LvB Bueste

BEETHOVEN:
A LIFE IN PICTURES

Beethoven’s Life in 58 Pictures. Concept: Beethoven-Haus Bonn. Project management: Nicolas Magnin. Selection and captions: Dr. Julia Ronge, musicologist at the Beethoven Archive. Design: André Maassen of art des hauses, agency for communication and design, Dortmund.
i Click on the pictures to obtain interesting background information.
AMELIUS RADOUX (1704–1773?): LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN THE ELDER (1712–1773), COPY BY TONI BÜCHER

AMELIUS RADOUX (1704–1773?): LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN THE ELDER (1712–1773), COPY BY TONI BÜCHER

Beethoven’s grandfather Ludwig was born in Mechelen and joined the Bonn court chapel as a singer in 1733. In 1761 he was appointed head of the court chapel (Hofkapellmeister). Ludwig van Beethoven the Elder was affluent (he operated a wine business on the side) and highly regarded in Bonn. Beethoven deeply loved his grandfather; he spoke of him at length and often asked his mother to tell him about his grandfather. In 1801 he had this portrait shipped to Vienna, where it was always prominently displayed in his lodgings.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
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MAP OF BONN, 1773

MAP OF BONN, 1773

This city map of 1773, presumably a taxation register, provides a detailed view of the streets and buildings of Bonn together with their house numbers. In Bonngasse (Bonn Alley) we can see the Jesuit Church (today’s Name-Jesu-Kirche) standing opposite the Jesuit Latin School (Gymnasium). Beethoven’s birth house has the number 363. The neighbouring house, no. 364 (Im Mohren), was the home of Beethoven’s godmother Gertrud Baum. Nikolaus Simrock, his colleague in the court chapel and later his publisher, lived in the corner building no. 351 at the entrance to Bonngasse.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen, Hauptstaatsarchiv Duisburg.
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ENTRY IN THE BAPTISMAL REGISTER, PARISH CHURCH OF ST REMIGIUS

ENTRY IN THE BAPTISMAL REGISTER, PARISH CHURCH OF ST REMIGIUS

In Beethoven’s day there was no official register of residents. Each parish church maintained records of baptisms, marriages and burials in its congregation. Today these registers are the only way to establish the identities of Christian residents. In the left-hand column of the baptismal register we find the names of the parents, with the name of the baptised child in the middle and the godparents to the right. Ludwig van Beethoven is entered here as the first of two children baptised on 17 December. The name of his mother, Helene, is incorrect, for her true name was Maria Magdalena; perhaps she was nicknamed Lene or Lenchen, which might explain the mistake. The godparents were his grandfather Ludwig van Beethoven the Elder and a neighbour, Gertrud Baum. Owing to the high rate of infant mortality, children were usually baptised very close to the day of their birth, which in Beethoven’s case would have been the 16th or 17th of December.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Stadtarchiv Bonn
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BEETHOVEN’S BAPTISMAL FONT

BEETHOVEN’S BAPTISMAL FONT

The Church of St Remigius, where Beethoven was baptised on 17 December 1770, no longer exists. It was located in the present-day Remigius Straße, and was destroyed by lightning in 1800. The baptismal font has survived, however, and is located in Brüdergasse in the former Minorite Church (today’s Church of St Remigius). Monasteries were dissolved during the Napoleonic occupation, and only parish churches were allowed to remain. When the parish of St Remigius took over the secularised church in 1803 it brought along some of the fixtures from the old Church of St Remigius, including this marble baptismal font.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn. Photo: André Maassen.
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BEETHOVEN’S BIRTH HOUSE

BEETHOVEN’S BIRTH HOUSE

Beethoven’s parents, Johann and Maria Magdalena van Beethoven, were married in the Church of St. Remigius on 12 November 1767. They then moved into the summerhouse in Bonngasse no. 363, where Ludwig, their second child, was born in December 1770 (their first son, Ludwig Maria, was born one year earlier but lived only a few days). Beethoven’s mother, a widow, had already given birth to a child during her first marriage, but it too had died shortly after birth. The Beethovens lived in this small house only a few years.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
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HOUSE IN THE RHEINGASSE

HOUSE IN THE RHEINGASSE

Beethoven’s family lived in this house, no. 966, for ten years with interruptions, beginning in 1775. It belonged to the master baker N. Fischer. Many of the stories we know of Beethoven’s childhood stem from the memoirs of the baker’s children Cäcilia and Gottfried Fischer. Gottfried wrote them down when the Beethoven Monument was erected on Münsterplatz in 1845.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
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ANNOUNCEMENT OF BEETHOVEN’S FIRST CONCERT ON 26 MARCH 1778

ANNOUNCEMENT OF BEETHOVEN’S FIRST CONCERT ON 26 MARCH 1778

This concert announcement is the earliest documentary evidence of a public performance by the young Ludwig van Beethoven, whose father sought to market him as a child prodigy. The concert took place in Cologne rather than Bonn. At that time Sternengasse (Star Alley) was Cologne’s grand boulevard where affluent patrician families maintained their residences (the painter Peter Paul Rubens lived here, as did Maria von Medici during her exile). Ludwig’s age is given as six years, although by 1778 he was already seven. His father has often been suspected of doctoring the boy’s age as a marketing ploy, but in fact the family was somewhat unsure of Beethoven’s exact age, which is why various documents from Beethoven’s years in Bonn give his age incorrectly.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
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ORGAN CONSOLE IN THE MINORITE CHURCH, BONN

ORGAN CONSOLE IN THE MINORITE CHURCH, BONN

The young Beethoven regularly played the organ in services at Bonn’s Minorite Church (today’s Church of St Remigius), including early Mass at 6 o’clock in the morning. The organ, which was quite large for its time, was destroyed in the Second World War, but the old console had been dismantled in 1904. Beethoven still remembered this organ in his Vienna years. In one of his notebooks he wrote down ‘foot measurement of the Minorite pedal in Bonn’. He was probably inquiring about the Bonn measurements in order to compare them with other pedalboards in Vienna.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn. Photo: André Maassen.
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JOSEPH ENGELBERT MARTELEUX (ca. 1756–1794): MAXIMILIAN FRIEDRICH, COUNT KÖNIGSEGG-ROTHENFELS (1708–1784) AS ARCHBISHOP AND ELECTOR OF COLOGNE, ca. 1780. OIL PORTRAIT (PERMANENT LOAN, STADTMUSEUM BONN))

JOSEPH ENGELBERT MARTELEUX (ca. 1756–1794): MAXIMILIAN FRIEDRICH, COUNT KÖNIGSEGG-ROTHENFELS (1708–1784) AS ARCHBISHOP AND ELECTOR OF COLOGNE, ca. 1780. OIL PORTRAIT (PERMANENT LOAN, STADTMUSEUM BONN)

Maximilian Friedrich ascended to the throne of the Cologne Electorate after the death of Clemens August in 1761. Unlike the baroque, sensual and profligate Clemens August, he realigned the archdiocese along Enlightenment precepts and carried out major reforms with his state minister Kaspar von Belderbusch. Beethoven’s grandfather was appointed head of the court chapel under Maximilian Friedrich, and Beethoven himself received his first appointment as court organist under his aegis.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
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NINE VARIATIONS FOR PIANO ON A MARCH BY ERNST CHRISTOPH DRESSLER (C MINOR), WOO 63, ORIGINAL PRINT (MANNHEIM: GÖTZ, 1782)

NINE VARIATIONS FOR PIANO ON A MARCH BY ERNST CHRISTOPH DRESSLER (C MINOR), WOO 63, ORIGINAL PRINT (MANNHEIM: GÖTZ, 1782)

Beethoven had barely turned 11 years old when his Nine Variations for Piano on a March by Ernst Christoph Dressler was published by Johann Michael Götz of Mannheim in 1782. The variations were written as part of his lessons with Christian Gottlob Neefe, who also forwarded the work to the printer. The structure and principles of variation belonged to the standard equipment of 18th-century musicians and virtuosos. It thus comes as no surprise that Beethoven’s first published work emerged from his general curriculum: after all, he too was raised to become a professional musician, like his father and grandfather before him.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
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GERHARD VON KÜGELGEN (1772–1820): GROUP SILHOUETTE OF THE VON BREUNING FAMILY, 1782. TRIMMED AND INKED SILHOUETTE, ATTRIBUTED TO GERHARD VON KÜGELGEN

GERHARD VON KÜGELGEN (1772–1820): GROUP SILHOUETTE OF THE VON BREUNING FAMILY, 1782. TRIMMED AND INKED SILHOUETTE, ATTRIBUTED TO GERHARD VON KÜGELGEN

By 1782 Beethoven had begun to give piano lessons in the Breuning household – a position arranged by his friend Franz Gerhard Wegeler, who would later marry Eleonore von Breuning. The mother Helene von Breuning, a kind-hearted, cultured and open-minded woman, ensured that Ludwig received learning and manners, for he had left school at an early age. The four children – Eleonore, Christoph, Stephan and Lorenz – remained his close lifelong friends. Especially after the death of his mother in 1787 Beethoven found a new home with the Breuning family, where he often remained over night. The entire family is depicted in the silhouette; from left to right we see Helene von Breuning (seated), Eleonore (standing before her at the table), Christoph, Lorenz (with violin) facing his uncle, Canon Johann Lorenz von Breuning (the children’s guardian after the death of their father in 1777), and Stephan von Breuning at the table with birdcage.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn (on loan from Karl-Oswald von Nell)
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ELEONORE VON BREUNING (1771–1841) AT THE PIANO. ANONYMOUS PAINTING

ELEONORE VON BREUNING (1771–1841) AT THE PIANO. ANONYMOUS PAINTING

In this painting Eleonore von Breuning sits at the piano with a sheet of paper in her hand, possibly containing music. The painting probably originated when she was already Beethoven’s piano pupil. His friend Franz Gerhard Wegeler, who would later marry Eleonore, had organised this position for him. Like her siblings, Eleonore was a very good friend of Beethoven, even knitting him an angora vest at one point and making a neckerchief for him. In exchange, Beethoven lent her manuscripts of his own compositions. In 1793, after he had already moved to Vienna, he made her the dedicatee of his Twelve Variations for Piano and Violin on the Aria ‘Se vuol ballare’ from Mozart’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ (WoO 40).
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn (on loan from Karl-Oswald von Nell)
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THREE SONATAS FOR PIANO (E-FLAT MAJOR, F MINOR, D MAJOR), WOO 47, ORIGINAL EDITION (SPEYER: BOSSLER, 1783)

THREE SONATAS FOR PIANO (E-FLAT MAJOR, F MINOR, D MAJOR), WOO 47, ORIGINAL EDITION (SPEYER: BOSSLER, 1783)

Beethoven dedicated his first three piano sonatas to his employer, the Elector Maximilian Friedrich. But the dedication prefaced to the music was not written by the 12-year-old boy himself, for he was presumably aided by his teacher Christian Gottlob Neefe. Though it refers to the sonatas as ‘the first fruits of my youthful efforts’, they are not his first published compositions. The young composer is said to be ’11 years old’, as the family was uncertain of his true age.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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FRANZ GERHARD WEGELER (1765–1848)

FRANZ GERHARD WEGELER (1765–1848)

Beethoven met Franz Gerhard Wegeler in 1782. After his departure from Bonn in November 1792 the two friends met again in Vienna, where Wegeler fled from the French in 1794-96. Although they never saw each other again, they remained in contact by letter. Wegeler was a physician who made his career first at Bonn University and later in Koblenz as a medical counsellor to the Prussian government. He was also one of the first persons to learn of, and to offer advice on, Beethoven’s encroaching deafness. In 1802 he married Eleonore von Breuning.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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JOSEPH NEESEN (1770–1829?): BEETHOVEN AT THE AGE OF 15. LITHOGRAPH BY THE BECKER BROTHERS AFTER A SILHOUETTE BY NEESEN (KOBLENZ: BÄDEKER, 1838)

JOSEPH NEESEN (1770–1829?): BEETHOVEN AT THE AGE OF 15. LITHOGRAPH BY THE BECKER BROTHERS AFTER A SILHOUETTE BY NEESEN (KOBLENZ: BÄDEKER, 1838)

Joseph Neesen’s silhouette is the earliest surviving portrait of the composer. It shows Beethoven at the age of 15 wearing the festive livery required of musicians on high occasions. This included a sea-green tailcoat, short green breeches with buckle, stockings of white or black silk, shoes with black bow, a top hat, a vest adorned with strands of genuine gold, hair done up in curls and pigtail and, on the left, a dagger with silver bandolier.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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MAXIMILIAN FRANZ (1756–1801), ARCHDUKE OF AUSTRIA, FROM 1784 ELECTOR AND ARCHBISHOP OF COLOGNE. ANONYMOUS LATE 18TH-CENTURY PORTRAIT

MAXIMILIAN FRANZ (1756–1801), ARCHDUKE OF AUSTRIA, FROM 1784 ELECTOR AND ARCHBISHOP OF COLOGNE. ANONYMOUS LATE 18TH-CENTURY PORTRAIT

Maximilian Franz was the youngest son of Empress Maria Theresia, and thus a brother of the French Queen Marie Antoinette und Emperor Joseph II. In 1780 his mother spent a great deal of money to have him appointed coadjutor to the Elector of Cologne, whom he succeeded in 1784. Max Franz ruled his electorate in the spirit of the Enlightenment, establishing Bonn’s first university and functioning as the protector of the newly founded Reading and Recreation Society. A lover of music and the arts, he recognised the talent of his court musician Ludwig van Beethoven and supported him by financing two journeys to Vienna. Beethoven later sought to express his gratitude by dedicating his First Symphony to Max Franz – a plan thwarted by the latter’s death in 1801.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn (on permanent loan from the Bonn Stadtmuseum)
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AUTOGRAPH INSCRIPTION BY JOSEPH HAYDN IN THE VISITORS’ BOOK OF THE READING AND RECREATION SOCIETY

AUTOGRAPH INSCRIPTION BY JOSEPH HAYDN IN THE VISITORS’ BOOK OF THE READING AND RECREATION SOCIETY

On 15 December 1790 the most famous living composer, Joseph Haydn, set out from Vienna on a concert tour of England. He was accompanied by the English impresario and violinist Johann Peter Salomon, who was born in Bonn and served in the court chapel until 1764. The journey from Vienna to London was long and arduous, and various stops were made along the way. The travellers arrived in Bonn on Saturday, 25 December 1790, and Haydn entered his name in the visitors’ book of the Reading and Recreation Society that same day. The following day the court chapel performed a Mass by Haydn during the main service in the presence of the composer. Elector Maximilian Franz then introduced the great composer to his entire chapel, one of whose members was Ludwig van Beethoven. Presumably this was the first time the two men met. Haydn again made a stop in Bonn in 1792 on his return from London. By this time at the latest Beethoven’s year of study with Haydn was arranged.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Lese- und Erholungs-Gesellschaft Bonn
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INSCRIPTION IN BEETHOVEN’S ALBUM BY COUNT FERDINAND WALDSTEIN (1762–1823)

INSCRIPTION IN BEETHOVEN’S ALBUM BY COUNT FERDINAND WALDSTEIN (1762–1823)

As a special token of his favour, Elector Maximilian Franz granted Beethoven a second journey to Vienna to study with Joseph Haydn. Before his departure in November 1792, Beethoven was given an album in which 15 of his Bonn friends entered inscriptions lest he forget them in Vienna. Probably the most famous is that of Count Ferdinand Waldstein: ‘Dear Beethoven, You are now travelling to Vienna to realise your long-frustrated wishes. Mozart’s genius is still in mourning, lamenting the death of its pupil. In the inexhaustible Haydn it found refuge, but no employment; through him it seeks to be united with another being. By unrelenting effort may you receive Mozart’s spirit from Haydn’s hands. Bonn, 29 October 1792. Your true friend, Waldstein’. Waldstein’s entry does injustice to Haydn, presenting him as an intermediary rather than a genius in his own right, but it is remarkable for already naming the three giants of Viennese Classicism: Mozart – Haydn – Beethoven.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn on the basis of a facsimile (original in the Nationalbibliothek, Vienna)
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JOSEPH HAYDN (1732–1809)

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732–1809)

We know nothing about Beethoven’s composition and counterpoint teachers in Bonn. He may have learnt something from his instrumental teachers, particularly the organists, and he surely received a solid grounding in theory, perhaps from his father’s colleagues in the court chapel. His first known composition teacher was the most famous living composer of his day, Joseph Haydn. In November 1792 Beethoven, with a subsidy from the elector, set out for Vienna to study with Haydn. Actually he was meant to return after one year, but the vicissitudes of war in the Rhineland caused him to settle permanently in Vienna. Haydn basically instructed him in the art of free composition: the invention and formal design of a piece of music and the associated processes of sketches and drafts. Beethoven may also have analysed exemplary works by other composers under Haydn’s tutelage.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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JOHANN GEORG ALBRECHTSBERGER (1736–1809)

JOHANN GEORG ALBRECHTSBERGER (1736–1809)

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger was master of the chapel at St Stephen’s Cathedral and without question Vienna’s best-known teacher of music theory. Beethoven’s contact with him was arranged by Haydn, who, knowing of his friend’s financial straits, had already passed several of his own pupils on to him. It was from Albrechtsberger that Beethoven obtained comprehensive knowledge of the composer’s craft and working methods. He studied the rules of strict counterpoint and fugue in an all-encompassing curriculum based on Albrechtberger’s own composition treatise, Gründliche Anweisung in der Komposition. Beethoven had a very high opinion of his studies with Albrechtsberger.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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THREE TRIOS FOR PIANO, VIOLIN AND CELLO (E-FLAT MAJOR, G MAJOR, C MINOR), OP. 1. ORIGINAL EDITION (VIENNA: ARTARIA, 1795). LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS

THREE TRIOS FOR PIANO, VIOLIN AND CELLO (E-FLAT MAJOR, G MAJOR, C MINOR), OP. 1. ORIGINAL EDITION (VIENNA: ARTARIA, 1795). LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS

In 1795 the first composition that Beethoven considered worthy of bearing an opus number appeared in print: the Three Piano Trios, op. 1. Although they were published by Artaria, Beethoven paid for them in advance (perhaps with assistance from the dedicatee, Prince Lichnowsky) and sold them at his own expense, proudly prefixing the edition with a list of those who had purchased copies prior to publication. This list of subscribers reads like a ‘who’s who’ of Austria’s upper aristocracy. The members of the Lichnowsky family alone ordered 27 copies.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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PLAYBILL FOR BEETHOVEN’S CONCERT AT THE BURG THEATRE, 2 APRIL 1800

PLAYBILL FOR BEETHOVEN’S CONCERT AT THE BURG THEATRE, 2 APRIL 1800

In April 1800 the great day arrived: Beethoven mounted his first concert in Vienna. He had, of course, already appeared in public or at private aristocratic gatherings before, but this time he was the concert’s organiser and could keep the proceeds. Though Beethoven took part in many concerts during his lifetime, he gave very few for his own benefit. The risk was simply too great; he had personally to bear any loss and still had to pay for the musicians and sheet music. The programme of this first ‘academy’ featured his Piano Concerto op. 15, played by the composer, as well as the Septet op. 20 and the First Symphony. In later years Beethoven performed only his own works in concert, but as this was too hazardous in 1800, the programme also included ‘drawing cards’ by Haydn (arias from The Creation) and Mozart (a symphony).
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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ANTONIO SALIERI (1750–1825)

ANTONIO SALIERI (1750–1825)

Exactly when Beethoven came into direct contact with Antonio Salieri is unknown. He presumably approached him at an early date, for Salieri was one of the towering figures in Vienna’s musical life. He had a great many pupils (one was Franz Schubert) both in composition and in singing, and as a matter of principle he usually taught them free of charge. By the time Beethoven took lessons from Salieri in 1801 he was already a recognised composer, and he sought him out to learn something evidently lacking in his studies with Haydn and Albrechtsberger: how to set words to music. By mastering Salieri’s command of metre, prosody and the melodic interpretation of a text, he put the ‘final polish’ to his studies and could now expect to find acceptance at the imperial court and its associated institutions.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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PRINCE KARL LICHNOWSKY (1761–1814), UNSIGNED MINIATURE IN THE STYLE OF HEINRICH FÜGER

PRINCE KARL LICHNOWSKY (1761–1814), UNSIGNED MINIATURE IN THE STYLE OF HEINRICH FÜGER

Prince Karl Lichnowsky was Beethoven’s first patron in Vienna. The music-loving prince maintained a personal string quartet (headed by Beethoven’s friend Ignaz Schuppanzigh) and held concerts in his home, including regular Friday matinées in which Beethoven took part. Beethoven’s first Viennese residence was in the Lichnowsky home, and the prince introduced the young composer into the leading circles of Vienna’s nobility. From 1800 to 1806 Lichnowsky gave Beethoven an annuity amounting to 600 florins. Beethoven’s set of string quartet instruments was also a gift from the prince.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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BEETHOVENS STRING QUARTET INSTRUMENTS

BEETHOVENS STRING QUARTET INSTRUMENTS

Some time around 1800 Prince Lichnowsky gave Beethoven a complete set of instruments for a string quartet: two violins, a viola and a cello. Beethoven identified the instruments on the back by scratching a B in the enamel and (except on the cello) applying his seal in red enamel on the back beneath the neck.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn (detail from an item on permanent loan from the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung Preussischer Kulturbesitz)
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BEETHOVEN’S LETTER TO FRANZ GERHARD WEGELER IN BONN, DATED VIENNA, 29 JUNE 1801

BEETHOVEN’S LETTER TO FRANZ GERHARD WEGELER IN BONN, DATED VIENNA, 29 JUNE 1801

In this letter to Franz Gerhard Wegeler, Beethoven first mentions his deafness and admits that his hearing has been deteriorating for years. The impairment threatened his very livelihood as a musician, for he still performed regularly in public and was reliant on his sense of hearing, especially when playing with other musicians. He confided this to his childhood friend because Wegeler was a physician and lived far away from Vienna, lessening the danger that his deafness might become known. Nevertheless, Beethoven urged his friend to keep his secret and tell it to no one, not even his wife.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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CHRISTIAN HORNEMAN (1765–1844): LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, IVORY MINIATURE, 1802

CHRISTIAN HORNEMAN (1765–1844): LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, IVORY MINIATURE, 1802

This miniature portrait on ivory, by the Danish artist Christian Horneman, is one of the special treasures of the Beethoven-Haus. It is the first Beethoven portrait of artistic significance. Beethoven gave it to Stephan von Breuning in 1804 as a gesture of reconciliation after a violent quarrel. Unlike later portraits, here Beethoven is stylishly dressed and his hair well-kempt and short, as was the fashion at the time.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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BEETHOVEN’S LETTER TO HIS BROTHERS KASPAR KARL AND JOHANN VAN BEETHOVEN, HEILIGENSTADT, 6 AND 10 OCTOBER 1802 (‘HEILIGENSTADT TESTAMENT’)

BEETHOVEN’S LETTER TO HIS BROTHERS KASPAR KARL AND JOHANN VAN BEETHOVEN, HEILIGENSTADT, 6 AND 10 OCTOBER 1802 (‘HEILIGENSTADT TESTAMENT’)

The so-called Heiligenstadt Testament is Beethoven’s letter of farewell to his brothers Karl and Johann. It is also aimed at everyone in his surroundings. His first concern is to stress that he has been misunderstood: he considers himself a gregarious man who loves the company of other people and is open-minded toward everyone. But for several years his impaired hearing, which he has till now kept secret, has prevented him from joining other people, making him lonely and unhappy. As a result, the world considers him moody and misanthropic. Expecting that the ailment will soon lead to his death, he seeks to order his personal affairs. His money and his musical instruments are to be divided between his brothers. He gratefully takes leave of his friends. His physician should perform an autopsy on his body and describe his illness. He urges his brothers to be virtuous, arguing that only virtue, not money, can ensure their happiness. He also recounts his feelings of despair and admits that he has contemplated suicide. But he believes in his art and is certain that he is far from reaching his peak. Although he is doing poorly and sometimes longs for death, he does not want to die, but to continue living for his art. In a postscript added a few days later, he again describes his deep despair. He has come to Heiligenstadt in the hope of recovering his health, but at the end of his stay he realises that it is impossible. He rails against Fate and God and feels he can never again be happy and carefree.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn from a facsimile (original in the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Carl von Ossietzky, Hamburg)
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THEATER AN DER WIEN

THEATER AN DER WIEN

In 1801 Emanuel Schikaneder opened a new theatre on Linke Wienzeile: the ‘Theater an der Wien’, which still exists today. In early 1803 he commissioned Beethoven to set one of his own librettos for the new establishment. Beethoven agreed, and even received lodgings in the theatre, which he used until 1804. Owing to the poor quality of Schikaneder’s libretto, however, he withdrew from the project at the end of the year and began work on his opera Leonore in 1804. It was premièred at the Theater an der Wien with the title Fidelio in November 1805.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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FERDINAND RIES (1784–1838), UNSIGNED OIL PAINTING

FERDINAND RIES (1784–1838), UNSIGNED OIL PAINTING

Ferdinand Ries, a composer-pianist from Bonn, was the son of Beethoven’s violin teacher in Bonn, Franz Anton Ries, who supported the Beethoven family after acute alcoholism forced Beethoven’s father to retire in 1789. In 1803 Ries moved to Vienna to take lessons from Beethoven. He remained there until late 1805, but only received piano lessons from Beethoven, who sent him to Albrechtsberger for instruction in composition. From 1813 to 1824 Ries lived in London, where he functioned as Beethoven’s agent with English publishers. After returning to the Rhineland, he headed the Music Festival of the Lower Rhine in Aachen, where he conducted an incomplete version of Beethoven’s Ninth on 23 May 1825, obtaining the still unpublished material directly from the composer. Together with Franz Gerhard Wegeler he wrote one of the earliest Beethoven biographies – a major source of information on Beethoven’s life.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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ISIDOR NEUGASS (CA. 1780 – AFTER 1847): LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, OIL PAINTING, 1806, LICHNOWSKY VERSION

ISIDOR NEUGASS (CA. 1780 – AFTER 1847): LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, OIL PAINTING, 1806, LICHNOWSKY VERSION

This idealised portrait originated in 1806 at the request of Beethoven’s patron, Prince Lichnowsky. Here, too, he appears in elegant attire with neckerchief, vest and pink shawl beneath a tailcoat. An alternative version, made for the Brunsvik family, shows Beethoven evidently wearing a lorgnette on a ribbon around his neck as a reading aid. Beethoven was short-sighted.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn from an item on permanent loan from the Ars longa Stichting
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SONATA IN A MAJOR FOR PIANO AND CELLO, OP. 69, MOVEMENT 1, AUTOGRAPH, PAGE 8 (1808)

SONATA IN A MAJOR FOR PIANO AND CELLO, OP. 69, MOVEMENT 1, AUTOGRAPH, PAGE 8 (1808)

The op. 69 Cello Sonata does not survive in a complete autograph; only movement 1 has come down to us in Beethoven’s hand. Rather than containing the definitive version, the manuscript reflects the work’s gestation in several stages. The first layer is carried out neatly and carefully, but as the work progressed Beethoven undertook far-reaching changes that made the manuscript increasingly impenetrable. Despite the many revisions, the autograph does not approach the version that finally reached print. Beethoven undoubtedly prepared a second complete manuscript that no longer exists today.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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ANNUITY CONTRACT DRAWN UP BETWEEN ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH, PRINCE FERDINAND KINSKY, PRINCE FRANZ JOSEPH LOBKOWITZ AND LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, VIENNA, 1 MARCH 1809, FAIR COPY

ANNUITY CONTRACT DRAWN UP BETWEEN ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH, PRINCE FERDINAND KINSKY, PRINCE FRANZ JOSEPH LOBKOWITZ AND LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, VIENNA, 1 MARCH 1809, FAIR COPY

Some time before 1 November 1808 Beethoven received a highly lucrative offer from Napoleon’s brother Jérôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, to become the principal chapel-master at his court in Kassel. Beginning in early 1809, probably with the intercession of Princess Erdödy, he negotiated a fixed salary with Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky and Prince Lobkowitz to prevent his leaving Vienna. The negotiations were headed by his friend, Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein, and the resultant contract ensured him an annuity of 4000 florins. The sum was to be divided among the three noblemen at different rates, the only condition being that Beethoven turn down the invitation from Kassel and remain in Vienna.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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THE BOMBARDMENT OF VIENNA BY FRENCH TROOPS, AQUATINT ETCHING BY BENEDIKT PIRINGER AFTER A DRAWING BY JOHANN NEPOMUK HOECHLE (1790–1835)

THE BOMBARDMENT OF VIENNA BY FRENCH TROOPS, AQUATINT ETCHING BY BENEDIKT PIRINGER AFTER A DRAWING BY JOHANN NEPOMUK HOECHLE (1790–1835)

On 9 April 1809 Austria declared war against France with the aim of liberating Europe from Napoleon’s rule (War of the Fifth Coalition). On 11 May 1809 French troops stood at the gates of Vienna. This time, unlike in 1805, when it was likewise occupied by the French, Vienna did not surrender without a fight. The French bombarded the city during the night and captured it the following day. For Beethoven, the cannon fire was a living nightmare. Ferdinand Ries reports that he spent most of the time in the cellar of his brother Karl, covering his head with cushions to block out the sound of the cannons, which caused great pain to his sensitive hearing.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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FRANZ KLEIN (1779–1840), BUST OF BEETHOVEN, 1812, RECAST BY H. LEIDEL (1890)

FRANZ KLEIN (1779–1840), BUST OF BEETHOVEN, 1812, RECAST BY H. LEIDEL (1890)

This bust was created for an art gallery located in the salon of the piano factory of Beethoven’s friends Andreas and Nannette Streicher. The Viennese sculptor Franz Klein first made a plaster cast of Beethoven’s face and used it to design the bust, which reproduces his facial features with particular veracity; even his pockmarks are visible. Beethoven’s allegedly typical surly expression was the result of the manufacturing process: as plaster in those days dried slowly, he was forced to breathe through two tubes inserted into his nostrils, causing him to feel unwell beneath the wet plaster. The process had to be repeated several times because he could not endure the plaster coating and wiped it from his face.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn (photograph by André Maassen)
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‘PETTER’ SKETCHBOOK, 1811–12, AUTOGRAPH

‘PETTER’ SKETCHBOOK, 1811–12, AUTOGRAPH

Like many of Beethoven’s sketchbooks, this one was named after one of its early owners, Gustav Adolf Petter, who acquired it in 1846 and kept it until his death in 1868. The Petter Sketchbook primarily contains sketches and drafts for the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies. The notation is chronological, with the sketches for the Eighth Symphony beginning after the final entries for the Seventh. Remarkably, Beethoven initially intended the Eighth to be a piano concerto rather than a symphony.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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JOHANN NEPOMUK MÄLZEL (1772–1838): BEETHOVEN’S EAR TRUMPETS, VIENNA, 1812-13

JOHANN NEPOMUK MÄLZEL (1772–1838): BEETHOVEN’S EAR TRUMPETS, VIENNA, 1812-13

Today the name of Mälzel is mainly associated with his metronome, the time-beating device that musicians still use today to maintain a strict tempo while practicing. During his lifetime, however, this inventor and mechanic was famous chiefly for his many mechanical instruments, most notably his automatic trumpeter. It was for Mälzel’s ‘panharmonicon’ that Beethoven originally composed the symphony that would later form part of his battle painting Wellington’s Victory. Mälzel’s inventions were not limited to music: in 1809 he developed prosthetic feet for invalids of the Napoleonic Wars. He even tinkered on medical utensils for Beethoven: these ear trumpets were meant to facilitate the composer’s contact with the outside world, though they were unable to prevent his descent into total deafness.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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MAP OF VIENNA

MAP OF VIENNA

In Beethoven’s day Vienna was one of the most of important metropolises and cultural centres in Europe. It had long outgrown the fortified medieval town at its centre and expanded to encompass many suburbs outside the city walls. Although at first Beethoven only intended to spend a year of study in Vienna, he wound up living there for over 33 years. During this time he had at least 24 different addresses, some in the town centre and others in the suburbs.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn (photograph by André Maassen)
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THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA: GROUP PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHORISED DIPLOMATS, 1819, COPPERPLATE ENGRAVING BY JEAN GODEFROY AFTER JEAN-BAPTISTE ISABEY (1767–1855)defroy nach Jean-Baptiste Isabey

THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA: GROUP PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHORISED DIPLOMATS, 1819, COPPERPLATE ENGRAVING BY JEAN GODEFROY AFTER JEAN-BAPTISTE ISABEY (1767–1855)

After Napoleon’s defeat, the victorious kings and ministers met in London in summer 1814 to negotiate conditions for a new Europe. From September 1814 to June 1815 the potentates and representatives of the European states and powers assembled in Vienna to create a new order and a lasting peace in Europe. For Beethoven, the year of the Congress was the most lucrative of his life and contributed decisively to his international fame. In 1814 his popularity was at its zenith. The many foreign visitors and high-ranking aristocrats in the city also brought about an increase in its festivities, theatre performances and concerts. In November 1814 Beethoven, too, mounted a highly successful ‘academy’ attended by practically every participant in the Congress. The programme featured the Seventh Symphony (op. 92), Wellington’s Victory (op. 91) and the première of the cantata Der glorreiche Augenblick (op. 136).
Reproduced with the kind permission of the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster (Westfälisches Landesmuseum), Diepenbroick Portrait Archive
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WILLIBRORD JOSEPH MÄHLER (1778–1860): LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, OIL PAINTING, 1815

WILLIBRORD JOSEPH MÄHLER (1778–1860): LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, OIL PAINTING, 1815

Willibrord Joseph Mähler already painted a portrait of Beethoven as early as 1804 (located today in Vienna). Then, in 1815, he created a series of portraits of contemporary Viennese composers, including Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Antonio Salieri and Ignaz von Seyfried. He also made several likenesses of Beethoven for his collection, two of which are found today in the Beethoven-Haus. This ‘gallery of artists’ was intended solely for Mähler’s own pleasure and was not available for purchase. He even kept one of his Beethoven portraits until the day of his death.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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‘WELLINGTON’S VICTORY OR THE BATTLE OF VITTORIA’ FOR ORCHESTRA, OP. 91, PIANO REDUCTION (VIENNA: STEINER, 1816)

‘WELLINGTON’S VICTORY OR THE BATTLE OF VITTORIA’ FOR ORCHESTRA, OP. 91, PIANO REDUCTION (VIENNA: STEINER, 1816)

On 21 June 1813 the troops of Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, defeated the forces of the French Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan and Napoleon’s elder brother Joseph, King of Spain, on the plains of Vittoria. The news of the victory reached Vienna on 27 July and was rousingly received, this being the final twist in the wars against Napoleon after his defeat in the Russian Campaign of 1812. Though battle music and victory compositions were now en vogue, Beethoven did not light on the idea of this composition himself. Rather, the tinkerer, inventor and mechanic Johann Nepomuk Mälzel convinced him to write a victory symphony for his mechanical orchestra, the ‘panharmonicon’. It was probably while transferring the music to the machine’s cylinders that he noticed just how sprawling Beethoven’s work had become, making it unsuitable for a machine that worked with rotating cylinders. He therefore suggested that Beethoven rewrite it for large orchestra and precede the victory symphony with a musical battle painting and an intrada. The result perfectly suited the taste of the day and became a resounding success for both Mälzel and Beethoven. Owing to its popularity, the work appeared in many different editions and arrangements. This piano reduction – the standard edition for domestic use – was given especially beautiful illustrations.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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KARL FRANZ VAN BEETHOVEN (1806–1858), DAGUERREOTYPE, MID-19TH CENTURY

KARL FRANZ VAN BEETHOVEN (1806–1858), DAGUERREOTYPE, MID-19TH CENTURY

Beethoven’s nephew Karl was the son of his brother Kaspar Anton Karl, who had married Johanna Reiss in 1806 just a few months before the boy’s birth. Beethoven rejected his sister-in-law because of her poor reputation (she had previously been convicted of embezzlement). When his brother died of tuberculosis in 1815, Beethoven entered a battle against Johanna for the custody of the child, a battle from which he finally emerged victorious in 1820. Caring for the boy gave Beethoven the sense of family he had long yearned for. However, his childrearing methods were marked more by severity than affection, and in 1826 Karl unsuccessfully attempted suicide. In January 1827, with the support of Stephan von Breuning, he joined the military, where he remained until 1832. He then lived in Vienna as a gentleman of independent means, having inherited the estates of his wealthy uncles Ludwig and Johann van Beethoven. He married in 1832 and had five children.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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THOMAS BROADWOOD (1786–1861): GRAND PIANO, LONDON, 1817

THOMAS BROADWOOD (1786–1861): GRAND PIANO, LONDON, 1817

In late 1817 the London piano manufacturer Thomas Broadwood gave Beethoven a large grand piano with a six-octave compass. The original instrument is located today in the Liszt Museum, Budapest. The Broadwood piano in the Beethoven-Haus, built about three months later, is identical in construction. The piano arrived by sea via Trieste, and Beethoven needed a customs release from the highest authorities in order to import it at all. The affair created such a sensation that it was even reported on the title page of the Wiener Zeitung. The instrument arrived at the same time that Beethoven was composing the ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonata, op. 106.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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AUGUST VON KLOEBER (1793–1864): LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, PENCIL DRAWING, 1818

AUGUST VON KLOEBER (1793–1864): LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, PENCIL DRAWING, 1818

August von Kloeber visited Beethoven in summer 1818 during the composer’s holiday in Mödling and drew him just as he found him. Unlike earlier portraits, which show an elegant young man, fashionably dressed and carefully coiffed, here we see Beethoven as he appeared in his late years, unaffected and not groomed for an official portrait (although he sat for this drawing). Beethoven placed great store in bodily cleanliness but not on his outward appearance. His hair was not always kempt, and his overcoat was often dusty from his long walks. This pencil drawing served as a model for an oil painting which, however, vanished in the 19th century.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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CONVERSATION BOOK, FEBRUARY–MARCH 1818

CONVERSATION BOOK, FEBRUARY–MARCH 1818

Beethoven’s deafness proceeded apace no matter how many absurd therapies he applied to stop it. Beginning roughly in 1818 he could only communicate with his surroundings via small notebooks. Visitors wrote down their side of the conversation in the notebook, while Beethoven himself usually replied viva voce. Sometimes he also used the notebooks to sketch musical ideas or to make notes to himself. All in all 139 such notebooks have survived. They represent a priceless source on Beethoven’s daily life, for they record conversations not only with his friends, acquaintances and business partners but with his housekeeper regarding her purchases and groceries. Unfortunately the conversations are not always easy to follow. As Beethoven generally responded orally, we lack his statements on many topics on which we would gladly have learnt his opinion.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH OF AUSTRIA (1788–1831), CARDINAL AND ARCHBISHOP OF OLOMOUC FROM 1819, OIL PAINTING ATTRIBUTED TO JOHANN BAPTIST VON LAMPI THE ELDER (1751–1830)

ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH OF AUSTRIA (1788–1831), CARDINAL AND ARCHBISHOP OF OLOMOUC FROM 1819, OIL PAINTING ATTRIBUTED TO JOHANN BAPTIST VON LAMPI THE ELDER (1751–1830)

Archduke Rudolph was the youngest brother of Emperor Franz I. Originally intended for the military, in 1815 he received the lower orders for a religious office, presumably because his epilepsy stood in the way of a military career. In 1819 he was ordained to become the Archbishop of Olmütz (Olomouc). Rudolph was highly musical, an accomplished pianist (he gave the première of the Fifth Piano Concerto) and a sometime composer. He first met Beethoven in May or June 1808 and took lessons from him in piano and composition from 1810. In March 1809 he joined Princes Lobkowitz and Kinsky in signing a contract that ensured Beethoven a lifelong annuity. As it happened, however, he was the only cosignatory who regularly made his payments (and even raised them in time of need). Rudolph laid claim to a large musical library containing prints of Beethoven’s most important works, most of them in first editions, as well as many handwritten sources, including several autographs. No one was the recipient of more dedications from Beethoven than Archduke Rudolph.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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NIKOLAUS LAUER (1753–1824): ANTONIE BRENTANO (1780–1869) WITH HER CHILDREN GEORG AND FANNY (LEFT), AND FRANZ BRENTANO (1765–1844) WITH HIS DAUGHTERS MAXIMILIANE AND JOSEPHA (RIGHT)

NIKOLAUS LAUER (1753–1824): ANTONIE BRENTANO (1780–1869) WITH HER CHILDREN GEORG AND FANNY (LEFT), AND FRANZ BRENTANO (1765–1844) WITH HIS DAUGHTERS MAXIMILIANE AND JOSEPHA (RIGHT)

In 1810 Beethoven met Antonie Brentano, who lived in Frankfurt am Main with her husband Franz (a half-brother of the famous poet Clemens Brentano). She travelled to Vienna in 1809 to care for her ailing father and remained there until 1812. Beethoven spent several summer weeks of 1812 with the Brentanos at the Bohemian spas of Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) and Franzensbad (Františkovy Lázně) and remained in contact with them even after they had returned to Frankfurt. So close was their friendship that the Brentanos willingly lent him money at a time of need.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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JOSEPH KARL STIELER (1781–1858): BEETHOVEN WITH THE MANUSCRIPT OF THE ‘MISSA SOLEMNIS’, OIL PAINTING, 1820

JOSEPH KARL STIELER (1781–1858): BEETHOVEN WITH THE MANUSCRIPT OF THE ‘MISSA SOLEMNIS’, OIL PAINTING, 1820

This idealised portrait, commissioned by Antonie and Franz Brentano, was painted by Joseph Karl Stieler in 1820. Today it is probably the best-known portrait of Beethoven and has left a lasting impression on our image of the composer. Beethoven sat for this portrait, which for the first time pictures him at work. In his hand is the manuscript of what he considered his most important creation, the Missa solemnis, which he was composing at the time.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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POCKET SKETCHBOOK ‘BH 107’ FOR THE ‘MISSA SOLEMNIS’, OP. 123, 1819–1820, AUTOGRAPH

POCKET SKETCHBOOK ‘BH 107’ FOR THE ‘MISSA SOLEMNIS’, OP. 123, 1819–1820, AUTOGRAPH

Beethoven was always prepared in case he should light on a good idea while under way. He never left his house without taking along a self-made sketchbook. It consisted of sheets of manuscript paper stitched together in the middle and folded once to fit into his greatcoat pocket – hence the term ‘pocket sketchbooks’. Usually he wrote them in pencil (ink and quill would have been impractical), which makes them at once very fragile and difficult to decipher. Pencils in Beethoven’s day were very soft; the merest touch causes the writing to detach from the paper. As a result, over the centuries many pencilled inscriptions have become smudged or even obliterated.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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MASS IN D MAJOR FOR FOUR SOLO VOICES, CHORUS, ORCHESTRA AND ORGAN (‘MISSA SOLEMNIS’), OP. 123, VETTED COPY IN FULL SCORE, 1824, ENGRAVER’S COPY FOR B. SCHOTT’S SÖHNE, MAINZ

MASS IN D MAJOR FOR FOUR SOLO VOICES, CHORUS, ORCHESTRA AND ORGAN (‘MISSA SOLEMNIS’), OP. 123, VETTED COPY IN FULL SCORE, 1824, ENGRAVER’S COPY FOR B. SCHOTT’S SÖHNE, MAINZ

When Archduke Rudolph was elected Archbishop of Olomouc in March 1819, Beethoven promised to compose a festive Mass for his investiture in March 1820. Not only did he want to please his most important patron, he also hoped to receive an appointment as court chapel-master in Olomouc. Although he started work on this magnum opus in April 1819, he did not manage to finish it on schedule. It was not until January 1823 that he completed the Mass, a work that burst every bound of its genre. But by 1820 he had already entered into negotiations with nine publishers regarding its publication. His choice fell on the firm of Schott in Mainz, who had made the best offer. This engraver’s copy was carefully vetted by the composer and is therefore covered with annotations and improvements.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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EDUARD KLOSSON (FL. VIENNA, 1823): BEETHOVEN IN THE COFFEEHOUSE, 1823, PHOTOGRAPH OF A DRAWING

EDUARD KLOSSON (FL. VIENNA, 1823): BEETHOVEN IN THE COFFEEHOUSE, 1823, PHOTOGRAPH OF A DRAWING

As is obvious from this picture of Beethoven in a coffeehouse, Eduard Klosson was only an amateur draughtsman. Even so, he succeeded in capturing a scene that observers could witness every afternoon in select Viennese cafés: Beethoven reading a newspaper and smoking a pipe in front of a cup of coffee. Sometimes visitors would sit at his table and engage him in conversation; at other times he would work, if he lit on a good idea. But he always enjoyed a cup of coffee in the afternoon.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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JOSEPH WEIDNER (1801–1871): BEETHOVEN OUT ON A STROLL, REAR VIEW, WATERCOLOUR DRAWING, 1823

JOSEPH WEIDNER (1801–1871): BEETHOVEN OUT ON A STROLL, REAR VIEW, WATERCOLOUR DRAWING, 1823

Beethoven loved to take long walks, for which became famous throughout the city. Usually he wore a hat and carried a walking stick. He also took along a pencil and manuscript paper in his pockets to jot down any ideas that might occur to him. These many ‘pocket sketchbooks’ reveal that he was very productive on his walks.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, LEAF FROM A HOUSEKEEPING BOOK, 14-16 JULY

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, LEAF FROM A HOUSEKEEPING BOOK, 14-16 JULY

As his hearing deteriorated Beethoven became increasingly mistrustful. For this reason, and because of his straitened finances, he forced his housekeepers to keep records of every purchase they made. These ‘housekeeping books’ leave space to write down the items purchased and the amount spent. Beethoven carefully checked these records, noted how much money he had given his housekeeper and finally crossed out the page to indicate that it had been checked.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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JOHANN NEPOMUK HOECHLE (1790–1835): BEETHOVEN’S LIVING ROOM AND STUDIO IN THE ‘SCHWARZSPANIERHAUS’ (HOUSE OF THE BLACK-ROBED SPANIARDS), VIENNA, 1827, ETCHING BY GUSTAV LEYBOLD AFTER A DRAWING BY JOHANN NEPOMUK HOECHLE

JOHANN NEPOMUK HOECHLE (1790–1835): BEETHOVEN’S LIVING ROOM AND STUDIO IN THE ‘SCHWARZSPANIERHAUS’ (HOUSE OF THE BLACK-ROBED SPANIARDS), VIENNA, 1827, ETCHING BY GUSTAV LEYBOLD AFTER A DRAWING BY JOHANN NEPOMUK HOECHLE

This drawing was made immediately after Beethoven’s death. Hoechle directs our gaze into Beethoven’s living room, with the Broadwood piano in the middle of the picture. Apart from two piles of music the floor looks fairly tidy, but the piano and the bookcase between the windows reveal the disorder noted by many of Beethoven’s visitors. The piano is covered with papers of all sorts, and books and music stand and lie in disarray in the bookcase. The open window with ink and quill on the windowsill, the veiled bust in front of the right-hand window and the moon shining through the window: all indicate that the drawing was made on the occasion of Beethoven’s death and thus as a sort of souvenir.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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BEETHOVEN’S FINAL WILL AND TESTAMENT OF 23 MARCH 1827

BEETHOVEN’S FINAL WILL AND TESTAMENT OF 23 MARCH 1827

Three days before his death Beethoven wrote his will. He named his nephew Karl as his sole heir, but bequeathed him only the dividends from his bank shares, granting the shares themselves to Karl’s heirs (children or wife). The slanted handwriting and many scribal slips reveal that he was already marked by death. He lost consciousness the following day and never recovered.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn from a facsimile (original in Wienbibliothek im Rathaus, Vienna)
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JOSEF DANHAUSER (1805–1845): BEETHOVEN ON HIS DEATHBED, 27 MARCH 1827, LITHOGRAPH AFTER HIS OWN DRAWING

JOSEF DANHAUSER (1805–1845): BEETHOVEN ON HIS DEATHBED, 27 MARCH 1827, LITHOGRAPH AFTER HIS OWN DRAWING

On the morning of 27 March 1827 (Beethoven had died the previous afternoon) the young artist Josef Danhauser spent several hours at the composer’s deathbed, where he made a death-mask and several sketches of the deceased. Later he turned them into a lithograph that might have been printed in large quantities to meet the needs of souvenir hunters. However, it apparently never entered the market and was perhaps distributed only among close friends.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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INVITATION TO BEETHOVEN’S FUNERAL

INVITATION TO BEETHOVEN’S FUNERAL

This invitation to take part in Beethoven’s funeral was distributed in Tobias Haslinger’s music shop. It was printed in two versions, one on stiff paper as a flyer and another on thin paper as an enclosure in letters. The text was written by Stephan von Breuning. The invitation has no information regarding the Requiem Mass, for the service was only celebrated afterwards: the body was merely blessed before burial, in this case in the neighbouring Church of the Holy Trinity. When the text was written no one could have imagined that such a huge number of mourners would appear: in the end 20,000 people followed the coffin.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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FRANZ XAVER STÖBER (1795–1858): BEETHOVEN’S FUNERAL PROCESSION IN FRONT OF THE FORMER SCHWARZSPANIERKLOSTER (ABBEY OF THE BLACK-ROBED SPANIARDS), VIENNA, WATERCOLOUR, 1827

FRANZ XAVER STÖBER (1795–1858): BEETHOVEN’S FUNERAL PROCESSION IN FRONT OF THE FORMER SCHWARZSPANIERKLOSTER (ABBEY OF THE BLACK-ROBED SPANIARDS), VIENNA, WATERCOLOUR, 1827

Beethoven’s funeral was a social event in Vienna. He was borne to the grave like a high-born aristocrat. Even the schools were closed. Some 20,000 mourners and onlookers gathered in front of Beethoven’s residence hours before the funeral was to begin. Stephan von Breuning asked for a military guard from the nearby Alser Barracks to maintain order. Eight chapel-masters held the ribbons placed on the coffin; other musicians, include Franz Schubert, accompanied the coffin with torches. Despite the military presence, the crowd was very large, and it took hours for the procession to reach its destination. As was customary at the time, the body was only accompanied to the gate of the cemetery; the actual burial took place in silence.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Beethoven-Haus Bonn
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