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Beethoven In Financial Straits 159
extraordinary demands upon his purse this year, deranged Beethoven's pecuniary affairs seriously; from the same cause the Vienna publishers were not in a condition to pay him adequately and in advance for his manuscripts. The dilatoriness of the London publishers has just been mentioned. Happily his relations with Breitkopf and Hartel were such, that they were ready to remunerate him handsomely for whatever new compositions he might send them; and there seems to have been an arrangement made, under which divers new works of this period were published simultaneously by them in Leipsic and by Artaria in Vienna. Nevertheless, Beethoven was pressed for money, not only from the causes above stated, but from the need of an extra supply, in case the project of marriage, now in his mind, should be effected. Of course he counted with certainty upon the regular payment of his annuity, now that the war was over, and a lasting peace apparently secured by the rumored union between Napoleon and Archduchess Marie Louise. But a semi-annual payment of this annuity was far from sufficient to meet the expenses of establishing himself as a married man. Now that his concert was abandoned, no immediate profit could arise from the completion of the new symphonies; nor was there any immediate need of his beginning the "Egmont" music. It is obvious, therefore, that his labors, during the "several weeks in succession" when he worked "so that it seemed rather for death than immortality," were, as before said, the completion and correction for the press of various more or less important works existing in the sketchbooks, and the composition of divers smaller pieces, such as would meet with a ready sale, and hence be promptly and liberally paid for by publishers. It is not at all surprising to find among them a number of songs the texts of which were apt expressions of his feelings at this juncture. Such considerations render it extremely probable, perhaps certain, that a larger number of minor productions belong by date of completion to this year, than they, who have endeavored to ascertain the chronology of Beethoven's works, have heretofore suspected. But the following list contains only works of which the date is certain—or probable almost to certainty. Compositions of 1809: 1. Concerto for Pianoforte, E-flat major, Op. 73. 2. "Quartetto per due Violini, Viola e Violoncello, da Luigi van Beethoven, 1809," Op. 74, E-flat major.
3. Sonata for Pianoforte: "Das Lebewohl, Wien am 4ten Mai 1809," etc.; "Die Abwesenheit. Die Ankunft des... Erzh. Rudolph, den 30. Janner 1810," Op. 81a, E-flat. We suppose the sonata to have been completed in 1809, and ready for presentation to the Archduke upon his return; but as this was delayed until January 30th,"Die Ankunft," of course, took this date. 4. March in F major for Military Band. "For the Bohemian Landwehr, 1809"; also inscribed by Beethoven: "For His Royal Highness, the Archduke Anton, 1809."
5. Variations for the Pianoforte, D major, Op. 76. 6. Fantasia for Pianoforte, G major, Op. 77. 7. Sonata for Pianoforte, F-sharp major, Op. 78. 8. Sonatina for Pianoforte, G major, Op. 79. 9. Songs from "Bliimchen der Einsamkeit" by C. L. Reissig: (a) "An den fernen Geliebten." A copy bears the words in
Beethoven's hand: "Fifth song," "1809," and corrections in the song itself, Op. 75, No. 5. (b) "Der Zufriedene," Op. 75, No. 6. (c) "Lied aus der Ferne," "1809."
(d) "Der Liebende."
(e) "Der JUngling in der Fremde." 10. Other Songs:
(a) "Gretel's Warnung." A copy bears the words in Beet
hoven's hand: "Fourth song," "1809," and corrections in the song itself. (b) "Andenken," by Matthison.
(c) "Die laute Klage," by Herder. (d) "L'amante impaziente," "1809"; and probably all the numbers of (e) "Four Ariettas and a Duet," Op. 82.
The first sketches for the Fifth Pianoforte Concerto, E-flat, Op. 73, dedicated to Archduke Rudolph, are found in the so-called Grasnick sketchbook after the sketches for the Choral Fantasia as it was performed for the first time on December 22, 1808, and the pianoforte introduction to the same which, as we have seen, is of a later date ("Zweite Beethoveniana," p. 495 et seq.). It is mentioned by Beethoven in the correspondence with his publishers for the first time on February 4, 1810. It was in their hands on August 21 of that year, when Beethoven prescribed the dedication to his distinguished pupil, and was published in February, 1811. The Concerto had then already been played in public by Johann Schneider with brilliant success toward the close of 1810, and, as the "Allg. Mus. Zeit." reported, put a numerous audience into such "a state of enthusiasm that it could hardly content itself with the ordinary expressions of recognition and enjoyment."
The E-flat Quartet, Op. 74 (the so-called "Harp Quartet"), dedicated to Prince Lobkowitz, was written simultaneously with the Concerto and Pianoforte Sonata in the same key. Beethoven The Composer's Work In 1809 161 was evidently hard at work on them when he wrote to Breitkopf and Hartel on "Weinmonath" [October] 1908": "Next time about the quartet which I am writing—I do not like to occupy myself with solo sonatas for the pianoforte, but I promise you a few." Nottebohm says ("Zweite Beethoveniana," p. 91), that the four movements of the Quartet were begun and finished in the order in which they appeared in print. According to a note by Archduke Rudolph, the Fantasia, Op. 77, was composed in October. The three Pianoforte Sonatas, Op. 78, 79 and 81a, are closely connected in time, notwithstanding their diversity of sentiment. Sketches for Op. 78 have not been found, but those for the other two are in the sketchbook of Carl Meinert ("Zweite Beethoveniana," p. 255), which ends with the sketches for the Fantasia, Op. 77, composed for Count Franz von Brunswick; and it is likely that the Sonata, Op. 78, dedicated to Countess Therese von Brunswick, was conceived and written immediately after the Fantasia (in October). The three sonatas were doubtless in the mind of Beethoven when he promised Breitkopf and Hartel "a few" on October 19. On February 4, 1810, he offers to the publishers "three pianoforte solo sonatas—N.B., of which the third is composed of three movements, Parting, Absence and Return, and would have to be published alone." On August 21, 1810, Beethoven wrote about the dedication: "The sonata in F-sharp major—A Madame la Comtesse Therese de Brunswick; the fantasia for pianoforte solo—A mon ami Monsieur le comte Francois de Brunswick— as regards the two sonatas publish them separately, or, if you want to publish them together, inscribe the one in G major Sonata facile or sonatina, which you might also do in case you [do not] publish them together." Breitkopf and Hartel published the sonatas separately and Op. 79 therefore received no dedication. The notion, once current, that Op. 79 (sometimes called the "Cuckoo Sonata") was an older work, is disproved by the sketches of 1809 (Nottebohm, "Zweit. Beeth.," p. 269). The E-flat Sonata, Op. 81a, seems to have been completely sketched before October and held in readiness against the return of the Archduke, as has been said. Breitkopf and Hartel published it in the fall of 1811, without either dates or dedication and with the French title: "Les Adieux, 1'Absence et le Retour," much to Beethoven's dissatisfaction. The Variations in D, dedicated "to his friend" Oliva, anticipate by two years the use of the same theme as a Turkish march in the incidental music which Beethoven wrote for Kotzebue's "Ruins of Athens." Nottebohm ("Zweit. Beeth." p. 272, foot-note) says of it: "Tradition has it that the theme is a Russian melody. This is improbable and incapable of proof. The theme is not to be found in any collection of Russian melodies known to us. Had Beethoven borrowed the theme he would, as he always did, have mentioned the fact in connection with the Variations and the 'Ruins of Athens' (a singular idea to use a Russian melody for a Turkish march!). It may be that a Russian folktune which was popular in Vienna between 1810 and 1820, which bears some resemblance to this melody and on which, besides Gelinek and others, Beethoven too made Variations (Op. 107, No. 3), gave rise to the confounding of the two." The Military March in F was designed for Archduke Anton and was chosen for a "carrousel" at the court at Laxenburg. It is the "horse music" of Beethoven's correspondence with Archduke Rudolph. The year also saw the beginning of the arrangements of the Irish melodies for Thomson. The publications of the year 1809 were: 1. The Fourth Symphony, in B-flat, Op. 60. "Dediie a Monsieur le Comte Oppersdorff"; published in March by the Kunst- und IndustrieComptoir.
2. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, D major, Op. 61. Dediie a son ami Monsieur de Breuning, Secretaire aulique, etc. Vienna, Kunstund Industrie-Comptoir, in March.
3. Sonata for Pianoforte and Violoncello. A major, Op. 69. Dediie a Monsieur de Gleichenstein. Leipsic, Breitkopf and Hartel, in April. 4. Two Trios for Pianoforte, Violin and Violoncello, D major, E-flat, Op. 70. Dediis d Madame la Comtesse Marie d'Erdody nie Comtesse Niszky. Breitkopf and Hartel, No. 1 in April, No. 2 in August. 5. Fifth Symphony, in C minor, Op. 67. Dediie a son AUesse SirSnissime Monseigneur le Prince rignant de Lobkowitz, Due de Raudnitz, et a son Excellence Monsieur le Comte de Rasoumoffsky. Breitkopf and Hartel, in April. 6. Sixth Symphony (Sinfonia pastorale), F major, Op. 68. The same dedication as the Fifth Symphony. Breitkopf and Hartel, in May. 7. Song: "Als die Geliebte sich trennen wollte." Supplement No. II, to the "Allg. Mus. Zeit.," November 22. Breitkopf and Hartel. Chapter IX The Years 1807-09—A Retrospect—Beethoven's Intellectual Attainments—Interest in Exotic Literatures—His Religion.
A POPULAR conception of Beethoven's character, namely, that a predisposition to gloom and melancholy formed its basis, appears to the present writer to be a grave mistake. The question is not what he became in later years—tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illw—but what was the normal constitution of his mind in this regard. Exaggerated reports of his sadness and infelicity during the last third of his life became current even before its close, and prepared the public to give undue importance to the melancholy letters and papers of earlier years, which from time to time were exhumed and published. The reader upon examination will be surprised to find how few in number they are, at what wide intervals they were written, and how easy it is to account for their tone.
Beethoven's childhood was excessively laborious, though not so cheerless as has been represented; and, however flattering to occupy at the age of twelve years the place of a man in theatre and chapel, his boyhood could not have been a happy one. His brightest days up to the middle of his seventeenth year were undoubtedly those spent in Vienna in 1787—the date of the earliest of those papers from his own pen, on which the popular conception of his character is founded. But the letter to Dr. Schaden, written to explain and excuse the non-payment of a debt, takes its tone, not from any predisposition to gloom and melancholy, but from the manifold troubles which just then beset him—the bitter disappointment of his sudden recall from Vienna; the death of his mother; the hopeless poverty of his family; hence, the pangs of wounded pride and self-respect; the depression of spirits caused by asthmatic maladies, and his utter hopelessness of any timely change for the better, such as, in fact, one short year was to bring.