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.... I will not fail to send you the arrangements of my symphonies in a very short time, and will gladly undertake the composition of an oratorio if the words be noble and distinguished and the honorarium of 600 ducats in gold be agreeable to you." Beethoven arrived in Teplitz about August 1, possibly a day or two earlier, and for three weeks was chiefly concerned with his cure and the correction of proofs, as appears from a letter, dated on August 23, to Breitkopf and Hartel. In this, speaking about the "Christus am Olberg," he says: Here and there the text must remain as in the original. I know that the text is extremely bad, but after one has conceived a unit out of even a bad text, it is difficult to avoid spoiling it by individual changes, and if great stress be laid upon a single word it must be left, and he is a bad composer who does not know how or try to make the best possible thing out of a bad text, and if this is the case a few changes will certainly not improve the whole. He has words of approval for Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and of dispraise for Italian musicians in general, as see: The favorable reception of Mozart's "Don Juan" rejoices me as much as if it were my own work. Although I know plenty of unprejudiced Italians who render justice to the German, the backwardness and easy-going disposition of the Italian musicians are no doubt responsible for the same deficiencies in the nation; but I have become acquainted with many Italian amateurs who prefer our music to their Paisiello, etc. (I have been more just to him than his own countrymen.) Varnhagen von Ense, then a young man of 25 years and lieutenant in the Austrian service, came from Prague to Teplitz this summer to pass a few weeks with "The goddess of his heart's most dear delight," Rahel Levin. In his "Denkwiirdigkeiten" we first meet Beethoven since his letter to Thomson—a solitary rambler in the Schlossgarten at Teplitz, whither, as Brunswick could not or would not accompany him, he had journeyed alone. Varnhagen was with Beethoven every day and came into more intimate relations with him through his eager desire to write texts for him for dramatic compositions or to revise such texts. With Tiedge and the Countess von der Recke, Beethoven formed a warm friendship. Varnhagen wrote to Rahel: "Only Oliva could I endure about me for any length of time; he was sympathetic, but deeply depressed because of violent altercations which he had with Beethoven." From the source of these communications we also learn that Varnhagen was expected to adapt an opera text for Beethoven and to revise and improve another. In a letter of September 18, Varnhagen himself wrote to Rahel as follows on the Beethoven As Cupid's Messenger 205
subject: "I may translate a French piece as an opera for Beethoven; the other text might be written later, but this contains the entire scenic arrangement. It is entitled 'Giafar' and might bring me from 8 to 10 ducats." But later, "Of Beethoven and Oliva I hear and see nothing; the latter must have been unable to make anything out of the opera which I was to make from a French melodrama and which, unfortunately, another had begun."
Soon after Beethoven's arrival in Teplitz there must have occurred the incident of Beethoven's visit to the grave of Seume, which was referred to in a previous chapter in connection with the C-sharp minor Sonata. Seume had died on June 13, 1810, at Teplitz. There were other visitors, not mentioned by Varnhagen, with whom Beethoven formed relations more or less cordial and intimate. One was the Royal Imperial Gubernialrath and Steyermarkischer Kammerprokurator Ritter von Varena of Gratz; another was Ludwig Loewe, the actor, just then engaged for the theatre at Prague. "Thereby hangs a tale."
Loewe had an honorable love-affair with Therese, the daughter of the landlord of the inn "Zum Stern" in Teplitz. For "this reason," as Loewe told this author's informant, "he always came to the inn after the guests had departed; Beethoven, being hard of hearing and melancholy, for this reason always came later, so that he would meet nobody. The landlord, father of the girl, discovered their relations, took Loewe to task, and the latter voluntarily agreed to remain away in order to spare the girl, whom he dearly loved. After a time he met Beethoven in the Augarten, and the latter, who was warmly attached to him, asked him why he no longer came to the Stern. Loewe told him of his misfortune and asked the composer if he would carry a letter to Therese. Beethoven not only agreed in the friendliest manner to do so, but also offered to see that he got an answer, and thereafter cared for the correspondence." Loewe did not know when Beethoven departed from Teplitz; he himself went to fill his engagement at Prague. "The lovers pledged each other to fidelity, but a few weeks later Loewe received intelligence of the death of his Therese."
Another visitor at Teplitz was Prince Kinsky; and this gave the composer an opportunity to obtain the arrears of his annuity. On the still existing envelope of the contract of 1809 is written: "Kinsky am letzten August behoben." Another was Amalie Sebald, who had come with Countess von der Recke from Berlin, a member of a family who for years had furnished members to Fasch's Singakademie, where she had appeared as a solo singer. She was said to have "a fascinatingly lovely singing voice." Among the friends of Carl Maria von Weber when he was in Berlin in 1812, were Amalie Sebald and her sister Auguste, also "highly musical" and a singer. For Amalie, Weber conceived a
warm and deep affection; and now Beethoven was taken an unresisting captive by her charms. She is mentioned—the reader will note how familiarly—in this letter to Tiedge, dated Teplitz, September 6, 1811: Every day the following letter to you, you, you, has floated in my mind; I wanted only two words at parting, but not a single word did I receive; the Countess sends (through another) a feminine handgrasp; that at least is something to talk about and for it I kiss her hands in my thoughts, but the poet is dumb. Concerning Amalie, I know at least that she is alive. Every day I give myself a drubbing for not having made your acquaintance earlier in Teplitz. It is abominable to know the good for a short time and at once to lose it again. Nothing is more insufferable than to be obliged to reproach one's self with one's own mistakes. I tell you that I shall probably be obliged to stay here till the end of this month; write me only how long you will still stay in Dresden; I may feel disposed to take a jump to the Saxon capital; on the day that you went away from here I received a letter from my gracious Wiesbadenian Archduke, that he will not remain long in Moravia and has left it for me to say whether or not I will come; this I interpreted to the best of my wishes and desires and so you see me still within these walls where I sinned so deeply against you and myself; but I comfort myself with the thought that if you call it a sin I am at least a downright sinner and not a poor one.... Now fare as well as poor humanity may; to the Countess a right tender yet reverential handgrasp, to Amalie an ardent kiss when no one sees us, and we two embrace each other like men who are permitted to love and honor each other; I expect at least a word without reserve, and for this I am a man.
( The desire here expressed to visit his new friends in Dresden, could not be gratified, owing to the necessity of completing and forwarding the music composed for the opening of the Pesth theatre. How long Beethoven remained in Teplitz cannot be said with exactness, though there is evidence in a couple of letters to Breitkopf and Hartel and Countess von der Recke which, taken in connection with an established incident of his journey, fixes the date approximately. The letter to Breitkopf and Hartel of October 9, 1811, has so large an interest on other accounts as to merit translation and publication:From here a thousand excuses and a thousand thanks for your pleasant invitation to Leipsic; it pained me greatly not to be able to follow my inclination to go there and to surrounding places, but this time there was work in every direction, the Hungarian Diet is (in session), there is already talk that the Archduke is to become primas of Hungary and abandon the Bishopric of Olmtitz; I have offered to the Archduke, who as primas of Hungary will have an income of not less than 3 millions, to go through a clean million on my own account (it is understood that I would therewith set all the good musical spirits into action in my behalf); in Teplitz I received no further news, as nothing was known of my purpose Breitkopf And Hartel Arraigned 207
to leave the place, I think concerning the journey which I am contemplating that in view of my attachment for him I must yield (though not without some unwillingness), the more since I may be needed at festivities; therefore, having chosen the pro, quick to Vienna, where the first thunderous proclamation that I heard was that my gracious lord had given up all thoughts of priesthood and priestly activities and nothing is to come of the whole business. It is said that he is to become a general (an easy thing to understand, you know) and I am to be Quartermaster-General in the Battle which I do not intend to lose—what do you say to that? The Hungarians provided me with another incident; in stepping into my carriage to go to Teplitz, I received a parcel from Ofen (Buda) with the request to compose something for the opening of the new theatre at Pesth; after spending three weeks in Teplitz, feeling fairly well I sat down, in defiance of my doctor's orders, to help the Mustachios, who are heartily well disposed towards me, sent my packet thither on September 13, under the impression that the performance was to come off on the 1st of 8ber, whereas the matter is put off for a whole month.' I received the letter in which this was intimated, through a misunderstanding, only after my arrival here, and yet this theatrical incident determined me to go to Vienna. Meanwhile, postponed is not abandoned, I have tasted of travel, it has done me great good, now I should like at once to go away again—I have just received the Lebewohl, etc., I see after all you have given French titles to other copies, why, lebe wohl2 is surely something very different from les adieux, the former we say heartily to a single person, the latter to whole congregations, whole cities—since you permit me to be criticized so shamefully you must submit to the same treatment, you would also have needed fewer plates and the turning of the pages which has now been made very difficult would have been easier, and with this Basta—But how in the name of heaven did you come to dedicate my Fantasia with Orchestra to the King of Bavaria? Do answer me that at once; if you are thereby going to procure me an honorable gift, I will thank you, such a thing is hardly agreeable to me, did you, possibly, dedicate it yourself? what is the connection, one is not permitted to dedicate things to kings without being requested—and then there was no dedication of the Lebewohl to the Archduke, why were not the year, day and date printed as I wrote them, in the future you will agree in writing to retain all superscriptions unchanged as I write them. Let whomsoever you please review the oratorio and everything else, I am sorry that I ever said a word about the miserable business, who can mind what such a reviewer says when he sees how the most wretched scribblers are elevated by them and how they treat most insultingly art works to which they cannot at once apply their standard as the shoemaker does his last, as indeed they must do because of their unfitness—if there is anything to be considered in connection with the oratorio it is that it is my first and early work in this form, was composed in 14 days amidst all possible tumuli and other unpleasant alarming circumstances (my brother was mortally ill). Rochlitz, if I am not mistaken, spoke unfavorably concerning the chorus of disciples "Wir haben ihn gesehen" in C major even before it had
'It was four months before the performance took place.
Two days later he wrote letters of apology for his sudden departure to Elise von der Recke and Tiedge, promising the former a setting of one of her poems. From the letters to Breitkopf and Hartel and Tiedge, it would appear that Beethoven composed the music to "The Ruins of Athens" and "King Stephen" within a month and sent it to its destination on Monday, September 16, and then departed from Teplitz without saying farewell to his friends. From Varnhagen's "Denkwiirdigkeiten" we learn that r'Beethoven, wfe© returned to Vienna from Teplitz with his friend and mine, Oliva, did not remain long in Prague"; and from the correspondence with Rahel (II, p. 154), that Oliva went on to Vienna on September 23, without Beethoven, who made a rather wide detour to visit Lichnowsky. Of this visit we learn in one of Jahn's notices, namely: "In the year 1811, B. was at Prince Lichnowsky's on his estate Grfitz near Troppau. The Mass in C was performed at Troppau, for which everything possible was drummed up; the master of athletics was put at the tympani; in the Sanctus, Beethoven himself had to show him how to play the solo. The rehearsals lasted three days. After the performance Beethoven improvised on the organ for half an hour to the astonishment of every one; Fuchs was the soprano soloist." Beethoven returned to Vienna refreshed and invigorated both in body and mind; and something of his old frolicsome humor again enlivens his notes to Zmeskall: He expects him to dine with him at the Swan (which was at that time exceptional, as Beethoven had his own cook); he begs for more quills, and promises shortly a whole parcel of them, so that Zmeskall "will not have to pull out his own"; he may receive "the great decoration of the Order of the 'Cello"; and so on.
Beethoven's notes to Zmeskall are a barometer that indicates very correctly the rising and sinking of his spirits; they were now high—at composition point—and, as the Archduke did not return from Pressburg until the 7th November, he had at least one month for continuing without hindrance the studies, whatever they were, that followed the completion of the music for Pesth. In our