AGE 51 - 52 [1822]

Compiled by Gary D. Evans

Last Updated: March 29, 2017 7:55 PM

 

THE LAST DECADE
VIENNA 1822 (Age 51)
      THREE INSCRIPTIONS UNDER GLASS ON
       HIS DESKTOP IN THESE LATER YEARS:

           * I am that which is.
           * I am everything that is, that was, and that will be.
              No mortal man has lifted my veil.
           * He is of himself alone, and it is to this aloneness
              that all things owe their being.

       From Schiller's Die Sendung Moses, 'Moses' Mission, a philosophical conte
       in an Egyptian setting [L. Dec p118]

Beethoven continued to create masterpiece after masterpiece during this period, despite bouts of crippling illness. His brother Johann helped with managing his business dealings and helped augment Beethoven's income through negotiation and finding older works that could be published.

HIS LATE STYLE CAN BE CHARACTERIZED AS:

* Highly concentrated exploration of counterpoint and polyphonic textures
* Serious interest in Bach and Handel [Anderson Letter #955]
* New awareness of church modes * utilization of baroque-style "theme types" w/ specific symbolic meanings
* A return toward instrumental recitative
* Preclassic richness of ornamentation for expressive purposes
* Heightened preoccupation w/ monothematic development and variation procedures e.g. Use of trill w/ increased emotion
* Use of simple material to contrast and reveal Aggr. dotted rhythmic polyphonic textures --> irresistible motion & unbearable strain.
* Per Kidderman - This style can be interpreted as an attempt to unify binary tension between: "personal suffering and celestial ... and
*
The aesthetic world enlarged to embrace the anaesthetic - the world beyond"



WORKS CREATED
Op 110: Piano Son.#31 bA Rewrote the last movement after submitted Dec. 1821
Op 111: Piano Sonata #32 in c

(Autograph score begun Jan13, compl. by Feb w/ revised ver. by Apr10) (Last piano sonata written by B.) (1st mvmnt last ex. of c mood w/ stress placed on dim.7th chds in turb. dissonance. 2 mvmnts only. Sellesinger asked B. whether 3rd mvmnt mistakenly omitted. B.: "no time to write a finale, and so had therefore somewhat extended the 2nd mvmt. End of arietta mvmnt is an end w/o return - farewell to art form of sonata in gen. The 2 mvmnts desc. as: Samsara & Nirvana; Here & Beyond; Resistance & Submission; Real & Mystical world. (See Thomas Mann's Dr. Faustas. Chptr devoted to it w/ char., Wendell Kretzschmar desc. a portion.

"The opening few bars of op 111 are a cry of agony rather than a shout of defiance, and they are followed by a wonderful few bars in which B. seems to be looking with tender amazement at his own human ________, turning it in his hands as though to discover its meaning [L.Decade pg223]

Op 113: Ruins of Athens overture (new adaptation - see text & "Wosich die Pulse" chorus (written Sep for Vienna Josephstadt th. opening Oct 3-6)
Op 114: Piano v. of chorus for Ruins (Oct)
Op 121b: Song "Offerlied" (Dec) (1st sk 1796) (2nd WoO126 1798) (3rd vers. 1803) (This is 4th) (rev 1824)
Op 122: Song "Bundeslied" (Dec)
Op 123: Missa completed early 1822 [L.Decade pg 222]
Op 124: Overture to "Die Weiche des Hauses" (Consecration of the house) (Inaugural drama - Josephstadt opening)
Op 125 9th Symphony - further sketches (w/ sketches for 10th symp.in bE - Oct) (Idea for ode dates to before 1793)
Op 127: String Quartet #12 in E (early planning) completed May 1825 [L. Decade pg223]
Op 128: Arietta "Der Kuss" (Nov-Dec)
WoO 98: Song, Chorus w/ soprano solo and orch. For "Die Weihe des Hauses"
WoO 3: "Gratulations-Menuette" (Oct) (Ded. to Karl Holz)

 

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
DATE
LIFE NOTES
* Karl's schooling = ~2000 fl / yr and plus B's style of living -> debt accumulated. He sold the Missa (being written) to multiple sets of people incl: F.Brentano, Simrock & CF Peters Pub Co.
Jan 1
Elected honorary member of Steiermarz Musical Society.
Jan
B. again ill w/ "gout in the chest" x5-6 mo.
Jan 13
Autograph score of Piano Sonata op111 begun
Feb
Fidelio Overture and Meeresstille published
Feb
Piano Sonatas op110, op111 sent to Schlesinger in Berlin
????
Henrietta Gertrude Sontag, 16yo and companion Caroline Unger came to Vienna, met B; they were later given the solo parts of the Missa and the Ninth symphony. [VH#1 p25]
Apr 6
Letter to Ries: "I am still thinking of coming to London, if only my health would permit, possibly next spring?!" ... "I am, as always, completely devoted to my muses, and in this alone do I find the happiness of my life. I also act and work for others as best I can....You have 2 children; I have one (my brother's son). But you are married, so your two do not cost you as much as the one costs me." [Wegeler/Ries p134]
Apr 9
B. agreed to sell Schlesinger the Mass & a piano arrangement of it for 650 reichsthaler (975 fl. CM) although already promised to Simrock. (Possibly because of error made by Simrock in calculating currencies in transaction w/ result that B. would receive less than understood amount. [L. Dec p44]
Apr 10
Piano Sonata op111 revised with new finale - sent to Schlesinger in Berlin
April
Rossini, while visiting Vienna, had brief interaction with Beethoven but because of the language differences and Beethoven's deafness - the conversation was brief.
Apr
Schubert hand delivered a copy of his piano duet variations op10 (D624) to Beethoven to whom they were dedicated.
May
Moved to Oberdobling: 135 Alleegasse (now Pyrkegasse 13) through June.
May
Nikolaus Johann took a winter residence w/ his wife's Viennese relatives.
May 18
C.F. Peters - Leipzig publisher wrote to Beethoven requesting composition (?? Which Compositions - subjects ??)
May19
B. promised Brentano, acting as his agent, that Simrock would soon receive the score of the Missa Solemnis [L.Dec p44] as Beethoven had retrieved it from Archduke Rudolph May 16
May 21
Goethe received a dedicatory copy of Meeresstille from Beethoven
May 24
Rocklitz (of Allegemeine Musikalische Zeitung) arrived in Vienna for a 9 week stay.
June 5

Beethoven offered Peters the Mass, Diabelli Variations, several songs, military marches, a wind Trio WoO 28, and piano bagatelles, a piano sonata, and a string quartet for publication.
?? exact work offered ??

June-Sept
Series of letters between Beethoven and Peters through which the Mass was sold (again) along with several other works for a total of 360 fl. CM - paid in advance.
July
Piano Sonata op110 published; German edition of Folksong variations op108 published
July 31
Beethoven, in debt to Steiner, Artaria, Brentano, and his brother Johann asked Johann for another loan.
Aug 2
Rocklitz left Vienna
Aug 22
Beethoven offered the Missa Solemnis to Artaria having decided not to sell to Schlesinger.
Sept 2
Karl Hensler met with Beethoven with a plan to produce an opera to be performed at the Josephstadt Theater in Vienna with Beethoven's Die Ruinen von Athen adapted by Carl Meich (?) - as 'Die Weihe des Hauses'. Beethoven therefore spent September composing a chorus 'We sich die Pulse' and a new overture op124 for it.
Oct 3-6
Die Weihe des Hauses performed at the Josephstadt Theater in Vienna with Beethoven directing from the piano.
Oct
Sketches of 9th and 10th Symphonies made and WoO 3 Gratulations -Menuett composed.
Oct
Piano version of a chorus for Die Weihe des Hauses op114 published.
Nov 3
Gratulations - Menuette WoO 3 performed at a private serenade for Karl Hensler
Nov 3
Fidelio put into rehearsal at Karnthnertor. B. decided to conduct the opening but w/ failure to do so at the rehearsal it was clear he could not. Umlauf was forced to deliver the news of the impossibility of B's lead; it was accepted w/ sorrow & understanding. [Imp.of Cont. p129-132]
Nov 4

Louis Schlosser [1800-1886], at age 22, had come to Vienna several months earlier to further his musical studies & attended, along w/ Franz Schubert the opening of Fidelio. The following day he met w/ the ambassador of the Grand-Duke of Hessier, Baron von Turckheim who allowed him to deliver a letter to B. from the Grand-Duke accepting a subscription to the Missa & so met B. w/ good news. In Schlossers words: "The deaf Master had not heard me enter, and it was only by stamping vigorously w/ my feet that I managed to attract his notice & he at once turned around, surprised to see a young stranger standing before him. Yet before I could address a single word to him, he commenced to excuse himself in the politest manner imaginable because he had not sent out his housekeeper, and no one had been in attendance to announce me, the while quickly drawing on his coat; and then first asking me what I wished. Standing so near this artist, crowned w/ glory, I could realize the impression which his distinguished personality, his characteristic head, w/ its surrounding mane of heavy hair & the furrowed brow of a thinker, could not help but make on everyone. I could look into those profoundly serious eyes, note the amiably smiling expression of his mouth when he spoke, his words always received w/ great interest." "My visit probably occurred shortly after he had eaten breakfast, for he repeatedly passed the napkin lying beside him across his snow-white teeth, a habit, incidentally, in which I noticed he often indulged. Steeped in my contemplation of him I entirely forgot the unfortunate man's total deafness, and was just about to explain my reason for being there to him when, fortunately, I recalled the uselessness of speaking at the last moment, and instead reverentially handed him the letter with its great seal, after he had carefully opened it and read its contents his features visibly brightened; he pressed my hands gratefully and after I had given him my visiting-card, expressed his pleasure at visit and added (I shall use his very language): 'These are heartening words which I have read. Your Grand-Duke expresses himself not alone like a princely Maecenas, but like a thorough musical connoisseur with comprehensive knowledge. It is not only his acceptance of my work which pleases me, but the value he attaches to art in general, and the recognition he concedes my activities!' " Schlosser then told him of his veneration and of seeing him at the Fidelio opening and wanting for so long to meet him. B. replied: ' But what prevented you from coming to see me in person? I am sure you have been told any amount of contradictory nonsense, that I have been described as being an uncomfortable, capricious and arrogant person, whose music one might enjoy, but who personally was to be avoided. I know these evil lying tongues, but if the world considers me heartless, because I seldom meet people who understand my thoughts and feelings, and therefore content myself with a few friends, it wrongs me.' " [Impr. of Contemp]

Also per Schlosser (Memoirs written 50 years later) - B. is paraphrased to say: "I can remember for years a theme that has once occurred to me. I alter a lot, reject and experiment until I am satisfied; and then begins in my head the development in breadth, concentration, height and depth. Since I know what I want, the basic idea never deserts me; it rises and grows, I hear and see the picture in its complete extent, as in a mould, and there only remains the task of writing it down...Ideas come I know not whence, uncalled for, indirectly or directly. I could seize them in my hands -- out of doors, in the woods, on walks, in the middle of the night, in the early morning, suggested by moods as the poet translates into words and I into sounds." [L. Decade ppg129-130]

Nov 4
Hensler held a dinner party for Beethoven at 3PM. Beethoven sat by a musical clock that played the theme of the Fidelio overture. He joked that the clock played better than the orchestra. It was during this dinner party that Schindler's first entry in Beethoven's conversation books are found.
Nov 4
Fidelio repleated in the evening with Beethoven present. There were 5 subsequent performances over the coming Winter.
Nov 9 ?
Schindler shared residence (?was this the first shared house in 1822??) w/ B. from 1822 - May 1823 (when relationship cut off until ?Spr.1824; then again few months before B's death).
Nov 9
Prince Galitzin wrote B. asking for 1-3 quartets at price to be named by Beethoven (who had been considering a similar composition in any case)..
Nov 10
The London Philharmonic Society (in correspondence with Beethoven) offered him L50 for a new symphony which Ries wrote Beethoven about 5 days later (Nov 15)
Nov 22
Beethoven wrote to Peters that he now had 2 masses, one of which was completed and that Peters could expect to receive one of them.
Nov-late
Bagatelles op119 #1-6 completed with only #6 newly created (otherwise, from work created years earlier)
Nov-Dec
Work on material promised to Peters and revised portions of the Missa were completed then work turned to the the Diabelli variations.
Dec
'Der Kuss' op128 completed.
Dec
'Bundeslied' op122 completed.?? in December ??
Late
Tried to conduct reopening of Fidelio w/o success - forced to quit the theater.
Dec 20
Letter to Ries: "Since I have been overburdened with work, I am only now able to answer your letter of 15 November - I am delighted to accept the commission to write a new symphony for the Philharmonic Society. Even if the honorarium from the English cannot be compared with fees paid by other nations, I would even compose free of charge for the foremost artists in Europe if I were not still the poor Beethoven. If only I were in London, what wouldn't I write for the Philharmonic Society! Because Beethoven can compose, thank God, though, he may not be able to do anything else in this world. If only God would restore my health, which has at least improved, then I could fulfill all the offers from all over Europe, indeed even from North America, and might yet get my life in order." ... "...I will dedicate the new symphony to you (the Ninth, with chorus)." ... "... God be with you. Cordial greetings to your wife until I am there myself. Watch out! - you believe me old, I am a young old man. As always, Yours" [Wegeler/Ries p 134-5]
Dec 23
First performance of newly composed 'Opferlied' in Pressburg (Bratislava)