At  the  175th  Anniversary  of  Death  of

Ludwig  van  Beethoven

August von Kloeber, Ludwig van Beethoven

“ Then, when the morning of the 26th March, 1827, left no uncertainty whatever … (the musical publisher) Mr. Haslinger joined with this (Miserere-)manuscript to the conductor Mr. von Seyfried to confer with him the possibility to form from these Equales to the words of the Miserere a choral music … This composition had been used in double kind now here …

“ The splendidly ornamented casket carried by the mentioned operatics and surrounded by the Messrs. Conductors Eybler, Hummel, Seyfried, and Kreutzer … Reached at church the 16 above singers intoned the Libra me Domino de morte aeterna during the consecration originally composed by the conductor Mr. von Seyfried for use on occasion of the performances of Mozart’s Requiem for four singing voices with orchestral accompaniment … ”

(Ignaz von Seyfried, Leichenbegängniß, separate article within the annex to the 1831 print version to “Ludwig van Beethoven – Studien im Generalbasse … Aus dessen handschriftlichem Nachlasse gesammelt und herausgegeben von … Seyfried”).


As  Close  Work-Fellow  and  Conductor

during  the  Important  Early  Days ,

in  1831  Ignaz  Ritter  von  Seyfried  wrote

beside  the  above  Choral  Music

as  the  second  earliest  comprehensive  communications


“ Biographische  Notitzen  (on  Ludwig  van  Beethoven) ”

which  are  present  here  in  their  in  themselves  complete

Original  Manuscript

deviating  from  the  print.

Richly honeycombed with all those

much  demanded  fascinating  proofs  of  manuscripts

as strike-throughs, changings, and rearrangements within the text itself, and, isolated and also by another hand and in pencil, too, on the half pages intentionally kept free for this purpose, which mostly are corrected in print accordingly. Among the highlights the manuscript is interspersed with not less before and ahead

that  highly  important  deviation  from  the  print

regarding  that  generous  gift  of  100  pound  Sterling

from  the  London  Philharmonic  Society

moving Beethoven on his deathbed beyond words as he believed to be impoverished.

March 14th, 1827, twelve days before his death, Beethoven had written to his friend Moscheles :

“ … Truly, a very harsh fate has met me! But I resign to the findings of fate and only ask the Lord to direct his divine decree in a way that as long as I have to endure death in life I am kept from penury. This would give me enough strength to endure my fate in submission to the will of God as hard and horrible it ever might be.

Thus my dear Moscheles I recommend my cause to you again … ” .

On this literature states :

“ Beethoven … had asked both the Philharmonic Society in London and Moscheles who was in England then to arrange a concert on his behalf. The Society was generous enough to send 100 £ immediately what moved Beethoven deeply. His friend Rau tells:

‘ It was heart-rending to see him, folding his hands,
being all tears of joy and gratefulness. ’

“ Caused by his joyful emotion one of his wounds opened during the night. He intended to dictate a letter to the ‘magnanimous Englishmen’ participating at his sad fate. He promised a work to the Philharmonic Society, his thenth symphony, an overture, or what else they might wish.

‘ I commit myself to extend my warmest thanks to the Society …
May  heaven give me back my health quite soon. ’

This letter is dated March 18th, 1827, March 26th he passed away ”

(Rolland 1918, pp. 128 ff.).

Hereto Seyfried reports

only  in  the  manuscript  here ,

thus not before in “Caecilia” in 1828, too, that Stefan von Breuning as old friend and executor of Beethoven’s will had returned this gift :

“ The whole estate by the way amounted to 20000 fl. – in print specified as 9000 fl. Conv. silver coins plus 125 St. Duc. outstanding debts – by what the rumour Beethoven was near to suffer penury is refuted.

For  this  reason  the  aid  of  (not  mentioned  100)  Pound  Sterling
generously  sent  from  England
has  been  returned  with  thanks
by  the  executor  Mr.  Privy  Councillor  von  Breuning. ”


Ignaz Ritter von Seyfried, Biographic Notes on Ludwig van Beethoven

England-statement  of  most  beautiful  content

connected to

one  of  the  most  moving  moments  in  the  life  of  Beethoven ,

even not changed in the manuscript,

is  missing  in  print .


As equally fascinating research and the general public furthermore highlighted

–  also  for  the  first  time  –

the report on Beethoven’s legendary capabilities to improvise, concerning literature until today. Correspondingly generations later von Dommer recapitulated in ADB:

“ Especially the breath-taking power of his improvisations hardly anyone could resist as

reports  from  his  biographies  state . ”

And yet in our time Reclam’s Konzertführer states :

“ His  art  to  improvise  freely

is  described  as  unique . ”

About this Seyfried’s own memory (Nohl:

“ Now  follows  the  scene  of  a  wrestling … ” )

Ignaz von Seyfried's autograph manuscript of his Biographical Notes on Ludwig van Beethoven
Ignaz von Seyfried's autograph manuscript of his Biographical Notes on Ludwig van Beethoven

as  ear  and  eye  witness  from  the  beginning  onwards,

thus also at the soirées in the house of Baron von Wetzlar, where Beethoven and Joseph Wölfl (1772-1812, “pianist of most extraordinary kind”, ADB) rivaled with each other.

All  this  now  here  in  the  manuscript

by  a  witness  blessed  in  such  a  way !


The  source  of  a  directly  involved  one

– also in regard of physiognomical observations not mentioned in “Biographische Notitzen” Seyfried served as such – he is, too, for the

disastrous  first  performances  of  Fidelio

on which he reports in the “Biographische Notitzen” here …



– for which von Dommer in ADB sees the period from 1800 till 1812/13 while Rolland stays closer to the master himself :

“ The Eroica and the Appassionata were in Beethoven’s eyes the culminating peaks of his genius. Speaking generally, the works of this period of three years (1803-1806) remain his favourites until near his death … Among these privileged works Leonore occupies a special position. He placed it on the same height as the others, and he loved it more because it had suffered more … It is one of the Great Days of music. It inaugurates an era ” (Beethoven the Creator, 1929, pp. 207 + 101) –




which is sketched in the “Biographische Notitzen” here.

And what a rank von Seyfried held at his time is documented by the 1700 performances of his own works placing him “ahead of all by far, followed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with 400”. Nevertheless in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie 125 years ago Schletterer saw his lasting compositional achievement in his religious compositions, concluding with the words:

“ He  was  as  great  an  artist  as  an  amiable  man .

His  portrait  in  lithograph  by  Kriehuber  was  published  in  Vienna  (in  1829) .”

His own burial accordingly “with an immense crush of all classes”. And the “Österreichische Morgenblatt” of Sep. 1st, 1841, classified him

“ into  the  society  of  immortal  composers

Beethoven  and  Franz  Schubert … ‘In  their  union  he  is  the  third’ … ”

Thus this is the man we owe to this

Contemporary  autograph  document

of  great  warmth

and  beauty  of  expression .

The writing of which reflecting at least partly the personal affection wielding the pen. Striking chords by this as only an autograph manuscript can strike. Since

“ only  by  the  soul … the  beauty

and  the  intellectual  value  of  autographs

can  be  realized ”

( Stefan Zweig ) .

Meanwhile enlarged in continuation of the Notitzen by the core manuscript of the Character Traits and Anecdotes. – See the complete description.

Offer no. 15,767 / price on application

“ … I was digging and I found you. I needed to tell you that your collection for whatever reason has brought tears to my eyes. Thank you … I’m not a collector, or I haven’t known myself to be … I was going to sell this (sheet), but I just may have discovered that I’m to keep this for whatever reason. Have you made a collector out of me … For all your devotion, hardwork … I thank you ”

(Mrs. D. H., June 17, 2002)