AGE 53 - 54 [1824]

Compiled by Gary D. Evans

Last Updated: March 29, 2017 7:57 PM


           THE LAST DECADE
             VIENNA 1824 (Age 53)

           * 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.


* 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
* 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 joy"... and,
* "The aesthetic world enlarged to embrace the anaesthetic - the world beyond"

Op121b "Opferlied" again revised (1st 1796, 2nd = WoO126 1798 3rd 1803, 4th 1822) (B.regarded as "a prayer for all seasons"
Op 125: 9th symphony in d final revisions Delivered to pub., Schott's & Sons, Jan 1825 [letter dated Nov 1824 to Schott stated 9th & Missa not yet ready: "I hope that this condition will not last long, in which case I should immediately attend to what little remains of the revisions and send you the two works without further delay..." [Hamburger p227])
Op 126: 6 Bagatelles in G, g, Eb, b, G, Eb (begun May, completed in June) (Unlike op33 & 119, these were conceived & written as a set)
Op 127: String Quartet #12 in Eb (begun June, completed early 1825)
Op 132: String Quartet #15 in a (begun & completed 1825)
WoO 84: Waltz for Piano in Eb  
WoO 186: 2-part canon "Te solo adoro" (Jun)
WoO 187: 4-part canon "Schwenke dich" (Nov)
WoO 205g: "Tobias! Paternostergassler" (from letter #1312 to Haslinger)
Hess 57 Bagatelle in C  
Hess 263 "Te Solo Adoro," Canon for 2 voices in Eb  
Hess 285 Musical Joke, "Tobias"  
NC Mass in c# - incomplete  


Jan 8
B. helped Johanna who was ill and in financial difficulty by relieving her of legal obligation to help support Karl. In letter to her Jan8: "Our many occupations made it quite impossible for Karl and me to send you our best wishes on New Year's Day. But I know that without this explanation you are fully assured of both my own and Karl's wishes for your welfare. As for your need of money, I would gladly have helped you out with a sum. But unfortunately I have too many expenses and debts ... so that I cannot prove to you at once and on the spot my readiness to help you. Meanwhile I assure you now in writing that henceforth and for ever you may draw Karl's half of your pension...." The letter ends with: "Both Karl and I wish you all possible happiness. Your L. van Beethoven, who is most willing to help you.
Leading Viennese musical people led by Lichnowsky & including:Artaria, Streicher, Stadler, Diablelli, Fries, Kuffner, Czerny, Steiner & Dietrichstein pub. letter in 2 jrnls asking B. to present his Missa Solemnis & 9th symph. to Vienna. B. very impressed; worked w/ friends setting time & place.
9th Symphony completed by Jan-Feb and delivered to publisher - Schott's and Sons.
Now that op106, op120 nearly completed & op125 completed and sent to publisher, Thayer wrote he was "being seen again strolling through the streets of Vienna gazing into the shop-windows through eye-glasses which dangled at the end of a black ribbon, greeting friends and acquaintances as they passed" [L. Dec p58]
Schott's and Sons - Mainz, wrote to Beethoven asking him to write an article for the journal, 'Caecilia' and to send them work for their publication. [See March 10 for reply]
Feb 20
Louis XVIII sent B. gold medal.
Feb 24
B. offered Missa for 1000 fl. & 9th Sym. for 600fl. to Schlessinger w/ stipulation not to publish until 1825. [L.Dec p61] (? contract also involved 'Die Weihe des Hauses' and a not yet written out Quartet) ?? Feb 25th and detail ??
Plans for a concert with the 9th Symphony, etc. undertaken. The Theater an der Wien (Count Palffy) agreed to have the theater host the event. Proposed dates included: Mar 22, 23, or 24.
Plans finalized regarding the above concert - April 23 at the Karntnertortheater (under Duport). After much debate w/ Umlauf as conductor & Schuppanzigh as leader of orchestra.
Mar 10
B. made same offer to both Schott's of Mainz & to Probst of Leipzig as was made Feb24 to Schlessinger [L. Dec p61] To Schott's: proposed article declined, and to both - offered the Missa, the 9th, and the next quartet to be completed.
Apr 6
Missa 1st performed in St. Petersburg by Galitzin who had obtained the score through subscription..?? April 7 ??
Apr 27
Copy of the 9th Symphony sent to London Philharmonic Society
May 1
Moved to apartment in Penzing (rented for the summer) in a mansion like house, belonging to a tailor, Hadikschlossel at 43 Parkgasse (now Hadikgasse 62), by a wooden footbridge across the stream of the Wien. (B. used to shave by the window but when people discovered it was B., they would pause by on the footbridge to watch him. He therefore soon after moved again despite having paid for the entire summer.)
May 2
Rehearsal schedule set with Choral Rehearsal for the next day (May 3rd), and full rehearsals for the 4th, 5th, and 6th -- one of the three later canceled. (Which one?)
May 7
Karntnertortheater prog. "Grand Musical Concert": Ov. op124, Overture to 'Die Weihe des Hauses', parts of the Missa (Kyrie, Credo, Agnus Dei) & 9th sym. w/ Ignaz Schuppanzigh (concertmaster and conductor of the 2 Viennese court theaters, & Michael Umlauf [1781-1842] conductor w/ B.'s help (mainly in setting the tempi). Performers: Sontag - Soprano, Unger - Alto, Haitzinger - tenor, Seipelt - bass (who, at the last minute, replaced Preisinger. Theater was full to capacity. Despite B's complete deafness, he insisted on conducting the 9th (actual conductor, Umlauf remained offstage.) As the 9th ended, B., did hearing applause was turned to see them by Caroline Unger, a singer.
May 7
Publication announcement for 'Kakadu Variations' op121a
Gross receipts from the event was 2200 fl. WW leaving 420 fl. net. Someone suggested to B. that the theater that and Schindler had cheated him. A group including B, several musicians, and Schindler were sharing a dinner meal at a restaurant in the Prater. B. charged Schindler in the presence of Umlauf & Schuppanzigh. They defended Schindler & eventually left w/ him to finish their meal elsewhere. Soon after Schindler was exonerated but B's irritation w/ him persisted & led to this letter to him: "I do not accuse you of having done anything in connection with the concert, stupidity and arbitrary behavior ave ruined many an undertaking. Moreover I feel a kind of fear that some day a great misfortune may befall me owing to you. Stopped up sluices often overflow suddenly, and that day in the Prater I was convinced that in many ways you had done me great harm. In any case I would much rather try to repay with frequent small gifts the services that you do me, than have you at my table. For I confess your presence irritates me in many ways. If you see me looking not very cheerful you say 'nasty day again, isn't it?'.... I will certainly invite you occasionally, but it is impossible to have you beside me permanently, as this would upset my whole existence." The letter concludes with: "I must declare that the purity of my character does not permit me to reward your kindness to me with nothing but friendship, although I am of course willing to be of service to you in any matter connected with your welfare." [L. Dec. p60-61]
B. was having nosebleeds & spitting blood (which was most likely the result of advancing liver disease)
2nd performance of the 9th Symphony at the Redoutensaal. The Credo, and Agnus Dei of the Missa Solemnis were removed from the program, and Trio Tremate and a Rossini aria were included.) The hall was half empty and the concert was a net financial loss - underwritten by Duport. After the concert Beethoven & Schindler parted for two years until Beethoven was near death, 1826. (Karl Holz, violinist, replaced him in his secretarial help)
Moved to Baden: Schloss Gutenbrunn, Eremitage (today Sanatorium Gutenbrunn) thru Nov while Karl still at the University. (While there, worked on Galitzin quartets w/ op127 completed by Feb, 1825.) (Note: he was now simultaneously paying for 3 lodgings: Vienna, Penzing & Baden.)
Per Jeffrey Dane - was in Heiligenstadt - Kahlenbergerstrasse 26 (see
Bagatelles op126 composed
Quartet op127 begun
Karl, still studying philology at the univ. stated his desire for a military career.
July 3
Beethoven agreed to sell the Mass and the 9th Symphony to Schott's for 1000 fl and 600 fl CM respectively
July 9
Publication announcement for Diabelli's collection of Variations on his waltz theme by 50 different composers (Vaterlandisher Kunstler Verein)
Schott&Sons purchased rights to the Mass (1000 Guilders), 9th sym (600 Guilders), St. quartet op127 (to Ducats)
Sent 2nd letter to Probst in Leipzig stating that the mass (previous offer for 1000fl) is "really disposed of already" but offering the 9th symp. again, for 1000fl. [L. Dec p62]
Aug 24
Beethoven agreed to write a piano duet sonata for Diabelli for 80 Ducats; never written

Johann Andreas Stumpf (harp maker and virtuoso) visited B. from London where he had settled after leaving Germany. They had a pleasant meal together & B. played the Broadwood piano for him; spoke at length about his positive feelings toward the English & criticizing the Viennese: "but the typical Viennese talks of nothing but food and drink, and sings and pounds away at completely trivial or home-made music." They drank many toasts w/ B. very relaxed & expansive: "Today I am my real self and what I ought to be..." [L. Dec p62-3]. Having heard of B's love of Handel, Stumpf decided to send him a gift of Arnold's 40 volume Handel Edition. Stumpff reports B. as saying: "When I contemplate in wonderment the firmament and the heat of luminous bodies which we call worlds and suns, eternally revolving within its boundaries, my spirit soars beyond those stars, many millions of miles away towards the fountain from which all created work springs and from which all new creation must still flow." [L. Decade pg 282]

Oct 6
B. wrote from Baden urgently to Haslinger asking to check where 18yo Karl sleeping.
B. discovered Karl not sleeping at home in Vienna having just celebrated his 18th birthday. The next day, upon his return, B. was relieved of his great anxiety. [L. Dec p63]
Karl came to Baden w/ a friend he met at Blochlinger's, Niemetz. B. objected to his manners, etc. Karl defended his close friend vigorously. Several loud arguments w/ pounding on the piano led the landlady to request his leaving. B. therefore left Baden for Vienna [L. Dec. p63]
Return to Vienna Johannesgasse 969 (4th fl) (today:corner house Johannesgasse 1 & Karntnerstrasse (thru Apr1825) having had many quarrels w/ Karl.
Quartet op132 begun
Dec 15
Last composition lesson for Rudolph.
Dec - mid
Beethoven offered the Overture 'Die Weihe des Hauses' op124, Bagatelles op126, and the 3 songs earlier rejected by Peters to Schott's for 130 Ducats (The same offer made earlier to Probst for 100 Ducats). The fee was to go to his brother Johann to replay a debt. Schott's accepted Beethoven's offer, and brother Johann decided to send the works to them rather than to Probst.
Dec 20
London invit.-Philharmonic Society via Charles Neate w/ offer of 300 Guineas. B. asked for 100 extra for travel expenses but this was refused; the 300 Guineas offer was accepted & trip was planned. (B. did not carry out this planned trip despite the urging of Karl, his brother Johann & others. It is probable that he declined as his experience w/ the conducting of Fidelio & the prospect of conducting in a country speaking another language w/ his state of deafness was disaster prone. [L. Dec p65] )