At the 175th Anniversary of Death of
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
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. ”
England-statement of most beautiful content
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 … ” )
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 …
THUS INTO THIS MOST EXTRAORDINARY CREATIVE PERIOD
– 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) –
THE CLOSE CONNECTION
BETWEEN BEETHOVEN AND SEYFRIED
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
„ Ich wollte mich sehr bedanken, das Dokument ist tadellos und sicher gestern angekommen. Ich wollte Ihnen auch fragen wie es möglich wäre andere ähnliche antiquarische … Dokumente zu finden. Ich freue mich auf Ihre Antwort “
(Mr. L. M., October 13, 2010)