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PICTURES WITH MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT
There follows another long letter to Varena: My dear V!
There can be no harm in notifying you in advance of what I am sending you; you may be able to use more or less of it. You will receive 3 choruses which are not long and which you can use at different intervals in the concert-a large scene for bass voice with chorus; it is from the “Ruins of Athens” and occurs where the picture of our Emperor appears in view (in Ofen, Hungary, this came upon the stage from below). You may be able to use something of the kind to-stimulate the multitude.
In case of need the bass voice might be changed to a contralto. You will receive only the score of these pieces; had I known which you would use I could have had them copied for you here; I shall receive the scores and H. von Rettig will kindly look after them for you; besides, you will receive a march already copied for the instruments. Instead of a symphony you will receive two symphonies; first, the one which you desired to have written out and duplicate; 2nd, another one, also copied, which it appears to me you have not yet had performed in Gratz. As everything else is copied you can have the vocal pieces copied easily and in time.
Hr. von Rettich will no doubt find some extraordinary occasion to have everything delivered to you quickly, as everybody is willing to help in such benevolent causes. Why can I not do more for the good ladies!
I should have liked to send you two entirely new symphonies of mine, but my present condition commands me unfortunately to think of myself, and I do not know but that I may be obliged to leave this place as a fugitive from the country, for this thank the excellent princes who have made it impossible for me to work for the good and the useful as is my wont. Many thanks for your wine and thank also the worthy ladies for the sweetmeats which they sent me. (To the same, without date):
P.P. I inform you in haste that in case the first two of the four horn parts are difficult for your players, you replace them with 2 violas, but solo players; the other 2 in C are easy and can be played by 2 hornists.
For the sake of my health I am hurrying to Baden for a measure of improvement. The cost of copying the scores was 8 f. 24 kr., for which I shall get a receipt. I have charged 3 fi. for my servant to get the things together, making a total of 11 fl. 24 kr.; after deducting this sum I shall return the rest of the 100 f, in a few days—it is impossible at this moment.
In case you write to me please enclose your letter to the following address in V., namely: To Hrn. Oliva, to be delivered to the Brothers Offenheimer in the Bauernmarkt.
In a letter to the Archduke, who was then in Baden (also written on May 27), Beethoven reports his arrival there. From Baden the correspondence with Varena was continued, as appears from a letter of July 4, 1813, in which Beethoven says:
Pardon this very belated answer, the reason is still the old one, my troubles, contending for my rights, and all this goes very slowly, since I
am dealing with a princely rascal, Prince Lobkowitz; another noble prince, one of an opposite character, died, but he as little as I was thinking of his death and in my affairs he left nothing in writing; this must now be fought out in the law courts at Prague. What an occupation for an artist to whom nothing is so dear as his art! and I was brought into all this by H. I. H. Archduke Rudolph. . . .
Receive my thanks for the 150 fl. from the Forest Preservation Society,1 commend me to the esteemed Society, but I am humiliated by the fact; why do you (or they) place so high an estimate on the little favor which I have shown the reverend ladies? I hope that my troubles will soon come to an end and that I may come into possession of my own; as soon as this happens I shall come in the fall to Gratz and then the 150 fl. shall be dealt with, and I shall then give a large concert for the benefit of the good Ursulines, or some other institution which may be recommended to me as the most needy and most useful....
We learn from the "Aufmerksame" of Gratz, that "Christus am Olberg," sent there by Beethoven in the preceding year, was sung as the second part of a concert for the poor on Palm Sunday, April 11, with applause which did honor to the good taste of the musical public of the Styrian capital.
In Vienna the C minor symphony opened and the new march from "Tarpeia" closed Schuppanzigh's concert on the 1st of May in the Augarten; but no such enthusiasm was awakened as to induce Beethoven to risk the trouble and expense of producing his new symphonies, and the projected "Academies" were abandoned.
Recalled to Vienna early in July, Beethoven wrote thence to Archduke Rudolph:
From day to day I thought that I should be able to return to Baden, meanwhile the dissonances which are keeping me here may possibly detain me till next week. It is a torture for me to stay in the city in the summertime and when I reflect that I am also hindered from attending upon Y. I. H. it tortures and repels me the more. Meanwhile it is the Lobkowitz and Kinsky matter which keeps me here; instead of thinking about a number of measures I must ponder a number of walks (Gange— passages) which I must make; without this I should scarcely live to see the end of the matter. Your I. H. has doubtless heard of Lobkowitz's misfortunes. It is pitiable, but to be so rich is not fortunate! It is said that Count Fries alone paid 1900 ducats in gold to Duport2 and took a mortgage on the old Lobkowitz house. The details are incredible. I hear that Rasoumowsky will come to Baden and bring his Quartet, which would be a very handsome thing, as Y. I. H. would certainly be nicely entertained. I know of no more delightful enjoyment in the country than quartet music. Graciously accept, Y. I. H., my sincerest wishes for your good health and pity me for being obliged to remain here
'Thus the title in the first edition; Dr. Riemann changes the word to "The highly esteemed Society" and says that it meant the Association of the Friends of Art and Music for the purpose of giving the charity concerts.
The celebrated dancer and ballet-master.
Malzel's Musical Machines
under such repulsive circumstances. Meanwhile I shall try to make up twofold all that you also lose in Baden.
Beethoven soon returned to Baden, where for the present he > may be left in the enjoyment of nature, taking such pleasure as his deafness still granted in Rasoumowsky's quartets, and submitting with what patience he could to his servitude with the Archduke.
Malzel, during the past winter, had opened his "Kiinstlercabinet" as a public exhibition. There were marbles, bronzes and paintings and a variety of contributions, scientific or curious, from various artists—among them a large electrical machine with apparatus for popular experiments, but the principal attractions were his own Mechanical Trumpeter and the new Panharmonicon. The Trumpeter executed a French cavalry march with signals and melodies which Malzel himself accompanied on the pianoforte. The Panharmonicon combined the common instruments then employed in military bands, with a powerful bellows—the whole being inclosed in a case. The motive power was automatic and the keys were touched by pins fixed in a revolving cylinder, as in the common hand-organ or music-box. Compositions of considerable extent had each its own cylinder. The first pieces made ready were Cherubini's "Lodoiska" Overture, Haydn's "Military" Symphony, the overture and a chorus from Handel's "Timotheus"; and by the end of January, Malzel was at work upon an echo piece composed for him some years before by Cherubini. In the course of the summer he added a "few marches" composed by the popular young pianist, Moscheles, who during their preparation much frequented the workshop.
Beethoven's "long journey" and "great act" both refer to a proposed journey to England with Malzel, seriously contemplated during the first months of this year. Brunswick's visit to Vienna occurred just when the project seemed ripe for execution; as it was on his authority that Schindler reports the "farewell meal" and the singing of the canon, this may be accepted as credible.
The condition of Karl van Beethoven's health forced his brother to defer the journey; and Malzel, too, found reason to wait until the end of the year—the idea of his really very beautiful and striking exhibition, the "Conflagration of Moscow," had occurred to him and he willingly remained in Vienna to work it out. The change for the better in Karl van Beethoven's health and pecuniary condition, and the completion of the "Conflagration," left both Beethoven and Malzel late in autumn free for 1
their departure. The mechanician was not only a man of unquestionable inventive genius, but he also understood the public; knew as by instinct how to excite and gratify curiosity without disappointing expectation, and had the tact and skill so to arrange, his exhibitions as to dismiss his visitors grateful for an amusement for which they had paid. He was personally both respected and popular. He knew by experience the principal cities of the Continent, and London well enough to foresee, that the noble compositions of Handel, Haydn and Cherubini secured the success of his Panharmonicon there; but that if he could add to its repertory some new, striking and popular piece, bearing the now great name of Beethoven, he would increase both its attractiveness and the public interest and curiosity in the composer. Battles and sieges had for many years been favorite subjects for descriptive music, and the grand engagements of the last fifty years were few indeed which had not been fought over again by orchestras, bands and all sorts of instruments. Poor Koczwara—who hanged himself in jest at London in 1792—was the author of a "Grande Battaille" (in D) for orchestra, and the "Battaille de Prague" for pianoforte trio "avec tambour," or pianoforte solo, commemorative of a victory of Frederick II of Prussia. This, for forty years, was a showpiece throughout Europe and even in America. Devenne composed the "Battle of Gemappe"; Neubauer, of Martinestie; Jadin, of Austerlitz; Fuchs, of Jena; and so on, for orchestra. The grand battle piece for two flutes, which is generally supposed to have existed but in a joke, the point of which is its absurdity, was really published—it was an arrangement of Fuchs' "Jena." For the pianoforte solo, or with the accompaniment of two or more instruments, the press teemed with battles. Among them were those of Fleurus, Wiirzburg, Marengo, Jena (by others than Fuchs), Wagram, the bombardment of Vienna. Steibelt produced two land engagements and a "Combat naval"; Kauer, "Nelson's Battle"; and so on indefinitely.
When, therefore, the news of Wellington's magnificent victory at Vittoria, June 21, 1813, reached Vienna, Malzel saw instantly that it presented the subject of a composition for his Panharmonicon than which none could be conceived better fitted to strike the popular taste in England. A work which should do homage to the hero, flatter national feeling by the introduction of "Rule Britannia" and "God save the King," gratify the national hatred of the French, celebrate British victory and Gallic defeat, bear the great name of Beethoven and be illuminated by his genius—what more could be desired? He wrought out the plan "wellington's Victory, Or The Battle Of Vittoria" 253
and explained it to the composer, who, for once, consented to work out the ideas of another. In a sketchbook for this composition, having signals for the battle on its first page, we read: "Wellington's Victory Vittoria, only God save the King, but a great victory overture for Wellington"; and in the so-called "Tagebuch": "I must show the English a little what a blessing there is in God save the King"; perhaps, also, another remark just after this was occasioned by his experience on this work: "It is certain that one writes most beautifully when one writes for the public, also that one writes rapidly." There is nothing in this at all contradictory to Moscheles's positive and unimpeachable testimony on the origin of the work. In a note to his English edition of Schindler's book he writes:
I witnessed the origin and progress of this work, and remember that not only did Malzel 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 Malzel. AH this I saw in sketches and score, brought by Beethoven to Malzel's workshop, then the only suitable place of reception he was provided with.
The same, in. general and in most of its particulars, was related to the author by Carl Stein, who was daily in Malzel's rooms —they being, as before noted, in his father's pianoforte manufactory—and who was firmly of the opinion, that Malzel was afterwards very unfairly, not to say unjustly, treated by Beethoven in the matter of this composition. The composer himself says: "I had already before then conceived the idea of a battle which was not practicable on his Panharmonica," thus by implication fully admitting that this idea was not his own; moreover, the copy of a part of the Panharmonicon score, in the Artaria Collection, has on the cover, in his own hand: "On Wellington's Victory at Vittoria, 1813, written for Hr. Malzel by Ludwig van Beethoven." This is all more or less confirmatory of Moscheles, if indeed any confirmation be needed. It is almost too obvious for mention, that Malzel's share in the work was even more than indicated above, because whoever wrote for the Panharmonicon must be frequently instructed by him as to its capacities and limitations, whether a Beethoven or the young Moscheles. We may reasonably assume, that the general plan of "Wellington's Victory" was