the majestic presence of his mind. One might prophesy that a spirit like this might, in a future state of perfection, reappear as the ruler of a world.

I put all this down last night, and this morning read it to him. He said, "Did I say this?—Well then I have had my raptus." He read it again most attentively, erased the above, and wrote between the lines; for he wishes above all that you should understand him.

*  *  *  *  *  * 



*  *  *  *  *  *  * 

  *  *  *  *  *  *

Say everything that is kind for me to Beethoven, and that I would willingly bring a sacrifice to make his acquaintance, when a mutual interchange of ideas would certainly lead to the most beneficial results. May be, you could persuade him to visit Karlsbad and meet me there on my annual tour, for then I should have leisure to hear and be tutored by him. As to his being taught by me, that would be a sacrilege indeed, even in those more competent than I am; for surely his genius enlightens him, and will often dart flashes of brightness around him, whilst we are groping in the dark, scarcely sensible of the approaching dawn. I should be delighted if Beethoven would send me my two Songs which he has composed, but clearly written. I am most anxious to hear them, since nothing gives me greater pleasure and lays a firmer hold on my gratitude than the finding such poems of a former period embodied and sensualised anew by music, as Beethoven justly calls it.

  *  *  *  *  *  *



Dearest Friend,

I have shown Beethoven your beautiful letter, as far as it concerned him: he was overjoyed, and cried, "If any one can brighten him up about music, it is I." He was most enthusiastic about your proposal of meeting him at Karlsbad, struck his forehead, and said, "Might I not have done this before? But i' faith I did think of it, and was restrained by timidity; that will sometimes worry me as though I were not a man of the right mettle; but I am no more afraid of Göthe now. Make sure therefore of my seeing him next year."

No. V.


[Extract of a letter from Vienna to a friend in London.]

I now fulfil the promise I made on my departure for Germany last summer, of giving you, from time to time, an account of whatever might appear interesting in the fine arts, particularly in music; and as I then told you that I should not confine myself to any order of time and place, I commence at once with Vienna. This is the city which, speaking of music, must be called, by way of eminence, the capital of Germany. As to the sciences, it is quite otherwise, it being generally considered as one of the most inferior of the German Universities. The north of Germany has at all times possessed the best theorists—the Bachs, Marpurg, Kirnberger, Schwenke, Türk; but the men most celebrated for composition were always more numerous in the south, above all in Vienna. Here Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Hummel, M. v. Weber, Spohr, &c., not only received their musical education, but most of them produced the works which have acquired them the greatest celebrity; and, even at the present period, Vienna abounds with eminent musicians—C. Kreutzer, Stadler, Mayseder, C. Czerny, Pixis, and that young prodigy on the piano-forte, Liszt. To give you a succinct account only of the present state of music in Vienna would exceed the limits of a letter; I will therefore rather devote the remainder of this to one who is still the brightest ornament of that imperial city—to Beethoven. You must not, however, expect from me now anything like a biography—that I shall reserve for a future communication. I wish now to give you only a short account of a single day's visit to the great man, and if, in my narration, I should appear to dwell on trifling points, you will be good enough to attribute it to my veneration for Beethoven, which leads me to consider everything highly interesting that is in the slightest degree connected with so distinguished a character.

The 28th of September, 1823, will be ever recollected by me as a dies faustus; in truth, I do not know that I ever spent a happier day. Early in the morning I went, in company with two Vienna gentlemen, one of whom, Mr. H., is known as the very intimate friend of Beethoven, to the beautifully situated village of Baden,[83] about twelve miles from Vienna, where the latter usually resides during the summer months. Being with Mr. H., I had not to encounter any difficulty in being admitted into his presence. He looked very sternly at me at first, but he immediately after shook me heartily by the hand, as if an old acquaintance, for he then clearly recollected my first visit to him in 1816, though it had been but of a very short duration,—a proof of his excellent memory.

I found, to my sincere regret, a considerable alteration in his appearance, and it immediately struck me that he looked very unhappy. The complaints he afterwards made to Mr. H. confirmed my apprehensions. I feared that he would not be able to understand one word of what I said; in this, however, I rejoice to say I was much deceived, for he made out very well all that I addressed to him slowly and in a loud tone. From his answers it was clear that not a particle of what Mr. H. uttered had been lost, though neither the latter nor myself used a machine. From this you will justly conclude that the accounts respecting his deafness lately spread in London are much exaggerated. I should mention, though, that when he plays on the piano-forte, it is generally at the expense of some twenty or thirty strings, he strikes the keys with so much force. Nothing can possibly be more lively, more animated, and, to use an epithet that so well characterises his own Symphonies, more energetic, than his conversation when you have once succeeded in getting him into good humour; but one unlucky question, one ill-judged piece of advice—for instance, concerning the cure of his deafness—is quite sufficient to estrange him from you for ever.

He was desirous of ascertaining, for a particular composition he was then about, the highest possible note of the trombone, and questioned Mr. H. accordingly, but did not seem satisfied with his answers. He then told me that he had in general taken care to inform himself, through the different artists themselves, concerning the construction, character, and compass of all the principal instruments. He introduced his nephew to me, a fine young man of about eighteen, who is the only relation with whom he lives on terms of friendship, saying, "You may propose to him an enigma in Greek, if you like;" meaning, I was informed, to acquaint me with the young man's knowledge of that language. The history of this relative reflects the highest credit on Beethoven's goodness of heart; the most affectionate father could not have made greater sacrifices on his behalf than he has made.

After we had been more than an hour with him, we agreed to meet at dinner, at one o'clock, in that most romantic and beautiful valley called das Helenenthal, about two miles from Baden. After having seen the baths and other curiosities of the town, we called again at his house about twelve o'clock, and, as we found him already waiting for us, we immediately set out on our walk for the valley. Beethoven is a famous pedestrian, and delights in walks of many hours, particularly through wild and romantic scenery: nay, I was told that he sometimes passes whole nights on such excursions, and is frequently missed at home for several days. On our way to the valley, he often stopped short and pointed out to me its most beautiful spots, or noticed the defects of the new buildings. At other times he seemed quite lost in himself, and only hummed in an unintelligible manner; I understood, however, that this was the way he composed, and I also learnt that he never writes one note down till he has formed a clear design for the whole piece.

The day being remarkably fine, we dined in the open air, and what seemed to please Beethoven extremely was, that we were the only visitors in the hotel, and quite by ourselves during the whole day. The Viennese repasts are famous all over Europe, and that ordered for us was so luxurious, that Beethoven could not help making remarks on the profusion which it displayed. "Why such a variety of dishes?" he exclaimed; "man is but little above other animals, if his chief pleasure is confined to a dinner-table." This and similar reflections he made during our meal. The only thing he likes in the way of food is fish, of which trout is his favourite. He is a great enemy to all gêne, and I believe that there is not another individual in Vienna who speaks with so little restraint on all kinds of subjects, even political ones, as Beethoven. He hears badly, but he speaks remarkably well, and his observations are as characteristic and as original as his compositions.

In the whole course of our table-talk there was nothing so interesting as what he said about Handel. I sat close by him and heard him assert very distinctly in German, "Handel is the greatest composer that ever lived."[84] I cannot describe to you with what pathos, and, I am inclined to say, with what sublimity of language, he spoke of the Messiah of this immortal genius. Every one of us was moved when he said, "I would uncover my head and kneel down on his tomb!" H. and I tried repeatedly to turn the conversation to Mozart, but without effect; I only heard him say, "In a monarchy we know who is the first;" which might or might not apply to the subject. Mr. C. Czerny, who, by the by, knows every note of Beethoven's by heart, though he does not play one single composition of his own without the music before him, told me, however, that Beethoven was sometimes inexhaustible in his praise of Mozart. It is worthy of remark that this great musician cannot bear to hear his own earlier works praised; and I was apprised that a sure way to make him angry is to say something complimentary of his Septetts, Trios, &c. His latest productions, which are, so little relished in London, but much admired by the young artists of Vienna, are his favourites: his second Mass he looks upon as his best work, I understood.

He is at present engaged in writing a new opera called Melusine, the words by the famous but unfortunate poet Grillparzer. He concerns himself very little about the newest productions of living composers, insomuch that, when asked about the Freischütz, he replied, "I believe one Weber has written it." You will be pleased to hear that he is a great admirer of the ancients; Homer, particularly his Odyssey, and Plutarch, he prefers to all the rest; and of the native poets, he studies Schiller and Göthe in preference to any other; this latter is his personal friend. He appears uniformly to entertain the most favourable opinion of the British nation. "I like," said he, "the noble simplicity of the English manners," and added other praises. It seemed to me as if he had yet some hopes of visiting this country together with his nephew. I should not forget to mention that I heard a MS. Trio of his, for the piano-forte, violin, and violoncello, which I thought very beautiful, and is, I understood, to appear shortly in London. The portrait you see of him in the music-shops is not now like him, but may have been so eight or ten years back. I could tell you many things more of this extraordinary man, who, from what I have seen and learnt of him, has inspired me with the deepest veneration; but I fear I have taken up your time already too much. The friendly and hearty manner in which he treated me, and bade me farewell, has left an impression on my mind, which will remain for life. Adieu.


No. VI.

A Visit to Beethoven.[85]

[Extract from a letter written by an English lady, dated Vienna, October, 1825.]

The imperial library is the finest room I ever saw, and the librarian very agreeable and obliging. What will you say when I tell you, that after taking an infinity of trouble, he succeeded in obtaining for me an introduction to BEETHOVEN, who is exceedingly difficult of access; but, in answer to the note requesting that I might be allowed to visit him, wrote—

"Avec le plus grand plaisir je recevrai une fille de * * * * *.—BEETHOVEN."

We went to Baden, a pretty little town in the Archduchy of Austria, about fifteen miles south-west of Vienna, much frequented for its hot baths, (whence it derives its name, similarly to our Bath,) where the giant of living composers, as Mr. —— always pleases me by calling him, retires during the summer months.

The people seemed surprised at our taking so much trouble; for, unaccountable as it may seem to those who have any knowledge of or taste for music, his reign in Vienna is over, except in the hearts of a chosen few, with whom, by the bye, I have not yet met * * * * *, and I was even taught to expect a rough, unceremonious reception. When we arrived, he had just returned home, through a shower of rain, and was changing his coat. I almost began to be alarmed, after all that I had heard of his brusquerie, lest he should not receive us very cordially, when he came forth from his Sanctum with a hurried step and apparently very nervous; but he addressed us in so gentle, so courteous, so sweet a manner, and with such a truth in his sweetness, that I only know Mr. —— with whom he can be compared, whom he much resembles in features, person, address, and also in opinions. He is very short, extremely thin, and sufficiently attentive to personal appearance. He observed that * * * was very fond of Handel, that he himself also loved him, and proceeded for some time eulogising that great composer. I conversed with him in writing, for I found it impossible to render myself audible; and, though this was a very clumsy mode of communicating, it did not much signify, as he talked on, freely and willingly, and did not wait for questions, or seem to expect long replies. I ventured to express my admiration of his compositions, and, among others, praised his Adelaide in terms by no means too strong for my sense of its beauties. He very modestly remarked that the poetry was beautiful.

Beethoven speaks good French, at least by comparison with most other Germans, and conversed a little with * * * in Latin. He told us that he should have spoken English, but that his deafness had prevented his acquiring more of our language than the power of reading it. He said that he preferred English to French writers, because "ils sont plus vrais." Thomson is his favourite author, but his admiration for Shakspeare is very great indeed.

When we were about to retire, he desired us to stop—"Je veux vous donner un souvenir de moi." He then went to a table in an adjoining room and wrote two lines of music—a little Fugue for the pianoforte—and presented it to me in a most amiable manner. He afterwards desired that I would spell my name to him, that he might inscribe his Impromptu to me correctly. He now took my arm and led me into the room where he had written, that I might see the whole of his apartment, which was quite that of an author, but perfectly clean; and, though indicating nothing like superfluity of wealth, did not show any want of either useful furniture, or neatness in arrangement. It must he recollected, however, that this is his country residence, and that the Viennese are not so costly or particular in their domestic details as we English. I led him back very gently to a room on the other side, in which was placed his grand pianoforte, by Broadwood, but he looked, I thought, melancholy at the sight of it, and said that it was very much out of order, for the country tuner was exceedingly bad. He struck some notes to convince me; nevertheless, I placed on the desk the page of MS. music which he had just given me, and he played it through quite simply, but prefaced it by three or four chords—such handfuls of notes—that would have gone to Mr. ——'s heart. He then stopped, and I would not on any account ask for more, as I found that he played without any satisfaction to himself.

We took leave of each other in a tone, of what in France would be called confirmed friendship; and he said, quite voluntarily, that if he came to England, he would certainly pay us a visit.


London: Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES and SONS, Stamford Street.

T H E   L I F E


B E E T H O V E N,






I G N A C E   M O S C H E L E S, ESQ.,

Pianist to his Royal Highness Prince Albert.






Stamford Street.






[From 1824 till Beethoven's Death in 1827.]
Oratorio contemplated by Beethoven—The German and Italian Opera at Vienna—Memorial addressed to Beethoven—Results of his Concert at the Hof-Theater—Mademoiselles Sontag and Ungher—Beethoven's distrustful Disposition—Invited to visit England—Proposition from the Philharmonic Society—His Arrangements with a Russian Prince—His Residence near Schönbrunn—His Illness—He disposes of some of his Works—His adopted Nephew—Extracts from Beethoven's Letters to him—Beethoven's Physicians—His Sufferings—He writes to Mr. Moscheles—Generosity of the Philharmonic Society—Beethoven's Property—His death—Preparations for the Funeral—Conformation of his Skull1
Intended Edition of Beethoven's Piano-forte Sonatas—Causes for his relinquishing the design—Project of an Edition of his complete Works—Visionary hopes excited by it—Metamorphosis of Beethoven's Instrumental Music—Importance of a right conception of the Tempo—Metronomic Signs—Injury done to Beethoven's Music by metronomising—Exemplified in the Moonlight Sonata—Metronomic directions condemned—Performance of Beethoven's Works in Paris—Hints furnished by Beethoven relative to the composition of his Sonatas, and the proper style of their performance—His own Style of Playing—Effects intended to be given by him to his Symphonies—Neglect of his Works80
Beethoven's Religious Principles—His dislike of giving Lessons—His Frankness, and, at the same time, Dexterity in evading Questions—Vindication of him from the charge of Discourtesy to Brother Artists—Proofs that, though a rigid, he was a just Critic—Kind Encouragement afforded by him to Professional Merit—his modest Appreciation of Himself—His extempore Playing—His every-day Occupations—Propensity for Dabbling in Water—Pensions—Certificates—Beethoven erroneously compared with Jean Paul Richter—Mortifying Trick played by him at the instigation of a Friend—Motivo of a Movement in one of his Quartetts—His Peculiar Habits in Eating and Drinking—Extent of his Knowledge of Languages—Comments on Statements of M. von Seyfried relative to Beethoven's domestic Habits—Spurious MSS. attributed to him—His Person—Portraits of him162
S U P P L E M E N T.
Beethoven's Letters to Madlle. von Breuning, Wegeler, and Ries199
Beethoven's Correspondence with Messrs. Neate and Ries227
Account of a Concert given by Beethoven at the Kaernthnerthor Theatre, Vienna275
Characteristics of Beethoven from Wegeler and Ries's "Notizen"283
Additional Characteristics, Traits, and Anecdotes of Beethoven309
Beethoven's Last Moments318
Funeral Honours to Beethoven328
Miserere, Amplius, Libera, for four Voices, with an Organ Accompaniment337
Concert in aid of Beethoven's Monument at Drury Lane Theatre, July 19, 1837365
Sale of Beethoven's MSS. and Musical Library373
Systematic Catalogue of all the original Works of Beethoven, published by T. Haslinger, from Vienna377
Moscheles' complete Edition of Beethoven's Works, published by Messrs. Cramer and Co.385




[FROM 1824 till Beethoven's Death in 1827.]

Oratorio contemplated by Beethoven—The German and Italian Opera at Vienna—Memorial addressed to Beethoven—Results of his Concert at the Hof-Theater—Mademoiselles Sontag and Ungher—Beethoven's distrustful Disposition—Invited to visit England—Proposition from the Philharmonic Society—His Arrangements with a Russian Prince—His Residence near Schönbrunn—His Illness—He disposes of some of his Works—His adopted Nephew—Extracts from Beethoven's Letters to him—Beethoven's Physicians—His Sufferings—He writes to Mr. Moscheles—Generosity of the Philharmonic Society—Beethoven's Property—His death—Preparations for the Funeral—Conformation of his Skull.

THE Ninth Symphony was finished, and Beethoven now proposed to devote his attention, without delay, to a work worthy of his powers—the composition of an Oratorio, written by his friend C. Bernard, and entitled "The Victory of the Cross." From this work he anticipated much pleasure, as he was satisfied with the poetry—a point in his estimation of no little moment—when an occurrence took place that deserves to be circumstantially related, as well on account of its importance to the history of art, as because, in relation to Beethoven, its consequences were interesting.

The Italian Opera in Vienna had now for some years possessed itself of those halls devoted to the melodious art, which in the time of Gluck had been exclusively occupied by German music; and although, for the last ten years, the tendencies exhibited by the musical world had been rather towards the sensual and the material, yet, in the main body of the Vienna public, a noble spirit was stirring, which it would never have been possible to exclude, or rather to expel, from its native soil, had there only existed a determination firmly to uphold what was of native growth.

The German Opera had still among her votaries devoted adherents, who, by holding manfully together, might long have resisted the force of prevalent error, and saved the edifice from destruction.

A former administration does not seem to have duly understood the demands of the time, so as, while cautiously yielding to them to a certain extent, to have, nevertheless, retained all that was essential. The public, therefore, became impatient, and the first Italian Solfeggio that was heard within those walls sounded like the signal of banishment to the German Opera. The violence of the current carried every one along with it. No one asked in what direction he was borne, for all were enchanted, intoxicated, with the roulades of the Rossini school. Few, indeed, were they, who could resist the force of such a stream, and preserve in all its purity their taste for the truly beautiful and ideal in art; but to this little band German music is deeply indebted; for its warning voice by degrees brought back many a wanderer to the right path.

How, then, did all this affect Beethoven? As monarch in his own domain, he was almost as much forgotten by the crowd as if he had never existed; and no other mark of distinction was conferred upon him than the manifestation of outward respect, even by persons of the highest rank, whenever he made his appearance. How deeply he felt this ominous state of things, and how much it weighed upon his mind, was proved by his more than ordinary seclusion, as well as his determination to bring out the two new works, the Mass, and the Ninth Symphony, in Berlin. The report of this intention induced a small number of artists and friends of art to make an effort to avert from the imperial city the threatened disgrace; and they, in consequence, addressed to Beethoven a memorial, of which, on account of the interest of its contents, I will here give a faithful transcript:—

"To M. Ludwig van Beethoven.

"A small number of the disciples and lovers of art, from the wide circle of admirers of your genius, in your adopted city, present themselves before you to-day, in order to give utterance to wishes long felt, and to prefer a request which they have long hesitated to make.

"Although the number of speakers bears but a small proportion to that crowd, who are sensible of your worth, and joyfully acknowledge what you have done for the present and future time, yet their wishes and requests are by no means confined to the speakers, but shared by all to whom art and the realization of the ideal are more than a means of passing away an idle hour. Their wish is the wish also of a countless number, and their requests are repeated, aloud or in silence, by all whose bosoms are animated by a sense of whatever is divine in music.

"The wishes of those who venerate art in our native country are those which we would more especially express to you at present; for, although the name and the creations of Beethoven belong to every country where a susceptibility to the beauties of art exists, Austria may yet boast of the nearest claim to them. Among her people a due sense of the value of the great and immortal works of Mozart and Haydn, produced within her bosom, is not yet dead; and with joyful pride do they remember that the sacred triad, in which your name and theirs appear as the symbol of whatever is highest in the spiritual realms of music, sprung from the soil of their father-land.

"So much the more painful, however, must it be to you to see that a foreign power has invaded this royal citadel—that above the graves of the departed, and within the dwelling-place of the only one of this band that is still left us, productions are taking the lead, which can boast of no relationship with the princely spirits of the house; shallowness usurping the name and symbol of art, and an unworthy sporting with what is holy darkening and effacing the sense of truth and everlasting beauty.

"More than at any former time, therefore, do those who now address you feel a lively conviction, that the one thing needful at the present moment is a new impulse from a powerful hand—a new appearance of the sovereign within his own domain. This necessity it is which brings them to you to-day, and the following are the requests which they now prefer to you in the name of native art and of all to whom it is dear.

"Withdraw no longer from the public enjoyment,—deny no longer to our sense of what is great and perfect the performance of the latest masterpiece of your hand. We know that a valuable composition in church-music has been produced, to succeed that in which you have immortalised the sensations of a soul, penetrated by the power of faith and illumined by the divine rays of genius. We know that a new flower blooms in the garland of your magnificent and unequalled Symphonies. For years, since the thunders of the Victory of Vittoria ceased to sound, have we anxiously hoped to see you pour out again, in a circle of kindred spirits, fresh gifts from the abundance of your wealth. Disappoint no longer the expectations of your friends; heighten the impression of your newest creations by introducing us yourself to the knowledge of them. Permit not these, the youngest offspring of your genius, to appear one day as strangers in the place of their birth—to fall, perhaps, into the hands of those whose minds are foreign to yours.

"Appear, then, once more in the circle of your friends, your admirers, your venerators; this is our first and most urgent request.

"Other claims on your talents, however, have been openly put forward. The wishes expressed and the offers made to you a year ago by the Directors of our Court Opera, and afterwards by the Society of Austrian Lovers of Music, were shared and approved by too many who respected your name, and were concerned for the interests of art, not to have quickly become public, and to have excited universal interest. Poetry has done her part to support these pleasing hopes and expectations, and worthy materials from a much-esteemed poetical mind await only your magic touch to charm them into life.

"Let this summons to so noble a work not be heard in vain. Delay no further to transport us back to those long-departed days when the power of Polyhymnia moved with mighty spells alike the hearts of the multitude and of the consecrated priests of art. Need we say with what deep regret your late retired mode of life has filled us? Is any assurance required that all eyes have been turned towards you, and that all have seen with sorrow that he, whom they acknowledged as the highest of living men in his own domain, should have looked on in silence while our German soil has been invaded by the footsteps of foreign art—the seat of the German muse usurped—and German works have become but the echo of those of strangers; threatening a second childhood of taste to succeed its golden age? You alone are able to secure activity to the efforts of the best among us. You alone can bestow new life on national art and on the German Opera; bid them bloom once more, and save the true and the beautiful from the violence by which the fashion of the day seeks to subject to itself their everlasting laws.

"Suffer us, then, to hope for the speedy fulfilment of the wishes of all to whom your harmonies have penetrated. This is our second and most urgent request. May this year not pass without our being rejoiced by witnessing the fruits of our entreaties, and may the unfolding of one of those long-wished-for gifts render the coming spring to us, and to the whole world of art, a twofold time of promise.

The bearers of this memorial indulged the expectation of receiving immediately from Beethoven an assurance of his compliance with the requests contained in it; but in this they were egregiously mistaken, for he declined reading it till he should be alone. I had been prevented from being present when it was delivered to him, and arrived only just as he had finished its perusal. He communicated to me the contents, and, after running them over once more, handed the paper quietly to me; then turning towards the window, he remained some time looking up at the sky. I could not help observing that he was much affected, and, after I had read it, I laid it down without speaking, in the hope that he would first begin the conversation. After a long pause, whilst his eyes never ceased following the clouds, he turned round, and said, in a solemn tone which betrayed his internal emotion—"It is really gratifying!—I am much pleased." I nodded assent, and wrote in the conversation-book that he must now be convinced that he would meet with sufficient support, if he would resolve to have the two new pieces brought out soon at a concert. To this course he had always declared himself decidedly adverse, professing his conviction that, from the alteration which had taken place in musical taste, and in the intoxicated state of the public mind, no sensibility remained for what was truly great.[86]

Beethoven read what I had just written, and then said, "Let us get into the open air." When we were out, he appeared, contrary to his custom, rather disposed to taciturnity, but I remarked the glimmering of a latent wish to comply with the well-meant requests of his admirers.

After a good deal of discussion with one and another, it was at last decided that the works should be brought before the public—but where? This was a question hard to answer, so that several weeks elapsed before it could be settled, and I will venture to say that the good people of Bonn were not so much perplexed to decide on the place best adapted for Beethoven's monument, and that many an entangled political problem was solved in less time at the Congress of Vienna.

Since Beethoven had intrusted to me alone the arrangement of the concert to be given, I might, in speaking of the difficulties I had to overcome, take occasion to mention at length the numerous obstacles and intrigues, the many basely avaricious demands, and the innumerable tricks and machinations, of which I became aware, but that it would lead me too far from my subject. I will therefore only observe, that, after a long debate, the place chosen was the Hof-Theater at the Kärnthner Thor, but this did not advance the matter much. A new struggle was now to be commenced with the manager, M. Duport, who was no less zealous than the rest for the interests of his theatre, and wished to make a profit of Beethoven's undertaking.

When two flints had come into collision, what results could be expected?—especially as neither one nor the other remained steady to his first terms, but changed every day like a weathercock.

At length, in order to be at least certain of what were the wishes of one of the contracting parties, we were obliged to have recourse to the following stratagem: I begged Count Lichnowsky and M. Schuppanzigh to call on Beethoven at the same hour, as if by accident, and to sound him with regard to his intentions. On this occasion we were to endeavour to lead him to speak categorically on the several points in discussion, and one of us was immediately to write down whatever he should say, and then, half in jest, half in earnest, call on him to sign it.

The plan succeeded to admiration, but what was the consequence? From the whole procedure, Beethoven at length became aware of our design, and, suspecting as usual falsehood and treachery at the bottom, despatched to us the following sultan-like hatti-sherif:—

"To the Count Moritz von Lichnowsky.

"I despise artifices. Let me have no more of your visits. The Academy (the Concert) will not take place.


"To M. Schuppanzigh.

"Let me see you no more. I shall give no Academy.


"To M. Schindler.

"Do not come near me again till I send for you. No Academy.


Fortunately Beethoven did not send us the silken cord along with these missives, so we all three remained in the land of the living. We suffered his anger to evaporate, and in the mean time assisted each other to do the best that we could for him.

Towards the end of April, Beethoven one day wrote to me in an angry mood:—"After these six weeks' squabbling about this and that, I feel absolutely boiled, stewed, and roasted. What is to be done at last about this much-talked-of Concert? Unless the prices are raised, what will remain for me after so many expenses, since the copying alone has cost so much?"

It will appear from this, that the principal point in discussion was concerning the raising the prices of admission. If Beethoven wished to get back the money that he had already expended, he must after all, nolens volens, submit to the demand of the manager, which was, that the Concert should take place in the theatre, on a subscription-night, at the ordinary prices; and that, for the use of it, as well as of the Chorus and Orchestra, the administration should receive the sum of one thousand florins, Vienna currency. There was no help for it. It was now—"Beethoven, submit to your fate."

The Concert took place on the 7th of May, 1824. The house was filled to overflowing. The gross receipts were 2220 florins; of which, subtracting 1000 for the theatre and 800 for the copying, there remained for Beethoven 420 florins. Every box was crammed, with the single exception of the Emperor's, which remained empty, although Beethoven had gone in person, in my company, to make the invitations to all the members of the Imperial family then in Vienna, and some of the illustrious personages had promised to attend. When the time came, however, the Emperor and Empress were on a journey, and the Archduke Rudolph was in Olmütz; so that our great master was obliged to shift without the countenance of the Imperial court.

These were the immediate results of the concert. The details of the further consequences to Beethoven I may be permitted to pass over for the present, as I shall have much worse to notice in the sequel; but I cannot forbear mentioning some facts connected with the rehearsal of the vocal parts of the two works above alluded to.

It will perhaps be remembered that, in speaking of the performance of Fidelio, in the second period, I observed that Beethoven was in the habit of paying little attention to the possibility of the execution of what he wrote for the vocal parts. Innumerable proofs of this assertion may be found again in the second Mass and in the ninth Symphony, which, during the rehearsals of the chorus and solo parts, led to many unpleasant discussions. With due deference for the master, it was not possible to avoid telling him that this and that passage could not be sung. The two ladies, Mademoiselle Sontag and Mademoiselle Ungher, who undertook the soprano and alto solos, came several times to practise them at Beethoven's house, and made the remark to him beforehand.[87]

musical notation

* The passages marked with a *, and inserted in small notes, indicate the high notes alluded to.—ED.

musical notation

musical notation

* This is the very part I did alter, as shown in the above illustration; for if, as the sequel shows, a Sontag had perseverance and means sufficient to work it out, the same could not be expected from every singer, and least of all from the Chorus, which repeats the same passage after the Solo performers.—ED.


Mlle. Ungher did not hesitate to call him the tyrant of singers, but he only answered, smiling, that it was because they were both so spoiled by the modern Italian style of singing that they found the two new works difficult.[88] "But this high passage here," said Sontag, pointing to the vocal Quartett in the Symphony,

Küsse gab sie uns und Reben—

"would it not be possible to alter that?"—"And this passage, M. van Beethoven," continued Mademoiselle Ungher, "is also too high for most voices. Could we not alter that?"—"No! no! no!" was the answer,[89]—"Well then, for Heaven's sake (in Gottes Namen), let us work away at it again," said the patient Sontag.

As for the poor Soprani, in the chorus parts of the Mass, every day did they complain to Beethoven that it was out of their power to reach and sustain the high notes so long as he prescribed. In some places the tyrant remained inexorable, though it would have been easy for him, by a transposition of some of the intervals, to render those passages easier for the voices, without altering anything essential. Umlauf, the most strictly classical conductor I have ever known, to whom Beethoven had committed the management of the whole, also made some modest remarks on this difficulty, but equally in vain. The consequence of this obstinacy was, that every chorus-singer, male and female, got over the stumbling-block as well as he or she could, and, when the notes were too high, left them out altogether.[90]

The master, however, standing in the midst of this confluence of music, heard nothing of all this, was not even sensible of the tumultuous applause of the auditory at the close of the Symphony, but was standing with his back to the proscenium, until Mademoiselle Ungher, by turning round and making signs, roused his attention, that he might at least see what was going on in the front of the house. This acted, however, like an electric shock on the thousands present, who were struck with a sudden consciousness of his misfortune; and, as the flood-gates of pleasure, compassion, and sympathy were opened, there followed a volcanic explosion of applause, which seemed as if it would never end.[91]

This success, such as had never been witnessed in those venerable halls of art, induced the speculative manager of the theatre to propose a repetition of the new works, (with the exception of four numbers of the Mass,) securing, before-hand, to Beethoven 500 florins Vienna currency (1250 francs). The manager offered to take on himself all expenses, but claimed all the surplus receipts. Discouraged by the small profit of the first concert, (420 florins, paper currency,) Beethoven, for a long time, would not agree to this, but was at length necessitated to comply. In the latter part of the month of May, accordingly, the repetition took place in the imperial assembly-rooms (Redouten-Saal); the four movements of the Mass, however, Kyrie, Credo, Agnus Dei, and Dona nobis pacem, which were the only parts of the Mass performed at the first concert, were destined to be omitted, though Beethoven protested strongly against it. In place of them the Italian roulade-monger, Signor David, sung the favourite Cavatina "Di tanti palpiti," in spite of the outcry of all the purists; and Sontag gave innumerable fioriture of Mercadante's. Of Beethoven's music, besides the ninth Symphony, the Terzetto Tremate, empi tremate, by Italian singers, and the grand Overture in C major, with the double fugue, were also performed.

The pecuniary result of these manifold exertions was, that the manager had the pleasure of paying 800 florins towards the expenses, as the house was not half full, and that Beethoven, deeply vexed at this unexpected result, declined at first to accept the 500 florins guaranteed to him, and was with much difficulty at last prevailed upon to take the money. The most complete ill humour took possession of him, so that he was no longer accessible to any one, and it was increased by the gossiping tittle-tattle of certain persons, who put it into his head that he had been cheated at the first concert, and thus excited his suspicions, especially against me. At a dinner, which he gave a few days afterwards to the two directors of his concert, Messrs. Umlauf and Schuppanzigh, and to me, in the Prater, he could no longer restrain his anger, but declared that he had been informed that I, in conjunction with the manager, M. Duport, had defrauded him. It was in vain that our two companions endeavoured to convince him that, as every piece of money had passed through the hands of the two cashiers of the theatre, and their accounts of the receipts exactly corresponded, a fraud on either side was out of the question: he refused to retract his charge, and I consequently withdrew immediately, in company with M. Umlauf, and did not see Beethoven again till the month of November, when he called upon me at the theatre in the Josephstadt, where I was acting as music-director, and begged that what had passed might be forgotten.

This occurrence may serve to show what it was to be Beethoven's friend, and to keep on good terms with him only a single year. How much friendship, how many sacrifices, what an entire self-denial, did it not require to submit to be daily exposed to the most malicious calumnies, and even to the most dishonourable accusations! The friend of his youth, Hofrath von Breuning, was alienated from him by a similar reflection on his honour, and Beethoven was only brought back to him by certain melancholy events of the year 1826, when he stood in need of his assistance.

An accusation of this kind occasioned a coolness of twelve years' standing between him and his old friend Dr. Malfatti; and it was not till Beethoven was on his deathbed that I brought about a reconciliation. Credulous, inexperienced, and distrustful as he was, it was easy for any worthless person to slander and set him against his most tried friend. It was not always that these calumnies originated with his brothers, but other odious creatures were continually poisoning his mind, as there are examples enough to prove in his conversation-books.

In his last illness he circumstantially related to me and M. von Breuning many of the intrigues and machinations of some of those persons, whose motives were always envy and covetousness. He also confessed that he had several times been induced to write letters, declaring his conviction of the deceit and treachery of this or that friend, without any better ground than those false accusations.

The manner in which he made his peace, however, was so frank and open-hearted, that one could not help passing over every vexation and insult that might have been received from him.

With his servants he was accustomed to make up these affronts by presents of money, and it was said that his faithful old housekeeper, who bore his humours for many years, was able to help him in time of need with what she had saved out of these presents, or rather fines, which Beethoven imposed on himself. That there really were such moments I can myself bear witness, and a note which I received from him in the spring of the year 1824 attests the same thing:—"Frau Schnapps (a nickname he had given to his housekeeper) will advance what is wanted for housekeeping; so come and dine with me at two o'clock. I have some good news to tell, but let this be between ourselves, that the brain-eater[92] may know nothing about it.—BEETHOVEN."

In the spring of the year 1824, Beethoven was again invited to visit England, and he appeared more than usually resolved on undertaking this journey in the following autumn. I was to accompany him, and we were to travel through the Rhenish provinces, that he might see his native country once more, where, alas! not a creature, with the exception of Dr. Wegeler in Coblentz, Ries's father, and the music-publisher Simrock in Bonn, ever bestowed a thought upon him. How rare was his correspondence, even with these old friends, appears from the Notices of Beethoven, published by the first-mentioned of them. Autumn approached, but Beethoven made no preparations for the journey.

In a letter dated the 20th of December of the same year, the invitation was most pressingly repeated on the part of the Philharmonic Society by Mr. Neate,[93] music professor of London, who had formerly passed some time in Vienna. The terms offered were as follow:—

"The Philharmonic Society proposes to pay you 300 guineas for your visit, and expects, on your part, that you will superintend the performance of your own works, of which at least one will be given at every concert. It also expects that you will, in the course of your stay in England, write a new Symphony and a Concerto, to be performed here, but to remain your own property." For a concert, which it was further proposed that he should himself give in London, the sum of 500l. sterling was to be guaranteed to him; so that nothing could be handsomer than these offers, as Beethoven himself acknowledged. But his nephew!... certain rumours with respect to this young man had now become generally current, and the consequence was, that the journey was given up, and the hopes of the Londoners, to see among them their long-established favourite, Beethoven, were all frustrated.

And now for the following fact, which I hope may be considered in all its bearings, and duly estimated by all admirers of the great deceased, since it deserves, far more than any of those already related, the attention of the whole musical world.

In the beginning of the year 1824, Beethoven received from a Russian prince his first extremely flattering letter, with a request that he would write one or two instrumental Quartetts, and dedicate them to the writer. The terms proposed were highly agreeable, the condition being added, that the prince should possess both of the works to be composed for a full year as his sole property, and that, after the lapse of that time only, the master should have a right to publish them. (This condition, which served to increase the loss that he eventually sustained, was not at first agreed to by Beethoven, but afterwards punctually fulfilled.)

This was soon followed by a second letter to the same purport, and just as some serpents are said by their glance to fascinate their destined prey, did Beethoven, by whom adulation was in general totally disregarded, appear intoxicated by the flatteries of the Russian prince. He abandoned the composition of the Oratorio by C. Bernard, which was already begun, and set about a Quartett for Prince Nicholas von Galitzin, but before it was ready the prince applied for a second, and soon after for a third, and found means to gain over Beethoven so entirely, that he seemed to think no more of the Oratorio, of the tenth Symphony, or even of a work which he had already planned, and which was to be the grand effort of his life, the conclusion of his artistical exertions—namely—the setting Göthe's Faust to music.[94] The musical world has to thank this man only that all these works, as well as a grand Requiem, which the composer had also projected, remained unwritten, and for this he can never make amends. But let us proceed. The sum agreed on for the Quartetts, to be written for this princely Mæcenas, was 125 ducats. Beethoven, however, received from St. Petersburg nothing but letters filled with questions concerning doubtful or difficult passages in these Quartetts, to which the fullest and most circumstantial replies were immediately dispatched, and it would be highly desirable, for the intelligibility of the pieces in question, that these answers should be published;[95] but never did he receive a single ruble. It was not till the month of December, in the year 1826, when a long illness had occasioned him considerable pecuniary embarrassment, that he applied to the prince for the stipulated sum, representing his distressed situation; but received no answer. Beethoven wrote again, and at the same time begged the Austrian ambassador and the banking-house of Stieglitz at St. Petersburg, in private letters, to make application to the prince. At length an answer arrived from the latter, that Prince Nicholas von Galitzin had gone to Persia to join the army, without leaving them any instructions to remit money to Beethoven. In this painful situation Beethoven recollected the offer made to him by the London Philharmonic Society, and wrote on the subject to Moscheles and Sir George Smart. I shall return again to this matter, and in the mean time I must be allowed to close this extraordinary case by observing, that if Prince Nicholas von Galitzin is still living, he can only hope to appease the manes of Beethoven by paying over this just debt of 125 ducats, either to some charitable institution, or to the Bonn committee for the erection of a monument to his memory.

Immediately after the above-mentioned two memorable concerts, Beethoven moved into a pleasant house at Penzing, near Schönbrunn, to which he had taken a fancy, connected with which is a characteristic anecdote. The house is situated near the river Wien, over which there is a bridge for foot passengers, and, as the master had become an object of great public curiosity, it was not uncommon for this bridge to be occupied by a crowd of persons, who had posted themselves there, to wait for an opportunity of seeing him. This annoyed him so much that he left the house in three weeks and went to Baden. A similar case had occurred a year before at Hetzendorf, where he left a lodging which he had taken for the summer, and for which he had paid in advance 400 florins, because he took offence at the excessive politeness of his landlord.

In the autumn of the year 1824 Beethoven returned from Baden, and for the first time for many years took a house in town, that his nephew, who had now left school, might be near the University. During this winter (1824-5) the master had a severe fit of illness, originating in an intestinal disorder: indeed, he had been on bad terms with his stomach during his whole life. The eminent physician, Dr. Staudenheim, had hitherto been his medical attendant, and often had to remonstrate seriously with his patient, though it must be confessed without much effect. Now, however, he chose to appoint Dr. Braunhofer, professor at the University, to attend him. The winter was passed in a state of constant suffering, and it was not till the spring that he began to recover a little, and moved again to Baden, his favourite summer residence.

His mental activity during this whole year extended no further than to the composition of the last Quartett; for the Russian Mæcenas was continually writing flattering letters to urge him to its completion.

The first work undertaken after the illness of the year 1825 was the Quartett, No. 12, with the remarkable adagio—"Canzone di ringraziamento in modo lidico, offerta alla Divinità da un guarito."

In the year 1825 Beethoven closed with an offer made to him by the brothers Schott, in Mainz, for the purchase of his second Mass and of the ninth Symphony, after proposals had been made to him by houses in Berlin, Vienna, and Leipzig, which, however, did not suit him. Pursuant to this agreement, Beethoven received

For the Mass in D major, op. 1231000
For the ninth Symphony, op. 125600

At the same time the house at Mainz agreed for the following works of Beethoven's:—

Quatuor, op. 127, for50ducats.
Quatuor, op. 131, for80"
Overture in C major, op. 124 
Opferlied, op. 121 
Bundeslied, op. 122 
Ariette to Chloe, op. 128 
Bagatelles for the pianoforte op. 126 
For these five works Beethoven received the sum of130ducats.

This not inconsiderable sum might have enabled him to replace the amount abstracted from his little fund, and to avert many future difficulties, had he not determined to consider it as a capital, to be laid out in the purchase of public securities, as a provision for his nephew, and not as his own property. How far he was in the right we shall see in the sequel.

In the autumn of 1825 Beethoven moved to his last lodging, in what is called the Schwarzpanier House, situated on the glacis of the suburb of Währing. It suited him well, had plenty of sunshine, and commanded an extensive and, at the same time, agreeable prospect over the city and several suburbs. In this abode he passed the eventful year 1826, in which his harassed mind was destined to the hardest and bitterest trial which could be imposed upon a man, to whom virtue and honour were the dearest of all things.

His adopted nephew, endowed, as I have already remarked, with uncommon mental abilities, had, to the great joy of his uncle, who brought him up like the child of a nobleman, already made considerable progress in his education, and Beethoven took no little pride in his success. At the age of seventeen, the youth returned to the house of this his second father, and, attending only the course of philosophy at the University, was released from all the restraints to which he was necessarily subject while at school; for his uncle, trusting entirely to his understanding and steadiness, granted his nephew all the freedom he desired, which, indeed, under the circumstances, he could hardly avoid. It would lead us too far to enter into any detail of the observations made by his first teachers on a certain turn of mind in the boy, which might probably lead him away from the right path; it was hoped that this had been corrected in his subsequent education.

This youth, possessing talents worthy of his renowned name, was no sooner in the full enjoyment of his liberty, than he fell into an evil course of life—neglected his studies—abused the affection and indulgence of his uncle—and was, at last, expelled from the University, where even the respect universally felt for the name he bore could no longer screen him. It would be needless to dwell on the sufferings of the great master, before and during this event, which was not unexpected. Whoever saw him in this time of trouble could not fail to perceive plainly on his features the traces of the mortification caused by this dishonour to his name.

The measure of his sufferings was, however, far from full; and they were increased by the circumstance that there were people found who threw the blame of all that had happened on the uncle; and we will not therefore shrink from inquiring, in the course of this narrative, whether some part of the fault may not indeed be attributable to Beethoven.

In accordance with the wish of this young man, he was now allowed to continue his studies at the Polytechnic Institution, and to devote himself to mercantile pursuits—a permission which Beethoven was the more willing to grant, since he knew his nephew would, in that institution, be under the superintendence of the vice-director, M. Reisser, who was his joint-guardian with himself. All attempts to bring him again into an honourable course were vain; on the contrary, Beethoven received innumerable proofs that he had not only lost all affection, but even all respect for him, and rejected with equal obstinacy advice and entreaty. It may now be time to inquire how far the master may be considered blameable for the conduct of this youth, and by what means the latter forfeited his affection and his respect.

When a man undertakes the education of a gifted child, possessed by such an excess of love as Beethoven bore to his nephew, this alone may prove the source of innumerable evils, and become a kind of Pandora's box. Beethoven, in the first instance, committed the mistake of granting unbounded confidence to his nephew when a boy ten or twelve years of age, though he had often been convicted of falsehood and other serious juvenile faults; and afterwards expecting from a lad of sixteen the steadiness of a man, and emancipating him in the fullest sense of the term. Of these mistakes he now became conscious—but alas! too late! Beethoven was still more to blame because he could not, even in the presence of his nephew, refrain from expressing his detestation of the boy's mother, to which he gave utterance sometimes in the most violent manner; forbidding him all intercourse with her, utterly regardless of the voice of Nature, which, sooner or later, may awaken and become its own avenger.

No sooner was the young man released from the restraints of his childhood than he sought out this in every sense unfortunate mother; and continued to visit her, although he knew that this had been most strictly forbidden by Beethoven: and hence arose many painful contests between uncle and nephew.

In these proceedings, though Beethoven may have been over-severe towards the mother, he was led to adopt this course by the most cogent reasons founded on antecedent events.

There are now lying before me twenty-nine letters, addressed by Beethoven to his nephew in the summer of the year 1825, dated Baden, and which, with other papers, came again into his possession after his nephew's catastrophe in August, 1826. They were confided to me and Hofrath von Breuning, at that moment, towards the end of his earthly career, to which I have adverted in the introduction to this work, in order that from their contents a judgment might be formed of the line of conduct pursued by the uncle towards his nephew, and that he might stand before the world acquitted of charges brought against him. I now proceed to fulfil the melancholy duty of making some faithful extracts from them.


"I rejoice, my dear son, that you are pleased with your adopted sphere of life, and diligent in acquiring what is necessary for it. Your handwriting I should not have known again. I myself indeed care only about the sense and signification, but you must now endeavour to attain also external elegance.

"If it is too hard a task for you to come hither, never mind. Should it, however, be any way possible, I shall be glad to have in my exile some feeling heart about me. I embrace you most cordially.

"Your affectionate father,


"May 18, 1825.

"It cannot but be becoming in a youth, now nearly nineteen, to unite with his cares for his education and future prosperity the duty which he owes to his benefactor, to whom he is indebted for his maintenance. Have I not fulfilled mine towards my poor parents, and rejoiced when I was able to assist them? How different has been your conduct towards me! Thoughtless boy, farewell.



"May 22, 1825.

"I have been assured, although hitherto it has been only matter of conjecture, that you have again been carrying on a clandestine intercourse with your mother. Am I again to experience this hateful ingratitude? Shall the tie between us be severed?—So be it then. You will be detested by every impartial person who shall hear of your ingratitude. The expressions used by my brother, and your own of yesterday, with respect to Dr. S——r, must of course be painful to me, since the very reverse of what he requires has been decided by the tribunal.[96] Am I continually to be forced to entangle myself in these abominations? Never again! Is the agreement become burdensome to you? Be it so, in God's name! I have done my part, and leave you to Providence. I do not fear to answer for my conduct before the judgment-seat of the Almighty.



"Baden, May 31, 1825.

"Enough of this! Spoiled as you have been, it would do you no injury to pay some attention at last to simplicity and truth. I have suffered too much from your artifices, and it will be a hard matter for me to forget them. Even if I would always submit, without murmuring, like an ox to the yoke, if you should behave thus towards others, you will never gain the good-will of any human creature. God knows all I wish is to be freed from you, from this base brother, and from these my worthless relations. May God hear my prayer! for I can never trust you more.

"Your father—alas!
"yet, fortunately not your father."


(In answer to an account of money received.)

"June 18, 1825.

" ... Let us not look further back. It would be easy to do so, but it would only be painful for me; at last it would only be—'you are a very good guardian, &c.... Were you but a little steadier, you would have always acted differently.'



"July 18, 1825.

"Dear Son,

"Only be moderate. Fortune has crowned my endeavours, but let no mistaken views lead you into embarrassment. Be candid and exact in the account of your expenses. Let the theatre rest for the present. Be ruled by your father, and guided by him whose every wish has been invariably directed towards your moral welfare as well as your worldly prosperity! Be indeed my son. What an unheard-of discord would it be, if you were indeed false to me, as some people still maintain!



"I am growing thinner and thinner, and am indeed very poorly, without having any doctor, or any one to feel for me. If it be possible, come to me. But I do not wish to be any hindrance to you. I wish I were only sure that the Sunday would be properly spent without me. I must learn to give up all. Would that these great sacrifices might only bring forth good fruits!

"Where am I not injured and wounded? Have no secret dealings with my brother. Once for all, have no secrets from me—from your affectionate father. If I am angry, ascribe it to my anxiety on your account, for you are exposed to much peril. Think of my sufferings and give me no uneasiness. I ought by rights to have no fears of this kind,——but what have I not experienced!



"'Come soon, come soon, come soon.' Be it so. The day before yesterday came my Signor Fratello[97] and his brother-in-law. What a wretched creature! If Cato, speaking of Cæsar, exclaimed 'This man and we'—what shall we say of such a one as this?

"Now, as ever, thine anxious and
"affectionate Father,   


September, 1825.

"I do not wish that you should come to me on the 14th inst. It is better that you should finish your studies. God has never yet forsaken me, and some one will be found to close my eyes. There seems to me indeed to be something pre-ordained in all that has taken place, in which my brother (Pseudo) plays a part. I know that you have no wish to come to me even afterwards, and it is natural that it should be so. Such a sphere as mine is too pure for you.... You need not come on Sundays, either, for, after such behaviour, true harmony and concord can never subsist; and what is the use of hypocrisy? Be, in reality, a better man; but use no deceit, no lies; it will be all the better for your moral character in the end. You see your conduct is reflected in the mirror of my mind. The kindest remonstrances would be of no avail. You will, in either case, be incensed. For the rest, be under no apprehension. I will continue my cares for you as usual. What troubles do you not occasion me! Farewell. He who has not indeed bestowed on you your life, but the support of that life, and what is more than all else, the cultivation of your mind, as a father—nay more than that—most fervently implores you to keep in the only true path to all that is right and good.

"Your faithful affectionate Father,


"My dear son,—No more of this—come to my arms, you shall not hear one harsh word. For God's sake, do not ruin yourself: you shall be received as kindly as ever. As to what is to be thought of, and done for the future, we will talk it over in a friendly manner together. Upon my word of honour, you shall hear no reproaches, which, indeed can now do no good. You have nothing to expect from me but the most anxious and affectionate care for your welfare. Only come, come to the heart of your father,



October 5, 1825.

"I have just received your letter. I was excessively anxious, and had made up my mind to go to-day to Vienna. Thank God, it is not necessary. Only be obedient to me, and affection, peace of mind, and worldly prosperity, will be our united lot. You will enjoy an inward and spiritual, as well as a material, existence. But let the former be preferred to the latter.

"A thousand times I embrace and kiss you, not my lost, but my new-born son. For you, my restored child, will your affectionate father ever care.



"October 14, 1825.

"I inform you in haste, that I will certainly come to-morrow morning, even if it should rain, therefore let me be sure of finding you. I shall rejoice to see you once more, and should some dark clouds appear, do not ascribe them to intentional resentment. They will be entirely dispersed by the improved behaviour you have promised, by happiness, based upon sincerity and active industry. Who would not rejoice to see the wanderer return again to the right path? This happiness I hope to experience.


These fragments will be sufficient to exhibit Beethoven's situation, his state of mind, and his sufferings, as described by himself; not less plainly do they serve to show his relation to various members of his family. Above all, however, we perceive in these letters the noble high-minded man; and such was Beethoven, not only in moments of excitement, but throughout his whole life. Could I add, in reference to the last extract, that Beethoven long enjoyed the felicity of seeing his ill-advised nephew, then nineteen years old, walking in the paths of virtue and honour, I should breathe more freely after the painful emotions excited by thus recalling the past, and awakening the remembrance of what I have gone through in witnessing the patience, with which, for years, the great artist bore his cross, the weight of which sometimes bowed him to the ground. Alas! all this was only the prelude to that catastrophe which was destined to give the death-blow to our illustrious master!

Notwithstanding all care, attention, and kindness on the part of Beethoven[98] and the joint guardian of this unhappy young man, the vice-director of the Polytechnic Institution, he again entered the slippery path which he had been prevailed on to quit, and when, in August 1826, he was urged to work up many examinations at the Institution, which were in arrear, he made an attempt on his life. This attempt failed, but it placed him as a suicide, according to the laws of his country, in the hands of justice, for it is presumed that nothing but a want of religion can possibly lead to so violent a step; malefactors of this kind are consequently placed under the care of the civil authorities, with a view of promoting the amendment of their religious principles.

Thus it was with the nephew of Beethoven, and when the time came, when he was to be again given over to the care of his guardian, it was done with a positive injunction on the part of the authorities, to keep him only one day in his house, since he was not permitted to remain longer in Vienna. This took place towards the end of the month of October, and now it was hard to know what was to be done. Johann van Beethoven offered his brother his country-house as a temporary residence for his nephew, until Hofrath von Breuning should succeed in procuring for the young man a commission as cadet in some regiment, since he had now an inclination to a military life. After a great deal of trouble, M. von Breuning succeeded in interesting Lieutenant Field-Marshal Stutterheim for the deeply afflicted Beethoven, and he consented to take the nephew into his regiment. Out of gratitude, Beethoven dedicated to this officer his grand Quartett in C sharp minor.

The severity of the season, and the incredibly thoughtless conduct of which the nephew and the other relations of Beethoven were guilty towards him obliged him to return to Vienna. This journey, which, in so advanced a period of the year, could not be performed in one day, was made in an open carriage, because, as Beethoven himself assured me, his brother had refused to trust him with his close one.

It was necessary to give a brief relation of these occurrences, for only thus could Beethoven find the defence and the justification which he thought necessary, and which he will meet with from every sympathetic mind. In fact, in the many discussions concerning him, mention was often made of this circumstance, without any knowledge of the real state of the case, and often with conjectures which, by degrees, might at length assume the shape of a regular accusation against him.

On the 2nd of December, 1826, Beethoven, with his nephew, returned sick to Vienna; but it was not till several days afterwards that I heard of his situation, or even of his arrival. I hastened to him, and, among other details, which shocked me much, learned that he had often in vain entreated his two former physicians, Drs. Braunhofer and Staudenheim, to undertake his case; the first declining to do so, because the distance was too great for him to come; and the second, indeed, promising to come, but not keeping his word. A physician was sent to his house, he did not know how, or by whom, and who, consequently, knew nothing of him or his constitution. When, however, this physician (the excellent Dr. Wawruch, clinical professor) visited Beethoven's sick-bed, I heard from his own mouth how it happened, and it affords an additional proof that this man, belonging to the world and to posterity, was abandoned by his nearest relations, who had so much cause to be grateful to him: not merely abandoned, indeed, but betrayed and sold. Professor Wawruch related to me that he had been sent to Beethoven by the marker at a billiard-table at a coffee-house, who being, on account of illness, brought to the hospital, had mentioned that some days before the nephew of Beethoven had come to the coffee-house, where he played at billiards, and commissioned him, the marker, to find a physician for his sick uncle; but, being extremely unwell at the time, he had not been able to do so, and therefore begged the Professor to visit Beethoven, which, entertaining the highest respect for the artist, he had immediately done, and had on his arrival still found him without medical attendance. It was necessary then for the marker at a billiard-table to fall sick and be taken to the hospital, before the great Beethoven could obtain help in time of need!!

Who would not find his feelings revolted by this disgraceful fact? After this no farther explanation can be necessary to show what were Beethoven's sufferings in his deplorable condition, or what was the ultimate cause of his early death.

Before the end of December, the nephew set off to join his regiment, and from that moment it seemed as if the uncle had been delivered from his evil genius. He became more cheerful and resigned to his fate, hoping and expecting a speedy recovery from his illness to result from the care of his physician. His former love for his nephew seemed now transformed into bitter hatred; but before the hour arrived which was to sunder every earthly tie, his first feelings returned, and he appointed this nephew his sole heir.[99]

The malady which brought him back to Vienna, on the occasion just mentioned, was an inflammation of the lungs, soon followed by symptoms of dropsy. These at first Professor Wawruch refused to recognise, but they increased so rapidly that it was no longer possible to doubt the nature of the disease.

On the 18th of December an operation was found to be necessary; another followed on the 8th of January; a third on the 28th of the same month; and the fourth on the 27th of February.[100]

Towards the end of January Beethoven's former friend, the celebrated Dr. Malfatti, was induced, after much supplication and entreaty, to prescribe for him; and, from this time, by the advice of both his medical attendants, he took daily, as the only specific, considerable quantities of iced punch, by which the vital powers, prostrated by the frequent operations, were restored to such a degree, that he considered himself as perfectly convalescent, threw away angrily the volume of Walter Scott, with which he had been trying to pass away the time, and exclaiming,—"The man writes only for money!" set to work again at a Sonata for two performers, which he had been writing for Diabelli, although the physicians had positively prohibited every mental exertion. After the fourth operation, however, even iced punch could no longer act as a restorative, although no limits were prescribed to its use. From this time he declined rapidly.

During this period of suffering, Beethoven would have no one about him but von Breuning and myself; and when we were both unavoidably kept from him by our avocations, as indeed generally happened for several hours every day, the favourite companion and best nurse of the sick artist was von Breuning's son, a lively and clever boy, eleven years old, who, by his freedom from care, and ignorance of the danger in which we knew our friend to be, was frequently better able to raise his spirits than we were. Little Gerhard was often warmly thanked by Beethoven for his assistance in this way.

It is now time to give a detailed account of Beethoven's letters to London, in which he made an application to the Philharmonic Society, as these letters have been much talked of, and often taken amiss.

It may, perhaps, be recollected under what circumstances Beethoven was compelled, in the year 1823, to encroach on his little savings, as well as that the extremely slender profit accruing from the two concerts in 1824 had disappointed his hopes of being able to make up the deficiency thus occasioned. How and why the projected journey to London in the same year, which afforded such cheering pecuniary prospects, was given up, and how he had foolishly appropriated to his unworthy heir the sum received for his last works, without thinking of himself, I have also related. To these causes of embarrassment we may add the base conduct of the Russian Prince Nicholas von Galitzin, at the time when Beethoven was scarcely able to rise from his bed, and had to contend with heavy expenses, while he was assured by his physicians that his illness was likely to be of long duration, and that he must not think of working for a long time to come.

In addition to all this came the increased expenditure for his nephew, for whose maintenance, as his adopted father, he was, even by the laws of his country, compelled to provide.

Thus, sick and harassed, Beethoven found himself obliged either to make use of the only property he possessed, consisting of a few bank shares, or to apply to his brother for assistance. This brother one day, in the presence of M. von Breuning and myself, declined letting Beethoven have any of his hay, when two physicians had prescribed for him a hay vapour-bath; alleging as an excuse that his hay was not good enough. Yet this "unbrotherly brother," as Beethoven called him, rich as he was, wished to share in the little that the composer possessed.[101] To be obliged to ask assistance from him was of itself like a death-blow to Beethoven.

Forgotten by the Viennese, whom his decease first aroused from the delirium of the Rossini-fever, and pressed by these difficulties, the master remembered an offer made to him some years before by the Philharmonic Society, and after much hesitation determined to apply, as a first step, by letter to Moscheles, although quite against my advice and that of M. von Breuning, as we foresaw the wrong construction that would be put on this letter. On the 22nd of February, 1827, Beethoven wrote on this subject, at the same time to Moscheles and to Sir George Smart.

"My dear Moscheles,—I am sure you will not take it amiss, if I trouble you, as well as Sir G. Smart, to whom I enclose a letter, with a request. The affair is briefly as follows:—Some years ago the Philharmonic Society in London made a handsome offer to give me a benefit concert. At that time I was not, thank God, in a situation to make it necessary to avail myself of this generous proposal. But affairs are much altered with me at present, when I have been confined three months by a tedious illness—the dropsy. Schindler will tell you more about it in a letter accompanying this. You have long known my way of life—you know how and by what I live. Writing is at present out of the question, and I might unfortunately become so situated as to be reduced to want. You have not only extensive connexions in London, but also considerable influence with the Philharmonic Society. I beg that you will do what you can to induce them again to consider their intention, and put it soon into execution. My enclosed letter to Sir George Smart is to the same purport, as well as one to Mr. Stumpff,[102] which is already despatched. I entreat you to forward this to Sir George, and to unite with him and my other friends in London to effect this object. Even dictating becomes painful to me, so much exhausted do I feel. Make my compliments to your amiable wife, and be assured I shall always remain

"Your friend,

"Pray answer me soon, in order that I may know if I have anything to hope."

On the 14th of March, Beethoven again wrote on this subject to Moscheles, earnestly begging his attention to it.

From this second letter I make only the following extract:—

"On the 27th of February the operation was performed for the fourth time, and there are evident signs that I must soon submit to it again. What is to be the end of it, and what will become of me if it lasts much longer? Mine is indeed a hard fate, but I resign myself to it, only praying that God in his providence may so ordain that, whilst I endure this death in life, I may be protected from want. I should then have strength enough, let my lot be ever so severe, to submit with resignation to the will of the Most High. Hummel is here, and has called several times upon me."

As early as the 1st of March, Moscheles and Mr. Stumpff had written to inform him of the sensation excited among his numerous admirers in London by his first letter; and the former afterwards wrote to the following effect:—

"The Society resolved to express their good-will and lively sympathy by requesting your acceptance of £100 sterling (1000 florins) to provide the necessary comforts and conveniences during your illness. This money will be paid to your order by Mr. Rau, of the house of Eskeles, either in separate sums, or all at once, as you may desire."

Moscheles added that the Philharmonic Society was willing to extend their good offices still further, and that Beethoven had only to write, if he needed their assistance.

In reply, Beethoven dictated to me, on the 18th of March, the following, since he was himself too weak to write:—

"I know not how in words to describe the feelings with which I have read yours of the 1st. I am deeply sensible of the generosity with which the Philharmonic Society has almost anticipated my request, and I beg you, dear Moscheles, to become the organ through which I may convey my heart-felt thanks for their kind sympathy and distinguished liberality. I have found myself compelled to apply for the whole sum of 1000 florins, as I was just under the unpleasant necessity of raising money, which would have occasioned me fresh embarrassment. With regard to the concert which the Society intend to arrange for my benefit, I trust they will not relinquish that noble design, and beg that they will deduct the £100 which they already have sent me from the profits. Should after that any surplus be left, and the Society be kindly willing to bestow it upon me, I hope to have it in my power to evince my gratitude by composing for them either a new Symphony, which already lies sketched on my desk, or a new Overture, or anything else the Society may prefer. May Heaven grant me my health soon again, that I may be able to prove to the generous English how well I can appreciate their sympathy with my melancholy situation! Your noble conduct can never be forgotten by me, and I beg you to return my thanks in particular to Sir George Smart and Mr. Stumpff.

"With the highest esteem, yours,
(Signed) "BEETHOVEN."


"P. S. Kindest regards to your wife. I have to thank the Philharmonic Society and you for a new and most amiable friend in M. Rau.[103]

"I beg you to transmit the subjoined metronomic list of my Ninth Symphony to the Philharmonic Society:"

Allegro ma non troppo    88 = quarter note
Molto vivace 116 = half note
Presto 116 = half note
Adagio primo 60 = quarter note
Andante moderato 63 = quarter note
Finale presto 96 = half note
Allegro ma non troppo 88 = quarter note
Allegro assai 80 = half note
Alla marcia 84 = quarter note
Andante maestoso 72 = half note
Adagio divoto 60 = half note
Allegro energico 84 = half note
Allegro ma non tanto 120 = half note
Prestissimo 132 = half note
Maestoso 60 = sixteenth note

From my own letter to Moscheles, dated the 24th of March, accompanying the above from Beethoven, written with a view to prepare his friends in London for the approaching death of this great man, I shall make the following extract, since it belongs, no less than the former, to the history of his life.

* * * * * "The letter addressed to you, and dated the 18th, was dictated word for word by himself, and is probably his last. To-day he whispered to me—'Write to Smart and Stumpff.' Should it be possible for him to sign these letters, it shall be done to-morrow.[104]

"He is conscious of his approaching end, for yesterday he said to me and Breuning, 'Plaudite amici, Comœdia finita est.'[105]

"The last few days have been memorable ones. He sees the approach of death with the most perfect tranquillity of soul and real Socratic wisdom.[106] Yesterday we were so fortunate as to finish the business of the will. Three days after the receipt of your last, he was much excited, and would have his sketch of the Tenth Symphony brought to him, concerning the plan of which he talked to me a great deal. It was destined for the Philharmonic Society, and, according to the form which it assumed in his morbid imagination, it was to be a musical leviathan, compared with which his other Grand Symphonies would be merely trifling performances."

On the 18th of March, Beethoven begged me to attend to the dedication of his last Quartett, and to choose for this mark of respect one of his worthiest friends. As I knew this compliment to be well deserved by M. Johann Wolfmayer, a merchant of Vienna, most highly esteemed by Beethoven in the latter days of his life, and that he was frequently occupied by considering in what way he could manifest his gratitude to him, I sent the name of this gentleman, after the decease of Beethoven, to Messrs. Schott, in Mainz, the publishers of the above-mentioned work, with a request that it might be dedicated to him. This fact is sufficient to prove how anxious Beethoven was, even to his latest breath, to show himself grateful to his friends and benefactors; and had he been able, he would, in his last moments, have expressed himself more decidedly with respect to this dedication.

On the payment of the thousand florins by M. Rau, Beethoven had still 100 florins in ready money, which was sufficient for the expenses of the latter days of his life, and from the above sum, therefore, only a small part was deducted for the expenses of the funeral. The remainder of this sum should have been, according to the letter of Mr. Moscheles of the 1st of March, returned to the Philharmonic Society, since it was specially destined to provide for the comfort of Beethoven; but they did not wish it to fall into the hands of his unworthy relatives. At the legal inventory taken after Beethoven's death, however, this money fell into the hands of the authorities; but Dr. Bach, whom he had while living appointed his executor, assigned reasons for opposing its delivery, which, in consequence, was not insisted upon.

According to the account rendered by Dr. Bach, the entire amount of property, including the produce of the sale of furniture, music, and seven Bank Shares, amounted toflorins.
From this were to be deducted for the illness, funeral, and legal expenses,1,213
So that there was a net remainder of9,019[107]

Dr. Bach accompanied this account with a remark, in which I fully concur, that the amount of the property was out of all proportion to the deserts of the great man by whom it was left, and might throw an unfavourable light upon his contemporaries, were it not susceptible of explanation from the character and opinions of the master, who thought only of his Art, and left to others the consideration of the profit to be derived from it.

Symptoms of a speedy termination to Beethoven's sufferings appeared early on the 24th of March, after the holy Sacrament for the dying had been administered at his own desire, and received by him with true devotion. The first symptoms of approaching dissolution manifested themselves about one o'clock on the same day. A most terrible struggle between life and death now began, and continued, without intermission, till the 26th, when, a quarter before six in the evening, the great composer breathed his last, during a tremendous hail-storm, aged 56 years, 3 months, and 9 days.

I am not so fortunate as to be able to say that it was I who closed the eyes of the artist who belongs to the latest posterity; neither was it M. von Breuning; for we had gone on the afternoon in question to the burial-ground belonging to the village of Währing, to provide a suitable place of interment, and were prevented from returning by the violence of the storm. The person who had to render him this last service was M. Anselm Hüttenbrenner, from Grätz, in Styria, favourably known as a composer, who had hastened to Vienna, that he might see Beethoven once more. He fulfilled, therefore, this sacred duty in our stead, and when we entered the chamber we were told, "It is all over!" and we returned thanks to God that his sufferings were at an end.

The arrangements for the funeral were made by M. von Breuning and myself, in conjunction with M. Tobias Haslinger, who was so obliging as to superintend the music to be performed at the ceremony, which took place on the afternoon of the 29th. The procession was followed, from the abode of the great deceased to the parish church of the Alster-suburb, where the service was performed, by at least 20,000 persons.[108]

Since it would not be uninteresting to many admirers of Beethoven to learn the conformation of his skull, and the state in which the organs of hearing were found, I insert the following particulars from the report made after the dissection of the body by Dr. Johann Wagner. "The auditory nerves were shrivelled and marrowless, the arteries running along them stretched, as if over a crow-quill, and knotty. The left auditory nerve, which was much thinner than the other, ran with three very narrow greyish streaks; the right, with a thicker white one, out of the fourth cavity of the brain, which was in this part of a much firmer consistence and more filled with blood than in the rest. The circumvolutions of the brain, which was soft and watery, appeared twice as deep as usual, and much more numerous. The skull was throughout very compact, and about half an inch thick."

A few days after the funeral, M. von Breuning received notice from the wife of the sexton of Währing, that a considerable sum had been offered to her husband if he would bring the head of Beethoven to a place specified in Vienna. M. von Breuning, thinking that this information might originate in a mercenary motive of the sexton's, offered him money, which he however refused, assuring M. von Breuning that the intimation which he had sent was nothing but the truth. On this account, M. von Breuning had the grave watched every night for some time.


Intended Edition of Beethoven's Piano-forte Sonatas—Causes for his relinquishing the design—Project of an Edition of his complete Works—Visionary hopes excited by it—Metamorphosis of Beethoven's Instrumental Music—Importance of a right conception of the Tempo—Metronomic Signs—Injury done to Beethoven's Music by metronomising—Exemplified in the Moonlight Sonata—Metronomic directions condemned—Performance of Beethoven's Works in Paris—Hints furnished by Beethoven relative to the composition of his Sonatas, and the proper style of their performance—His own Style of Playing—Effects intended to be given by him to his Symphonies—Neglect of his Works.

IN the year 1816 Beethoven was prevailed upon, after repeated entreaties, to make arrangements for the publication of a complete edition of all his pianoforte Sonatas. His determination to undertake this task was influenced by the consideration of three important and indeed necessary objects; viz. 1st, To indicate the poetic ideas, which form the groundwork of many of those Sonatas; thereby facilitating the comprehension of the music, and determining the style of its performance; 2ndly, To adapt all his previously published pianoforte compositions to the extended scale of the pianoforte of six and a half octaves; and, 3dly, To define the nature of musical declamation.

On this last topic, Beethoven went beyond the generally received idea. He maintained that poetical and musical declamation were subject to the same rules. "Though the poet," he used to say, "carries on his monologue, or dialogue, in a progressively marked rhythm, yet the declaimer, for the more accurate elucidation of the sense, must make cæsuras and pauses in places where the poet could not venture on any interpunctuation. To this extent, then, is this style of declaiming applicable to music, and it is only to be modified according to the number of persons co-operating in the performance of a musical composition.

Of this principle Beethoven intended to make a practical application in the new edition of his works, according as the subjects might require, and space permit, such illustration; and it may be confidently assumed that Beethoven's musical compositions would thereby have formed a new era.

Touching the poetic idea, it is well known that Beethoven did not, in his musical writings, confine himself to the rules established by preceding composers, and that he, indeed, frequently disregarded those rules when the existing idea on which he worked demanded another sort of treatment, or rather an entirely new mode of development. This style of composition adopted by Beethoven has frequently called forth the remark, that his Sonatas are mere operas in disguise.

Ries, in his "Notices," p. 77, observes that "Beethoven, in composing, frequently imagined for himself a definite subject," which is merely saying, that Beethoven imbued his mind with poetic ideas, and under the influence of their inspiration his musical compositions were created.

That the great master did not execute the important task he undertook in 1816 was, it must be acknowledged, an irreparable loss to the musical art, and in particular to his own music. How much would the Pastoral Symphony suffer, or even the Eroica, if heard without any comprehension of the ideas which the composer adopted as his themes! How gratifying both to performer and hearer is the light cast on the design of the composition, by the mere hint of the sentiments Beethoven has, in his Sonata Op. 81, thus expressed:—"Les adieux," "L'absence," and "Le retour."[110]

The circumstances which caused Beethoven to relinquish his design of publishing the new edition of his Sonatas were—1st, the uneasy state of mind into which he was thrown by the lawsuit commenced between him and his sister-in-law; and, 2ndly, the impossibility of coming to a satisfactory arrangement with Hofmeister, the music-dealer in Leipzig, who was to publish the work. From Beethoven's correspondence with A. Diabelli, who was his confidential adviser on this subject, I perceive that the composer wished the publication to be brought out in parts, each part to contain two of the old Sonatas, and one recently composed. For each of these new productions, taken one with another, Beethoven required the remuneration of forty ducats. Hofmeister, on the other hand, proposed to pay the composer at the rate of one ducat per sheet.

I once asked Beethoven why he had not affixed to the different movements of his Sonatas an explanation of the poetic ideas they expressed, so that these ideas might at once present themselves to the mind of the intelligent hearer? His answer was, that the age in which he composed his Sonatas was more poetic than the present[111] (1823), and that at the former period such explanations would have been superfluous. "At that time" (continued he) "every one perceived that the Largo, in the third Sonata in D, Op. 10,

musical notation

painted the feelings of a grief-stricken mind, with the varying tints in the light and shade, in the picture of melancholy in all its phases; there was then no need of a key to explain the meaning of the music. So in the two Sonatas, Op. 14, every one, at the time when they were composed, immediately recognised the conflict of two principles, or a dialogue between two persons, exactly as is intended in the treatment of the subject, &c." On another occasion, I requested him to furnish me with the keys to two Sonatas, that in F minor, Op. 57, and that in D minor, Op. 29. His answer was, "Read Shakspeare's Tempest."

In 1823, Beethoven was more earnestly disposed than he had previously been to superintend an edition of his entire works, including the Symphonies. He received proposals from publishers in all parts of the continent, accompanied by advantageous conditions. That he did not then come to an arrangement, which would have enabled him to enter upon this undertaking, was the fault of his brother Johann, to whom none of the proposed terms appeared sufficiently liberal. He suggested to Beethoven the idea of bringing out the publication on his own account, showing, by calculations on paper, the vast profits which would accrue from the speculation. M. Andreas Streicher cordially seconded the recommendation of this mode of publishing; but he differed somewhat from Beethoven's brother in his estimate of the profits. The documents of a lawsuit some centuries ago would not have composed a more bulky volume than did the manuscripts, occupied with the calculations made, the consultations held, and the determinations formed, during the agitation of this publishing scheme. But the parties engaged in these discussions and decisions forgot that they had to deal with the irresolute Beethoven—who, whenever business was the question, would be for one thing to-day and another to-morrow; and against whose expressed wish it was often necessary to do many things for his advantage. The mere prospect of great sums of money (though seen only on paper) captivated Beethoven, and he began to indulge in dreams of bettered circumstances, of living in elegant style, and keeping his carriage and horses. He was so elated by these pleasing illusions that he began to fancy himself already rich; an idea not calculated to dispose his mind to the gigantic labour then in contemplation.[112] Never were the visits of him whom he called his "pseudo-brother" so welcome as at this time. Beethoven often accompanied his brother in a carriage airing; and, on one occasion, an effort of patience enabled him to go with his brother's family on a drive to the Prater. Assuredly no event could seem too improbable for belief, after two such heterogeneous elements as the "Gutsbesitzer" (landowner) and the "Hirnbesitzer" (brainowner) had been seen riding together in the same carriage.[113]

In these visionary hopes of fortune so readily indulged by the great Beethoven, it is easy to recognise the youth whose character is summarily sketched in the Second Period. To be rich, or at least in easy circumstances—to ride in his carriage—to be no longer obliged to stroll through fields and meadows to collect ideas and compose for the sake of earning a livelihood,—such was the flattering picture he loved to draw, and the contemplation of which often made him descend from his lofty heaven of art to cling eagerly to more earthly objects; and then sublime poetry was suddenly metamorphosed into common prose. But, thanks to the blundering management of his advisers, Beethoven remained poor! Made rich, by any means whatsoever, he would probably have been little disposed to make great sacrifices for art in the vigour of life; at all events, he would not have applied himself very laboriously to study, had he been in the enjoyment of any considerable share of the good things of this world.

As, however, it is not always our own wisdom that prompts to great objects, and brings, as it were, light out of darkness, so the stupid perversity which dictated the arrangements for the projected new edition of Beethoven's works probably conferred a benefit on musical art. To speak more plainly, in the discussions on this publishing plan, the great master did not limit his attention to the mere business part of the question, the details of which, though on every occasion fresh painted in glowing colours, often disgusted him. Then would he look upon the getting-up of the work—the dull material—as mere dust in the balance; whilst to exercise his musical art—to him the spiritual part of the enterprise—wholly occupied his imagination. When this feeling happened to prevail, he would describe to all who chanced to be near him the improvements he proposed to make in reference to the subject, conception, and execution in many of his early works. Some of these improvements owe their birth to a jocose observation made by Dr. Bach at one of the conferences held on the subject of the publication. Beethoven declared that many of his works did not admit of the slightest alteration, and that, consequently, in reference to them he could not establish any right of property in a second edition. Dr. Bach replied, "That the right would be sufficiently established by making the composition commence with the accented instead of the unaccented part of a bar, and vice versâ; and further, by changing white notes into black and black into white." This remark, intended purely in jest, inspired Beethoven with a thousand new ideas, and gave an impulse to his fancy, the results of which soon after supplied the master-keys of many of his greatest works.[114]

Beethoven, who knew my antipathy to accounts, did not trouble me with any of those pecuniary calculations, which indeed were to himself not much more intelligible than hieroglyphics. He consulted me only on the artistical part of the all-important question—was he to grow rich, or remain poor? I often thought that he might have read in my soul the answer which told him what was best for his own interest, and that of the world of art. For my part, I never had a doubt as to the course which was most advisable for him to adopt; but I did not wish to awaken him too early from a dream which I well knew would speedily be succeeded by others. I however turned to useful account the conversations I had with Beethoven on this topic, for I carefully noted down all the remarks he made on his works, in reference to subject, conception, and performance. These remarks came to me the more opportunely as I was then employed in the orchestra of the Josephstadt Theatre to lead several of his Symphonies, each of which he previously went over with me at home, strongly impressing on my attention whatever had reference to those three essential points; thus initiating me into the soul and spirit of his orchestral compositions, as he had already introduced me to a just comprehension of nearly the whole of his pianoforte Sonatas. These are instances of good fortune which few have had the happiness to enjoy.

The new perceptions thus acquired were to me an intellectual property, which I have ever since regarded as the dearest and most inestimable legacy of my immortal friend and instructor. They have imparted, not only to myself, but to others, whom, for their kindred feeling for Beethoven's music, I thought worthy of a participation in my good fortune—a thousand pleasurable sensations and exalted enjoyments which nothing else in the whole domain of music could have power to create; for it has already been remarked that Beethoven's collected chamber-music, and especially the greater part of his pianoforte Sonatas, comprise a fund of musical poetry more deep and inexhaustible than can be found even in his other works. That Nature is chary in her gifts of that organization which possesses the susceptibility necessary for appreciating such elevated compositions, is not the fault of Beethoven. That fact serves only to confirm the truth of the maxim, that in art the great is not for all, and all are not for the great.[115]

In the year 1831, when I wrote the musical notices then inserted in the supplement to the Wiener Theater Zeitung, I alluded in No. 2 of those notices to Beethoven's Symphony in A major. In that article I casually mentioned that Beethoven intended to give the keys to many of his instrumental compositions, in the manner of the Pastoral Symphony. The impression produced by this article was precisely such as was to be expected: it excited a mere transitory sensation, and was soon forgotten, like everything which departs from the boundaries of common routine, and approaches the region of ideality. Several years have elapsed since that time: I am so much the older, and so much the less vain, and I am now the better enabled to see how frequently well-meant observations, nay positive truths, are disregarded, even when they come from high authority. Of course the actual authority in this instance was Beethoven alone. It has already been shown in the narrative of his life, how he was prevented from executing this as well as many other important undertakings which he had planned. If I now venture to publish some of the remarks which I noted down from his own mouth, in reference to the subject, conception, and performance of his works; or try to describe some of the vivid impressions which his instructions have left on my mind; I do so in the just expectation that the value of these communications will be first tried and afterwards judged. I do not apprehend that I can in any degree be accused of arrogant pretension in taking upon myself the performance of this task, because it is known to many persons, that, in my intimate relations with Beethoven, during the most important interval of his life, I must necessarily have become possessed of many important facts: it will also be recollected that, though thirteen years have elapsed since his death, I have not been prompted by any feeling of ostentation to communicate those facts to the public. To speak candidly, I should not even now think of parting with any portion of my friend's intellectual legacy, were it not from the firm conviction that the present is the right moment for so doing; for the sensual music of the day, and the overstretched mechanical dexterity of modern pianoforte playing, bid fair to thrust the intellectual compositions of Beethoven into the shade, if not to consign them entirely to oblivion.[116] Moreover, it must be borne in mind that Beethoven's instrumental music has undergone a metamorphosis, occasioned in some measure by the composer himself; but chiefly by the spirit of the age, which is daringly opposed to every thing great and elevated, and even hesitates not to profane that which is most sacred.

With respect to Beethoven's share in the metamorphosis of his instrumental music, and particularly of his Symphonies, it is necessary first to acquaint the reader that this metamorphosis relates wholly and solely to metronomising, or the regulation of time by means of the metronome.

Those who have read Matheson's "Vollkommener Kapell-meister" are aware that that great writer on music laid down, a century ago, the following principle[117]—"That the tempo of a great musical composition depends on the manner in which it is set for orchestra and chorus; for the greater the number of singers and players, the slower should be the tempo, on the simple principle that masses always move slowly." If intelligibility be the most essential condition in the performance of a musical composition, it is self-evident that the direction for the tempo can only be conditional; and that, consequently, an Allegro vivace, with an orchestra of one hundred and twenty performers, must become very considerably modified from the same Allegro vivace originally metronomised by the composer for an orchestra of sixty. That which, in the latter case, is, as it were, a condition of the intended effect, ceases to be such in the former case, because the object may already be obtained, à priori, through the two-fold power being communicated. The fuller orchestra should therefore take a less rapid time than that specified for the more limited number of performers.

Unluckily this important principle in the conducting of an orchestra is but too seldom recognised, even by those who are regarded as authorities in orchestral direction. I have had frequent occasion to remark this neglect, occasioned by ignorance in the performance of Beethoven's works; and in those cases the effect was, of course, a true offspring of the cause, and exhibited a total misconception of the real spirit of the compositions. To perform Beethoven's music, without regard to meaning and clearness, is hunting to death the ideas of the immortal composer. This mode of performance naturally arises out of the manifest ignorance of the sublime spirit of those works. It is at the same time the cause of their profanation, and consequently of their having too soon fallen into disuse; for the dignity and deep expression of many of the movements are sacrificed when a moderate rhythm is converted into the rhythm of dancing-time, especially if to this accelerated time be added the clang of a superabundant number of instruments. Hence may be traced the principal cause of that metamorphosis which suffices to convert a composition of lofty poetic feeling into a common prosaic piece[118]—a transformation which the performers may literally be said to work out by the sweat of the brow. Such a perverted mode of execution must render it impossible for the most attentive listener to feel the sublimity of the composer's idea.[119]

Beethoven lived to see this transformation of his works. On one occasion, when he was present at a performance of his Symphony in A major, by the orchestra of the great music meeting in Vienna, he was very much displeased at the too rapid time taken in the second movement, the Allegretto. However, upon reflection, he acknowledged that the conductor had duly observed the metronomic sign affixed to the movement, but that he had not attended to Matheson's doctrine. In one of the musical articles which I wrote for the Wiener Theater Zeitung, in alluding to the Symphony in A major, I related the above fact in the following words:—"At a performance of this Symphony, in the latter years of Beethoven, the composer remarked, with displeasure, that the allegretto movement was given much too fast, by which its character was entirely destroyed. He thought to obviate for the future all misconception of the tempo, by marking the movement by the words Andante, quasi Allegretto, with the metronomic sign quarter note = 80.; and I find a memorandum to this effect in his note-book, which is in my possession. Beethoven complained generally of the misunderstanding of the tempi at the concerts of the great Vienna Musical Society, and especially that the task of principal conductorship on those occasions was always consigned to the hands of dilettanti, who were unused to direct and govern large masses of performers. These causes of dissatisfaction led Beethoven one day to make the important declaration, that he had not composed his Symphonies for such vast orchestras as that usually assembled for the Vienna Musical Society;[120] and that it never was his intention to write noisy music. He added, that his instrumental works required an orchestra of about sixty performers only; for he was convinced that it was by such an orchestra alone that the rapidly-changing shades of expression could be adequately given, and the character and poetic subject of each movement duly preserved.[121] That this declaration was dictated by sincere conviction will be readily admitted when I acquaint the reader that Beethoven was anxious to have his works performed in their true spirit, at the Concerts Spirituels, the orchestra of which contained something like the number of performers he had specified; and that he did not interest himself about their performance at the great music meeting. If double the amount of sixty performers displeased Beethoven, what would he have said of three or four times that number, no unusual orchestral occurrence at our music-festivals? What would he have said had he heard his Symphonies and Overtures performed by an orchestra increased by repieni, the only one admissible at Oratorios, and in which, noise is paramount? Even M. Ries has had the Symphonies performed by such an orchestra, at the Lower Rhine music-festival; to this I was myself on one occasion a witness. Had Beethoven been present, he would doubtless have exclaimed, "My dear pupil, how little do you understand me!" A few movements only of Beethoven's Symphonies (for example, the last of that in A major, and the last of the ninth Symphony) are suited to an orchestra in which the number of performers amounts to three or four times sixty.

His own observations, coupled with accounts received from various places, describing the ineffective performance of the Symphonies in consequence of mistaken ideas of their tempi, induced Beethoven, in the winter of 1825-26, to investigate the cause of the errors. This he did in my presence, and he ascertained that the metronomic signs in the printed scores were faulty, in fixing the tempi too quick; and, indeed, he declared that many of those metronomic signs were not authorised by him. I may here mention that the Symphonies, from No. 1 to No. 6 inclusive, were published before the invention of Maelzel's metronome; and it is only to the 7th and 9th Symphonies that the metronomic signs can, with positive certainty, be said to have been given by Beethoven. Whether or not he metronomed the 8th Symphony (the score of which was only lately published) I cannot positively determine. I do not recollect having heard him speak of metronoming that Symphony, though a great deal of conversation passed between us on the subject of the composition itself.

The same may be said in reference to his Sonatas. Only to those published since Maelzel's invention have the metronomic signs been affixed by Beethoven's own hand. These do not exceed four in number; viz., Op. 106, 109, 110, and 111. Those who have added metronomic indices to the other Sonatas, in the various editions that have been published, prove, by the result of their labour, that they were as little acquainted with the spirit of Beethoven's music as are the inhabitants of this world with the transactions going on in the moon or in Saturn. That piano-forte virtuosi, even of the highest rank, should have presumed to act the part of interpreters and law-givers in Beethoven's music[122] is a matter of regret:[123] and all true admirers of the great master, who may wish to form a just notion of his Sonatas, either as to conception or execution, should be earnestly warned not to listen to their performance by any virtuoso who has laboured all his life on difficult passages, having only in view to improve the mechanical power of the fingers; unless, indeed, it be merely bravura movements; of which, thank Heaven, there are but few among these compositions. Beethoven truly remarked, "that a certain class of piano-forte performers seemed to lose intelligence and feeling in proportion as they gained dexterity of fingering." What can such bravura players make of the melodies of Beethoven, so simple yet so profoundly imbued with sentiment? Precisely what Liszt[124] makes of Schubert's songs—what Paganini made of the Cantilena in Rode's concerto—and what Rubini makes of Beethoven's "Adelaide." All these, it must be acknowledged, are tasteless perversions of beautiful originals—violations of truth and right feeling in all those points in which such offences can be most sensibly felt.

To point out only one example of the injury inflicted on Beethoven's music by professional metronoming, I may mention the metronomic signs of the two Sonatas (Op. 27) in the recently published Vienna and London editions; the very sight of them occasions surprise: but to hear these Sonatas played according to the metronomic signs affixed to them, leads one to wish that all piano-forte metronomers were put under the ban.[125] But even this is not the only cause of complaint against these perverters of all truth in expression. Are they not the very men who by their frivolities, romantic and unromantic, have latterly given to the taste for truly good and classic composition that unhealthful direction which threatens soon to bring all genuine music under the dominion of the superficial—if, indeed, it has not already submitted to that authority? Is not their handiwork (art, it cannot be called) directed solely to the object of pleasing the multitude, and on that account must they not descend to the level of vulgar taste? Since Hummel's death there perhaps exists not, in Germany especially, any professor of the piano-forte, F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy excepted, who, fired by enthusiasm, keeps in view the honourable object of elevating his hearers to the standard of his own high feeling—a duty which Art demands from all her devotees, whether professors or dilettanti.

The Sonata in c sharp minor, Op. 27, (called the Moonlight Sonata), is metronomed as follows in the edition lately published by T. Haslinger, of Vienna:—

I. Adagio, half note = 60.
II. Allegretto, half note = 84.
III. Presto agitato, half note = 92.

In the London edition of Beethoven's piano-forte works, edited by J. Moscheles, the same Sonata has affixed to it the following metronomic directions:—

I. Adagio, quarter note = 60.
II. Allegretto, half note = 76.
III. Presto agitato, half note = 92.

In the Vienna edition of the Sonata in E flat major, the metronomic directions are as follow:—

I. Andante, quarter note = 72.
II. Allegro, 6/8 quarter note· = 116.
III. Allegro molto vivace, 3/4 half note· = 138.
IV. Adagio, sixteenth note = 69.
V. Finale, allegro vivace, quarter note = 160.

In the London edition the different movements of the same Sonata are thus marked:—

I. Andante, quarter note = 69.
II. Allegro, 6/8 quarter note· = 104.
III. Allegro molto vivace, 3/4 half note· = 126.
IV. Adagio, quarter note = 76.
V. Finale, allegro vivace, quarter note = 132.

What a Babel of confusion as to the right feeling, and what confusion also in regard to the conception of Beethoven's sacred legacy to posterity is thus exhibited![126] and similar inconsistencies are apparent throughout all his works in these new editions.[127] Who does not with deep regret feel that such gross neglect amounts almost to profanation of the works of the great master? Are, then, these divine compositions to be converted into show pieces for the performance of professional piano-forte players? Nevertheless, I am bound to admit that some of the tempi, as marked in the new London edition, approximate more nearly to the composer's original intention.

The fashion of the day tends to preclude any one from attempting to play one of Beethoven's Sonatas who has not for a year together practised the hand and finger-spraining exercises of modern performers. What is now-a-days thought of a simple Allegro, as written by Mozart or Beethoven? It is converted into a Presto; and so other movements are accelerated in gradation. And, truly, this is the method whereby the works of these great masters, already become antiquated, are accommodated to modern taste!

It is not yet very long since an assiduous practice of the Studies of Aloys Schmidt and of John Cramer used to smooth the way of the intelligent pianist to the most difficult works of Beethoven; and if greater mechanical dexterity of fingering was required to make the path more secure, the Studies of Hummel, Moscheles, or Kalkbrenner were found sufficient. But what would the practice of these exercises now avail?[128] They would not enable the student to play the first three Sonatas of Beethoven according to the newest fashion. What, then, it may be asked, becomes of feeling and expression which ought to have room to develop themselves, so that in certain passages the tone may seem, as it were, to sing and reverberate? Where now is feeling—where expression, and, indeed, where opportunity for the manifestation of any sensibility? Let Beethoven's piano-forte works be played according to the new metronomic directions, and it will soon be perceived that no more opportunity is left for feeling and expression than the most rapid fingering affords; and that this rule extends even to the execution of the Adagio.

In this state of things the best advice that can be given to the piano-forte practitioner is—Shun all metronomic directions, be they given by whom they may[129]—turn from them as you would from the misleading lights of ignes-fatui—set to work with the right spirit and the preliminary knowledge for the task, and apply to all the works of Beethoven the composer's words—"No metronome, &c."[130] Thus you will with certainty attain the wished-for object, and be spared the mortification of renouncing your own feelings to substitute those of another in their stead.

Moreover, while examining the metronomic signs affixed to his works by their different editors, Beethoven discovered that the metronomes themselves vary one from another; an inconvenience which has been greatly increased since Beethoven's time, by numerous counterfeits. He perceived, for example, that the fourth movement of the Symphony in C minor was deprived of all dignity when performed in the accelerated time indicated thus half note = 84.; and that, in the fourth movement of the Symphony in B flat major, the metronomic sign was a decided contradiction to the Italian words "Allegro ma non tanto;" whilst the movement, if performed in accordance with the metronomic direction, would be a mere mass of confusion, such rapid time being incompatible with a sufficiently clear and distinct execution of the semiquaver passages by the bow instruments. He now saw the necessity of directing his attention to a more careful adaptation of the metronomic signs, so as to give a slower time to most of the allegro movements. But excessive occupation, added to the different strokes of adverse fortune which have been detailed in the biographical portion of the present work, prevented him from entering upon this important task. Besides, he called the metronoming a mere "business" matter, and this view of the labour tended to increase his distaste for it. The publishers of his latter works must be aware how dilatory he was in determining the metronomic signs which were frequently obtained from him only after repeated correspondence. An example of this is proved by his letters of the 16th and 30th of April, 1819, addressed to M. Ries in London.[131] Moreover, when it happened that Beethoven metronomed the same work twice over, he marked the tempi differently each time. A striking example of this occurred with respect to the ninth Symphony, which he first metronomised for the publisher, and then several months afterwards for the Philharmonic Society of London.[132] In the latter instance he made the signs for every movement differ from those which he had adopted in the former case; making the tempi sometimes quicker and sometimes slower; and when I accidentally found the copy of the first metronomising which he had marked for the Messrs. Schott, he answered impatiently, "Better no metronome![133] He who has correct feeling has no need of it; and to him who does not possess that feeling it is equally useless, for he runs astray, and the whole orchestra with him." This truth is confirmed by frequent experience. If it were recognised by every orchestral director, together with old Matheson's maxim, the works of Beethoven and other great masters would never be brought down from their lofty elevation, and we should secure their purity and imperishability, which is the common duty of us all.[134]

I was much gratified to observe M. Habeneck's judicious regulations of time in the performance, under his direction, of Beethoven's works at the Conservatory in Paris. An impression of the very contrary was conceived by Beethoven himself; for, during his lifetime it used to be said, that in Parisian orchestras the over-rapid performance of his quick movements made them resemble quadrilles and gallopades. It is however possible, that in France, as in Germany, this error may be traced to the incorrect metronomising which was held to be unquestionable authority, until M. Habeneck discovered the root of the evil, and proved that the Rossinian "effetto! effetto!" was no longer to be held identical with the dignity and grandeur of Beethoven's poetic music.

Let us hope that among the musicians of France there will speedily arise some few who, unfettered by the bonds of fashion, and devoid of egotism, will turn with a pure and deeply poetic spirit to the piano-forte works of Beethoven, and draw freely from the ever-living waters of that sacred well which the Muses have consecrated. Much has already been done in France by Franz Liszt, who so thoroughly comprehends the spirit of Beethoven. But the efforts of one individual are insufficient for the wide diffusion of important principles. The advantage which may be derived from Beethoven's piano-forte compositions is yet almost wholly unknown to French pianists, as I have had frequent opportunities to observe, and nothing has so greatly contributed to create this unfortunate ignorance as the absurdly refined mechanism of piano-forte playing, which, years ago, Beethoven justly feared would banish all truth of feeling from music. In a letter which he addressed to Ries, dated July 26th, 1823, he alludes to certain "Allegri di Bravura, which demand too much mechanism of fingering, and therefore he does not admire them." Indeed, the only piano-forte compositions of Beethoven which have hitherto obtained attention from the French, and I may add, from most of the German pianists, are such as afford scope for the display of mechanical dexterity. Compositions of this class being precisely those which are characterised by an exuberant freedom of fancy, are inferior in poetic spirit to his other piano-forte works. These latter are, however, far more difficult to comprehend and to perform than those which merely demand a greater degree of digital dexterity. That cheval de bataille for fleet-fingered pianists, the Sonata, Op. 57, is, of all Beethoven's Sonatas, (without accompaniments) after Op. 30, the only one on which they take their full revenge; and I affirm, with a thorough conviction of being correct, that, out of a hundred pianists whose talent is swayed by the dominion of fashion, it would be difficult to find two who know anything of these Sonatas, with the exception of Op. 57. Of the Sonatas, from Op. 2 to Op. 30 inclusive, there are but few that have the honour of being known to the legion of fashionable piano-forte players. The gods whom this legion worship have no place among the Immortals; and if we estimate their productions by the standard of art, they must be ranked on a level with those musical idols of the day whose chief merit is that they set the feet of the multitude in motion.

The limited knowledge of Beethoven's Sonatas in Germany may be attributed to the circumstance of our teachers placing those works at too early a period before their pupils. They forget that, for a due comprehension of the highest style of art, a sum of knowledge and experience, a certain degree of mental maturity, are required, without which all endeavours to force a taste for the most elevated objects will be vain, or possibly productive of disgust. The study of Beethoven's music should be earnestly entered upon, after the mind has been cultivated by a course of education at once philosophic and elegant: without such a preparation, the study will infallibly be harassing and disagreeable, even to those who possess more than common susceptibility for musical poetry. Music is the offspring of deep feeling, and by deep feeling alone can its genuine beauties be comprehended and enjoyed.

Now, with regard to the Sonatas, I have further to observe that the hints which I received from Beethoven on the subject of their composition, and the proper style of their performance, had direct reference to only a few of those compositions. Still, no doubt, many persons will be gratified by what I have to communicate. To the intelligent lover of music these hints will afford matter for reflection, whereby he may not only more thoroughly comprehend the works in question, but also, by the help of the key thus obtained, open for himself a path to the knowledge of other compositions of the like kind, imbued with the like soul and spirit.

Among the most rich in materials, and, unfortunately, among the least known, are the two Sonatas comprised in Op. 14. The first is in E major, and the second in G major. Both these Sonatas have for their subject a dialogue between a husband and wife, or a lover and his mistress. In the second Sonata, this dialogue, with its signification, is very forcibly expressed, the opposition of the two principal parts being more sensibly marked than in the first Sonata. By these two parts Beethoven intended to represent two principles, which he designated the entreating and the resisting. Even in the first bars the contrary motion marks the opposition of these principles.

musical notation

By a softly gliding transition from earnest gravity to tenderness and feeling, the eighth bar introduces the entreating principle alone.

musical notation

This suing and flattering strain continues until the middle part is taken up in D major, when both principles are again brought into conflict, but not with the same degree of earnestness as at the commencement. The resisting principle is now relaxing, and allows the other to finish without interruption the phrase that has been begun.

In the following phrase—

musical notation

both approximate, and the mutual understanding is rendered distinctly perceptible by the succeeding cadence on the dominant.

In the second section of the same movement the opposition is again resumed in the minor of the tonic, and the resisting principle is energetically expressed in the phrase in A flat major. To this succeeds a pause on the chord of the dominant, and then in E flat the conflict is again resumed till the tranquil phrase

musical notation

comes in as it were like a preparation for mutual concord, for both repeat several times the same idea, resembling an interrogation, beginning slowly, and with lingering pauses, then over and over again in rapid succession. The introduction in the tonic of the principal motivo renews the conflict, and the feelings alternate as in the first part; but, at the conclusion of the movement, the expected conciliation is still in suspenso. It is not completely brought about until the end of the Sonata, when it is clearly indicated, and as it were expressed, on the final close of the piece, by a distinctly articulated "Yes!" from the resisting principle.

musical notation

Then was not Beethoven justified in saying, that the poetic idea which had stimulated his imagination in the composition of this work was quite obvious? In fact, is not the explanation of every individual phrase perfectly natural? Of this let any one convince himself, by comparing the above indication of the design with the Sonata itself.

But the reality and certainty of the composer's intention is fully obtained only on the performance of the piece, the difficulty of which, be it observed, is much greater than it is generally believed to be. For example, words directing the quickening or retarding of the time, such as accelerando, ritardando, &c., do not, in their ordinary acceptation, convey an adequate idea of the wonderfully delicate shading which characterized Beethoven's performance; and on this account he would have experienced great impediments had he proceeded with his intended revisal of many other works in the like style. This obstacle he clearly foresaw.

M. Ries, alluding to the Sonate Pathétique, p. 106 of his Notizen, makes the following remarks on the performance of Beethoven:—"In general, he played his own compositions in a very capricious manner; he nevertheless kept strictly accurate time, occasionally, but very seldom, accelerating the tempi. On the other hand, in the performance of a crescendo passage, he would make the time ritardando, which produced a beautiful and highly striking effect. Sometimes in the performance of particular passages, whether with the right hand or the left, he would infuse into them an exquisite, but altogether inimitable expression. He seldom introduced notes or ornaments not set down in the composition." Yes, it may truly be said that the expression was inimitable! What the Sonate Pathétique became under the hands of Beethoven—though he left much to be desired on the score of pure execution—can only be conceived by those who have had the good fortune to hear it played by him. Yet it required to be heard over and over again before one could be convinced that it was a work, by name at least, already well known. In short, all music performed by his hands appeared to undergo a new creation. These wonderful effects were in a great degree produced by his uniform legato style, which was one of the most remarkable peculiarities of his playing.[135]

All the pieces which I have heard Beethoven himself play were, with few exceptions, given without any constraint as to the rate of the time. He adopted a tempo-rubato in the proper sense of the term, according as subject and situation might demand, without the slightest approach to caricature. Beethoven's playing was the most distinct and intelligible declamation, such, perhaps, as in the same high degree can only be studied in his works. His old friends, who attentively watched the development of his genius in every direction, declare that he adopted this mode of playing in the first years of the third period of his life, and that it was quite a departure from his earlier method, which was less marked by shading and colouring; thence it appears that his perceptive sagacity had then discovered a sure method of throwing open, to the unlearned as well as the initiated, a door to the mysterious workings of his imagination. In the performance of his quartett music he wished the same rules to be observed as in playing his Sonatas; for the Quartetts paint passions and feelings no less than the Sonatas. Among the latter, however, there are several in which a strict observance of time is indispensable; scarcely permitting, much less demanding, any deviation from regularity. Those compositions require to be played in what is termed the bravura style; they are Op. 106, 111, 57, and some others.

I will now, as far as verbal description may permit, endeavour to convey an idea of the manner in which Beethoven himself used to play the two Sonatas contained in Op. 14. His wonderful performance of these compositions was a sort of musical declamation, in which the two principles were as distinctly separated as the two parts of a dialogue when recited by the flexible voice of a good speaker.

He commenced the opening Allegro with vigour and spirit, relaxing these qualities at the sixth bar, and in the following passage:—

musical notation

Here a slight ritardando made preparation for gently introducing the entreating principle. The performance of the phrase—

musical notation

was exquisitely shaded, and to the following bars:—

musical notation

Beethoven's manner of holding down particular notes, combined with a kind of soft gliding touch, imparted such a vivid colouring, that the hearer could fancy he actually beheld the lover in his living form, and heard him apostrophising his obdurate mistress. In the following groups of semiquavers—

musical notation

he strongly accented the fourth note of each group, and gave a joyous expression to the whole passage, and at the succeeding chromatic run he resumed the original time, and continued it till he arrived at this phrase,—

musical notation

which he gave in tempo andantino, beautifully accenting the bass, and the third notes of the upper part of the harmony, as I have marked them in the two last bars of the subjoined example, thereby rendering distinct to the ear the separation of the two principles. On arriving at the ninth bar,—

musical notation

he made the bass stand out prominently, and closed the succeeding cadence on the dominant in the original time, which he maintained without deviation to the end of the first part.

In the second part Beethoven introduced the phrase in A flat major, by a ritardando of the two preceding bars. He attacked this phrase vigorously, thus diffusing a glow of colour over the picture. He gave a charming expression to the following phrase in the treble by strongly accenting and holding down longer than the prescribed time the first note in each bar,—

musical notation

musical notation

whilst the bass was played with gradually increasing softness, and with a sort of creeping motion of the hand.

The passage next in succession was touched off brilliantly; and in its closing bars the decrescendo was accompanied by a ritardando. The following phrase was begun in tempo andante:—

musical notation

At the fifth bar there was a slight accellerando, and an increase of tone. At the sixth bar the original time was resumed. Throughout the remainder of the first movement Beethoven observed the same time as that which he had taken in the opening bars.

Various as were the tempi which Beethoven introduced in this movement, yet they were all beautifully prepared, and if I may so express myself, the colours were delicately blended one with another. There were none of those abrupt changes which the composer frequently admitted in some of his other works, with the view of giving a loftier flight to the declamation. Those who truly enter into the spirit of this fine movement will find it advisable not to repeat the first part: by this allowable abridgment the gratification of the hearer will be unquestionably increased, whilst it may possibly be diminished by the frequent repetition of the same phrases.

It would lead me too far to describe circumstantially the principal points in all the three movements of this Sonata; and so with others. The shades of expression are so various and important that I can only lament the impossibility of conveying any adequate idea of them by words. Perhaps it is only by the publication of a new edition of these and other compositions, that the manner in which Beethoven did or would have executed them can be rendered perfectly obvious to the performer, as well as their right comprehension facilitated to those lovers of the art whose cultivated perception may enable them to recognise poetic ideas clothed in a musical garb.

With regard to the second Sonata in E major (Op. 14), the subject of which is similar to that of the second, I shall confine myself to the description of Beethoven's manner of performing a very few passages. In the eighth bar of the first allegro movement—

musical notation

as well as in the ninth bar, he retarded the time, touching the keys more forte and holding down the fifth note, as marked above. By these means he imparted to the passage an indescribable earnestness and dignity of character.

In the tenth bar—

musical notation

the original time was resumed, the powerful expression being still maintained. The eleventh bar was diminuendo and somewhat lingering. The twelfth and thirteenth bars were played in the same manner as the two foregoing.

On the introduction of the middle movement—

musical notation

the dialogue became sentimental. The prevailing time was andante, but not regularly maintained, for every time that either principle was introduced a little pause was made on the first note, thus:—

musical notation

At the following phrase—

musical notation

a joyous character was expressed. The original tempo was taken, and not again changed till the close of the first part.

The second part, from this passage

musical notation

forward, was characterised by an increased breadth of rhythm, and augmented power of tone, which, however, was further on shaded into an exquisitely delicate pianissimo; so that the apparent meaning of the dialogue became more perceptible without any over-strained effort of imagination.

The second movement Allegretto was, as performed by Beethoven, more like an Allegro furioso; and, until he arrived at the single chord—

musical notation

on which he made a very long pause, he kept up the same tempo.

In the Maggiore, the tempo was taken more moderately, and played by Beethoven in a beautifully expressive style. He added not a single note; but he gave to many an accentuation which would not have suggested itself to any other player. On the subject of accentuation I may state, as a general remark, that Beethoven gave prominent force to all appoggiaturas, particularly the minor second, even in running passages; and in slow movements his transition to the principal note was as delicately managed as it could have been by the voice of a singer.

In the Rondo of the Sonata to which I am here referring, Beethoven maintained the time as marked until he arrived at the bars introducing the first and third pauses. These bars he made ritardando.

The two Sonatas in Op. 14, the first Sonata (F minor) in Op. 2; the first Sonata (C minor), Op. 10; the Sonate pathétique (C minor), Op. 13; the Sonata quasi Fantasia in C sharp minor, Op. 27, and some others, are all pictures of feeling; and in every movement Beethoven varied the time according as the feelings changed.

I will now endeavour to make the reader acquainted with the effect which Beethoven intended should be given to particular phrases or whole movements of his Symphonies. That orchestral music does not admit of such frequent changes of time as chamber music, is, of course, an understood fact. But it is equally well known that in orchestral performances the greatest and most unexpected efforts may be produced by even slight variations of time.

Passing over the first Symphony, I shall proceed to notice the second. In the first movement the prescribed time must not be altered, and it must by no means be taken faster than is understood by the direction allegro. By too fast a tempo the intrinsic dignity of the movement would be utterly lost.

The second movement, Larghetto, requires a frequent change of measure. The first tempo is kept up to the phrase—

musical notation

where the time is gradually quickened, by which the character of the movement acquires a greater degree of warmth and spirit.

The passage immediately following—

musical notation

is like the echo of a very melancholy wail, and is given more slowly than the original time, which is resumed only with the succeeding cadence. The same variation of time should be observed on the repetition of the same phrases in the second part of the movement.

To afford at a glance an idea of the right mode of playing these phrases, and to show that their accurate performance is perfectly practicable by a well-trained orchestra, I subjoin the whole in a connected form, together with the requisite marks for the changes of the tempi:—

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

This Allegretto is continued until the theme is taken up in C minor. The first Larghetto time is then resumed.

I recommend orchestral directors to try on the piano this fragment as far as the A minor passage, and they will be convinced of the deep expression produced by the variations of the tempi as I have marked them. The phrase in C major ff likewise demands a deviation from the original time, and if slightly accelerated will be found to acquire additional power and effect.[136]

The style of performance above described will be found to infuse into this long movement a degree of grace, dignity, and feeling, which is not attainable if the tempo be kept uniform. By the variation the orchestra is kept constantly on the stretch, but the performance will be found easy if it be conducted with steadiness and decision.

I do not recollect anything remarkable with regard to the manner of performing the other movements of this Symphony. The tempi as marked may be adhered to.

I have already observed that Beethoven marked the second movement of the A major Symphony with the direction Andante, quasi Allegretto. But at the part in C major the time may be somewhat quickened, which will be found to produce an extremely pleasing effect, forming likewise a fine contrast to the mysterious character of the introduction. The passage in A minor, which prepares the conclusion, demands, particularly in those parts where the violins answer the wind-instruments, little breaks of the time, which the subject and the declamation render indispensable. The right colouring is thus given to the back-ground of the picture, and the deepest impression produced on the hearer.

Concerning the Symphonia Eroica, Beethoven wished that the first movement should be taken in more moderate time than is indicated by the direction, allegro con brio, which in the course of performance is usually converted into a presto. This detracts from the elevated character of the composition, and transforms it into a concertante display. On the contrary, a perfectly tranquil movement should prevail from beginning to end, even in the loudest parts. The tempo should be somewhat retarded in this phrase:—

musical notation

and this measure should be maintained to the following pianissimo passage,—

musical notation

where a gentle accelerando brings back the original time of the movement. This latter time must be rigidly observed as far as the forte phrase in B major. The same changes of time should be observed in the corresponding phrases of the second part of the movement.

Before I proceed to comment on the second movement, the Marcia funebre, I must bring to the reader's recollection Beethoven's declaration in reference to this movement, given in the Second Period. Whether this declaration be taken as jest or earnest, it contains a great deal of truth. Though Beethoven said he composed the music appropriate to the tragical end of the great Emperor seventeen years prior to the event, yet the extent of his fancy is more powerfully manifested in the manner in which he has portrayed the catastrophe. Does not, for example, the middle movement in C major plainly point to the rising of a star of hope? Further on, does not this same middle movement indicate the firm resolution of the hero to overcome his fate? The succeeding fugue-movement, also, still pictures out a conflict with fate. After this there is perceptibly a decline of energy, which, however, again revives, until in this phrase:

musical notation

resignation is expressed, the hero gradually sinks, and at length, like other mortals, is consigned to the grave.

The Maggiore itself demands a somewhat animated tempo.

In the C minor Symphony, Beethoven intended that only a very few variations should be made in the time; yet these few are in the highest degree important and interesting, and they refer principally to the first movement.

The opening of this movement (that is to say, the first five bars with the two pauses) requires to be played in something like this tempo, quarter note = 126, an andante con moto.[137] Thus the mystical character of the movement is in an infinite degree more clearly manifested than by a rapid expression of this phrase, so full of deep meaning. Beethoven expressed himself in something like vehement animation, when describing to me his idea:—"It is thus that Fate knocks at the door." At the sixth bar, where the first violin is introduced, the allegro con brio, half note = 108, commences; and this time is continued until this passage[138]

musical notation

where, according to Beethoven's idea, Fate again knocks at the door—only more slowly. At the passage for the first violin, in the succeeding bar, the allegro is again taken up.

In the second part of this movement the retardation of the quick time occurs twice: first at the phrase succeeding the pause on the major triad of E flat.[139]

musical notation

And secondly at the repetition of the same phrase (page 43 of the Score).

Respecting any essential changes of time in the other three movements of this Symphony, I received no information from Beethoven.

The above hints on matter and manner in relation to Beethoven's music will, I trust, be found satisfactory. For several reasons it appears to me that further details would here be out of place. I must, however, most earnestly and indignantly protest against every reproach founded on the suspicion that these hints and other observations did not emanate from Beethoven, but have been the offspring of my invention. Beethoven's Quartett, performed by Schuppanzigh and the three other initiated players, plainly shows the effect which the music was capable of producing when executed in obedience to the composer's personal directions. Those who have not had the good fortune to hear that performance, and to have thereby obtained the advantage of observing that by varying the time at suitable points powerful effects are produced, and the most abstruse music rendered an intelligible language to unlearned ears, may possibly doubt the accuracy of what I have stated; but, nevertheless, unjustly.

If Beethoven did not direct the performance of his instrumental music in the manner above described, it was for the important reason that he had not, ex officio, any orchestra under his control, and none would have had patience to be schooled by him. This sort of study could only be practicable with the well-organised orchestra of a chapel or musical Conservatoire. With respect to the orchestra of the Vienna Theatre, the performers engaged in it have always insisted that, with the exception of their duties on the nights of performance, nothing more shall be required of them; and the orchestra of the Concert-Spirituel includes among its coadjutors many dilletanti, who cannot devote the necessary time to rehearsals.

These circumstances serve to explain the complaints made by Beethoven to Hofrath Rochlitz in the year 1822. Those complaints, which unfortunately contained mortifying truths, are thus related by Rochlitz in his work entitled "Für Freunde der Tonkunst," vol. iv. p. 355:—"He (Beethoven), turning the conversation upon himself and his works, said:—'None of my compositions are heard here.'—'None in the summer season?' inquired I, writing the words on the slate.—'Neither in summer nor winter,' exclaimed he.—'What should they hear?—Fidelio?'—'They cannot perform it, and would not listen to it if they could.'—'The Symphonies?'—'They have not time for them.'[140]'The Concertos?'—'Our instrumental players prefer strumming and scraping their own productions.'—'The Solos?'—'They have been long out of fashion here; and now-a-days Fashion rules everything,'" &c.

I once more repeat that Beethoven's music would have founded a new era, had the composer been enabled, in the new edition of his works, to accomplish the much-desired object of classical explanation—or had he possessed the control of an orchestra, which, under his own instruction and superintendence, he might have made a model for the whole musical world. That his ideas of possible improvement would not have been narrowly circumscribed, may be inferred from the proposition laid down by himself—"The boundary does not yet exist of which it can be said to talent co-operating with industry—Thus far shalt thou go and no farther!"

I had just finished this portion of my work when the "Journal des Débats," of the 18th of January last, containing a letter from Vienna, dated the 5th of the same month, reached my hands. This letter relates to a calligraphic collection of Beethoven's works, which the Archduke Rudolph has bequeathed by will to the "Society of the Lovers of Music of the Austrian Empire," whose patron his Imperial Highness had been for many years. It contains some inaccuracies, which might furnish occasion for misconceptions and controversies; it may, therefore, not be amiss to subjoin a simple statement of the fact—in which Beethoven is directly implicated—in order to correct the errors in that letter.

Mr. Tobias Haslinger, while a partner in the house of Steiner and Co., music-publishers (of which he is now sole proprietor), undertook to produce a calligraphic copy of all Beethoven's works. After a number of the works already printed had been so copied, Beethoven received intelligence of the circumstance; and though the expensive undertaking of Mr. Haslinger was represented to him as a mercantile speculation, which, however, according to his statement, it was not intended to be, the composer was perfectly indifferent, since he could not have raised any reasonable objection, let the purpose of the enterprise be what it might. Now, the letter from Vienna in the "Journal des Débats" asserts that Beethoven had previously revised and corrected, and, "in fact, put the finishing hand" to all his works for the benefit of this calligraphic copy: this assertion must be contradicted. At the time that Beethoven heard what Mr. Haslinger was about, he was not on good terms with the above-mentioned house, neither of course with Mr. Haslinger himself; and soon afterwards followed the rupture mentioned in the Third Period, because Beethoven would not subscribe to the scale of prices in Mr. Haslinger's hand-writing. By such inaccurate statements sent forth to the world, not without some object, as I suppose, I am induced to subjoin that list of prices.[141] From the remarks annexed, in Beethoven's own handwriting, it will be seen that, just at this time (1821 and 1822), the above-mentioned publishers were in treaty with Beethoven respecting an edition of his complete works. Another Vienna house was likewise treating with him at the same time for the same purpose. How, then, could Beethoven have put a finishing hand to his works for the benefit of that calligraphic copy, since he himself projected an edition of them, and had so many important points not yet settled in his own mind to decide upon? And though he may have subsequently corrected a few wrong notes (of which there are unluckily too many in his works) for Mr. Haslinger's undertaking, this cannot by any means be called "putting the finishing hand to a work." It were indeed to be wished that Beethoven had done so in this instance, and that his intentions were to be found there. How many and what great works has Beethoven written after the rupture with that house, which have been introduced into the calligraphic copy! Is it to be supposed that he put the finishing hand to these also for the benefit of that undertaking? If so, look, above all, at the Quartett No. 13, and others of the latest Quartetts, and discover if you can the remarks and explanations to them which Beethoven sent to Prince Nicholas von Galitzen, to St. Petersburg (as I have mentioned at pp. 34-36 of the present volume), and which he designed to append in a more explicit form to a second edition, in order to render those works more intelligible; and then those "hieroglyphics," as they are called, will be all at once deciphered for the whole world, and bright sunshine pervade them, as it does his Quartett No. 1.

When Beethoven was informed that Mr. Haslinger was in treaty with the Archduke Rudolph for the sale of the calligraphic works, and that the price demanded for them was said (if I recollect rightly) to be 40,000 florins—the "Journal des Débats" says that they cost the Archduke upwards of 90,000 florins (223,000 francs)—the great master was again indifferent, and merely muttered to himself something about "a poor devil," and that, "such he was and such he should ever remain while others contrived to suck out his marrow and fatten upon it." But I was accustomed to such exclamations, or freaks of fancy: they had nothing alarming, but much that grieved; for when the beloved friend had vented his spleen in this manner, he would take up the pen and again fall to writing what he used punningly to call Noten in Nöthen—notes in emergency.



Beethoven's Religious Principles—His Dislike of giving Lessons—His Frankness, and, at the same time, Dexterity in evading Questions—Vindication of him from the charge of Discourtesy to Brother Artists—Proofs that though a rigid, he was a just Critic—Kind Encouragement afforded by him to Professional Merit—His modest Appreciation of Himself—His Extempore Playing—His Every-day Occupations—Propensity for Dabbling in Water—Pension—Certificates—Beethoven erroneously compared with Jean Paul Richter—Mortifying Trick played by him at the instigation of a Friend—Motivo of a Movement in one of his Quartetts—His Peculiar Habits in Eating and Drinking—Extent of his Knowledge of Languages—Comments on Statements of M. von Seyfried relative to Beethoven's domestic Habits—Spurious MSS. attributed to him—His Person—Portraits of him.

BEETHOVEN was educated in the Catholic religion; and that he was truly religious, the whole tenor of his life sufficiently proves. It was, however, a remarkable peculiarity in his character that he never conversed on religion, or expressed any opinion on the creeds of different Christian sects. If my

Fac-simile of Beethoven's Hand-writing.

Published by Henry Colburn 13 Great Marlborough Street 1841
Fac-simile of Beethoven's Hand-writing. Published by Henry Colburn 13 Great Marlborough Street 1841

observation entitles me to form an opinion on the subject, I should say be inclined to Deism; in so far as that term may be understood to imply natural religion. He had written with his own hand two inscriptions, said to be taken from a temple of Isis. These inscriptions, which were framed, and for many years constantly lay before him on his writing-table, were as follows:—

I. "I am that which is.—I am all that is, all that was, and all that shall be.—No mortal man hath my veil uplifted!"

II. "He is One, self-existent, and to that One all things owe their existence."[142]

I shall carefully watch over the preservation of these pious relics of my friend, who regarded them as an epitome of the loftiest and purest religion. They were to him dearly-prized treasures.

I have already, in the biographical part of this work, alluded to Beethoven's repugnance to giving lessons. I may now add that his distaste for tuition was experienced by the "dames de predilection" who could boast of being his pupils. Even these ladies found themselves sometimes forgotten by him for weeks at a time; and, when at length he presented himself, he was generally received with looks of displeasure, which, however, made but little impression on him. With respect to his mode of conveying instruction, the following particulars may interest the reader.

Those who wished to obtain from Beethoven that valuable information which he was so capable of communicating, could not succeed in that object unless they had the opportunity of being near him at every hour of the day; for nothing could induce him to give himself up to any business at a fixed time. Now and then he would speak readily and entertainingly on the various branches of knowledge with which he was familiar; he would even give direct instruction; but how few had opportunity to profit by these communicative intervals! They frequently occurred at meal-times, and during his walks, or, to speak more properly, runs; and on these occasions he would often suddenly break off the conversation if he found his companion unable to keep pace with him. In his philosophic discussions there were only two topics which Beethoven never touched upon, and which, indeed, he carefully avoided—namely, thorough-bass and religion. Both, he declared, were exhausted subjects, which admitted of no farther discussion.


If candour be the type of nobleness of mind, that virtue was fully possessed by Beethoven. He gave expression to his feelings without any reserve; and the propriety of repressing offensive remarks was a thing that never entered his thoughts. On the other hand, it was no easy matter to get him to pronounce an opinion or judgment on music and musicians; and it was only after an attentive observation of his expressions, sometimes for the space of several days, that anything decided or consistent could be gained from him. With the witty, satirical, and sarcastic remarks which were always ready at his tongue's end, he endeavoured to evade questions to which he did not wish to give direct answers; and he usually succeeded in discouraging inquirers, who got something like a reply, but nothing to the purpose.[143] It was seldom, either at meal-time or during his walks, that he was, to use his own expression, "quite unbuttoned." When he was, he wielded the rod of satire without mercy; and Emperor, King, and Artist, were all alike subject to his critical lash. Beethoven had to pay an annual impost, called a class-tax, amounting to twenty-one florins. These twenty-one florins furnished him yearly with a subject for twenty-one thousand sarcasms, of which, in return, his diversified talent never failed to make a repartition and re-assessment, which produced, as usual, a result in the highest degree humorous.

Beethoven has too frequently been accused of a discourteous bluntness of manner towards his brother artists, which had a discouraging effect on the efforts of young beginners. Even M. Ries, in his Notizen, plainly shows that he thought this charge against Beethoven not without foundation. In allusion to this subject, a friend of Beethoven's has thus expressed himself:—"These people cannot separate the man oppressed by fate from the caprice and irritability which are caused by that fate; they cannot see the noble side of his disposition. Nevertheless, it is a melancholy fact that, to his unhappy state of existence, we are in a great measure indebted for his wonderful musical fancy and susceptibility."

M. Moscheles will remember the amiable reception he experienced when he presented to Beethoven the Sonata in E, which he had dedicated to him. He will likewise recollect the patient attention with which Beethoven corrected his pianoforte arrangement of Fidelio, published by D. Artaria; and how kindly he encouraged his labours, until they were brought to a satisfactory conclusion. He even persuaded Moscheles to introduce an arrangement of one piece from the opera, which Hummel had prepared for Artaria, and which Beethoven had condemned, or, to speak the truth, contemptuously torn up, not knowing at the time that it was the work of Hummel. At the end of every piece he arranged from the opera, Moscheles, probably under the apprehension of being treated with as little ceremony as Hummel, wrote the words, "Fine, with God's help," and Beethoven wrote underneath, "O man, help thyself!"

Beethoven's kindness will, no doubt, be borne in mind by that esteemed composer, M. Anton Halm, when he arranged the grand Fugue for the pianoforte. This Fugue had previously formed the fourth movement of the Quartett in B (No. 13), which Beethoven, at the request of the publisher (Math. Artaria), converted into a distinct work (Op. 133). He then composed a new fourth movement for the Quartett; and it is worthy of remark, that this movement was positively Beethoven's last work. He completed it in November, 1826. Czerny had arranged the Fugue above alluded to, before Halm; but his production met with no more approval than Hummel's movement from Fidelio.[144]

The above facts show that if Beethoven was a rigid, he was likewise a just critic: that he was rigid in exactions upon himself more than upon others, is obvious from the scores of all his works. His critical judgment on musical compositions was frequently accompanied by violent ebullitions of temper. A remarkable instance of this occurred after he had examined Ries's Concerto, entitled "Farewell to London." Beethoven was so singularly displeased with this work, that he addressed a fulminating letter to the Editor of the Leipzig Musikalische Zeitung, wherein he enjoins Ries no longer to call himself his pupil. Kanne and Schuppanzigh, whom I acquainted with this affair, joined me in persuading the enraged master to refrain from any further demonstration of displeasure. But, in the mean time Ries had received his reprimand, and that for several years afterwards he smarted under the heavy rebuke of his old master is, I think, evident from a passage in his Notizen. Why did not Ries insert Beethoven's letter in that publication? It would have been in many respects interesting, and, at the same time, a real example of the great master's peculiarities.[145]

Franz Lachner, T. Horzalka, and Leopoldine Blahetka, all experienced from Beethoven a kind reception, and an acknowledgment of their eminent talents. It was in consequence of the encouragement, and indeed the assistance of Beethoven, in her education, that Mademoiselle Blahetka was destined by her father to the musical profession.

How greatly did Beethoven admire the genius of Franz Schubert! But it was not until he was on his death-bed that he had a complete perception of that talent, which the representations of certain persons had previously caused him to underrate. When I made him acquainted with Schubert's Ossians Gesänge, die Bürgschaft, die junge Nonne, Grenzen der Menschheit, and some other productions of the same composer, he exclaimed, with deep emotion:—"Truly Schubert is animated by a spark of heavenly fire!"

I could quote the names of many other artists, who will cherish, as long as they live, a gratifying remembrance of the kindness shown to them by Beethoven. That our great master was not disposed to treat with undue courtesy artistical presumption, which sometimes, in his latter years, boldly raised its head before him, may naturally be supposed. Exempla sunt odiosa. But on such aberrations Beethoven's high mind looked down with compassion.

I will close this chapter with the following remarks:—

Beethoven possessed too much genuine religious feeling to believe that Nature had created him to be a model for future ages, as many of his worshippers, not unfrequently actuated by interested motives, would fain have persuaded him. A stranger to the business of this world, and living, as it were, in another, Beethoven was like a child, to whom every external influence gives a new impulse; and who in like manner does not turn an unwilling ear to flattery, because incapable of estimating the purpose for which the adulation is bestowed. This ignorance of the world—this lofty or puerile feeling, whichever it may be termed, was in Beethoven only transitory, and he soon recovered his manly tone of mind. Beethoven well knew and always respected the motto—Palmam qui meruit ferat! His upright, impartial mind led him to bestow, unsolicited, the most unequivocal approbation on foreign talent; often as he found that approbation lessened, or discovered that it had been altogether cast away upon certain "backsliding men," as he termed them. Beethoven always bore in mind that a Mozart had preceded him, and that another might follow him. He ever cherished high expectations of the future, for he fervently believed in the omnipotence of the Creator, and the inexhaustibility of Nature. Oh! how great was Beethoven as a man! Who ever learned to know him on that side, and was capable of comprehending and judging not only of his mighty genius but also of his noble heart, will not fail to place the moral man, if not above the great composer, at least on the same level with him.

Beethoven was very fond, especially in the dusk of the evening, of seating himself at the piano to improvise, or he would frequently take up the violin or viola, for which purpose these two instruments were always left lying on the piano. In the latter years of his life, his playing at such times was more painful than agreeable to those who heard it. The inward mind alone was active; but the outward sense no longer co-operated with it: consequently the outpourings of his fancy became scarcely intelligible. Sometimes he would lay his left hand flat upon the key-board, and thus drown, in discordant noise, the music to which his right was feelingly giving utterance. It is well known that Beethoven, in his early years, did not perform his own compositions purely; for no other reason, however, than his want of time to keep the mechanical power of his fingers in practice; but his improvisations, when he was free from the restraint of reading notes, were the finest effusions of the kind imaginable. The imperial court piano-forte-maker, Conrad Graf, made for Beethoven a sound-conductor, which, being placed on the piano-forte, helped to convey the tone more distinctly to his ear; but though this contrivance was ingenious, it afforded no assistance in Beethoven's case of extreme deafness. The most painful thing of all was to hear him improvise on stringed instruments, owing to his incapability of tuning them. The music which he thus produced was frightful, though in his mind it was pure and harmonious.

In winter as well as in summer it was Beethoven's practice to rise at day-break, and immediately to sit down to his writing-table. There he would labour till two or three o'clock, his usual dinner-time. Meanwhile he would go out once or twice in the open air, where, to use M. Saphir's phrase, he would work and walk. Then, after the lapse of half an hour or an hour, he would return home to note down the ideas which he had collected. As the bee gathers honey from the flowers of the meadows, so Beethoven often collected his most sublime ideas while roaming about in the open fields. The habit of going abroad suddenly and as unexpectedly returning, just as the whim happened to strike him, was practised by Beethoven alike at all seasons of the year: cold or heat, rain or sun-shine, were all alike to him. In the autumn he used to return to town as sun-burnt as though he had been sharing the daily toil of the reapers and gleaners. Winter restored his somewhat yellow complexion. In No. 2 of the Appendix will be found a fac-simile of some of his first ideas, noted down with pencil, immediately as they were conceived amidst the inspiring scenery of nature.

The use of the bath was as much a necessity to Beethoven as to a Turk; and he was in the habit of submitting himself to frequent ablutions. When it happened that he did not walk out of doors to collect his ideas, he would not unfrequently, in a fit of the most complete abstraction, go to his wash-hand basin, and pour several jugs of water upon his hands, all the while humming and roaring, for sing he could not. After dabbling in the water till his clothes were wet through, he would pace up and down the room, with a vacant expression of countenance, and his eyes frightfully distended; the singularity of his aspect being often increased by an unshaven beard. Then he would seat himself at his table and write; and afterwards get up again to the wash-hand basin, and dabble and hum as before. Ludicrous as were these scenes, no one dared venture to notice them, or to disturb him while engaged in his inspiring ablutions, for these were his moments, or I should rather say his hours, of profoundest meditation. It will be readily believed, that the people in whose houses he lodged were not very well pleased when they found the water trickling through the floor to the ceiling below, as sometimes happened; and Beethoven's change of lodgings was often the consequence of these occurrences. On such occasions comical scenes sometimes ensued.

At every quarterly payment of his pension Beethoven was required, before he could receive the money, to procure from the curate of the district in which he resided, a certificate to prove that he was actually living. When he happened to be in the country, he used to get me or some other friend to draw up this certificate, and whenever he wrote to make this request it was always in some humorous or jesting manner. On one of these occasions he addressed to me a note containing merely the following words, unaccompanied by any explanation; he of course knew very well that I should understand their import:—


"The fish is alive.



It has been so much the custom to compare Beethoven with Jean Paul Richter, that the correctness of the comparison seems to be taken for granted; nevertheless, it appears to me to be very unjust. Jean Paul was not his favourite author. If Beethoven ever looked into his works, he cannot be said to have read them; they were too aphoristic and enigmatical for his taste. To imagine that there exists any general resemblance between our great composer and Jean Paul Richter is a great mistake; that writer, it is true, occasionally makes excursions into the region of dreamy and sentimental life; but as a painter of feelings he is not to be placed on a level with Beethoven. A comparison with Shakspeare or Michael Angelo might be more correct. Shakspeare was Beethoven's favourite poet.

Though Beethoven was throughout his whole life a prey to misfortune and disappointment, yet there were moments in which he did not scruple to inflict pain and disappointment on others. Nevertheless, it must be observed that in most cases of this kind he acted under some other influence than that of his own feelings. The following circumstance occurred in the latter years of his life.

The wife of M. H——m, an esteemed piano-forte player and composer, residing in Vienna, was a great admirer of Beethoven, and she earnestly wished to possess a lock of his hair. Her husband, anxious to gratify her, applied to a gentleman who was very intimate with Beethoven, and who had rendered him some service. At the instigation of this person, Beethoven was induced to send the lady a lock of hair cut from a goat's beard; and Beethoven's own hair being very gray and harsh, there was no reason to fear that the hoax would be very readily detected. The lady was overjoyed at possessing this supposed memorial of her saint, proudly showing it to all her acquaintance; but when her happiness was at its height, some one, who happened to know the secret, made her acquainted with the deception that had been practised on her. In a letter addressed to Beethoven, her husband warmly expressed his feelings on the subject of the discovery that had been made. Convinced of the mortification which the trick must have inflicted on the lady, Beethoven determined to make atonement for it. He immediately cut off a lock of his hair, and enclosed it in a note, in which he requested the lady's forgiveness of what had occurred. The respect which Beethoven previously entertained for the instigator of this unfeeling trick was now converted into hatred, and he would never afterwards receive a visit from him.

This is not the only instance that could be mentioned, in which our great master was influenced by vulgar-minded persons to do things unworthy of himself.

Questions have frequently been addressed to me respecting the motive of the last movement of the Quartett in F, op. 135; to which Beethoven affixed as a superscription the words—Der schwer-gefasste Entschluss. Un effort d'inspiration. "Muss es sein?" "Es muss sein!"[146] Between Beethoven and the people in whose houses he at different times lodged, the most ludicrous scenes arose whenever the period arrived for demanding payment of the rent. The keeper of the house was obliged to go to him, almanack in hand, to prove that the week was expired, and that the money must be paid. Even in his last illness he sang with the most comical seriousness to his landlady the interrogatory motivo of the quartett above mentioned. The woman understood his meaning, and, entering into his jocose humour, she stamped her foot, and emphatically answered, "Es muss sein!" There is another version of the story relative to this motivo. It refers to a publisher of music, and does not differ very much from the anecdote I have just related. Both turn upon the article money, and are merely jokes. But what a poetic palace has Beethoven built on this very prosaic foundation!

Great men as well as their inferiors, are subject to certain natural wants, such as eating and drinking. Some of Beethoven's peculiarities in these matters, which will not be uninteresting to many of his admirers, deserve at the same time to be ranked among the curiosities of housekeeping.

For his breakfast he usually took coffee, which he frequently prepared himself; for in this beverage he had an oriental fastidiousness of taste. He allowed sixty beans for each cup, and lest his measure should mislead him to the amount of a bean or two, he made it a rule to count over the sixty for each cup, especially when he had visitors. He performed this task with as much care as others of greater importance. At dinner his favourite dish was macaroni with Parmesan cheese, which must have been very bad before he pronounced it to be so; but that it was not always very good may be inferred from the uncertainty of the time he occupied in writing, and consequently of the hour for his meals. He was likewise very fond of every kind of fish; and consequently fast days imposed no sacrifice on him. To certain guests he only gave invitations on Fridays, for then his table was always adorned with a fine Schill[147] and potatoes. Supper was not a meal which he cared much about. A plate of soup, or something left from dinner, was all he partook of, and he was in bed by ten o'clock. He never wrote in the afternoon, and but very seldom in the evening. He disliked to correct what he had written. This he always felt an irksome task. He preferred making a fresh copy of his notes.

Beethoven's favourite beverage was fresh spring water, of which he often drank copiously from morning to night. He preferred the wine of the heights around Buda to every other; but, as he was no judge of wine, he could not distinguish the adulterated from the pure; and, by drinking the former, he frequently caused great derangement to his weak stomach; but no warning of this kind had any effect upon him. Among his enjoyments may also be numbered a glass of good beer and a pipe of tobacco in the evening. To these may be added the perusal of the political journals, especially the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung. This sort of reading engrossed a great deal of his time.

He frequently visited taverns and coffee-houses, even in the latter years of his life; but he usually had some favourite one, which was provided with a back door, at which he could go in and out. Strangers who wished to get a sight of Beethoven used to go to the coffee-house he was in the habit of frequenting; for thither he would repair to a certainty once or twice a week, not for the purpose of conversing, but of reading the journals. When he had glanced over the last paper, he would hurry away, making his exit by the back door.

M. Ignaz von Seyfried, in his account of Beethoven,[148] states that he was a perfect master of the Latin, French, and Italian languages. In as far as relates to the first-mentioned language, Dr. Wegeler mentions in his work (p. 9) that Beethoven "learned something of Latin at Bonn." But, in proof of his very slight acquaintance with that language, I need only mention the fact that, on the first occasion of his composing a Mass, he was obliged not only to get the words translated, but also the quantities of the different syllables explained to him. How far he was conversant with the French language may be seen from the style of his letter to Cherubini (in the Third Period); and other examples of the same kind might be quoted. That he was better acquainted with it in his earlier days, before his deafness rendered him incapable of joining in conversation, may be readily presumed. As to Italian, he could only read it. Beethoven greatly admired the classic writers of antiquity, and perused their works in the best translations, of all of which he possessed copies. This industrious reading, combined with his vast musical labours, left him little time for the study of languages. He had, however, as intimate a knowledge of the translated works of some of the Greek authors as he had of his own scores. With Shakspeare, also, he was equally well acquainted. In his friends he required the same extent of reading; otherwise their society became wearisome to him.

I feel bound to notice some observations made by M. von Seyfried on the subject of Beethoven's housekeeping. At page 16 of his publication he states that "Beethoven used to go himself to market, and after bargaining and buying, not at the best price, he would return home and cook, with his own hands, the articles he had purchased," &c. Oh! M. Seyfried! "Quousque tandem?"—Is it not usual for persons in the most respectable conditions of life to purchase rare vegetables or fruit for the table? Beethoven did so, but when he wished to furnish his table with some rarities for his guests his housekeeper accompanied him, and carried home what he purchased; and he always purchased the best. His old housekeeper, on the contrary, was not so nice in her selection. Had M. von Seyfried ever been Beethoven's guest, he might have persuaded himself that his table was not ill provided. But that Beethoven should have been so far the victim of suspicion as to be induced, by an absurd distrust of others, to cook his own food, is a circumstance which I never heard of; and other friends of the great composer, to whom I have applied for information, disclaim in like manner all knowledge of the fact. However, as Beethoven was very fond of a joke, it is not impossible that he may have got up this cookery farce for the sake of mystifying some of his guests. Nevertheless, thus much is certain, that in his latter days he carried his suspicious feeling to such an extreme that he would trust nobody to pay the most trifling bills for him, and would often doubt the authenticity of a receipt. This suspicion extended even to his trustworthy old housekeeper. M. von Seyfried must pardon this comment on his statements. The exaggeration was doubtless on his part unintentional; he wrote from hearsay, a medium through which facts are frequently altered and perverted. In the year 1805 he was, as he mentions, on a footing of intimate intercourse with Beethoven, but that intimacy did not extend either to a previous or a subsequent period. However, the suspension of personal communication had not the effect of diminishing the respect entertained for Beethoven by M. von Seyfried; that able artist did not regard our great composer with the jaundiced eye with which he was regarded by certain hommes de metier. M. von Seyfried is one of the few who understood and appreciated Beethoven's inward worth, without being misled by outward appearances. (See p. 27 of his work.)

The doubts respecting the genuineness of many manuscripts attributed to Beethoven, which have come to light since his death, are worthy of consideration.[149] A great deal of imposition has already been practised, and will probably be carried still further; consequently, only Beethoven's handwriting, or his attestation to the authenticity of the manuscripts, can remove doubts on the subject.

I will mention one instance out of many, to show how far unblushing effrontery has already been carried on this point. In the year 1827, a few months after Beethoven's death, a certain M. E—— offered for sale to the Messrs. Schott, in Mainz, an Opera alleged to be composed by Beethoven. Those publishers having consulted me on the business, I advised them to demand a sight of the work in Beethoven's hand-writing, adding, that there existed no authentic manuscript Opera by Beethoven. The particulars of this not unimportant affair were published in 1828, in the 7th volume of the Cæcilia.

It is a positive fact, that Beethoven never wrote any scientific work, either on music or any other subject. Whatever works, therefore, may have been published under his name, cannot be authenticated upon autographic evidence.

I will wind up these biographical particulars with a description of the great master's personal appearance, together with a few remarks on the best portraits of him with which I am acquainted.

Beethoven's height scarcely exceeded five feet four inches, Vienna measure. His figure was compact, strong, and muscular. His head, which was unusually large, was covered with long bushy grey hair, which, being always in a state of disorder, gave a certain wildness to his appearance. This wildness was not a little heightened when he suffered his beard to grow to a great length, as he frequently did. His forehead was high and expanded; and he had small brown eyes, which, when he laughed, seemed to be nearly sunk in his head; but, on the other hand, they were suddenly distended to an unusually large size when one of his musical ideas took possession of his mind. On such occasions he would look upwards, his eyes rolling and flashing brightly, or straight forward with his eyeballs fixed and motionless. His whole personal appearance then underwent a sudden and striking change. There was an air of inspiration and dignity in his aspect; and his diminutive figure seemed to tower to the gigantic proportions of his mind. These fits of sudden inspiration frequently came upon Beethoven when he was in company, and even when he was in the street, where he naturally excited the marked attention of every passer by. Every thought that arose in his mind was expressed in his animated countenance. He never gesticulated either with his head or his hands, except when he was standing before the orchestra. His mouth was well formed; his under lip (at least in his younger years) protruded a little, and his nose was rather broad. His smile diffused an exceedingly amiable and animated expression over his countenance, which, when he was in conversation with strangers, had a peculiarly pleasing and encouraging effect. But though his smile was agreeable, his laugh was otherwise. It was too loud, and distorted his intelligent and strongly marked features. When he laughed, his large head seemed to grow larger, his face became broader, and he might not inaptly have been likened to a grinning ape; but fortunately his fits of laughter were of very transient duration. His chin was marked in the middle and on each side with a long furrow, which imparted a striking peculiarity to that part of his countenance. His complexion was of a yellowish tint, which, however, went off in the summer season, when he was accustomed to be much out in the open air. His plump cheeks were then suffused with fresh hues of red and brown.

Under this latter aspect, full of health and vigour, and during one of his intervals of inspiration, the painter, H. Schimon, (now in Munich,) took his likeness. The picture is a bust size, in oil. At the time it was painted, Beethoven was forty-nine years old. The engraving prefixed to this work is taken from it. Some years after this picture was painted, another was executed by Stieler, the portrait painter to the court of Munich. This is a half length, and the composer is represented with a pen in his hand, writing on a piece of music paper the words "Missa Solennis." This picture is excellent, and the likeness faithful; but it has not the air of vigour and animation portrayed in that of Schimon, the absence of which may be easily accounted for, Beethoven having suffered a fit of illness of two years' duration. But he remained as Stieler's portrait represents him until his death, which took place five years after the picture was painted. Beethoven's family possess a portrait of him, which was painted at an earlier period than either of those I have described. It is a half length, and represents him in a sitting posture.

These three pictures are the only ones which can be relied on, as likenesses of the great composer, and as worthy of the attention of his admirers. The few others which are here and there to be seen are valueless, having been painted merely from the imagination of the artists.

The same remark is applicable to most of the copperplate and lithographic portraits of Beethoven. Excepting the copperplate engraving by Letronne, and the lithographic drawing after Stieler's picture, (however only those published by Trentschensky, late Artaria, in Vienna,) I know of no print which conveys an accurate idea of the countenance of my beloved friend and master—that countenance which I fancy I still behold, living, and before me.

[The author of this Biography adds here an Appendix, which I have omitted, as having too little relation with the object of this work, and by his own authorisation to the publisher. It suffices to mention that it treats of the state of music at Münster and Aix-la-Chapelle. In the first town M. Schindler lived three years as director of a musical institute, and since 1835 he has been music-director at Aix-la-Chapelle. In both these towns he has endeavoured, more or less successfully, to exalt the taste for classical music. He bears testimony also against the eccentricity and degeneracy of the modern style of pianoforte-playing, particularly in reference to the manner of performing Beethoven's music, and draws the attention of the musical world to a most promising talent, a Mdlle. Hansemann, in Aix-la-Chapelle, his pupil. This lady, according to his expectations, will develop in her style of playing the true spirit of Beethoven.—ED.]



No. I.

Beethoven's Letters to Mlle. von Breuning, Wegeler, and Ries.


To Mlle. von Breuning.

Vienna, November 2nd, 1793.

Charming Eleonora—my dearest friend,

A year has elapsed since my stay in this capital, and this is the first letter you receive from me; yet rest assured you have ever lived in my recollection. I have often conversed with you and yours, although not with that peace of mind which I could have desired, for the late wretched altercation was hovering before me, showing me my own despicable conduct. But so it was; and what would I not give, could I obliterate from the page of my life this past action, so degrading to my character, and so unlike my usual proceedings.[150] It is true, there were many circumstances widening the breach between us, and I presume that in those whisperings, conveying to us our mutual expressions, lay the chief source of the growing evil. We both imagined that we spoke from conviction, and yet it was but in anger, and we were both of us deceived. Your good and noble mind has, I know, long forgiven me, but they say that self-accusation is the surest sign of contrition, and it is thus I wanted to stand before you. Now let us draw a veil over the whole affair, taking a warning by it, that, should a difference arise between friends, they should not have recourse to a mediator, but explain face to face. You receive herewith a dedication from me to you, and I only wish the work were greater and more worthy of you. They wanted me here to publish this little work, and I avail myself of the opportunity, to give you, my charming Eleonora, a token of my friendship and esteem, as well as a proof that you and all yours are ever present to my memory. Accept this trifle as coming from a warm admirer. Oh! if it could but give you pleasure, my wishes would be fulfilled.[151] Let it be a revival of the many blessed hours which I spent at your house; perhaps it may tend to recall me to your mind until I return, which however will not be so soon. How we will rejoice then, my dear friend; you will find me a more cheerful creature, whose days of trouble have passed away, their furrows smoothed by the lot of better days! Should you see B. Koch,[152] I beg you will tell her it is not fair that she has not once written to me, whilst I sent her two epistles, to Malchus[153] three, and no answer. Tell her that if she chooses not to write she should at least make Malchus do so. I venture to conclude with a request that I might be so happy as once more to be put in possession of an Angola waistcoat, knitted by your hand.[154] Do excuse the troublesome request of your friend: it originates in a great predilection for all that comes from your hands, and, let me acknowledge the secret, in the gratification of my vanity, at being able to say that I possess something from one of the best and most charming young ladies of Bonn. I have still got the one which you were so kind as to give me at Bonn, but the present fashion has made it look so antiquated, that I can only keep it in my wardrobe as your gift, and as such it will ever be dear to me. You would give me sincere pleasure were you to favour me soon with a letter. Should you like to have any of mine, I promise you I shall await the opportunity to show you in this, as in all other instances, how truly I am

Your friend and admirer,   
L. v. Beethoven.

P.S. The Variations will be somewhat difficult to play, particularly the shake in the Coda.[155] But let not that alarm you; it is so managed that you need only do the shake, leaving out the other notes which occur in the violin part also. I should never have written such a thing, but that I had noticed an individual about Vienna who, after having heard me extemporize the preceding evening, put down many of my peculiarities the next day, showing them off as his own.[156] Taking it for granted that such things would shortly appear, I thought it wiser to be the first to publish them. Another reason was to put the piano-forte masters of this place to confusion, for many of them are my deadly enemies, and I thus take my revenge upon them, knowing how they will be asked every now and then to play these Variations, and to how little advantage my gentlemen will appear in them.



Second Letter to Mlle. v. Breuning.

I was most agreeably surprised by the beautiful cravat, the work of your hands. It created sensations of sorrow, much as I was pleased by the thing itself. This sorrow was called up by a recollection of former times, and by the shame I felt at your generous conduct. Truly, I did not think you had deemed me worthy of your remembrance. Oh! could you have witnessed my feelings at yesterday's occurrence, you would not deem me guilty of extravagance when I assure you that your remembrance saddened me and called forth many tears. Do pray believe me, little as I may have deserved it, believe me, my friend (let me ever call you such), I have suffered much, and still suffer, from the loss of your friendship. Never shall I forget you and your dear mother. You were so kind to me that your loss cannot and will not so soon be made up to me. I know what I had, what I lost, and what you were to me; but I must return to scenes equally painful for you to hear, as for me to relate, were I to fill up this blank.

As a slight return for your kind recollection of me, I take the liberty of sending the Variations and the Rondo with violin accompaniments. I am very busy just now, or I would have copied the long-promised Sonata for you. It is but a sketch in my manuscript, and even Paraquin, clever as he is, would have had much difficulty in transcribing it. You may have the Rondo copied, and return the score; that which I now send is the only thing amongst my works which could be of use to you, and as you are about going to Kerpen, I thought these trifles might afford you some pleasure.

Farewell, my friend, I cannot possibly give you any other name; indifferent as I may be to you, I hope you will believe in the assurance of my regard for yourself and your mother. Pray let me know if I have it in my power in any way to contribute to your pleasure; it is the only remaining means of showing you my gratitude for past kindness. A happy journey to you, and may your dearest mother return home perfectly recovered! Do not forget

Your still admiring friend,   


Beethoven to Wegeler.

Vienna, June 29, 1800.[157]

My dear and beloved Wegeler,

A thousand thanks to you for your recollection of me; I have not deserved it; I have not even tried to deserve it; and yet my most unpardonable carelessness cannot check your friendship, which remains pure and unshaken. Do not for a moment think that I could forget you or any of those once so dear to me; there are times when I long for you, when I sincerely wish to stay with you for a while. My country and the charming place which gave me birth are ever before my eyes; their beauty undimmed as when I left them—in short, I shall consider that time the happiest, which leads me back to you all, once more greeting the Rhine in its patriarchal beauty. I cannot tell you when this may be, but thus much I must say to you all, that you shall not see me until I am much greater—not greater only in my art, but better and more perfect as a man; and then, if our country should be more flourishing, I will employ my art for the benefit of the poor only.[158] O blessed moment! how happy do I deem myself that I can call thee forth, that I can myself create thee! * * * You wish me to say something of my circumstances; why, they are by no means bad. Lichnowsky, who, improbable as it may seem to you, from the little altercations we have had, but which tended only in confirming our friendship[159]—Lichnowsky, who has always been my warmest patron, has settled upon me the sum of six hundred florins, which I may draw until I find a convenient appointment; my compositions are well paid, and I may say I have more orders than I can well execute; six or seven publishers, and more, being ready to take any of my works: I need no longer submit to being bargained with—I ask my terms, and am paid. You see this is an excellent thing; as, for instance, I see a friend in want, and my purse does not at the moment permit me to assist him; I have but to sit down and write, and my friend is no longer in need. I am grown much more economical too; should I remain here, I think I may rely upon having a day for a concert once a-year. I have already had several. But an evil spirit in the shape of my bad health plays me false; my hearing has become weaker and weaker for the last three years, and my constitution has been much weakened by a stomach complaint, fearfully increased during my stay here, which is said to be the cause of this evil. Frank wanted to restore my health by tonics, and my hearing by oil of almonds; but, alack a-day, this was not to be! My hearing remained impaired, my digestion in its former condition; this continued till last autumn, when I was many a time in despair. A medical practitioner of the genus ass advised the cold bath for me; a more rational one ordered me that of the Danube, which is tepid: this did wonders; my general health improved, my hearing continued bad, or became worse. Last winter I was in a wretched state—every ailment returning with renewed force, until about a month ago I went to Vering, judging that my case might require surgical, as well as medical assistance, and having much confidence in his skill. He succeeded in alleviating my sufferings by the use of the tepid bath, into which was poured a strengthening mixture; he gave me no medicine, only four days ago I had some pills, besides a tea for my ears, and I may say I feel stronger and better—but my ears! they are ringing and singing night and day. I do think I spend a wretched life; for the last two years shunning all society, because I cannot bring myself to walk up to people and say, "I am deaf." In any other profession this might pass; but in the one I have chosen, it is a wretched plight to be in; besides, my enemies, who are not few in number, what would they say? To give you a notion of this extraordinary deafness, I must tell you that I am forced in a theatre to lean up close to the orchestra in order that I may understand the actor. I do not hear the high notes of instruments or singers at a certain distance, and it is astonishing that there are individuals who never noticed it while conversing with me; from my having been subject to frequent reveries, they attribute my silence to these. I sometimes hear those who speak in a low voice—that is to say, the sounds, but not the words, and yet if any one begins to bawl out, it annoys me excessively. Heaven knows what it may end in! Vering says I shall certainly be much better, although I may not entirely recover. I have often cursed my existence; Plutarch has won me back to resignation. I will, if possible, defy my fate, although there will be moments when I shall be the most miserable of God's creatures. I beg of you not to mention my affliction to any one—no, not even to Laura. I confide this secret to you only, and should be glad if you would, some day, enter into correspondence upon it with Vering. Should it continue, I shall come to you next spring. You will take a cottage for me in some beautiful spot in the country, and there I shall ruralize for six months; perhaps that may work a change. Resignation! what a miserable resource, and yet it is the only one left me. Do excuse my troubling you with my griefs, when you are already in sorrow yourself.

Stephen Breuning is here, and I see him daily, enjoying those recollections which his presence calls back to my mind. He is indeed grown an excellent fellow, as kind and true-hearted as I trust we all are. I have beautiful rooms just now, leading on to the Bastei (ramparts), and of infinite value to me, on account of my health. I believe I shall be able to prevail upon Breuning to come to me. You shall have your Antiochus, and plenty of my music, if you do not think they will put you to too much expense. Honestly speaking, I am truly pleased with your love of the art. Let me but know how, and I will send you all my works, which are now become pretty numerous, and daily increasing. I send you in exchange for my grand-father's picture, which I beg you will forward to me by coach, that of his grandson, your ever faithful Beethoven; it has appeared at Artaria's, who, together with many other publishers, solicited me to let them have it. I intend shortly to write to Stephen, for the purpose of lecturing him upon his obstinate mood. I will make his ears ring with our old friendship, and entreat him not to add vexation to your sufficiently saddened circumstances. I shall also write to the amiable Laura. I have never forgotten one of you, dear, kind friends, even when I was most silent; for, as to writing, why, that you know never was my forte—the dearest friends have not had letters from me for years. I live entirely in my music, and no sooner is one thing finished than I begin another—indeed, I now sometimes write three or four things at the same time. Pray let me hear from you oftener, and I will take care to find time for replying to your letters. Kind regards to all, including my dear Mme. v. Breuning; tell her I am still subject to the "raptus." As to K., I am not surprised at the change in her. Fortune's wheel is round, and does not always halt before the best and noblest.

A word about Ries, to whom give my kind regards, and say that I shall further write to you respecting his son, although I believe Paris would be a better place than Vienna to make his fortune in. Vienna is so overstocked, that even those who have great merit stand a bad chance of succeeding. By the autumn or winter I shall be able to judge what I can do for him, as everybody then hastens back to town. Farewell, my faithful Wegeler. Be ever assured of the love and friendship of



Beethoven to Wegeler.

Vienna, Nov. 16, 1801.

My dearest Wegeler,

I am truly obliged for the new marks of your interest in my welfare, the more so as I feel myself unworthy of them. You wish to know how I am, what I am taking; and, much as I dislike conversing upon the subject at all, I would rather do so with you, than with any one else. Vering, for the last few months, has applied blisters to both my arms, consisting of a certain bark, known to you, as I suppose.[160] This is a most disagreeable remedy, as it deprives me of the free use of my arms for two or three days at a time, until the bark has drawn sufficiently, which occasions a good deal of pain. It is true, the ringing in my ears is somewhat less than it was, especially in my left ear, in which the disease began, but my hearing is by no means improved; indeed I am not sure but that the evil is increased. My health is improved, and the tepid bath always sets me up for eight or ten days. I take but little medicine, and have begun to use the herb-poultice as you prescribed. Vering opposes the shower-bath. I am upon the whole much dissatisfied with him; he cares too little about his patients; were I not to call upon him sometimes, which indeed is but seldom, I should never see him. What do you think of Schmidt?[161] I am not fond of changing, but I think Vering is too much of the practitioner to allow of his gathering fresh thoughts from books. Schmidt seems to differ widely from him in this respect, and might not be so careless. They tell me wonders of galvanism; what is your opinion of it? A medical man told me he had seen a deaf and dumb child recover its hearing (at Berlin), as well as a man who had been deaf for seven years. I hear that your friend Schmidt[162] makes experiments of this nature.

I have begun to mix in society again, and thus to enjoy my existence rather more than I did; you cannot conceive how deserted and miserable a life I have led these two years, my deafness pursuing me like a spectre and scaring me from mankind: I must have appeared a perfect misanthrope, whilst I am so far from it. A dear and charming girl has wrought this beneficial change in me; she loves me as I do her, and this has brought back some happy moments, the first I have enjoyed these two years; it is the first time I feel that marriage could render me happy.[163] She is not, unfortunately, of my station in life, and at present I certainly could not marry, for I must be tossed about the world first. Were it not for my hearing, I should have travelled over half the globe—that is what I long for. My greatest enjoyment is to pursue my art and produce in it. Do not think I should be happy with you all about me. In how far could that ameliorate my condition? Your very anxiety for me would be painfully visible in your looks, and would add to my misery. And that beautiful country of mine, what was my lot in it?—the hope of a happy futurity. This might now be realised if I were freed from my affliction. Oh, freed from that, I should compass the world! I feel it, my youth is but beginning—have I not hitherto been a sickly creature? My physical powers have for some time been materially increasing, those of my mind likewise; I feel myself nearer and nearer the mark—I feel, but cannot describe it. This alone is the vital principle of your Beethoven. No rest for me, I know of none but sleep, and I grieve at having to sacrifice to it more time than I have hitherto deemed necessary. Take but one half of my disease from me, and I will return to you a matured and accomplished man, renewing the ties of our friendship, for you shall see me as happy as I may be in this sublunary world—not as a sufferer, no, that would be more than I could bear. I will blunt the sword of fate, it shall not utterly destroy me. How beautiful it is to live a thousand lives in one—no, I am not made for a retired life, I feel it. You will write as soon as possible, will you? Take care Stephen make up his mind to take an appointment somewhere in the Teutonic Order. His health will not endure the fatiguing life which he leads here; he is, moreover, so deserted that I do not see how he is to stand it. You know how we get on here; indeed I will not assert that society would diminish his exhaustion of nerve, and he is not to be prevailed upon to go anywhere. I had some music at my rooms some time since; friend Stephen did not appear. Do recommend him more coolness and self-possession; I have not succeeded in enforcing it; without them he cannot recover his health and happiness. Let me know in your next letter whether you don't mind my sending you a great quantity of my music; you can sell that which you do not want, and thus pay your postage having my likeness into the bargain. My kindest remembrances to Laura, to mamma, also to Christopher. You love me a little, eh? Be assured that I do love you, and remain ever your faithful friend,



Beethoven to Ries.

Baden, July 24, 1804.

* * * * You will have been surprised at the affair with Breuning;[164] believe me, my friend, that I had been wrought into this burst of passion by many an unpleasant circumstance of an earlier date. I have the gift of concealing and restraining my irritability on many subjects; but if I happen to be touched at a time when I am more than usually susceptible of anger, I burst forth more violently than any one else. Breuning has doubtless most excellent qualities, but he thinks himself utterly without faults, and yet is most open to those, for which he blames others. He has a littleness of mind, which I have held in contempt since my infancy. My powers of judgment had almost prophesied to me the course which matters would take with Breuning, for we differ too materially in our manner of thinking, acting, and feeling. I fancied late difficulties might have been overcome—experience has taught me otherwise, and now, no more friendship for me. I have met with two friends only in this world with whom I never had any altercation; but what men were they!—the one is dead, the other still alive. Although we have not heard from each other these six years, yet I know that I hold the first place in his heart, as he does in mine. The basis of friendship should be the greatest similarity in the minds and feelings of men. I only wish you would read my letter to Breuning and his to me. No, he will never regain the place in my heart which he once held in it. Whoever can attribute so mean a proceeding to his friend, and can himself act so basely towards him, is not worthy of my friendship. Do not forget the matter of my lodgings. Farewell. Do not tailor[165] too much; make my respects to the fairest of the fair, and send me a dozen needles. I should never have thought I could be as idle as I am here. Should a fit of industry succeed I may accomplish something grand. Vale.



Beethoven to Wegeler.

Vienna, May 2nd, 1810.

My good old Friend,

I can almost fancy these lines creating a surprise in your mind; and yet, although left without epistolary witnesses, you live most vividly in my recollection; indeed, there is amongst my MSS. one long destined for you, and which you will certainly receive during this summer.[166] My retired life has ceased these last few years, and I have been forcibly drawn into the world. I have not yet decided for or against this change, but who has not felt the storm which is raging around us? I, however, should be happy, perhaps the happiest of men, had not that demon taken possession of my ears. I have read somewhere that man should not wilfully part from this life whilst he could do but one good deed; and, but for this, I should ere now have ceased to exist, and by my own hand too. Oh, life is so charming; but to me it is poisoned!

You will not refuse my request to procure me a copy of my baptismal register. The expenses, whatever they be, could be remitted to you by Stephen Breuning, with whom I know you have a running account, and I will settle with him. Should you think it worth your while to investigate the matter, and should you like to go from Coblentz to Bonn for that purpose, I beg you will put your costs down to me. There is one thing to be considered in the matter—that I had a brother born before me, likewise named Ludwig, with the second name of Maria, but who died young. The birth of this brother should be ascertained previous to my age being fixed.[167] I know I have been put down as older than I am, by a mistake arising from this circumstance. Alas! I have lived some time without knowing my own age. I had a family-book; but that has been lost, the Lord knows how! Do not be angry, therefore, if I recommend this to you most warmly, and try to find out the birth of the Ludwig Maria, as well as that of the Ludwig who came after him. The sooner you send me the register, the greater my obligation. They tell me you sing a song of mine at your Freemasons' lodge; probably one in E major, which I have not got myself; pray send it to me, and I promise to make you ample amends for it.[168] Think of me with kindly feelings, little as I apparently deserve it. Embrace your dear wife, kiss your children, and all that are dear to you, in the name of your friend,



Beethoven to Wegeler.

Vienna, Sept. 29, 1816.

I take the opportunity which offers through J. Simrock,[169] to recall myself to your memory. I hope you have received my engraving,[170] and the Bohemian glass. As soon as I shall again wander through Bohemia, you shall have something similar. Farewell, you are husband and father—so am I, but without a wife.[171] Love to all yours—to all mine.

Your friend,     


Beethoven to Wegeler.

Vienna, Oct. 7, 1826.

My old and dearest Friend,

I cannot give you an adequate idea of the delight I felt in your and Laura's letter. It is true, my answers should have followed with the swiftness of an arrow; but I am careless in replying to my friends, because I believe those whom I really love know me without my writing to them. I often get an answer ready in my thoughts, but when I want to put it on paper I mostly throw away my pen, because I cannot write as I feel. I do remember every kindness you have shown me: for instance, when you had my room whitewashed, and thus made me a most agreeable surprise.[172] I feel the same gratitude towards the Breunings: our separation was the necessary result of the instability of men's lives—each pursuing his own ends and trying to fulfil destiny—the principle of all that is unalterably good still firmly uniting us. I regret I cannot to-day write you at full length as I should wish, being in bed. I will answer but a few points of your letter. You say that I am mentioned somewhere as a natural son of the deceased King of Prussia. I had heard this long ago, but from principle I have never written on myself, or answered anything that others have said of me; thus I leave you most willingly to vindicate my parents' honour, and especially that of my mother, in the eyes of the world. You speak of your son. I hope it is understood that when he comes here, he will find a father and a friend in me, and that I shall serve him with the greatest pleasure wherever I can. I have yet your Laura's silhouette, a proof positive how I still value all that was dear and near to me in my youth. On the subject of my diplomas, I will mention to you, but shortly, that I am an honorary member of the Royal Society of Arts in Sweden, the same in Amsterdam, and an honorary citizen of Vienna. Some time ago a Dr. Spieker took away with him to Berlin my last great Symphony with chorusses; it is dedicated to the King, and he made me write the dedication in my own hand. I had previously asked and received permission at the embassy to dedicate the work to the King. On Dr. Spieker's suggestion I had to send my MS., with my own corrections and improvements, to His Majesty, to be deposited in the royal library. Something has been whispered to me about the order of the Red Eagle of the Second Class. I don't know how it will end, for I never sought a distinction like this; in our times, however, it would not be unwelcome to me for many reasons.

My motto is always—Nulla dies sine lineâ, and if I give my muse any rest it is but that she should arise with new vigour. I hope to achieve a few more great works, and then to close my earthly career like an old child amongst some good people. You will receive some music through the brothers Schott, of Mayence. The portrait which I send herewith is a master-piece of art, but not the last likeness which has been taken of me. I have to name another mark of distinction conferred upon me, as I know it gives you pleasure. A medal has been sent me by the late King of France, with the inscription "Donné par le roi à M. Beethoven," and accompanied by a most obliging letter of the Duc de Chartres, premier gentilhomme du roi.[173] Thus much to-day. My dearest friend, I am over-powered by the recollections of the past, and this letter reaches you bedewed with my tears. Now that a beginning is made, you shall soon hear from me again, and the more you write, the greater will be my happiness. There can be no question as to our friendship on either side, and so farewell. I beg you will embrace your dear Laura and your children in my name, and think of me. God be with you. With true esteem, ever your faithful friend,



Beethoven to Wegeler.

Vienna, Feb. 17, 1827.[174]

My old and worthy Friend,

I received most fortunately your second letter through Breuning. I am still too weak to answer it, but you may think that its contents are truly welcome to me.[175] My convalescence, if such I may call it, goes on slowly. It is to be expected that a fourth operation must take place, although the medical men have not yet pronounced upon this. I take patience, and think: Evil sometimes leads to good. But how surprised I felt to find from your last letter that you had not received anything. From the letter which you here receive, you will see that I wrote on the 10th of December of last year. It is the same with the portrait, as the date will show when it reaches you.[176] Stephen insisted upon sending you the things by private hand, but they were left until now, and it was difficult to get them back even at this moment. You will now receive the portrait by post through Messrs. Schott, who also send you the music. I should like to say much to you to-day, but I am too weak, so I can only embrace you and Laura. With true friendship and devotedness to you and yours, believe me,

Your old and faithful friend,     

[This letter, too, was written in a strange hand, and signed by Beethoven.]

No. II.

[BEETHOVEN'S Correspondence with Mr. C. Neate, of London, and F. Ries, (Beethoven's former pupil,) concerning the publication of several of his Works—their performance at the Philharmonic Concerts—Beethoven's intended Visit to England.[177]]


Beethoven to Mr. Neate, at Vienna.

Vienna, December, 1815.

My dear Mr. Neate,

I have received a letter from Mr. Ries, as amanuensis to Salomon (who has had the misfortune to break his right shoulder in a fall from his horse), and he tells me, on the 29th of September, that the three Overtures which you took of me for the Philharmonic Society[178] four months ago, had not then reached London. This being the second remembrancer which Mr. Salomon sends me on the subject, I thought I had better let you know. Should you not have sent them off, I should like to revise the Overture in C major, as it may be somewhat incorrect. With regard to any written agreement you may like to have about these things for England, that is very much at your service at a moment's notice. I would not have them suppose that I could ever act otherwise than as a man of honour. There are dispositions so fickle that they think one way to-day and another way to-morrow, and fancy others as ready to change their mind; and with such tempers one cannot be positive and mistrustful enough. So fare you well, my dear Mr. Neate.

Yours truly,
Ludwig von Beethoven.


Beethoven to F. Ries.

Wednesday, November 22nd, Vienna, 1815.

Dear Ries,

I hasten to inform you that I have to-day sent off the piano-forte score of the Symphony in A by post to the house of Thomas Coutts and Co. The court not being here, there are very few, if any, couriers, and this is, moreover, the safest way. The Symphony is to be brought out about March. I shall fix the day. It has been so long in doing, that I cannot name an earlier time. The Trio in the Sonata for violin may come out later, and both will be in London in a few weeks. I beg of you, dear Ries, to look after these things, and to take care I receive the money; the expenses are great ere these things reach you. I want cash; I have had a loss of 600 florins in my yearly salary. At the time of the bank-notes (Banco-Zettel) it was nothing—the reduced paper-money (Einlösungs-Scheine) succeeded, and it is through these I lose the 600 florins, after several years of vexation and entire loss of salary. We are now at a juncture when the Einlösungs-Scheine stand lower than ever did the Banco-Zettel. I pay 1000 florins rent; figure to yourself the misery which this paper-money causes. My poor unhappy brother (Carl) has just died; he had a bad wife; I may say he was in a consumption for some years, and to make life bearable to him, I gave him what I may reckon at 10,000 florins (Wiener Währung). I own this is not much for an Englishman, but a vast deal for a poor German or Austrian. The poor fellow was much changed of late years, and I may say I lament him with all my heart, whilst I am truly glad to be able to say to myself, I have not neglected anything which could contribute to his preservation. Tell Mr. Birchall to repay you and Mr. Salomon for the postage of your letters to me, and mine to you; he may deduct it from the sum which he has to pay me; I am anxious that those who are active for me, should suffer the least possible through it.

Wellington's Victory at the Battle of Vittoria[179] must have arrived long ago at Coutts and Co.'s. Mr. Birchall need not pay me till he has got all the works. Do let me know as soon as possible the day which Mr. Birchall fixes for the publication of the piano-forte score. Thus much to day, with the warmest recommendation of my concerns; I am at your service wherever you may require it. Farewell, dear Ries!

Your friend,


Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, January 20, 1816.

My dear Ries!

The Symphony will be dedicated to the Empress of Russia. The piano-forte score of the Symphony in A must not come out till the month of June; the publisher here cannot be ready before that time. Will you, my dearest Ries, inform Mr. Birchall of this without delay? The Sonata, with violin accompaniment, will be sent off by the next post, and may be likewise published in London by the month of May—the Trio somewhat later (you will receive it by the next post, too). I shall myself fix the time for its publication.

And now, my dear Ries, take my sincere thanks for all your good offices, and in particular for the correction of the proofs. May Heaven bless you, and may you progress more and more; I shall ever take the most sincere interest in it. My best regards to your wife.

Ever your sincere friend,     


Manuscript Agreement, as drawn up by Beethoven for the Philharmonic Society of London, concerning the above-named three MS. Overtures:—

Vienna, February 5, 1816.

Mr. Neate has taken of me, in July, 1815, three Overtures for the Philharmonic Society of London, and has paid me for them the sum of 75 guineas, for which sum I engage, not to have these said Overtures printed elsewhere, either in parts or score, always reserving for myself the right to have the said works performed wherever I please, and to publish them in piano-forte arrangement so soon as Mr. Neate shall write me word that they have been performed in London; besides which, Mr. Neate assures me that he obligingly takes upon himself, after the lapse of one or two years, to obtain the consent of the Society to my publishing these three Overtures in parts as well as in score, their consent to that effect being indispensable. Thus I respectfully salute the Philharmonic Society.



Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, February 28, 1816.

* * * I have not been well for some time; my brother's death has had its influence upon my mind and my writings. I am truly grieved at Salomon's death; he had a noble mind, and I remember him since my earliest youth. You have become his executor, and I, at the same time, the guardian of my poor brother's child. You will scarcely have had as much vexation as I had at this death; yet I feel the sweet consolation of having rescued a poor little innocent from the hands of an unworthy mother.

Farewell, dear Ries! If I can be of the least use whatever to you, pray consider me wholly as your true friend,



Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, March 8, 1816.

My answer comes somewhat late; but I was ill, and had a good deal of work. * * * As yet I have not seen a farthing of the ten ducats, and I begin to fancy that the English are generous only in foreign countries, the Prince Regent, too, has not even given me the value of the copying expenses for my Battle, which I sent him, nor has he vouchsafed a verbal or written acknowledgment. My income amounts to 3400 florins in paper; I have to pay 1100 florins rent, and 900 florins to my servant and his wife: now, do you calculate yourself what remains; and besides this, I have entirely to provide for my little nephew; he is at school at present, which costs about 1100 florins, and leaves much to desire; so I must go into regular housekeeping to take him home. How much there is required to live here, and yet there is no end to it because—because—because—. You know what I mean. I should be glad of some commissions from the Philharmonic Society, besides the concert. Above all, my dear pupil Ries should sit down and dedicate something of sterling worth to me, upon which the master would return measure for measure. How can I send you my portrait? * * * My best wishes for your wife; alas, I have none; and one only have I met, but shall never possess her; this does not, however, make me an enemy to the sex.

Your sincere friend,     


Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, April 3, 1816.

* * * * Neate must be in London by this time; he has taken charge of several of my works and has promised me all his interest for them. The Archduke Rudolph, amongst others, plays your compositions with me, dear Ries, and your Sogno pleases me above all the rest. Farewell. I commend me to your well-beloved wife and to all the fair English women who will receive my greetings. Your true friend,



Beethoven à Mr. Neate.

Vienne, le 15 Maj, 1816.

(Adresse Sailerstadt, No. 1055 et 1056, au 3éme étage.)

Mon tres cher ami!

L'amitié de vous envers moi me pardonnerà touts le fauts contre la langue francaises, mais la hâte ou j'ecris la lettre, ce peu d'exercice et dans ce moment même sans dictionnaire français tout cela m'attire surement encore moins de critique qu'en ordinairement.

Avanthier on me portoit un extrait d'une gazette anglaise nommée Morning cronigle, ou je lisoit avec grand plaisir, que la Société philarmonique à donné ma Sinfonie in A♯; c'est une grande satisfaction pour moi, mais je souhais bien d'avoir de vous même des nouvelles, que vous ferez avec tous les compositions, que j'ai vous donnés: vous m'avez promis ici, de donner un concert pour moi, mais ne prenez mal, si je me méfis un peu, quand je pense que le Prince régent d'angleterre ne me dignoit pas ni d'une reponse ni d'une autre reconnoissance pour la Bataile que j'ai envoyé a son Altesse, et lequelle on a donnée si souvent a Londre, et seulement les gazettes annoncoient le reussir de cet oeuvre et rien d'autre chose—comme j'ai deja ecrit une lettre anglaise à vous mon tres cher ami, je trouve bien de finir, je vous ai ici depeignée ma situation fatal ici, pour attendre tout ce de votre amitié, mais hélas, pas une lettre de vous—Ries m'a ecrit, mais vous connoissez bien dans ces entretiens entre lui et moi, ce que je vous ne trouve pas necessaire d'expliquer.

J'espere donc cher ami bientôt une lettre de vous, ou j'espere de trouver de nouvelles de votre santé et aussi de ce que vous avez fait a Londres pour moi—adieu donc, quant à moi je suis et je serai toujour votre

vrai ami,     


Beethoven to Mr. Neate.

Vienna, May 18, 1816.[181]

My dear Neate,

By a letter of Mr. Ries I am acquainted with your happy arrival at London. 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 Cantate, the Chorus, and the Opera, you want the help of the Philharmonic Society, and I hope your endeavour to my advantage will be successful.

Mr. Ries gave me notice of your intention to give a concert to my benefit. For this triumph of my art at London I would be indebted to you alone; but an influence still wholesomer on my almost indigent life, would be to have the profit proceeding from this enterprise. You know, that in some regard I am now father to the lovely lad you saw with me; hardly I can live alone three months upon my annual salary of 3400 florins in paper, and now the additional burden of maintaining a poor orphan—you conceive how welcome lawful means to improve my circumstances must be to me. As for the Quatuor in F minor, you may sell it without delay to a publisher, and signify me the day of its publication, as I should wish it to appear here and abroad on the very day. The same you be pleased to do with the two Sonatas Op. 102 for pianoforte and violoncello;[182] yet with the latter it needs no haste.

I leave entirely to your judgment to fix the terms for both works, to wit, the Quatuor and the Sonatas, the more the better.

Be so kind to write to me immediately for two reasons; 1st, that I may not be obliged to shrink up my shoulders when they ask me if I got letters from you; and 2dly, that I may know how you do, and if I am in favour with you. Answer me in English if you have to give me happy news, (for example, those of giving a concert to my benefit,) in French if they are bad ones.

Perhaps you find some lover of music to whom the Trio and the Sonata with violin, Mr. Ries had sold to Mr. Birchall, or the Symphony arranged for the pianoforte, might be dedicated, and from whom there might be expected a present. In expectation of your speedy answer, my dear friend and countryman, I am, yours truly,

Ludwig von Beethoven.


Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, June 11, 1816.

My dear Ries,

I am sorry again to put you to the expense of postage; much as I like to serve and assist others, it always hurts me to draw upon them on my own account. The ten ducats are not forthcoming, which leads to the conclusion that in England, as well as here, there are people who promise, but do not perform.

I do not blame you in this matter. Not having heard anything from Neate, I only beg you will ask him, whether he has disposed of the Quartett in F minor. I am almost ashamed to speak of all the other works intrusted to him, ashamed to own to myself that I have given them to him with that unbounded confidence which knows of no other conditions, than those which his care and friendship would suggest for my benefit.

I have had the translation of a notice in the Morning Chronicle on the performance of my Symphony (probably the one in A) given to me. It seems I shall fare with this work, and with all those which Neate has taken, as I did with my battle (of Vittoria). I shall read of their performance in the newspapers, and get nothing else by them.

Yours, &c.,     

Mr. Neate had been intrusted by Beethoven with several MS. works, (the two Sonatas, Op. 102, for pianoforte and violoncello, and the pianoforte Trio in B flat, Op. 97,) to dispose of them to English publishers, but found great obstacles in so doing from the difficulty of the music and the unwillingness of some of the principal music-publishers to purchase works so little understood, by an author too who, at that time, was more noted for his eccentricities than for any of those noble attributes which in after days have procured for him the admiration of the age. The delays occasioned by these circumstances, as well as by others relating to Mr. Neate's private life, and finally the unsatisfactory results of his negotiations, led Beethoven to the suspicion that his interest had been neglected and his confidence betrayed. This induced Mr. Neate to write the following letter.


Mr. Neate to Beethoven.

London, October 29, 1816.

My dear Beethoven,

Nothing has ever given me more pain than your letter to Sir George Smart.[183] I confess that I deserve your censure, that I am greatly in fault; but must say also that I think you have judged too hastily and too harshly of my conduct. The letter I sent you 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, and I was just on the point of writing to you, when Sir George Smart called with your letter. I do not know how to begin an answer to it; I have never been called upon to justify myself, because it is the first time that I ever stood accused of dishonour; 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 wish for his welfare, since I made his acquaintance." But as the appearance of my conduct has been so unfavourable in your eyes, I must tell you again of the situation I was in, previous to my marriage.   *

*     *     *     *

*   * I remain in my profession, and with no abatement of my love of Beethoven! During this period I could not myself do anything publicly, 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 offered all your music to them upon condition that they made you a very handsome present; this they said they could not afford, but proposed to see and hear your music, and then offer a price for it; I objected and replied "that I should be ashamed 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 disapproval of your works. I was the more apprehensive of this, from the unfortunate circumstance of your Overtures 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 to several publishers, but they thought them too difficult, and said they would not be saleable, and consequently made offers such as I could not 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 Symphony you read of in the 'Morning Chronicle' 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. I shall insist upon its being played next season, and most probably the first night. I am exceedingly glad that you have chosen Sir George Smart to make your complaints of me to, as he is a man of honour, and very much your friend; had it been to any one 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 at Vienna, as every one there who knows me can testify. I even offered my purse, which you generously always declined. Pray, my dear friend, believe me to remain,

Ever yours, most sincerely,   
C. Neate.

In reply to the above, Mr. Neate received the following letter from Mr. Häring, a private gentleman and distinguished amateur on the violin, who used to keep up a friendly intercourse with Beethoven at Vienna:--


Mr. Haring to Mr. C. Neate,
(At Beethoven's dictation.)

Vienna, 18th December, 1816.
1055, Seiler-Staette, third story.

My dear Sir,

Both letters to Mr. Beethoven and to me arrived. 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 joy that you have safely reached the long-wished-for port of love. 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. It certainly may last some weeks longer before a copy of this publication appears in London, but unless it is soon performed at the Philharmonic, and something is done for me afterwards by way of benefit, I don't see in what manner I am to reap any good. The loss of your interest last season with the Philharmonic, 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. With respect to the two Sonatas, Op. 102, for piano-forte and violoncello, I wish to see them sold very soon, as I have several offers for them in Germany, which depend entirely upon me to accept; but I should not wish, by publishing them here, to lose all and every advantage with them in England. I am satisfied with the ten guineas offered for the dedication of the Trio, and I beg you to hand the title immediately to Mr. Birchall, who is anxiously waiting for it; you'll please to use my name with him. I should be flattered to write some new works for the Philharmonic—I mean Symphonies, an Oratorio, or Cantatas,[184] &c. Mr. Birchall wrote as if he wished to purchase my 'Fidelio.' Please to treat with him, unless you have some plan with it for my benefit concert, which in general I leave to you and Sir George Smart, who will have the goodness to deliver this to you. The score of the Opera 'Fidelio' is not published in Germany or anywhere else. Try what can be done with Mr. Birchall, or as you think best. I was very sorry to hear that the three Overtures were not liked in London. I by no means reckon them amongst my best works, (which, however, I can boldly say of the Symphony in A), but still they were not disliked here and in Pesth, 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."


Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, July 9, 1817.

Dear Friend,

I feel much flattered by the honourable proposals you make me in your letter of the 9th of June: this comes to show you how I appreciate them, and, were it not for my unlucky affliction, and for the additional attendance this would make me require on a journey and in a strange country, I should at once accept the proposal of the Philharmonic Society. Now place yourself in my situation, consider how many more difficulties I have to contend with than any other artist, and then judge whether my demands be unjust. I am going here to subjoin them, and beg you will communicate them to the Directors of the above-named Society.

1. I mean to be in London in the middle of January, 1818, at the latest.

2. The two grand new Symphonies are then to be ready, and are to remain the Society's exclusive property.

3. The Society to give me for them three hundred guineas, and allow me one hundred guineas for my travelling expenses, which will much exceed that sum, as I must necessarily take some one with me.

4. As I shall immediately begin the two Symphonies, if my proposals be accepted, the Society to send me at once a cheque of one hundred and fifty guineas, that I may provide a carriage and other necessaries for my journey without delay.

5. I accept the conditions relative to my non-appearance in any other public orchestra, to my non-conducting, to my giving the preference to the Philharmonic Society upon equal terms, and in fact, with my sense of honour, all this would have been understood, though not mentioned.

6. I may rely upon the assistance of the Society in one or more benefit concerts, as circumstances may permit. I feel sure of this, from the feelings of friendship of several of the Directors of this estimable body, as indeed from the kind interest which most of the professional men have shown for my works; this will be an additional spur to my endeavours to fulfil their expectations.

7. I also beg to have the above written out in English, signed by three Directors of the Society, and sent over to me.

You may easily imagine how I enjoy the thoughts of becoming acquainted with the worthy Sir George Smart, and of seeing you and Neate again. Would I could fly across to you instead of this letter!

Your sincere admirer and friend,   
L. v. Beethoven.


(P.S. in his own hand.)

Dear Ries,—I embrace you with all my heart. I have expressly made use of another hand for the above that you might read and lay it before the Society with more ease. I have full confidence in your feelings towards me, and hope the Philharmonic Society will accept my proposals; you may rest assured that I shall exert all my powers to fulfil, in the worthiest manner possible, the honourable call of so distinguished a body of musicians. How strong is your band? how many violins, &c. &c., with single or double wind instruments? Is the room large—does the music tell in it?


Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, March 5, 1818.

My dear Ries,

Much as I wished it, I could not possibly manage to get to London this year; I beg you will inform the Philharmonic Society that it was my weak state of health which prevented me. I have some hopes of being effectually cured this spring, and then I shall avail myself about autumn of the proposals made to me by the Society—fulfilling all their conditions.

Will you ask Neate in my name not to make a public use, at least, of such works of mine as he has got, until my arrival: whichever way matters may stand with him, he has given me cause to complain.

Potter called on me several times; he seems to be a good creature, and has much talent for composition. I hope and wish that your circumstances may improve from day to day; I cannot say that mine do. * * * * * I cannot bear to see want—I must give; so you may fancy how much more I suffer in this matter. Pray let me hear from you soon. If possible, I shall decamp sooner, to escape my utter ruin, and shall be in London towards the end of winter at the latest. I know you will assist a distressed friend; had it been in my power, and had I not ever been fettered by circumstances, surely I should have done much more for you. Fare you well! remember me to Neate, Smart, Cramer—although I understand that the latter moves in contrary motion to you and me. Never mind; I hope I somewhat understand the art of managing such matters, and producing a pleasing harmony at our meeting in London. I embrace you with all my heart.

Your friend,     

My kind regards to your dear, and, as I understand, beautiful wife.


Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, April 30, 1819.

My dear Ries,

I could not ere this answer your last letter of the 18th of December. Your sympathy does me good. It is impossible to get to London for the present, entangled as I am in various ways; but God will assist my plans of reaching it certainly next winter, when I shall bring the new Symphonies. I am in expectation of the text for an Oratorio which I am to write for our Musical Society, and which may likewise serve us in London. Do for me what you can, for I stand in need of it. I should gladly have accepted any orders for the Philharmonic Society; Neate's reports, however, of the all but failure of the three Overtures have vexed me; they have not only been successful here, each in its own way, but those in E flat and C have even produced a powerful effect; so that the fate of these compositions in the Philharmonic Society is a riddle to me. You will have received the arrangement of the Quintetto and the Sonata. Pray let them both be engraved immediately, especially the Quintetto. The Sonata may follow a little more at leisure, but that too not later than two or three months hence. I had not received your former letter which you mention, and therefore did not scruple to strike a bargain for both these works in this place too—that is to say, only for Germany. It will be three months before the Sonata comes out here, but you must hurry with the Quintett. As soon as you send me a cheque for the money I shall let you have an agreement for the publisher, securing him the property of these works for England, Scotland, Ireland, France, &c.

The Tempi of the Sonata, according to Maelzel's Metronome, will reach you by the next post. The Quintett and Sonata are gone by De Smidt, courier to Prince Paul Esterhazy. I shall send my portrait by the earliest opportunity, as I understand that you really wish for it. Farewell! think kindly of your friend


My best love to your best love!!!


Vienna, April 16, 1819.

Here, dear Ries! are the Tempi of the Sonata (Op. 106). First Allegro, Allegro alone, strike out the assai, and add

Maelzel's Metronome half note[185] = 138

Second movement Scherzoso, M. M. half note = 80

Third movement, M. M. eighth note = 92

Observe that another bar should be prefixed to this movement, viz.:—

musical notation


Fourth movement, Introduzione largo M. M. sixteenth note = 76

Fifth and last movement, 3/4 time

musical notation


Excuse the mistakes; if you knew my circumstances you would not be surprised at them, but would wonder at what I produce in spite of them. The Quintett cannot be delayed any longer, and will shortly appear; not so the Sonata, about which I anxiously expect to hear from you, inclosing the terms. The name of the courier, through whom you have to receive the Quintett and Sonata, is De Smidt. I beg to have a speedy answer, and shall soon write more at length.

In haste, yours,   


Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, April 19, 1819.

Dear Friend,

Excuse the trouble which I am giving you. I cannot account for the numerous mistakes which have found their way into the copy of the Sonata, unless, indeed, they proceed from the circumstance of my not being able any longer to keep a copyist of my own; events have brought this about, and may the Lord help me until ... become better off. This will take another twelvemonth. It is most shocking how this matter has been brought about, and what has become of my salary, and no one can say what may become of it, until the above-mentioned twelvemonth comes round. Should the Sonata (Op. 106) not do for London, I might send another, or you may leave out the Largo and begin with the Fugue of the last movement, or else the first movement, the Adagio, and for the third, the Scherzo and the Largo and Allegro risoluto. I leave it to you to manage this as you think proper.[186] This sonata was written in time of need; for it is hard to write almost for one's daily bread; thus far am I reduced. We must correspond further upon my visit to London. It would certainly be the only means of saving me from my miserable and needy condition, which ruins my health, and will never permit my faculties to act as they might under more favourable circumstances.



Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, May 25, 1819.

*   *   *   I was all the while oppressed with such cares as I had never known, and all through my excessive benevolence to others. Write on industriously. My dear little Archduke Rudolph and I, we often play your works, and he says the former pupil does his master credit. Now fare you well. I content myself with embracing your wife—who, I understand is very handsome—in fancy only, for the present, but hope to have that pleasure in reality during next winter. Do not forget the Quintett, and the Sonata, and the money—I meant to say the honoraire, avec ou sans honneur. I trust to hear from you not only as fast as allegro, but veloce prestissimo, and good tidings too. This letter reaches you through a right clever Englishman; they are a powerful race for the most part, and I should like to spend some time amongst them in their own country.

Prestissimo—Responsio, il suo amico e maestro



Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, November 10, 1819.

Dear Ries,

I write to let you know that the Sonata is out, that is to say, only about a fortnight; and it is about six months since both were sent to you—the Quintett and the Sonata. I shall despatch in a few days through a courier who leaves this, the Quintett as well as the Sonata, so that you will be able to correct both works. Not having heard from you of the receipt of either, I thought the matter had fallen to the ground. Have I not been wrecked once before in this year through Neate? I wish you could try to get me the fifty ducats; I have reckoned upon receiving them, and, indeed, have many ways for my money. Enough for to-day, only let me tell you that I have almost concluded a new Mass; let me know what you could do with it in London; but that soon, very soon, and soon too let me have the money for both the works. I will write more fully another day. In haste, your true and sincere friend,



Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, April 6, 1822.

My dearest Ries,

I have been ill again for the last six months and more, and thus could never answer your letter. I have received the £26, and am sincerely obliged to you for them, but your Symphony dedicated to me has not arrived. My greatest work is a grand Mass, which I have lately written, &c. &c. Time presses to-day, so I say only the needful; what might the Philharmonic Society offer me for a Symphony?

I will think of coming to London, if my health would but permit it—perhaps next spring! You would find in me a master who truly appreciates the pupil, in his turn become a great master, and who knows how, and in what way, the art might be benefited from our acting jointly. I am as ever completely devoted to my muses, and this alone can ensure me happiness. I act for others, too, as best I may. You have two children—I have one (my brother's son)—but you are married, consequently your two cannot be as expensive as my one.

Now, farewell; kiss your fair lady, until I may perform this solemn act in person.

Your sincere friend,     

P.S. Be quick in letting me have your dedication, that I may show off in return, which I mean to do as soon as I have received yours.


Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, December 20, 1822.

My dear Ries,

I have had so much business on hand, that I could not send you a reply to your letter of the 15th of November. I gladly accept the request of the Philharmonic Society to write a new Symphony for them; although the terms offered are not what they ought to be, and what the English might afford, in comparison to other nations.

If I could but get to London, what would I not write for the Philharmonic Society! for, Heaven be praised, Beethoven can write, although he can do nothing else. If it please God to restore my health, which is somewhat improved, I may yet avail myself of the several proposals made to me from the different parts of Europe, and even from North America, and thus might I once more be put in a flourishing state.

Yours, &c.,     


Beethoven to Ries.

[Extract of a letter, the beginning of which is nowhere to be found.]

*   *  *   Do get matters speedily arranged for your poor friend; I expect your travelling plan too;[187] I can bear up no longer; I am in for it, deeper than ever; should I not go, look you, there is a crimen læsæ! Since you seem to wish for a dedication of mine, I am quite ready to gratify you; much more ready than I should be for any great man—for the greatest, entre nous.

The d——l knows where one might fall into their hands. You will receive the new Symphony (the ninth with choral parts) with the dedication to yourself. I hope at length to get possession of yours to me. "B" is to open the letter to the king (George the Fourth) he took charge of, and he will see what has been written to the king about the Battle of Vittoria; the enclosed letter to him[188] contains the same; but there is no longer a question about the Mass. Let our amiable friend B. try and get me at least a battle-axe or a turtle; the printed copy of the score of the Battle is, of course, also to be given to the King. This letter puts you to great expence,[189] pray deduct it from what you have to send me; how much I regret being so troublesome to you! The Lord be with you. Best love to your wife, until I come myself. Have a care; you think I am old; I am an old youngster.

Ever yours,     


Beethoven to Mr. Neate.

Vienna, February 25, 1823.

My dear friend,

Ries tells me you wish to have three Quartetts of me, and I now write, to beg you will let me know about what time they are to be ready, as I am fully satisfied with your offer of a hundred guineas for them; only let me beg of you, to send me a cheque for that sum, upon one of our banking-houses, so soon as I shall let you know that the Quartetts are finished, and I will, in my turn, deliver them to the same banker upon the receipt of the hundred guineas. I trust you are enjoying to the full the blessings of a family life; would I could have the pleasure of becoming an eye-witness to your happiness! I have sent Ries a new Overture for the Philharmonic Society, and am only waiting the arrival of a cheque for the new Symphony, to forward him that too, through our Austrian embassy. You will find in the bearer, Mr. A. Bauer, a man equally intelligent and amiable, who can give you a full account of my doings. Should my health improve,[190] I mean to visit England in 1824; let me know what you think about it. I should be delighted to write for the Philharmonic Society, to see the country and all its distinguished artists; and as to my pecuniary circumstances, they too might be materially benefited by this visit, as I feel that I shall never make anything in Germany. My name on the address of letters is sufficient security for their reaching me. With every kind wish for your welfare, believe me

Your sincere friend,     


Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, April 25, 1823.

Dear Ries,

The cardinal (Archduke Rudolph) has been staying here for a whole month; and as I had to give him two hours and a half's lesson per day, I was robbed of much time, besides feeling, the day after such lessons, scarcely able to think, much less to write.

My distressed circumstances, however, require that I should instantly write that which will procure money, sufficient for the moment. What a sad discovery this must be to you! And, moreover, all my troubles have caused me to be unwell—have given me sore eyes. But do not be alarmed; you will shortly receive the Symphony. Indeed it is all brought on by these miserable circumstances. You will also receive, a few weeks hence, thirty-three new Variations on a subject (a Valse Op. 120) dedicated to your wife. Bauer (first secretary to the Austrian embassy) has the score of the "Battle of Vittoria," which was dedicated to the then Prince Regent, and for which I have still to receive the copying expenses. Now I beg of you, dear friend, to send me, as soon as possible, a draught for the amount of whatever you may be able to get me for it. You and I know the publishers well.

With regard to your tender conjugal point, you will always find me in direct opposition to yourself, and decidedly taking the lady's part.

Ever your friend,   


Beethoven to Ries.

Hetzendorf, near Vienna, July 16, 1823.

My dear Ries,

The receipt of your letter, the day before yesterday, gave me great pleasure. I suppose you have got the Variations by this time. I could not write the dedication to your wife, as I do not know her name. Pray make it in the name of your own and your wife's friend, and let her be surprised with it, on its coming out. The fair sex is fond of that sort of thing. Between ourselves, the great charm of the beautiful lies in its coming upon us unawares.

With regard to the Allegri di Bravura, I shall pardon yours. To say the truth, I am no friend to that species of writing, calculated to promote mechanism all too much, in those at least which I know. I have not looked at your's yet, but shall inquire for them at ——, with whom I beg you will not communicate without great prudence. Might I not be your agent here for many things?

These publishers are certainly acting up to their name by publishing your works; but you get nothing by such publicity, which is only a reprint. Matters might perhaps be differently managed. I shall certainly send you a few chorusses; and, if required, produce a few new ones. They are quite my hobby.

Many thanks for the produce of the Bagatelles. I am quite content with it. Do not give anything to the King of England. Take whatever you can get for the Variations: I shall be satisfied anyhow. But one thing I must stipulate, that I shall positively take no other reward for the dedication to your wife than a kiss to be received by me in London. You sometimes write guineas, whereas I receive but pounds sterling, and I understand there is a difference.[191] Do not be angry at this, with a pauvre musicien autrichien; but indeed my situation is a difficult one. I am likewise writing a new violin Quartett. Might that too be offered to the musical or unmusical London Jews?—en vrai juif. With the sincerest embrace,

Your old friend,   


Beethoven to Ries.

Vienna, Sept. 5, 1823.

My dear good Ries,

I still continue without news of the Symphony, yet you may depend upon it ... will soon reach London. Were I not so poor as to be obliged to live by my pen, I should not take anything of the Philharmonic Society. As it is, I must certainly wait until my terms for the Symphony be made payable here. Wishing, however, to prove my confidence and affection for this Society, I have already sent off the new Overture. I leave it to the Society to settle for it at its own rate. My worthy brother (Johann), who keeps his carriage, thought fit to draw upon me too; and has consequently offered this same Overture, unknown to me, to a London publisher, Boosey. Pray tell him, my brother was mistaken with regard to the Overture. He bought it of me to carry on usury with it, as I perceive.—O frater! As yet I have not seen anything of your Symphony dedicated to me. Did I not consider this dedication as a kind of challenge, demanding satisfaction on my side, I should by this time have inscribed some work to you. As it is, I thought I ought by rights to see your work first; and how I wish I could in any way show you my gratitude! I am deep in your debt for so many proofs of attachment and active kindness.

Should my health improve by a proposed course of bathing, I shall embrace your wife in 1824 in London.

Ever yours,     

[The following three letters are given as originally written in French, not in Beethoven's own hand, but signed by himself:]—


Beethoven à Monsieur C. Neate.

Vienne, le 15 Janvier, 1825.

Ce fut avec le plus grand plaisir que je reçus votre lettre du ... par laquelle vous avez eu la bonté de m'avertir que la Société Philharmonique distinguée d'artistes m'invite à venir à Londres. Je suis bien content des conditions que me fait la Société, seulement je désire de lui proposer de m'envoyer, outre les 300 guinées qu'elle me promet, encore 100 guinées pour faire les dépenses du voyage; car il faudra acheter une voiture; aussi dois-je être accompagné de quelqu'un. Vous voyez bien que cela est nécessaire; d'ailleurs je vous prie de m'indiquer l'auberge où je pourrai descendre à Londres.

Je prendrai un nouveau Quatuor avec moi. Quant au bruit dont vous m'écrivez, qu'il existe un exemplaire de la 9ème Symphonie à Paris, il n'est point fondé. Il est vrai que cette Symphonie sera publiée en Allemagne, mais point avant que l'an soit écoulé, pendant lequel la Société en jouira.

Sur ce point il faut encore vous avertir de ne faire que de petites preuves de cette composition, en Quatuor par exemple, car c'est la seule manière d'étudier bien une belle œuvre; les chœurs, avant tout, doivent être exercés. Il y a encore quelques erreurs, dont je vous enverrai le catalogue par la poste prochaine.

Il me semble avoir été oublié dans la 2de partie de la Symphonie, qu'à la répétition du minor après le Presto il faut commencer de nouveau du signe S with a diagonal line through it et continuer sans répétition jusqu'à la Ferma, alors on prend aussitôt la Coda.

Je vous prie de me répondre au plus vite possible, car on demande de moi une grande composition nouvelle, que je ne commençerai cependant pas, sans avoir votre réponse. Il faut que j'écrive toujours, pas pour me faire des richesses,—seulement pour pourvoir à mes besoins.

Or je dois avoir de la certitude sur ce point.—Je serai bien charmé de vous voir, et de connoitre la noble nation Anglaise.

Je suis, avec la plus haute consideration,

Votre sincere ami,


Beethoven à Monsieur Neate.

Vienne, le 19 Mars, 1825.

Mon très cher ami!

Je ne pourrai guère venir à Londres durant le printemps, mais qui sait quel accident m'y conduit peut-être en automne. J'espére que vous vous trouvez bien dans votre famille, et en bonne santé. Quant aux Quatuors, dont vous m'écrivez dans vos lettres, j'en ai achevé le premier, et je suis à présent à composer le second, qui, comme le troisiéme, sera achevé dans peu de temps. Vous m'offrez 100 guinées pour 3 Quatuors, je trouve cette proposition bien généreuse. Il se demande seulement, s'il m'est permis de publier ces Quatuors après un an et demie, ou deux ans.[192] C'est ce qui serait tres avantageux pour mes finances. En ce qui concerne la manière de simplifier l'envoiement des Quatuors, et de l'argent de votre part, je vous propose de remettre les œuvres à Messrs. Fries & Co., qui témoigneront à vous même, ou à quelque banquier de Londres, d'être possesseurs des Quatuors, et qui vous les remettront aussitôt après l'arrivée de l'argent.

Voici une affaire, par laquelle vous pouvez me prouver votre amitié. Je vous prie seulement de me répondre au plus-tôt possible. Je me fie toujours à votre amitié pour moi, et vous assure que vous pouvez faire de même à moi.

Je suis, avec la plus grande consideration,

Votre ami,     


Beethoven à Monsieur Neate.

Vienne, le 25 May, 1825.

Mon ami!

Je crois nécessaire de vous écrire encore une fois. Je vois dans la lettre que vous m'avez écrite il y a deux ans, que l'honoraire des Quatuors est £100 sterling. Je suis content de cette offre, mais il est nécessaire de vous avertir, que le 1er Quatuor est si cherché par les plus célèbres artistes de Vienne, que je l'ai accordé à quelques uns d'eux pour leur benefice. Je crois tromper votre amitié en ne vous avertissant point de cette circonstance, parceque vous pouvez aussi en faire usage à Londres. Or si vous me repondez que vous êtes content des propositions que je vous ai faites dans ma lettre dernière, je vous enverrai aussitôt le 1er Quatuor; cependant je vous prie d'accélerer votre resolution, puisque les éditeurs desirent vivement de le posseder. Cependant vous n'avez point de remettre l'honoraire qu'après avoir reçu l'assurance de ma part, que les 2 autres Quatuors sont achevés. Seulement je vous prie d'ajouter à votre lettre l'assurance de votre contentement en ce qui concerne mes offres. Voilà ce que j'ai cru devoir vous dire. Je crois vous avoir fait une complaisance, et je suis certain que vous ferez le même envers moi. Conservez votre amitié pour moi.

Je suis, avec le plus grand estime,
Votre ami sincère,


Beethoven to Ries at Bonn.

Vienna, April 9, 1825.

Dear worthy Ries,

The needful in all haste! In the score of the Symphony which I sent you (it is the ninth with choruses), there stands, as far as I remember, in the first oboe in the 242nd bar,—

musical sign, "segno"

I have looked over the whole of the parts, with the exception of the brass band—that only in part—and I trust they must be tolerably correct. I would willingly have sent you the score,[193] but I have a concert before me, and the only score I possess is my manuscript. The concert, however, depends upon my health; for I must soon set off to the country, where alone I can prosper at this time.

You will soon receive the Opferlied, copied a second time; and I beg you will mark it as corrected by myself, that it might not be used together with the one you have already by you. This song gives you an idea of the miserable copyist I have had ever since Schlemmer's death. There is scarcely a note in which I can trust him. As you have already had all the written parts of the finale of the Symphony, I have now sent you the second choral parts. You can easily have these scored from before the beginning of the chorus; and at the commencement of the vocal, it will be quite easy to have the instrumental parts prefixed to the second vocal ones: it will require a little reflection. It was impossible to write all this at once; and, had we hurried such a copyist, there would have been errors upon errors. I have sent you an Overture in C, 6/8 time, not yet published: the printed parts, too, you will receive by the next post. The Kyrie and Gloria (two of the principal pieces of the Messe Solemnelle), in D major, are likewise on their way to you, together with an Italian vocal Duet. You will receive, besides these, a grand March with chorusses, well fitted for grand musical performances.[194] Another grand, and as yet unknown, Overture might come forth, but I fancy you have enough of these.

Farewell, in the land of the Rhine, ever dear to me.[195] Every enjoyment of life attend you and your wife. The most friendly remembrances to your father.

From your friend,     

No. III.

Account of a Concert given by Beethoven at the Kaernthnerthor Theatre, Vienna.[196]

*  *  *  *  *

On the 7th of May, 1824, a grand musical performance took place at the Kärnthnerthor Theatre. The leaders of the music were Kapellmeister Umlauf and M. Shuppanzigh, and the great composer himself assisted on the occasion. He took his place at the side of the principal leader, and, with his original score before him, indicated the different movements and determined the precise manner in which they were to be given; for, unfortunately, the state of his hearing prevented him from doing more. The theatre was crowded to excess, and the sensation caused by the appearance of this great man was of a kind that is more easy to imagine than to describe. The arrangement of the pieces performed was as follows:—1st, Beethoven's Grand Overture in C major; 2nd, Three Grand Hymns, with solo and chorus parts, from his New Mass, never before performed; 3rd, a Grand New Symphony, with a finale, in which are introduced a solo and chorus part from Schiller's Lied an die Freude (Song of Joy). This also was performed for the first time, and is Beethoven's last composition. We shall offer a few observations on each of these in the order of their performance.

With respect to the Overture, it indisputably belongs to the most finished of his compositions. The introductory Andante is throughout of the most simple, noble, and masterly kind, and the rather lengthened Allegro that follows is full of brilliant fancy: it is in the free fugue style, in three parts, each of which is sustained with equal power and effect. It is never monotonous, its form is constantly varying without in any manner sacrificing unity of effect; without the smallest rest point, the interest is constantly kept up; it flows along in a stream of harmony always pure and limpid; but it certainly presents an arduous task to the performer. It is thus that Handel would have written, had he had at his disposal the rich orchestra of our times; and it is only a spirit congenial with that of the immortal author of the Messiah that could succeed in treading in the footsteps of this giant of the art. The Three Hymns are principal portions of the New Mass which Beethoven has lately composed. The first, which was the Kyrie Eleison, is in D major, a movement full of fire and deep religious feeling. The Christe that followed is in triple time, and full of happy effects of counterpoint; the return to the first measure of the Kyrie is managed in a masterly manner, and the whole terminates in harmonics of a very singular and touching character. But altogether the effect is not so much that of children supplicating a parent, which is the true intent of the words, in the place in which they stand, as the deep and mournful supplications of a people humbled in the dust.

The treatment of the Credo that follows is in the highest degree original and uncommon. Both the principal key, B flat major, as well as the time, change perhaps too often, so that the ear is scarcely able to comprehend the suddenness of the effects intended to be produced. At the consubstantialem patri, a short but very powerful figure commences; the incarnatus est is a movement of very pathetic effect, and the tender and touching passage, passus et sepultus est, with its well placed dissonances in the violin accompaniment, is not to be described. Well imagined and sustained, the strongly figured movement at the entrance of the contra-theme is somewhat quickened, but the first moderato again returns. The Amen opens with a broad and richly ornamented passage; it swells into splendid effect, and terminates in a long dying fall. If it were permitted in a church composition to speak of effect in the same manner as in a secular production, it cannot be denied that this retarding kind of conclusion tends to weaken the powerful impression produced by the preceding bolder results; especially when no reasonable cause can be assigned for such a mode of conclusion, unless it be the determination of a composer to differ from all the rest of the world. Who does not feel himself inspired by those brilliant Fugues with which a Naumann, a Haydn, and a Mozart terminate their compositions of this kind, which seem as if on the wings of seraphs to waft the soul towards heaven? The character of the Agnus Dei, in B minor, is solemn and tender, and the introduction of four French horns tends to heighten the effect in an extraordinary degree. The Dona in D major, 6/8 time, passes into an Allegretto movement of feeling, and advances in beautiful imitations, till suddenly the passage changes, and the kettle-drums, like distant thunder, intone the deep pacem.[197] A soprano solo introduces the second Agnus Dei in a kind of recitative, and a chorus, strengthened by trumpets, precedes the tremendous Miserere Nobis. The effect of the latter is singular in the extreme, and when we reflect upon the sentiments intended to be expressed, we scarcely know whether to praise or blame.

With respect to the new Symphony it may, without fear, stand a competition with its eight sister works, by none of which is the fame of its beauty likely to be eclipsed; it is evidently of the same family, though its characteristic features are different—

facies non omnibus una Non diversa tamen, qualem debet esse sororum.—OVID.

The opening passage is a bold Allegro in D minor, full of rich invention, and of athletic power; from the first chord till the gradual unfolding of the colossal theme, expectation is constantly kept alive and never disappointed. To give a skeleton of this composition would be scarcely practicable, and, after all, would convey but a very faint idea of the body; we shall therefore only touch upon some of the more prominent features, among which is a Scherzo movement (D minor) full of playful gaiety, and in which all the instruments seem to contend with each other in the whim and sportiveness of the passage; and a brilliant March in the vivid major mode, forms a delightful contrast with the passages by which it is introduced. Whoever has imagined in hearing the Andante of the 7th Symphony, that nothing could ever equal, not to say surpass it, has but to hear the movement of the same kind in the present composition in order to change his sentiments. In truth, the movement is altogether divine, the interchanges and combinations of the motives are surprising, the tasteful conduct of the whole is easy and natural, and in the midst of the rich exuberance of the subject, the simplicity that prevails throughout is truly admirable. But it is in the Finale that the genius of this great master shines forth most conspicuously. We are here, in an ingenious manner, presented with a return of all the subjects in short and brilliant passages, and which, as in a mirror, reflect the features of the whole. After this a singular kind of recitative by the contra-basses introduces a crescendo passage of overwhelming effect, which is answered by a chorus of voices that bursts unexpectedly in, and produces an entirely new and extraordinary result. The passages from Schiller's "Song of Joy" are made admirably expressive of the sentiments which the poet intended to convey, and are in perfect keeping with the tone and character of the whole of this wonderful composition. Critics have remarked of the Finale, that it requires to be heard frequently in order to be duly appreciated.

At the conclusion of the concert Beethoven was unanimously called forward. He modestly saluted the audience, and retired amidst the loudest expressions of enthusiasm. Yet the feeling of joy was tempered by a universal regret, to see so gifted an individual labouring under an infliction the most cruel that could befal an artist in that profession for which Nature had destined him. We have no doubt but the master will consider this as one of the proudest days in his existence; and it is to be hoped that the testimony of general feeling which he has witnessed will tend to soothe his spirit, to soften down some of its asperities, and to convince him that he stands upon a pinnacle far above the reach of envy and every malignant passion.

Both singers and instrumental performers acquitted themselves on this interesting occasion in a manner that is deserving of the highest praise. Of the worthy Kapellmeister Umlauf, who undertook the conduct of this great work, and M. Shuppanzigh, a master of known abilities, who led the band, it is but justice to say that their zeal, knowledge, and talents deservedly obtained them the most conspicuous place and the merited thanks of their brother artists. The impracticability of devoting sufficient time for the number of rehearsals that were necessary, in order to do justice to music which is at once new and of so lofty a character, made it impossible to give it with that precision, and those delicate shades of forte and piano, which are required to do them justice.

The deep and general feeling which this concert, in honour of the great master of the modern art in Germany, excited, together with the disappointment experienced by many who were unable to obtain admission, induced the Director of the Theatre to make an offer to the composer of a certain consideration if he would condescend once more to appear in public, and assist at a repetition of the same music. With this request he complied; and in addition to the pieces before performed, he offered them a manuscript Terzetto, with Italian words, which was accordingly performed, and considered by the numerous Italian amateurs in Vienna as a kind of compliment paid by the composer to themselves. The performance went off with still greater éclat than on the former occasion, and this new composition was hailed by all with no less enthusiasm than the other works.

No. IV.

Characteristics of Beethoven, from Wegeler and Ries's "Notizen."

WHEN Beethoven's reputation had attained the highest point at Vienna, his dislike to playing in society was so ungovernable that he used completely to lose his temper in consequence; and would often come to see me in the most melancholy mood, complaining that play he must, although he felt the blood tingling in his fingers. By degrees I used to draw him into a conversation of a more cheerful tendency, and always succeeded in ultimately pacifying him. This object attained I used to drop all discourse, sit down to my writing-desk, and thus oblige Beethoven to take the chair next to me, for the purpose of further conversation—that chair being the one used at the piano. The vicinity of the instrument soon led him to strike some chords at random, whence sprung the most beautiful melodies. Oh! why did I not more fully understand him! Wishing to possess a manuscript of his, I more than once put before him on the desk some music-paper, seemingly without intention; it was always filled, but when he had done this, he folded it and put it into his pocket, leaving me to laugh at my own miscalculation. He never permitted me to say much, if anything, about his playing on these occasions, and always went away an altered being, ready to come back to me. His antipathy to playing in company, however, remained unshaken, and was frequently the cause of the greatest quarrels between him and his friends and patrons.


Haydn had been anxious that Beethoven should write on the titles of his early works "pupil of Haydn;" to this Beethoven objected, saying, that although he had received some instructions from Haydn, yet he had never learnt anything of him. Beethoven during his first stay at Vienna had been Mozart's pupil for a short time, but used to complain of this great master never having played to him. Albrechtsberger gave him instructions in counterpoint, and Salieri in dramatic music. I was well acquainted with these three men; they all agreed in their regard for Beethoven, as well as in their opinion of his mode of learning. Each said Beethoven had always been so obstinate and self-willed, that his own hard earned experience often had to teach him those things the study of which he would not hear of; this was more especially affirmed by Albrechtsberger and Salieri. The dry rules of the former, and the less important ones of the latter on dramatic composition (in the old Italian school), would not excite any interest in Beethoven; we may therefore be allowed to doubt Seyfried's "incontrovertible evidence" as given in his Studies, that "Beethoven devoted his two years' apprenticeship with Albrechtsberger with unremitting perseverance to his theoretical studies."


Ries says, in his Notizen, page 87, Beethoven had promised the three Sonatas for piano-forte solo (Op. 31), to Nägeli of Zurich, whilst his brother Carl (Caspar), who alas! always would interfere in his affairs, wanted to sell them to a Leipsic publisher. The brothers used to have frequent disputes on this subject, Beethoven being determined to keep his promise. At the time of sending off these Sonatas, Beethoven lived in Heiligenstadt. He was one day walking with his brother when a new quarrel arose between them on this subject, which actually ended in blows. The next day he gave me the Sonatas to be sent off to Zürich without delay; he had at the same time written to his brother, and sent the letter under cover to Stephen Breuning for perusal. I never heard a lecture given more forcibly and more good-naturedly than that which Beethoven here preached to his brother, on his conduct of the preceding day. He began by showing it to him in its true and most despicable light—then forgave him everything—but warned him that if he valued his own future happiness, he must alter his life and conduct altogether. His letter to Breuning on this occasion was no less beautiful than the above-mentioned.


As a proof of Beethoven's extraordinary faculties it may here be quoted, that, at the first rehearsal of his piano-forte Concerto in C major, which took place at his house, his piano proved to be half a tone lower than the wind instruments. He immediately desired these to tune in B instead of A, whilst he himself played his part in C sharp.


Ries gives us a curious instance of the manner in which the great master showed his originality. He says it is in the first movement of the Sinfonia eroica that Beethoven has vented his spleen upon the horn. Previous to the motivo returning in the second part, he has indicated it through the horn whilst the two violins hold on the chord of the second. Those who are not initiated into this secret of the score, must ever think the horn-player had miscounted, and made a wrong entry. At the first rehearsal of this Symphony, which was a stormy one, and where the horn-player came in correctly, I stood next to Beethoven, and, taking it for granted that the horn-player was wrong, I said "Listen to that stupid fellow—can he not count—it sounds wretchedly!" I think my ears narrowly escaped being boxed, and Beethoven did not for some time forgive me.[198] He played the same evening his piano-forte Quintett with wind instruments. Ram, the celebrated oboe-player of Munich, played also, and accompanied the Quintett. At one of the pauses in the last Allegro, previously to the subject coming on again, Beethoven of a sudden began to extemporize, taking the Rondo for his subject, thus amusing himself and his audience for some time. Not so his wind instruments; these lost their temper, particularly Mr. Ram, who was much incensed. It was indeed ludicrous to see these gentlemen, who were constantly expecting to recommence, putting up their instruments, and as quickly taking them down again. At length Beethoven was satisfied, and returned to the Rondo, the whole company being in raptures.


The Funeral March of the grand Sonata, Op. 26, in a flat minor, dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky, owes its existence to the high encomiums which were bestowed by Beethoven's friends on Paer's Funeral March in his Opera of "Achilles."[199]


On Steibelt coming from Paris to Vienna, several of Beethoven's friends were afraid lest the great reputation of the former should be injurious to Beethoven. Steibelt did not call upon him, and they first met at Count Fries's where Beethoven performed his new Trio in B major for piano, clarionet, and violin (Op. 11) for the first time; the player not having here an opportunity for display. Steibelt listened with a kind of condescension, and paid Beethoven some every-day compliment, thinking himself secure in his triumph. He played a Quintett of his own, and an extempore Fantasia, and produced much effect by the novelty of his tremulandos. Beethoven was not to be persuaded into a second performance. At a concert, which took place a week later at Count Fries's, Steibelt again played a Quintett with much success, and had, moreover, got up for the occasion (as was palpably felt) a brilliant Fantasia, upon the very subject of the variations in Beethoven's Trio: this so incensed his admirers and himself that he was made to extemporize; he went up to the instrument in his usual, I may say uncouth manner, being half pushed towards it, took en passant the violoncello part of Steibelt's Quintett, laid it (intentionally?) upside down on the desk, and drummed a subject, beginning at the first bars with one finger; but having been excited and offended at the same time, he gave us such a performance as to make Steibelt quit the room ere he had done, declaring he would never meet Beethoven again, and indeed making Beethoven's non-appearance a condition to those who desired to have him.


Beethoven usually put off to the very last moment such compositions as were to be ready at a stated period; thus he had promised the celebrated horn-player, Ponto, to write a Sonata for piano-forte and French horn (Op. 17), and play it with him at Ponto's concert; this had been publicly announced, never having been commenced till the day before the concert, and was terminated for the performance.


The celebrated Sonata in A minor, Op. 47, with violin-concertante, dedicated to Kreuzer, had originally been written for Bridgetower, an English performer, and much in the same manner, although the first Allegro was finished in good time. Bridgetower urged him on to set about it, his concert being announced, and he anxious to study his part. I was suddenly called to Beethoven one morning at half-past four, and he said—"Write out this violin part of the first Allegro with all haste" (his usual copyist was already employed): he had but slightly sketched the piano-forte part, and Bridgetower played that lovely subject with variations in F major, from Beethoven's own manuscript, at eight in the morning at his concert in the 'Augarten'—there being no time to copy it. The last Allegro 6/8 A major, had, on the contrary, been beautifully copied both in the violin and piano-forte part, having originally belonged to the first Sonata, Op. 30, in A major, dedicated to the Emperor Alexander; he deemed it too brilliant for this work, and substituted those variations which we still find in it.


Beethoven esteemed Mozart and Handel most of all composers, and next to them S. Bach. If ever I found him with music in his hand, or on his desk, it was sure to be that of one of these mighty men. Haydn rarely escaped without a side cut, partly perhaps from a former grudge he bore him, and of which the following may be a cause:—Beethoven's three Trios, Op. 1, were to be first ushered into the world of cognoscenti at one of Prince Lichnowsky's soirées. All those distinguished in the art had been invited, and Haydn amongst the number; his judgment being anxiously looked up to. The Trios were played and at once created a great sensation. Haydn, too, expressed himself with much satisfaction to Beethoven, advising him, however, not to publish the third in C minor, whilst he, considering this the best,[200] was much struck by Haydn's advice, leaving him under the impression of being envied and looked upon rather in jealousy than as a friend.


If, in playing to him, I made a mistake in passages, or if I happened to strike a wrong note where he required a particularly accentuated one, he seldom said anything; but if I showed any want of expression, if I omitted a crescendo, &c., or if I did not succeed in rendering the character of the piece, he became incensed: the former, he said, was chance; but the latter, want of knowledge, of feeling, or of attention. Indeed, he himself might often be reproached with the former defect, even when playing in public.


In the second Symphony in D major, the manuscript score of which Beethoven gave me, something very striking occurs, in the Larghetto quasi Andante. This Larghetto is so beautiful, so clear and bright, and the harmony so pure, that the hearer could not imagine it had ever been altered. The plan had indeed been the same from the beginning, but, in the second violin, as well as in many parts of the tenor, there are considerable alterations in the accompaniments, the original thoughts having been so carefully effaced as to render it impossible for me to trace them in spite of all the pains I took to that effect. On questioning Beethoven about it, he drily retorted, "It is better thus."


During a walk which I took with Beethoven, I was talking to him of two consecutive fifths which occur in one of his earliest violin-Quartetts in C minor, and which, to my surprise, sound most harmoniously. Beethoven did not know what I meant, and would not believe they could be fifths. He soon produced the piece of music-paper which he was in the habit of carrying about with him, and I wrote down the passage with its four parts. When I had thus proved myself to be right, he said, "Well, and who forbids them?" Not knowing what to make of this question, I was silent, and he repeated it several times, until I at length replied, in great amazement, "Why, it is one of the very first rules." He, however, still repeated his question, and I answered, "Marpurg, Kirnberger, Fuchs, &c. &c.—in fact, all theorists." "Well, then, I permit them," was his final answer.


While Beethoven was playing with me at Count Brown's his three Marches for two performers, Op. 45, P—— was carrying on a loud and merry conversation with a beautiful young lady seated in the doorway near the ante-room. Beethoven made several attempts to silence them, and when these proved fruitless, suddenly and in the midst of playing lifted my hands off the keys, jumped up and said, loud enough to be heard by everybody, "I do not play for such swine." All attempts to make him return to the piano proved fruitless, nor did he permit me to play any more. The music ceased accordingly, to the vexation of every person present.


The following was the cause of his breaking with Himmel. They had met one day, and Beethoven sat down to extemporise at Himmel's request, afterwards desiring him to do the same; Himmel was weak enough to consent, and, after having played for a considerable time, Beethoven exclaimed, "Well, when are you going to begin in good earnest?" Himmel, who had thought wonders of his own performance, started up at these words, and both became rude to each other. Beethoven said to me, "I thought Himmel had just been preluding." They made it up afterwards, and Himmel could forgive but not forget; they even carried on a correspondence for some little time, but at last Himmel played Beethoven a sad trick. The latter always wanted to have the last news from Berlin, which somewhat annoyed Himmel, who at length wrote to him—"The latest piece of news is the invention of a lantern for the blind." Beethoven carried this piece of intelligence abroad, and all the world wished to know how this might possibly be. He immediately wrote to Himmel, and reproached him with not having sent a full explanation. The answer received, but which I cannot here impart, was such as finally closed their correspondence; all that was ludicrous in the letter fell to Beethoven's share, and yet he was so imprudent as to show it to several persons.

One of our country excursions led us on so far that we did not return to Döbling (Beethoven's residence) till eight o'clock. He had been humming to himself the whole way, and keeping up a kind of howling, up and down, without articulating any distinct sounds. Upon asking him what he meant, by this, he said "I have just thought of a subject for the last movement of the Sonata (in F minor, Op. 57). On entering the room, he ran up to the piano without taking off his hat. I sat down in a corner, where he soon forgot me, and for the next hour he went on storming over the keys until the Finale, such as we now admire it, was struck out. At length he got up, and, surprised at still finding me there, said, "I cannot give you a lesson to-day, I must work."

Beethoven once laid down a serious plan for a joint and very extensive tour, where I was to have arranged the concerts and played all his Concertos and other works. He himself would have conducted and extemporised only. The latter was in fact the most extraordinary performance that could be witnessed, especially when he was in good spirits, or otherwise excited. I never heard any one come near the height which Beethoven had attained in this branch of execution. The stores of thought which crowded upon him, the caprice by which he was led on, the variety of treatment, and the difficulties, whether accidental or called forth by himself, were inexhaustible.


As we were one day talking of subjects for Fugues at the conclusion of a lesson, I sitting at the piano and he next to me, I began to play the subject of the first Fugue of Graun's "Death of Jesus." Beethoven soon played it after me, first with the left hand, and then bringing in the right, he worked it up for more than half an hour without the slightest interruption. I am still at a loss to think how he could bear his uncomfortable position; but his inspiration made him insensible to external impressions.

On Clementi's coming to Vienna, Beethoven was going to call upon him; but his brother persuaded him that Clementi ought to pay him the first visit; this he would probably have done, although much the older of the two, had there been no gossip about it. As it was, Clementi had been at Vienna for some time, before he knew Beethoven even by sight. At one time we used often to dine at the "Swan," at one and the same table—Clementi with his pupil Klengel, Beethoven with me: we knew each other, but did not speak or even bow, as by so doing we might either of us have forfeited our lessons; for my own part, I know this must have been the case, as Beethoven never held a middle course.

The Sonata in C major (Op. 53), dedicated to his first patron, Count Waldstein, had originally a long Andante. A friend of Beethoven's pronounced this Sonata to be too long, which brought him a volley of abuse in return; upon quietly weighing the matter, however, my master convinced himself of the truth of his assertion. He then published the grand Andante in F major, 3/8 time, separately, and afterwards composed the highly interesting introduction to the Rondo, such as it now stands. This Andante will ever bring a sad recollection to my mind. When Beethoven played it for the first time to his friend Krumpholz and me, we were so delighted with it, that, by dint of begging, we got him to play it over again. On my return home, as I passed Prince Lichnowsky's door, I went in, to tell him of Beethoven's beautiful new composition, and was now compelled to play the piece as far as I could remember it. As I went on, I remembered more and more of it, so that the Prince made me try the whole over again: by this means he too learnt part of it, and, thinking to afford Beethoven a surprise, he walked into his room the next day, saying, "I too have composed something which is not bad." Beethoven firmly declared he would not hear it; but in spite of this the Prince sat down and played the greater part of the Andante, to the amazement of the composer. He was so incensed at this that he vowed he never would play to me again; no, nor even in my presence, and often required of me to leave the room on that account. One day, as a small party were breakfasting with the Prince after the concert at the "Augarten" (at eight in the morning), Beethoven and I being present, it was proposed that we should drive to Beethoven's house to hear his new opera "Leonora," which had never been performed. Upon our arrival, Beethoven desired me to leave, and as the earnest solicitations of all present were of no avail, I did go, but with tears in my eyes. The whole party noticed it, and, Prince Lichnowsky following my steps, desired I would remain in the ante-room, and he would make up the matter, of which he considered himself to have been the cause. Of this, however, my wounded pride would not hear. I learnt afterwards that Lichnowsky had reproached Beethoven with great violence, as after all it was only the Prince's love for the great composer's works which brought about the whole occurrence, and consequently Beethoven's wrath too; but all this tended only to make matters worse, as he now declined playing to the company assembled.


The third of his Violin-Quartetts in D major (Op. 18) was first composed, and the one in F, now the first, had originally been the third.


Beethoven had scarcely travelled at all; he had in his younger years, towards the close of the century, been to Presburgh, Pesth, and once to Berlin. Although his manner was alike to men, whether of the highest or the lowest conditions, yet he was by no means insensible to the civilities of the former. Whilst at Berlin he played several times at court (in the reign of King Frederick William II.), and there composed the two Sonatas with violoncello obligato (Op. 5) for himself and Duport, first violoncello to the king. Beethoven was presented, on his departure, with a gold snuff-box filled with louis-d'ors, and he used to relate with much complacency, that it was no common box, but such as is usually given to ambassadors.


He used to see a good deal of Himmel, whom he set down as having a pleasing talent, but nothing more; his piano-forte playing he called elegant and agreeable, but said he must not be compared to Prince Louis Ferdinand. He paid the latter, as he thought, a great compliment, by telling him he did not consider him anything like a royal or princely performer, but a famous piano-forte player.


During Prince Ferdinand's stay at Vienna, the old Countess —— gave a musical soirée to a few friends,—Beethoven amongst the number; but at supper there was a table laid for the Prince and the highest nobility alone, and no cover for Beethoven. He took fire, uttered some coarse expressions, and took his hat and left the house. A few days later Prince Louis gave a dinner-party, to which the old Countess had been invited. On sitting down, places were assigned to the Countess on one, to Beethoven on the other side of the Prince, a distinction which he always talked of with great pleasure.


My father's letter of introduction to Beethoven contained at the same time a credit to a small amount, should I stand in need of it. I never made use of it, but whenever he found my cash running low he sent me money unsolicited, and never would allow me to refund it to him; he really loved me, and in one of his absent fits gave me a singular proof of it. On my return to Silesia, where I had been as pianist to Prince Lichnowsky, upon Beethoven's recommendation, he was in the act of shaving just as I entered his room, soaped up to his very eyes, to which his excessively strong beard extended. On perceiving me, he started up and embraced me with so much cordiality, that he effectually transferred every particle of the soapy substance from his left cheek to my right. How we did laugh at this!


One evening, on coming to Baden to continue my lessons, I found Beethoven sitting on the sofa, a young and handsome lady beside him. Afraid of intruding my presence, which I judged might be unwelcome, I was going to withdraw, but Beethoven prevented me, saying, "You can play in the mean time." He and the lady remained seated behind me. I had been playing for some time, when Beethoven suddenly exclaimed, "Ries, play us an Amoroso;" shortly after "a Malinconico;" then an "Appassionato," &c. From what I heard I could guess that he had in some way given offence to the lady, and was now trying to make up for it by such whimsical conduct. At last he started up, crying, "Why that is my own, every bit!" I had all along been playing extracts from his own works, linked together by short transitions, and thus seemed to have pleased him. The lady soon left, and I found to my utter astonishment that Beethoven did not know who she was. I learnt that she had come in shortly before me to make his acquaintance. We followed her steps to discover her residence, and thence her rank; we saw her at a distance, the moon shining brightly, but found that she suddenly disappeared. We extended our walk through the lovely valley for the next hour and a half; on leaving him that night, he said, "I must find out who she is, and you must help." I met her a long time afterwards at Vienna, when I discovered her to be the mistress of some foreign prince. I communicated the news to Beethoven, but never heard anything more concerning her, either from him or any one else.


I never saw more of Beethoven than whilst I lodged at a tailor's, who had three most beautiful daughters, of irreproachable conduct. It is to this he alludes when he thus concludes his letter of July 24, 1804: "Do not tailor too much, make my respects to the fairest of the fair, and send me half-a-dozen needles."

Beethoven took lessons of Krumpholz, on the violin, at Vienna; and when first I knew him,[201] we used to play his Sonatas with violin together. This was, however, wretched music, for in his zealous ecstasy he did not perceive that he had missed the right fingering of the passages.


Beethoven was most awkward and helpless, and his every movement completely void of grace. He seldom laid his hand upon anything without breaking it: thus he several times emptied the contents of the inkstand into the neighbouring piano. No one piece of furniture was safe with him, and least of all a costly one: he used either to upset, stain, or destroy it. How he ever managed to learn the art of shaving himself still remains a riddle, leaving the frequent cuts visible in his face quite out of the question. He never could learn to dance in time.


Beethoven's Violin Quintett (Op. 29), in C major, had been sold to a publisher at Leipzig, but was stolen at Vienna, and suddenly appeared at Artaria & Co.'s. Having been copied in one night, it had innumerable mistakes, and whole bars had been left out. Beethoven behaved on this occasion with a degree of policy of which we in vain look for a second example in his life. He required Artaria to send me fifty printed copies for correction, but desired me at the same time to be so lavish of the ink upon the coarse paper, and to draw my pen so thickly through some of the lines, as to render it impossible for Artaria to sell or use any one of these copies. The corrections applied chiefly to the Scherzo. I kept strictly to Beethoven's request; and Artaria, to avoid a law-suit, was compelled to melt down the plates.


Beethoven was very forgetful in most things. Count Browne having presented him with a beautiful horse, in return for the dedication of the Variations in A major (No. 5, on a Russian air), he rode it a few times, but soon forgot it, and, what is worse, its food also. His servant, who became aware of this, began to hire out the horse for his own profit; and, to avoid Beethoven's noticing this, he purposely kept back the bills for provender until at last a tremendously long one reached him. This at once recalled to his memory both his horse and his forgetfulness.


Beethoven was at times exceedingly passionate. One day when I dined with him at the "Swan," the waiter brought him a wrong dish. Beethoven had no sooner uttered a few words of reproof (to which the other retorted in no very polite manner), than he took the dish, amply filled with the gravy of the stewed beef it contained, and threw it at the waiter's head. Those who know the dexterity of Viennese waiters in carrying at one and the same time numberless plates full of different viands, will conceive the distress of the poor man, who could not move his arms, while the gravy trickled down his face. Both he and Beethoven swore and shouted, whilst all the parties assembled roared with laughter. At last Beethoven himself joined the chorus, on looking at the waiter, who was licking in with his tongue the stream of gravy which, much as he fought against it, hindered him from uttering any more invectives; the evolutions of his tongue causing the most absurd grimaces. The picture was worthy a Hogarth.


Beethoven scarcely knew what money was, which frequently caused unpleasant scenes; for, being suspicious by nature, he would fancy himself deceived without a cause. Irritable as he was, he used to call the people cheats, an appellation which had often to be atoned for by a douceur to the waiters. At those hotels which he mostly frequented they became at last so well acquainted with his fits of absence or eccentricity, that they would let him do anything, and even allow him to leave without having paid his reckoning.


As to Beethoven's posthumous manuscripts, I have my doubts about, them. The "Œuvres Posthumes" will not be acknowledged as such by me, unless I see them attested in his own hand-writing. My reasons are the following:—

Firstly. Because, during the time of my stay with him, from the year 1800 until November, 1805, and on my return to Vienna in 1809, there was no one manuscript in his possession. Beethoven was in arrears with works up to his death.

Secondly. All such trifles and things which he never meant to publish, as not considering them worthy of his name, were secretly brought into the world by his brothers. Such were the Songs, published when he had attained the highest degree of fame, composed years before at Bonn, previous to his departure for Vienna; and in like manner other trifles, written for albums, &c., were secretly taken from him and brought out.

Thirdly. As most of his letters addressed to me whilst in England speak of pecuniary distress, why should he not have sent me manuscripts, if possessed of any?

Again. After having succeeded—and that not without trouble—to get the Philharmonic Society of London to order three Overtures of him, as their exclusive property, he sent me three, not one of which we could use. The public was naturally led to anticipate great things from such a name as Beethoven's: he was expected to produce works of no common order for these concerts, and such alone could the Society bring forward. He published the three Overtures three years later, and the Society did not think this worth a prosecution. The Overture to the "Ruins of Athens" was one of the three. I think it unworthy of him.

Had Beethoven possessed better productions amongst his manuscripts, he would doubtless have sent them to this Society: this his letters clearly prove. His frequent assertion too, that he could live by his pen, makes me doubt the genuineness of the three posthumous piano-forte Quartetts published by Artaria. I never could convince myself that they were his.

Beethoven could not possibly have cobbled together from old themes his gigantic work, the Three Sonatas, Op. 2, which he dedicated to Haydn, and which at once excited so great a sensation in the musical world, any more than he could in later years have misapplied those themes for flimsy, ill-written Quartetts; for, till his death, his genius was incessantly productive of originality.

No. V.

Additional Characteristics, Traits and Anecdotes of Beethoven.

(Extracted from Seyfried's Work, "Beethoven Studien," &c.)

BEETHOVEN should by no means be offered as a model for directors of orchestras. The performers under him were obliged cautiously to avoid being led astray by their conductor, who thought only of his composition, and constantly laboured to depict the exact expression required by the most varied gesticulations. Thus, when the passage was loud, he often beat time downwards, when his hand should have been up. A diminuendo he was in the habit of making by contracting his person, making himself smaller and smaller; and when a pianissimo occurred, he seemed to slink, if the word is allowable, beneath the conductor's desk. As the sounds increased in loudness, so did he gradually rise up, as if out of an abyss; and when the full force of the united instruments broke upon the ear, raising himself on tiptoe, he looked of gigantic stature, and, with both his arms floating about in undulating motion, seemed as if he would soar to the clouds. He was all motion, no part of him remained inactive, and the entire man could only be compared to a perpetuum mobile. When his deafness increased, it was productive of frequent mischief, for the maestro's hand went up when it ought to have descended. He contrived to set himself right again most easily in the piano passages, but of the most powerful fortes he could make nothing. In many cases, however, his eye afforded him assistance, for he watched the movements of the bows, and, thus discovering what was going on, soon corrected himself.


Among his favourite dishes was bread soup, made in the manner of pap, in which he indulged every Thursday. To compose this, ten eggs were set before him, which he tried before mixing them with the other ingredients; and if it unfortunately happened that any of them were musty, a grand scene ensued; the offending cook was summoned to the presence by a tremendous ejaculation. She, however, well knowing what might occur, took care cautiously to stand on the threshold of the door, prepared to make a precipitate retreat; but the moment she made her appearance the attack commenced, and the broken eggs, like bombs from well directed batteries, flew about her ears, their yellow and white contents covering her with viscous streams.

He never walked in the streets without a notebook, in which he entered whatever occurred to him at the moment. If the conversation accidentally turned upon this habit, he parodied the words of Joan of Arc,—"Without my colours I must not come," and with undeviating firmness observed the self-imposed law. But his regularity was confined to this: the most exquisite confusion reigned in his house; books and music were scattered in all directions; here the residue of a cold luncheon—there some full, some half-emptied bottles; on the desk the hasty sketch of a new quartett; in another corner the remains of breakfast; on the piano-forte the scribbled hints for a noble Symphony, yet little more than in embryo; hard by, a proof-sheet, waiting to be returned; letters from friends, and on business, spread all over the floor; between the windows a goodly Stracchino cheese, and on one side of it ample vestiges of a genuine Verona salami; and, notwithstanding all this confusion, he constantly eulogised, with Ciceronian eloquence, his own neatness and love of order! When, however, for whole hours, days, and often weeks, something mislaid was looked for, and all search had proved fruitless, then he changed his tone, and bitterly complained that everything was done to annoy him. But the servants knew the natural goodness of their master; they suffered him to rave, and in a few moments it was all forgotten, till a similar occasion renewed the scene.


He himself often joked about his almost illegible characters, and used to add, by way of excuse, "Life is too short to paint letters or notes, and fairer notes would hardly rescue me from poverty" (punning upon the words Noten and Nöthen). The whole of the morning, from the earliest dawn till dinner-time, was employed in the mechanical work of writing; the rest of the day was devoted to thought, and the arrangement of his ideas. Scarcely had the last morsel been swallowed, when, if he had no more distant excursion in view, he took his usual walk; that is to say, he ran in double-quick time, as if hunted by bailiffs, twice round the town. Whether it rained, or snowed, or hailed, or the thermometer stood an inch or two below the freezing point—whether Boreas blew a chilling blast from the Bohemian mountains, or whether the thunder roared and forked lightnings played,—what signified it to the enthusiastic lover of his art, in whose genial mind, perhaps, were budding, at the very moment when the elements were in fiercest conflict, the harmonious feelings of a balmy spring!


Beethoven permitted himself but rarely, even among his intimate friends, to express his opinions of contemporary artists. His own words, however will attest what he thought of the four following masters:—

"Cherubini is, in my opinion, of all the living composers, the most admirable. Moreover, as regards his conception of the Requiem, my ideas are in perfect accordance with his, and some time or other, if I can but once set about it, I mean to profit by the hints to be found in that work.

"C. M. Weber began to learn too late; the art had not time to develop itself, and his only and very perceptible effort was, to attain the reputation of geniality.

"Mozart's Zauberflöte will ever remain his greatest work, for in this he showed himself the true German composer. In Don Giovanni he still retained the complete Italian cut and style, and moreover the sacred art should never suffer itself to be degraded to the foolery of so scandalous a subject.

"Handel is the unequalled master of all masters! Go, turn to him, and learn, with few means, how to produce such effects."

"What is Rossini?" he was once asked. He immediately wrote in answer, as after he became deaf, he spoke but little,—"A good scene-painter."

During his last illness it was found necessary to draw off the water, and during the operation he observed, "Rather water from my body than from my pen."


He received a flattering invitation from a musical society to compose a Cantata, the request being accompanied by a portion of the sum to be paid for the work. Beethoven accepted it. For a very long time, however, nothing more was heard of him. Then came, couched in the most delicate terms, a letter to remind him of his engagement, signed, in consequence of the absence of the president of the society, by his locum tenens (Stellvertreter). The reply was—"I have not forgotten; such things must not be hurried; I shall keep my word.—Beethoven, MP.[202] (Selbstvertreter) se ipsum tenens!"

Alas! he could not keep his word.


If he happened not to be in the humour, it required pressing and reiterated entreaties to get him to the piano-forte. Before he began in earnest, he used sportively to strike the keys with the palm of his hand, draw his finger along the key-board from one end to the other, and play all manner of gambols, at which he laughed heartily.

During his summer residence at the seat of a Mecænas, he was on one occasion so rudely pressed to exhibit before the stranger guests, that he became quite enraged, and obstinately refused a compliance which he considered would be an act of servility. A threat that he should be confined a prisoner to the house—uttered, no doubt, without the slightest idea of its being carried into execution—so provoked Beethoven, that, night-time as it was, he ran off, upwards of three miles, to the next town, and thence travelling post, hurried to Vienna. As some satisfaction for the indignity offered him, the bust of his patron became an expiatory sacrifice. It fell, shattered into fragments, from the book-case to the floor.


During one of my visits to Vienna, my brother, who is a resident of Prague, made a journey expressly to see me; and one morning, finding I had an appointment with Beethoven, was exceedingly anxious to get a sight of a man of such celebrity, whom he had never yet had an opportunity of seeing. It was very natural that I should wish to gratify his curiosity, but I told him, that although he was my own brother, yet I knew the peculiarities of the man so well, that nothing could induce me to commit the indiscretion of an introduction. He was, however, too intent upon his wish to let the opportunity escape without a further endeavour, and said that, surely, I might allow him to call, as if in furtherance of another appointment which we had mutually made. To this I consented, and off we went to Beethoven's, where I left my brother in the passage below to wait the issue of our arrangement. I remained with Beethoven about half an hour, when taking out my watch and looking at it, I hastily wrote in his conversation-book that I had a particular appointment at that hour, and that I apprehended my brother was still waiting below to accompany me. Beethoven, who was sitting at the table in his shirt-sleeves, instantly started from his seat, and quitting the room with precipitation, left me in no little embarrassment, wondering what was to follow. In a minute afterwards back he came, dragging in my brother by the arm, and in a hurried manner forced him into a seat. "And is it possible," said he, "that you, too, could think me such a bear as not to receive your brother with kindness?" My brother, who had before received some vague insinuations that the renowned composer was not at all times in his sober senses, looked as pale as ashes, and only began to regain his self-possession on hearing the question which Beethoven so kindly, yet so reproachfully, asked me; for it appeared that the latter had rushed precipitately down the stairs, and, without saying a word, seized my brother by the arm and dragged him up stairs as if he had caught hold of a criminal. No sooner was my brother fairly seated than he behaved in the most kind and obliging manner towards him, pressing him to take wine and other refreshments. This simple but abrupt act clearly shows, that however strange his manners were, he had at heart that kindly and good feeling which ever accompanies genius. If we were to take the external manner for the internal man, what egregious mistakes should we often make!—ED.

No. VI.


The Property found after his Death. CORRESPONDENCE relative to the gift made to Beethoven by the Philharmonic Society of London.


Mr. Schindler to Mr. Moscheles.

Vienna, March 24, 1827.

My dear good Moscheles,

You must not be surprised at the difference of date between these two letters. I wished to retain Beethoven's for a few days, because, on the day after that letter was written, i. e. the 19th of March, we had every reason to fear that our great master was about to breathe his last. This event, however, has not yet happened, but by the time you read these lines, my good Moscheles, our friend will be no longer among the living. His dissolution approaches with rapid steps, and indeed it is the unanimous wish of us all to see him released from his dreadful sufferings. Nothing else remains to be hoped for. One may indeed say that, for the last eight days, he has been more like a dead than living man, being able only now and then to muster sufficient strength to ask a question, or to inquire for what he wanted. His condition appears, to all accounts, to be very similar to that which was lately endured by the Duke of York. He is in an almost constant state of insensibility, or rather of stupor; his head hanging down on his chest, and his eyes staringly fixed for hours upon the same spot. He seldom recognises his most intimate acquaintances, and requires to be told who stands before him. This is dreadful to behold, but only for a few days longer can such a state of things last: since yesterday all the natural functions of the body have ceased; he will, therefore, please God, soon be released, and we shall no longer have to behold his sufferings.

Crowds of people flock to his abode, to see him for the last time, though none are admitted, except those who are bold and audacious enough to molest the dying man in his last hours.

We have been so fortunate as to arrange everything respecting his last will, though there is hardly anything left but a few pieces of old furniture and some manuscripts. He had in hand a Quintett for stringed instruments, and the tenth Symphony, of which he makes mention in his letter to you. Of the Quintett there are two movements entirely finished, and it was intended for Diabelli.[203]

The day immediately succeeding the receipt of your letter he was in extremely good spirits, and talked much of the plan of the Symphony, which was to have proved so much the more grand, as it was intended for the Philharmonic Society. He has frequently spoken of a journey to England as soon as he should recover, and had calculated how he and myself could live most economically on the tour. But, good God! his journey will probably lead him much further than to England. When he found himself a little relieved, he amused himself with reading the ancient Greek authors; also several of Walter Scott's novels. As soon as your consolatory letter had reached him, all his melancholy thoughts, and all his dread of future misery at once vanished. He cheerfully said, "Now we may again occasionally treat ourselves with a merry day." His funds had been already nearly exhausted, and he had consequently been obliged for some time past to retrench his table, which grieved him more than anything else. He immediately desired to have his favourite dish of fish, even if it were only that he might taste of it. The exaltation of his mind is indeed so great, that he at times borders upon the childish. We were also obliged to procure for him a great arm-chair, which cost fifty florins, on which he rests daily at least for half an hour, whilst his room and bed are arranging. His caprice, or rather obstinacy, are, however, excessive; just as ever: and this falls particularly hard upon me, since he wishes to have absolutely nobody about him but myself. And what remained for me to do in this, but to give up my teaching and my whole business, in order to devote all my time to him? Everything he eats or drinks I must taste first, to ascertain whether it might not be injurious for him. However willingly I do all this, yet this state of things lasts too long for a poor devil like myself. Whatever there remains of the thousand florins, we intend to apply in defraying the expenses of a respectable interment, which shall be performed without parade in the churchyard near Döbling,[204] where he ever delighted to roam.

As early as during your last visit to this city,[205] I stated to you the condition of Beethoven's finances, but did not at that time apprehend that we were to see this excellent man so soon arrive, and thus miserably too, at his last moment.

[Interval of some hours.]

I have just left Beethoven. He is certainly dying; before this letter is beyond the walls of the city, the great light will have become extinct for ever. He is still in full possession of his senses. The enclosed lock I have just cut from his head. I hasten to despatch the letter, in order to run to him. God bless you!

Your most sincere friend,
A. Schindler.


Mr. Rau to Mr. Moscheles.

Vienna, March 28th, 1827.

Dear Friend,

Beethoven is no more; he departed this life, in a most painful struggle and with dreadful sufferings, on the 26th instant, between five and six o'clock P.M., after having been insensible for the last twenty-four hours.

And now as to the state of his affairs. My last letter to you spoke of nothing but the extreme want and poverty in which he was, according to his own statements, and yet, when an inventory of his effects was taken, in my presence, we found, in an old, half-mouldy box, no less than seven bank-shares. Whether Beethoven had hidden these intentionally (for he was naturally mistrustful, and hoped for a speedy recovery), or whether their possession had escaped his own memory, is a problem which I do not venture to solve.

The sum of one thousand florins, as sent by the Philharmonic Society, was found untouched. I laid claim to it in conformity with your instructions, but was obliged to deposit it with the magistrates until further notice from the Society as to its final disposal. I would not consent to their defraying the burial expenses out of this money without the Society's authorization to that effect. Should you have it in your power to dispose of any part of the money, pray let it be done in favour of the two old servants who have attended the patient with the utmost care and devotedness, and who—poor faithful creatures!—have been entirely forgotten in the will, Beethoven's nephew being named his sole heir.[206] As to the present which Beethoven intended sending to the Philharmonic Society, you will hear of it in due time from Mr. Schindler. Let me know soon and circumstantially what steps I am to take, and you may rely upon my conscientiousness in fulfilling your wishes. Beethoven will be buried on the 29th, and an invitation to attend the funeral has been sent to all professors of the different chapels and theatres. The body will be borne by twenty composers, and as many more will be torch-bearers; Grillparzer has written a most affecting address to be spoken by Anschütz at the grave; indeed, everything which could be done to render the solemnity worthy of the deceased seems to be in preparation.   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Your friend,


Extract of a Letter from
Mr. Schindler to Mr. Moscheles.

Vienna, September 14th, 1827.

My dear Friend,

I avail myself of the departure for London of Mr. Levisey, the English courier, to write, and also intrust to his care a memorial of our friend Beethoven, since in your last you wished for a manuscript of some well-known composition of the great master: well, here is the end of the Scherzo of the last Symphony, and along with it one of those memorable sketch-books which Beethoven used mostly to fill in the open air, and afterwards to write his scores from them at home; I was so fortunate as to rescue several of them, and to me they are of the deepest interest, since they are scarcely intelligible to the uninitiated. I must tell you that the one I send contains sketches of one of his last Quartetts; and should you ever hear that work, you will no doubt recognise some of the passages, written down at full length. I believe I cannot better prove you my friendship than by sending you this relic, the first and only one I shall ever part with. Mr. L——r informs me he has already sent you Beethoven's portrait; I trust it is that lithograph in which he is represented sitting and writing, as all others are bad; on the sheet of paper before him stands Missa solemnis. I meant to send you all this together through Mr. Clementi, whose acquaintance I made at Baden, but he left before I was aware of it.   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Most sincerely, your friend,   
A. Schindler.


Mr. Rau to Mr. Moscheles.

Vienna, February 15, 1828.

Dear Friend,

I send you enclosed a letter from the guardian of Beethoven's nephew, who is named his sole heir, by which you will see that matters are drawing to a close. I was requested, officially, to make a deposition respecting the thousand florins which the Philharmonic Society of London had given to Beethoven, but not having heard from you to that effect, and not wishing to take any responsibility upon myself, I requested a delay sufficient to allow of my writing and receiving your answer. The guardian's letter will at once show you how matters stand.[207] And now between ourselves. If you could induce the directors to give up the thousand florins it would save much trouble, and perhaps a lawsuit. Even Dr. Eltz and Baron Eskeles think it would be most difficult to identify the thousand florins found in Beethoven's possession at his death with those sent by the Society, the more so as Hofrath Breuning, who had been appointed to take the inventory, has died since. Should the money, however, contrary to all expectations, be required back again, it will be necessary for the Philharmonic Society to send Dr. Eltz a legal writ, empowering him to proceed for them, and at their expense: this might indeed eat up the whole sum. Pray write soon and most explicitly.   *   *   *   *   *   *

Your friend,

No. VII.

Funeral Honours To Beethoven.

THE 29th of March, 1827, was fixed upon for the funeral of the lamented Beethoven. The following fac-simile of the card (on the opposite page) relative to the funeral may not be uninteresting to the reader.

Translation of the Card.

Which will take place on the 29th of March, at three o'clock in
the afternoon.
The company will assemble at the lodgings of the deceased, in the
Schwarz-spanier House, No. 200, on the Glacis, before the
Scotch Gate.
The procession will thence go to Trinity Church, at the
Fathers' Minorites in Alser Street.
The musical world sustained the irreparable loss of this celebrated
composer about six o'clock in the evening of the
26th of March, 1827.

BEETHOVEN died of dropsy, in the 56th year of his age, after
receiving the Holy Sacraments.
The day of the exequies will be made known hereafter by

Admirers and Friends."


This card having been largely distributed, all the necessary arrangements for the funeral were made with the utmost zeal and promptitude by Mr. Haslinger, the music publisher, and Messrs. Schindler and Hart, friends of the deceased. The morning was fine; and at an early hour crowds of people began to assemble on the Glacis of Alservorstadt, the quarter of the town in which Beethoven resided. Towards the middle of the day, the numbers had increased to upwards of twenty thousand persons of all classes; and so great was the pressure round the residence of the deceased, that it was found necessary to close the gates of the court-yard, where, under an awning, stood the coffin raised upon a bier, and surrounded by mourners. At half-past four the procession began to move, the way having been cleared by a body of the military. Eight principal singers of the Opera-house—Eichberger, Schuster, Cramolini, A. Müller, Hoffmann, Rupprecht, Borschitzky, and A. Wranitzky—had offered to carry the coffin on their shoulders. After the priest had pronounced some prayers, the singers performed a highly impressive Funeral Chant by B. A. Weber, and the whole procession moved forward in the following order:—

1. The cross-bearer; 2. Four trombone-players—the brothers Böck, Waidl, and Tuschky; 3. The master of the choir, M. Assmayer; and, under his direction, 4. A choir of singers—M. Tietze, Schnitzer, Gross, Sikora, Frühwald, Geissler, Rathmeyer, Kokrement, Fuchs, Nejebse, Ziegler, Perschl, Leidl, Weinkopf, Pfeiffer, and Seipelt, which, alternately with the trombone quartett, performed the Miserere. This walking orchestra was immediately followed by, 5. The high priest; 6. The coffin, borne by the above-mentioned opera-singers, and attended by the chapel-masters—- Eybler, Hummel, Seyfried, and Kreutzer, on the right, and Weigl, Gyrowetz, Gänsbacher, and Würfel, upon the left, as pall-bearers. On both sides, from the beginning of the procession to the coffin, were the torch-bearers, thirty-six in number, consisting of poets, authors, composers, and musicians, among whom were M. Grillparzer, Anschütz, Bernard, Castelli, Mayseder, C. Czerny, J. Böhm, Linke, Hildebrand, Schuppanzigh, Holz, Katter, Krall, Baron Lannoy, J. Merk, F. Schubert, Riotte, Schoberlechner, Steiner, Haslinger, Sig. Lablache, David, Radichi, Mechetti, Meric, Pacini, Meier, Schick, Schmidl, Streicher, Weidman, Wolfmeyer, C. Graf, Raimund, Piringer, Grünbaum, &c.; the whole in full mourning, with white roses and bunches of lilies fastened to the crape on their arms. Next followed Beethoven's brother, and M. von Breuning, (one of the earliest friends of the deceased, and the executor of his last will,) the pupils of the Conservatorio, and the scholars of Kapellmeister Drechsler, (the thorough-bass teacher of St. Ann's,) all deeply lamenting the loss which the musical world had sustained.

As the procession approached the church, the Miserere[208] was entoned to an original melody of the deceased, with an accompaniment of four trombones. The history of this striking composition is as follows:—When Beethoven was, in the autumn of 1812, visiting his brother, at the time an apothecary in Linz, he was requested by M. Glögll; Kapellmeister of the cathedral, to compose some movement of a solemn kind for the approaching festival of All Souls. Beethoven willingly undertook the task, and wrote a piece, entitled Equale a quatro Tromboni, remarkable for the originality of the harmonies, and its faithful imitation of the genuine antique style.[209]

On the morning of the 26th of March, 1827, when all hope of Beethoven's recovery had been given over, Mr. Haslinger repaired with it to Kapellmeister Seyfried, with a request that he would adapt the words of the Miserere to this Equale, that, the body of the prince of musicians might be accompanied to its everlasting rest by his own creations. M. Seyfried, in pursuance of this idea, undertook the work, which was finished the night following Beethoven's death, with infinite judgment and good taste. The movements were arranged for four voices (two tenors and two basses) and four trombones.

On reaching the church, the body was placed on a bier at the foot of the high altar, when, after the usual prayers, was sung the solemn anthem Libera me Domine, de morte eterná, composed by Kapellmeister von Seyfried, in the genuine ecclesiastical style. On quitting the church, the coffin was placed in a hearse drawn by four horses, which proceeded towards the burial-ground at Währing, followed by a line of more than two hundred carriages. On reaching the gates of the cemetery, the following poem, from the pen of Grillparzer, was recited by Anschütz, the tragedian, in a very feeling manner:—

'Tis done! A master-spirit of the age
Has pass'd away to his eternal rest:
Henceforth his name belongs to history's page,
Enroll'd with men the noblest and the best.
Yet, though his name does to all time belong,
Ye lately heard and saw the wond'rous man,
Ye heard his living voice, his living song,
And to receive his dying accents ran.
Then deep in mem'ry treasure up his form:
That brow, though stern, with sweetest fancies fraught,
That eye with inspiration kindling warm,
That bosom labouring with the force of thought.
And ye, to whom it was not given to view
His living lineaments with wond'ring eye,
May in his tones behold him pictured true,
In breathing colours that can never die.
Yes: he could paint, in tones of magic force,
The moody passions of the varying soul—
Now winding round the heart with playful course,
Now storming all the breast with wild control.
Forthdrawing from his unexhausted store,
'Twas his to bid the burden'd heart o'erflow:
Infusing joys it never knew before,
And melting it with soft luxurious woe!
We came his funeral rite to celebrate,
Obedient to fond love and duty's call;
But on this moment such proud feelings wait,
It seems a joyous birthday festival.
He liveth! It is wrong to say he's dead:—
The sun, though sinking in the fading west,
Again shall issue from his morning bed,
Like a young giant vigorous from his rest.
He lives! for that is truly living, when
Our fame is a bequest from mind to mind:
His life is in the breathing hearts of men,
Transmitted to the latest of his kind.

Baron von Schlechta and M. Castelli read short but eloquent poems to the sorrowing multitude, and, before the grave was closed, M. Haslinger put into the hands of M. Hummel three wreaths of laurel, which were dropped upon the coffin. The mourners waited till the earth was smoothed over the grave. All the visitants in turn took a last farewell of the mortal remains of a great genius, and returned home in silence, the shades of evening having by this time gathered around.

On the 3rd of April, 1827, a solemn tribute was paid to the memory of Beethoven at the imperial church of St. Augustin by the performance of Mozart's Requiem, in which the great singer Lablache sung the bass part, in a manner that produced a deep impression and shows him to be a profound artist: the whole terminated with the solemn Miserere and Libera of Kapellmeister von Seyfried. On the 5th of April, 1827, was performed, in the church of St. Charles, the whole of Cherubini's celebrated Requiem, admirably executed under the direction of Kapellmeister Hummel. A musical performance also took place, by way of opening a subscription for a monument to Beethoven. It commenced with the celebrated Pastoral Symphony of the lamented master, which was followed by a Kyrie from his second Mass in D. From the Abbé Vogler's celebrated Missa pro defunctis, were given the Dies iræ, the Sanctus, and Benedictus. The whole closed with Catel's Overture to Semiramis. The selection was admirably performed, and the object proposed adequately fulfilled.



Ad . Triste . Mortis . Nuncium.
Omnes . Flevere . Gentes.
Coelitum . Choro.

FATO mortalis; VITA bonus; ARTE perennis,
MORTE suum MORIENS eximit ipse decus.

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation


musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation

musical notation


Concert in aid of Beethoven's Monument at Drury Lane Theatre, July 19th, 1837.

IT was in the summer of the year 1837 that the citizens of Bonn, who had for the last two years been actively engaged in raising funds for the erection of a monument to Beethoven in his native city, addressed Lord Burghersh, through the Baron von Schlegel, president of their managing committee, in the following letter:—

My Lord,

Monsieur le Baron de Bulow has encouraged me to address your Lordship on behalf of the proposed monument to Ludwig van Beethoven, in his native town of Bonn. This project has been most favourably entertained in Germany: we have received the profits of many concerts given for this purpose in the small as well as large towns, besides private subscriptions; nevertheless, our means are still insufficient for the execution of a monument in all respects worthy of this great genius. Besides, his glory would remain imperfect if we did not obtain for it some conspicuous support from abroad, and especially from London, which has become one of the principal places in Europe in which music is cultivated in the greatest perfection. A public concert, given in that capital, in aid of the monument to Beethoven, would complete our wishes.

If a connoisseur and patron of talent like your Lordship would deign to encourage such an undertaking, distinguished artists will zealously assist, and the numerous admirers of Beethoven will not refuse their aid to do honour to his memory.

Having had the honour, in former times, of being received by your Lordship, and of being present at your brilliant musical entertainments in Florence and in London, I gladly avail myself of this occasion to recal myself to your kind recollection; and I beg you to accept the expression of my devotion and of the great respect with which

I have the honour to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient and humble servant,   
(Signed) A. W. DE SCHLEGEL.

Bonn, May 21st, 1837.

Lord Burghersh, taking up the matter with the utmost zeal, addressed an appeal to the principal musical institutions of London, which in their turn showed their readiness to promote the object in view.

At a meeting of the professors belonging to the Ancient Concert, the co-operation of the members of that body was unanimously granted, Mr. Knyvett and Mr. Cramer being deputed to act as its representatives. A like course was adopted by the Philharmonic Society, which nominated Sir George Smart and Mr. Moscheles in a similar capacity; Mr. Mori and Sig. Costa were appointed by the orchestra of the Italian Opera to express the adherence of that body; and Messrs. Potter and C. Lucas, at the suggestion of Lord Burghersh, on the part of the disposable forces of the Royal Academy. Several of the principal English and foreign vocalists then in London offered their co-operation with the utmost willingness and liberality. Mr. Bunn granted the use of Drury Lane Theatre, and on the 19th of July, 1837, under the management of a committee presided over by Lord Burghersh, assisted by the Right Hon. the Earl of Cawdor and the Right Hon. Sir Gore Ouseley, Bart., and formed of the members of the musical bodies above specified, a grand concert was given, the following account of which is extracted from the musical journals of the day.

The performance which took place at Drury Lane Theatre on Wednesday evening was but thinly attended, owing to a variety of causes, among which may be noticed the dissolution of Parliament and the approaching elections, the lateness of the season, and, we fear, the high terms demanded for admission, namely, half-a-guinea the boxes, seven shillings the pit, and five shillings the gallery. In a musical point of view it realised the highest expectations that could have been formed of it; for assuredly it was the noblest entertainment of this description that ever was given in England. But considered with respect to its object, it has unfortunately been a failure, the attendance having been too small to produce any substantial contribution to the fund. This circumstance must have, in some measure, diminished the enjoyment which the admirers of Beethoven derived from the performance of some of his greatest masterpieces. But it did not damp the ardour of the performers. They evidently exerted themselves con amore; and we have never heard music performed with greater care, energy, or effect.

Nothing could have surpassed the splendour of the orchestra on this occasion, which was erected upon the stage, and the back of it was as high as the second tier of boxes. The principal singers were arranged in front; the chorus, consisting of 112 voices, on each side; the conductor in the centre. The band consisted of fifty violins, twelve violas, twelve violoncellos, eleven double basses, twenty-five wind instruments, &c., making a total of 110 instruments, and a grand total of about 230 performers. The soli performers were Mesdames Schrœder Devrient, Bishop, Knyvett, Birch, Wyndham; Messrs. Braham, Bennett, Balfe, Seguin, and H. Phillips. The conductors, Sir George Smart, Mr. Moscheles, and Mr. Knyvett; the leaders, Messrs. F. Cramer, Loder, and T. Cooke.

The selection combined: Part I. The Mount of Olives. Part II. The Choral Symphony. Part III. Overture Egmont.—Canon from Fidelio.—Concerto in E flat (pianoforte, Mr. Moscheles).—Grand scena in E.—And Finale from Fidelio.

The Mount of Olives, which formed the first act, was given entire for the first time in England. The solo parts were sung by Mrs. Knyvett, Mrs. Bishop, Miss Birch, Mr. Braham, Mr. Phillips, and Mr. Bennett. Braham was in perfect voice, and had his voice perfectly under his command. He sang, indeed, so well, that the principal performers in the orchestra could not refrain from offering him their friendly and hearty congratulations. The band was led by F. Cramer, and conducted by Sir George Smart.

Beethoven's great Choral Symphony formed the second act. It was admirably performed, and received with immense applause. Schrœder sang with a power and truth which only the music and a kindred genius could have supported. Mr. Moscheles' performance of the noble Concerto, and his conducting the Choral Symphony, have been already mentioned in these pages. Both were beyond commendation. The choralists in "Here seize him," and the "Hallelujah," were very effective; the former (which is a similar movement to the pistol scene in the "Fidelio") was unanimously encored.

So far the journals. That the pecuniary result of this concert should have fallen short of what might be anticipated from such a cause and such assistance, must have had its cause in the lateness of the season and the recent death of King William the Fourth. The clear profits of this concert, together with some donations, amounted to only 100l.! No doubt that many of Beethoven's admirers in England, who were prevented from attending this solemnity, would have taken a pride in honouring the memory of the great master under more favourable auspices.

As to the proceedings of the Committee for the Beethoven Monument at Bonn, the following particulars may not be uninteresting. The President of the Committee, Baron A. W. von Schlegel, having relinquished his office, owing to an accumulation of private business, Dr. Breidenstein[210] was elected in his stead. The Committee have been most successful in their appeal to the musical world throughout Europe, so that the expenses of the proposed Monument are now nearly covered. The sums received are the produce of concerts in more than fifty different towns, the receipts of a concert given by those eminent artists Thalberg and De Beriot, at Bonn, for the same purpose, and the generous donation of 10,000 francs from Liszt, who joined the Committee as an active member. Promises of concerts for the same purpose have been received from Vienna, Paris, Brussels, and other places.

The Committee has already issued an address to artists, inviting them to send designs for the Monument before the 1st of March, 1841. From among the designs or sketches that shall be received, the three best will be selected by competent judges, and for each of them a premium of twenty frederics d'or will be paid, upon condition that the authors of them, if required, will have models made of them, upon a reduced scale, and send them to the Committee.

In order to insure perfect impartiality in the selection of the designs, the authors are requested to attach a motto to each, and to inclose the same motto in an envelop, together with the name and the address of the artist. The competition is open to artists of all countries. It is necessary to add the following remarks, as they may have an influence upon the work itself:—

1. It is decided that the Monument, or rather the statue, which is to form the most essential part of it, shall be executed, not in marble, but in bronze.

2. The sum which, at the commencement of next year, we shall have at our disposal amounts to about 13,000 dollars, Prussian currency; in addition to which contributions are announced, and confidently expected, from several of the most important German and European capitals.—ED.

No. IX.

Sale of Beethoven's MSS. and Musical Library.[211]

Vienna, March 16, 1828.

The sale of the lamented Beethoven's MSS. and musical library, which lately took place here, excited uncommon interest among the lovers of music, amateurs as well as professional men. The following are the heads under which the articles were arranged in the catalogue:—

1. Fragments from Beethoven's musical portfolio, consisting of noted paper, scraps of various themes, &c. 2. Fragments and sketches in a more complete form. 3. Autographs of scores already published. 4. Autographs of unpublished music. 5. Copies of various Symphonies, Choruses, Overtures, Masses, &c., corrected by the composer's own hand. 6. Printed music and theoretical works. 7. A small collection of works of general literature. 8. A small collection of musical instruments. The contest for several of the articles was warm and spirited, particularly between the well-known music-sellers Artaria, Haslinger, and Steiner. More than forty works, unknown to the public, were brought to the hammer, the greater part of which are productions of Beethoven's earlier years. No doubt the present possessors will, ere long, afford the world an opportunity of enjoying these works of the lamented master. We observed that the greater proportion of them became the property of Artaria, after a severe contest with his brother publishers; several fetched extraordinarily high prices. Besides a great many other articles, Beethoven's last work, an unfinished Quintett, begun in November, 1826, fell to the lot of Diabelli, who triumphantly bore it away, at a very high price, from a host of competitors. The same gentleman also became possessor of a Solo-Capriccio, of a Rondo for pianoforte and orchestra, and of the English pianoforte which Beethoven had received as a present from the Messrs. Broadwood. The gold medal which the composer had the honour to receive from Louis XVIII. on receiving the copy of one of his grand masses was bought by some anonymous collector. But by far the most interesting article of the whole sale fell to the lot of M. Haslinger—the collection of contrapuntic exercises, essays, and finished pieces, which Beethoven wrote while under the tuition of his master, the celebrated Albrechtsberger, all in his own handwriting, with the interlineal corrections of that master, and his remarks on the margin. It is in five thick volumes, which were evidently preserved with great care. The struggle for the possession of this invaluable relic—the fruit of Beethoven's first studies—was long and spirited; but the stamina of M. Haslinger brought him through: after many a fiercely-contested round, he was at length declared the victor, none of his antagonists coming to time. We are happy to be able to state that this collection of studies,[212] so interesting to the whole musical world, is immediately to be placed in the hands of Kapellmeister Seyfried, who is to prepare it for the press. M. Haslinger also became the fortunate possessor of a pianoforte Trio, consisting of an Allegro, Adagio, Finale, and Variations, composed while Beethoven filled the place of organist in Cologne; of a short Sonata for four hands; of several songs and other vocal pieces; of a small collection, entitled Zapfenstreiche für Türkische Musik; of two violins, with the possessor's seal on each; and lastly, of Beethoven's copy of the works of Handel, Dr. Arnold's edition, in forty volumes folio. The latter, as is well known, was presented to the lamented composer by his friend M. Stumpff, of London, the possession of which tended so much to soothe Beethoven during his last protracted illness. The mind and talents of Handel were kindred to his own, and he was seen for hours hanging over these volumes in rapture and forgetting his sufferings. Two other competitors contended warmly for this prize—M. Gläser of Gotha, and Mr. Schenk, the well-known composer of Der Dorfbarbier; but M. Haslinger still retained his honours as champion of the field.[213] We must, however, observe, that, warm as the opposition was between these different opponents, the contest was still conducted with becoming respect—not to say with a certain solemnity due to the relics of the mighty dead. Some of the prices given astonished even the most enthusiastic admirers of the composer, and are the most satisfactory proofs of the deep zeal and love for the art predominant among us.


Nº 2.
First Sketches of the Vocal Subjects of Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

Nº 2.

First Sketches of the Vocal Subjects of Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

musical notation


No.  Op.
1.Sonatain E flat
2."in D
3."in F minor
4."in F minor2
5."in A2
6."in C2
7."in E flat7
8."in C minor10
9."in F10
10"in D10
11"in C minor13
12"in E14
13"in G14
14"in B flat22
15"in A flat26
16"in C sharp minor27
17"in E flat27
18"in D28
19"in G29
20"in D minor29
21"in E flat29
22"in G minor49
23"in G49
24"in C53
25"in F54
26"in F minor57
27"in F sharp78
28"in G79
29"in E flat81
30"in E minor90
31"in A101
32"in B flat106
33"in E109
34"in A flat110
35"in C minor111
1.Andante favori, in F35
2.Bagatelles in F33
3.    "         "104
4.    "         "126
5.Fantasie in G minor77
6.Polonaise in C89
7.Preludes in C29
8.Rondo in C51
9.    "     in G51
10.    "     in G (for Pianoforte and Violin)
11.Dances (Seven Waltzes)
12.    " (Six Waltzes)
13.    " (Minuets and Waltzes)

1.—For the Piano-forte alone.
No.  Op.
1.Variations(Thême de Marche)
2."(Quant' è più bello)
3."(Nel cor più non)
4."(Nozze disturbate)
6."(Mich brennt ein)
7."(Air russe)
8."(Tändeln und Scherzen)
9."(La Stessa)
10."(Kind willst du)
11."(Es war einmahl)
12."(in a familiar style)
13."(Vieni Amore)
14."(God save the King)25
15."(Rule Britannia)26
16."(Thême orig.)34
17."(With a Fugue)
18."(Thirty-two Variations)36
19."(Thême russe)
20."(Waltz by Diabelli)
2.—With Accompaniments.
21.Variations(Se vuol ballare) for Piano-forte and Violin
22."(Air de Händel) for Piano-forte and Violoncello
23."(Ein Mädchen)
24."(Bey Männern)
25."(Thême orig.) for Piano-forte, Violin and Violoncello
26."(Air écossais) for Piano-forte and Flute
27."(Air écossais)
28."(Air autrichien)
29."(Air écossais)
30."(Air écossais)
31."(Air écossais)
32."(Air tirolien)
33."(Air écossais)
34."(Air russe)
35."(Air écossais)
36."(Air tirolien)
37."(Air écossais)
38."(Air russe)
39."(Air écossais)
40."(Air écossais)
41."(Air écossais)
42."(Schwestern von Prag) for Violin and Violoncello121

No. Op.
1.Sonata in D6
2.Variations in C
3.Variations in D27
4.Three Marches in C, E flat, and D45
1.Sonata in D12
2." in A12
3." in E flat12
4." in A minor23
5." in F24
6." in A30
7." in C minor30
8." in G30
9." in A47
10." in G96
1.Sonatain F5
2."in G minor5
3."in F (with Violoncello or French Horn)17
4."in A69
5."in C102
6."in D102
1.Trio in E flat1
2.    " in G1
3.    " in C minor1
4.    " in B flat (Clar.)11
5.Trio in D (Viol.)70
6.    " in E flat70
7.    " in B flat97
1.Quartett in E flat, for Piano-forte, Violin, Alto, and Violoncello16
2.Quintett in E flat, for Piano-forte, Hob. Clar. Bassoon and Horn16
1.Concertoin C15
2."in B flat19
3."in C minor37
4."in C, for Piano-forte, Violin, Violoncello, Concertante, and Orchestra  56
5."in G58
6."in E flat73
7.Fantasia, with Chorus80

No.  Op.
1.Trioin E flat3
3."in G9
4."in D9
5."in C minor9
6."(Serenade) for Violin, Flute, and Alto
1.Quartettin F18
2."in G18
3."in D18
4."in C minor18
5."in A18
6."in B flat18
7."in F59
8."in E minor59
9."in C59
10."in E flat74
11."in F minor95
12."in E flat127
13."in B flat130
14."in C sharp min.131
15."in A minor132
16."in F135
17.Fuguein B flat133
1.Quintettin E flat4
2."in C29
3.Fuguein D137
1.Septett in E flat for Violin, Alto, Violoncello, Clarionet, Bassoon, Horn, and Double Bass  20
2.Sextett in E flat, for two Violins, Alto, two Horns, and Violoncello81
1.Romance in G40
2.      "    in F50
3.Concerto in D61

1.War Song of the Austrians (1797). Kriegslied der Österreicher.
2.Farewell to the Citizens of Vienna. Abschiedsgesang, &c.
3.Drinking Song. Trinklied
4.La Partenza
5.Tender Love. Zärtliche Liebe
6.Prayers (Six Sacred Songs of Gellert's), Op. 32
7.Love of our Neighbour. Die Liebe des Nächsten
8.Of Death. Vom Tode
9.Reverence of God through Nature. Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur
10.God's Power and Providence. Gottes Macht und Vorsehung
11.Penitential Hymn. Busslied
12.Adelaide, Op. 48
13.The Blessing of Friendship. Das Glück der Freundschaft
14.The Free Man. Der freye Mann
15.Hymn of Sacrifice. Opferlied
16.Urian's Voyage Round the World, Op. 52—Eight Songs
17.Fire-colour. Feuerfarb
18.The Song of Rest. Das Liedchen von der Ruhe
19.May Song. Maygesang
20.Molly's Parting. Molly's Abschied
21.Love. Liebe
23.The Flower of St. John's Wort. Das Blümchen Wunderhold
24.The Call of the Œvail, Op. 24. Der Wachtelschlag
25.To Hope, Op. 32. An die Hoffnung
26.Longing (1st Melody), Op. 38. Sehnsucht
27.      " (2nd Melody)
28.      " (3rd Melody)
29.      " (4th Melody)
30.Canon for the New Year. Zum neuen Jahr
31.Mignon (Six Songs and Melodies), Op. 57
32.New Love, new Life. Neue Liebe, neues Leben
33.Romance (Göthe's Faust)
34.Gretel's Warning
35.To the absent Lover. An den fernen Geliebten
36.The Contented Man. Der Zufriedene
37.Song of the Absent. Lied aus der Ferne
38.Longing. Sehnsucht
39.The Warrior's Adieu. Des Kriegers Abschied
40.In questa tomba
41.The Lover. Der Liebende
42.The Youth in a Foreign Land. Der Jüngling in der Fremde
43.Hope, Op. 82. Hoffnung
44.The Lover's Lament. Liebes Klage
45.L'Amante impatiente. Stille Frage
46.L'Amant. Liebes-Ungeduld
47.Joys of Life. Lebens-genuss
48.Pleasures of Melancholy—Three Songs, Op. 38, by Göthe
50.With a coloured ribbon
51.Remembrance (Mathison), Op. 72. Andenken.
52.Elegy on the Death of a Bodle. Elegie auf den Tod eines Pudels.
53.To a Mistress who wished to part. Als die Geliebte sich trennen wollte
54.Merkenstein, Op. 100
55.The Spirit of the Bard. Der Bardengeist
56.The Call from the Mountain. Ruf vom Berge
58.To my beloved. An die Geliebte (von Stoll)
59.So or so
61.The Secret. Das Geheimniss
62.Silence. Das Schweigen. (Canon)
63.To Hope. An die Hoffnung, Op. 94
64.To a distant Mistress. An die ferne Geliebte (a Series of Six Songs, by A. Jeitteles), Op. 98
65.The Man of his Word. Der Mann von Wort, by F. A. Kleinschmid, Op. 99.
66.Merkenstein, near Baden, by J. B. Rupprecht, Op. 100.
67.Evening Hymn. Abendlied, Op. 103
68.O Hope. O Hoffnung
69.The Song of the Nightingale. Der Gesang der Nachtigall
70.Canon for Six Voices
71.Canon for Four Voices
72.Canon for Three Voices
73.The Kiss. Der Kuss, Op. 128
74.Drinking Song. Trinklied
No.  Op.
1.Scena e Aria: Ah perfido 46
3.It is achieved. Es ist vollbracht
4.Scotch Songs, Book 1st—With Accompaniment for
Piano Forte, Violin,
and Violoncello
5.      "      "  Book 2nd
6.      "      "  Book 3rd
7.Calm at Sea and prosperous Voyage 112
8.March and Chorus from the Ruins of Athens114
9.Terzett: Tremate, empi, tremate!116
10.Elegiac Song118
11.Hymn of Sacrifice,
by Mathison, for Solo and Chorus
12.Hymn of Alliance,
by Göthe, for two Solo Voices and Chorus

No. Op.
1.Mass in C, for Four Voices and Orchestra86
2.    "   in D, for Four Voices and Orchestra123
3.Christ on the Mount of Olives, Oratorio85
4.The Glorious Moment, Cantata
5.Fidelio, Grand Opera
6.Egmont, Tragedy (Overture, Entreacts and Songs)84
1.Symphonyin C21
2."in D36
3."eroica in E flat55
4."in B flat60
5."in C minor67
6."Pastorale in F68
7."in A92
8."in F93
9."Choral in D minor125
10.Wellington's Victory in the Battle of Vittoria91
6."(Ruins of Athens)113
7."(The Emperor's Name Day)115
8."(King Stephen)117
9."(Inauguration of the Theatre)124
10."(Characteristique) 138
1.Minuets in E flat
2.      "   in D
3.German Dances in C
4.Waltzes in D
5.      "   in D
6.Prometheus, Ballet

No. Op.
1.Trio for two Hoboes and English Horn66
2.Sestetto for two Clarionets, two Bassoons, and two Horns71
4.Equale for four Trombones
5.Marches for Military Bands.


No. Opera.Key
1.Sonata Pathetique, dedicated to Prince Lichnowski13C minor.
2.Grand Sonata, dedicated to ditto26A flat.
3.Sonata, No. 1, Op. 2929G.
4.Ditto, No. 2, ditto29D minor.
5.Ditto, No. 3, ditto29A flat.
6.Grand Sonata, dedicated to Count de Browne22B flat.
7.Sonata, dedicated to Mademoiselle Juliette Guicciardo, No. 127C minor.
8.Sonata, dedicated to the Princess de Lichtenstein, No. 227E flat.
9.Sonata (Pastorale), dedicated to M. Sonnenfells28D.
10.Sonata90E minor.
12.Ditto110A flat.
13.Ditto, dedicated to the Countess of Brunswick78F ♯ major.
14.Sonata, dedicated to Haydn, No. 12F minor.
15.Ditto, ditto, No. 22A.
16.Ditto, ditto, No. 32C.
17.Grand Sonata, dedicated to Madame Antonia de Brentano111C minor.
18.Grand Sonata7E flat.
19.Sonata, No. 149G minor.
20.Ditto, No. 249G.
21.Sonata, dedicated to Madame la Comtesse de Browne, No. 110C minor.
22.Ditto, dedicated to ditto, No. 210F.
23.Ditto, dedicated to ditto, No. 310D.
24.Grand Sonata, dedicated to Count de Waldstein53C.
25.Sonata Appassionata, dedicated to Count de BrunswicF minor.
26.Sonata Caracteristique81E flat.
27.Sonata, No. 114E.
28.Ditto, No. 214G.
29.Grand Sonata109E.
30.Grand Sonata, Part I.106B flat.
31.Ditto, Part II.106B flat.
34.Fantasia77G minor.
36.Variations e Finale alla FugaE flat.

1.Grand Sonata, No. 1, dedicated to Salieri12D.
2.Sonata, No. 2, dedicated to ditto12A.
3.Ditto, No. 3, dedicated to ditto12E flat.
4.Sonata, dedicated to Monsieur le Comte Maurice de Fries, No. 1    23A minor.
5.Sonata, dedicated to ditto, No. 2.23F.
6.Sonata, dedicated to the Emperor of Russia, No. 130A.
7.Ditto, dedicated to ditto, No. 230C minor.
8.Ditto, dedicated to ditto, No. 330G.
9.Grand Sonata, dedicated to Prince Rudolphe96G.
10.Grand Sonata, dedicated to M. Kreutzer47A.

1.Grand Sonata, No. 15F.
2.Sonata, No. 2.5G.
5.Ditto, No. 1102C.
6.Ditto, No. 2102D.

1.Trio, No. 11E flat.
2.Ditto, No. 21G.
3.Ditto, No. 31C minor.
4.Trio11B flat.
5.Trio (from the Septetto)    38E Flat.
6.Ditto, No. 170D.
7.Ditto, No. 270E flat.
8.Ditto97B flat.

No. Opera.Key.
2.Ditto, dedicated to Monsieur Charles Nikl19B flat.
3.Concerto, dedicated to Prince Louis Ferdinand de Prusse    37C minor.
5.Concerto, dedicated to Archduke Rudolphe73E flat.
6.Fantasia with Chorus80C minor.

1. Air Russe
2. Nel cor più
3. Une Fièvre
4. Air from the Ballet of Le Nozze
5. La Stessa la Stessissima
6. Swiss Air

Mount of Olives (Oratorio)—English Version. By Thos. Oliphant, Esq. The Choral Parts to be had separately.

Six Songs, with English Words. By Thos. Oliphant, Esq.
Fidelio, a Grand Opera.

*** Publishing by Subscription, a complete Edition of the Quatuors for two Violins, Tenor, and Violoncello.




London: Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES and SONS, Stamford Street.


[1] Delivered in the year 1824, in Carlsruhe, Darmstadt, Francfort, Mayence, Stuttgart, and Tübingen; they appeared in print in 1826.

[2] It was that of 1802.

[3] It must be obvious that, in this division, I do not mean to assert that Beethoven's mental development admits of the like limitation, or is tacitly comprehended under it. To pretend to fix precise limits to that would be a bold attempt, inasmuch as his works were not published in the order in which they were composed. I shall recur to this subject in treating of the first period.

[4] At page 81 of his biographical particulars, Ries, in his account of the meeting of Beethoven and Steibelt at the house of Count Fries, where Steibelt performed a "studied Fantasia brillante on a theme from a Trio of Beethoven's," tells us, "This gave great offence to the admirers of Beethoven, as well as to that composer himself; he was next called to the piano to extemporize: he went in his usual, I might say, rude way, to the instrument, as though half-pushed towards it." But hold!—who could help being revolted also on reading this instance of Beethoven's rudeness from the pen of his pupil and friend, and reasoning thus:—

Rudeness is the highest degree of ill-breeding. If he, from his thirtieth to his thirty-fifth year, "usually behaved rudely," even in the higher circles—as we are told in the anecdote related by Ries, page 92—he was and must have been rude all his life, even though he had intercourse with an Archduke of Austria. At that period of life Beethoven had arrived when Ries was in Vienna. What then could be alleged in excuse of Beethoven, if Ries were right? But how many of those friends and admirers of the illustrious deceased, who knew him longer and had opportunities of forming a more correct opinion of him than Ries, will solemnly protest against such a charge! Is it fair to publish to the world a momentary fit of ill-humour in any man, be he who he may, that it may serve as an authentic source for estimating his character? and especially in a man who belongs to remote posterity, who deserves to be recommended in so many respects to younger artists as a model worthy of imitation? Or, let me ask, is it right to drag before the tribunal of the public what has been said and done in unguarded moments among friends and acquaintance? That maxim is in general entirely false which says that "about great men anything and everything may be told: it can do them no harm." Without taking into account that this maxim is in itself very relative, the character of every man, without any reference to his mental qualities, is the point which, in a portraiture of him, should be treated with most tenderness, at the same time without derogating in the slightest degree from the truth.

[5] Dr. Wegeler published in consequence a copy of Beethoven's baptismal register, which is as follows:—

"Extract, Church Register, St. Remigii, at Bonn.

"Anno millesimo septingentesimo septuagesimo, die decima septima Decembris, baptizatus est Ludovicus, Domini Johannis van Beethoven et Helenae Keverichs, conjugum, filius legitimus: Patrini: Dominus Ludovicus van Beethoven, et Gertrudis Müllers, dicta Baums.

"Witness to the truth of the above extract,

(Signed) "WINDECK.

"Bonn, 28th June, 1827."

[6] When M. Brockhaus announced the eighth edition of the "Conversations-Lexicon," I wrote to him, on the 17th of February, 1833, calling his attention to that fable, and requesting him to omit the passage relative to Beethoven's parentage in the new edition, which he complied with.

[7] The same Count von Waldstein to whom Beethoven dedicated his grand Sonata, Op. 53.

[8] Or, as Wegeler gives it, like the "iniquæ mentis asellus" of Horace.—ED.

[9] See my note, p. 228.—ED.

[10] M. Ries was treated in the same manner, as he told me, while under Beethoven's tuition. "I played," said Ries to me, "while Beethoven composed or did something else; and it was very rarely that he seated himself by me and so remained for half an hour." Ries tells a different story in his publication.

[11] How happens it that Beethoven, sensible of the impropriety of this system of education, should not have avoided it in bringing up his nephew? We shall have occasion to recur to this subject in the proper place.

[12] "In order to become a good composer, a person should have studied the theory of harmony and the art of counterpoint from the age of seven to eleven, that when the imagination and feeling awake, he may have accustomed himself to invent according to rule." How absurd and untrue this assertion is, in every respect, I there showed in the proper place; and likewise that Beethoven thought precisely the reverse, especially on instruction in counterpoint, and that he expressed himself clearly and explicitly on that subject.

[13] See Supplement No. IV., Vol. II.

[14] And yet M. Ignatz von Seyfried, in the biographical particulars of Beethoven appended to the work published by him and M. Haslinger, with the title of "Beethoven Studien," does maintain the contrary, which Dr. Wegeler has shown to be wholly unfounded.

[15] This Sonata, quasi Fantasia, Op. 27, is known in Austria by the inappropriate appellation of "Moonshine Sonata," which is meant to designate nothing more than that enthusiastic period of Beethoven's passion.

[16] For the correction of each of his larger works Beethoven took, upon an average, one-third of the time that had been occupied in its composition. This observation I had occasion to make from many of his works. His corrected scores show how he proceeded in general in the labour of revising and improving.

[17] See Supplement No. I., Vol. 1.

[18] Printed in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, No. 19, of the year 1837. For the series of Beethoven's letters to the music-publishers of Leipzig, see Supplement No. I., Vol. 1.

[19] Beethoven was not accustomed to ask singers if they could execute what he had written. The consequence was that these made arbitrary alterations without consulting him.

[20] Of the first members of that Quartett, which belongs to the history of the art, M. Sina is the only one now living, and in Paris. M. Franz Weiss died shortly before Beethoven, M. Schuppanzigh soon after him, and M. Linke a few years since.

[21] The consequences of this excess must inevitably follow, and the gigantic enterprises of this kind that are so frequently seen and heard of, resting on insecure foundations, will, by degrees, fall of themselves, after doing much more injury than benefit to the art.

[22] Count Franz of Brunswick, Baron J. Gleichenstein, Baron Pasqualati, M. de Zmeskall, M. and Madame Streicher, and Moritz Count von Lichnowsky.

[23] This document, in Beethoven's own handwriting, has lately been left in charge of Messrs. Cramer and Co., to be disposed of for the benefit of a female relative of Beethoven's, who hopes to derive some advantage from its sale.—ED.

[24] The whole tenor of this will, or rather memorandum addressed to his brothers, attests the state of deep melancholy into which Beethoven had fallen on account of his deafness—a state which, owing to the same cause, was of frequent recurrence. That throughout this paper Beethoven should not have mentioned the name of his second brother, Johann, and only marked it with dots, is singularly striking; since this brother, as we have just seen, had recently come to Vienna, and had scarcely begun to take any part in the occupations and other concerns of the great composer.

[25] The noble-minded Count Moritz Lichnowsky, whose devotedness to the interests of Beethoven the latter acknowledged by the dedication of two works,—the Variations Op. 35, and the Sonata Op. 90 (E minor), died in December, 1838, in Vienna. He was the last of that set so remarkable in the history of the art, which used to assemble at the house of his brother, the Prince.

[26] Such is the account given by Count Moritz Lichnowsky, who, with Ferdinand Ries, witnessed the circumstance.

[27] Is not this meant to be—"Per festeggiare la memoria d'un grand' uomo?"—ED.

[28] The originally French libretto was translated into German by Joseph Sonnleithner.

[29] In the third period I shall have something more to say about it in the proper place.

[30] Refer to Breuning's letter to Dr. and Mad. Wegeler. Supplement No. II., Vol. II.

The circumstance which occurred at the house of Prince Lichnowsky, on occasion of the alteration made in this Opera in 1807, which M. Röckel,{*} then engaged as tenor singer at the Theater an der Wien (with whom I am myself well acquainted), afterwards related to M. Ries in London, and which the latter communicates in his "Notizen über Beethoven," (p. 105), is interesting and authentic. Not less worthy of notice is Breuning's letter of the 20th of June, 1806, to Dr. Wegeler (p. 62) on the fortunes of the opera of "Fidelio" at its first representation. Count Moritz Lichnowsky was one of the company, in which Beethoven opposed with might and main the omission of a single bar, and gave all present a great deal of trouble.

{*} The following note from Wegeler's Notizen is, I think, not misplaced here:—

"Dear Röckel,—Try and do your best with Milder" [Ma dame Milder, for whom the part of Fidelio was written—ED.], "and pray tell her you ask her to-day in my name, that this early invitation may prevent her singing anywhere else. To-morrow I mean to come myself 'to kiss the hem of her garment.' Do not forget Marconi" [a celebrated Contra-Alto of the time.—ED.], "and, above all, do not be angry with me for thus overburthening you.

"Ever yours,

[31] It is said that, in the rehearsals of his "Christ on the Mount of Olives," quarrels took place from similar causes between Beethoven and the singers.

[32] Mozart experienced similar, nay still more painful mortifications, calumnies, and even depreciation of his abilities, on account of his Opera 'Die Entführung aus dem Serail,' from the singers and other envious creatures, at the head of whom was his professional colleague M. Salieri. We learn from the biography of that unrivalled composer, published by M. von Nissen and Mozart's widow, that those cabals and persecutions were carried much further on occasion of his succeeding opera 'Figaro's Hochzeit,' so that, on the conclusion of the second act, Mozart, filled with indignation, went to the Emperor Joseph in his box, and complained of the singers, who were brought back to their duty by a severe reprimand from the monarch. Such baseness and such malice, which incessantly persecuted the immortal Mozart, even after his death, and which found means to deprive his family, left in necessitous circumstances, of the promised support of the Emperor Leopold, are, and will perhaps for ever, remain unparalleled.

[33] It were sincerely to be wished that, in future editions of Beethoven's works, the dedications should never be omitted, as is so frequently the case. It was in some instances affection, in others gratitude, which gave our artist occasion to name those who were loved and esteemed by him; and with many of these dedications not unimportant circumstances are associated. Beethoven meant thereby to pay a real tribute of honour and respect to his friends and patrons, without harbouring the slightest expectation of being presented with rings, shirt-pins, gold snuff-boxes, and watches, for his public testimonies of esteem.

[34] At p. 83, M. Ries speaks of the performance of the Fantasia for the Piano-forte, Op. 80, in which the clarinet-player, by overlooking a repetition, occasioned an interruption. M. Ries proceeds thus with his narrative:—"Beethoven started up furiously, turned himself round, and abused the members of the orchestra in the grossest terms and in so loud a tone as to be heard by the whole audience. At length, he cried 'Begin again!' The theme was re-commenced; each performer fell in at the proper place, and the result was splendid. But when the concert was over, the performers, remembering too well the honourable epithet which Beethoven had publicly applied to them, fell into the most vehement rage, as though the affront had only just then been offered; and vowed never to play again if Beethoven was in the orchestra."

The assertion that Beethoven loudly desired that Fantasia to be repeated, on account of the blunder of the first clarinet, is true enough; but, as for any abuse of the members of the orchestra, who were not in fault, and that, too, "in the grossest terms," M. Fr. Clement, the able orchestra-director, with whom Beethoven brought out his Fidelio, the fourth, fifth, and sixth Symphonies, and that Fantasia, who still occupies his post at the Theater an der Wien, knows nothing about it.{**} Other members of the orchestra at that time, who are still living, know just as little of the matter, and protest against the statements of M. Ries. The latter was not present when Fidelio was brought out, for he was then on his way to Russia, and those Symphonies mentioned by him, p. 83, were not composed by Beethoven till several years afterwards, any more than the Fantasia in question.

At p. 84, M. Ries thus continues:—"A similar scene is said to have once occurred, but the orchestra resolved not to put up with the affront, and peremptorily insisted that he should not conduct. Accordingly, during the rehearsal, Beethoven was obliged to stay in an adjoining room, and it was a long time before this quarrel was made up."

Not a creature in Vienna has any recollection of such a scene, and, during my residence of twenty-three years in that city, I never heard a syllable on that subject.

{**} I remember having myself been present at the performance in question, seated in a corner of the gallery in the Theater an der Wien: during the last movement of the Fantasia I perceived that—like a carriage run away with down hill—an overturn was inevitable. Almost immediately after, it was, that I saw Beethoven give the signal for stopping. His voice was not heard; but he had probably given directions where to begin again—and after half a moment's respectful silence on the part of the audience—the orchestra re-commenced, and the performance proceeded without further mistake or stoppage.

To those who are acquainted with the work, it may be interesting to know the precise point at which the mistake occurred. It was in the passage where, for several pages, every three bars make up a triple rhythm, as shown on the following page. This peculiarly-constructed rhythm has, until the present time, like most of Beethoven's characteristics, remained his undisputed property.—ED.

[35] The house of Count Franz von Brunswick at Pesth had been for many years a seminary of the true and pure professional faith, without prepossession in favour of any classic. None of the seductive false doctrines of the present day could gain admittance there. To describe the part taken in these pursuits by the countess, who is his pupil, and the most exquisite player on the piano-forte that I ever heard, would require a separate essay, in order to do justice to her performances and to their effects upon her auditors. Let us hope that these abilities may be hereditary in that remarkable family.

A family akin for talents and abilities to that of Brunswick, and whose pursuits have taken the same direction, is still to be found at Geilenkirchen, in the province of Rhenish Prussia. The house of M. Max. Flemming, merchant, of Geilenkirchen, near Aix-la-Chapelle, exactly resembles in this point that of the Hungarian magnate. An intimate acquaintance with, and profound comprehension of, the musical classics were transmitted by the parents to the children in a degree that is rarely witnessed in our times, when domestic music in particular has universally assumed an ephemeral character, and aims only at tickling the senses. Thus in that house too a temple has been erected to Beethoven's Muse, and its service heightens the happiness of the interesting inmates in a manner that must inspire the intelligent observer with the warmest interest for persons holding forth so rare an example.

[36] Among other scenes between Beethoven, his brothers, and friends, M. Ries describes with graphic minuteness one which is particularly to the point (p. 88).—See Supplement No. IV., Vol. II.

[37] "During the short bombardment of Vienna by the French, in 1809, Beethoven was excessively alarmed; he passed most of the time in a cellar at his brother Caspar's, where, besides, he covered his head with pillows that he might not hear the cannon."—Such are the words of M. Ries, p. 121 of his 'Notizen.'

[38] To this sum the Archduke Rudolph contributed 1500 florins, Prince Lobkowitz 700, and Prince Ferdinand Kinsky 1800.

[39] See Supplement No. VI., Vol. I.

[40] Bettina relates, in her letter of the 28th of May, to Göthe, that she committed to writing Beethoven's remarks on art, &c., which he made the day before in a walk with her, and that she gave him them to read, upon which he asked her in astonishment—"And did I indeed say all this?—Then I must certainly have had a raptus!"

[41] The correspondence which passed between the composer and Madame Bettina von Arnim may be thought hardly to bear out M. Schindler's opinion of Beethoven's style of expression. The reader, however, will be enabled to judge for himself, as he will find in the Supplement No. III., Vol. I., a series of letters, from one of which the passage here cited by the biographer is extracted.—ED.

[42] There is a remarkable coincidence, not only of sentiment but of expression, between the above passage and one of the noblest songs of Burns, particularly the lines—

"A prince can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a' that,
But an honest man's aboon his might—."—ED.

[43] Beethoven here alludes to a small sum which he had to expect from abroad.

[44] I must claim for my friend Meyerbeer the place here assigned to Hummel, who had to act in the cannonade; and this I may the more firmly assert, as, the cymbals having been intrusted to me, Meyerbeer and I had to play from one and the same part.—ED.

[45] I witnessed the origin and progress of this work, and remember that not only did Maelzel decidedly induce Beethoven to write it, but even laid before him the whole design of it; himself wrote all the drum-marches and the trumpet-flourishes of the French and English armies; gave the composer some hints, how he should herald the English army by the tune of "Rule Britannia;" how he should introduce "Malbrook" in a dismal strain; how he should depict the horrors of the battle, and arrange "God save the King" with effects representing the hurrahs of a multitude. Even the unhappy idea of converting the melody of "God save the King" into a subject of a fugue in quick movement, emanates from Maelzel. All this I saw in sketches and score, brought by Beethoven to Maelzel's workshop, then the only suitable place of reception he was provided with.—ED.

[46] I am proud to say that I am four years in advance of my friend Schindler, having made Beethoven's much-desired acquaintance four years sooner—in 1810.—ED.

[47] This work may not, perhaps, rank equally high with some of Beethoven's most sublime productions; yet it speaks his language, and has all the charms so peculiar to himself, particularly in the choral parts. It consists of—

No. 1. Chorus.
2. Recitativo and Chorus.
3. Grand Scena, Soprano, with Violin obligato and Chorus.
4. Solo, Soprano and Chorus.
5. Recitativo and Quartett, two Soprani, Tenor, and Bass.
6. Chorus and Fugue.

The original score of this work, with copies of both texts, has been intrusted to me by M. Haslinger, of Vienna; and I am still in possession of it, in case a suitable opportunity for its performance should present itself.—ED.

[48] It was M. Carl Maria von Weber, who, after the failure{***} (see p. 164) of his Opera Euryanthe (1823), brought the score of that work, with the most profound humility, to Beethoven, requesting him to make what alterations he pleased in it, and promising to submit entirely to his opinion. Beethoven, well knowing what acrimonious reviews of some of his works M. von Weber had sent from Prague to German journals, received him in the most friendly manner; and, after looking over the score, said to him, in my presence, that he ought to have made this application before the performance of his Opera, but that now he thought it too late, unless M. von Weber would undertake such a reform with it as he (Beethoven) did with his Fidelio.

It is interesting to see, for example, in the first version of the Opera Fidelio, how the master has composed several numbers twice and even four times. These casts, always of the same text, frequently differ very essentially from one another. Upon the whole, the first score of Fidelio, with the numerous variations, frequent improvements in the rhythm, in the instrumentation, and in the invention of the melody, affords a manifest truth of the extreme severity which the great master was accustomed to exercise in the correction of all his works; hence it would form an admirable study for young composers, and would deserve a place in a public library, where it would be accessible to everybody.

{***}It is with reluctance that I comment upon the word "failure" applied by M. Schindler to the "Euryanthe" of Weber, which was performed in November, 1823. But I was present at the first performance of this Opera, which the composer conducted, and the following pieces were encored:—The Overture—the 1st Tenor air sung by Adolar (Haitzinger)—the Finale to the 1st Act, sung by Euryanthe (Mlle. Sontag)—the principal pieces sung by Mad. Grünbaum (Eglantine) and Forti (Lysiard). The Huntsmen's, as well as several other Choruses, were most enthusiastically received, and the composer was called for at the end of the Opera, with every testimony of approbation. The evening was wound up by a convivial supper, given by a literary and artistical society called the Ludlam's Höhle, at which, together with Weber's pupil, M. Benedict, I had the pleasure of assisting, in conclusion of a triumphant success.

I do not, of course, intend to throw any doubt upon the circumstance here stated, of Weber having shown the score of Euryanthe to Beethoven, yet there seems to be some doubt as to Weber not having been on good terms with Beethoven, the more so when Rellstab's accounts are taken into consideration.

I make some extracts from the Memoirs of this much-esteemed writer and critic. He says (March 24th, 1825), "My journey to Vienna had been decided upon..... yet, of all the fair promises the imperial city held out to me, there was none so exciting or so spirit-stirring as the supreme felicity which I felt at the thoughts of becoming acquainted with Beethoven."....

Rellstab, on his way to Vienna, calls upon C. M. von Weber at Dresden, and, on asking him for a letter of introduction to Beethoven, receives the following reply:—"Beethoven does not like epistolary communication, and thinks it quite as irksome to read, as to write letters, but you may bring him all sorts of kind and respectful messages from me verbally; to judge from the kind reception he gave me during my last stay at Vienna, in 1823, I should suppose he would remember me with every feeling of sympathy and attachment." Weber then proceeded to give me an account of his last visit to Beethoven, to which, of course, I listened with the greatest eagerness. "We had been to him several times," said he, "without having once been able to see him; he was out of humour, and shunning all human society, yet we at length succeeded in finding the propitious moment; we were shown in, and beheld him sitting at his writing-table, from which he did not however rise at once to give us a friendly welcome. He had known me for several years, so that I could at once enter into conversation with him, but suddenly he started up, stood upright before me, and, putting his two hands on my shoulders, he shook me with a kind of rough cordiality, saying, 'You have always been a fine fellow!' and with this he embraced me in the kindest and most affectionate manner.

"Of all the marks of distinction then shown to me at Vienna, of all the praise and fame I there earned, nothing ever touched my heart as much as this fraternal kiss of Beethoven's."—ED.

[49] See Supplement No. II., Vol. II.

[50] But not "tacitly," as M. von Seyfried asserts at p. 12 of his Biographical Particulars. In Austria there is no such thing as a tacit adoption; every adoption requires a legal confirmation in order to be valid.

[51] This was Dr. Bach, senior court-advocate and sworn notary, who has for the third time been elected Dean of the Faculty of the Law in the University of Vienna.

[52] For this interesting document I am indebted to my esteemed friend Dr. Bach. In his letter of the 9th of June, 1839, when he sent it to me, he expresses this wish:—"Not a trait of that great soul ought to be lost, because it proves that with an inexhaustible genius a noble spirit may be combined." He will perceive how strictly and how faithfully I have endeavoured in this work to comply with his wishes and the express desire of our mutual friend.

[53] It was only three years before his death that Mozart obtained an allowance of 800 florins, which was paid out of the privy purse of the Emperor Joseph, whose favourite he moreover was. We see how nearly alike were the fortunes of those two great geniuses in this particular.

[54] This axiom, which may no doubt find numerous champions to defend it, is not one that I could subscribe to; and I hope the reader may not consider the selection of anecdotes from Seyfried, Ries, and Wegeler, which I have made in Supplement Nos. IV. & V., Vol. II., an unwelcome addition to M. Schindler's work.—ED.

[55] At the solicitation of M. Ries, I informed him, in 1833, of the cause of the evidently exaggerated complaints made in those letters: he ought of course to have felt the more scrupulous in publishing them.

[56] As these letters have already met the public eye elsewhere, they could not here be withheld, and will be found in the Supplement No. I., Vol. II.—ED.

[57] The Saint's day, which, in Catholic countries, is celebrated like the birthday.—ED.

[58] By Aug. von Kotzebue.

[59] Johann van Beethoven had been an apothecary, and was originally supplied with the means of establishing himself by his brother Ludwig. Having amassed considerable wealth, he relinquished business, and became a landed proprietor.

[60] Beethoven made no offer to the Austrian court, but he did to Prince Esterhazy, who, however, declined it.

[61] Consequently not ten or twelve copies, which Beethoven is said to have sold in the way of subscription before the work was printed, as M. Seyfried erroneously states in his biographical particulars of him.

[62] It is evident from this how Beethoven felt and maintained his position in regard to the highest personages, and that he would not give up a single inch to them. This may serve, at the same time, to prove from what point of view he considered the world, and that in this particular he steadfastly adhered in practice to the immutable principle that dwelt within him (of which we have already treated in the first period), though by so doing he lost many material advantages.

[63] Beethoven, whom I saw frequently about this time, lent me the instrument in question to perform upon at a concert which I gave on the 15th of December, 1823, at the Kärnthner-Thor theater, Vienna; my object being to display the difference between the effects producible on Viennese, and on English instruments, by playing on one of the former in the first, and upon Beethoven's piano in the second act. The latter was internally and externally in so bad a state, owing to frequent removals and severe treatment on the part of its owner, that I should not have been able to avail myself of it, had not M. Graf, the Imperial piano-forte maker, been kind enough to put it into perfect order. For this concert Beethoven also lent me his then MS. Overture in C, Op. 115, and gave me directions with respect to its performance, that I might be able to impart his views to the players at the rehearsal. It may not be uninteresting to add, that the present owner of the piano-forte alluded to, is about to consign it to my care for the purpose of disposing of it.—ED.

[64] See Supplement, No. V., Vol. I.

[65] He merely saw two representations, one of which was the Barber of Seville, but without hearing a word of them. At his desire the score was sent to his lodgings, and after he had looked through it he made this curious remark:—"Rossini would have been a great composer if his master had oftener given him a sound flogging."

[66] I am so fortunate as to possess the original score of this work. Reminding Beethoven of the fate of the Kyrie in the grand Mass, and apprehensive that this score might also be used by his servants as waste paper for wrapping up boots and shoes, I asked him for it, and he gave it to me, attaching no higher value to such a gift than an ordinary sheet of paper. In the year 1823 his manuscripts fared precisely as they had done twenty years earlier, as M. Ries remarks (p. 113). All of them lay about in the utmost confusion, and any one that chose might take away what he pleased unmolested. May not this indifference towards the productions of his genius, the value of which, however, he well knew, be considered as the strongest proof that in his mind there was no trace of conceit, self-importance, or even egotism? In whom has the like ever been seen?

[67] Afterwards King of Saxony.

[68] The kind Archduke was needlessly concerned. When Beethoven was quite well, he went in general only with great reluctance to his illustrious patron and scholar; nay, he was ill in imagination whenever he heard that the Archduke was coming to town. He was accustomed to call the giving of lessons in this case "court-service," and what ideas he connected with that term it is easy to guess. On the other hand, his dislike to give systematic instruction made matters still worse. We discover in all this the very same "ill-tempered donkey," as at the time when he lived at Bonn. Then again the lessons of this Archduke required preparation on the part of the instructor, and also some regard to the toilet;{****} hence it was so hard a task for him to go to the Imperial palace, but one above which, in this case, he could not set himself.

{****} Any restraint experienced by Beethoven in his intercourse with the Archduke can only have originated in his own aversion to giving lessons. Nothing could be generally more urbane or less ceremonious in the matter of exactions as to toilet, than was this distinguished patron of music. I may be permitted, perhaps, to recall a personal instance of this: on waiting upon the Archduke for the purpose of presenting him with a copy of the Duet in E flat (Op. 47), which I had the honour of dedicating to him, I found him, to my surprise, in his ecclesiastical Cardinal's robes, in which I had never, till then, seen him. His usual affability of manner, however, remained unchanged. He took up the copy with eagerness, and, hardly allowing himself time to glance over it, said, "Let us try it." This was done as soon as said. I knew not whether most to admire the clever manner in which he played this composition at sight, or at the disparity of the persons engaged in its execution—not in rank only, but in costume; for it was impossible, as often as my eye glanced downwards towards the pedal, not to be struck by the sight of his red stockings side by side with my black ones.—ED.

[69] These letters are addressed to the Kappellmeister Hofmeister, who, under the firm of Hofmeister and Kühnel, Bureau de Musique, commenced the correspondence in the year 1800 with his friend Beethoven. That firm afterwards changed its designation, though retaining all its copyrights, to A. Kühnel Bureau de Musique: the business was next transferred, with the same proviso, to C. F. Peters, of whose heirs it was purchased by me in 1828, likewise with all the copyrights.—C. G. S. Böhme.

[70] The German word stechen signifies both to engrave and to sting: hence arises in the original a pun which cannot possibly be conveyed in the translation.

[71] A ducat is about ten shillings English money.—ED.

[72] Wenzel Müller.

[73] It is remarkable that Beethoven, even at that time, should manifest in these lines so correct a notion of musical copyright. Though no man of business, he perceived that the purchaser of the original melody must at the same time have a right of property of all arrangements, if copyright is to be maintained inviolate.

[74] The same pun with the word stechen that has been remarked before.

[75] This alludes either to the "Italian and German Songs" (four numbers) published by me, or the "Italian and German Ariettes," Op. 82.

[76] This probably means the Missa Solemnis (Op. 123), afterwards published by the brothers Schott; for that brought out by Breitkopf and Härtel (Op. 86) had appeared long before the date of this letter.

[77] The compositions mentioned above by Beethoven have, as far as we know, never appeared in print, and were probably disposed of at the sale of his effects.

[78] The river which waters Berlin.

[79] Göthe's poem "Johanna Sebus."

[80] Clemens Brentano, the poet, Bettine's brother.

[81] See Göthe's Correspondence with a Child.

[82] From the Harmonicon, January, 1824.

[83] A neat little walled town of Austria, famous for its hot baths, seated on the river Schwocha. This must not be confounded with the more celebrated town of the same name in Switzerland.

[84] Mozart expressed himself in a similar manner; and Haydn, when at a performance of the Messiah in Westminster Abbey, was nearly overpowered by its sublime strains, and wept like a child.

[85] From the Harmonicon, December, 1825.

[86] Beethoven had already expressed himself to the same effect two years before to Hofrath Rochlitz, as may be seen in his work—"For the Friends of Music," vol. 4, page 355. I shall recur to this subject at the conclusion of the musical part of this book.

[87] There is no doubt that the vocal parts of Beethoven's works frequently lie very high, especially in places where words are to be pronounced. This is the case with his ninth Symphony with Soli and Chorus. The 1st recitative for the bass voice is in some parts uncomfortably high; and the composer himself permits the singer, in its opening notes, to sing  musical notes. He would certainly have given similar licences in several other parts of this recitative, if it had not been against his plan of unity in this musical poem, as the same notes of the recitative are performed by the double-bass in the foregoing instrumental movement. When I prepared, for the first time, to conduct this Symphony, on the occasion of its revival by the Philharmonic Society (April 17th, 1837), I found similar difficulties in other parts of the vocal movement. An imperfect execution of these was to be apprehended, derogatory to the general effect. I considered it a bold undertaking to attempt any alteration, since every work which comes from such a master-genius should be reverentially handled: I nevertheless ventured to facilitate the execution of the passages in question. The full amount of changes made by me is acknowledged in the following illustration:—in so doing I hope to prove the truth of the saying, "that he who accuses himself has the best chance of finding mercy at the hands of critical judges."—ED.

[88] He was in a measure right, for, what with fioriture and roulades, the true Cantabile style had until then remained to these two ladies.

[89] The same thing took place with the bass solo part, in which, however, Beethoven at length gave way, and made a little alteration in the recitative, because it was too high for the singer.

[90] In this they were not in the wrong. As to the saying, "jurare in verba magistri," I am of opinion that it would be better to spoil the effect of a whole piece than to destroy a single voice; and that therefore every skilful Director should make such alteration as may be found necessary for the voices, especially in the Mass, where there are many soprano passages, which may be screamed, but cannot be sung. These alterations are, besides, very easily made, and the effect will be grand and true, when all the voices can proceed at ease.

[91] For an account of this Concert see Supplement, No. III., Vol. II.

[92] This refers to his brother Johann.

[93] See the Correspondence with Mr. Neate in the Supplement, No. II., Vol. II.

[94] Hofrath Rochlitz had already, in 1822, made him, in the name of M. Härtel, a proposal for the composition of Göthe's Faust.

[95] One of these answers, in Beethoven's hand-writing, I sent, in the year 1828, to Professor Marx, in Berlin, for the Berlin Musical Journal, but have never seen or heard of it since.

[96] This passage refers to the law-suit with his sister-in-law.

[97] Beethoven's brother.

[98] That he might not have to charge himself with any neglect, Beethoven, contrary to his custom, remained in town during the summer of 1826.

[99] As far as I have been able to learn, this nephew now holds some civil appointment under the Austrian government. It is therefore probable that time, circumstances, and mature reflection, have induced him to return to the right path, as we must all wish that he should. When we remember, however, the evil auspices under which his early education was conducted, we shall be inclined to seek in that period for the original causes of these most painful occurrences, and not be tempted to lift a stone against him, but rather leave him to be judged before the tribunal of that Divine Providence who has seen fit to subject our immortal composer to the severe trials beneath which he so early sunk.

[100] See the Correspondence between Beethoven and the Editor, Supplement No. VI., Vol. II.

[101] In a letter to Ries, dated the 5th of September, 1823, Beethoven says,—"My brother Johann, who keeps his carriage, has been trying to draw upon me."

[102] Mr. Stumpff, the proprietor of a harp manufactory in London, presented to Beethoven, the year before, the complete works of Handel, in upwards of forty folio volumes, of the rare and costly London edition. He was more delighted with this present than if he had received the Order of the Garter. At the sale of his effects, M. Tobias Haslinger bought this work for 100 florins!!! and from this it is easy to imagine what prices were paid at that auction for articles of less value.

[103] This gentleman, my particular friend, was for many years attached to the house of Baron von Eskeles, at Vienna, as tutor and companion to his only son. The reader will find some letters from him in the Supplement No. VI., Vol. II.—ED.

[104] It was not possible, and I therefore complied with his desire immediately after his decease, and conveyed his thanks to these two worthy men.

[105] Beethoven would have designated his career more accurately had he said—drama finitum est.

[106] It is worthy of mention that Beethoven for several weeks obstinately rejected the advice of Dr. Bach and myself, to place the property to be left for his nephew in the hands of trustees, till he should attain his majority, for which there existed the most urgent reasons. He wished that after his death his heir should come into the immediate possession of it, and dispose of it just as he pleased. It was not till after he had received the plainest proofs of the indifference of this heir to his misfortunes—since he often left Beethoven's letters for weeks together unanswered—that he agreed to our proposal, and accordingly wrote with his own hand his will, consisting of but three lines, by which, after the death of his nephew, the property was to devolve to his natural heirs.

[107] This will be more fully elucidated by M. Rau's letters. See Supplement, No. VI., Vol. II.—ED.

[108] For an account of the funeral, see Supplement, No. VII., Vol. II.

[109] This part properly belongs to the historical section of the biography, of which it forms the completion. But as its incorporation with the historical matter would frequently have occasioned an interruption of the narrative, I have thought it better to make the exclusively musical part of the work the subject of a distinct section.

[110] In like manner, Clementi has characterized his grand Sonata, No. 3, Op. 50. Having taken his ideas from the History of Dido, he illustrated his composition by the superscription:—"Didone abbandonnata—Scena tragica;" and besides, in the course of the work, not only the different movements, but also single passages, are rendered intelligible by particular superscriptions. It is truly unpardonable that this noble work, deserving to be ranked on a level with Beethoven's Sonatas, should be unknown to most of the pianoforte players of the present day. In the judgment of modern musicians and dilettanti, Clementi belongs to the old school; but I may here take the opportunity of recording Beethoven's opinion of him. Among all the masters who have written for the pianoforte, Beethoven assigned to Clementi the very foremost rank. He considered his works excellent as studies for practice, for the formation of a pure taste, and as truly beautiful subjects for performance. Beethoven used to say,—"They, who thoroughly study Clementi, at the same time make themselves acquainted with Mozart and other composers; but the converse is not the fact."

[111] With few exceptions, the Sonatas were all composed at the two periods alluded to.

[112] The happy state of feeling by which Beethoven was at this time animated inspired him with the idea of setting to music, with full orchestral parts, Schiller's "Lied an die Freude."

[113] The reader will recollect an anecdote of Beethoven and his brother, relative to a circumstance which occurred on New Year's Day, 1823, together with the New Year's Day card.

[114] This calls to mind the fact related by Ries, in his Notizen, p. 107, in reference to the direction he received, when in London, from Beethoven:—"At the commencement of the Adagio in the Sonata, Op. 106, place these two notes for the first bar." Ries expresses great astonishment at the effect produced by the two notes.

[115] That this maxim admits, in our unpoetic and superficial age, of a much more extended application than it did in former times, must be with regret acknowledged by every unprejudiced observer of the modern phenomena in the region of art. Twenty or thirty years ago, great musical talent, enjoying the good fortune of being directed by able instruction, might easily have attained the highest degree of cultivation, there being then no reason to fear those seductive and slippery paths of the musical career, whereby distinguished talent is now so often led astray. A period not yet more remote than twenty or thirty years ago, was favourable to the development of faculties like those of the Countess Sidonie of Brunswick, in Pesth, of whom mention has been made in the Second Period. The present age repeats with enthusiasm the name of "Clara Wieck,"{*****} who for versatility of talent will not easily find a rival among her own sex. But talent which is to be judged by the tribunal of public opinion, if it do not render homage to the taste of the age, must at least show deference to it, and thereby lose its genuine artistical purity. This purity of taste is to be looked for only in dilettanti, who always keep in view the ideal beauty of pure unperverted truth of feeling, because their talents are exercised only in a small circle of musical friends of their own choice. Such persons, however, always remain mere dilettanti, as they do not cease to fulfil those duties which their domestic or other social relations demand, and which, by a prudent distribution of time, are easily rendered compatible with study in any situation in life. It is only on these conditions that their efforts in art, when they rise far above the common level, will win the admiration and approval of all truly cultivated artists.

{*****}Now Mad. Schuman.—ED.

[116] So far as my observation goes, it inclines me to dissent from this opinion. Not only are the new editions of Beethoven's works substantial evidences that his magnificent and various talent finds an increasing number of worshippers among the amateurs of Europe, but there are few of the distinguished Solo players of the day, who do not seek to recommend themselves by acquaintance with his music, and public and private performances of it. In new countries and circles, moreover, is the taste for it rapidly spreading: I may instance London and Paris, where it is now deeply studied by the profession, and eagerly sought after by the public.—ED.

[117] Matheson's "Vollkommener Kapell-meister" was published at Hamburgh, in 1739.

[118] There is so much intrinsic spirit and value in Beethoven's orchestral works, that it is beyond the power of occasional mistakes or exaggerations in tempo, on the part of the players, to convert them into common prose. In England, certain movements are frequently taken too slow; in France, others too quick—according to my recollection of the tempo as given to the orchestra by the composer when he conducted—still without the metamorphosis taking place.—ED.

[119] The reader may deem it not uninteresting to be made acquainted with Mozart's opinion with reference to the unsatisfactory manner in which his compositions were sometimes performed. In the Biography published by H. von Nissen and Mozart's widow, we find, at p. 27, the following passage:—"Mozart complained bitterly of the injury which his compositions frequently sustained by faulty performance, especially by a too great acceleration of the tempo. They think that this rapidity imparts fire to the composition; but truly if there is not fire in the music itself, it can never be galloped into it." (These were Mozart's own words.)

[120] The structure and extent of the hall of the great Imperial Ridotto at Vienna, in which the concerts of the Musical Society are held, renders a powerful orchestra necessary.

[121] This was the exact number of performers on the occasion when his Symphonies were first brought forward.—ED.

[122] The metronomic sign may be compared to a paragraph of a code of laws which is cited as an authority for the decision in some particular case. The dictating movement of the metronome facilitates a just comprehension of a musical composition. A correct metronomic direction leads the intelligent musician by the right path into the spirit of the music; whilst an erroneous indication of the time leads him very far astray in his endeavours to seize that spirit.

[123] By way of excepting my self from the sweeping censure here bestowed upon all who have attempted to fix the metronomic signs to Beethoven's compositions, I hope I may be permitted to state, that in superintending for Messrs. Cramer and Co. the new edition of his works, and in metronomising the several compositions, I have not merely listened to my own musical feelings, but been guided by my recollections of what I gathered from Beethoven's own playing, and that of the Baroness Ertman, whom I have heard perform many of his works in his presence, and to his entire satisfaction, at the musical meetings alluded to by M. Schindler in this work, vol. i, p. 183, and at Mr. Zmeskall's. In some of the quick movements I have purposely refrained from giving way to that rapidity of piano-forte execution, so largely developed at the present time. It is with satisfaction that I add, that the tempi I have ventured to give differ very slightly from those affixed to Haslinger's Vienna edition, by Carl Czerny, whom I consider to be a competent authority in the matter.—ED.

[124] Did not M. Schindler, in page 119 of this volume, more duly appreciate the merits of Liszt than the reader might infer from the above, I should gladly avail myself of this opportunity to do homage to the amazing talent of that artist.—ED.

[125] I cannot calmly submit to be put under this ban, but rather stand up and defend my metronomic Signs of the Op. 27, as well as of all the others in the edition.—ED.

[126] In this angry denunciation against metronomising M. Schindler goes too far. The musical world knows, that marking the time by a metronome is but a slight guide for performers and conductors. Its object is to show the general time of a movement, particularly at its commencement; but it is not to be followed strictly throughout; for no piece, except a march or a dance, would have any real life and expression, or light and shade, if the Solo performer, or the orchestra under its conductor, were strictly to adhere to one and the same tempo, without regard to the many marks which command its variations. (See M. Schindler's own subsequent words on this subject, pp. 116 and 117.) The player or conductor, who enters into the time and spirit of the piece must feel when and where he has to introduce the necessary changes: and these are often of so delicate a nature, that the marks of the metronome would become superabundant, not to say impossible. This duly considered, the differences in the metronomic signs here denounced will be found too trifling to draw forth such animadversions.—ED.

[127] In Op. 27 both title and dedication vary from the mode in which they are given by the composer. The following are the words written by Beethoven, which refer specially to No. 1:—"Sonata quasi Fantasia, dedicata alla Madamigella Contessa Giulietta di Guicciardi."

[128] This reasoning seems to me somewhat void of logic, since the same spirit which would urge M. Schindler's "most fashionable" piano-forte player to exceed the tempi of Beethoven's Sonatas, would prompt him also to play the above-mentioned Studies with such a degree of celerity as must enable him to be prepared for the difficulties, at prestissimo speed, of the great master's Sonatas.—ED.

[129] Beethoven himself?—ED.

[130] I shall presently have occasion to quote a remark of Beethoven's, in which the above words occur.

[131] "The tempo of the Sonata, fixed by Maelzel's metronome, you shall have by next post," says Beethoven, in his letter of the 30th of April. Why not have sent it with the manuscript of the music? It was a mechanical occupation, and Beethoven was not inclined to turn to it on that day. Unfortunately, he was not better disposed to set about it before the departure of the following post.

[132] The reader will recollect Beethoven's letter to Moscheles, dated March 18th, 1827, alluded to in the third period. In that letter he enclosed the metronomic signs for the Ninth Symphony, after the Symphony to which those signs belonged had been some time in London.

[133] If Beethoven, though acknowledging the useful adaptability of the metronome, was, nevertheless, frequently undetermined, and, by twice fixing metronomic signs to the same works, contradicted himself, it merely shows that he was influenced by the musical feeling of the moment. Another proof that two different musicians, like Czerny and myself, could naturally hardly fail to deviate slightly in pointing out the tempo of Beethoven's works. His saying here quoted, "Better no metronome!" is no proof that he wished to abolish its use, but that he only feared that it might be insufficient to determine the rate of movement in its different variations.—ED.

[134] See my note, p. 100.—ED.

[135] With regard to pianoforte playing, Beethoven always inculcated the following rule:—"Place the hands over the key-board in such a position that the fingers need not be raised more than is necessary. This is the only method by which the player can learn to generate tone, and, as it were, to make the instrument sing." He abjured the staccato style, especially in the performance of phrases, and he derisively termed it "finger-dancing," or "manual air-sawing." There are many passages in Beethoven's works which, though not marked with slurs, require to be played legato. But this a cultivated taste will instinctively perceive.

[136] I agree with M. Schindler in these remarks. The slight deviations of time recommended must give life and expression, not only to this movement, but also to the imaginative compositions of all the great masters.

Their success, however, can only be assured by intimate acquaintance on the part of the band with the manner of the conductor, and his mode of conveying his intentions, either from long intercourse or careful rehearsals.—ED.


[138] See Score, p. 3.

[139] See Score, p. 23.

[140] Will it be believed in Vienna that Beethoven's Symphonies were assiduously practised from twelve to sixteen months, and the Ninth Symphony, with Schiller's Ode to Joy, full two years, in the Conservatoire of Paris, before they were performed in public? This is a fact. It is also a fact that on occasion of the first performance of this Ninth Symphony, in 1824, at the Kärnthner-Thoe theater, Beethoven could obtain no more than two rehearsals, because the orchestra was engaged in rehearsing a new Ballet. Remonstrances and entreaties, on the part of Beethoven, for a third rehearsal, which he considered necessary, proved unavailing. He received for definitive answer—"Two rehearsals will be quite sufficient." What will the professors of the Paris Conservatoire, and M. Habeneck, the leader, say to this?


Symphonies for the whole Orchestra60-80
Concertos for Violin, with Orchestral Accompaniments50
Ottetts for various Instruments60
Septettsnbsp;     ditto60
Sextetts             ditto60
Quintetts for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, and Violoncello50
Quartetts for 2 Violins, Viola, and Violoncello40
Terzetts for Violin, Viola, and Violoncello40
Concertos for the Piano-forte, with Orchestral Accompaniments60
Fantasia,      ditto30
Rondo,       ditto30
Variations,    ditto30
Ottetts for Piano-forte, with Accompaniments of various Instruments50
Septett      ditto50
Quintett     ditto60
Quartett    ditto70
Terzetts for Piano-forte, Viola, and Violoncello50
Duetts for Piano-forte and Violin40
Duetts for Piano-forte and Violoncello40
Duo for Piano-forte, for four hands60
Sonata (Grand) for Piano-forte, alone40
Sonata for Piano-forte, solo30
Fantasia for Piano-forte30
Rondo for Piano-forte15
Variations for Piano-forte, with Accompaniments10-20
Variations for Piano-forte, solo10-20
Six Fugues for Piano-forte30-40
Divertimentos, Airs, Preludes, Pot-pourris, Bagatelles, Adagio, Andante, Toccatas, Capriccios, for Piano-forte, solo10-15
Grand Mass130
Smaller Mass100
Greater Oratorio300
Smaller Oratorio200
Te Deum Laudamus50
Vocal Pieces with Orchestral Accompaniments20
An Opera Seria300
Six Songs, with Piano-forte Accompaniments20
Six shorter      ditto      ditto12
A Ballad15

Immediately underneath were the following remarks in Beethoven's handwriting:—"One might reserve a right occasionally to alter or to fix new prices. If the above are meant merely for Austria, or (at most) France, and England is left to me, they might be accepted. In regard to several items, one might retain the right of fixing the price oneself. As to the publication of the complete works, England and France should perhaps be reserved for the author. The sum to be paid by the publishers would be 10,000 florins, Vienna currency. As they wish also to treat for the publication of the complete works, such a contract would, in my opinion, be the best." ... "Perhaps stand out for London and Paris, and write to Schlesinger on the subject."

[142] See Beethoven's facsimile in the original German, of which the above is a translation. No. I.

[143] I remember, after having been for some time resident in England, in the course of a conversation with Beethoven, at his house in Vienna (in November, 1823), asking him in writing (then the only mode of communication with him), "How is the Archduke Rudolph?" He answered abruptly, "He is quietly tending his sheep at Olmütz" (Er hütet seine Schafe in Olmütz)—an allusion to the Archduke's Cardinalship.

The same conversation was remarkably interesting to me, as affording me many proofs of the extreme interest Beethoven took in the diffusion of his works in England, and the fondness with which he cherished the idea of himself directing their performance and witnessing their popularity in that country. He asked me many minute questions about the state of the orchestras, and the organization of the different musical societies of London.—Ed.

[144] With respect to most of the arrangements of Beethoven's works for two or four hands, especially his Symphonies, it is curious to imagine the destruction which the great master would have dealt among them, had he lived to see them. He would have waged war against them with fire and sword, and none would have been spared except those of Watts and Hummel. These Beethoven pronounced to be the best pianoforte arrangements of his works. As to the other arrangers, one of them has copied half of the score, and by this means burdened the performer with difficulties, which, on the pianoforte, owing to the homogeneous tone of the instrument, are useless, and frequently undistinguishable, whilst they obstruct the free flow of the melody, and, by fatiguing both the eyes and fingers of the player, render him incapable of following the spirit and soul of the music. Another of such arrangers, or, to speak more correctly, derangers, deserves to have his knuckles rapped for the liberty he has taken in making essential omissions and additions, with the view of improving Beethoven's music. M. Simrock would render a gratifying tribute to the memory of Beethoven, by engaging M. Watts to arrange all the Symphonies. By his arrangement of the fourth and sixth Symphonies, Watts has shown that he is more capable than any other of executing that difficult task in a spirit congenial with the composer's intention.

[145] Beethoven did not receive Rossini, though the latter called on him no less than four times. I shall make no comment on this fact, further than to observe that I wish Beethoven had not thus acted.

[146] The resolution thus hesitatingly formed. An effort of inspiration. "Must it be?" "It must be!"

[147] A kind of fish resembling the haddock, caught in the Danube.

[148] "Beethoven Studien," p. 26.

[149] Ries, in his "Notizen," p. 124, sets forth at length the reasons for these doubts.

[150] This fully proves that Beethoven always showed more contrition than his fault could warrant. The cause of the altercation is not mentioned in Wegeler's Notizen, from which these letters are extracted.—ED.

[151] This work was the Variations on Mozart's Figaro, "Se vuol ballare." (Dunst, 4th part, No. 27.) He afterwards dedicated a Sonata, or rather Sonatina, to her, which appeared in Dunst's edition, 1st part, No. 64.

[152] Barbara Koch, afterwards Countess Belderbusch, an intimate friend of Madame von Breuning, a lady distinguished alike in all the qualities which can adorn the mind of woman. She was surrounded not only by men of the highest talent—such as Beethoven, Romberg, Reicha, &c.—but science as well as rank did homage to her brilliant qualities.

[153] Afterwards Count of Marienstadt, and a classical writer.

[154] Angola rabbits, or silk hares.

[155] A shake is carried on through several bars with alternate fingers, whilst three fingers are employed besides. The fingering is marked.

[156] Beethoven complained to me of this musical espionage. He named to me the Abbé Gelinek, that most fertile writer of Variations, who always quartered himself in his vicinity. This might have been the cause of Beethoven's always choosing lodgings in a square or on the ramparts.

[157] The date of the year is wanting, but it is most probably 1800.

[158] Bonn had, through the war, lost its prince, the court, the administrative body—in fact, all its resources. It never had any trade or manufactures.

[159] Beethoven was most easily excited, and consequently very irritable; but when the first burst of passion had subsided, he had an open ear and a yielding heart for the reproofs of his friends. He would consequently be much more contrite than the occasion warranted. I have now before me a note of his which I received at Vienna, and which runs thus:—"What an abominable picture of myself you have shown me! Oh! I feel it: I am not worthy of your friendship. I did not meditate a base action: it was thoughtlessness which urged me to my unpardonable conduct towards you." Thus he fills three pages; and this is the end:—"But no more. I fly to you, and in an embrace ask for my lost friend; and you will restore him to me—to your contrite, faithful, and loving friend, BEETHOVEN." The two letters to Mlle. von Breuning, as above quoted, are of the same tenor. He had quarrelled with Stephen von Breuning (as with what friend did he not quarrel?), but, being made sensible of his grievous wrong, he wrote and acted in the same way, upon which the most heartfelt reconciliation took place; and the sincerest friendship subsisted uninterruptedly between them until Beethoven's death.

[160] The bark of daphne mezereum.

[161] John Adam Schmidt, councillor, &c. &c., oculist, and author of several classical works.

[162] I lived in close and friendly intimacy with Schmidt and Hunczovsky up to their death. The former wrote under his portrait, which he sent me,—

"Cogitare et esse sui, idem est.    Wegelero suo Schmidt."

[163] My brother-in-law Stephen Breuning, Ferdinand Ries, Bernard Romberg, and myself, have been taught by experience that Beethoven was ever a slave to the tender passion, and that in the highest degree. His and Stephen Breuning's first love was Mlle. Jeannette d'Honrath, of Cologne, who often spent some weeks at the residence of the Breunings. She was as fair as lively, engaging and amiable, had a beautiful voice, and delighted in music. She often used to sing, in derision, to our friend, the well-known song:—

"What! part with thee this very day?
  My heart a thousand times says nay,
  And yet I know I must not stay."

The happy rival was Major Greth, of Cologne, who married the fair lady. This attachment of Beethoven's was followed by one for the amiable Mlle. W——; and it is but three years since B. Romberg told me many anecdotes of this Werther-like love. Neither this nor any of the former inclinations left any lasting impression upon his own mind or that of the fair ones. Beethoven was a great favourite at Vienna, and perhaps more so than many an Adonis might be; and I will leave connoisseurs and dilettanti to judge whether "Adelaide," "Fidelio," and many other things, could have been written if the author had not experienced those feelings which they so admirably depict. But let us take the author's word for it, as given in this letter, that he was swayed by love. To the best of my knowledge, his affections were generally placed in the higher ranks.

[164] This alludes to a violent quarrel which arose between the composer and his friend, about some lodgings which the latter had taken for him.

[165] Ries then lived at a tailor's, who had beautiful daughters.

[166] My lot in this particular was that of his pupil Ries. The dedication was made by letter only; but are not such letters of greater value?

[167] This alludes to what will appear by and by in Ries's sketches.

[168] Beethoven was here mistaken. It was not a song of his composition which he no longer possessed, but merely new words put to Matthisson's Ode. I did the same thing with an early song of Beethoven's—"Who is a free man?" (Wer ist ein freier Mann?) Beethoven wished to have words for the theme of those Variations with which the grand Sonata, Op. 26, dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky, commences. My attempt did not however satisfy me: thus he never saw it.

[169] Joseph Simrock, music publisher, the head of the present house.

[170] "Dessiné par Letronne, et gravé par Hoefel, 1814. For my friend Wegeler. Vienna, March 27, 1815. Ludw. van Beethoven." Our mutual friend, Director Eichhoff, brought it away for me after the congress.

[171] Beethoven was educating the son of his brother Caspar, who had died the preceding year.

[172] Beethoven was then living at Bonn, in the Wenzel Street.

[173] The reader may judge hereby what to think of Beethoven's contempt of such distinctions.

[174] A month before his death.

[175] I had, if my memory serves me, reminded him of Blumauer, who lived many years after having been tapped. I proposed to him to fetch him from the Bohemian baths, take him by a circuitous route to the Upper Rhine, and then down to Coblentz, where he was finally to recover.

[176] On the portrait stands, above his name, "To my long tried and much beloved friend, F. G. Wegeler." There is no date affixed.

[177] I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. Neate for the following correspondence, which succeeded the acquaintance formed between the two at Vienna in the year 1815; and, as will be seen, includes a letter from Mr. Neate in elucidation of a misunderstanding which had arisen between them. Beethoven's letters to Ries I extract from Dr. Wegeler's Notices, &c.—ED.

[178] Mr. Neate was at the time one of the directors of the Philharmonic Society.—ED.

[179] This is the title on the piano-forte score.—(Beethoven's own note).

[180] The reader will perceive that I have given this letter without attempting to correct its orthography, conceiving it to be one of those cases where the original imperfection rather adds to than diminishes the interest of the document.—ED.

[181] This letter, not written but signed in Beethoven's own handwriting, is here given in the original English text.—ED.

[182] These were dedicated by the author to Mr. Neate.—ED.

[183] This letter cannot be produced.—ED.

[184] In consequence of this offer, the Philharmonic Society ordered a Symphony for one hundred guineas, and he accordingly sent them his Ninth Symphony.—ED.

[185] I have, in my edition of this Sonata, marked the time of the first movement 138 of Maelzel's Metronome, because Beethoven himself had fixed that number. He, according to "Wegeler's Notizen," gives it with a minim—I with a crotchet; but neither of these can, to my mind, be made to suit the character of the movement. The minim increases it to so fearful a prestissimo as Beethoven could never have intended, since he desired the Assai, originally prefixed to the Allegro, to be omitted. The crotchet slackens the movement all too much; and although I have, in my edition, allowed Beethoven's numbers to remain, in deference to the great man, yet I would advise the player to hold a middle course, according to the following mark: half note = 116.—ED.

[A] Ries gives the following account of this new bar:—All the "Initiated" must be interested in the striking fact which occurred respecting one of Beethoven's last solo-Sonatas (in B major, with the great Fugue Op. 106)—a Sonata which has forty-one pages of print. Beethoven had sent it to me to London for sale, that it might appear there at the same time as in Germany. The engraving was completed, and I in daily expectation of the letter naming the day of publication. This arrived at last, but with the extraordinary "request,"—"Prefix the following two notes, as a first bar, to the beginning of the Adagio." This Adagio has from nine to ten pages in print. I own the thought struck me involuntarily, that all might not be right with my dear old master, a rumour to that effect having often been spread. What! add two notes to a composition already worked out and out, and completed six months ago? But my astonishment was yet to be heightened by the effect of these two notes. Never could such be found again—so striking, so important—no, not even if contemplated at the very beginning of the composition. I would advise every true lover of the art to play this Adagio first without, and then with these two notes, which now form the first bar, and I have no doubt he will share in my opinion.

[B] This minim should be a crotchet—an error which originates either in a misprint in Dr. Wegeler's "Notizen," or in Beethoven's own manuscript letter to Ries.—ED.

[186] How numerous his proposals! How much scope he leaves me! Was it in presentiment of the difficulties which would attend its sale?—RIES.

[187] The plan for Beethoven's journey.

[188] The letter, sealed in two places, as also the direction on the cover, were written in Beethoven's own hand. These were inclosed in a letter to me, and a cover put over the whole. Probably the address seemed so illegible to himself that he put a third cover over it, without removing the second one.—RIES.

[189] Seventeen shillings: ten and a fifth florins.—RIES.

[190] It has materially suffered during the last three years.

[191] Beethoven received 25 guineas in a cheque of £26 5s., while the calculations were made in pounds.—RIES.

[192] Mr. Neate did not succeed in disposing of these three Quartets (œuvres posthumes) to a publisher.—ED.

[193] It was suggested that this Symphony should be performed at the musical festival at Aix-la-Chapelle. Beethoven, however, did not send it. The committee had written to him directly, but had received promises only. At last I wrote, and begged that, knowing him and his scores as well as I did, he would send me the original score, which I should be able to make out. I promised him at the same time (well aware of his constant want of money) another present, which I received for him some time after to the amount of forty louis-d'ors.—RIES.

[194] Probably belonging to a dramatic piece, "The Ruins of Athens," written for a performance at Pesth.

[195] When I left England I went to live at Godesberg, near Bonn, one of the most beautiful parts on the Rhine. I had invited Beethoven to come and see me there; and had pressed him to live at once with me, and in his native home, for some little time.—RIES.

[196] From the Harmonicon, October, 1824.

[197] Most of our readers will concur with us in thinking this a most eccentric mode of colouring musically so gentle a word.

[198] This passage has puzzled many a leader and conductor, and many have altered it thus:—

musical notation


[199] Beethoven being in the box of a much esteemed lady during the performance of "La Molinara," she said, on hearing the well-known "Nel cor più," "I had some variations on this subject, but have lost them." Beethoven, the same night, wrote the six Variations on this subject, and the next morning sent them to the lady, writing upon them, "Variazioni, &c., perdute da——, retrovate du Luigi v. B." They are so easy that the lady might well have played them at first sight.—WEGELER.

[200] As it proves to be in our days, where it is always the one most admired.

[201] Consequently after his hearing had been impaired.—WEGELER.

[202] Manu propria, with his own hand.

[203] A music-seller at Vienna.

[204] A village in a romantic country, about three miles from Vienna.

[205] Towards the latter end of 1826.

[206] In answer to the above, I informed Mr. Rau, in the name of the Philharmonic Society, that the money having been sent for the express purpose, and on condition that Beethoven himself should make use of it, the Society would, now that the event had taken place before the end in view could be achieved, expect the money to be returned.—ED.

[207] The above-mentioned enclosure from the guardian (Mr. Hotschilar, imperial notary) urges still more forcibly all that Mr. Rau hints confidentially, with the request that I would lay before the Philharmonic Society the case of young Beethoven (then under age), and earnestly solicit that body not to reclaim the one thousand florins, but, in honour of the great deceased, allow the small patrimony, which he spared no sacrifice in securing for his nephew, to remain untouched. I complied with Mr. Hotschilar's request, and the Society gave its tacit consent by relinquishing all further proceedings: thus doing homage to the great man even in death.—ED.

[208] Given in the following pages.—ED.

[209] The original MS. of this curious production is in the possession of Mr. Haslinger, and prized as a relic of no common kind.—ED.

[210] This gentleman, who stands in high repute as a professor of music at Bonn, has made himself so meritoriously known as a teacher of harmony and counterpoint, that the honour of instructing H. R. H. Prince Albert, while at the University of Bonn, in that branch of the art, devolved upon him.

[211] From the Harmonicon, April, 1828.

[212] This work has indeed been published.—ED.

[213] M. Schindler has informed us that this valuable collection was bought by Haslinger for 100 florins, about £10 sterling—a price which would not seem to bespeak much spirit in the rival bidders; and the writer of the above account of the sale adds, in a note, that the purchaser almost immediately advertised it for sale in the Leipzig Musical Gazette, price 450 florins, or £45.—TRANSLATOR.

image of the book's back cover

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Life of Beethoven, by Anton Schindler


***** This file should be named 39093-h.htm or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by Chuck Greif and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (,
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at

Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director

Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations.
To donate, please visit:

Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.