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opera and Clement, sitting in a corner of the room, accompanied with his violin the whole opera by heart, playing all the solos of the different instruments. The extraordinary memory of Clement having been universally known, nobody was astonished by it, except myself. Meyer and I made ourselves useful, by singing as well as we could, he (basso) the lower, I the higher parts of the opera. Though the friends of Beethoven were fully prepared for the impending battle, they had never seen him in that excitement before, and without the prayers and entreaties of the very delicate and invalid princess, who was a second mother to Beethoven and acknowledged by himself as such, his united friends were not likely to have succeeded in this, even to themselves, very doubtful enterprise. But when after their united endeavors from seven till after one o'clock, the sacrifice of the three numbers was accomplished, and when we, exhausted, hungry and thirsty, went to restore ourselves by a splendid supper—then, none was happier and gayer than Beethoven. Had I seen him before in his fury, I saw him now in his frolics. When he saw me, opposite to him, so intently occupied with a French dish, and asked me what I was eating, and I answered: "I don't know!" with his lion-voice he roared out: "He eats like a wolf—without knowing what! Ha, ha, ha!"
The condemned three numbers were:
1. A great aria with chorus of Pizarro;
2. A comic duo between Leonore (Fidelio) and MarceUine, with violin
and violoncello solo; 3. A comic terzetto between MarceUine, Jacquino and Rocco.
Many years after, Mr. Schindler found the scores of these three pieces amongst the rubbish of Beethoven's music, and got them as a present from him.
A question has been raised as to the accuracy of Rbckel's memory in his statement of the numbers cancelled on this occasion; to which it may be remarked, that the particulars of this first and extraordinary meeting with Beethoven would naturally impress themselves very deeply upon the memory of the young singer; that the numbers to be condemned had been previously agreed upon by the parties opposed to the composer in the transaction, and doubtless made known to Rockel; that Rockel'a relations to Meyer were such as to render it in the highest degree improbable, that he should confound Rocco's gold aria with either of the Pizarro airs with chorus belonging to Meyer's part; that both of these belong to the first and second original acts—i. e., to the first act of the opera as Rockel knew it; that he (Rockel) in his letter to the writer is not reporting upon the pieces actually omitted in the subsequent performance three or four months later, but upon those which, at this meeting, Beethoven was with great difficulty persuaded to omit: that the objections made to them were not to the music, but because they retarded the action; and, therefore, that the decision now Works Published In 1805
reached was by no means final, provided the end desired could be attained in some other way. Perhaps it may yet appear that Beethoven, now cunningly giving way, succeeded in winning the game, and retaining all three of the pieces condemned.
Outside theatrical circles we catch also a glimpse or two of Beethoven in these months. Pierre Baillot, the violinist, was in Vienna just before the French invasion on his way to Moscow, and was taken by Anton Reicha to see Beethoven.
They did not find him in his lodgings but in a by no means elegant inn in the Vorstadt. What first attracted the attention of the Frenchman was that Beethoven did not have the bulldog, gloomy expression which he had expected from the majority of his portraits; he even thought he recognized an expression of good-nature in the face of the composer. The conversation had just got well under way when it was interrupted by a terrific snore. It came from a stableman or coachman who was taking his little nap in a corner of the room. Beethoven gazed at the snorer a few moments attentively and then broke out with the words: "I wish I were as stupid as that fellow."1
Schindler closes his account of these last five years in Beethoven's life with great propriety and elegance by quoting a passage copied by the master from Christian Sturm's "Betrachtungen." It is made up of scattered sentences which may be found on page 197 of the ninth edition (Reutlingen, 1827):
To the praise of Thy goodness I must confess that Thou hast tried all means to draw me to Thee. Now it hath pleased Thee to let me feel the heavy hand of Thy wrath, and to humiliate my proud heart by manifold chastisements. Sickness and misfortune hast Thou sent to bring me to a contemplation of my digressions. But one thing only do I ask, O God, cease not to labor for my improvement. Only let me, in whatsoever manner pleases Thee, turn to Thee and be fruitful of good works.
The publications for the year 1805 were the Two Easy Sonatas, G minor and G major, Op. 49, advertised by the Kunstund Industrie-Comptoir, on January 23; Trio (arranged from the Septet) for Pf., Violin (or Clarinet) and Violoncello, E-flat, Op. 38, advertised by the same institution on the same date; Prelude for the Pf., F minor, advertised by the same on January 30; Romance for Violin and Orchestra, F major, Op. 50, advertised by the same on May 15; Sonata in C major for Pf., Op. 53, dedicated to Count Waldstein, advertised with the Romance; song, "An die Hoffnung," Op. 32, advertised by the same on September 18; Six Variations for Pf. four hands, on "Ich denke
'"Signale fUr die Musikalische Welt," June 21, 18fl6.
Dein," advertised by the same on January 23; Minuet in E-flat for Pf., advertised by same on January 30; Scene and Air, "Ah, perfido! spergiuro," in pianoforte score, published by Hoffmann and Ktlhnel.
The compositions which were completed were the opera "Leonore" ("Fidelio") in its first form; the Concerto for Pf. and Orchestra, G major, Op. 58 (this on the authority of Nottebohm); the Pf. Sonata in F major, Op. 54; perhaps also may be added the Concerto for Pf., Violin and Violoncello, C major, Op. 56. It was sketched at the beginning of the year and was written, as Schindler states, for Archduke Rudolph, Seidler, violin, and Kraft, violoncello; it may well have been completed so as to be played by the winter of 1805-1806.
The Year 1806—Repetition of "Fidelio"—Changes in the Opera—Its Withdrawal—Journey to Silesia—Correspondence with Thomson—The Scottish Songs.
XCERPTS from a letter written on June 2, 1806, by
Stephan von Breuning to his sister and brother-in-law,
make a fair opening for the story of the year 1806. In it he reports on "Fidelio." The letter, though written in the middle of the year, has reference to the period between the original performance late in 1805 and the repetition in the spring of 1806, a period in which it would seem, from the absence of all epistolary writings, Beethoven was in no mood, or too much occupied otherwise, for correspondence. Von Breuning writes:
Nothing, perhaps, has caused Beethoven so much vexation as this work, the value of which will be appreciated only in the future. . . . Beethoven, who had also observed a few imperfections in the treatment of the text in the opera, withdrew it after three representations. After order had been restored he and I took it up again. I remodelled the whole book for him, quickening and enlivening the action; he curtailed many pieces, and then it was performed three1 times with great success. Now, however, his enemies in the theatre arose, and as he had offended several persons, especially at the second representation, they succeeded in preventing further performances. Before this, many obstacles had been placed in his way; to let one instance stand as proof for the others, he could not even get permission to secure an announcement of the opera under the changed title "Fidelio," as it is called in the French original, and as it was put into print after the changes were made. Contrary to promise the first title "Leonore" appeared on the poster. This is all the more unpleasant for Beethoven since the cessation of the performances on which he was depending for his honorarium, which consists in a percentage of the receipts, has embarrassed him in a financial way. He will recover from the set-back all the more slowly since the treatment which he has received has robbed him of a great deal of his pleasure in and love for work. . . .
The words "Fidelio" and "Leonore" are here misplaced, interchanged, whether by Breuning or his copyist is not known.
The letter is a reflection of Beethoven's disappointment and indignation at fancied injuries; it was written in ignorance of divers material facts, and contains inaccuracies, which—since its publication by Wegeler in 1838—have colored many attempts to write the early history of the opera.
It is a circumstance, noteworthy and not easily to be explained, that Breuning, instead of Sonnleithner, revised the text and made the new disposition of the scenes. For the alterations and suppressions, both in the text and the music, made at this time, the reader is referred to the edition of "Leonore" prepared by Otto Jahn, and published by Breitkopf and Hartel in 1852, and the preface to the edition of the "Fidelio" of 1805 published by Erich Prieger.
At the performances in November, the effect of the overture had been ruined by a passage in the Allegro, which was too difficult for the wood-wind instruments. "Instead of simply removing this obstacle (31 measures)," says Schindler, "Beethoven thought it advisable to rewrite the whole, inasmuch as he was already engaged upon a revision of other parts of the work. He retains the motivi of the Introduction as well as the Allegro, has the motivo of the latter played by violoncellos and violins simultaneously for the sake of greater sonority, and on the existing foundation rears a new structure, including several new thoughts."1
'In the chapter immediately preceding the present one in the revised German edition of this biography. Dr. Riemann introduces the following: "Through the efforts of Otto Jahn, Gustav Nottebohm and Erich Prieger, it has been made possible measurably to observe the transformations which 'Fidelio' underwent between its first production and its publication. The mysterious disappearance (possibly theft) of several scores made it extremely difficult to determine the form in which it was represented—'Fidelio' in three acts in 1805, 'Leonore' in two acts in 1806, and 'Fidelio' in two acts in 1814—the statements touching the omissions and restorations of single numbers being insufficient and not free from contradictions. About 1850, however. Otto Jahn succeeded in putting together a score of the second revision of 1806 from the separate parts; of this he published a vocal score with pianoforte accompaniment towards the close of 1853 through Breitkopf and Hartel. He also gave some hints concerning its variations from the score of 1805. After another half-century Erich Prieger collected the material for a restoration of the work as it was at the first production in 1805, compiled a vocal score and gave it to the public through Breitkopf and Hartel. More than that—he occasioned its performance at the centennial celebration in the Royal Opera House in Berlin." From Prieger's preface we take in part the following statements:
"In 1807 Breitkopf and Hartel published three numbers from the second revision of 1806—viz: the Trio in E-flat, 'Ein Mann ist bald gewonnen' (afterwards elided), the canon quartet, and the duet 'Gut, Sohnchen, gut'; not until 1810 was a vocal score of the second version published. It came from the press of Breitkopf and Hartel, but was without overtures and finales. The overture in C, No. 3, which was performed with the opera in 1806, was published by Breitkopf and Hartel, also in 1810; the overture in C, No. 2, with which the representation of 1805 began, edited by Otto Jahn, was published by B. and H. at the end of 1853. (It was performed in Leipsic on January 27 of that year.) Nottebohm notes the performance of the four overtures on January 11, 1840, and a publication in 1842; but this refers to the work as disfigured by cuts. The so-called 'first' C major overture found amongst Beethoven's