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The University of Connecticut 
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MT 130.B43G8 
and his nine symphonies, 

w™«.«^ 0067 4 3fifi 4 









London : NOVELLO AND COMPANY, Limited. 

New York: THE H. W. GRAY CO., Sole Agents for the U.S. A 







1?0 3S 

xREFACE ••• ••• •-<• 

List of Symphonies 

Symphony No. 1 


Symphony No. 2 ... 
Beethoven's ' Testament * 
^ Symphony No. 3 

Do. No. 4 

The Love-Letters 
Beethoven at Gneixbndorf 
\y Symphony No. 5 

Do. No. 6 

Do. No. 7 

Do. No. 8 

Do. No. 9 


















This book is addressed to the amateurs of this country, who 
have so immensely increased during the last fifty years with 
the increase of good and cheap performances — a movement 
headed by the Crystal Palace, under the wise and able 
direction of Mr. Manns. In short, it is a humble endeavour 
to convey to others the method in which an amateur has 
obtained much pleasure and profit out of works which in 
their own line are as great as Shakespeare's plays. 

It would be presumptuous in me to attempt to interest 
professional musicians, who naturally know already all that 
I have been able to put together, and much more ; and in a 
more complete and accurate manner. 

Some readers of these imperfect remarks may possibly 
wish to pursue such investigations farther; and I therefore 
will give the names of the principal books which I have found 
useful in my studies : — 

1. Scores: 

These should always, if possible, be the original 
editions ; they were approved by Beethoven himself, 
and whatever their faults, they come nearer his wishes 
than subsequent editions. I have given the full title- 
page in the case of each Symphony. 

2. Letters : 

Briefe Beethovens . . . von Dr. Ludwig Nohl. 

Stuttgart, 1865. 
Neue Briefe Beethovens . . von Dr. Ludwig Nohl. 

Stuttgart, 1867. 


83 neu aufgcfimdene Original - Briefe Ludwig van 

Beethovens . . . von Dr. Ludwig Ritter von 

Kochel. Wien, 1865. 
Beethoven's Letters . . , translated by Lady 

Wallace. 2 vols., London, 1866. 
A vast number of fresh letters are given m Mr. Thayer's 

Biography. — See below. 
8. Biographies, &o. : 

Wegeler und Ries, Biographische Notizen • , • 

Coblenz, 1838, 1846. 
Schindler, 'Biographie von L. van Beethoven . • • 

Edition 3. 2 vols., Miinster, 18G0. 
* Aus dem Schwarzspanierhaus ' (the house in which 

Beethoven died), by G. von Breuning. Vienna, 

Ludwig van Beethovens Leben (1770-1816) . . • 

A. W. Thayer, 3 vols. Berlin, 1866-72-79. 
4. Catalogues, &o. : 

Thematisches Verzeichniss der im Druck erschienenen 

Werke Beethovens, Edition 2, von G. Nottebohm. 

Leipzig, 1868. 
Chronologieches Verzeichniss der Werke Ludwig van 

Beethovens, von A. W. Thayer. Berlin, 1865. 
Ein Skizzenbuch von Beethoven (Symphony No. 2) 

. . . von G. Nottebohm. Leipzig, 1865. 
Ein Skizzenbuch von Beethoven (Eroica) . . . von 

G. Nottebohm. Leipzig, 1880. 
Beethoveniana . . . von G. Nottebohm. Leipzig, 

ZweiteBeethoveniana,vonG. Nottebohm. Leipzig,1887. 

If, in addition to the above, there could be published 
photographic fac-sirniles of the autographs of the Symphonies 
of which autographs exist, everyone would virtually have in 
his hands Beethoven's own MSS., which would be invaluable. 


The beautiful fac-nmiles lately publiohed of his Sonata in 
A flat, Op. 26, by Dr. Erich Prieger (Bonn : F. Cohen, 1895), 
and the specimens of Bach's handwriting which form Vol. 44 
of the edition of the Bach-Gesellschaft (Leipzig, 1894), show 
what excellent work can be done in this direction, and I am 
not without hope that the proposal which I made in 1891, 
and which was so warmly received, may still be carried out. 

I am anxious to express my obHgations to several friends 
who have kindly given me their valuable help in my work, 
besides those whose assistance is acknowledged in the course 
of the volume. To Mr. Edward F. Pember, Q.C., Dr. F. 
E. Gladstone, Mrs. Victor Henkel, Mr. F. G. Shinn, Mr. F. 
G. Edwards, Mr. S. P. Waddington — to all these and others 
I am under a deep debt of gratitude, of which this expressioi? 
is a very inadequate equivalent. 


Lower Sydenham, 
29th February, 1896. 

The early demand for a Second Edition has given me the 
opportunity of correcting a few errors of the press, and some 
inaccurate references, which had escaped me before, as well as 
of adding an Index. 

BrdiJurw, 1896. 






Date of completion 
when ascertainable. 

Date of first 




April 2, 1800. 
April 5, 1803. 
April 7, 1805. 





E flat . . 



August, 1804 


Bflat .. 



March, 1807. 


C minor 





December 22, 1808 


December 22, 1808 


May (?) 13,1812 

December 8, 1813. 




October, 1812 

February 27, 1814. 


D minor 



August, 1823 

May 7, 1824. 

Beethoven was born December 16th, 1770, and died 
March 26th, 1827. 

SYMPHONY No. 1, in C major (Op. 21). 

Dedicated to the Baron van Swieten. 

Adagio molto (88 J) : Allegro con brio (112__iJ). (C major.) 

Andante cantabile con moto (120 J ). (F major.) 

Menuetto e Trio (108_J.). (C major.) 

Finale, Adagio (63 ^ ) : Allegro molto e vivace (88 i;*). (C major.) 

The metronome-marks to Symphonies I. to VIII. are taken from the 
table given with the Allg. musikalische Zeitung for Dec. 17, 1817, which 
purports to have been settled by the composer himself with Maelzel's 

The Symphony is written for the following instruments, which, in this 
and all the other cases, are gi^en in the same order as in the original 
score, beginning at the top of the page. 

2 Drums (in C, G). 
2 Trumpets. 
2 Horns. 
2 Flutes. 
2 Oboes. 

2 Clarinets. 

2 Bassoons. 

Violins, 1st and 2nd. 



being one flute and two clarinets more than are employed by Mozart in 
the ' Jupiter ' Symphony. In the Andante one flute only is employed. 

The score is an 8vo of 108 pages, published by Simrock in 1820. 
• I" Grande Simphonie en Ut majeur (C dur) de Louis van Beethoven. 
Oeuvre XXI. Partition. Prix 9 Frs. Bonn et Cologne chez N. Simrock. 
1953.' The parts were published by Hoffmeister & Kiihnel, Bureau 
de Musique (now Peters), Leipzig, end of 1801. 

In hearing this Symphony, we can never forget that it is 
the first of that mighty and immortal series which seem 
destined to remain the greatest monuments of music, as 
Raffaelle's best pictures are still the monuments of the highest 
point reached by the art of painting, notwithstanding all that 
has been done since. Schumann has somewhere made the 


just remark that the early works of great men are to 
be regarded in quite a different lighf from those of writers 
who never had a future. In Beethoven's case this ia 
most true and interesting, and especially so with regard to 
the First Symphony. Had he died immediately after com- 
pleting it, it would have occupied a very different position 
from what it now does. It would have been judged and loved 
on its merits ; but we should never have guessed of what 
grander beauties and glories it was destined to be the 
harbinger, or have known the pregnant significance of its 

The autograph of the Symphony is lost, and no evidence ia 
known to exist by which the date of its completion can be 
determined. Probably it is only mislaid, and some day will 
be revealed with that of Schubert's Gastein Symphony, 
Beethoven's own Eroica, and other such treasures. Meantime 
sketches for the Finale are found among the exercises which 
Beethoven wrote while studying counterpoint under Albrechts- 
berger in the spring of 1795. One of these is quoted by 
Nottebohm, in his *edition of Beethoven's studies, as 
occurring, with sketches for * Adelaide,' amongst the fugues 
alia decima and duodecima ; and they probably show how the 
impatient student relieved his mind when the counterpoint 
became too tiresome for him. It was five years later before 
the Symphony came to a hearing ; since it was first performed 
in public in 1800, on the 2nd April, at a concert given by its 
author in Vienna. It is not only the first Symphony which 
he performed or published, but apparently the first which he 
completed. Its date brings home to us in an unmistakable 
manner the deliberate progress of Beethoven's creations. In 

* Beethovens Studien . . . von Oustav Nottebohm. Erster Band. Leipzig, 
Rieter-Biedermann, 1873, page 202. See also Nottebohm's remarks in his 
Zweite Beethoveniana, 1887, page 228. He seems, however, in these latter 
remarks to have changed his miud, and to consid/»«- the sketches as belonging 
to an earlier work than Op. 21. 


1800 he was thirty years old, and it is startling to recollect 
that at that age (in 1786) Mozart had written the whole of his 
Symphonies save the three masterpieces; and that though 
Schubert was but thirty-one when he died, he left a mass of 
compositions, including certainly nine, and probably ten 
Symphonies behind him. The work is scored for the usual 
orchestra of Haydn and Mozart, with clarinets in addition, 
which they very rarely employed in their Symphonies, 
but the use of which Beethoven probably learned from 
Mozart's operas. The ease with which he handles the 
orchestra in this his first large work is somewhat remark- 
able. His only orchestral practice before it would seem to 
have been his two Cantatas, written in 1790 on the death of 
Joseph II. and the accession of Leopold II. ; the first move- 
ment of a Violin Concerto in C, and his two Pianoforte 
Concertos, in *B flat and in C. The Symphony is dedicated 
to the Baron van Swieten, a friend of Beethoven's, when a 
stranger in Vienna, as he had been of Mozart's (who spells 
his name Suiten) and Haydn's before him. This, however, 
is on the Parts, which were published by Hoffmeister and 
Kiihnel (now Peters), of Leipzig, at the end of 1801. In 
the earliest score, that of Simrock (8vo, No. 1953, published 
in 1820), the Baron's name is omitted. What honorarium his 
patron may have bestowed is not known ; but in the list of 
compositions offered by Beethoven to Hoffmeister (1801) the 
Symphony figures at the modest price of 20 ducats, or £10. 

i^I. The work commences with a very short intro- 
ductory movement, Adagio molto. In his 2nd, 4th, and 7th 
Symphonies Beethoven has shown how extended and indepen- 
dent such Introductions can be made ; but the present one, 
like many of Haydn's, is only twelve bars in length, of no 
special form, and merely serving as a prelude to the work. 
Though short it is by no means without points of historical 

* The B flat, though numbered second, was composed before the other. 


interest. The opening may not seem novel or original to us» 
but at that date it was audacious, and amply sufiScient to 
justify the unfavourable reception which it met with from such 
estabhshed critics of the day as Preindl, the Abbe Stadler, 
and Dionys Weber, some of whom established a personal 
quarrel with the composer on this ground : — 

That a composition professing to be in the key of should 
begin with a discord in the key of F, and by the third bar be 
in that of G, was surely startling enough to ears accustomed 
to the regular processes of that time. Haydn has begun a 
Quartet (in B flat, Pohl, No. 42) with a discord of 6-4-2 ; and 
John Sebastian Bach, who seems to have anticipated every- 
thing that later composers can do, begins his Church-Cantata* 
• Widerstehe doch der Siinde ' with the formidable discord of 
7-5-4-2 on a pedal. Beethoven was thus not wanting in 
precedents, if he had known them, which he probably did not. 
The proceeding, at any rate, evidently pleased him, for 
he repeats it, with even an additional grain of offence, in the 
Overture to his Ballet of Prometheus in the following year. 
Another of his compositions beginning with a discord is the 
Pianoforte Sonata in E flat (Op. 31, No. 3). We shall see that 
the * Eroica ' Symphony was originally intended to open with 
a discord, a chord of the 6-5 on D ; but this, it is hardly 
necessary to say, was abandoned. The opening of the 
present work was an experiment ; the sharp staccato chorda 

♦ Bachgesellschaft. Vol. XII., Part ii., p. 61. 


in the strings, which never can be effective, even in the 
largest orchestra, when overpowered by loud holding notes in 
the wind, he abandoned in the Prometheus Overture; and 
when he again employs them (in the opening of the Fourth 
Symphony) the wind is carefully hushed, and marked pp. 
The interest of the discord resides in the fact that Beethoven 
was even then suJB&ciently prominent to put such Fathers of 
the Church as the critics named on the qui vive for his heresy. 
In the Allegro which succeeds this Introduction there is 
not much to call for remark. The leading theme is as follows 
— three four-bar phrases in the strings, artfully protracted 
by two bars of wind — 

No. 2. 

Allegro con brio 

Wind^ — ^ (a) 

Strings tr 


And here again — in the transition from to D (bar a) — there 
is a likeness to the first subject of the Prometheus Overture, 
with which indeed the whole of this movement has much in 
common. The same transition will be found in the opening 
subject of the String Quintet in C (Op. 29), a work of the 
year 1801, and in the fragment of a Violin Concerto in C 
major, dating from about the same time. The general form 
of the figure, and the repetition a note higher, have been 
followed by Schubert in his Symphony in B flat (No. 2), 
and by Weber in his Overture to ' Peter SchmolL' 


There is another fact about this first subject which should 
be noticed — its determination to mark the key, a great 
characteristic of Beethoven. In many of the Sonatas and 
Symphonies (No. 2, the 'Eroica,' No. 8, No. 9, &c.) the chief 
subject consists, as it does here, of Httle more than the notes 
of the common chord of the tonic repeated ; * so that,' in the 
words of an eminent *musician of the present day, 'the 
principal key shall be so strongly established that even the 
most stupid persons shall be able to realise it.' 

The second subject, in the * dominant ' — key of G — 
according to rule, is very melodious and agreeable, and the 
arpeggio accompaniment in the strings, borrowed from bar 4 
of the first theme (see No. 2), and the broken accents in bars 
5 and 6, make it very continuous and lively — 

No. 3. 

It again is akin to the analogous subjects in the Overture to 
Prometheus and the C major Quintet ; and all these are of 
the type which was given by Mozart in his Overture to the 
Clemenza di Tito. (See Jahn's Mozart, Transl. iii., 293.) 

A very effective and original passage — almost to be called 
an episode — arises out of this theme ; where the bass has a 
portion of the subject in the minor, with a separate melody 
above it, first in the oboe and then in the oboe and bassoon 
in octaves. It is preceded by an emphatic bar closing in G 

• Dr. Hubert Parry, Proceedings of Musical Association, xv. p. 28. 


major; and the contrast of the sudden pianisaimo and the 
change of mode is both effective and characteristic — 

No. 4. 



P cres. 



1 1 .. . r 




^'^ *-kJJ 

1 rj ^#i> 



-|W. _ >•* 


^■P#f f" 

The modulations — G minor, B flat, E minor, and G major — 
are worthy of notice. 

The first part of the Allegro ends with a short Coda of nine 
bars, containing a new phrase — 

No. 5. 

and a passage for the wind alone. The first part is then 
repeated, according to the excellent rule laid down by Haydn. 
In the ' working-out,' which follows the repeat, there is not 
much to call for remark, except the prevalence of imita- 
tive progressions, which would have pleased his master, 
Albrechtsberger, but which Beethoven soon moderated 
when left to himself. Of these we may quote one or two, 
which will be recognised in the course of the working-out- 
No- s- Flute 

Viol. 1.1*" 



and tins : — 

No. 7. Strings 

Another refers to the principal subject (see No. 2), and is 
admirably divided among the wind instruments — 

Fi. rfl L^ ^ — — — P^ 

Ob. fe/.-^ = bJ. bi J li*L -^ bJ. b J 

No. 8. 







Fag. L-fl Viol!ui 

The recapitulation is shortened, and shows great differences 
in the instrumentation. The Coda which closes the first 
movement, after repeating in the tonic the phrase already 
quoted as No. 6, combines the wind instrument passage 
with the first subject (No. 2), and goes on for forty bars 
in all. It is an early and good example of a feature which, 
though not Beethoven's invention (see, for instance, the FinaU 
to Mozart's ' Jupiter ' Symphony), was but rarely used by 
previous writers of Symphonies, and first became a prominent 
characteristic in his works. 

v^ II. The second movement, Andante cantabile con moto, 
which begins as follows — 

No. 9. Andante cantabile con moto. 

Viol. 2. CeUo'J;_> • ^^ *°' 

is an old and well-known favourite. Here again we have 
occasionally to remark passages which recall the strict 
contrapuntal school of Albrechtsberger. On the other hand, 
there is an elegance and beauty about it far above any school, 
and worth any amount of elaborate ornamentation ; as well as 
continual little sallies of fun and humour. The beginning of 
the second part of the movement is a perfect example of this. 



After the last quotation is completed the theme is continued 
in this elegant style — 

No. 10. 

An original passage will be noticed in which the drum has 
an independent solo part — 

No. 11. Drum 



The passage comes over three times, first on G, with the 
trumpets in octaves, as the pedal bass to the Coda of the 
first section ; next on C, at the close of the working-out, 
immediately before the recapitulation ; and again, on C, in 
the passage analogous to the first occurrence. In order to 
carry this out Beethoven, probably for the first time in the 
annals of the orchestra, has tuned his drums, not according 
to practice in the key of the movement, which being F 
would require F and C, but in the key of the dominant, C — 
namely, in C and G. This passage foreshadows his remark- 
able individual use of the drums and other instruments in his 
subsequent orchestral works. It is the direct parent of the 
drum solos in the Andante of the Fourth Symphony, the Finale 
of the Fifth Pianoforte Concerto, the opening of the Violin 
Concerto, &c. The recapitulation itself is prepared for by seven 
elegant bars of dotted semiquavers in the first violins (soli), 
and two calls in the clarinet and bassoon, of charming effect. 
The dialogue-passages, in short phrases, between the bassoon, 
oboe, and flute, in the second portion of this beautiful Andante, 
will not escape the listener. They might be the parents of 
Schubert's performances in this direction ; and a lovely echo 
of them will be found in Brahma's First Symphony. How 

OroYC— Beethoven's Nine SymphonieB.—NoYello's Edition. B 



such short phrases can be so beautiful will always be 
aslonishiDg.— Otto Jahn in his Mozart (Transl. i., 825) draws 
attention to a likeness between the close of this movement and 
a passage in the corresponding movement of a Pianoforte 
Concerto of Mozart's in E flat, dated 1777 ; but I have not 
been able to compare them. 

III. The Minuet and Trio form the most original portion of 
the work. And they are original in every sense of the word. 
In the former, though he entitles it Minuet, Beethoven 
forsook the spirit of the minuet of his predecessors, increased 
its speed, broke through its formal and antiquated mould, and 
out of a mere dance-tune produced a Scherzo^ which may 
need increased dimensions, but needs no increase of style or 
spirit, to become the equal of those great movements which 
form such remarkable features in his later Symphonies. The 
change is less obvious because Beethoven has adhered to the 
plan and measure of the old Minuet and Trio, instead of 
adopting others, as Mendelssohn did in his Scherzos, and he 
himself in at least one instance, the Allegretto vivace of 
the Sonata in E flat. Op. 31, not to speak of the Trio 
of the Ninth Symphony, both of which are in 4-4 time. But 
while listening to this movement we have only to bear in mind 
the best Minuets of Haydn or Mozart to recognise how great 
is the change, and to feel that when Beethoven wrote this part 
of his First Symphony, he ' took a leap into a new *world.' 
The movement begins as follows — 

No. 12. 

Allegro molto e vivace. 

* Tliese words are the late Mr. J. W. Davison's, a voluminous and soand 
eommentator on Beethoven. 



Some of these phrases are actually used in the Scherzo of the 
Seventh Symphony — 

No. 13 

and they maintain in a very material way the connection 
between the ' Minuet ' of Beethoven's First Symphony and the 
gigantic movements which fill its place in the latest ones. 
Indeed it may be said that we should never have known the 
full meaning of this Minuet unless we had the Scherzo of 
the Seventh Symphony to interpret it by. 

It is the second portion of this 'minuet,' beyond the double 
bar, that Beethoven has made most use of in the bold modu- 
lar o-ni and shifting colours with which he develops his idea, 
until the small canvas glows with the vigorous and suggestive 
picture. The modulation into B flat minor, and the unexpected 
and masterly escape back to major and the original theme, 
though familiarly known to musicians, may well be quoted 
here. The characteristic way in which Beethoven has em- 
phasized this modulatory passage by accompanying it with two 
notes out of the theme itself is very interesting — 

No. 14. 


This movement was a distinct novelty in 1800. When some 
wie was discussing with Haydn a rule of Albrechtsberger, 



Beethoven's master, that in strict composition all fourths 
should be absolutely banished, the old composer— with a 
characteristic combination of sense and daring, qualities in 
which he almost equalled his great successor — broke off the 
conversation with the words, * What nonsense ! how much 
more to the purpose it would be if someone would show us 
how to make a new minuet' (Griesinger, p. 114). Here, if 
he had ever heard it, he would surely have found the new 
minuet he sought for 1 Would he have approved of it when • 
he did hear it ? 

The Trio, or intermezzo between the so-called Minuet and 
its repetition, departs a long way from the original plan, 
under which the Trio was only a second minuet. It is here a 
delicious dialogue betw^een the wind and stringed instruments — 


8va. ■ &c. 

A similar alternation of wind and strings will be found in the 
Trio of the Fourth Symphony, though in a more ethereal style 
than here. 

IV. The Finale is throughout as bright as bright can be, 
but it must be confessed that it is more in the sprightly 
vein of Haydn than in that of the Beethoven of later years. 
The humorous and coquetting passage, for instance. Adagio 
and six bars in length, with which the movement starts, and 
which leads up to the first theme — 

No 16. 


^ E^-^,, 



is, both in itself and in the manner of its recurrence, quite 
in the vein of the 'Father of the Orchestra.' — Among the 
curious stories told of the treatment of Beethoven's Sym- 
phonies by conductors, not the least curious is the fact that 
Tiirk, a considerable musician, when director of the Musical 
Society at Halle in 1809, always omitted this passage because 
he felt sure that it would make the audience laugh I Strange 
impertinence on the part of Tiirk I If Beethoven wanted us to 
laugh, why should we not ? Its author had certainly no such 
feeling towards the passage, for he has introduced a similar one 
into the Cadenza which ends the Allegro in the Finale of his C 
minor Concerto (Op. 37 j, which was completed in 1800 : — 

No. 17. 

The first theme itself is in two portions, each of eight bars — 

No. 18. Allegro molto e vivace. 

In the sketch of the Finale alluded to in the opening of these 
remarks the subject appears in the followiug form — 

No. 19. 



The phrase of accompaniment quoted at a. No. 18, ia 
used in ' double counterpoint ' — that is to say, it change* 



place with the melody above it, and becomes itself the tune. 
This gives rise to much imitation and repetition of recurring 
passages. The short interval between the first and second 
subjects is not yet treated in that organic way which Beethoven 
afterwards employed, but remains, as in Haydn and Mozart, 
a mere interpolation. It contains a passage on the descending 
scale — 


which recalls a similar figure in the Finale of Mozart's 
so-called ' Jupiter ' Symphony, in the same key, and which 
indeed may be found in analogous places in the works of many 
composers, including Brahms' s First Symphony. The second 
subject, running spontaneously out of the preceding, is intro- 
duced by a pretty figure in the first fiddles — « 

No. 21. 

and accompanied by a lively moving bass, as follows — 

The Coda is again of considerable length, but with the 
exception of an alteration of the introductory passage, and 
the following short phrase in the wind instruments, it contains 
nothing of importance^ 

No. 23. 

Cor. & Ob. 


Nothing can be more full of movement and spirit than the 
whole of this Finale. It never hesitates from beginning to end. 
Still it is unquestionably the weakest part of the work, and 
its frequent imitations, and progressions of scale-passages, 
give it here and there an antiquated flavour of formality or 
over-regularity which is not characteristic of our Beethoven, 
and is strangely in contrast with the novelty of the third 
movement. We have remarked the same thing, though in 
a less degree, in the opening Allegro. 

The finish and care observable throughout the work 
are very great. Beethoven began with the determination, 
which stuck to him during his life, not only of thinking good 
thoughts, but of expressing them with as much clearness and 
intelligibihty as labour could effect; and this Symphony 
is full of instances of such thoughtful pains. 

Besides the offence given by the discord of the opening, 
which has been already noticed, the work in general did not 
escape some grave censure. Thus, in an early *notice, the 
Symphony and the three Pianoforte Trios of Op. 1 are 
treated together. The Trios are mentioned with good- 
natured contempt as ' confused explosions of the overweening 
conceit of a clever young man.' But a firmer tone is taken 
with the Symphony, which is denounced as ' a caricature 
of Haydn pushed to absurdity.' In spite of such nonsense 
the work quickly became a great favourite, and is spoken oi 
in terms which now seem extravagant. Thus the AUgemeine 
musikalische Zeitung, Feb. 13, 1805, p. 321, describing a per- 
formance at Vienna, calls it * a glorious production, showing 
extraordinary wealth of lovely ideas, used with perfect connec- 
tion, order, and lucidity.' Even C. M. von Weber, always a 
keen critic of Beethoven's Symphonies, calls iifeung stromend. 
In the notices of the Philharmonic performances in the Har- 
monicon from 1823 to 1826, it is * the brilliant Symphony ' 
— • the great favourite,' and so on. 

* Repriuted in the Allg. mus. Zeitung, July 23, 1S2S, p. 488, note. 


Beethoven's principal compositions in the key of G major, 
besides the Symphony, are as follows : — 

Mass, Op. 86 ; Overtm-es to ' Prometheus,' ' Leonora * 
(1, 2, and 3), Op. 115, and Op. 124 ; Pianoforte Concerto, No. 1 ; 
Triple Concerto, Op. 56 ; String Quintet, Op. 29 ; String 
Quartet, Op. 59, No. 3; Sonatas, Op. 2, No. 3, and Op. 53; 
83 Variations, Op. 120. 

Shortly after the appearance of the Symphony an arrange- 
ment of it was published without any indication of its being 
an arrangement, and this drew forth the following protest from 
the composer, which was inserted in the Wiener Zeituiig of 
October 30, 1802.* 

* Notice. 

* I think it due to the public and myself to state that the 
two Quintets in C and E flat — of which one, extracted from a 
Symphony of mine, is published by Herr Mollo, of Vienna, 
and the other, extracted from my Septet (Op. 20), is 
published by Herr Hoffmeister, of Leipzig— are not original 
quintets, but only adaptations [translations — ubeisetzungen] 
of the publishers' doing. 

* Arrangement is a thing against which now-a-days (in 
times so fruitful — of arrangements) a composer has to strive 
in vain. But one has at least the right to demand that 
pubHshers should state the fact on the title-page, so that the 
composer's honour may not be endangered or the public 
deceived. This, therefore, it is hoped may be guarded against 
for the future. 

' I desire at the same time to mention that a new original 
Quintet of my composition, in C major, Op. 29, will very 
shortly be issued by Breitkopf and Hartel, of Leipzig. 

* LuDwiG VAN Beethoven.* 

* Tliay«r, Biography, ii., 196. Also in the Allg. mua. Zeitung, in th« 
InteUigenzblatt, for November 1802 (No. 4 of Vol. V.i. 

A composer's troubles. 17 

This protest Beethoven shortly followed by a complaint with 
reference to the last-mentioned work, in a letter which 
appeared in the Wiener Zeitung of January 22, 1803.* 
' To Amateuks op Music. 

* While informing the public of the appearance of my 
original Quintet in 0, Op. 29, so long announced, through 
Messrs. Breitkopf and Hartel, of Leipzig, I also wish to explain 
that I have no concern with the edition of that work which 
was issued at the same time by Messrs. Artaria and Mollo, of 
Vienna. I am specially driven to this explanation by the fact 
that the edition is so faulty and inaccurate as to be of no use to 
players, while, on the other hand, all has been done by Messrs. 
Breitkopf and Hartel, the rightful proprietors of the quintet, to 
make their edition as perfect as possible. 

* LuDwiG VAN Beethoven.' 

Not long before this Beethoven had discovered four bars 
which had been quietly inserted by the publisher in the proof 
of his great Sonata in G (Op. 31, No. 1), fortunately in time 
to be corrected before publication. Eiest has given an 
amusing account of the occurrence. The passage — which is 
still to be found in editions of authority — formed bars 28 to 
31 before the end of the first movement. 

Truly composers had much to suffer in those days ficm the 
publishers I 

* Thayer, ii., 214. f Ries, JVotizen, p. 88. 

SYMPHONY No. 2, in D (Op. 36). 

Dedicated to Prince Carl Lichnowsky. 

s I 

Adagio molto (84__* ) : Allegro con brio (100_r=*). (D major.) 

Larghetto (92_0i ). (A major.) 

Scherzo and Trio— Allegro (100_^.). (D major.) 

Allegro molto (152 >->). (D major.) 

2 Drums. 
2 Trumpets. 
2 Horns. 
2 Flutes. 
2 Oboes. 

2 Clarinets. 

2 Bassoons. 

1st and 2nd Violins. 



The drums are not employed in the Larghetto. 

The first score is an 8vo of 162 pages, published in 1820. 'II™* 
Grande Simphonie en E6 majeur (D dur) de Louis van Beethoven. 
CEuvre XXXVI. Partition. Prix 14 Frs. Bonn et Cologne chez 
N. Simrock. 1959.' The parts were published March, 1804, by the 
Bureau d'Arts et d' Industrie (now Haslinger), at Vienna. 

The Second Symphony appears to have been completed 
by the close of the year 1802, and is thus separated from the 
first by an inconsiderable interval. Having once broken 
the ice, Beethoven advanced rapidly on the new current. 
It is interesting to observe, in these great masters, when 
once they have tasted the sweets of orchestral composition, 
how eagerly they rush into that great career. Schumann's 
first Symphony was delayed till he wa,s thirty-one, and 
the second was produced during the same year. So, 
too, Brahms, having delayed the completion of his first 
Symphony till his forty-fourth year, composed and produced 
the second in little more than twelve months.* The summer of 

* First Symphony produced at Carlsruhe, November 4, 1876 ; second at 
Vienna, December 24, 1877. 


1802, from May to October, was passed by Beethoven at 
his favourite resort of Heiligenstadt, near Vienna ; and the 
6th of October in that year is the date of the despairing 
letter* to his brothers, usually known as ' Beethoven's Will,' 
which bewails his deafness in the most tragic manner, 
and was evidently written under the influence of one of 
those fits of depression to which, as his life advanced, he 
too often became a prey, and in apparent expectation of 
speedy death :— * As the autumn leaves fall and wither, 
so have my hopes withered. Almost as I came, so I depart; 
even the lofty courage, which so often inspired me in the lovely 
summer days, has vanished.' 'With joy I hasten to meet 
death face to face.' Such is the tone of the whole 
document. Similarly, his intimate friend Breuning, writing 
to Wegeler, says, * You could not believe the indescribable, I 
might say horrible effect, which the loss of his hearing has 
produced on -j-him.' No such feeling, however, can be traced 
in the Symphony. On the contrary, there is not a single 
desponding bar in the whole work ; it breathes throughout 
the spirit of absolute confidence and content ; not the brilliant 
exhilaration which distinguishes the Fourth of the Nine, or 
the mighty exuberant fun of the Seventh and Eighth, but 
the gaiety and satisfaction of a mind thoroughly capable and 
content with itself. Strong as were the feelings which 
dictated the * Will,' they could not last. At that season of 
life grief is rarely permanent. Beethoven escaped from the 
demon of despondency as soon as he began to compose, the 
inward voice calling so loudly and so sweetly as to make him 
forget his deafness to the outer world, and the isolation which 
distressed his affectionate and genial heart when he had 
time to brood over it. 

Important sketches for the Symphony are foimd in a note- 
book which was included in the sale of Beethoven's effects, 

* See the letter reprinted in full, p. 45. 
t Thayer, ii., 260. 


and came afterwards into the possession of Herr Kessler of 
Vienna. These note-books, of which fifty-one were dispersed 
At the sale referred to, at prices varying from 1*25 to 3 florins, 
usually consisted of one or two quires of large oblong 
music-paper, as gray and coarse as a grocer's wrapping 
paper, roughly sewn together. In these every musical idea 
as it occurred to the composer was jotted down, often only 
to be scratched out again, and re-written in an altered, though 
probably slightly altered, form. It was a • bad custom,' to 
use his own *words, which he had followed from childliood. 
It was a very fortunate custom for us, who love to investigate 
the procedure of this great inventor. But, whether a bad or 
good habit, it is most characteristic of Beethoven, and 
completely contradicts the popular idea of him as a writer 
who dashed down everything as it occurred to him — who 
wrote, as someone has said, * by flashes of lightning.' In 
fact, so tentative was he that he might have been the 
inventor of the proverb, * Second thoughts are best.' 
The quantity of music contained in the sketch-books 
is enormous. * Had he,' says one who knew them 
well, 'carried out all the symphonies begun in these 
books, we should have at least fifty.' And the same is true 
of Concertos, Sonatas, Overtures, and other forms of piece. 
A Pianoforte Concerto in D (1815), an Overture on the name 
of Bach (1822), music to 'Macbeth' (1808), may be 
named among the treasures which advanced far beyond the 
embryo stage, and barely escaped coming into the world. But 
to return to Symphony No. 2, w^hich happily was completed. 
The sketches are intermingled with others for the well-known 
set of three Sonatas for piano and violin (Op. 30) ; for the 
three noble Pianoforte Sonatas which form Op. 31 ; for the 
Trio, 'Tremate' — published many years later as Op. 116 — 
and other less important works. This very book has been 

• Letter, July 23, 1815. 


printed and published entire, with elucidatory *remarks, by 
Herr Nottebohm, the great Beethoven investigator, who has 
done so much to familiarise us with the contents of the com- 
poser's sketch-books, and with the history of his works and 
their connection with each other ; and it supplies an insight into 
Beethoven's habit of working at several things at once, as 
well as his general method of composition, which is most 
interesting and instructive to all students of his music. * I 
live only in my music,' says he, in a letter of 1800 to 
his early friend Wegeler ; * and one piece is hardly down 
before another is already begun. As I am now writing, I often 
make three and four pieces at once.' For this habit Beethoven 
was remarkable among composers, especially when the exhaus- 
tive nature of his treatment is considered. How different in 
this respect was he fi'om other great writers ! We are familiar 
with Macaulay's confession : * It is one of my infirmities, 
that I cannot heartily and earnestly apply my mind to several 
subjects together,' and he often bewails it. Goethe, too, 
says much the same : — ' If you have a great work in your 
head nothing else thrives in its vicinity.' On the other 
hand, Mr. Watts, the eminent painter, has, we believe, 
in a general way, several pictures on hand at the same time ; 
and takes them up at will, one after the other, without 
the slightest break of continuity in conception. So with 
Beethoven, each work, great or smaU, seems to thrive 
quite independently of the otherB. The sketches of the 
Symphony contained in the book alluded to appear to 
have been made in the early part of 1802, and are chiefly 
for the Finale. They occupy eleven large and closely 
written pages, and, besides scattered sketches and memo- 
randa, contain three long drafts of the movement — two of 
the first portion only, but the third of the entire Finale, The 
differences in these three are very interesting in themselves, 

* ' Ein Skizzenhuch von Beethoven. Beschrieben und , , . dargesiellt von G. 
^^ottebohm.' Leipzig : Breitkopf und Hartel (1865). 


and still more interesting as a token of the gradual, 
laborious, and pertinacious process, often to be referred to in 
these notices, by which this great genius arrived at the 
results which appear so spontaneous and bid fair to be so 

Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven's pupil, in his BiograpJiische 
Notizen, furnishes us with an interesting anecdote, a propos 
of this Symphony, illustrating the extreme care which his 
master bestowed on every note. Speaking of the Laryhetto — 
which, by the way, he calls Lar ghetto guasi Andante — Ries 
says, what everyone will agree with, that it is so lovely, pure, 
and cheerful in tone, and the motion of the instruments so 
natural, that it is difficult to conceive its having ever been 
different to what it is at present. ' And yet,' he continues, 
* an important part of the accompaniment near the beginning 
has been altered both in the first violin and viola, though so 
carefully that it is impossible to discover the original form of 
the passage. I once asked Beethoven about it, but could only 
get the dry reply. It's better as it is.' Ries is here possibly 
referring to the exquisite figures with which the violin and 
viola accompany the theme on the repetition of each portion 
by the clarinets, in the early part of the movement — an 
accompaniment which may well have suggested to Schubert 
the analogous figures in the Andante of his great Symphony 
in C. But this is mere conjecture. 

The late Mr. Cipriani Potter, who, if not a pupil of the 
great composer, spent some months in his company at Vienna 
in 1817, was fond of stating that Beethoven made no less 
than three complete scores of the Symphony before he could 
please himself. These are all lost ; and not even the last one, 
the final result of so much labour, though formerly in the 
possession of Ries, is known to exist. But remembering the 
two scores of the Leonora Overture (Nos. 2 and 3) and the 

* See an interesting allusion to this characteristic habit of Beethoven's in the 
Mcoud collection of Schiunann's Letters. Translation, Vol. II., 78, No. 184. 


evidence of Beethoven's many note-books, it is easy to believe 
Mr. Potter's statement, and equally natural to infer that 
Beethoven often re-wrote his great works, even though the 
trial copies have by accident or design vanished. Accidents 
were frequent in the establishments of composers in those 
days. Three of Schubert's large works were used by the maid 
to light fires ; and Beethoven himself, after many searches 
and much not unnaturally bad language, discovered, just 
in time, that large portions of the manuscript of his Mass in 
D had been used to wrap up boots. Much nearer to our own 
times, and in the hands of a far more careful person than either 
Beethoven or Schubert, the autograph and only manuscript 
of the unprinted first volume of Carlyle's ' French Revolution' 
was torn up day by day to light the fire ! 

The Second Symphony is a great advance on the First. In 
the first place it is longer. Compared with the First Sym- 
phony, the Introduction is thirty-three bars long instead of 
twelve, and the Allegro con brio 328 instead of 286 ; the 
Larghetto is one of the longest of Beethoven's slow movements 
— and so on. 

The advance is more in dimensions and style, and in 
the wonderful fire and force of the treatment, than in any 
really new ideas, such as its author afterwards introduced 
and are specially connected in our minds with the name 
of Beethoven. The first movement always more or less 
gives its cachet to a Symphony ; and here the first move- 
ment is distinctly of the old world, though carried out with a 
spirit, vigour, and effect, and occasionally with a caprice, 
which are nowhere surpassed, if indeed they are equalled, by 
Haydn or Mozart. Nor is there anything in the extraordinary 
grace, beauty, and finish of the Larghetto to alter this ; nor 
even in the Scherzo and Trio, which, notwithstanding their 
force and humour, are scarcely so original as the Minuet of 
No. 1 ; nor in the Finale^ grotesque and strong as much of 



it is : it is all still of the old world, till we come to the Coda, 
and that, indeed, is distinctly of the other order. 

Another characteristic which seems to mark the historical 
place of the Second Symphony is that, in the slang of modem 
criticism, it is * pure music' No one, to our knowledge, has 
ever suggested a programme or image for any of its movements, 
nor is anyone likely to do so, except for the conclusion of the 
Finale, and in hearing that images certainly do crowd 
irresistibly on the mind. This Symphony is, in fact, the 
culminating point of the old, pre-Revolution world, the world 
of Haydn and Mozart ; it was the farthest point to which 
Beethoven could go before he burst into that wonderful new 
region into which no man had before penetrated, of which no 
man had even dreamed, but which is now one of our dearest 
possessions, and will always be known by his immortal name. 

I. The Introduction, Adagio molto, though nearly three 
times the length of the last, is still too short to admit of any 
development. It opens with a great unison D, and a melodious 
passage in four-part harmony for the oboes and bassoons, 
given, on repetition, to the strings, with delightful changes 
both of melody and harmony : — 

No. 1. Adagio molto. 

Flntes & Clar. 



The rest consists of passages of imitation between bass and 
treble, and of good modulation, all couched in beautiful and 
melodious forms, and ending with a very graceful passage in 
double counterpoint over a pedal of ten bars' length on A, 
resolving into the tonic on the first note of the Allegro con brio: 


It is strange at this early date to meet with the arpeggio of 
the chord of D minor, in a shape which almost textually 
anticipates the Ninth Symphony — 
No. 3. ^.. .m. 

The opening of the principal theme of the Allegro is one of 
the passages just alluded to as belonging to the old school in 
the distinct definition and regularity of its construction — 

No. 4. Violin cres. 

Allegro con brio. 


cr&a. f 

Grov2.— Beetlioven"B Nine Symphonies.— No vello's Edition. 



But though square in cut it is by no meang wanting in 
spirit ; and the fiery flash of the fiddles in the interval between 
the two sections of the subject (bar 4 of the quotation) ia 
splendid, and gives a good specimen of the extraordinary 
energy which imbues that seraphic instrument throughout 
the entire work. 

The passage which connects this theme with the second, 
though broad and free, has not entirely lost the character of 
• padding,' which these connecting links too often bear in the 
Symphonies of the earlier masters ; and does not spring out 
of the vital material as it does in Beethoven's subsequent 
work — 

No. 5. 



The second theme itself — 

No. 6, 

Fag. 8va. 


Clars. p 

has a certain precise military air about it, but is full of vivacity, 
and is wonderfully set off by the energetic brilliancy of the 
violins, which here (bar 8), as in the first theme, rush in 
between the strains of the subject. 

On the repetition of the subject in the flutes, clarinets, 
horns, and bassoons, it is accompanied by the strings in a 



delightful tremolo, a figure which is quite a characteristic of 
this Symphony — 

strings p /■*• 

The passage which follows the second subject is cast in a 
quasi-canonical form — 

smacking strongly of the old school, and not founded on the 
materials already quoted. It is after eight bars of this con- 
necting matter that the capricious passage occurs, to which 
allusion has been already made, and which is the more 
interesting because it seems to act as a warrant for something 
similarly wilful in others of the Symphonies. Beethoven is 
about to close in the key of A, is, in fact, within one chord of 
so doing, (*) when it occurs to him suddenly to interrupt the 
close by the intrusion of ten bars — 

J 1 '"-id .-gf- ^-^ 

ff -"■ vp-w^^j^^fT^^^^' 

Is 0. 9, 



made up from a characteristic fif^ure in the first theme (see 
No. 4), and of excellent effect, but still absolutely capricious 
in their introduction here, and doubtless a great puzzle to the 
hearers of 1803. 

The working-out is masterly, not only for its contrivances 
— canon, double counterpoint, modulations, &c. — but also 
for its effects of instrumentation, beautiful solo use of the 
wind, brilliant figures for the viohns, and new accompani- 
ments to the subjects — witness especially the triplets which 
accompany the second subject in a passage shortly before the 
reprise. In the reprise itself a good deal of condensation occurs. 
The Coda, though brilliant and effective, contains no new or 
very striking features. 

II. The Lar ghetto, in its elegant, indolent beauty — which 
is seriously impaired if the movement is taken too fast— is an 
absolute contrast to the sharp, definite, somewhat peremptory 
tone of the Allegro. Its repetitions are endless, but who ever 
wished them curtailed ? 

That strain again— it had a dying fall. 

It is in A, the dominant of the original key, and is couched 
in the ordinary * first movement ' form. Its principal theme 
is ui two strains of eight bars each, each strain given out by 
the strings and then repeated by the wind, with exquisite 
enrichments in the violins — 

No. 10. ^ ^ ,, 

^ Lar ghetto 

In a book of sketches in the Bibliothek at Berlin, Mr. 
Shedlock has recently discovered the followmg fragment 



apparently a very early draft of this beautiful melody (the 
signature of A major must be understood) — 

No. 12. 

— 03^ 

1* i 








T ^^^^ 

h ' 


That given by Thayer, in his Thematisches VerzeicJmiss (No. 103), 
and by Nottebohm, in his publication of the Sketch Book of 
1802 (p. 11), already spoken of, would seem to be rather 
aimed at the slow movement of Symphony No. 5 — 

No. 13. Andante Sinfonia. 

Corni soli. 

It may have been intended for this Symphony, but can hardly 
be a sketch for the present Larghetto. 

After the repetition of the strain quoted as No. 11, a con- 
tinuation is afforded by the following melody, alternating 
between wind and string — 

No. 14. 


pi w ) Sf1 viol. 0«^ 

V jv^ 

Upon this follows the second theme proper of the movement, 
in the orthodox key of E major ; a theme which maintains the 
same character as the foregoing, with a certain pleasant, lazy 
grace inherent in its sjmcopations, both of melody and bass, 
which will be noticed in the Adagio of the Ninth Symphony. 
It is given first plain — 

So. 15. VioL 1 


BasBi P 



and then in a florid form. And this leads to a short passage 
of close harmony (the origin of which may perhaps he traced 
in a Quartet of Haydn's — No. U in Peters's Collection, * 15 '— 
f\s follows) : — 

No. 16. 








though Beethoven has added a point in the cross accents. 
He gives the passage first with the strings alone — 

No. 17, 

and then with the full band. Eight bars of fanciful drollery 
(anticipating the demisemiquavers of the next quotation) 
lead into the key of E, and to the following beautiful passage, 
which is worthy to be the second chief theme of the move- 
ment, though technically it is merely the development of the 
ordinary coda-figure. This is given out by the cellos, with 
second violins in octaves — 

Its quaint grace, the contrast of legato and staccato. 
and the air of quasi-mystery that pervades it — as if the 



^elIo3 "vvsre communicating some segreto d' importanza in 
a stage-whisper — are full of inimitable though quiet 

This ends the first section of the Larghetto and completes 
the materials of the movement. But Beethoven (with a 
curious contrast to the rough bluntness of his manners) seeme^ 
bent on showing us with what minute refinement he can set 
off, adorn, and elaborate the lovely ideas which he has thus 
laid before us in their simple form. The labour and pains 
involved in the process must have been immense ; but, 
here as elsewhere, he never spared himsdlf, and never relin- 
quished a passage till it was as good as he could make it ; 
and hence one great part of the secret of the immortality of 
his music. 

The working-out section begins at once with a modification 
of the initial theme (No. 10) in the minor, thus deiiciously 
introduced — 

No. 19. 


and developed for some considerable time with consummate 
skill, great beauty of modulation, and continual variety 
of nuance. 

As the working-out proceeds the ornamentation grows 
more and more rich, delicate, melodious, and fanciful. 
Here is a specimen of imitation, bar by bar, between 
the oboes in octaves, with bassoon a further octave lower, 
and the basses, with an elegant figure in the first violin, and 
an excitinc? iteration in the violas and cellos — 


Viol. :; L SS i 

. vioi.^^^^ i i ob.r— ] — i 

t=r=H-:^'?:=== i4 *-*U-- nrfS tt^ . ^ = 


H^- H 


VI. 2 


531 I -Bi» ■ r 1 H. ; 

The figures are so clearly and craftily designed, and the instni- 
mentation is so thin and so nicely calculated, that there is no 
difficulty in following it all in performance. These airy and 
refined ornaments may well have been Schubert's models 
for the similar enrichments which so greatly adorn the Andante 
of his great Symphony in C. We know, at any rate, that the 
movement now before us was especially dear to him, from 
the fact that he has followed it (down even to details) in the 
slow movement of his Grand Duo (Op. 140) for the pianoforte 
in C major.* And doubtless he 'heard the angels singing' 
in the Larghetto of Beethoven's Second Symphony, as we 
know that he did in the Trio of Mozart's G minor. 

So flowing and vocal throughout is this beautiful move- 
ment in its subjects, their developments and ornaments, that 
it is not surprising that it has been frequently arranged for 
voices and for instrumental chamber music. Of the former, 
one, which still commands a certain sale, dates from as early 
as the year 1831, and is a duet for two sopranos, with piano 
accompaniment, arranged by Professor Edward Taylor, and 

* Instrumented by Joachim, and played at the Crystal Palace on 
Mfirch 4, 1876. 'Siufonie von Franz Scliubert. Nach Op. 140 iustrnmbntii-t 
von Joseph Joachim.' Vienna : F. Schreiber. 



inscribed to Mr. Thos. Attwood, one of the leading musicians 
of the day. Another, published in Germany, is for soprano 
Bolo, to words by Silcher, of equal significance. 

III. The Scherzo, in D, is more individual and original than 
either of the preceding movements — though still below the 
level of the Beethoven whom we know. Its picturesqueness 
and force, the humorous alternations of soft and loud, and 
of dashes and dots (too much neglected in the recent editions), 
and the directness of the means for producing them, are 
remarkable. It opens thus — 

No. 21. Allegro. 


and after sixteen bars comes the double bar, and then the 

following piquant tune, and wild solution (again with the 
rushing fiddles) — 

No. 22. 

This is worked for some little time with a kind of obstinate 
monotony, and then repeated, till at length the first tune 
returns, this time in oboe and bassoon, heralded in the most 
saucy manner by the alternate play of the two violins — 

No. 23. 

Fag. ores. 

Nothing more picturesque and seizing can well be imagined. 



The Trio — still in D, and wanting no subtle change of key 
to make it interesting — begins with the following melody 
harmonized in four parts for oboes and bassoons, reinforced 
at the sixth bar by the horns — 




This is repeated, making sixteen bars in all. We are then, 
without an instant's warning, plunged head over ears into F 
sharp major, and, as it were, held there till the water runs 
into our eyes and ears — 

No. 25. - . . 

-f-tr-il 1|/, 1^, 

^-^H.^.J. U. 




35^ *&^:^ 



p decres. 


then as suddenly back again into D, fortissimo — 

No. 26 

Ur^. ObJ. ^. J, J 











The spirit and vigour of these two little movements are really 
astonishing. The music seems sometimes almost to fly at your 
throat. Note the constant sudden contrasts both in amount 
and quality of sound. In amount we find/, p, ff, pp alternately 
almost throughout. In quality we have first the full orchestra, 
then a single violin, then two horns, then two violins, then 
the full orchestra again, all within the space of half-a-dozen 
bars. But the end is chiefly gained by all kinds of unexpected 
changes of key, not mere senseless freaks, but chang^es both 



sudden and suitable, such as at once to rouse the attention, and, 
with all their oddity, to convince the reason and satisfy the 
taste. We start in D ; then in a moment are in B flat, then 
in A, then in D, then in F. Then there is the change already 
noticed in the Trio, into F sharp, and back at a blow into D ! 

Such changes of key and tone were too abrupt for the older 
composers. The musicians of the eighteenth century were too 
commonly the domestic servants of archbishops and princes, 
wore powder, and pigtails, and swords, and court dresses, and 
gold lace, passed their time bowing and waiting in ante- 
rooms, dined at the servants' table,* and could be abused 
and even kicked out of the room, as Mozart actually was, 
and discharged at a moment's notice like ordinary lackeys. 
Being thus forced to regulate their conduct by etiquette, and 
habitually to keep down their emotions under decorous rules 
and forms, they could not suddenly change all their habits 
when they came to make their music, or give their thoughts 
and feelings the free and natural vent which they would 
have had, but for the habits engendered by the perpetual curb 
and restraint of their social position. In this light one 
can understand the jovial life of Mozart, the skittles and 
the suppers, and all the rest. It was his only outlet, and 
must have been necessary to him — ^vital. But Beethoven 
had set such social rules and restrictions at naught. It 
was his nature, one of the most characteristic things in him, 
to be free and unrestrained. Almost with his first appearance 
in Vienna he behaved as the equal of everyone he met, and 
after he had begun to feel his own way, as he had in this 
Symphony, his music is constantly showing the independence 
of his mind. 

It is remarkable that nearly twenty years later, in the 
composition of the Trio of the Ninth Symphony, Beethoven 
should have returned to so early a work as this. The 

* This fact is specially mentioned in one of Mozart's Letters. 



following sketch, however, probably of 1818, is quoted by 
Nottebohm* — 

Wo. 27. 

Sinfonia 3tes Stuck. 

It shows, at any rate, that a moving bass, which forms so 
conspicuous a feature in the actual Trio of No. 9, was 
originally intended to be a feature of the movement. 

IV. But to go back to the work itself, it possesses what the 
First Symphony did not exhibit to the same degree, but what 
is so eminently characteristic of all the other eight — individu- 
ality. It may be possible — if a mere amateur can be allowed 
the confession— to confound for a moment in recollection 
the first movement of the First Symphony with the Overture 
to • Prometheus,' or its Finale with one of Haydn's Finales. 
But with the Second Symphony this is not possible. Each 
one of its four sections is perfectly distinct and individual in 
its own proper character, and cannot be confounded with any 
other movement in any Symphony or other composition, of 
Beethoven or of any one else. The very terms in which it is 
spoken of by the early critics show how astonishing it was to 
the public of that day. The first Allegro and the Scherzo were 
the favourite movements. The Allegro is constantly termed 
•colossal' and 'grand,' words which now could scarcely be 
applied to it with propriety. The Larghetto, strange to say, is 
hardly mentioned ; in fact, in Paris they had — so Berlioz 
tellsf us — to substitute the Allegretto from the Seventh 

* Zweite Beetlwveniana, p. 1G5, 

f Voyage Musical, Sac, Paris, 1841, i., 265, 266. 


Symphony in order to make the No. 2 {jo down at all. 
But the Finale puzzled everybody; it was so harsh (grell), 
wild, bizarre, and capricious. It was this oddity in the 
Finale — this want of decorum, rather than any obscurity 
arising from depth of thought — and the difficulty felt by the 
performers in mastering the technique of the entire work 
(which is always spoken of as extraordinarily hard to play), 
that were the two main complaints in the notices of the early 
performances. We may be thankful that we now feel neither 
of these drawbacks, and that our only sentiment is amuse- 
ment at the humour and personality of the music, delight at 
its grace, and astonishment at its energy and fire. Beside 
the Finales to Beethoven's Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, and 
Eighth Symphonies, with which we are all so familiar, that 
of No. 2 finds a lower level ; but at that date those great 
works were non-existent. The Finale to Mozart's G minor 
was the most fiery thing in that line that the world then 
possessed. But the Finale of Beethoven's No. 2 has got 
all the fire of that, with an amount of force, humour, and 
abruptness that even Mozart never evinced, and that must 
have taken everyone by surprise in 1803, and have com- 
pelled them into listening to it, against their will, against 
their aesthetic judgment and sense of propriety, and every- 
thing else. 

It is in the form called a Eondo (though not strictly that) 
and starts in the most abrupt fashion and very fast {Allegro 
molto) — 

A llegro tnoltc. 



Then comes a passage which can hardly bo called a subject 
or episode — 

No. 29. 




J— J-f 



Btrinps fi 

PI- - 




puz. \ ' I 

but its high spirits are in excellent keeping with that which 
precedes it, and it leads well into the second subject, which, 
though not extraordinary in itself, is most spontaneous, and 
very pleasant in sound, with its vocal passages for oboe and 
bassoon, and would be well calculated to allay the fever with 
which its predecessor started if its lively accompaniment were 
not too full of motion (notice here again especially the fiery 
intrusions of the viohns) — 

No. 30. 


Alleqro molto. 
Clar. Ob. 







P Fag. 

sf 1^ 


Ob. erea. 





Long as this subsidiary theme is — unusually long for 
Beethoven — it is immediately repeated in the minor ; and 
then, after a passage of padding, comes the repetition of the 
opening subject, led up to by a phrase formed out of its two 
initial notes, and accompanied by the bassoon in arpeggios. 
This leads into a working-out, with a great deal of humorous 
play, before the reprise of the original material is reached. In 
the reprise the second subject (No. 30) is repeated in D, and 
this again is followed by a long and very original Coda, 
This begins with the opening suhiect CNo. 28), but soon 



comes to a pause, first on the chord of A, with the dominant 
seventh on C sharp, and then on the chord of F sharp 
upon A sharp. And now begins the most individual and 
Beethovenish part of the entire work. It is as if, after tha 
chord of F sharp, we had passed through a door and were 
in a new, enchanted world. All that we have heard before 
vanishes. Earth is forgotten, and we are in Heaven. The 
rhythm changes ; the bass goes down octave after octave 
pianissimo, distinctly heard through the thin scoring — 

No. 31. (skek ton) 

crea. pizz. 

a fresh subject comes in in the wind ; the opening theme is once 
more alluded to, but only to lead into an entirely new thought 
— a magic shimmering, impressive as the evening sun shining 
broad and low on the ocean; a lovely flowing melody in 
the oboe and bassoon, accompanied in notes of equal value by 
the basses, and with a pedal D through three octaves in the 
horns and violins. The beauty of this passage words cannot 
describe ; it is pure Beethoven, a region full of magic and 
mystery, into which no one before ever led the hearers of 
music. After further working we arrive at another pause, 
this time on F sharp itself; a short resumption of the former 
new rhythm follows, intensified by the bass being j;i>;stcato; 
but it doea noi last ; a rapid ending, and the whole is over ! 



Such IS tliis beautiful work as it was given us by its author 
ninety years ago, at his concert on the Tuesday in Holy 
Week, 1803. And even now, after nearly a century of progress 
in music, of infinitely greater progress than that in any other 
art — after Beethoven's own enormous advance, after Schu- 
mann, Brahms, Wagner — even now, what can be newer or 
pleasanter to hear than the whole Symphony ? What more 
delicious than the alternate lazy grace and mysterious humour 
of the slow movement, the caprice and fire and enchantment 
of the Finale ? To this very day the whole work is as fresh 
as ever in its indomitable fiery flash and its irresistible strength. 
Were ever fiddles more brilHant than they are here ? more 
rampant in their freaks and vagaries, bursting out like flames 
in the pauses of the wind, exulting in their strength and 
beauty — say between the sections of the opening theme in the 
first Allegro — 

dim. P 

or between those of the second theme in the same movement- 

or in a similar position in the Finale — 

Alleg ro molto. 

or in the Larghetto — 

Had ever the bassoon and oboe such parts before ? and eo on 
throughout. Listen to it, and see if it is not so. 


In connection with the violins, I may be pardoned 
for mentioning a fact which, remembering Beethoven's 
minute attention to such points, must surely have some 
intentional significance — I mean the prominent occurrence in 
every movement of a tremolo figure — 

^ ^ ^ ^^ 

in the fiddles. It is found in the Allegro con brio, in the 
brilliant passages accompanying the first subject, in the 
equally brilliant figures accompanying the second subject, and 
in the working-out of the same movement. In the Larghetto 
it frequently occurs ; also in the F sharp passage in the Trio ; 
and in the most characteristic part of the Coda of the Finale 
it is peculiarly effective. It might almost be taken as a motto 
for the work. We shall encounter it again in the Fourth 

In some respects the Second Symphony is, though not 
the greatest, the most interesting of the nine. It shows 
with peculiar clearness how firmly Beethoven grasped the 
structural forms which had been impressed on instrumental 
music when he began to practise it ; while it contains more 
than a promise of the strong individuality which possessed 
him, and in his works caused him to stretch those forms here 
and there, without breaking the bounds which seem to be 
indispensable for really coherent and satisfactory composition. 
* The same structure,' says Wagner,* ' can be traced in his 
last sonatas, quartets, and symphonies as unmistakably as in 
his first. But compare these works one with another, place 
the Eighth Symphony beside the Second, and wonder at 
the entirely new world in almost precisely the same form.' 

It has been well said that 

Two worlds at once they view 

Who stand upon the confines of the new ; 

♦ Wagner's Beethoven— DzxnxreViiliQx'B translation (Reeves, 1880), p. 42, 
Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello's Edition. D 


and taking our stand in the beautiful work which we have 

just been endeavouring to trace, or rather perhaps in the 
Coda of its Finale, we can survey at a glance the region which 
lies behind — the music of the eighteenth century, at once 
strong, orderly, elegant, humorous, if perhaps somewhat 
demure ; and that more ideal region of deeper feeling, 
loftier imagination, and keener thrill, radiant with ' the light 
that never was on sea or land,' a region which was opened 
by Beethoven, and has since been explored by his noble 
disciples, not unworthy of so great a master. 

The Symphony was first performed on the Tuesday in Holy 
Week (' Char-Dmstag'), 5th April, 1803, at a concert given by 
Beethoven in the * Theater-an-der-Wien,' Vienna, when the 
programme included also the Oratorio 'The Mount of Olives,' 
the First Symphony, and the Piano Concerto in C minor.* The 
date of the earliest edition is March, 1804 — that is, the parts; 
the score does not appear to have been published till 1820, by 
Simrock, of Bonn. The work was dedicated to Beethoven's very 
good friend Prince Charles Liclmowsky. It was arranged by 
the composer himself as a Trio for pianoforte and strings, 
which is published in Breitkopf's complete edition, No. 90. 

The orchestra is the ordmary Haydn-Mozart one — without 
trombones, but with the addition of clarinets, and the 
orchestral effects are often strikingly like those in Mozart's 
operas, that of * Figaro,' for instance. 

We have now endeavoured to trace the two first steps in 
Beethoven's Symphonic career. The next we shall find to be 
a prodigious stride. 

He was always on the advance. Even in 1800, in forward- 
ing 'Adelaide' to Mathison the poet, he says: 'I send the 
song not without anxiety. You yourself know what change 
a few years make when one is always advancing. The 
greater one's progress in Art, the less is one satisfied with 

* Thayer, ii,, 222. The report in the A. m. Z. mentions the Oratorio only. 

Beethoven's dislike of nis early works. 43 

one's earlier works.' And he put tins maxim into practice with 
characteristic energy. The famous Septet, which at its first 
performance in April, 1800, when Haydn's oratorio was all 
the fashion, he jokingly called his ' Creation,' and which is 
now a greater favourite than ever with musicians and amateurs 
alike, he afterwards detested, and would have annihilated if he 
could. ' What is that ? ' he said, on one occasion in his later 
life to the daughter of his friend Madame Streicher, as she was 
playing the well-known ever green Thirty-two Variations in 
minor, so beloved by Mendelssohn in his late years. * What 
is that ? Why your own 1 ' * Mine ? That piece of folly 
mine?' was the rejoinder ; • Oh, Beethoven, what an ass you 
must have been I ' In 1822 a conversation is recorded with a 
Madame Cibbini, very touching when one thinks of this great 
master, whose artistic life had been one upward progress 
since the days when he began to compose. The lady said that 
he was * the only composer who had never written anything 
weak or trivial.' * The devil I am ! ' was the retort; 'many 
and many of my works would I suppress if I could.' 

Bearing this in mind, it is easy to appreciate the story 
of his biographer, Schindler, who informs us that in the 
year 1816, after the performance of the Seventh and Eighth 
Symphonies, a proposal was made to Beethoven by a resident* 
in Vienna to write two Symphonies in the style of his first 
two. No wonder that the suggestion made him furious. 
Translate the story into a literary form, and imagine Shake- 
speare being asked, after he had produced * Othello ' and 
'Hamlet,' to write a play in the style of the 'Two Gentlemen 
of Verona ' or ' Love's Labour's Lost,' and the absurdity of 
this well-meaning amateur will be apparent to everyone. 

* This is stated by Schindler (ii., 367) to have been General Ham, an 
Englishman. The fact of the proposal may be true, but I have ascertained, by 
the courtesy of the authorities at the War Office, the Record Office, and the 
Foreign Office, that no such name is to be found in the English Army Lists 
or other official documents of that day. The name is sometimes given &s 
Alexander Kyd. (HuefTer, Italian Sketches, 141.) 


A still more curious instance of the same mistake is afforded 
by a writer in the Musical World of May 6, 1836 (p. 118), a 
musician, and an eminent one too, who, in his anxiety to 
make the Ninth Symphony better known, seriously proposes 
that a Symphony of ordinary length should be made by taking 
the first and third movements of No. 9 and combining them 
with the last movement of No. 2 as a Finale ! Absurd indeed ; 
but we may be thankful that, owing to the lapse of time, such 
a mistake is not possible for us. On its first performance at 
Leipzig the work evidently caused much agitation. It was 
received by the Zeitung fur die ehgayite *Welt ' as a gross 
enormity, an immense wounded snake, unwilling to die, but 
writhing in its last agonies, and bleeding to death (in the 
Finale).' Such, however, was not the general opinion, 
though the work is always spoken of more or less with 
hesitation, and as not so safe as No. 1. 

In France it had to be considerably reduced before it could 
be put into the programme of the Concerts Spirituels of 1821, 
and, as already mentioned (p. 36), the Allegretto of No. 7 was 
substituted for its own slow movement. The Allegretto was 
encored, but the rest of the work proved an absolute failure 1 

In England it seems to have formed part of the repertoire of 
the Philharmonic from its foundation in 1813, though, as the 
Symphonies were not at that time particularised on the pro- 
grammes by their keys, it is impossible to be quite sure. In 
1825 the Harmonicoii, with a ridiculous tone of patronage, says 
that it was ' written when his mind was rich in new ideas, and 
had not to seek novelty in the regions of grotesque melody 
and harshly combined harmony' (p. 111). 'The Larghetto 
(encored) speaks a language infinitely more intelligible than 
the majority of vocal compositions.' Next year, however, 
the critic is so much excited by the music as to wish for • a 
repose of at least a full half-hour ' after it (1826, p. 129). 

• See Reprint in the AUg. mus. Zeitung, July 23, 1828, p. 488, 

Beethoven's * testament.* 45 

The key of D major was employed by Beethoven for some 
of his finest works : amongst them the Missa Solennis ; the 
Viohn Concerto ; the Trio for pianoforte, violin, and cello, 
Op. 70, No. 1 ; a Quartet, No. 3 of the first set of six (Op. 18) ; 
two remarkable Pianoforte Sonatas, Op. 10, No. 3, and 
Op. 28, usually, though inaccurately, callal * Sonata Pas- 
torale ' ; and also the noble Andante Cantabile of the great 
Trio in B flat. Op. 97. 


The following is the document mentioned on page 19 
above. The italics are Beethoven's own. 

For my Brothers Carl and! Beethoven. 

you my fellow-men, who take me or denounce me for 
morose, crabbed, or misanthropical, how you do me wrong I 
you know not the secret cause of what seems thus to you. 
My heart and my disposition were from childhood up inclined 
to the tender feeling of goodwill, I was always minded to 
perform even great actions ; but only consider that for six 
years past I have fallen into an incurable condition, aggra- 
vated by senseless physicians, year after year deceived in the 
hope of recovery, and in the end compelled to contemplate a last- 
ing malady, the cure of which may take years or even prove 
impossible. Born with a fiery lively temperament, inclined 
even for the amusements of society, I was early forced to 
isolate myself, to lead a solitary life. If now and again I tried 
for once to give the go-by to all this, how rudely was I 

* I am indebted to my friend, the late Mr. E. W. MacLeod FuUarton, Q.C., 
for his help in the translation of this remarkable document. The original 
is given by Mr. Thayer in his Biography, ii., 193, 

t I have seen no explanation of the singular fact that Beethoven has left out 
the name of his brother Johann both here and farther down in the letter. 
The change from 'you' to 'thou' in the P.S. would seem to indicate that Bee- 
thoven is there addressing a single person. The original document, given to 
Madame Lind-Goldschmidt and her husband by Ernst, and presented by Mr. 
Goldschmidt after her death to the city of Hamburg, was in London before ':i 
left this country, and a photograph of it is in possession of the writer, it 
covers three pages of a large folio sheet. 


repulsed by tliG redoubled mournful experience of my defec- 
tive hearing ; but not yet could I bring myself to say to people 
* Speak louder, shout, for I am deaf.' how should I then 
bring myself to admit the weakness of a seme which ought to 
be more perfect in me than in others, a sense which I once 
possessed in the greatest perfection, a perfection such as few 
assuredly of my profession have yet possessed it in — I 
cannot do it ! forgive me then, if you see me shrink away 
when I would fain mingle among you. Double pain does 
my misfortune give me, in making me misunderstood. 
Recreation in human society, the more delicate passages of 
conversation, confidential outpourings, none of these are for 
me ; all alone, almost only so much as the sheerest necessity 
demands can I bring myself to venture into society ; I must 
live like an exile ; if I venture into company a burning dread 
falls on me, the dreadful risk of letting my condition be 
perceived. So it was these last six mouths which I passed in 
the country, being ordered by my sensible physician to spare 
my hearing as much as possible. He fell in with what has now 
become almost my natural disposition, though sometimes, 
carried away by the craving for society, I let myself be misled 
into it ; but what humiliation when someone stood by me 
and heard a flute in the distance, and /heard nothing, or when 
someone heard the herd-hoy singing y and I again heard nothing. 
Such occurrences brought me nigh to despair, a little more 
and I had put an end to my own life — only it, my art, 
held me back. it seemed to me impossible to quit the 
world until I had produced all I felt it in me to produce; 
and so I reprieved this wretched life — truly wretched, a 
body so sensitive that a change of any rapidity may alter 
my state from very good to very bad. Patience — that's the 
word, she it is I must take for my guide ; I have done 
so — lasting I hope shall be my resolve to endure, till it 
please the inexorable Parcae to sever the thread. It may be 
things will go better, may be not ; I am prepared — already 


in my twenty-eighth* year forced — to turn philosopher : it is not 
easy, for an artist harder than for anyone. God, Thou seest 
into my inward part, Thou art acquainted with it. Thou 
knowest that love to man and the inclination to beneficence 
dwell therein. my fellow-men, when hereafter you read 
this, think that you have done me wrong ; and the unfortunate, 
let him console himself by finding a companion in misfortune, 
who, despite all natural obstacles, has yet done everything in 
his power to take rank amongst good artists and good men. — 
You, my brothers Carl and , as soon as I am dead, 

if Professor Schmidt is still alive, beg him in my name to 
describe my illness, and append this present document to his 
account in order that the world may at least as far as 
possible be reconciled with me after my death. — At the 
same time I appoint you both heirs to my little fortune 
(if so it may be styled) ; divide it fairly, and agree and help 
one another; what you have done against me has been, 
you well know, long since forgiven. You, brother Carl, I 
especially thank for the attachment you have shown me in 
this latter time. My wish is that you may have a better life 
with fewer cares than I have had ; exhort your children to 
virtue, that alone can give happiness — not money, I speak 
from experience ; that it was which upheld me even in misery, 
to that and to my art my thanks are due, that I did not end 
my life by suicide. — Farewell, and love each other. I send 
thanks to all my friends, especially Prince Lichnowski and 
Professor Schmidt. I want Prince L.'s instruments to remain 
in the safe keeping of one of you, but don't let there be any 
strife between you about it ; only whenever they can help you 
to something more useful, sell them by all means. How 
glad am I if even under the sod I can be of use to you — so 

* Beethoven was born on Dec. 16, 1770, and was therefore at this date 
nearly at the end af his thirty-second year. It was one of his little weaknesses 
to wish to be taken for younger than he was ; and he occasionally spoke of 
bimself accordingly. 


may it prove 1 With joy I hasten to meet death face to face. 
If ho come before I liave had opportunity to unfold all my 
artistic capabilities, he will, despite my hard fate, yet come 
too soon, and I no doubt should wish liim later ; but even 
then I am content ; does he not free me from a state of cease- 
less suffering ? Come when thou wilt, I shall face thee with 
courage. Farewell, and do not quite forget me in death, I 
have deserved it of you, who in my life had often thought for 
you, for your happiness ; may it be yours I 

LuDwiG VAN Beethoven. 
Heiligenstadt,* /^ ~X 

Uh October, 1802. [ Sesu. ] 

^ Heiligenstadt,* 10th October, 1802. So I take leave 

S of tthee — sad leave. Yes, the beloved hope that I 

"^ brought here with me — at least in some degree to be 

S cured — that hope must now altogether desert me. 

^ As the autumn leaves fall withered, so this hope too 

m ^ is for me withered up ; almost as I came here, I 

^ "I go away. Even the lofty courage, which often in 

g S the lovely summer days animated me, has 

"^ ^ vanished. Providence, let for once a pure day oj 

3 "g "^^ joy J be mine — so long already is true joy's 



g *^ g inward resonance a stranger to me. when, 
^ ^ ^ when, God, can I in the temple of Nature 



2 and of Humanity feel it once again. Never ? No 
-2 — that were too cruel ! 

* Spelt Heiglnstadt by Beethoven, in both places. 

t Is it sure that this P. S. is addressed to his brothers? MayitnotbetoCountesd 
Tlieresa Brunswick, to whom he was betrothed in 1806, or some other lady? 

+ Dcr Freude. The italics are his own. This word acquires a deeper sig- 
nificance when we know from a letter of the time that Beethoven was, even 
at that early date, meditating the composition of Schiller's ode An die Freude, 
which he accomplished in the Niuth Symphony, in 1823. See Fischenich'8 
letter to Charlotte von Schiller, dated Bonn, Feb. 26, 1793, and quoted by 
Thayer in his Biography, i.. 237. 

SYMPHONY No. 3 (eroica), in E flat (Op. 55). 

Dedicated to Prince Lobkowitz. 

*SINFONIA EROICA, composta per festeggiare il sovvenire di un 
grand' Uomo, e dedicata A Sua Altezza Serenissima il Principe di 
Lobkowitz da Luigi van Beethoven, Op. 55. No. III. delle Sinfonie.' 

Allegro con brio (GO__J.). (E flat.) 

Marcia funebre : Adagio assai (80_^ ). (C minor.) 

Scherzo and Trio: Allegro vivace (116 d-)- Alia breve (116 o). 

(E flat.) 

Finale: Allegro molto (76 ^), interrupted by Poco Andante, con es 

pressione (108_^ ), and ending Presto (116^ ). (E flat.) 


2 Drums. 

2 Trumpets. 

3 Horns. 
2 Flutes. 
2 Oboes. 

2 Clarinets. 

2 Bassoons. 

1st and 2nd Violins. 


Violoncello e Basso. 

Probably the first appearance of tliree horns in the Orchestra. 
The orchestral parts were published in October, 1806, Vienna, Contor 
delle arti e d'Industria. The score is an 8vo of 231 pages, uniform with 
those of Nos. 1 and 2, and was published in 1820. The title-page is in 
Italian, as given above. . . . • Partizione. Prix 18 Fr. Bonna e Colonia 
presso N. Simrock. 1973.' 

A special interest will always attach to the Eroica apart 
fi'om its own merits, in the fact that it is Beethoven's first 
Symphony on the ' new road ' which he announced to 
Krumpholz in 1802. ' I am not satisfied,' said he, * with 
my works up to the present time. From to-day I mean to 
take a new road. This was after the completion of the 


Sonata in D (Op. 28), in 1801.* Great as is the advance in 
the three Piano Sonatas of Op. 31, especially that in D minor, 
and in the three Violin Sonatas of Op. 80, especially that in 
C minor, over their predecessors, it must be confessed that the 
leap from Symphony No. 2 to the Eroica is still greater. 
The Symphonies in and D, with all their breadth and spirit, 
belong to the school of Mozart and Haydn. True, in the 
Minuet of the one and the Coda to the Finale of the other, 
as we have endeavoured to show, there are distinct invasions 
of Beethoven's individuality, giving glimpses into the new 
world. But these are only glimpses, and as a whole the two 
earlier Symphonies belong to ihe old order. The Eroica 
first shows us the methods which were so completely to 
revolutionise that department of music — the continuous and 
organic mode of connectirg the s2eond subject with the first, 
the introduction of episodes into the working-out, the extra- 
ordinary importance of the Coda. These in the first 
movement. In the second there is the title of 'March,' a 
distinct innovation on previous custom. In the third there is the 
title of * Scherzo,' here used in the f Symphonies for the first 
time, and also there are the breadth and proportions of the 
piece, hitherto the smallest of the four, but now raised to a 
level with the others; and in the Finale, the daring and 
romance which pervade the movement under so much strict- 
ness of form. All these are steps in Beethoven's advance of 
the Symphony ; and, as the earliest example of these things, 
the Eroica will always have a great historical claim to 
distinction, entirely apart from the nobility and beauty of 
its strains. 

* See Thayer, ii., 186, 364. 

t The first actiial use of the term by Beethoven is in the third movement of 
the Trio in E flat. Op. 1, No. 1. The term JNIiuuet is employed for the Scherzos 
of the Symphonies for many years both by German and English critics. It is 
strange to hear the Scherzo of this very Symphony spoken of as ' an ill-suited 
Minuet ' (see page 92). 


Another point of interest in the Symphony is the fact that it is 
the second of his complete instrumental works* which Bee- 
thoven himself allowed to be published with a title ; the former 
one being the * Sonate pathetique, ' Op. IB. How the Symphony 
came by a title, and especially by its present title, is a 
remarkable story. The first suggestion seems to have been 
made to Beethoven by General Bernadottef during his short 
residence in Vienna, in the spring of 1798, as ambassador 
from the French nation. The suggestion was that a 
Symphony should be written in honour of Napoleon 
Bonaparte. At that date Napoleon was known less as a 
soldier than as a public man, who had been the passionate 
champion of freedom, the saviour of his country, the 

* The list of Beethoven's own titles, on his published works, is as follows : — 

1. * Sonate path6tique,' Op. 13. 

2. *La Malinconia.' Adagio in String Quartet No. 6. 

3. ' Marcia funebre sulla morte d'un Eroe.' Third movement of Op. 26. 

4. * Sinfonia eroica, composta per festoggiare il sovvenire di un grand' 
Uomo,' &c. Op. 55. 

5. * Sinfonia pastorale,' Op. 68. 

6. 'Les Adieux, I'Absence et le Retour, Sonate,' Op. 81a. 

7. * Wellington's Sieg, oder die Schlacht bei Vittoria,' Op. 91. 

8. ' Gratulations Menuett ' (Nov., 1823). 

9. ' Sinfonie mit Schluss-Clior liber Schiller's Ode, An die Freude,' Op. 125. 

10. ' Die Wuth liber den verlomen Groschen, ausgetobt in einer Caprice,' for 
Pianoforte Solo. Op. 129. 

11. * Canzona di ringi'aziamento in modo lidico, offerta alia diviniti da un 
guarito,' and ' Senteudo nuova forza.' Molto Adagio and Andante in String 
Quartet, Op. 132. 

12. ' Der schwergefasste Entschluss. Muss es seiu ? Es muss sein I ' Finale 
to String Quartet, Op. 135. 

13. ' Lustig. Traurig. Zwei kleine Klavierstticke.* Supplemental vol. to 
B. & H.'s great edition, p. 360. 

' Moonlight,' Op. 27, No. 2 ; ' Pastorale,' Op. 28 ; ' Appassionata,' Op. 57 ; 
'Emperor/ Op. 73 — and if there be any others — are all fabrications. 

t Schindler, Ed. 3, i., 101. A soldier like Bernadotte was not likely to know 
or care about music ; and it is therefore not improbable that the idea was due 
to Rudolph Kreutzer, the violin player, who filled the office of Secretary to the 
Legation. In this case the 'Kreutzer Sonata' (Op. 47), composed 1802-3, 
acquires a certain relationship to the Symphony, which is not invalidated by 
the fact (if it be a fact) that Kreutzer never played the great work dedicated 
to him. Beruadotte arrived in Vienna Feb. 8 and quitted it April 15, 1798- 


restorer of order and prosperity, the great leader to whom 
no difficulties were obstacles. He was not then the 
tyrant, and the scourge of Austria and the rest of Europe, 
which he afterwards became. He was the symbol and embodi- 
ment of the new world of freedom and hope which the Revolu- 
tion had held forth to mankind. Moreover, no De Remus at 
or Chaptal had then revealed the unutterable selfishness 
and meanness of his character. Beethoven always had 
republican sympathies, and it is easy to understand that the 
proposal would be grateful to him. "We cannot suppose that 
a man of Beethoven's intellect and susceptibility could grow 
up with the French Revolution, and in such close proximity 
to France as Bonn was, without being influenced by it. Much 
of the fire and independence of the first two Symphonies are 
to be traced to that source. The feeling was in the air. 
Much also which distinguishes his course after he became a 
resident in the Austrian capital, and was so unlike the 
conduct of other musicians of the day — the general inde- 
pendence of his attitude ; the manner in which he asserted 
his right to what his predecessors had taken as favours ; his 
refusal to enter the service of any of the Austrian nobility ; his 
neglect of etiquette and personal rudeness to his superiors in 
rank — all these things were doubtless more or less due to the 
influence of the Revolutionary ideas. But he had not yet openly 
acknowledged this in his music. Prometheus was a not unsuit- 
able hero for a work that may have been full of revolutionary 
ideas, though invisible through the veil of the ballet. 
Perhaps the melody which he employed in this Finale^ 
and elsewhere twice outside his ballet, may have had to 
him some specially radical signification. At any rate, his 
first overt expression of sympathy with the new order of 
things was in the * Eroica.' And a truly dignified expression it 
was. We shall have an opportunity, in considering the Ninth 
Symphony, of noticing how carefully he avoids the bad taste of 
Schiller's wild escapades. Here we only notice the fact that the 



Eroica ' was his first obviously revolutionary music. He was, 
however, in no* hurry with the work, and it seems not to have 
been till the summer of 1803 that he began the actual com- 
position at Baden and Ober-Dobling, where he spent his holiday 
that year. On his return to his lodgings in the theatre ' an-der- 
Wien ' for the winter, we hear of his having played the Finale 
of the Symphony to a friend.f Ries, in his Biogra-plmche 
Notizen, distinctly says that early in the spring of 1804 a fair 
copy of the score was made, and lay on Beethoven's work- 
table in full view, with the outside page containing the words 
— at the very top, * Buonaparte,' and at the very bottom, 
• Luigi van Beethoven,' thus : — 


Luigi van Beethoven 

How the space between the two illustrious names was to be 
filled in no one knew, and probably no one dared to ask. 
Another copy it would appear had gone to the Embassy for 
transmission to the First Consul. J 

Meantime, however, a change was taking place in Napoleon, 
of which Beethoven knew nothing. On May 2nd, 1804, a 

* The earliest sketches contained in the book published by Mr, Nottebohm 
(Ein Skizzenbuch von Beethoven, &c., Breitkopf und Hartel, ISSO) date froic 
\802. An earlier book may, of course, be discovered. 

f Mahler the painter. (Thayer, 11., 236.) 

X Schindler, 3rd Ed., i., 107. 


motion was passed in the Senate, asking him to take the title 
of Emperor, and on May 18th the title was assumed by him. 
When the news reached Vienna it was taken to Beethoven by 
Ries,* -and a tremendous explosion was the consequence 
* After all, then, he is nothing but an ordinary mortal t 
He will trample all the rights of men under foot, to 
indulge his ambition, and become a greater tyrant than any 
one 1 ' And with these words he seized his music, tore the 
title-page in half, and threw it on the ground. After this 
his admiration was turned into hatred, and he is said never 
again to have referred to the connection between his work and 
the Emperor till seventeen years afterwards, when the news 
of Napoleon's death at St. Helena (May 5, 1821) reached 
him. He then said : ' I have already composed the proper 
music for that catastrophe,' meaning the Funeral March, 
which forms the second movement of the work — if indeed 
he did not mean the whole Symphony. In this light, how 
touching is the term sovvenire in the title ! The great man, 
though emperor, is already dead, and the remembrance of his 
greatness alone survives ! 

The copy of the Eroica which is preserved in the 
Library of the * Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde ' in Vienna is 
not an autograph, though it contains many notes and remarks 
in Beethoven's ownf hand ; and it is not at all J impossible that 
it may be the identical copy from which the title-page was 

♦ Biog. Notizen, 2te Abth., p. 78. 

t One of these is to erase the repeat of the first portion of the opening move- 
ment. This has been taken as evidence that at that timehethought such repetition 
unnecessary. But nothing can be inferred from it until we know the circum- 
stances under which he made the erasure. Beethoven must have been sometimes 
very hard pressed in shortening his works for performance. Otto Jahn tells 
us of a copy of the 'Leonora No. 2' Overture, in which he had been compelled 
actually to cross out the first trumpet passage, and the eight bars connecting 
it with the second ! 

t Mr. Thayer thinks it impossible (Them. Verzeichniss, p. 58). 


torn off. It is an oblong volume, 12f inches by 9^, and has 
now the following title-page — 


804 iM August 


Louis van Beethovem 


AUF Bonaparte 

Sinfonia 3 Op. 55 

The original title would seem to have consisted of lines 1, 
3, 4, 5, 8 ; lines 2, 6, 7 (all three in pencil) having been after- 
wards added, 6 and 7 certainly, 2 possibly, by Beethoven 
himself. Line 2 is now barely legible. The copy appears thus 
in the catalogue of the sale of Beethoven's effects : * No. 144. 
Fremde Abschrift der Sinfonie Eroique in Partitur mit 
eigenhandigen Anmerkungen.' It is valued at 3 florins, 
and it fetched 3 fl. 10 kr. ; which, at the then currency, was 
worth about 3 francs. The copy then came into the possession 
of Joseph Dessauer, the composer, of Vienna, and is now in 
the Library of the * Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde.' 

The title just given is obviously an intermediate one 
between Beethoven's original and that prefixed to the edition 
of the Parts published in October, 1806, and to Simrock's 
edition of the Score, No. 1,973, published 1820. 

But there is no reason to suppose that beyond the title- 
page the work was altered. It is still a portrait — and 
we may believe a favourable portrait — of Napoleon, and 
should be listened to in that sense. Not as a conqueror 
— that would not attract Beethoven's admiration ; but 
for the general grandeur and loftiness of his course and of 
his public character. How far the portraiture extends, 


whether to the first movement only or through the 
entire work, there will probably be always a difference of 
opinion. The first movement is certain. The March is 
certain also, from Beethoven's own remark just quoted ; and 
the writer believes, after the best consideration he can give 
to the subject, that the other movements are also included 
in the picture, and that the Poco Andante at the end repre- 
sents the apotheosis of the hero. But, in addition to any 
arguments based on consideration, there can be no doubt 
that it was the whole work, not any separate portion 
of it, that Beethoven twice inscribed with Bonaparte's 
name.* It has been well said that, though the Eroica 
was a portrait of Bonaparte, it is as much a portrait of 
Beethoven himself. But that is the case with everything 
that he wrote. 

Certain accessories to the music seem to testify to some 
anxiety on Beethoven's part in regard to his new work. The 
long title and the two prefatory notices, without a parallel 
in his works for their length, all seem to have a significance. 
The title is given at the head of these remarks. The notices, 
affixed to the first editions of both parts and score, are as 
follows — he was quite aware of the unusual length of his work : 
1. Questa Sinfonia essendo scritta apposta piu lunga delle solite, 
sideve eseguire piu vicino al principio ch' al fine di un Academia, 
e poco doppo un Overtura, un' Aria, ed un Concerto ; accioche, 
sentita troppo tardi, non perda per 1' auditore, gia faticato 
dalle precedent! produzioni, il suo proprio, proposto effetto. 

* To the fact of the entire Symphony being a portrait of Bonaparte there 
is the following evidence : — 

1. Beethoven's first inscription — 'Buonaparte Luigi van Beethoven,' 

2. His second ditto—' Geschrieben auf Bonaparte.' 

3. The statement of Ries. 

4. The fact of the inscriptions being written not over the movements, but 
oa the outside cover of both copies of the complete work. 


(This Symphony, being purposely written at greater *length 
than usual, should be played nearer the beginning than the 
end of a concert, and shortly after an Overture, an Air, and 
a Concerto ; lest, if it is heard too late, when the audience 
are fatigued by the previous pieces, it should lose its proper 
find intended effect.) 2. A f notice to say that * the part of 
the third horn is so adjusted that it may be played equally 
on the first or second horn.' This notice points to the 
only difference between the orchestra of this Symphony and 
that of the preceding one — viz., the third horn. A third 
horn does not seem to have been used in the orchestra till 
this occasion. There are no trombones in any of the 

With these introductory remarks we pass to the analysis of 
the work itself. 

I. The first subject of the opening Allegro con brio, the 
animating soul of the whole movement, is ushered in by two 
great staccato chords of E flat from the full orchestra, in 
which all the force of the entire piece seems to be concen- 
trated : — 

No-l- X___i Ce"«^' 

AfJTTTT ^m ^^^ 

-'- &0. 

Beethoven's sketches^ show that these chords were originally 

*Au amusing tribute to the 'length* was extorted from someone in the 
gallery at the first performance, who was heard by Czeruy to say, ' I'd give a 
kreutzer if it would stop.' (Thayer, ii., 274.) 

t The GesellscJiaft MS. contains a note at the end of the first movement, 
now scratched through, to the following efi"ect: 'N.B. — The three horns are 
so arranged in the orchestra that the first horn stands in the middle between 
the two others.' 

X Nottebohm, Ein Skizzenbuch von Beethoven aus dern Jahre 1803, p. 6. 
Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello's Edition ^ 



discords, as is the case in the First Symphony. They first 
appear as — 

No. 2. 

and then as — 




They then disappear altogether and the two tonic chords as 
they now stand (No. 1) probably belong to a late period in the 
history of the movement. 

The main theme itself, given out by the cellos alone, is but 
four bars long ; the exquisite completion by the fiddles (from 
a) is added merely for the occasion, and does not occur again ; 
for even at the repiise of the subject in the latter half of the 
movement this part is essentially altered [see No. 21) — 

No. 3. 

A lleg ro con h rio. 





m m fq ^^ 


p cres 


i:^r I I 





How broad and gay, and how simply beautiful and dignified I 
All, too, virtually in the- notes of the tonic chord, as so often 
is the case ! Surely no one ever made such openings as the 
openings to these Symphonies. Well might Schumann* say, 
alluding to Brahms, ' He should be always thinking of the 
beginnings of Beethoven's Symphonies, and try to make 
something like them. The beginning is the great thing : once 
begin, and the end comes before you know it.' 

* Letters, Neiie Folge, 338. 



How pregnant are these great themes ! How everlasting, 
not only in the never-ending delight which the hearing of then: 
gives, but in the long chain of followers to which they give 
birth ! In Beethoven's Ninth Symphony we shall see the 
influence which the subject of the Finale had on Schubert, 
and how beautifully he modified one of its phrases for the 
expression of thoughts and feelings all his own, much as 
Shakespeare did with a phrase of Marlowe. And as with 
that glorious subject, so no less with this. The first theme 
of the Eroica is surely the parent of the first theme of 
Brahms's fine Symphony in D — 

No. 4. 

Allegro non troppo. 

— and (in a less degree) of that of his Violin Concerto — 

No. 5. Alio, non troppo. 





The same splendid rhythm (also in the intervals of the tonic 
chord) is heard in the Scherzo of Schubert's great Symphony 

No. 6. 





— and Beethoven himself has recurred to it in the most 
* heroic ' of his Sonatas, the Op. 100 — 

No. 7. 





An unexpected anticipation of the phrase is fouiid in a passage 



of tliG Overture to ' Bastion et *Bastienne,' 
operetta of Mozart's, written at Vienna in 1768- 


a youthful 




These are among the links which convey the great Apostolic 
Succession of Composers from generation to generation. 
Handel builds on a phrase of Carissimi or Stradella, and 
shapes it to his own end — an end how different from that of his 
predecessor! Mozart does the same by Handel; Mendelssohn 
goes back, now to the old Church melodies, now to Bach, and 
now to Beethoven. Schumann and Wagner adopt passages 
from Mendelssohn. Beethoven himself is not free from the 
direct influence of Haydn, and even such individual creators 
as Schubert and Brahms bind themselves by these cords of 
love to their great forerunner; and thus is forged, age by 
age, the golden chain, which is destined never to end as long 
as the world lasts. 

A second theme of much greater length follows, containing 
in itself two sections. The first, an absolute contrast to 
No. 1, flowing spontaneously out of the preceding music, is 
simplicity itself — a succession of phrases of three notes, 
repeated by the different instruments one after another, and 
accompanied by a charming staccato bass, its first group 
emphasised by dots, the second by dashes, in the original f 


No. 9. 

^rf^ .aj""' 



* See page 93. 

f These delicate but important distinctions are lost in the new scoreft. 



Tlie next section is a connecting passage of lively 
character — 

couched in an ordinary figure. The * second subject ' proper 
arrives unusually late, but when at length it appears, in 
the key of B flat, it is a passage of singular beauty 
— more harmony than melody, and yet who shall say? 
— a theme which, with its yearning, beseeching wind in- 
struments, and the three wonderful pizzicato notes of the 
basses, goes to the inmost heart hke a warm pressure of the 
hand — 

No. 11. 

Strangely little use is made of this beautiful passage in the 
working-out. In fact, touching as it is, it only re-appears in 
its place in the due course of the reprise. 

After the second subject we have a phrase in the rhythm 
of No. 1, though with different intervals and a different 
accent — 

No. 12. 

8va alto. 


r » 



^-^1 ^ -^ r J I 1^ 




And, lastly, nine bars of discords given fortissimo on the 



weak beats of the bar, and with all possible noise from the 
brass — 

No. 13 

^ J. ^ 


-f p-¥= 

sf s} sf 

sf sf sf sf sf p 

There we have the chief materials of the first half of the 
Allegro ! But the way they are expressed and connected ; the 
sunlight and cloud, the alternate fury and tenderness, the 
nobility, the beauty, the obstinacy, the human character 1 
Certainly, nothing like it was ever done in music before, and 
very little like it has been done in the ninety years since 1803. 
A great deal of the inspiration for this remarkable fire and 
variety must, as has already been said, have been supplied by 
the unprecedented circumstances of the time. A far calmer 
spirit* than Beethoven has said of the same period — 

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, 
But to be young was very Heaven ! 

and the music shows how those exciting circumstances acte^ 
on the impressionable mind of our great composer. 

Eight bars before the double bar we have a prediction 
of the tremendous Coda which closes the entire movement. 
Then comes the * working-out,' which begins the second 
half of the movement, and is made out of the material 
already quoted. But here again nothing is the same. The 
fragments of the first theme (No. 3), which occupy the first 

* Wordswortli, Tlie Prelude, Book xi. 



twelve bars of this portion, are absolutely transformed in 
character. The subsidiary theme (No. 9) is altered by the 
addition of a forcible initial note, and a run of great beauty — 

No. 14. ^-N TN 

sfp U- — ^ afp 

— the freakish passage (No. 10) is harmonised by the first 
subject, escaping from the tonic chord of C# minor into D 
minor by one of Beethoven's astonishing transitions — 

No. 15. ^ ^ I 






^ Sf: ^ 

< ^i!i. ikJ i jitiJ '-^U-\ j \ ^' r 


Four notes of No. 9 are made the motive of a passage of 
imitation, which might be intended to show how well 
Beethoven could write a fugue — 

No. 16. 

± ^^ ^^ 

Viola p W.. ^ , 

V1.2' ' cr ' c 


"^^rt. 3- ^"^' 




f i 

sf ^ 

if we did not soon discover that he is in no humour for such 
displays. Later on in the work he may have leisure to bring 


big counterpoint into play, but bere bis mood is too impera- 
tive. His tbougbt is everything to him, the vehicle nothing. 
This quaintly promising little bit of counterpoint is crushed 
by an outburst of rage, which forms the kernel of the whole 
movement, and in which the most irreconcilable discords of the 
harmony and the most stubborn disarrangements of the 
rhythm unite to form a picture of obstinacy and fury, a 
tornado which would burst the breast of twny but the gigantic 
hero whom Beethoven believes himself to be pourtraying, 
and wtio was certainly more himself than Bonaparte.* This 
passage, thirty-two bars long, is absolute Beethoven ; there 
is nothing like it in the old music, and it must have been 
impossible for critics, who looked to the notes alone and 
judged them by the mere rules of sound, without thinking of 
the meaning they conveyed, ever to be reconciled to it. But 
the tumult suddenly ceases, as if from exhaustion. A few 
crisp bars in the strings lead into a perfectly new and fresh 
passage in the remote key of E natural minor, in which the 
oboes, fining down to piano, deliver an exquisite melody, 
accompanied by one almost as exquisite in the cellos — 

No. 17. 



This is what is technically termed an episode ; that is, a 
melody or theme which has not been heard in the former 
section, and has, therefore, as it were, no right to appear in 
the section devoted to the discussion of the previous materials. 
With Beethoven, however, everything was more or less an 
open question, and in the present case he has pleased to will 

* It was in this passage — which defies quotation — that Beethoven, conducting 
the orchestra, at Christmas^, 1804, got out in his beat, and so completely 
conrused the players that they had to stop and go back. 



After a short interval the melody last quoted returns, this 
time in E flat minor, with touching imitations between 
the various instruments — 

and with a little quaver figure in the eighth bar, which might 
serve to remind us, if we could ever forget it, how constantly 
Beethoven is on the watch to introduce a graceful turn, how- 
ever severe his mood may be. He knows nothing of ugliness 
in music, even to express ugly thoughts. 

And now again another new feature — a wonderful staccato 
bass accompanied by the original theme (No. 3), stalking over 
the world as none but a hero can stalk, and making us feel 
like pigmies as we listen to his determined and elastic 
footfalls — 

No. 19. 





r III,, .> i F-^-i =i= 

Pag.' — 

r .^1^ 

m^h \ ri^^ m 

C ?^ I 





The phrase goes through the successive keys of E flat minor, 
D flat major, and E flat minor, and ends with a fine climax 
of four bars in the trumpets stad drums. 



We are now near the end of the working-out, but one more 
surprise awaits us, shortly before the return to the opening 
theme of the work, at the pLace often selected for a passage 
of pathos or sentiment. This is, if possible, more original 
than anything that has preceded it, and is certainly quite 
different from anything else. So unexpected is it that Ries,* 
standing by his master's side at the first rehearsal, thought 
the horn-player had come in wrong, and narrowly escaped a 
box ou the ear for saying so. It is the well-known and often- 
quoted passage in which the horn gives out the first four 
notes of the chief subject in the chord of E flat, while the two 
vioUns are playing B flat and A flat, thus accompanying the 
chord of the tonic by that of the dominant — a practice 
of Beethoven's which M. de Lenz has dubbed * le sourire 
de la Chirnere' — 

No. 20. Violins 




J- -4* 




^ r-" 





At that time, all the rules of harmony were f against it ; it 
was absolutely wrong — as wrong as stealing or lying — and yet 

* Biogr. Notizen, p. 79. 

fThis passage has actually been altered in print and performance to make it 
agreeable to the then so-called rules of music. Fetis and the Italian conductors 
used to take it as if the notes of the horn were written in the tenor clef, 
and read BtJ, D, B'j, F (chord of the dominant). Wagner and Costa are 
said, though it is almost incredible, to have made the second violins play 
G (chord of the tonic). In the English edition— * a complete collection of 
Mozart and Beethoven's Symphonies in score,' dedicated to H.R.H. the 
Prince of Wales, and therefore published before January, 1820 — the second 
violin is thus altered to G. If Ries ' narrowly escaped a box on the ear ' for 

suggesting that ' the d d horn-player had come in wrong,' what sort of 

bJow or kick would Beethoven have justly administered f©r such flagrant 
corrections of his plain notes (here and elsewhere) % 



how perfectly right and proper it is in its place ! And how 
intensely poetical ! The ' heroic ' movement of the basses 
(No. 19) has ceased, leaving us in strangely remote regions ; 
the tumult of the day has subsided, and all is gradually 
hushed ; the low horns and other wind instruments add to the 
witching feeling, and a weird twilight seems to pervade 
the scene. At length the other instruments cease their 
mysterious sounds, and nothing is heard but the*violins in 
their softest tones, trembling as if in sleep, when the distant 
murmur of the horn floats on the ear like an incoherent 
fragment of a dream. It is one of those departures from real 
life which never trouble us in our sleep. But it is enough to 
break the spell ; the whole changes as if by a magic touch, 
and the general crash restores us to full daylight, to all 
our faculties, and we find ourselves at home in the original 
subject and original key (see No. 3). Here Beethoven 
strangely makes the music modulate so as to close not in 
E flat, as before, but most unexpectedly in F, with a shake, 
and a lovely close it is — 

No. 21. (skeleton) 





— 1 

H- j 

-^— V-f-H 

-h rr-n^ 



__i _4 — J 


— ^-^^-^ 





^=^ : 1 



and this enables him ko give the horn an ample and delicious 
revenge for the interruption he has just suffered. (Note 



the expression given by the reiteration of the note C in 

bar 5) — 

i<o. 22. 

Hern in F 


\ b^ [^ 



^^ ^-^-f^ 

and also the easy and masterly turn by which the strain 
go^^»from F to D flat. The transition by a semitone is the 

me, though in a different part cf the key, as in No. 8, bar 8. 

After this we have a recapitulation of the first section of the 
movement, only with serious differences ; and then comes a 
Coda, 140 bars long, and so magnificently fresh and original 
as almost to throw all that has gone before it into the shade. 
The beginning of this Coda is one of the most astonishing 
things in the whole musical art ; and think what it must 
have been in the year 1805, when even now, familiar as it is, 
and after all that Beethoven himself has written since, all 
that Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Wagner, and 
Brahms, it still excites one's astonishment for its boldness 
and its poetry. This Coda is no mere termination to a move- 
ment which might have ended as well without it. No ; it ia 
an essential part of the poem, and will be known as such. It 
is one of Beethoven's great inventions, and he knows it, and 
starts it in such a style that no one can possibly overlook 
what he is doing. He has given a hint of it before the 
double bar; now he develops it at full length. As in hia 
G major, and still more in his E flat Concerto for the 
piano, he begins the work not with the usual long 
orchestral passage, just as a Symphony or Overture might 
begin, but with a passage for the piano, that no one may 
mistake the nature of the work he is going to hear, so 
here he treats the Coda as a definite, recognised, important 



section of the movement, and announces it with so much 
weight and force as to compel attention to the fact that 
something serious and unusual is going on. Here is a 
skeleton, to show the daring style of the progressions 
and contrasts — from E flat to D flat, and from D flat to 
C major. Note too the introductory quavers, where he retains 
the three crotchets of the subject — 

No. 23. ^. 

Allerjro. \^.\ I 

Wind & Brass 

Wind,* Brass 


Violins in 8ves. 
p decres. 


And this again is followed immediately by another entirely 
new device ; the old subject in the second violins, har- 
monised by the basses, and with the gayest melody running 
its free course above, in the first vioHns — 

Another new passage, in tiie freakish figure which was 
employed before (see Nos. 10 and 15), equally gay, and equally 



grounded on the original subject, this time in the horns, is as 
follows — 

No. 25. 

Viol. 1. 



Between the two passages last quoted is a cello solo, which 
might have given Mendelssohn the cue to those which he is 
so fond of introducing into his Symphonies — 

No. 26. 

1— "i^^ nr>V-^: 



— i^'^i^,; K^ ^ S5 >»< 


— -IP ■^- 4 



U p luiT ^ 



One might go on commenting on this Coda for an hour, 
but it is time to stop. After all is said, the music itself, as 
Schumann is so fond of insisting, is the best and only thing ; 
at any rate, the sole end of these remarks is to make that 
more intelligently heard and better understood. 

II. The second *movement, very slow, Adagio assai, is in 
the form of a funeral march, and bears the title of Mar da 

* The cello and double bass parts are to a great extent distinct tliroughout 
this March, and have separate lines in tlie scor?. 



funehre — the very title itself an important *innovation on 
established practice. And a March it is, worthy to accompany 
the obsequies of a hero of the noblest mould, such a one as 
Napoleon appeared to his admirers in 1803, before selfishness, 
lying, cruelty, and just retribution had dragged him down from 
that lofty pinnacle. The key of the March is C minor. It 
commences sotto voce with the following subject in the strings — 

No. 27. 

sotto voce. 

harmonised in a wonderfully efi'ective way. The melody is 
then repeated in the poignant tones of the oboe, with the 
rhythm strongly marked by the horns and bassoons, and with 
an accompaniment in the strings of this nature — 


which recurs more than once, and forms a characteristic 
feature of the movement. This is succeeded immediately by 
a second theme — if it be not the second strain of No. 27 — a 
broad melodious subject, beginning in E flat major — 

No. 29. • _ 

* In his Piano Sonata, Op. 26 (1802), the slow movement is entitled 
•Marcia funebre sulla morte d'un Eroe,' but the above is the first and only 
infltauce in the Symphonies. 



promising for the moment consolation and hope, but quickly 
relapsing into the former tone of grief, and ending in a phrase 
in the cpHos — 

No. 30. 

eapress. decres. 

expressive of vague uncertainty and walking in darkness. 
These materials are employed and developed at length, and 
with the richest and most solemn effect, to the end of the first 
portion. The poet Coleridge is said to have been once taken 
to hear this Symphony at the Philharmonic, and to have 
remarked to his friend during the March that it was like a 
funeral procession in deep purple ; and the description is not 
an inadequate one of the first portion, before the grief becomes 
more personal and diffuse ; but Coleridge must surely have 
said something equally appropriate of the point farther on, 
where, for what may be called the Trio of the March, the 
key changes from C minor to C major, and a heavenly melody 
brings comfort and hope on its wings, like a sudden ray of 
sunlight in a dark sky — 

No. 31. ^ 

Oboe ^ f 


This delicious message (which Beethoven resorted to again 
in the Scherzo of his Symphony in A, ten years later) is here 
divided among the oboe, flute, and bassoon in turns, the 
strings accompanying with livelier movement than before. 
The melody hi*s a second strain (in the vioUns) well worthy 
to be a pendant tc the first — 



After the welcome relief of this beautiful Intermezzo the 
orchestra returns to the minor key, and to the opening strain 
of the March. It does not, however, continue as it began, 
either in melody or treatment, but, soon closing in F minor, 
goes off into something like a regular fugue, with a subsidiary 
subject {a) — 

No. 33 

Viol. 2, 

T' ^1 ^' 

— which is pursued at some length, the full orchestra joining 
by degrees with the most splendid and *religious effect. In 
this noble and expressive passage of fugal music we might be 
assisting at the actual funeral of the hero, with all that is 
good and great in the nation looking on as he was lowered 
into his tomb ; and the motto might well be Tennyson's 
words on Wellington — 

In the vast cathedral leave him, 
God accept him, Christ receive him. 

Then occurs a passage as of stout resistance and determina- 
tion, the trumpets and horns appealing against Fate in their 
loudest tones, and the basses adding a substratum of stern 
resolution. But it cannot last ; the old grief is too strong, 
the original wail returns, even more hopeless than before ; 

the basses again walk in darkness, 

the violins and flutes 

• 1 cannot resist the impression that this grand passage was more or less 
the origin of the remarkable Cathedral scene in Schumann's E flat Symphony. 

Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symplioules.— Novello's Edition. tf 



echo their vaguo tones so as to aggravate them tenfold, 
and the whole forms a long and terrible picture of gloomy 

distress — 

No. 84. 

Fl. & Viol. Sa p- 

But here again our great teacher does not leave us ; even 
here he has consolation to give ; though in a different strain 
than before. The steady march of the strings (at the beginning 
of the Coda, repeated from the tenth bar of the ' Maggiore,' 
No. 27) seems to say ' Be strong, and hope will come ' ; and 
hope comes, in the voice of the first violins, if ever there was 
a speaking phrase in which to convey it — 

No. 35. 

strings / decres. p 

This was the passage which occurred to the mind of 
Moscheles as he stood by the death-bed of Mendelssohn, 
and caught the last pulsations* of the breath of his friend. It 
is the beginning of the Coda, and it may be well to recollect 
as the movement ebbs away that we are really listening to 
the music written by Beethoven in anticipation of the funeral 
of Bonaparte. 

III. For the Scherzo we return to the key of E flat; 
and it is impossible to imagine a more complete relief than 

• Life o/Mosdieles, ii., 186. 



it presents to the March. It begins Allegro vivace, sempre 
pianissimo e staccato, and, after a prelude of six bars in the 
strings, the oboes and first violins join in this most fresh 
and lively tune — 

No. 36. 

This has been supposed by Mr. A. B. Marx to have been 
adopted from a soldier's song — 

No. 37. 


=1 I ! s -i- 



Was ich bei Tag mrt der Lei - er ver - dien', das geht bei der 

^ =?=^^ 

&c. in infinitiim. 

r^ — jm 

Nacht in den Wind, Wind, Wind, Wind, Wind. 

but he himself, *later in his book, admits, on the authority of 
the accurate Erk, that it dates from the period between 1810 
and 1826. Indeed the song is more probably founded on the 
Scherzo than the Scherzo on the song. 

On further repetition the tune is continued in sparkling 
repartee between violiruand flute as follows — 

No. 38. 

Viola >j ,^ », ^, ' ^, , I. ,^ ', pi ' ^, 

-^h » ■■ — \- r- • — irr^ — « » — - -p - — m — 




X. B. Marx, Beethoven (Ed. 1), Vol. I., 273 ; II., 23. 



and at length a charming cUmax is made by a loud synco- 
pated passage in unison for the whole orchestra (twice. given), 
in which the accent is forced on to the weak parts of tlie 
bar (see page 93) — 

~^ -J- -it^ 

and the first part of the Scherzo ends with a Coda containing 
delicious alternations of the strings and the wind and a 
passage of unequalled lightness and grace. 
-./The Trio, or alternative to the Scherzo j is mainly in the 
hands of the horns, the other instruments being chiefly 
occupied in interludes between the strains of those most 
interesting and most human members of the orchestra. And 
surely, if ever horns talked like flesh and blood, and in their 
own human accents, they do it here. Beginning in this 
playful way — sportful, though hardly in allusion to 'field 
sport,' as some critics have supposed — 

No. 40. 

r— h- 

Ob. & Str. 

1?^ \ 

Cor. sf^ ^ 



— r frr — h^-P- - 

^K4^+— 1 — 

^— U 


they rise by degrees in seriousness and poetry till thoy reach 



an affecting climax, fully in keeping with tlie ' heroic 
character of the poem — 

No. 41. 






I I- I 



g^fg : ^g^p 

r r Tstr.- 


Strings p sf =- Cor. 



^'^r'^ r ^^^- '^^^ 


What is it makes these last few notes so touching, so 
almost awful ? There .is in them a feeling of infinitude 
or eternity such as is conveyed by no other passage even 
in Beethoven's music. To the writer the notes speak the 
lofty, mystical, yearning tone of Wordsworth's beautiful 
j-lines : — 

Our destiny, our being's heart and home, 
Is with infinitude, and only there ; 
With hope it is, hope that can never die, 
Effort, and expectation, and desire, 
And something evermore about to he. 

* The accurate tying of these minims is one of the corrections which we owe 
to Breitkopf's complete Edition, and is, so far, a set-off to the frequent disregard 
of Beethoven's minute directions to be found in that otherwise splendid 

t From the Prelude, Book Sixth ; the ' Crossing of the Alps.' Touching lines 
and too little known. — 'The poet,' says Mr. Carlyle, 'has an infinitude in him ; 
communicates an Unendlichkeit, a certain character of * * infinitude " to whatsoever 
he delineates.' Heroes and Hero Worship (p. 129, Ed. 2), and surely this is 
quite as true of the composer as it is of the poet, or even truer 


And yet this very passage is selected by a critic of the time 
for special disdain 1 

After the Trio, the first part of the Scherzo is repeated, 
but not exactly ; it is considerably reduced at the beginning 
and end, and an excellent effect is produced, where the 
previous effect seemed hardly to admit of improvement, by 
giving the second of the two syncopated passages already 
quoted (No. 39) in duple time, instead of syncopated triple 
time — 

No. 42. 8vea. 

Tutti ' , 


mr i\) JJLl 

Allahreve » 4 ^ 

with greatest emphasis, and enforced by the full orchestra^ 
drums and all. The sound of this dislocating interruption 
might be described as Beethoven himself described the name 
of Gneixendorf, his brother's property. * It sounds,' he says, 
* like the breaking of an axle-tree.' 

This is the earliest of those great movements which 
Beethoven was the first to give to the world, which are 
perhaps the most Beethovenish of all his compositions, and 
in which the tragedy and comedy of life are so startlingly 
combined. A symphony without a Scherzo would now be 
a strange spectacle. As Tennyson says 

Most can raise the flowers now, 
For all have got the seed. 

But before Beethoven's time, indeed before this particular 
Symphony, the Scherzo, in its full sense, was unknown to 
music. His original intentions on this occasion were, as 
usual, very wide of the result. He has got the tune, but the 
manner of reaching it is very different to what it afterwards 
became. In the first sketch discoverable, he heads his notes 
with M. for mmuet, and starts as follows (see Nottebohm, 



Skizzenhuch aus 1803, p. 44 — the signature of three flats must 
be understood) — 

No. 43. (Melody only.) 

M. Am Ende Coda einefremde St. (?) 

Farther on still more progress has been made — 

No. 44. 

f jj:^j^p4^;^--^^-rt rtfrn^r^ S 

f- i i -U- t=t=:^= 

At length the ultimate idea for the commencement, and the 
pace of Presto make their *appearance — 

and then the rest of the movement soon follows. 
The original tform of the Trio, however — • 

No. 46. 

Trio. .^ 







(the signature of three flats must still be understood) — is very 
remarkable in its strong resemblance to the principal theme 

* Nottebohm, p. 46- 

t Ibid. 


of the first movement, of which it is possibly meant to bo 
a repetition. This, however, was quickly abandoned ; three 
sketches follow which show no likeness to the present Trio ; 
but in the fourth an approach is made to it, and then the 
piece advances rapidly to its ultimate shape. 

IV. The Finale has often been a puzzle. Some have 
thought it trivial, some laboured, others that its intention 
was to divert the audience after the too great strain of the 
earlier movements. * The Sinfonia Eroica of Beethoven,' 
says the best English musical writer of his day, on a perfor- 
mance at the Philharmonic, in April, 1827, * most properly 
ended with the Funeral March, omitting the other parts (mean- 
ing the Scherzo and Finale) y which are entirely inconsistent 
with the avowed design of the composition.' We surely might 
have more confidence in Beethoven's genius, and in the result 
of the extraordinary care and consideration which he applied 
both to the design and details of his compositions ! No one who 
hears the Finale through, and allows it to produce ' its own 
proper and intended *effect ' upon him, need be in doubt as to 
its meaning, or hesitate to recognise in it characteristics as 
•heroic' as those of any other portion of the work, though 
clothed in different forms. The art and skill employed 
throughout it are extraordinary. But Beethoven never used 
these powers for mere display. He must have written 
it because he had something to say about his hero which 
he had not said in the other three movements. Surely 
that * something ' becomes gloriously evident in the ^oco 
^Andante near the close, which forms so grand a cHmax to the 
work ; and to which the pages that precede it, with all their 
ingenuity and beauty, act as a noble introduction, rising step 
by step until they culminate in the very Apotheosis of the 

• 'II suo propria e proposto effetto.^ Beethoven's ovm expression in hia 
preface to the Symphony. See beginning of this chapter {j». 56, last line). 



The movement consists entirely of a set of variations, 
thus early anticipating so far the method adopted in the 
vocal movements of Beethoven's latest Symphony, ' The 
Ninth,' twenty years later. The subject chosen is an 
air in the Finale of his own ' Prometheus music,' where it 
stands, as far as melody, bass, and key are concerned, as 
follows — 

In our ignorance of the libretto of the Prometheus music, 
it is impossible to say whether this theme was not there 
identified with that ancient • hero,' and whether that fact, or 
some subtle connection, may not have induced Beethoven to 
choose it for the Finale to his Symphony on Bonaparte. At 
any rate, the theme must have been a special favourite 
with its composer, since he has used it four times — in a 
Contretanz, in the Prometheus music, as the theme of a 
noble set of Variations for piano (Op. 85), and here in the 

The method which Beethoven has adopted in the treatment 
of this air as the theme of the Finale is very ingenious, 
and, as far as I am aware (though the Variation literature is 
of such enormous extent that it is impossible to be sure), 
entirely original. After a short introductory passage of eleven 
bars to fix the key, ending with a pause on the dominant 



Beventh of E flat, the strings, in octaves and pizzicato, give 
out the bass of the melody. (In the Piano Variations, Op. 35, 
this is labelled * Con basso del Tema ' ; but here there 
is no such indication.) The first eight bars of this are 
repeated to allow Beethoven to display his humour by 
making the wind echo the notes of the strings, at short 
distances — 

No. 48. Flute 






Viol.' pizz 



|Nl.> ■< 1,1- 









^-i U-i ' ^^ 

In Variation 1 this theme (in minims instead of staccato 
quavers) is given to the second violin, while the first 
violin and the bass have an independent accompaniment, 

thus — 

No. 49. 

Viol. 1. arco 

In Variation 2 the first violin has the same theme, with a 
triplet accompaniment in the other strings. In the third 
Variation, the melody itself (all the more welcome for its 
contrast with the somewhat formal bass theme) enters in the 
oboes and clarinet, harmonised with its natural bass, and with 
a brilliant semiquaver accompaniment in the first violin, 
which last in its turn takes up the melody with the con- 
currence of the whole orchestra. The next feature is a serious 
fugato (a form beloved of Beethoven, and already used most 



happily in movements 1 and 2 of thia Symx^hony), com- 
mencing in minor as follows — 

No. a), strings 

^. A 

Clar. F ag._gy a. 

CeUotXT iTjj 



This is prolonged to great length, contains a sequence with 
some remarkable discords, and ends with a very effective and 
ingenious introduction of the melody ; in which an accidental 
F sharp is made to lead directly into a new key — 

No. 51. 

,F1. 8va. 

irZa^ i£rjJ pi. ^ ^' 

>a J 

Strings p 






.With this the flute takes up the running, and concludes with 
a passage of semiquaver arpeggios and scales. This leads to 
a new theme, a regular ' second subject ' for the movement 
(though in G minor instead of B flat, as might be expected), 
led up to by a wild rush in the flutes, oboes, &c., and 



harmonisecl emphatically by tlio bass of tbc original melody 
in minims (see No. 49) — • 

No. 52. 


-I 1- 

The second strain of the new theme is of the same rough 
character as the first, and has the same bass for four bars — 

No. 63. 


' ,»-i; 

' ' ' f . t 






^ 1 '-s-j^i J 1 i^-jv- 







-ft- Fs— ^=^ 


— LI 


— pT- i-i'^ — p — ^^— 

It is somewhat prolonged, and the whole second subject might 
be the dance of a band of Scythian warriors round the tomb 
of the ' hero ' of their tribe. 

After this rough strain the melody (No. 47) returns with 
heavenly effect, dolce in C major (the modo lascivo of the 
mediaevalists), with a beautifully varied bass. Then it ig 
sportively given in the minor by the second violins, violas, 
and basses alternately, accompanied throughout by the first 
violins in Beethoven's favourite tremolo, of which we noticed 
such fine examples throughout Symphony No. 2. But Bee- 
thoven has not yet appeased his contrapuntal appetite, and 



we have some bits of double counterpoint, in which the 
melody and the bass theme change places. Then ihefugato 
returns, the subject inverted and accompanied in semiquavers 
by the first violin — 

No. 54. 






P^^J- — pj^-^^" 

— P-^ 

— 1»" i — r> — r — r — *- 


The development of this fugue is elaborate ; the original 
melody is introduced in the flute in a syncopated fashion — 

No. 55. Flute sf 






the bass subject is used both in its original form and inverted 
at the same time, and the whole rises to a noble climax on a 



tramolo pedal note (on B flat and A natural), anticipating the 
similar effects which Beethoven was to make with even greater 
grandeur in the Seventh and Ninth Symphonies. At length 
the orchestra again pauses on the chord of the dominant 
seventh on B flat ; and the pace slackening to Foco AnaSnhf 
a new version of the original melody is introduced, to which, 
as already remarked, the whole preceding portion of the 
movement seems like a mere prelude — 

No. 56, 

Foco Andante 



gp=g5^#gg t-r^r-^ '^ 


c<m espress. 


m^ ^ 

This is given to the ohoes, richly harmonised by the 
clarinets and bassoons, with a full and grand effect. 

It has a second strain, a long and entirely new melody of 
very great beauty — 

No. 57. 

Oboe 'V 1 -'^ ♦ . • ^-P- ^^1*=^ ^ ■*•■ i «'^ . • a* i^m- 

Viol, in 8ves. p 

'^rH^ ^ 

fl ^-* 


=5f— ^s=^ 

-^ — u-=5- 

1* • P 1 

. p 

^ — 


-I . 



given to the oboe, and repeated, after the quotation, in a most 
graceful syncopated form. The theme gradually spreads to 
the entire orchestra, and forms a splendid passage of full and 
heavenly harmony, set off with every orchestral device, and 
producing the noblest and most ' heroic ' impression. The 
air last quoted is beautiful enough to convey any holy 



or heavenly message. It might even appropriately be 
what M. Gounod makes it when, in his 'Redemption,' he 
adopts a similar progression as the 'melody typical of the 
Redeemer ' — 

No. 58. 

dol. espress. 

He could not have made a better choice. Beethoven himself 
used a somewhat similar melody two or three years later than 
this Symphony. It is this theme — 

the treatment of which sheds such a lustre on the working-out 
of the great Overture to Leonora, No. 3, and for the insertion 
of which its author sacrificed a fine, long, and characteristic 
portion of the so-called No. 2. 

Beautiful as is the air quoted in No. 57, the harmony and 
instrumentation which accompany it are no less so. Every 
instrument in the score is employed for some pages ; the drum- 
rhythm is specially observable, but there is no noise, and the 
presence of the melody. No. 47, in the double basses and 
bassoons, effectually connects this with the preceding portion 
of the Finale. The close of the Andante is especially pathetic, 
and in its march-rhythm and other features irresistibly recalls 
the style of portions of the Funeral March. Indeed, the 
inference is tempting that a connection between the two move- 
ments is intended. Whether this be the case or not, the March 
may well represent the death of the hero, and the interment of 
his mortal part. The Poco Andante is his flight to the skies. 

A short Coda, Presto, in which the old melody is clung- to 
almost to the very end, finishes this most extraordinary and 
impressive work. 


The Symphony was purchased by Prince von Lobkowitz, 
one of the three noblemen who, to then- lasting credit, combined 
in 1809 to give Beethoven an income for the rest of his life ; 
and as we saw at starting, the Prince's name stands on the 
title-page as dedicatee of the work. The date at which it actually 
became his property, and the period for which he acquired it, are 
not known, but the first accessible performance appears to have 
taken place towards the end of January, 1805, in a half private 
fashion, at one of the concerts given at his own house by 
Herr von Wiirth, a wealthy banker.* The first really public 
performance was given on Sunday evening, April 7, in one of 
Clement's series of concerts in the an-der-Wien theatre. On 
the occasion it was announced as a * new grand Symphony in 
Dis' (Dt, the Viennese nomenclature at that time for El?) and 
Beethoven himself ' was so good as to conduct.' Other private 
performances took place in the Lobkowitz palace in Vienna ; 
and at one of these, Beethoven conducting, at the syncopated 
passage in the working-out of the Allegro, managed to throw out 
the orchestra so completely that they had to begin again.f 

An interesting anecdote is told about the Symphony during 
the first few months of its existence, of which even the 
accurate Thayer 'sees no reason to doubt the truth.' | 
Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, a remarkable musician 
and composer, whose piano -playing Beethoven placed above 
that of Himmel, and whom the great composer complimented 
as *not playing at all like a royal person, but like a solid 
pianist,' was on a visit to Prince Lobkowitz early in 1805, at 
his castle at Eaudnitz, in Bohemia. Desiring especially to 
honour his illustrious guest, Lobkowitz arranged for a per- 
formance of the new Symphony by his orchestra, which always 
attended him. The two princes took their seats, and the 
great work was played through. Louis Ferdinand listened 

* See the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung for 1805, p. 321. 

t K,ies, Biogra^^. Notizen, p. 79. % Dictionary of Music, ii., 169a. 


with ihe utmost interest, and at the close of the performance 
entreated for a repetition, which took place. He was then 
so fascinated as to beg for a third, on the ground of his 
departure early the next morning. * Willingly,' said Lob- 
kowitz, * if we may first give the band some supper.* The 
supper was accordingly given, the two princes, let us hope, 
taking part with the players, and then the immortal Symphony 
was once more played over. After this we may doubt the 
truth of the saying that it is possible to have too much of a 
good thing. 

The first report of the music, that of the concert at Herr 
von Wiirth's, in January, 1805, is in the Vienna letter of the 
Leipzig paper, the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, for Feb- 
ruary 18, 1805.* After an extraordinary eulogy of Beethoven's 
Symphony in C major, whether played at the same concert as 
the Eroica or at a previous one is not clear — as ' a glorious 
art-creation,' ...» an extraordinary wealth of lovely ideas 
treated in the most splendid and graceful style, with coherence, 
order, and clearness reigning throughout ' — the correspondent 
goes on to the new Symphony, ' not to be confounded with 
No. 2,* which had recently been published. He describes it 
' as virtually a daring, wild, fantasia, of inordinate length and 
extreme difficulty of execution. There is no lack of striking 
and beautiful passages in which the force and talent of the 
author are obvious ; but, on the other hand, the work seema 
often to lose itself in utter confusion. It begins,' he continues, 

* with a powerfully scored Allegro in E flat, followed by a 
Funeral March in C minor, treated fugally towards the end. The 
Scherzo and Finale are both in E flat. The writer belongs to 
Beethoven's warmest admirers, but in the present work he 
finds very much that is odd and harsh, enormously increasing 
the difficulty of comprehending the music, and obscuring its 
unity {Einheit) almost entirely.' He then goes on to praise a 

• Vol. VII., p. 321. See Hanslick, Geschichie des Concertwesen in ]Vien, 76, not*. 
Grove.— Beethoven'B Nine Symphonies. -NoveUo's Editiou. G 


Symphony of Eberl's in the same key with the Eroica, and 
evidently much more to his taste. 

The report of the performance of April, 1805 — in the same 
volume, p. 501 — is even more unfavourable. The writer 
finds no reason to modify his former judgment. ' No doubt 
the work displays bold and great ideas, and that vast power 
of expression which is the property of the composer; but 
there can also be no doubt that it would gain immensely if 
Beethoven would consent to shorten it (it lasts a full *hour) 
and introduce more light, clearness, and unity, qualities 
which, with all possible wealth of ideas and variety of instru- 
mentation, are never absent from Mozart's Symphonies in G 
minor and C major, Beethoven's own in C and D, or Eberl's 
in E flat and D.' Allowance must be made for those who 
were hearing so original a work for the first time, and had no 
scores to follow it on ; but the accusation of want of unity is 
strange when one remembers the persistent way in which the 
characteristic portion of the principal subjects of each move- 
ment keep recurring — no less than thirty-seven times in the 
first Allegro, for instance. Judging by one's present feelings 
and the evidence of fact, it is the last blame that could be 

Beethoven's old enemy, Dionys Weber, whose denunciations 
of the opening of the First Symphony we have already 
mentioned (see p. 4), was by this time head of the 
Conservatorium at Prague, and took every opportunity to 
depreciate and injure the new work. Schindler (i.. Ill) says 
that it was held in horror at the Conservatorium as a 
' dangerously immoral composition' {sittenverderbendes Werk), 
This did not prevent a splendid performance at the * Amateur 
Concerts ' in Prague, amid the greatest public f enthusiasm. 

* The Symphony plays forty -five or forty-six minutes. Can the 'full 
hour ' point to a diflference in the tempos at that early date ? 

t See the Allg. musik. Zeitung, June 17, 1807, ix., 610. 


It is pleasant to turn from such absurdities to the very 
different spirit which prevailed at Leipzig when the Symphony 
was brought forward there at the famous Gewandhaus 
Concerts on January 29, 1807, under the conductorship of 
J. G. Schicht (poor Schicht!). On that occasion an unusual 
innovation was adopted. Special attention was called to the 
new Symphony in the posters ; and in a bill or programme 
distributed in the room a short description of the work was 
given, probably for the first time in the history of such 
performances. This is quoted in the excellent *history of 
these renowned concerts, compiled by Herr Alfred Dorffel 
to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their foundation, on 
November 25, 1881, and is as follows : — 

* Grand heroic symphony composed by Beethoven, and 
performed for the first time in Leipzig. (1) A fiery and splendid 
Allegro ; (2) a sublime and solemn Funeral March ; (3) an 
impetuous Scherzando ; (4) a grand Finale in the strict style.' 

The good effect of such a course was proved by the fact 
stated in the Festschrift, that there was an unusual assemblage 
of amateurs and musicians at the Concert ; a deep interest 
and stillness prevailed during the performance ; and the com- 
mittee were besieged with requests for a repetition, which 
took place a week later, on the 5th February, and again on the 
19th November of the same year — three performances in ten 

In England the first performance by the Philharmonic 
Society was at the second concert of the second year 
— Monday, February 21, 1814 — when it was announced 
as ' Sinfonia Eroica (containing the Funeral March)f . . . 
Beethoven.' After this it appears to have taken its place in 

* Festschrift zur hundertjdhrigen Jvhelfeier der Einweihung des Concert- 
taalesim Gewandhause zu Leipzig, 25 Xoveiriber, 1781 — 25 November, 1881. 
Statistik, 1881. Chronik, 1884. A truly invaluable aid to musical research. 
The information is given in Statistik, p. 6, and Chronik, p. 31. 

f The March is not unfrequently mentioned as if part of the title of the work. 


the regular repertoire of the Society, though this is diiSicult to 
affirm, from the fact that till the third concert of 1817 the 
Symphonies are rarely specified by key or name. Six per- 
formances were given in the ten years 1824 to 1834. In 1823 
the Harmonicon -was established as a monthly musical paper, 
under the charge of Mr. Wm. Ayrton, and regular notices of 
the concerts are given. Ayrton was a good musician, 
and in many respects liberal and advanced for his time. 
But his animosity to several of Beethoven's Symphonies 
is remarkable. Each successive mention of the ' Eroica * 
is accompanied by some sneer at its length, or the want 
of connection of its movements. * Three-quarters of an 
hour is too long a time for the attention to be fixed 
on a single piece of music; and in spite of its merit 
the termination is wished for some minutes before it 
arrives ' (1824). ' A very masterly work, though nauch too 
long for public performance ' (1825). * The Symphony 
ought to have ended with the March, the impression of which 
was entirely obliterated by the ill-suited Minuet which 
follows ' (1827), and so on. These absurdities, we may be 
thankful to say, are now at an end, as far as Beethoven is 
concerned, though they still linger elsewhere. 

In France the * Eroica ' does not seem to have made its 
appearance till about 1825, and then only through a stratagem 
of Habeneck, the illustrious conductor of the Opera or 
Academie Koyale de Musique. His experiences with the 
Second Symphony had warned him of the necessity of 
caution, and accordingly he invited the principal members 
of his band to dinner, and * to make a little music,* on St. 
Cecilia's Day. The ' little music ' consisted of the Eroica 
and No. 7 Symphonies, which seem to have been introduced 
to these gentlemen on that day ('the better the day the 
better the deed ') for the first time ; and, thanks to the 
opportune time of the ruse, to have produced a favour- 
able effect on the band. * Under these new conditions wo 


found,' says one of the orchestra,* 'that these two Symphonies 
contained some tolerable passages, and that notwithstanding 
length, incoherence, and want of connection they were not 
unlikely to be effective.' 

Besides the * Eroica,' Beethoven's compositions in the key 
of E flat are numerous ; we can only give the principal. The 
Septet; Pianoforte Concerto, Op. 73; Pianoforte Sonatas, 
Op. 7, Op. 31, No. 3, and Op. 81a; Trio for Piano and Strings, 
Op. 70, No. 2 ; String Quartets, Op. 74 and Op. 127 ; ' Ah, 
perfido I ' and the * Liederkreis.' The passionate slow move- 
ment of the Fourth S}Tnphony must not be omitted. 

Note. — Since page 60 was in type, it has occurred to me that 
Beethoven may have heard Mozart's operetta at the Elector's 
National Theatre at Bonn when a boy. The lists of pieces 
for 1781-3 and 1789-92, given by Mr. Thayer at i., 72, 73, 
and 193 of his valuable work, show that the repertoire 
embraced everything high and low, and it may not be quite 
impossible that this little work was performed at some time, 
as Mozart's EntfUhrung was in 1782, '89, and '92. Mr. 
Thayer, however, does not agree with me in this. 

•M. Meifred, afterwards Secretary to the Committee of the *Soci6te dfs 
Concerts,' in his report for 1852-53, quoted by D'Ortigue, Journal des LehaU:^ 
November 9, 1856, 



The following ingenious remarks on the 'Eroica' Symphony 
have been communicated to me by my friend, Dr. Charles 
Wood :— 

The principle of a definite idea, or ideas, pervading a work, 
which nowadays we are accustomed to call the principle of 
•Leitmotif,' though not unused before Beethoven's time, 
and hardly recognisable till that of Weber and Mendelssohn, 
has become common enough since, more especially in opera. 

The idea cannot have been unknown to Beethoven. Even 
if he knew nothing of Bach's * Passion ' he must have heard 
and known Mozart's * Don Giovanni,' in which the trombones 
are sounded on the appearance of the Commendatore, and this 
employment of a theme in connection with a certain character 
can hardly have failed to strike him. 

We know that Beethoven, when composing, had a picture 
in his mind. In certain cases he gives us a clue — e.g., the 
Pastoral Symphony and the Sonata entitled 'LesAdieux,' &c. 
As the Eroica Symphony was professedly a work inspired by 
Napoleon, it is hardly an injustice to the composer to try and 
discover his intentions. 

The first thing which arrests attention is that the principal 
themes of the work are constructed on the intervals of the 
common chord. The first four bars {a) of the first subject 
(the second five bars {b) will be referred to later) of the first 
movement : — 

may therefore be taken as the ' motto ' of the whole work — m 
other words, the Napoleon-motif. In the first move- 
ment its dominating influence Is obvious, in the Marcia 
Funebre the minor common chord is the groundwork of the 
principal theme, though here it is varied by auxiliary and 


passing notes, and, curiously enough, when the first two bars, 
divested of ornaments, are read backwards we get the ♦ motto.' 
The Maggiore Hkewise is founded on the notes of a triad. The 
main idea of the Finale is also based on the same material. It 
is in the Scherzo^ however, that one is most tempted to 
attempt to supply the * picture ' which was in the mind of 
the composer. The following explanation of this movement 
may not be untenable. A crowd, full of pent-up excitement, 
is awaiting the * hero.' His approach is welcomed by a sudden 
(one-bar crescendo) shout of twenty-two bars ff, and he makes 
his appearance in as revolutionary a style as Beethoven could 
well make him assume : — 



*' 8f * ^ 

(Note the sudden quiet of the crowd.) His object in coming 
is explained in the Trio. This is an address to the people, 
founded, like the other principal themes of the work, on the 
common chord. Three horns, not two as in earlier works, are 
used to give greater force and dignity. The speech is received 
with marks of approval and cheers, founded on the 'motto. 
For structural reasons the Scherzo is repeated, and a short 
Coda completes the movement. This is founded on a striking 
phrase, apparently new : — 



but its connection with the ' motif ' of the work is made cleai 
by a reference to the second half (6) of the principal theme oi 
the first movement, D fiat, instead of C sharp, being here 
written for convenience. 

SYMPHONY No. 4, in B flat (Op. 60). 

Dedicated to Count Oppersdorf. 

1. Adagio (J_66) ; Allegro vivace {^_-80). (B flat.) 

2. Adagio (J_84). (E flat.) 

3. Menuetto; Allegro vivace (J — 100); Trio; Un poco meno Allegro 

(J._88). (B flat.) 

4. Allegro, ma non troppo (<s'_80). (B flat.) 


2 Drums. 

2 Clarinets. 

2 Trumpets. 

2 Bassoons. 

2 Horns. 

1st and 2nd Violins. 

1 Flute. 


2 Oboes. 



One flute only is used throughout the Symphony. Beethoven 
employed one flute in his Pianoforte Concertos in B flat and C, in 
the Triple Concerto (Op. 56), in the Andante of Symphony No. 1, 
and in the Violin Concerto, as well as in this Symphony. 

The score is an 8vo of 195 pages, uniform with those of Nos. 1, 2, and 
3 ; and was published in 1821. The title is as follows : — • 4™^ Grande 
Simphonie en Si I? majeur (B dur) compos6e et dedi6e a Mons'- le 
Comte d' Oppersdorf par Louis van Beethoven. Op. 60. Partition. 
Prix 16 Fr. Bonn et Cologne chez N. Simrock. 2078.' 

The orchestral parts were published in March, 1809, by the 'Bureau 
des Arts et d'Industrie ' (now Haslinger), at Vienna and Pesth. 

The Fourth Symphony has been, like the Eighth, more or 
less under a cloud. Of its history less is, perhaps, known 
than that of any other of the nine. No sketches for it seem 
as yet to have been found, and the investigations of Mr. 
^ottebohm and Mr. Thayer disclose but little. It is the 


only one which has not a review in the Allgemeine 
viusikalische Zeitung^ and it has met with scant notice in 
some of the most prominent works on Beethoven. The 
original MS. was formerly in the possession of Felix 
Mendelssohn, and is now the property of his nephew, 
Mr. Ernst Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, together with those of 
the C minor and A major Symphonies, and the other 
treasures which are preserved in the Mendelssohn family- 
house in the Jagerstrasse, Berlin. The MS. bears the 
following inscription in Beethoven's own hand, at the top 
of the first page : — 

Sinfonia 4ta 1806 L. v. Bthvn. 

An interval of two years thus separates the completion of 
the Fourth Symphony from that of the Third. We know 
that it was Beethoven's intention to follow the Eroica by 
the C minor, and that the first two movements of that great 
work virtually date from 1805. The circumstances which led 
to the C minor being for the time suspended have been 
succinctly narrated by Herr W. J. von Wasielewsky, in his 
work on *Beethoven (ii., 233), as follows : * Count Franz von 
Oppersdorf was a great amateur of music, and resided at his 
castle near Glogau. In the autumn of 1806 he paid a visit to 
Prince Lichnowsky, where he found Beethoven, and heard his 
Symphony in D performed by the Count's private band. On 
this occasion, or shortly after, Beethoven was requested by 
Oppersdorf to compose a Symphony for him for a fee of 350 
florins. Beethoven accepted the offer, and designed to fulfil 
his engagement with the C minor Symphony. But in the 
end, with a vacillation not unfrequent in this portion of his 
work, he found himself compelled to dedicate the C minor 
and Pastoral Symphonies jointly to Prince Lobkowitz and 
Count Rasoumoffsky ; and on November 1, 1808, he wrote to 
Oppersdorf as follows : — * Bester Graf, — Don't look on me in 

* Ludwig van Beethoven, von W. J. v. Wasielewsky. 2 vols. Berlin, 1888. 


a wrong light ; the Symphony which I had intended for you 
I was compelled by want to sell with a second one to 
someone else. But be assured that you will very soon 
receive the one which I design you to have.' This explana- 
tion is clear enough as to the external facts, but it gives 
no explanation of the difference between the two works 
— why it is that the G minor, in the composition of which 
some progress had already been made, should be super- 
seded by a work so entirely different in character as the 
No. 4. It is impossible not to remark that after the first 
two the Symphonies as they succeed one another are very 
much in contrast : the D major is followed by the Eroica, 
that by the B flat, that by the C minor, and that again 
by the Pastoral, the Pastoral by the gigantic No. 7, 
No. 7 by the humorous and autobiographical No. 8, while 
the crown of all is the colossal Choral. Perhaps Beethoven's 
instinct showed him that it would be an artistic mistake to 
follow so very serious a Symphony as the Eroica by one 
equally earnest and profound. There certainly were more 
personal considerations, to be alluded to presently, which 
made it impossible for him to write in any other vein. At 
any rate, the B flat Symphony is a complete contrast to 
both its predecessor and successor, and is as gay and 
spontaneous as they are serious and lofty. And this, 
perhaps, is one reason for the fact that No. 4 has never yet 
had justice done it by the public. As No. 8 lives in the valley 
between the colossal No. 9 and the almost equally colossal 
No. 7, so No. 4 is equally overshadowed by the Eroica and the 
C minor. By the side of the tremendous questions raised 
by their prodigious neighbours, the grace and gaiety of No. 4 
and the impetuous humour of No. 8 have little chance of 

Schumann has spoken of the No. 4 as standing between 
its companions 'like a slender {sclilanke) Greek maiden 
between two Norse giants.' But humour is hardly the 


characteristic of a Greek maiden, and when we recollect the 
humour which accompanies the grace and beauty of the Fourth 
Symphony, and is so obvious in every one of the movements^ 
it must be admitted, though with great respect, that the 
comparison loses something of its force. 

At the same time no expressions of Schumann, or Berlioz, 
or any other worshipper of Beethoven, can be too strong for 
this beautiful work. There is something extraordinarily 
entrainant abjout it throughout ; a more consistent and 
attractive whole cannot be. In the Eroica some have 
complained of the Funeral March as too long, some of the 
Scherzo as inappropriate, or of the Finale as trivial ; but on 
the No. 4 no such criticisms are possible ; the movements 
fit to their places like the limbs and features of a lovely statue ; 
and, full of fire and invention as they are, all is subordinated 
to conciseness, grace, and beauty. We may use regarding 
it the droll Viennese expression which Beethoven employs in 
sending his Pianoforte Sonata in the same key (Op. 22) to 
Hoffmeister, the publisher, in 1801 : — ' Diese Senate hat sich 
gewaschen, geliebtester Herr Bruder! ' — or, to use a *parallel 
English expression, ' This Sonata will wash.' 

Oulibicheff would have us beheve that it might have 
called forth the sincere compliments of Haydn, who was still 
alive when it was produced. But, remembering that Haydn 
found the Trio in C minor (Op. 1, No. 3) too strong for him, it 
is difficult to think that he would have been pleased with the 
Symphony. Others are fond of regarding it as a pendant to 
No. 2 ; but, beyond the fact that in composing both Beethoven 
was happy, the two have really nothing in common. No. 2 
is charming, and stands at the head of the period which it 
illustrates. But in No. 4 we have 

An ampler ether, a diviner air, 

with a humour, a poetry, a pathos, a romance, and a 
* Though parallel, the two idioms are not similarly derived. 


maturity of style that are, indeed, predicted in the Coda to 
the Finale of No. 2, but of which the body of that Symphony 
has few traces. Where, for instance, shall we look in No. 2, 
or, indeed, in the Eroica itself, for the romantic passion 
which inspires the slow movement of No. 4 ? 

The most obvious characteristic of the work, that which 
distinguishes it throughout, is its unceasing and irrepressible 
brightness and gaiety, and the extraordinary finish of the 
workmanship. If we except the transient gloom of the intro- 
ductory Adagio, and a rough burst or two in the Finale, there 
is hardly a harsh bar. Well might Mendelssohn choose a 
piece so contagious in its gaiety for his first Programme as 
Director and Conductor of the Gewandhaus Concerts of 
Leipzig, on October 4, 1835. Beethoven must have been 
inspired by the very genius of happiness when he conceived 
and worked out the many beautiful themes of this joyous 
composition, and threw in the spirited and graceful features 
which so adorn them. The work is animated throughout 
by a youthful exhilaration more akin to that which pervades 
Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony than anything else we can 
recall— in the Adagio by real passion. Such times were rare 
in Beethoven's life, and we are fortunate in having so perfect 
an image of one of them preserved to us. 

Widely different as the Fourth Symphony is from the Third, 
it is not less original or individual. It is lighter and less 
profound than the Eroica, but there is no retrogression in style. 
It is the mood only that is different, the character and the 
means of expression remain the same. In fact, th«» structure 
perhaps obtrudes itself on the hearer less in thfc present 
work than it did in the former. Beethoven's life was 
one continual progress in feeling, knowledge, and power; and 
in time everyone will acknowledge, what those competent to 
judge have already decided, that the later the work, the more 
characteristic is it of the man. The capricious humour which 
we found manifesting itself in the twelve bars inserted in the 



Allegro of the Second Symphony is strongly in force here. In 
fact, there is a *passage in the * working-out ' of the Adagio 
and fanother in the corresponding section of the first Allegro 
which are in this respect close pendants to that referred to. 
The working-out section of the first Allegro is full of such 
drolleries, which must have been simply puzzles and annoy- 
ances to those who first heard them. How worse than odd, 
how gratuitously insulting, for instance, must the following 
long scale, from the working-out, apparently a propos to 
nothing, have seemed to many a hearer in 1806, when its 
connection with the subject was not known : — 

Viol. 1. 

Viol. 2. 


though to us so natural and admirable. 

Indeed the Symphony was not allowed to pass unchal- 
lenged by the critics at the time of its first appearance. 
Carl Maria von Weber, then in his hot youth, was one of its 
sharpest opponents, and in a jeu d' esprit in one of the journals 
of the period— if that can be so called which exhibits neither 
jeu nor esprit — has expressed himself very bitterly. It is 
supposed to be a dream, in which the instruments of 
the orchestra are heard uttering their complaints after the 
rehearsal of the new work. They are in serious conclave 
round the principal violins, grave personages whose 
early years had been spent under Pleyel and Gyrowetz. 
The double bass is speaking. * I have just come from 
the rehearsal of a Symphony by one of our newest 
composers; and though, as you know, I have a tolerably 

* Quoted farther on in No. 23. 

t Bars twenty to thirty after th« double bar. 


strong constitution, I could only just hold out, and five 
minutes more would have shattered my frame and burst the 
sinews of my life. I have been made to caper about like a 
wild goat, and to turn myself into a mere fiddle to execute 
the no-ideas of Mr. Composer. I'd sooner be a dancing- 
master's kit at once, and earn my bread with Miiller and 
Kauer ' — the Strausses of the day. The first violoncello 
(bathed in perspiration) says that for his part he is too 
tired to speak, and can recollect nothing like the warming he 
has had since he played in Cherubini's last opera. The 
second violoncello is of opinion that the Symphony is a 
musical monstrosity, revolting alike to the nature of the 
instruments and the expression of thought, and with no 
intention whatever but that of mere show-off. After this 
the orchestra- attendant enters and threatens them with the 
Sinfonia Eroica if they are not quiet, and makes a speech 
in which he tells them that the time has gone by for 
clearness and force, spirit and fancy, * like those of Gluck, 
Handel, and Mozart,' and that the following (evidently an 
intentional caricature of the work before us) is the last 
Vienna receipt for a Symphony : — First a slow movement 
full of short disjointed unconnected ideas, at the rate of 
three or four notes per quarter of an hour ; then a mysterious 
roll of the drum and passage of the violas, seasoned with 
the proper quantity of pauses and ritardandos ; and to end 
all a imious finale, in which the only requisite is that there 
should be no ideas for the hearer to make out, but plenty of 
transitions from one key to another — on to the new note at 
once ! never mind modulating ! — above all things, throw rules 
to the winds, for they only hamper a genius. ♦ At this point,' 
says Weber in his own person, ' I woke in a dreadful fright, 
lest I was on the road to become either a great composer or 
—a lunatic' 

How odd it all sounds ; Pleyel and Gyrowetz great men ; 
Cherubini the author of sensation-music ! Beethoven a pooy 


mountebank I and Gluck, Handel, and Mozart his rivals ! For 
Weber there is no excuse, but something may be said 
for the imperfect appreciation of the ordinary critics of 
those days. Scores* were not then published for years 
after the production of a new work ; nor were there 
pianoforte arrangements by which it might be studied ; 
analyses were unknown ; the performances were few, and 
took place for the most part in private houses or palaces, to 
which access could not be obtained by payment. The critic 
had therefore a difficult task, and his shortcomings may be 
to some extent excused. 

I. The Fourth Symphony, like the first, second, and seventh 
of the nine, opens with an Introduction, Adagio, to the first 
movement proper, Allegro vivace, an Introduction as distinct 
in every respect from its companions as if it were the work of 
another mind. It commences with a low B flat pizzicato and 
pianissimo in the strings, which, as it were, lets loose a long 
holding-note above and below in the wind, between which 
the strings move slowly in the following mysterious phrase, 
in the minor of the key : — 


Flute pp^-^ 



ggl^Mjji j^b^_ I j-^^S^^^ 

j=L Viol. 1. ^ 

tr.pp^CT" "ST" arco. -^zr 

^^^^ h /^ J-± ui: 

sempre pp 


F&g.pP 8va -p/p'^pj ^ -r- 

— the bassoon and basses answering at a bar's interval. 

* The scores of Beethoven's first four Symphonies were not published till 
1820 and 1821, fifteen or sixteen years after their first performance. Those oi 
Nos. 7 and 8 are the first that ai)4)eared near the time of production. 



Three bars later the strings again emit the pizzicato Dote 
(B flat), and the slow unison phrase is repeated, this time 
leading enharmonically from G flat into F sharp ; — 


pp b7=r 


A third time the pizzicato note is heard, now leading into 
a solemn progression of the basses, marching on like Fate 
itself : — 

No. 8. 

Flute, O boe, Fa g, 

pizz. fp 

II. The Introduction is thirty-eight bars long, and as its 
close is approached the tone brightens, and the ^Z^^^rro— the 
first movement proper, after being, as it were, *lashed by the 
preceding chord (of F) in a truly sportive manner (not without 
recalhng the introductory passage in the Finale of No. 1)— • 
bursts forth brilliantly in B flat major. This portion of the 
work is of the most bright and cheerful character through- 
out — the principal subject, in staccato notes — but how 
different from the staccato notes of the Introduction! — 
alternating with a smooth passage for the wind, and ending 
with a burst on the final chord. We quote three bars before 

♦ This happy exp'ression is due to Dr. W. Pole. 



fche change of pace ; and the subject, which begins at bar 
eight of the quotation — 

jr . Allegro vivace. 

(a) £ ff 

is gaiety itself, and most original gaiety. 

The connecting portion between the first and second 
subjects is delightfully spontaneous. The staccato arpeggio 
figure of the former (No. 4, bar 8) is kept constantly in view, 
and great freedom and life are given to it by the stimulating 
tremolo figure of the violins, of which we have spoken under 
Symphony No. 2 (page 41), and of which the present work 
contains abundant and delicious specimens — 

No. 5. Yioi^ 1. pp 







Fac:. . 


i^ I I 

.*-J 1 1 




— = — \^ 'r'- - T'- - — 

' - ^ r 1 

Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonlea.— Novello's Edition. H 



At the end of this section we have a taste of the 
syncopations* which give such a flavour to this and other 
movements of the work — 

No. 6. Wind 

— r— ) 1 — I I -^ — 


the notes seem almost to be tumbhng over one another in 
their eagerness to get to the second subject, or rather the 
group of melodies which form it. The sportive conversation 
of the bassoon, oboe, and flute — 

No. 7. 



Flnte I 

introduced with extraordinary effect by the bassoon — the 
equally sportive * canon ' of the clarinet and bassoon, as 
near triviahty, perhaps, as Beethoven could allow himself 
to approach — 

No. 8. 

Clar. Solo 


* Compare the second subject in the Overture (Op. 138), usually, though 
incorrectly, known as 'Leonora, No. 1,' which was composed about the same 
tune as the Symphony. 



and the strange sequential passage which connects 
them — 

No. 9. 

strings in unison. 

rp.a . 1 _ 



r s ^ ■. 


-I — ^ri — £=c= 


if Tutti 


— and bears a curious *resemblance to the * Quoniam ' ol 
Beethoven's Mass in C — 

No. 10. 

ni - am tu so- lus 

Ins sanc-tus 

— all these, which form the second subject, are as gay as gay 
can be, and the music has not one sombre bar.f 

Interesting as the foregoing is, the working-out, after the 
double bar, is still more so. It supplies an element of anxiety 
and suspense which finds no place in the former portion, and 
is distinguished by a pathetic spirit, an ingenuity, and a 
poetry all its own. The means by which this is conveyed 
are eminently original. In the First Symphony we have 
noticed (page 9) how Beethoven has taken the drum out of 
the obscurity in which it previously existed, as one of the 
merely noisy members of the band, and given it individu- 
ality. In the C minor Piano Concerto and in the Viohn 

* Something very like it will be found in Clierubini's Sonata, Op. 36, No. 3, 
quoted by Prof. Prout, ' Musical Form,' p. 143. 

t It is necessary here to mention an F in the part of the double basses, 
sixteen bars before the double bar, which has crept into the score apparently 
without any warrant, since it not only sounds wrong, but has no parallel in 
the recapitulation, after the working-out. 



Concerto the drum is again brought into notice, but in 
the present working-out and in the next movement 
Beethoven goes farther in the same direction, and gives 
his favourite a still more important role. — We will 
endeavour to trace the course of this working-out. The 
portion just examined ends in B flat, and no conspicuous 
change is made after the double bar, but the music 
remains for eighteen bars in F, the phrases employed 
being those of the opening of the first subject (No. 4). 
There is then a sudden transition into the key of D, and, 
after fourteen bars, a close in the same key. With this 
change a spontaneous and very engaging tune makes its 
appearance as an addition to the arpeggios of No. 4 — so 
spontaneous that it has the air of being a merely obvious 
completion to the accompaniment — 


1st Violin and Cello in 8ves. . 


and is heard successively five times in different keys and 
on different instruments, before vanishing never to re-appear 
in the piece. The first and second violins then evince a 
disposition to have a dialogue between themselves, thus — 

No. 12. 

V. 1.-?- 2 



This is at first interrupted by the full band ; but at length 
they accomplish their desire, and, after an enharmonic 



change of D flat to sharp, dissolve into a lovely soft chord of 
F sharp given by all the strings, j)pp, lasting through several 
bars, and accentuated by two short rolls of the drum, on B flat 
taken as A sharp — 

No. 13. 

sempre pp 

The phrases have hitherto been chosen from the cello part 
early in the working-out (see No. 15), but at this point they 
change and take up the scale passage of bar 12 of No. 4 — 

No. 14. 

for eight bars more. A beautiful change takes us from 
F sharp to F natural in the bass, and into the key of B flat. 
The drum begins a long roll on the keynote (B flat) which 
lasts twenty-six bars, the first eighteen of them being very 
soft, and the remaining eight increasing to fortissimo ; and as 
the climax to this the original theme (No. 4) is returned to. 
The strange succession of keys in this passage ; the constant 
piano, and the vivid contrast when the reprise is reached 


after the long crescendo, the roll of the drum, the turn of 
the phrases, all give this portion of the working-out an 
unusual and highly poetical effect. It is interesting to 
compare it with the corresponding portion in any one of 
Haydn's Symphonies, and see how enormously music had 
gained, not in invention, wit, or spirit, but in variety of 
structure, colour, and expression, during the few years 
preceding 1806. 

The Coda is short and very spirited, but has no remark- 
able feature. Schumann (Gesamm. Schriften, iv., 64) has 
noticed that in the eight bars which terminate the movement 
fortissimo, one of the first three is redundant. Schumann's 
fine ear for rhythm detected this, and he is probably correct, 
but the error, if error it be, is one which few will feel with 

Before completely quitting the Allegro we must notice an 
interesting parallel between the final crescendo in the working- 
out and the corresponding passage in the opening move- 
ment of the ' Waldstein' Sonata (Op. 53), where the return 
to the principal subject is managed in very much the same 
manner as it is here, and with some similarity in the 
phrases employed. If *1803 be the correct date of the 
composition of the Sonata, then the passage alluded to may 
be taken as a first sketch of that in the Symphony. Such 
parallels are rare in Beethoven, and are all the more 
interesting when they do occur. In speaking of the Adagio 
we shall notice another. 

The care with which Beethoven marks his nuances and 
other indications for the players is nowhere more con- 
spicuous than here. Dots, dashes, and rests are anxiously 
discriminated,t and it almost makes one's head ache to 

* Thayer, Thematiaches Verzelchniss, No. 110. 

f In the original score. The new score of Breitkopf and Hartel igaores soma 
of these minute differences ; but they are the composer's own insertion (and he 
marked nothing of the kind without full intention) and should be shown. 

Beethoven's exteeme care in the indications. Ill 

think of the labour that is concealed in these gay and 
lively pages. In fact, the details of all kinds in these 
immortal works are prodigious. In that respect they are like 
Hogarth's pictures, in which every time you look you see 
some witty or pertinent point which you had not noticed 
before. Such a passage as the following, from the early part 
of the working-out — 

No. 15. 


p dim. 

with its dotted crotchets, its quavers, and then its crotchets 
again, this time with dashes in place of dots — almost admits 
us to the process, and seems to show the master in doubt as 
to the exact form of expression he should adopt. A similar 
instance is found in the Introduction, in the alternation of 
quavers and rests with staccato crotchets (see No. 3). 
Excellent examples of his minute care as to every detail of 
execution are given in the * Twenty- one Cramer's Studies ' 
which he annotated for his nephew's practice, and which 
have been recently published for the first time from the 
MS. at Berlin, by Mr. J. S. Shedlock (Augener & Co., 
May, 1893). One of the remarkable features in Beethoven's 
autograph scores is the minute exactness with which the 
marks of expression (/, p, sfp, crescendo, &c.) and other 
dynamic indications are put in ; and the way in which 
they are repeated in the MS. up and down the page, so that 
there may be no misunderstanding of his precise intention 
as to every instrument in the band. A comparison of the 
scores of Mozart's or Haydn's Symphonies — in which the 
expression seems to have been left almost entirely to the 
conductor — with those of Beethoven will show how deter- 
mined he was to leave nothing to chance, not the smallest 


III. The second movement, Adagio, is not only an example 
of the celestial beauty which Beethoven (the deaf Beethoven) 
could imagine and realise in sounds, but is also full of the 
characteristics of the great master. Here we rise from good 
humour and pleasure to passion, and such a height of passion 
as even Beethoven's fiery nature has perhaps never reached 
elsewhere. And this is not astonishing when we consider 
the occasion which inspired the Symphony. We now know, 
on evidence that, with some drawbacks of expression, 
has to unprejudiced minds every appearance of being 
genuine, that in the May of the year in which Beethoven 
was occupied over this very Symphony he became engaged 
to the Countess Theresa, sister of his intimate friend Franz 
von Brunswick, and that the three famous love-letters which 
were found in his desk after his death, and have been 
supposed to be addressed to the Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, 
were really written to that *lady. They are given at the 
end of this chapter, and if ever love-letters were written these 
are they — often incoherent in their passion. But the fact is 
that music was Beethoven's native! language ; and, however 
he may stammer in words, in his most passionate notes there 
is no incoherence. Though he had been often involved 
in love affairs, none of them had yet been permanent ; 
certainly he had never before gone so far as an engagement, 
and when writing the Symphony his heart must have been 
swelling with his new happiness. It is, in fact, the paean 
which he sings over his conquest. Here then we have the 
secret of the first movement of the C minor, and an excuse 
for any height or depth of emotion. The Countess's raptures 

* See 'Beethovens unsterbliche Geliebte,' . . . von Mariam Tenger, 2nd 
Ed., Bonn, 1890, pp. 56, 57, &c. The suggestion was made many years 
befoie, and on independent grounds, by Mr. Tliayer, in his great work, 'The 
Life of Beethoven' (see Vol. III., pp. 19, 157, 158). Mr. Thayer has -since 
investigated the book referred to, and the second edition contain? the 
statement of his approval in the preface. 

t ' I was bom,' he says, ' with an obbligato accompaniment' 


will be found in the narrative just referred to: Beethoven's 
are here before us, in his music. But observe that with all 
the intensity of his passion Beethoven never relinquishes 
his hold on his art. The lover is as much the musician ar 
he ever was, and this most impassioned movement is also one 
of the compactest and, at the same time, the most highly 
finished of all his works. The Adagio ^ though on a small 
scale, is broad and dignified in style, and in strict 'first 
movement ' form, except that there is no repeat of the first 
section. Its first and second subjects are in the due and 
accepted relation to each other, and are succeeded by a 
• working-out,' which, though but twenty-four bars long, 
contains its special feature, and is long enough to make the 
return of the first theme welcome. The recapitulation of 
the previous material is quite en regie, and the whole ends 
with a Coda of eight bars. 

The movement opens with a figure containing three groups 
of notes in the vioHns — 

No. 16. 


Viol. 2. 


which serve as a pattern for the accompaniment of a great 
portion of the movement, and are also a motto or refrain, a 
sort of catch-word, which is introduced now and then by itself 
with great humour and telling effect — now in the bassoon, 
now in the basses, now in the drum, whose two intervals 
may indeed have suggested its form, as they not improbably 
did that of a phrase in the first subject of the opening 
movement of the Concerto in C minor. We venture to call 
it the ' drum-figure.' In its capacity of accompaniment to 
the heavenly melody of the principal subject, it is most 



lulling and sootliing; when employed by itself it is full of 

The introductory or motto bar just quoted is immediately 
followed by the principal melody — 

No. 17. 

viol. 1. cantabile. 


cres. sf 

It will be observed that it is a scale down and a scale up, and 
formed almost entirely of consecutive notes, like the melody 
of the slow movement in the B flat Trio, two prominent 
subjects in the Andante of the * Pastoral Symphony,' the 
chief subject of the concluding movements in the Choral 
Symphony, and others of Beethoven's finest tunes. In its 
close progression it is akin to the picturesque second theme 
in the Allegretto of No. 7. It is accompanied by a figure 
related to the ' drum-figure ' (No. 16) and by a beautiful 
counter-melody in contrary motion in the violas (not quoted). 
It ends on the fifth of the key, instead of on the key-note, a 
fact which ' gives it,' as Sir G. Macfarren has aptly said, 
' an air of inconclusion, as if its loveliness might go on for 

The connecting link of eight bars between the first and 
second subjects is formed on a phrase — 

No. 18. Viol. 1 

• But hardly comic, as Schumann {Gesamm. Schri/ten, L, 185) would 
hAve it to be ; * a regular Falstaflf ' is his expression. 



that gains a special charm from the electric force with 
which its principal note is thrown off. To this its continuing 
strain is a perfect pendant — 

The second principal subject, a melody more passionate, 
though hardly less lovely than the first, is as follows — 

No. 30. 

and has a pathetic second part in the bassoons, re-echoed by 
the horns, flutes, oboes, &c. — 

No. 21. 



Ob. 01. dolce 

on a pedal of four bars of the * drum figure ' in B flat and F, 
and with delicious arabesque arpeggios in the violins. 
In both subjects, as if the great master knew what beautiful 
tunes he had made, he has marked them with the term 
Cantahile, a word which he seems only to employ when 
it has a special significance.* 

The working-out, though short, is extremely characteristic. 
It begins with the * drum figure ' in the second violins, and 

* See another Cantahile in the semiquaver subject in the working-out of 
the first Allegro of the Ninth Symphouy. 



in E flat, exactly as at the opening ; then the chief subject, 
still in E flat, in a lovely florid* form, thus — 

p cajitabile 

then six bars of the same subject, but in E flat minor ; 
then comes a capital instance of the droll caprice to 
which allusion has before been made, in the interpolation 
into the flow of the music of four playful bars of duet for 
the first and second fiddles, merely to end as they began. 
This leads to a short but very impressive passage, the 
bassoon coming in for a bar or two in G flat (bar 6) with 
a striking and weird effect. We subjoin a quotation — 

Bass.;.- ' ^ 

^(^ Viol. 1. •— ^-^ 
U" p eapressivo. 


Bassi 8va. 

After this the reprise is reached by a scale upwards in the 
flute, and the principal subject is then given at the same time 
by the flute and clarinet — by the clarinet in its original 

* Not unapproved of by Scliumann. See liis Scblumraerlied (Op. 124). 



nnadorned form (No. 17) and by the flute in its florid 
shape. The recapitulation is shortened by eight bars, 
then comes the link (No. 18), and then the second 
principal subject (No. 20), now in the key of E flat, with its 
second portion this time in the horns ; then a few bars' more 
play on the first subject by way of Coda, with some delightful 
expiessive work in the clarinet and flute, including a touch- 
ing drum solo given pianissimo, and this truly lovely poem is 
at an end. The workmanship throughout is masterly in 
combinations of the instruments, and in imitative passages, 
and every embellishment possible ; while at the same time 
the effect of the whole is pure and broad, and free from the 
faintest trace of mesquinerie or virtuosity. ' Believe me, my 
dear friend,' says Berlioz, who, with all his extravagance, 
was a real judge of Beethoven — 'believe me, the being who 
wrote such a marvel of inspiration as this movement was 
not a man. Such must be the song of the Archangel Michael 
as he contemplates the worlds uprising to the threshold of 
the empyrean.' 

We have already in the first movement noticed a coinci- 
dence between the return to the first subject and the analogous 
portion of one of Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonatas. The Adagio 
furnishes another coincidence in the course of the treatment of 
the second subject ; the corresponding passage being in the 
Adagio of his Sonata for Piano and Violin in A (Op. 30, No. 1), 
where the detached semiquavers with which, in the Symphony — 






the violing accompany the melody of the clarinet, occur in 
the solo violin, with a similar bass. The two movements 
have other points of likeness which make them worth 
comparison by the student, one of the principal being the 
employment of a figure of dotted semiquavers akin to 
those given in No. 11. The Sonata was probably composed 
in 1802 ; so that, like the passage in the * Waldstein ' 
Sonata, already mentioned, it preceded the Symphony. 

IV. Here we return to the key of B flat, and to the term 
* Minuet,' which has vanished from the Symphonies since 
No. 1, though the words Tempo di menuetto, attached to the 
second movement of the little Pianoforte Sonata, Op. 49, 
No. 2 (composed in 1802), and the In tempo d'un menuetto, at 
the head of the first movement of the Sonata in F, Op. 54 
(dating from before 1806), as well as the use of the letter * M' 
in the sketches of the Eroica Symphony (see page 79) show 
that the term was still famihar to Beethoven. The Minuet 
in the Fourth Symphony is, however, still farther removed 
from the old accepted minuet-pattern than that of the First 
Symphony was — and still nearer to the 'New Minuet' for 
which the aged Haydn longed (page 12). 

The opening section is as follows : — 

No. 25. Allegro vivace 


The autograph shows that the tevipo was originally indicated 
as Allegro molto e vivace ^ but the molto has been effaced. 



In the above passage three things strike the hearer — (1) the 
vague uncertain restlessness caused by the compression of a 
phrase in common time into triple rhythm, in bars one and 
tWo ; (2) following this, the alternations of wind and strings 
in a phrase as frankly in triple time as the other was 
irregularly so ; (3) the sudden change into B flat minor 
at the fifth bar. After the quotation and the double bar the 
same phrases go at once into D flat. A melodious passage 
then appears in the bassoon and cello, as a bass to the 
others, but this receives no development — 

No. 26. 

j=2.- 4a.. 

sempre p 





Farther on an excellent effect is produced by an unexpected 
sforzando on the weak note of a bar thus — 

No. 27. 



5 ^^ ^ 



j ^44^44j.j 




s/~" 9 

The Trio — or second Minuet, for the Trio was originally 
only that — is an excellent contrast to the preceding section. 
The pace is somewhat slackened, the music starts in the wind 
in unmistakable triple time — the smooth phrases of the oboe, 
clarinets, bassoons, and horns being interrupted by the 
daintiest phrases from the violins — 

No. 28. Tkio. Un poco meno allegro. r»v 

tt;/^i ^" 



g3 j*|j"^|^-JT^ 

^ T^^'F^L^'F^L^f^ 




and the whole farmmg one of the tenderest and most refined 
things to be found anywhere. 

As mstances of the lovely touches with which Beethoven 
could heighten the expression of the tenderness which formed 
so large an element in his great heart, and display the 
interest which he took in his work, take, amongst many, 
the following modifications of phrases already quoted — 




and another little passage — 

No. 30. 

as delicate as the song of a robin singing, as robins do sing^ 
over the departed delights of summer. 

After proceeding in this beautiful manner for some time, a 
new feature comes in — namely, the tremolo, which we have 
noticed in the first movement, and which here forms a 
truly beautiful accompaniment to the main theme. It 
is almost confined to the strings, and begins as follows — 

No. 31. 


Viol.l. pp 





i 1 -I ( - 



^g!f^^ 5 '- ^ .'^5.'^ 

cres. poco a poco. 

Nothing can be more refined or charming than the effect 
of this, which lasts for nearly forty bars and brings back 
the original Minuet, at the original pace. 



This movement shares with the corresponding portion of 
the Seventh Symphony the pecuHarity that the Trio is 
twice given and the Minuet repeated each time. Mozart 
occasionally gives two independent Trios to the one Minuet 
— a practice in which Schumann followed him in his 
Symphonies in B flat and C — and in one instance has even 
three different Trios. But Beethoven appears to stand 
alone in repeating the single Trio. He has done it in the 
second of his Easoumoffsky Quartets — that in E minor, 
in the Pianoforte Trio in E flat (Op. 70, No. 2), and perhaps 
elsewhere, as well as in the two Symphonies. In the present 
case the repetitions of both Minuet and Trio are given each 
time identically, the only addition being the three bars at the 
very end, in which, as Schumann says, * the horns have just 
one more question to put ' — 

No. 33. 

A A A '■ 

^- il-ii 

T^"i Cor. -= 

fr):, b —J ijf — ar' ^ • 

=, s 

1 p_j ^j_j p — p^ 1 


These three bars are an augmentation of the rhythm of the 
piece, and as such have been objected to by purists, to whom 
rhythm and structure sometimes seem to be more than 
meaning or poetry. 

V. — But lively, vigorous, and piquant as are the first and 
third movements, they are in these qualities surpassed by the 
Finale, which is the very soul of spirit and irrepressible vigour. 
Here Beethoven reduces the syncopations and modifications 
of rhythm which are so prominent in the first and third 
movements, and employs a rapid, busy, and most melodious 
figure in the violins, which is irresistible in its gay and 

Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello'B Edition. I 



brilliant effect, while the movement as a whole is perfectly 
distinct from that of the first Allegro. It is as much a 
ferpetuum mobile as any piece ever written with that title. 
On the autograph manuscript, the tempo of the Finale is thus 
written — All°- (in ink) ma non troppo (in red chalk), con- 
clusively showing that the ma non trojjpo was a second 
thought, a caution on Beethoven's part — * fast, but not too 

The figure alluded to rushes off as follows — 

No. 33. Viol. IP 

Viol. 3 

If: Strings f)p 

— and is made especially characteristic by the rhythm of its 
last notes — 

Clar. & Fl. 

— the last four bars, and especially the last three notes (a) 
of the phrase, having a remarkable way of staying in one's 
ear. Besides this subject there is a second, as follows — 


followed by a second strain — 

No. 36. 

Oboe, &c 




vnih alternations of wind and string, and ending in this fresh 
and sportive phrase — 

No. 37. 

Viol. & Flute 

f ^^. ^ 

ff- ^% #• -r.. ^^%^^ 

The working-out is not less lively or humorous than that 
of the first movement. It begins with an extension of the 
semiquaver figure (No. 33) crescendo ^ which culminates in a 
tremendous B natural* through three octaves — 

No. 38. 


5?5 5? 

which has all the air of a false alarm, but does not disturb 
the basses in their business-like pursuit of the original 

* The moderation of Beethoven's scoring is strikingly shown in these 
B naturals. He evidently intends them to be a great contrast to the 
preceding string passage, and yet the only additions which he makes to the 
strings are the single flute, oboes, and bassoons — no clarinets, trumpets, 
boms or drunks— tronilx)nes there a,re none in the score. 



idea. 'House a-fire,' shouts the orchestra, 
concern of ours,' say the basses. 
This introduces a little phrase — 

AH right ; no 

No. 39. 


on which the bassoon, clarinet, and oboe converse in 
charming alternation, with gay sforzandos from the strings ; 
and the workiug-out ends with an irresistible flourish for 
the bassoon, who can hold his tongue no longer. But we 
will not enumerate the many other features of this beautiful 
and irrepressible Finale, It must be admitted that there is 
some ground for the disgust of the double bass in Weber's 
skit (see page lOl^l. But though full of drollery, Beethoven 
is constantly showing throughout how easy it is for him to 
take flight into a far higher atmosphere than mere fun. The 
movement places him before us in his very best humour : not 
the rough, almost coarse play, which reigns in the mis- 
chievous, unbuttoned* rougher passages of the Finales to the 
Seventh and Eighth Symphonies ; but a genial, cordial 
pleasantry, the fruit of a thoroughly good heart and genuine 
inspiration. What can be gayer music than the following 
passage just before the Code 

No. 40. 


♦ 3©ethovea'8 own yioxH—aufgekruip/t. 



rt^"^ — -^ — 1 

pJ^. .Sjr 

»J-— i^^ip ^1-^ 


a fcaa sta tsa ^^^^ &e. 

or what more touching than the passage in which he says 
good-bye in a tone of lingering affection as unmistakable as 
if he had couched it in words — 

No. 41. 

Viol. 1. Soli. 

a passage specially interesting because it is a simple repetition 
of the first bars of the figure which opened the movement 
(No. 83) put into half the original speed, a device which Bee- 
thoven has used elsewhere — for instance, at the end of the 
Overture to ' Coriolan,' and in the oboe passage at the clearing 
off of the storm in the Pastoral Symphony — with the happiest 

So ends this delightful movement, and in parting from it, it 
is well to remember that it is the last gay Finale that will be 
vouchsafed to us. Beethoven was now in his thirty -seventh year. 
The mutual love which inspired these happy strains, and which 
threw so golden a light on the future, was soon clouded with 
obstacles; difficulties of an external and cruel kind set in, ill- 
health and the constant presence of deafness increased, and 
life became a serious, solitary, painful conflict. Beauty there 
will always be, and strength and nobility, but the gaiety is 
gone. The Finale of No. 5 is triumphant, of No. 6 religious, 
those of Nos. 7 and 8 romantic, humorous, and rough ; but 
the careless delight of this beautiful movement we shall 
encounter no more. 


Something has been lately said in two sonnets* on 
Beethoven, implying that grief was the prevailing topic of his 
music. As justly might we call Shakespeare the poet of 
grief. Both he and Beethoven can depict grief and distress as 
no one else can ; but then they are equally successful with joy, 
and indeed with every other emotion. They worked in the 
entire domain of human nature, and gave each department 
of that nature its due proportion. If a complete answer were 
wanted to such a criticism it is supplied by the beautiful and 
exhilarating Symphony which we have been considering. 
In the slow movement, if anywhere, grief might be expected 
to find a place. But is it there ? Refinement, sentiment, 
passion there are in highest abundance and constant variety 
in that enchanting portion of the work; but where is the 
distress ? 

The autograph shows a curious slip of its great author's. 
It is in the double bass part, in the fourth bar of the Finale, 
The notes are somewhat blurred, and to avoid mistake he has 
put letters under them thus — 

— But A is B natural, not B flat ! 

The first performance of the Symphony took place at one 
of two Concerts given in March, 1807, at the house of Prince 
Lobkowitz. The programmes consisted entirely of Beethoven's 
compositions, and contained the four Symphonies, the 
Overture to * Coriolan,' a Pianoforte Concerto, and some 
airs from * Fidelio.' (Journal des Iaiums und der Moden, for 

• By Mr. William Watson, see the Spectator of May 20, 27, and June 10, 1893. 


A.pril, 1807— quoted by Thayer, iii., 7.) The reporter, while 
praising the * wealth of ideas, bold originality, and extra- 
ordinary power which are the special features of Beethoven's 
music,' harps on the old string by lamenting the absence of 
dignified simpUcity, and the undue amount of subjects, which 
from very quantity cannot be duly worked and developed, and 
thus have too often the effect of unpolished diamonds ! 

In England the first performance of which the date can 
with certainty be named was by the Philharmonic Society on 
March 12, 1821. It may have been played before that date, 
but until 1817 the keys or numbers of the Symphonies were 
not given. At any rate, it was not heard for the four yeajs 
preceding 1821. From that year to 1893 it has been played 
by the Society, with few exceptions, every year. At the 
Crystal Palace, between the years 1855 and 1893, it was 
performed thirty-three times. 

Besides the Symphony, the key of B flat has been chosen 
by Beethoven for several most important works — such as 
the great Piano Trio, Op. 97; two Piano Sonatas, Op. 22 
and Op. 106, the latter the greatest of all the series. 
Also the String Quartets, Op. 18, No. 6, and Op. 130— the 
Finale of this was written at Gneixendorf, Johann van Bee- 
thoven's house, in substitution for a very long and elaborate 
fugue, which was afterwards published separately as Op. 188. 
The new Finale was *written in November, 1826, five months 
before the author's death. It was his last composition, and is 
as light and delicate as if it had been written in perfect health 
and happiness, instead of having been composed among the 
privations of a home where his comfort seems to have been 
cared for by no one but a servant, and where every meal was 
embittered by the presence of his brother's wife, a woman 
whom he detested as thoroughly bad, and who was certainly 
most commonplace and f disagreeable. Of separate movements 

* Schindler, Biographie, ii., 115. f See end of this chapter. 


in B flat may be named the Allegretto Scherzando in the 
Eighth and the Adagio in the Ninth Symphonies, the Credo 
of the Mass in D, • Adelaide,' and the Prisoners' Chorus in 
' Fidtiho.' The hst, if not long, is a truly splendid one. 


The following letters are very hard to translate adequately. 
The writer's emotion runs away with his pen, and especially 
with his punctuation, which was always peculiar. The 
version aims at conveying the intention of the words without 
straying farther than is possible from the actual expressions. 
But indeed they cannot be properly rendered. — The year is 
1806, and the locality is Fiired, a bathing-place on the north 
shore of the Plattensee, a lake south of Buda Pesth, in 

July 6, Morning. 

My angel, my all, my very self — Only a few words to-day ; 
and those in pencil — your pencil. Till to-morrow I shall not 
know where I have to live : what shameful waste of time for 
such a matter! Why be so sorroTvful when there is no other 
course ? How is our love to exist but by sacrifices, and by not 
exacting everything ? Can you help the fact that you are not 
wholly mine, and I not wholly yours ? God ! Look at lovely 
nature and meet the inevitable by composure. Love wants to 
have everything, and quite right ; thus I feel towards you, and 
you towards me : only you forget too easily that I have to 
live for myself and for you as well. If we were not absolutely 
one, you would feel your sorrow as little as I should. 

My journey was fearful : there were not horses enough, and 
I did not get in till 4 o'clock yesterday morning. The post 
chose another road, a shocking one. At the last stage but 
one they warned me not to travel at night, and to beware 
of a certain wood : that only attracted me, but I was wron^. — 


the carriage was bound to break down on this fearful road— a 
bottomless, rough country track — and but for my postillions 
I should have been left on the spot. Esterhazy had the same 
disaster on the ordinary road with his 8 horses that I had 
with my 4. However I had some enjoyment out of it, as 
I always have when I overcome a difficulty. 

And now to go at once from these things to ourselves. I 
suppose, we shall see one another soon. I can't tell you now 
of all the reflections about my life, which I have been making 
in the last few days. If only our hearts were always close 
together, I should probably not make any of the kind. My 
heart is full of all it wants to say to you. Ah I There are times 
when I find that speech is absolutely no use. Cheer up. — 
Remain my true and only treasure, my all in all, as I am 
yours. As for other things we may let the Gods decree them 
and fix our lot. 

Your faithful Ludwig. 

Monday Evening, July 6. 
You are in trouble my dearest creature ! I have only just 
learnt that letters must leave here very early. Monday and 
Thursday are the only days on which the post goes to K. 
You are in trouble. Ah ! Wherever I am, too, you are with 
me. With you to help me, I shall make it possible for us to 
live together. What a life I ! ! ! — to be like this 1 1 ! 1 — without 
you — persecuted by the kindness of people here and there, 
which I feel I do not care to deserve any more than I do 
deserve it, — the subservience of one man to another — it hurts 
me ; and when I think of myself in relation to the universe 
what am I ? and what is he whom we call greatest ? and yet 
in that very thing lies the divine in man. I could cry when I 
think that perhaps you won't get any news of me till Saturday. 
However much you love me, my love is still stronger ; but nevei 
conceal your thoughts from me. Good night. I am a patient 
and must go to bed. Oh God, so near and yet so far I Is not 


our love a truly heavenly structure, as firmly established as 
the firmament itself? 

Good morning, July 7. 
Even before I get up my thoughts are rushing to you, my 
immortal love — first joyful and then again sad — wondering if 
Fate will be good to us. I must live entirely with you or not 
at all ; nay I liave resolved to remain at a distance till I can 
fly into your arms, call myself quite at home with you, wrap 
my soul up in you, and send it into the realm of spirits. Yes, 
alas it must be so. You will be brave, all the more because 
you know my affection for you. No one else can ever possess 
my heart— never — never I God, why must one be separated 
from that one loves best ? And yet my life in *W., as things 
are, is a wretched sort of life. Your love has made me at once 
the happiest and most wretched of men. At my age I should 
need a certain uniformity and regularity of life — can this exist 
with our present relationship ? Be calm I only by calm con- 
templation of our existence, can we achieve our object of living 
together. Be calm — love me. To-day — yesterday — ^how I have 
longed and wept for you I for you, for you, my life, my all — 
good-bye, oh, go on loving me — never misunderstand the most 
faithful heart of your lover. 

Ever yours, 
Ever mine. 
Ever each other's. L. 

• W.— Wlen. Vienna. 


Beethoven at Gneixendorf.* 
The interesting article, of which the following is a trans- 
lation, was communicated by Dr. Lorenz to the Deutsche Musih 
Zeitungy a Vienna periodical, of March 8th, 1862. 

'Being convinced that the smallest trait which can help ns 
to complete the portrait of our incomparable composer is of 
interest, I recently asked my old friend K., the medical man at 
Langenlois, to let me have anything that he could find about 
Beethoven's visit fto Gneixendorf, his brother Johann's 
country place in lower Austria. Both my friend and the present 
owner of the property most kindly carried out my wish, and 
I here give what little I have been able to make out of their 
casual and fragmentary information. 

* 1 . Johann van Beethoven went one day in company with his 
brother Ludwig and several other persons from Gneixendorf to 
Langenfeld to call on Karrer, the surgeon, who lived there and 
frequently came to the Beethovens' house ; Karrer, however, 
was absent on his professional duties and missed them. 
Madame Karrer, however, was extremely flattered by the 
visit of the excellent landed proprietor, and served up a rich 
repast of whatever was to be had. At length her eye fell 
on a modest looking sort of man who said nothing, but was 
lounging on the stove -bench. Supposing him to be a servant 
she filled a mug with fresh wine and handed it to him saying : 
•' Now then, you must have a drink." When Karrer returned 
home at night and heard the story he at once divined who it 

* Gneixendorf is about four miles above Krems, which is on the Danube, 
sixty miles north of Vienna. The road from it to Krems, down which 
Beethoven had to drive in an op«n trap on December 2, is very much 
exposed to the East. Wissgrill bought the property from Johann van 
Beethoven, Karrer from Wissgrill, and Kleile from Karrer, Kleile was uncle 
to Mrs. von Schweitzer, who was living there when I visited it, August 21, 1889, 
and it was he who induced Lorenz to collect and put together the following 
information. The house and premises appeared to be all but unaltered froix 
what they were in 1826, and were charming. 

t ' I am now at Gneixendorf,' says Beethoven in a letter. ' The name is like 
the breaking of an axle-tree.' 


was that had been sitting behind the stove. ** My dear wife," 
cried he, " what have you done ? You have had the g^^^atest 
composer of the century in your house and this is how you 
mistook him 1 " 

' 2. Johann van Beethoven had once to do some business with 
the Magistrate (Syndicus) Sterz in Langenlois, and Ludwig 
accompanied him. The interview was a long one, and while it 
lasted Ludwig remained standing outside the office door 
without taking any notice. At parting Sterz, however, made 
him many bows and then asked his clerk Fux — an 
enthusiast for music, and especially for Beethoven's music — 
♦* who do you think that man was who was standing outside 
the door? " " As you paid him so many compliments," said 
Fux, "I suppose he must be somebody — but really I should 
have taken him for an idiot." Fux was tremendously 
astonished when he heard who the person was whom he had 
80 much mistaken. 

' That Beethoven's appearance was by no means always idiotic 
is plain from what once happened to me. It was in my young 
days, shortly after my arrival in Vienna from the country, 
when I had not yet acquired that pliant dancing-master 
sort of gait which is absolutely necessary in the crowded 
streets of a Eesidenz-town. One day in a narrow street I ran 
against a man who fixed me with a piercing glance before he 
moved on. The close look which I had into the fiery depths 
of those eyes I never forgot. He saw my astonishment, and 
perhaps a certain look of contempt at his shabby appearance, 
and gave me a glance, half surprised, half contemptuous, out 
of his small but stormy looking eyes, and then passed on. 

' 3. Of the servants at the house at Gneixendorf when 
Beethoven was there, Michael Krenn, the vine-dresser, died 
only a year ago {i.e., 1861). His three sons are still living; 
one of them, also Michael by name, was at that time Ludwig's 
attendant. Michael gave me the following information : — 

• Ludwig van Beethoven was once at Gneixendorf — namely 


in tlie year 182G, for three months, frora harvest to vmtage 
—that is, during August, September, and October — (he really 
stayed till December 2nd). Michael Krenn was chosen by 
the lady of the house to be the servant of the composer. In 
the first part of the time it was the duty of the cook to make 
Beethoven's bed every morning. One time, when he was 
sitting at the table, while she was thus occupied, he threw 
his hands about, beat time with his feet, at the same time 
singing or growling. At this the cook laughed, but 
Beethoven looking round by chance saw her laughing, and 
immediately drove her out of the room. Michael wanted to 
run out too, but Beethoven dragged him back, gave him 
three zwangigers (2s.), told him not to be afraid, but that in 
future he must make the bed and put the room in order. 
Michael had to come early in the morning, and often knocked 
for a long time before he could gain admittance. Beethoven 
generally got up about 5.30, and would then sit down at the 
table and begin to write, singing, growhng, and beating time 
with both hands and feet. At first when Michael felt 
inclined to laugh he used to go to the door, but by degrees he 
became accustomed to it. At 7.30 there was the family 
breakfast, and after that Beethoven at once went into the 
open air. There he lounged about in the fields, cried out, 
threw his hands about, walked fast, very slow, and then very 
fast, and then, all of a sudden, would stand quite still and 
write something in a kind of pocket-book. On one occasion, 
after he had got back to the house, he found that he had lost 
his book. "Michael," said he, "run and find my book, I 
must have it at any price " — and it was found. At half-past 
12 he came in for dinner, and after dinner went to his room 
till about 3. Then he went into the fields again till sunset, 
and after that he never went out. At 7.30 was supper, and 
then he shut himself into his room till 10, when he went to 
bed. Sometimes he would play the piano which was in the 
saloon. No one went into Beethoven's room but Michael; 


it was the corner room, looking into the garden and the 
court, where the bilUard-room afterwards was. 

* While Beethoven was out in the morning was the time 
when Michael cleaned the room. Several times he found 
money on the floor, and when he gave it back to Beethoven 
he had always to show the place where he had found it, 
and then he got it as a present. This happened three or 
four times, after which no more money was found. In the 
evenings Michael had always to sit with Beethoven, and 
write down answers to his questions ; and these generally 
were as to what had been said about him at dinner and 

' One day Johann's wife sent Michael with five florins to 
Stein to buy some wine and a fish. Michael carelessly lost 
the money and got back to Gneixendorf after twelve o'clock, 
quite bewildered. Mrs. Johann asked at once for the fish, 
and when she found that Michael had lost the money she 
expelled him from the house. When Beethoven came to 
dinner he asked at once for Michael, and when he heard what 
had happened was fearfully angry, gave Mrs. Johann the 
five florins, and insisted furiously that Michael should at once 
come back. From this time he would never go to dinner, 
but had both it and his breakfast brought to his own room. 
Michael said that even before this occurrence Beethoven never 
spoke to his sister-in-law, and very rarely even to his brother. 
Also that Beethoven wanted to take him (Michael) to Vienna, 
but that after the arrival of a cookmaid who came to fetch 
Beethoven away, he was allowed to stop. 

* 4. The present proprietor of Gneixendorf has been good 
enough to examine two old peasants on the property, and 
they confirm Krenn's statements of Beethoven's wonderful 
performances in the fields round the house. At first they 
fully beUeved him to be mad, and kept out of his way ; but 
after a time they got accustomed to him, and, knowing that 
he was the proprietor's brother, forced themselves to salute 


him ; but he was always deep in thought, and rarely took any 
notice of their courtesy. 

* One of these peasants, then quite young, had a little 
adventure with Beethoven to relate. He and two other lads 
were taking a pair of unbroken oxen to the brick kiln opposite 
the chateau. At that moment up came Beethoven crying 
out and gesticulating, and whirling his arms about. The 
peasant called out •* a bissl Stadal " (not quite so much noise), 
but without getting any attention. The bullocks were shy 
and ran off up a slope. The peasant with some trouble 
pulled them up, and took them back down the slope to 
the road. But very soon Beethoven came by again from the 
kiln, this time also singing and throwing his hands about. 
The peasant called again and again, and at last off set the 
bullocks with their tails in the air and ran to the chateau, 
where one of the family secured them. When the peasant 
arrived he asked the name of " the fool who frightened my 
bullocks," and when told that it was the proprietor's brother — 
** a precious brother " was all his answer.' So far Dr. Lorenz. 

The foregoing fragmentary notices seem to me worth 
preserving, not because they add one or two to the anecdotes 
about Beethoven, but because of the light they throw on his 
character and that of his brother. 

Johann's behaviour at Langenlois and Langenfeld gives a 
striking figure of the want of respect which he showed to 
his great brother, whom he not impossibly believed, as the 
peasants did, to be a mere * fool.' A word from this 
miserable creature would have been sufficient, either in the 
house of the surgeon or the office of the Syndicus, to save 
the great composer from such humiliation. Perhaps the * land- 
owner' was afraid of being thrown into the shade by the 
• brain-proprietor.' 

' The relation between Beethoven and Michael Krenn, 
however, appears to be of real interest.' 

SYMPHONY No. 5, in C minor (Op. 67). 

Dedicated to the Prince voa Lobkowitz and the Count von Raaumoffsky.* 

1. Allegro con brio (<J__108). (C minor.) 

2. Andante con moto (^__92). Fih moto (•L.116). (A flat.) 

3. (Scherzo & Trio) Allegro ( J. __9 6). (C minor and major), leading into 
i. Finale Allegro (-pi_84) ; with return of the Trio, and final PrsBto 

(c?«.112). (C major.) 


2 Drums. 
2 Trumpets. 

2 Horns. 
2 Flutes. 

1 Flauto piccolo. 

2 Oboes. 

2 Clarinets. 

2 Bassoons. 

3 Trombones. 

1st and 2nd Violins. 



Basses and Contra-fagotto. 

The Piccolo, Trombones, and Contra-fagotto are employed in the 
Finale only ; and make their appearance here for the first time in the 
Symphonies. N.B. — The Contra-fagotto was first known to Beethoven in 
his youth at Bonn, where the Elector's orchestra contained one. He has 
employed it also in ' Fidelio,' in the Ninth Symphony, and elsewhere. 

* This dedication appears on tbe Parts, published in 1809, but is suppressed 
in the edition of the Score first published, in octavo, by Breitkopf and 
Hartel, in 1826. It is a great pity that the dedications and the prefaces, 
which Beethoven prefixed to some of his works, are not republished. They 
often contain points of interest which should not be lost. Much has been done 
by Thayer, Nottebohm, and others, for what may be called the exterior of 
Beethoven's works. But there is one thing which still remains to be done — 
namely, the Bibliography of the published editions. Even from the excellent 
Thematic Catalogue of the accurate Nottebohm (Breitkopf, 1868), it is 
impossible to discover whether the editions enumerated in the lists are scores 
or parts, or the dates at which they appeared. Anyone who would undertake 
the task— by no means a light one— would confer a great benefit on all 
students of Beethoven. 


The score is an 8vo of 182 pages, uniform with the preceding ones, 
and was published in March, 182G.* The title-page runs thus: — 
• Cinqui^me Sinfonie en ut mineur : C moll : de Louis van Beethoven. 
(Euvre 67. Partition. Propri6te des Editeurs. Prix 3 Thalers. A 
Leipsic, chez Breitkopf & Hartel. 4,302. The orchestral parts were 
published by the same firm in April, 1809, and are numbered 1,329. 

We have now arrived at the piece of music by which 
Beethoven is most widely known. 

The minor Symphony is not only the best known, and 
therefore the most generally enjoyed, of Beethoven's nine 
Symphonies, but it is a more universal favourite than any 
other work of the same class — • the C minor Symphony always 
fills the room.' And this not only among amateurs who have 
some practical familiarity with music, but among the large 
mass of persons who go to hear music pour passer le temps. It 
is the only one of the nine which is sufficiently well known 
to have broken the barriers of a repulsive nomenclature, 
and to have become familiar, outside a certain more or less 
initiated circle, by its technical name. Certainly the number 
of ordinary music-goers who attach as definite an idea to the 
•C minor' as they do to the* Eroica,' the 'Pastoral,' or the 
' Choral' of Beethoven, is far greater than those who do 
so to his B flat, his A major, or his D major Symphonies. 
It is the work which would naturally occur to anyone who 
was asked to play or to name a characteristic specimen of 
Beethoven. In fact it is that which Mendelssohn chose for 
introducing him to Goethe as he sat ' in the dim corner of his 
room at Weimar like a Jupiter Tonans, with the fire flashing 
from his aged eyes,' and doubtless not without a certaiu 
reluctant conservative doubt, in his mind, as to the worth 
of the revolutionary extravagances he was about to hear. 
However, it affected him very much. First, he said, * That 
causes no emotion, it's only astonishing and grandiose.' 

• So I learn from the courtesy of the publishers. 
Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Syinplioniea.— Novello's Edition H 


Then he kept grumbling on, and after Bome time began 
again : * How big it is — quite wild ! enough to bring the house 
about one's ears 1 and what must it be with all the people 
playing at once ? ' And at dinner, in the middle of something 
else, he began about it again.* 

If we ask to what result this is due, the answer must be, to 
the qualities of the work itself, and to nothing else. It may 
have * had a better chance ' — in other words, have been 
oftener performed at Promenade Concerts or by Philharmonic 
Societies than any other ; but then, what has given it that 
pre-eminence ? What could have induced the late M. Jullien 
— the first to popularise good orchestral music in England, 
and to whom the musical public of London owes far more 
than it cares to remember — to insert this entire Symphony, 
week after week, in the programme of his Promenade 
Concerts but the fact that * it drew,' that it possessed a hold 
on the broad appreciative faculties of the human mind which 
no other work of its class possesses ? It is to the work itself, 
to the prodigious originality, force, and conciseness of the 
opening — which, while it copied nothing, has itself never 
been copied ; to the mysticism of the Scherzo^ and to the truly 
astonishing grandeur, impetuosity, spirit, and pathos of the 
Finale, to the way in which, throughout the work, technicality 
is effaced by emotion — it is to these things that the C minor 
Symphony owes its hold on its audience. 

The modern Romantic movement, whether called so or 
not, seems to have taken place earlier in music than 
it did in literature ; and, whoever else may aspii-e to the 
honour of leading it, Beethoven was really its prophet, and 
the C minor Symphony its first great and assured triumph. 
The end of the Symphony in D, the Eroica, the No. 4, the 
Overture to * Leonora ' are all essays in the Romantic direction, 
animated by the new fire ; but the minor is the first unmis- 

Letter of Mendelssohn's, May 25, 1830. 


takable appearance of the goddess herself in her shining, 
heavenly panoply. The C minor Symphony at once set the 
example, and made possible the existence of the most 
picturesque and poetical music of Mendelssohn, Schumann, 
Brahms, and Tschaikoffsky. 

This Symphony performed the same office for Beethoven 
that the Overture to ' Tannhauser ' has done for Wagner ; 
it was the work which made him known to the general public 
outside his own country, and introduced him to the world. In 
1808 Austria was a foreign country to Germany, much as 
Scotland was to England a century earlier, and the Vienna 
school of music had a strong character of its own. But, 
fortunately, there were musicians in Germany at the head of 
affairs who knew how to welcome merit from wherever it came. 
We have seen* the wise and intelligent greeting which Leipzig 
gave to the Eroica in 1809. And as they acted towards that 
masterpiece, so did the conductors of the Allgemeine musika- 
Usche Zeitung — the ' General Musical Times ' of the same city, 
the great musical periodical of the day — towards the C minor 
Symphony. They went out of their w^ay to introduce the new 
work to their countrymen by a long, forcible, and effective 
article fi*om the pen of Hoffmann, July 11, 1810 ; no mere cold 
analysis hke that which had saluted the Eroica, but a burning 
welcome, full of admiration, respect, and sympathy, and 
apparently written with the f concurrence of the composer 
himself. And from that time, in London, in Paris, everywhere 
else, the C minor Symphony has been the harbinger of the 
Beethoven religion. It introduced a new physiognomy into 
the world of music. It astonished, it puzzled, it even aroused 

* See page 91. 

t This is to be inferred from the fact that the two redundant bars in the 
Scherzo, against which Beethoven protested in 1810 (see p. 174), but which were 
not corrected till 1846, are omitted in the quotations in HoflFmann's article. It 
is probably for this Hoffmann that Beethoven wrote his punning canou 
Auf einen welcher Hoffmann geheissen, ' Hoffmann, Hoffmann, sei ja kein 
Hoffmann,' or as it might be rendered, ' Harcourt, Harcourt, be no courtier I' 


laughter ; but it could not be put down, and in time it sub- 
dued its listeners, and led the way for the others of the 
immortal Nine, and all which were to follow them. 

The C minor Symphony is the fifth of the series. It was 
intended to follow the Eroica, and was begun in the year 1805.* 
But even in the case of such a Titan as Beethoven, Vhomme 
propose et Dieu dispose. His engagement with the Countess 
Theresa Brunswick, in May, 1806, intervened, and inspired the 
record of that lovely time which is given in the B flat Sym- 
phony ; and the C minor had to wait until that was completed. 

The actual dates of the composition of the work seem to 
be as follows : It was started in 1805 ; in 1806 it was laid 
aside for the B flat — the paean on the engagement ; it was 
then resumed and completed in 1807 or early in 1808. It 
thus covered the time before the engagement, the engagement 
itself, and a part of the period of agitation when the lovers 
were separated, and which ended in their final surrender. 
Now, considering the extraordinarily imaginative and disturbed 
character of the Symphony, it is impossible not to believe that 
the work — the first movement at any rate — is based on his 
relations to the Countess, and is more or less a picture of 
their personality and connection. In the Pastoral Symphony 
Beethoven has shown that he could put all disturbing elements 
out of his mind, and take refuge in the calm of Nature ; but 
in composing a work the character of which is agitation, 
almost from first to last, it is difficult to believe that he could 
keep clear of that which must have filled his mind on the least 
invitation. In fact, the first movement seems to contain 
actual portraits of the two chief actors in the drama. Bead 
the story of the music-lesson, given in the Countess's own 
words, at page 25 of the Unsterbliche Gcliebte, and the two 
subjects of the movement seem to stand before us (see page 155). 

* It was at one time thought that some of the themes and passages aated as 
far back as 1800. But this seems not to be the case.— See Thayer, Q^ron. 
Verzeichniss, p. 75 ; and Nottebohm, Beethoveniana, p. 16, 



Whether these suggestions are allowable or not it was 
ordained that the C minor should be somewhat postponed, and 
with the Pastoral Symphony should form a pair, completed 
at the latest in *1808, and pubHshed in 1809, after some 
vacillation, as Nos. 5 and 6. The first performance took place 
at Vienna, December 22, 1808 ; the first performance in 
England was by the Philharmonic Society, April 15, 1816. 
At Paris it seems to have been first heard at the third of 
the Concerts du Conservatoire, on April 18, 1828, under M. 
Habeneck ; but it was played at each of the remaining 
concerts of that season — four times in all. Since then it has 
been performed more f frequently than any other of the series. 

The earliest sketches of the work are in a collection of 
sheets which also contain sketches for the G major Piano- 
forte Concerto, and appear to have been in the possession of 
Herr Petter of Vienna. The opening is probably the most 
famous theme in the world, and Beethoven's first memo- 
randum of it is textually as follows. The theme is merely 
the four notes : but here J we have the manner in which 
Beethoven first proposed to develop them : — 

No. 1. ^_^ , 






1-n ^: 

^ftJ-J J. 4. -^i* 

=l-i=P^ 5? ^f=*=f= ^*— M^ 

— 1 i tJ — 1— 1 — 1 — M 1 1 — 


1 1 \ 1 — \ 1 

"2?- -2?- -27- 

* See Nottebohm, Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 532. 

t In fifty-five years the Philharmonic Society performed it fifty-five times, 
missing one year (1819), and in 1818 giving it twice. 
X Nottebohm, Beethoveniana, p. 10. 


A second sketch on the same page stands thug- 

No. 2. 

Sinfonia. Alio. Imo. 

9Al 1 . ,|— =z i .-,--■-. 1 T— 1 

rr-^T"^— rp^-T-T 


.w_^f» 2 \ ^ ^ \ '^ \ 

J p — p — ^ ^"^ i 

-i»^* ?2; 



On the opposite page of the sketch-book are sketches for 
the G major Piano Concerto, showing that, widely different 
as the two works are, the rhythm of the subject is the same 
in each — 

No. 3. 

Concert, (tempo moderato) 

-'- &o. 


The C minor Symphony is often spoken of as if it were a 
miracle of irregularity, and almost as if in composing it 
Beethoven had abandoned the ordinary rules which regulate 
the construction of a piece of music, put down whatever 
came uppermost in his mind, and by the innate force of 
genius produced a masterpiece which seized the world with 
admiration, and has kept it in astonishment ever since. Even 
M. Berlioz speaks of it in torms which might easily be thus 


interpreted. M. F^tis goes farther, and characterises Bee- 
thoven's style as a kind of improvisation, rather than 
composition ; meaning thereby, apparently, some wild lawless 
mode of proceeding, which, because he was a transcendent 
genius, happened to come out all right : — 

Like some wild Poet, when he works 
Without a conscience or an aim. 

Such ideas are simply contrary to facts, and are as false 
as Voltaire's famous dictum on Shakespeare ; as absurdly 
inaccurate as Fetis's other assertion * qu'il n'ecrivait jamais 
une note avant que le morceau fut acheve.' Whatever he was 
in improvisation at the pianoforte, Beethoven with the pen in 
his hand was the most curiously tentative and hesitating of 
men. Those who know his sketch-books tell us that he never 
adopted his first ideas ; that it is common to find a theme or 
a passage altered and re-written a dozen or twenty times ; that 
those pieces which appear to us the most spontaneous have been 
in reality most laboured ; that the composition gi'ew under his 
hand and developed in unintended directions as it did perhaps 
with no other composer ; and that it almost appears that he 
did not know what the whole would be until the very last 
corrections had been given to the proof-sheets. So much for 
the idea of sudden inspiration. As for that of irregularity, it 
may surprise the reader to hear that the C minor Symphony 
is from beginning to end as strictly in accordance with the 
rules which govern the structure of ordinary musical com- 
positions as any Symphony or Sonata of Haydn or Pleyel, 
while it is more than usually symmetrical. These ' rules ' 
are nothing arbitrary. They are no dicta or Jiat of any 
single autocrat, which can be set at naught by a genius 
greater than that of him who ordained them. They are 
the gradual results of the long progress of music, from 
the rudest Volkslieder, from the earliest compositions of 
Josquin des Pr^s and Palestrina — gradually developing and 


asserting themselves as music increased in freedom and as 
new occasions arose, as instruments took the place of 
voices, as music strayed outside the Church and allied 
itself to the world; but as absolute, and rigorous, and 
imperative as the laws which govern the production of an 
oak or an elm, and permit such infinite variety of appear- 
ance in their splendid and beautiful forms. In fact, they 
are not rules but laws, and it is only an unfortunate accident 
that has forced the smaller term upon us instead of the 

The first movement of Beethoven's C minor Symphony is 
framed as exactly on these laws as is the first movement of 
his C major Symphony (No. 1) — as the Trios and Sonatas 
with which he started on his career before the public. To 
give an outline of the construction of the first movement. 
Its structure — in musical language, its * form ' — is as follows. 
The opening subject is in the key of C minor, and is 
quickly answered by a second, in the key of E flat, the * relative 
major,' in which key the first section of the movement ends. 
That section having been repeated, we go on to the working- 
out, by no means long, and confined for its construction 
almost entirely to materials already furnished. Then comes 
the reprise of the opening, with the usual changes of key, a 
short Coda, and the movement is at an end ! These sections 
are all, with a rare uniformity, almost exactly of the same 
length : to the double bar, 124 bars ; the working-out, 123 ; 

* Coleridge's words on tlie subject of the criticism of Shakespeare are full of 
instruction on this point, and very applicable to Beethoven : ' In nine places 
out of ten in which I find his awful name mentioned, it is with some 
epithet of " wild," " irregular," " pure child of nature," etc. . . . The true 
ground of the mistake lies in the confounding mechanical regularity with 
organic form. The form is mechanic when on any given material we impress 
a predetermined form, not necessarily arising out of the properties of the 
material. . . . The organic form, on the other hand, is innate ; it shapes, as it 
developes, itself from within, and the fulness of its development is one and 
the same with the perfection of its outward form.'— Literary Remains (183G) 

Vol. iL, pp. 61, a. 


the reprise, 126 ; and the Coda, 129. In fact, the movement 
is much stricter in its form than that of the Eroica, which 
has two important episodes, entirely extraneous, in the 
working-out, while its reprise is by no means an exact 
repetition of what has gone before. If all art is a representa- 
tion — and surely it must be a representation of the idea in the 
mind of the artist — here we have the most concise representa- 
tion that has ever been accomplished in music. No, it is no 
disobedience to laws that makes the C minor Symphony so 
great and unusual — no irregularity or improvisation; it is 
obedience to law, it is the striking and original nature of the 
thoughts, the direct manner in which they are expressed, and 
the extraordinary energy with which they are enforced and 
reinforced, and driven into the hearer, hot from the mind of 
the author, with an incandescence which is still as bright and 
as scorching as the day they were forged on his anvil — it is 
these things that make the C minor Symphony what it is and 
Always will be. It is impossible to believe that it will ever 
grow old. 

We are speaking here of the opening movement, which in 
almost every Symphony, and especially in this one, is the 
portion which colours and characterises the whole work. It 
is not perhaps, if an amateur may record his impression, that 
this Allegro is more impassioned or fuller of emotion than 
those of the other Symphonies of the series, but that the 
emotion is more directly conveyed. The expression reaches 
the mind in a more immediate manner, with less of the 
medium or machinery of music about it than in those great 
works ; the figure has less drapery and the physiognomy is 
terribly distinct. We have here no prominent counterpoint 
or contrivance, not even the fugato which was so dear to 
Beethoven ; but there is the most powerful emotion, and 
everything else is subordinated to that. Not that there is less 
of the musician in the piece ; on the contrary, so to make the 
medium disappear, so to efface it before the thought conveyed, 

146 * 


requires the greatest* musiciansliip. And accordingly, here, 
in this movement, perhaps more than in any other, doea 
Beethoven show his relationship to Handel ; he, as was said 
of Handel, ' knows how to draw blood.' 

We have quoted the subject as it first came into Beethoven's 
mind. "We now give it in its finished form — a form which, to 
judge from other cases where the intermediate steps have 
been preserved, must have been the tardy fruit of many 
attempts and many erasures. The two forms have hardly 
anything in common but the rhythm — 

No. 4. 

Allegro con brio 

The phrase, as it now stands, with its sudden start, and the 
roar of its long holding notes, t strikes like thunder. It would 
be sublime if there were not too much conflict in it, and if it 
contained the religious | element. Beethoven §said of it, * So 
pocht das Schicksal an die Pforte ' — * such is the blow of 
Fate on the door ' — but indeed no expression is too strong 
for the effect of this sudden attack. Wagner, in a well-known 
passage in his work on Conducting (Ueher das Dirigiren, 
p. 25), thus speaks of it, if a paraphrase of his words may 
be allowed : — 

* The pause on the E flat,' says he, is usually discontinued 
after a short time, and as a rule is not held longer than a forte 

* Thus in ' Tears, idle tears,' in the * Princess,' so sweet is the melody, and 
80 delicious the combination of the sounds, that one is not aware of the 
absence of rhyme, till after an intimate acquaintance with the poem. 

t The second holding note in the autograph is one bar ; but in the first 
publication lengthened to two. Perhaps some editor will change it back. 

\ ' Sublimity,' says Coleridge, ' is Hebrew by birth ' ; and sublimity in musio 
seems to be almost confined to Handel's settings of Scripture words. 

§Schindler, i.. 158. 


produced by a casual bow- stroke might be expected to last. 
But suppose we could hear Beethoven calling from his grave to 
the conductor, would he not say something like the follow- 
ing : — My pauses must be long and serious ones. Do you 
think I made them in sport, or because I did not know 
what to say next ? Certainly not I That full, exhausting 
tone, which in my Adagios expresses unappeasable emotion, in 
a fiery and rapid Allegro becomes a rapturous and terrible 
spasm. The hfe-blood of the note must be squeezed out of it 
to the last drop, with force enough to arrest the waves of the 
sea, and lay bare the ground of ocean ; to stop the clouds in 
their courses, dispel the mists, and reveal the pure blue sky, 
and the burning face of the sun himself. This is the meaning 
of the sudden long- sustained notes in my Allegros. Ponder 
them here on the first announcement of the theme ; hold the 
long E flats firmly after the three short tempestuous quavers ; 
and learn what the same thing means when it occurs later in 
the work.' 

The first phrase is said to have been suggested to Beethoven 
by the note of the yellow-hammer as he walked in the Prater 
or park at Vienna ; and it agrees with the song of the bird, 
if not in the interval, in the quick notes being succeeded 
by the longer one. If Czerny is to be believed, *Beethoven 
not only avowed that he had derived the theme as described, 
but was accustomed often to extemporize upon it. That 
subjects were suggested to Beethoven by the most casual 
accidents is undoubtedly true. That of the Scherzo of the 
Ninth Symphony is said to have flashed into his mind on 
stepping out of the house into a bright starlight night. The 
splendid Sonata, Op. 81a, took its rise from the mere 
departure and return home of the Archduke Rudolph. The 
four crotchets which animate the first movement of the 
great Violin Concerto are said to have been suggested by a 

* Thayer, Biography, ii., 261. 


man persistently knocking in that rhythm at a door in tlie 
dead of the night. So an immortal poem was suggested to 
Wordsworth by the sight of a mass of daffodils moving in the 
breeze. If the subject had its origin in the notes of the 
yellow-hammer, it adds another to the curious difficulties" 
there are in ascertaining the degree of Beethoven's deaf- 
ness ; for the shrill song of a small bird is one of the 
first things that escapes one in the process of losing one'g 

The minor Symphony, though now known and fixed as 
No. 5, was not always so. In the programme of the first 
concert at which it was performed — December 22, 1808, in 
the Vienna Theatre — it was not only preceded by the Pastoral 
Symphony, but was given as No. 6 ; while the Pastoral — now 
No. 6 — was designated as No. 5. And the same thing was 
done in Vienna as late as 1813.* The two were composed 
or completed together, during the summer of 1808 — as 
the two later and almost greater twins, Nos. 7 and 8, 
were in that of 1813, and as the third pair would have 
been in 1817 had they ever come to the birth — had 
Beethoven's offer to Eies for the Philharmonic Society been 
carried out. But there is no doubt that the C minor has the 
priority of the two. True, the autograph manuscript, once 
the property, like so many of Beethoven's finest autographs, 
of Felix Mendelssohn, and now safely laid up in the old 
banking-house in Berlin, bears neither date nor number, and 
has simply the words — 

' Sinfonie da L. v. Beethoven * 

scrawled on it in red chalk. But that of the Pastoral 
Symphony is numbered 6th both in Italian and German, in 
Beethoven's own hand. And the score and parts of each, 
the latter pubHshed in April, 1809, are numbered as we are 
accustomed to know them. 

• Hanslick, Geschichte des Concertwesen in Wien. Also page 190. 



The two were brought out together, and each is jointly 
dedicated to Prince Lobkowitz and Count Rasumoffsky, 
noblemen who held a high place among Beethoven's patrons. 
The Prince's name appears on the title-page of the Eroica 
Symphony, of the first six String Quartets, and of the Quartet 
in E flat (Op. 74) ; while the Count enjoys a safe eternity 
in the three immortal works which will be known as the 
* Rasumoffsky Quartets ' as long as there are four artists in 
the world capable of playing them. 

Every tiny fact is of interest about these immortal works, 
and we will therefore mention that in the ^All°- con Brio,* 
which heads the first movement on the autograph, a word, 
possibly molto, has been scratched out after All"-, and con Brie 
put in with a different pen and different ink. Brio is a good word, 
but it seems almost to have vanished after Beethoven's time. 

So, then, begins this tremendous composition. The first 
fifty-eight bars of the work do little more than repeat and 
repeat the astonishing phrase, both in its interval and its 
rhythm, as in these passages — 

No. 5. 


riPTH SYMrnoNT. 

Of modulation there is hardly any, the key does not change 
till the end of the passage, and then (bar 59) both mood and 
key suddenly alter, the key after a little hesitation to E flat, 
the mood to a winning pathos, and after a loud preface by 
the horns, as if to emphasise the change as much as 
possible, the second subject enters in the voice of the violins, 
like the sweet protest of a woman against the fury of her 
oppressor — 

Basses 8va p 

Flute 8va & Viol. ^.^^ 

-'-J |J-;i 




r-l i 

'r^ — ^ 



H — h- 


^ ^ ^ 







-r , * I b^ 






The recurrence of the quavers in the accompaniment keeps 
the rhythm of the first subject present, but the music 
practically remains in E flat to the very end of the first 
section, 124 bars, and the fortissimo passages which occur 
have nothing of the savage character of their predecessors. 

With the first note of the working-out, however, the first 
theme returns and resumes all, and more than all, the fury 
that before distinguished it and seems inherent in its com- 
position. The gentle second theme has no place in this 
terrible display of emotion, which starts thus — 

No. 8. Wind ^ 

CI. p 


Strings ff 



V. 1. 



■-gg^j. j??2 

and the hoarer will notice the firmness expressed by the 
D flat in the eighth and following bars. The concluding 
portion of the quotation is a new phrase, the only material 
as yet exhibited which is independent of either the first or 
second subjects. This phrase is in double counterpoint — that 
is to say, it is immediately repeated with the positions of treble 
and bass reversed — 

No. 9. ^^„^~ 


f^^r^ — I'r ife^ 

p-k fr =i^^^^ 


1^ ^-^-^r-p-4— ^ 

_Tt}^ — ts — 


the rising scale of the new phrase combining with the 
descending scale of the new one to form a very affecting 

Short as it is — and it is astonishingly short — the working- 
out is most dramatic ; a tremendous tragedy is crowded into 
its few pages. * Fate is knocking at the door,' as Beethoven 
is reported to have said of the first theme, and does not enter 
the house without a fearful combat. Was it the Fate which 
at that early time he saw advancing to prevent his union 
with his Theresa ? — to prevent his union with any woman ? 
At any rate, in this movement he unbosoms himself as he 



Las never done before. Here, in Berlioz's* language, be 
Las revealed all the secrets of his being — * his most private 
griefs, his fiercest wrath, his most lonely and desolate 
meditations, his midnight visions, his bursts of enthusiasm * 
—all these are there, and all winged by the ardour and 
anxiety of his newly acquired love. We hear the pal- 
pitating accents and almost the incoherence of the famous 
love-letters,t but mixed with an amount of fury which 
is not present in them, and which may well have been 
inspired by the advent of some material difficulties, or by the 
approaching fear that the engagement so passionately begun 
could not be realised. A passage full of terrors, in the very 
midst of the working-out, which will be recognised by the 
following skeleton of its contents — 

No. 10. 

forms the climax of this struggle. On it follows a 
passage founded on the fourth and fifth bars of quotation 
No. 5— 

» Vcryage Musical (1844), Vol. I., p. 300. 
t Given in full at pp. 128-130. 



No. II. 


J' Wind 


^M, , 

Btr. ^%V'' Str. 

Wind - ' W^°^ ^■ 




b d I : 






alternately given by strings and wind, and at length failing 
as if through exhaustion. Then, with the rapid action of the 
mind, it revives in fury, to sink again, and to revive once 
more. After this singularly dramatic passage, Beethoven 
returns to the first subject, and the working-out ends by 
eight bars in the rhythm of the opening, the recapitulation 
of the first section of all being then taken up without a 
moment's hesitation. Not, however, a mere repetition ; for 
though the general lines are exactly followed, the instru- 
mental treatment is occasionally altered. One change, though 
all will notice it, must be specially alluded to, as an instance 
of the extraordinary poetry and refinement which were always 
in wait to show themselves even in Beethoven's sternest 
moods. I allude to the pathetic unbarred phrase for the oboe 
solo — 

No. 12. 

Oboe 1. Adagio 

a beautiful blossom, springing out as it were from the bud of 
the pause which occurred at bar twenty-one of the first section, 

Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello's Edition. L 



and like a flower of gentian spreading its petals on the edge 
of the glacier.* At the end of the recapitulation there is a burst 
into major, which forms a fine beginning to a triumphant 
and dramatic Coda. The only passage which need be quoted 
in the Coda is the new theme which is introduced — 

No. 13. 


r^ F^f^T F^ 



s- ^ bi. . 


-r~ r 


and which, both in itself and in its development, forms a very 
striking feature. 

The following passage from Beethoven's unsterbliche Geliebtef 
page 25, the work already alluded to in connection with 
the preceding Symphony, seems, as already hinted, to throw 
a direct light on the movement. The story is told by the 
chief sufferer herself. 

* One fearful winter's day in Vienna, in 1794, the snow 
standing deep and still falling fast, and traffic almost entirely 
suspended in the streets, Countess Theresa Brunswick, 
then a girl of fifteen, was waiting for Beethoven's arrival, 
to give her her pianoforte lesson. Weather never stopped 
him; but when he appeared it was obvious that as great a 
storm was raging in his mind as in the streets. He entered 
with hardly a motion of his head, and she saw at once that 
all was wrong. 

* Practised the Sonata ? ' said he, without looking. His 
hair stood more upright than ever ; his splendid eyes were 
half closed, and his mouth — oh, how wicked it looked I 
In reply to his question, she stammered out 'Yes, I have 
practised it a great deal, but — ' 

* A similar development occurs at the return to the subject after the 
wcfiting-out, in the first movement of the Pastoral Symphony (see page 198). 


* Let's see.' She sat down to the piano and he took his 
stand behind her. The thought passed through her mind, 
' If I am only fortunate enough to play well ! ' But the notes 
swam before her eyes, and her hands were all of a tremble. 
She began in a hurry : once or twice he said ' Tempo j' but it 
made no difference, and she could not help feeling that he 
was getting more impatient as she became more helpless. At 
last she struck a wi-ong note. She knew it at once, and could 
have cried. But then the teacher himself struck a wrong note, 
which hurt his pupil both in body and mind. He struck — 
not the keys, but her hand, and that angrily and hard ; 
strode like mad to the door of the room, and from thence 
to the street-door, through which he went, banging it after 

* Good God,' she cried, ' he's gone without his coat 
and hat,' and rushed after him with them into the street. 
Her voice brought in the mother from her boudoir, curious to 
see the reason of the noise. But the room was empty, and 
both its door and the street-door stood open ; and the servants, 
where were they ? Everything now had to give way to the 
shocking certainty that her daughter. Countess Theresa von 
Brunswick, had actually run out into the street after the 
musician, with his coat, hat, and stick ! Fortunately she was 
not more than a few steps from the door when the frightened 
servant overtook her, Beethoven meanwhile standing at a 
distance waiting for his things, which he took from the man 
and went off without a sign of recognition to his pupil.' 

Are not these two characters exactly expressed in the 
above, the one by 

the other by S^ ^- r-r- ^ f | T ^\ ^ ^ 

p dolce "*" 

It surely would be impossible to convey them in music more 
perfectly — the fierce imperious composer, who knew how t-Q 


' put his foot down,' if the phrase may be allowed, and the 
^Y0lnanly, yielding, devoted girl. 

This was in 1794. The Countess became more and more 
intimate with Beethoven, and at last, in May, 1806, with the 
knowledge and consent of her brother Franz, the head of the 
house, she and he were formally, though secretly, engaged. 
Honourable matrimony — and that with a woman of position 
and character — was always Beethoven's fixed desire. For 
any irregular attachment he had neither taste nor inclination. 
' God,' says he, in one of those passionate entries in his 
diary, ' let me at last find her who is destined to be mine, 
and who shall strengthen me in virtue.' The engagement 
appears to have taken place at Martonvasar, the Count's 
castle, south of Buda-Pesth. Beethoven shortly after left for 
Fiired, a watering-place on the north shore of the Plattensee, 
in Hungary, from whence he penned the famous love-letters 
which were afterwards returned to him by the Countess on 
the termination of the engagement. It lasted with many 
fluctuations for four years and was put an end to by Beethoven 
himself in 1810. There could be no other result. 

The Countess was surely right in saying (see p. 64 of the 
little book), ' It was a wise step for us to part. What would 
have been the result to his genius, and what to my love, if I 
had ever been forced to be afraid of him ? ' These letters are 
reprinted at the end of Chapter IV. They were the subject 
of many conjectures, until the matter was set at rest — first, 
by the acuteness of Mr. Thayer, and then by the independent 
publication of the book alluded to by 'Mariam Tenger,' which 
has received the imprimatur of the historian, and is now in its 
second edition. 

II. Andante con moto, in A flat. Beethoven has *here 
forsaken the accepted rule for the key of the second 
movement, and adopted the key of the submediant, or third 

♦ He has made the same choice in the Eroica and Niuth Symphonies. 


below the principal key. After the assaults and struggles and 
conquests of the first movement, the Andante comes as a 
surprise. It is a set of variations, beautiful to hear, and with 
much of the same grace and elaborate finish as the Adagio of 
No. 4. It also contains excellent examples of the caprice to 
which allusion has more than once been made. But the 
Adagio of No. 4, since we know it to be Beethoven's Song of 
betrothal, has a glorious inner meaning transcending all 
outward beauties, and this the Andante of No. 5 at present 
wants. It seems wanting in the spur — the personal purpose 
or idea which inspires the preceding movement and gives 
the present work its high position in Beethoven's music. 
Beethoven, doubtless, had such an idea, he always had one ; 
but he has not revealed it to us. And here it is impossible to 
resist a strong feeling of regret that in this and others of his 
Symphonies Beethoven did not give us the clue to his inten- 
tion, as he has done in the * Eroica,' and still more fully 
in the * Pastoral.' How warmly should we welcome any 
authentic memorandum or commentary, however short, on 
these great works of the imagination ! Beethoven has not 
seen fit to vouchsafe them ; but it is surely a pity that he has 
not. How much less should we have been able to enter into 
the manifold meanings of the Pastoral Symphony, if all that 
was known about it was that it was * Symphony No. 6, in F 
major. Op. 68.' Similarly in the cases of Symphony No. 8, 
and the first movement of No. 9, how welcome would be any 
authentic memoranda of the personal circumstances which 
evidently lie behind their extraordinary autobiographical 
features. We may admire the spirit, the rich colouring, 
the romantic and humorous feeling of No. 7 to the very full ; 
but the mind will always crave to know something beyond the 
mere romance, variety, and brilliancy of the sounds — some- 
thing which has been withheld from us, something which 
we have to guess, and in guessing which all attempts 
must be uncertain — the ideas, the circumstances which 


were thronging through the mind of the Master when he 
composed that gorgeous picture, for a picture it must be. 
This fact is proved, if only by the ridiculous variety of inter- 
pretations that have been proposed by the critics. They are 
quite within their duty, if not always within their taste, in 
proposing them, because we know on Beethoven's* own 
authority that he 'always worked to a picture.' True, 
Mendelssohn, in a very interesting letter to his cousin 
Souchay,f says that music has a more definite meaning 
than words. To the composer probably, but certainly 
not to the hearer, especially if he happen to be an 

But we must return to the Andante. It consists first of a 
theme containing several sections and extending to forty- 
eight bars. The first section is played by the violas and 
cellos in unison, with a pizzicato note here and there in the 
basses — 

No. 15. 

Viola A 
Cello, dol. 


B&BBBB pizz, P 

Viol. 8va & Fag. 


If the form in which the opening subject of the first move- 
ment first appeared in the sketch-book (No. 1) was 
commonplace, that in which the above beautiful melody 
stands there is still Jmore so — 

• Expressly said to Mr. Neate, in 1815.— See Thayer, iiL, p. 313. 

t See Letters, October 15, 1842. 

X bee lioii&h6hm.B eethovenuinu, p. 14. 



NO. 16. j^n^ante quasi menuetto. ■-■«,■-«- 


nothing could well be more tame and unpromising. 

A second melody in the wind instruments, echoed by the 
violins, follows immediately on the foregoing ; the unequal 
length of the two portions will be noticed — 

No. 17. 



cres.f ^-^ p 

and then a *third — 

No. 18, 

Clar. & Bassoons 

This continues for some length, passing through the key of 
C major, and ending with a Coda of great beauty — 

* I can find nothing in this march-like theme to recall the Orossvaiertanz, as 
it does to Oulibicheff. 

t A Vienna tradition says that at rehearsal the hassoon played F natural, 
and was corrected by Beethoven's shouting out 'Fes' — i.e., F Hat, in the 
Germaa nomenclature. 



This first section, as already stated, occupies forty. 
eight bars. It is immediately succeeded by a variation 
of the whole preceding matter, the variation consisting in 
giving a semiquaver form to the melody, and other simple 
though masterly devices. It begins thus in the violas and 
cellos — 

No- 20.^^ 

^ ^ 




and among the devices is the following startling amplification 
of the quaver which finishes Example 16, on the recurrence 
of the passage — 

No. a. 

PI. il 



Fag. ff\ 


^ 1 

The amount of colour obtained here and elsewhere throug'n- 
out this movement from the scanty force of wind instruments 
at Beethoven's command is very strildng and very beautiful. 
His economy is remarkable ; a touch here, a short passage 
there, often produces the most disproportionate and charming 

This first variation is followed by a second in demisomi- 
quavers — 

No. 22. 

Violas A 

Cellos ^ m^ "1 Ii> -^ T*^^^** ^^ f^J^ ^ -P- -P- 

4i doles '*^. 




Berlioz* tells us that the beautiful high E flat held on by 
the flute, oboe, and bassoon throughout these bars was 
corrected to F by Fetis in his scoref with the impertinent 
remark, * this E flat should obviously be F ; it is impossible 
for Beethoven to have made such a blunder.' Fetis must 
surely have recognised the beauty of the resolution of the 
Et? into Efcj, which follows in the fifth bar; but to him 
probably a rule was a rule, not to be broken under any 

After this we arrive at a pause, and a succession of chords 
in the strings, which serve as a basis for a touching little 
duet between the clarinet and bassoon, with all the air of a 
farewell, the pace being somewhat accentuated — 

No. 23 

Pitt moto. 







pp semprepp 


Fag. ^ 



This is prolonged by the wind instruments in a humorous 
passage J of twelve bars, beginning thus — 


Flute solo. dol. Oboe 



Clars. p 51 

* Mevioires, i., chap. 44. 

f- Prepared with a view to a pianoforte edition for Troup^nas the publisher. 
X These phrases in contrary motion ai-e perhaps first tried in the Larghetto 
of Symphony No. 2. 



humorous because it lias all the air of mere wilfulness on the 
part of the composer, a determination to do just what he likes, 
however inconsequent or unnecessary it may seem to hia 
hearers, or however repulsive the passing discords may prove 
to their conservative ears. 

This leads into a repetition of No. 18 in the key of C major, 
very loud and martial in tone ; and this again into a second 
and still droller passage than the last quotation, where the 
flow of the melody is stopped for eight bars to introduce 
a passage of mere pleasantry — or, as it probably seemed in 
1808, of mere caprice, though now essential to our 
pleasure — 

No. 25, 

pjg^P ^J^ ^I^ 

Strings p 

Viol. 1 & Viola 



The writer was told by the late Sir John Goss that he 
remembered this very passage having been specially offensive 
to the older members of the Philharmonic Society at the 
early performances of the Symphony. 

The remainder of the movement is extraordinarily noblfev 
pathetic, and beautiful; and culminates in an extended 
repetition of the last bars of No. 17, in which, by an altera- 
tion, sHght, but of infinite moment, a most touching effect 
is produced — 



No 26. 

gH— g= 


The violin seems almost to go up into heaven; the sforzandos 
of bars 2 and 3, and the rests in bars 4 and 5 are full of 
unspeakable emotion ; and the pathos is increased by the last 
six bars being accompanied in the clarinets and bassoons 
by the little Coda figure given in No. 28. Immediately 
after this melting farewell, however, as if ashamed of thus 
indulging his emotion, Beethoven urges the basses into 
crescendo arpeggios, and the movement ends with a crash. 

III. The next movement is the Scherzo ^ though not so 
denominated. It is simply marked J ZZe^ro. And for it we return 
to the key of C minor, and to the poetical, ideal character of 
the first movement ; even perhaps to still greater ideality, 
though the mood be less incisive. It is constructed in the usual 
form of Scherzos, with a Trio and the ordinary repeats and 
interchanges ; and yet while adhering to these general lines, 
Beethoven has departed so much from the usual proportions 
as to show how far such prescribed forms can be modified 
without interfering with the unity, the symmetry, or the 
impressiveness of the whole. The most serious innovations are 
first the connection of the Scherzo with the Finale by a link of 
great length, so contrived that the one movement passes into 
the other without any pause, and secondly the introduction of 
a long portion of the Scherzo — or rather a fresh treatment of 
its themes — into the working-out of the Finale. But of thia 
more anon. 



A Scherzo, as its name implies, is generally a bngy> almost 
bustling piece — witness that of the * Eroica ' ; but the ex- 
pression of the theme in the present case has something 
mysterious, almost uncanny about it — in Berlioz's words, ' it 
is as fascinating as the gaze of a mesmeriser.' It opens 
thus, in the cellos and basses only — 

No. 27. 

Basses pp 

•-' Vinlinfl 4 

pnco ritard. 



as light and legato as the bows can make it. On repetition 
these eight bars are extended to ten, and these are succeeded 
by a second strain, forcible and rhythmic, given out by the 
horns, with a loud chord from the strings at the beginning of 
each bar — 

No. 28. 

Horns Jf 


Str. / 




r r 

and then a development of the two themes takes place at great 
length, and full of ingenious modulation and combination. 
The first portion of the Scherzo ends on the note C, with no 
third, major or minor. The Trio, however, which follows 
on this, though not so called, is unmistakably in the major 
of the key : — 

No. 29. 

Viola & Fag. 



The music has abandoned its supernatural character, and is 
extremely droll,* in the fugal form it assumes, in the almost 
solo part taken by the double basses, and other features. The 
theme, which we already remarked as being in C, is answered 
in G. The other two answers are in C and G. 

The second section of the Trio is droller still, first in the 
F natural, which forms the second note, and next in the false 
starts, both dropped in the fugal answer — 

No. 30. 



1— T 

^ &0, 

The rumble of the double basses, in these false starts and in 
the answers of the fugatn, makes, to quote Berlioz again, a 
confusion ' like the gambols of an elephant.' The gamesome 
beast, however, retires by degrees, the whole dies away in 
a beautiful soft passage for the wind, and a few notes pizzicato 
in cellos and basses land us back in C minor and the 
original mysterious subject of the Scherzo (No. 27). 

But with a change of treatment. Formerly all was legato, 
now the phrases are made more piquant by being given 
staccato (a crotchet and a rest instead of a minim), thus — 

No. 31. 



voco ritard. 

" l i I r — U »■ f J^ 



■^ -^ 


^ "*1f^[f 


• ' Die fragende Figur ' (Schumann), 



The return of the Scherzo is no mere recapitulation. Besides 
the prevailing staccato jiist mentioned, which takes the place of 
the former legato, the treatment is widely different. Thus the 
passage quoted as No. 28, instead of being, as before, loud 
and aggressive, is very soft and delicate ; the figure is trans- 
ferred from the horns to the clarinet, oboe, and first violins ; 
the accompaniment is quite new and of a charmingly crisp 
and delicate character ; the strings being used arco and staccato 
at the same time, the lowest nuance is maintained, and a 
mysterious atmosphere seems to descend over all — 

J J J Viols, pizz. 


Str. arco. sempre pp 

— 4- 


Y sempre piu p 




«^-^^j.j.-j -J j-j-j J 

::=^EjgEg3E - j '" "" Ip S^^S^^^i 


From the rhythmical figure a new melody gradually emerges — 

No. 33. 


^ semvre P P &c 

sempre p p 

This goes on for seventy bars, at which point the basses 
come on to A flat, ppp, and the drum begins a pedal on C, 
with constant vacillations of rhythm ; aod with this sudden 
change — almost as great as the beginning of the storm in the 
Pastoral Symphony, though marked with no double-bar, as 



that is — we begin the truly magical passage* which links the 
Scherzo to the Finale — 

No. S4. 

_| r r- | ^_r_i j |..r | , -| :±: Uf- | -^44-4- 1 || I | l| I -4— U|- 
I ^^ — ^1 ~ -^ I ^ — ^ I "^ — ' I "^^ — " I ^ I ^^ ^1 

semijre pp 

At the end of the quotation a slight increase in force takes 
place — from ppp to pp — and in the bar following the quota- 
tion the basses change their holding note to crotchets and 
shortly afterwards leave their A flat ; the violin begins a 
figure taken from the original theme (No. 27) — 

No. 35. 


^111 111 1 
but the drum maintains its recurring figure and the whole 

* A great musician has well said of this place : — ' The whole of the Scherzo of 
the C minor Symphony is as near being miraculous as human work can be ; but 
one of its most absorbing moments is the part where, for fifteen bars, there is 
nothing going on but an insignificant chord continuously held by low strings 
and a pianissimo rhythmic beat of the drum. Taken out of its context, it 
would be perfectly meaningless. As Beethoven has used it, it is infinitely 
more impressive than the greatest noise Meyerbeer and his followers ever 
■ucceeded in making.' — Dr. Hubert Parry, T/te Art a/ Music, p. 284, 



passage its magical quality, till the mystery ends by the 
mafmificent burst into the Finale — 

At this point the whole orchestra, including the three 
trombones, hitherto silent, the double bassoon, the piccolo, 
and the drum, all the noisy elements at Beethoven's com- 
mand in those simpler days, bursts like a thunder-clap into 
the major key and into a triumphal march, Allegro^ ci=84 : — 

No. 37. 

-]!* P^— ^ 

jfFuU Orchestra. J ^ Z ^ Z ^ Ls F * "E^^ * 

This subject is twenty-four bars in length, and leads into 
a definite passage for the wind instruments (which, cm-iously, 
has the same intervals and rhythm as the subject of the 
Andante in Mozart's * Jupiter ') — 

No. 38. 






■ U 





It will be observed that in the latter portion of this subject 
the phrases are hurried in time according to a favourite habit 
of Beethoven's. This gives rise to another passage of great 
importance — 

not only in itself, but because, in the development of it, an 
emphatic phrase occurs in the bass, which is greatly employed 
in the workuig-out of the movement — 

No. 40. 

and this at last leads into the second main subject of the 
Finale in the key of G — 

No. 41. Clar. & Viol? 

After this we arrive at the end of the first section. That 
section (eighty-five bars) is, strange to say, marked to be 
repeated, though the instruction is rarely obeyed.* Then 

* Berlioz actually charges Habeneck with disloyalty to Beethoven for 
having suppressed this repetition. No conductor observes it. But Berlioz had 
a grudge against Habeneck, and no one knew better than he that revenge is 

Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello's Edition. M 



comes the working-out of the matter already quoted. This 
begins in the key of A minor, and great use is at once made 
of the energetic phrase in the bass of No. 40. It occurs no 
less than fifteen times, in all instruments, from the contra- 
fagotto to the flute, and in various combinations, and as the 
vehicle of the most interesting modulations. In fact it may 
be said to be the prominent feature of the first portion of the 
working-out. This portion, hurrying, loud, and noisy through- 
out, ends by a tremendous hui&t fortissimo on a pedal G, with 
all possible clamour and richness. At this point there is a 
sudden lull. The pace then slackens to that of the Scherzo 
(J. = 96), the time alters to 3-4, the contra-fagotto and 
piccolo are silenced, the tone is reduced in the course of a few 
bars to jnanissimo, and the Scherzo is re-introduced in the 
strings, clarinets, oboe, and horn. This introduction is not, 
however, the actual recapitulation of any former portion of 
the work, but is rather a continuation of the highly mysterious 
and touching music quoted in Nos. 32, 33, 34, 35, and is 
remarkable for a lovely new feature in an affecting melody 
put into the mouth of the oboe, beginning at bar 20 of the 
3-4 time — 

No. 42. 

Viol, arco 


Nothing could possibly be more effective than this beautiful 
episode in its astonishing contrast to the brilliant and 
triumphant strains which precede and follow it. Effective, 
and also original ; no one who ever hears it can forget the 
wonderful impression it makes. Spohr, who disliked the 
Symphony and describes the Finale as a mere * empty babel,' 
sajs that for so happy an idea the composer deserves his 


blessing. And Spohr was right. Beethoven has had the 
blessing not only of Spohr, the learned musician, but of tens 
of thousands who are not musicians, who can feel without 
knowing why they feel. After this affecting interruption, the 
opening of the Finale (No. 37) returns in full force, and the 
recapitulation follows with few if any differences. When this is 
completed a long and splendid Coda begins, no less than 150 
bars in length, in which much of the previous material is em- 
ployed. Its first principal feature is a new treatment of the latter 
part of No. 38. After this is exhausted, the pace gradually 
increases to Presto on the subject No. 41, and the movement 
ends with all possible jubilation in an apparently interminable 
succession of the common chord of C, the drum asserting 
its presence to the very last. 

Let us, before we go to the next Symphony, take a 
farewell look at the complex final movement, or congeries 
of movements, we have been imperfectly endeavouring to 
describe — Scherzo ^ Trio, and Finale all forming one long and 
continuous piece. First we have the magnetic Scherzo, at once 
so mysterious and so strong, taking us at a touch out of 
the almost brutal conflicts of the first movement, and 
the beautiful but human world of the Andante. Then comes 
the gamesome humour of the Trio, not unlike the grim 
banter of the Angels during the battle in * Paradise Lost.' 
Next, and most remarkable of all, is the reprise of the 
Scherzo, where, had he been a mere musician, even of the 
greatest, Beethoven was bound to repeat the opening of 
his movement ; but where, the poet being too strong for 
the artist, he has been forced by his genius to throw his former 
materials into an entirely new form. * I cast them into the 
fire,' said Aaron of the ornaments of the Israelite women, 
* and they came out this calf.' But what was Aaron's 
miracle to Beethoven's — when, out of an unpretending 
little phrase of three notes, he made such an astonishing 


passage ? Great as the music was before, magnetic, 
poetical, it was only that ; it was self-contained and did 
not imply that anything further was to come out of it ; 
but now we feel that the music is pregnant with a new 
birth, and has the promise of eternity within its bosom. 
To hear it is like being present at the work of Creation. 
Strange, disorderly, almost appalling, as is the rushing 
surface of the mass, we cannot but feel that a divine power 
is working under the current ; the creative force of law and 
order is at work there ; and at last, out of the suspense 
and mystery and repetition which have for so long enveloped 
us, suddenly bursts the new world, radiant with the eternal 
sunshine, and welcomed by the jubilant sound of those aeonian 
strains, when all the sons of God shouted for joy. No wonder 
that the work to which this forms the conclusion should have 
penetrated more widely and deeply than any other into the 
minds of men. 

Thus started, the Finale goes on its way in all the pomp 
and circumstance of earthly life. It may be victory or success 
of some other kind that is depicted, but success it undoubtedly 
is, and a glorious career; until, as if to enforce the lesson 
that the ideal is higher than the visible, a part of the Scherzo 
is re-introduced, and we are made again to listen to a portion 
of the mysterious strain that was so affecting before. The 
initial triumphal-march then returns, and the movement 
finishes in glory. The immense spirit of the Finale is excuse 
enough for any effect that it may have produced. But there 
is one anecdote which is particularly interesting. It is said 
that at one of the performances in Paris, an old soldier who 
was in the room started up at the commencement of the 
movement and cried out ' L'Empereur, I'Empereur I ' No 
wonder too if in that strange land, where faith in the Emperor 
was then nearly the only faith left, it was at one time 
asserted that this movement was originally intended to com- 
plete the * Eroica,' the Symphony which was actually a 



portrait of Napoleon. This notion is, however, utterly false. 
To those who have ears to hear and hearts to feel, the Eroica 
wants no other Finale than that which it possesses, and always 
possessed, and the hero of the C minor Symphony was a more 
ideal person even than Bonaparte — it was Beethoven himself. 

At the conclusion of a work so essentially unlike any of its 
predecessors or successors, it is again impossible not to call 
attention to the extraordinary individuahty which they all 
manifest, each utterly different from the other in every point — 
which is really one of the most astonishing things in Bee- 
thoven's music. His Symphonies form a series of peaks, each 
with its characteristic features — its clefts, its glaciers, its 
descending torrents and majestic waterfalls, its sunny uplands 
and its shining lakes ; and each of these great peaks has its 
own individual character as much as the great mountains of 
Switzerland have theirs, and is a world in itself — a world not 
made with hands, and eternal. 

The wonderful conclusion of the Symphony, impulsive and 
spontaneous as it now sounds, was no fruit of sudden impulse 
or momentary inspiration. The original conception was of 
quite a different order, as we see from the sketch-books,* where 
it appears thus — 

No. 43. 

Ij' ultimo pezzo. 


M l N I ^ ^ 





#iy-^^^Jta=-.=^H— 4^ - =tf ^ ^^^g^ 

* Btxthoveniana, p. 15. 



with a certain relationship to the subjects of the Finales of the 
* Waldstein ' and E flat Sonatas. 

The subject of the two famous redundant bars, which once 
formed a part of the Scherzo as performed, is now rarely 
alluded to ; but at one time a strong controversy raged over 
it, and, before we leave this part of the work, mention must 
be made of the matter. It is an odd bit of history, and not 
uninstructive in many ways. 

The separate instrumental parts of the Symphony were 
published by Messrs. Breitkopf and Hartel in 1809. In the 
autumn of the next year, Beethoven addressed a letter to 
them dated August 21, 1810, pointing out that the first bars of 
the repetition of the Scherzo after the Trio were inaccurately 
printed. His letter is as follows : — 

' I have found the following error still remaining in the 
Symphony in minor ; namely, in the third movement in 
8-4 time, where the minor comes back after the major |:|nL* 
I quote the Bass part thus — 

The two bars which are crossed out are too many, and must 
be erased, of course in all the parts.' 

Of this letter no notice appears to have been taken at the 
time ; and, strange to say, when the score was pubhshed by 
the same eminent firm, with that of the Pastoral Symphony, 
in 1826, the passage appeared as it had always stood in the 
parts — with the two redundant bars. In 1846 Mendelssohn 
had to conduct the Lower Rhine Festival at Aix-la-Chapelle. 
The C minor Symphony formed part of the programme, and 
the tradition is, though I am bound to say that I cannot 


obtain any absolute confirmation of it, that he felt unhappy 
about the passage and made enquiry of the publishers. At 
any rate, thirty-six years after it was written, Beethoven's 
letter was produced, and published in facsimile in the Allg. 
mils. Zeitung for 1846, p. 461. Mendelssohn omitted the two 
bars at the performance, but the fact seems almost entirely to 
have escaped notice. Even the long article on the Festival in 
the periodical just named (1846, p. 405), by Onslow the com- 
poser, does not mention it, and the only notice which I have 
been able to discover is* that of Dr. Ferdinand Rallies 
in the Musical World, May 26, 1860. Rallies was present 
at the Festival, and his statement settles the fact that the two 
bars were omitted. Still, strange to say, in the teeth of 
Beethoven's plain words about his own work, thus at length 
acted upon, the obnoxious bars were clung to and defended in 
the most vigorous manner. Berlioz, then writing for the Dehats, 
was one of their stoutest champions. He was adhered to by 
the French in general — tant pis pour lesfaits. So strong was 
the feeling in Paris that Habeneck, conductor of the famous 
Concerts du Conservatoire, told Schindler that he dared not 
go against the feeling of his orchestra by sacrificing the two 
bars. There would be a revolt. Touching loyalty on the part 
of the band I However, 'Time, the healer,' has done his 
useful work, and the passage is probably now played every- 
where as Beethoven intended it to be played, and as he 
fruitlessly corrected the printed edition so soon after its 

The explanation given by the late Otto Jahn, than 
whom no one is more likely to have known, in his preface to 
Breitkopf's general edition of Beethoven, f is that in the copy 
prepared by Beethoven for the engraver the two redundant 
bars are marked 1, and the two following ones 2, and that 

• I owe this to the kind labour of my friend, Mr. F. G. Edwards. 

t See Gesammelie Au/sdtze uber Musik von Otto Jahn (Leipzig, 1866), p. 31 7» 


above them is written si replica con trio allora 2 — repeat the 
Trio and then go to 2. Beethoven therefore wished the whole 
ScJierzo and Trio repeated, and then the Coda — with which 
the repetition was to end — and this the engraver did not 

At the Gewandhaus concerts, at Leipzig, when Mendelssohn 
was conductor (1835 to 1843), and at an earlier period, it 
appears, from an inspection of the music, to have been the 
practice to omit the two staccato bars and play the two legato 
ones. The same course was adopted by our Philharmonic 
Society, the result in both cases being that which Beethoven 
did not want. In the autograph in the Mendelssohn house at 
Berlin the place has been so corrected by Beethoven, both with 
ink and pencil, and so many enigmatical marks made that 
it was impossible for the writer to understand exactly what 
was meant, especially as the passage occurs at the veiy 
end of a right-hand page and the corrections have to be 
carried over to the next one. It is very curious that in the 
original criticism by Hoffmann, in the Allgemeine miisikalisclu 
Zeitung, of July, 1810 (several weeks before the date of Bee- 
thoven's letter), the passage is given in its correct* form ; and 
this strengthens the suspicion already expressed, that in 
preparing his article Hoffmann had been in communication 
with Beethoven, and had obtained his materials, possibly the 
loan of a MS. score, direct from him. 

The only previous instance known of a Finale being inter- 
rupted by the introduction of one of the former movements 
is an early Symphony of Haydn's in B major (No. 14 in the 
list of Symphonies given in Vol. II. of Pohl's 'Joseph Haydn' 
1882). The score was edited by F. Wiillner, and first pub- 

• See the AUg. mus. Zeitung for July 11, 1810, p. 655. 



lished by Rieter-Biedermann in 1869. Here the Finale, presto, 
in B major, in common time, is interrupted within a short 
distance of the end to admit thirty-four bars in the same 
tempo as the menuetto (Allegretto) ; the key is the same as that 
of the Finale itself, and, as in Beethoven's case, though the 
phrases are the same as those of the Minuet, they are not 
an exact transcript thereof, and have a Coda of four bars of 
their own, after which tempo the former piece returns. 

An interesting fact is disclosed by the sketch-book of the 
Scherzo, which otherwise would probably not have been 
noticed. The first eight notes of the theme quoted above as 
No. 27 are the same in intervals as those of the beginning 
of the Finale to Mozart's famous G minor Symphony, though 
in tempo and rhythm quite different — 

No. 44. 







But the droll thing is that Beethoven must have known what 
he had done, for he has copied twenty-nine bars of the 
melody of Mozart's Finale on the adjoining page of the 
sketch-book. This curious coincidence was first noticed by 
Mr. Nottebohm, Zweite Beetlwveniana, p. 531. 

No Symphony, perhaps no piece of orchestral music, has 
been the source of so many anecdotes ; and though some of 
these may be mythical, yet they all point to its remarkable 
arresting and affecting power. It must have been at one of 
the early performances at the Concerts du Conservatoire, 
already mentioned, that Lesueur made his experiment in 


hearing the new revolutionary music, which has been 
admirably related by Berlioz in his * Memoires ' (1870, 
page 75). Lesueur — a considerable and perfectly honest 
musician of the old school — was then one of Berlioz's masters 
at the Conservatoire, and notwithstanding the somewhat 
noisy demonstrations of his pupil in favour of Beethoven, 
he kept silence on the subject, and so far studiously avoided 
attending the concerts at which the new music had made so 
much sensation. Had he gone to them he would have been 
forced to form and express an opinion on the point, and 
this he was unwilling to do. However, moved by the strong 
instances of his enthusiastic pupil, he at length consented 
to attend a performance of the C minor. It was his wish 
to form a deliberate and conscientious judgment. * He 
therefore seated himself alone in one of the ordinary boxes on 
the ground tier. After the performance I hastened down 
from my place upstairs to find out the effect which had been 
produced upon him, and to learn his judgment on the work. 
I found him in the passage, as red as fire and walking 
furiously fast. "Well, my dear master," said I — " Ouf ! " was 
his reply — ** I must get out into the air ; it is astonishing, won- 
derful ! It has excited and overcome me to that extent, that in 
trying to put on my hat I could hardly find my head I Don't 
stop me now, but come to me to-morrow." ... I had there- 
fore been successful 1 Early next morning I called on him, 
and we at once rushed into the subject. For a few minutes 
he allowed me to speak, and gave only an unwiUing response 
to my raptures. But it was easy to see that since the day 
before a change had come over him, and that the subject was 
not altogether pleasant. At length I succeeded in making him 
repeat the confession of his emotion at the performance ; but 
•yhen, with a violent shake of his head and a peculiar smile, he 
said: "All the same, such music as that ought not to be 
made." To which I answered: "All right, dear master, 
there's no fear of much being made like it." ' 


When Malibran, the great singer, heard the work for 
the first time, at the Paris Conservatoire, she was thrown 
into convulsions, and had to be removed from the room. 
At another performance by the Conservatoire orchestra 
occurred the affecting story of the veteran soldier that has 
been already told. 

Spohr has left a strange criticism on the Symphony. 
It occurs in his Selbstbiographie (i., 228) apropos to a 
concert at Munich in 1815. After praising the excellence 
of the performance and the admirable attention given to all 
the nuances, Spohr continues as follows : ' The effect was even 
greater than my anticipations, although I had already fre- 
quently heard the work in Vienna, under Beethoven's own 
direction. Notwithstanding the splendour of the execution, 
however, I found no reason to depart from my original 
judgment on the work. With all its individual beauties 
it does not form a classical whole. In particular the theme 
of the first movement is wanting in the dignity which, 
to my mind, is indispensable for the opening of a Symphony. 
Putting this aside, the subject, being so short and inteUigible, 
is well adapted for contrapuntal working, and is combined 
with the other chief ideas of the movement in a most 
ingenious and effective maimer. The Adagio in A flat is 
in parts very beautiful ; but the same progressions and modu- 
lations recur so often, though each time with more florid 
expression, that one is at length wearied by them. The 
Scherzo is most original and thoroughly romantic in colour ; 
but the Trio, with its blustering double basses, is too grotesque 
[harock) for my taste. The last movement pleased me least 
of all by its unmeaning babel ; but the return of the Scherzo 
in the Finale is so happy an idea that one cannot but envy 
the composer for it. The effect is ravishing I Pity that all that 
empty noise should come back and efface the impression 1 ' 

Though the London Philharmonic band, at the first trial in 
1814, received the opening with much laughter, apparently 


thinking it was intended to be comic, yet the C minor goon 
grew into favour here, and a curious scene, indicative of this, 
occurred at the York Festival of 1823, when, on account of 
the non- arrival of some extra parts, an attempt was made to 
omit the Symphony from the programme, and proceed to the 
next number, a Scotch ballad ! *One of the Stewards on this 
rose in the room, and with stentorian voice exclaimed: ' Sym- 
phony, Symphony, I insist on the Symphony being played * 
and played at length it was, though with a small number 
of strings, amid universal applause. + 

Wagner, conducting a Court Concert at Dresden during the 
insurrection of 1848, felt his spirits sink as each number 
of the programme seemed to bring a deeper gloom over 
the audience, and gradually to extinguish all applause. 
Leaning down from his desk, he whispered to the leader of 
the violins, 'What is to be done?' *OhI go on,' said the 
leader, ' there is the C minor coming, and all will be 
right.' And so it was ; for with the magic sound of the 
opening bars, everyone's spirit revived, applause burst 
from the benches, and it was as if a bright Hght shone into 
the room. 

A circumstance in connection with the Symphony, of which 
Beethoven could hardly have dreamed, is told by Schumann 
in a letter to Hiller, April 25, 1853. ' Yesterday for the first 
time we turned a table. A wonderful power ! Only think 1 
I asked it to give the rhythm of the two first bars of the 
C minor Symphony. There was a longer pause than usual, 
and then the answer began 1^^^^^| J | — very slowly at 
first. But, said I, the tempo is quicker, my dear table ; and 
then he gave it right.' 

* F. Maude, Esq., Kecorder of Doncaster (i)tc<t(mary of Music, iv., 4956), 
t See Dictionary of Music ^ iv., 4956. 



Mr. Nottebohm* has given us a few bars of the sketch 
of a Symphony in G minor, which dates from Beethoven's 
early Bonn period, say 1785 ; and which we greet as a 
curiosity : — 

Presto. Sinfonia. 



The key of C minor occupies a peculiar position in Bee- 
thoven's compositions. The pieces for which he has employed 
it are, with very few exceptions, remarkable for their beauty 
and importance. Not to speak more of the Symphony, there 
are the Overture to * Coriolan ' ; the Concerto No. 3, for 
Piano and Orchestra; the Fantasia for Piano, Orchestra, and 
Chorus (* Choral Fantasia ') ; the String Quartet, Op. 18, 
No. 4; the Piano Sonatas * Pathetique,' Op. 10, No. 1, and 
Op. Ill (the last). The fact is more particularly obvious in 
the three Piano Trios (Op. 1) ; the three String Trios (Op. 9), 
the three Sonatas for Piano and Violin (Op. 30), in each of 
which cases the piece in minor stands prominently out 
from the others. 

Ziveite Beethoventana, p. 5^57. 

SYMPHONY No. 6 (The Pastoral), in F (Op,. 68). 

Dedicated to Prince von Lobkowitz and Count von Rassumoffsky. 
* Pastoral Symphony, or a recollection of country life. 
More an expression of feeling than a painting.' 

Allegro ma non troppo {^ 66) — The cheerful impressions excited 

on arriving in the country. (F major.) 

Andante molto moto (« 50)— By the brook. (B flat.) 

Allegro («s)._108) — Peasants' merry-making; Allegro (•*__132), 
(F major.) 

Allegro (J_80)— Storm (F minor) ; and 

Allegretto (J 60) — The Shepherds' Hymn, gratitude and thanks- 
giving after the Storm. (F.) 


2 Flutes. 

1 Piccolo. 

2 Oboes, 

2 Clarinets. 
2 Horns. 
2 Bassoons. 

2 Trumpets. 

2 Drums. 

Alto and Tenor Trombones 

1st and 2nd Violins. 




The trumpets and trombones are employed in the Storm and Finale 
only ; the piccolo in the Storm alone. In the Andante there are two 
violoncellos, solo, muted, the other cellos playing with the basses. 

The parts were published by Breitkopf & Hartel in April, 1809. The 
score, an 8vo of 188 pages, was issued by the same firm in May, 1826, 
so I am informed by the firm. ' Sixi^me Sinfonie— Pastorale — en fa 
majeur : F dur : de Louis van Beethoven. Oeuvre 68. Partition. 
Propriety des Editeurs. Prix 3 Thlr. A Leipsic, chez Breitkopf &■ 
Hartel.' [4311.] 

Beethoven's love of nature. 183 

If the three preceding Symphonies have been occupied with 
the workings of the human mind and will, and have, as it 
were, kept us suspended over the memory of a hero, the 
rapture of an accepted lover, the conflict of his subsequent 
joys and sorrows, and the ultimate triumph of his spirit over 
all obstacles — if this be the case, the next Symphony in the 
series takes us into an entirely different field. It is as 
unlike in subject, in treatment, and in result anything that 
has come before it as if it were the work of another mind. 
It is as if Beethoven, after all this excitement, had gone off to 
those scenes where alone his spirit could find rest and refresh- 
ment. He is occupied with Nature only, and filled with the 
calm which is always the result of love for her and affectionate 
intercourse with her beauties. The Pastoral Symphony gives 
us the first* intimation we have had in all Beethoven's music 
of that devotion to Nature and outdoor life which, though 
one of his especial characteristics, would not be inferred from 
his compositions. Whatever pieces may have been inspired 
by the country, he has left no music with any avowed 
connection with Nature but this Symphony, and yet he 
appears to have loved her with an overwhelming love. 
Wordsworth himself can hardly have had a more intense 
affection for Nature in all her forms. A countryman of 
ours, the late Mr. Chas. Neate, one of the founders of the 
Philharmonic Society, who lived in intimate friendship with 

* The 'Sonata Pastorale,' Op. 28, did not get its name from him or with his 
consent. It was so called by a publisher, probably because the theme of the 
last movement recalls the 6-8 sequences which were formerly supposed to 
represent the music of shepherds, Similarly the * Moonlight Sonata ' got its 
name from the expression of a critic, who compares the first movement to the 
wandering of a boat by moonlight among the shores and islands of the Lake of 
Lucerne. Beethoven had nothing to do with either of them. See the list given 
on page 51. He seems to have contemplated a Pastoral Sonata in 1815, as is 
shown by the sketches quoted in Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 317. These sketches 
have an interest beyond their own in the fact that they are followed by some 
exercises in double counterpoint, showing that even at that late date (his 
46th year) he was still practising h's technical studies. 


Beethoven in Vienna for eight months in 1815, has given us a 
remarkable testimony to this fact : he had * never met any- 
one -who so dehghted in Nature, or so thoroughly enjoyed 
flowers or *clouds or other natural objects. Nature was 
almost meat and drink to him ; he seemed positively to 
exist upon it.' Other friends have recorded the same thing. 

• He loved,' says the Countess Theresa, in her high-flown 
style, ' to be alone with Nature, to make her his only 
confidante. When his brain was seething with confused 
ideas. Nature at all times comforted him. Often when his 
friends visited him in the country in summer, he would rush 
away from them ; and thus it came to pass that he was often 
at my brother's at Martonv^sar.' A Baden tradition, which 
the writer heard there from Dr. Rolletf in 1892, says that on 
one occasion, on coming to take possession of a lodging 
which had been engaged for him * at the coppersmith's,' 
he refused it because there were no trees near the house. 

• How is this ? Where are your trees ? * ' We have none.' 

• Then the house won't do for me. I love a tree more than 
a man.' He even pushed his devotion to Nature to the pitch 
of being very wrath with * the miller' at Baden, who, seeing 
him coming through the heavy rain, ran to him with an 
umbrella. He refused it angrily. 

Beethoven did not swim or ride as Mendelssohn did, but 
when living in Vienna het never omitted his daily walk, or 
rather run, round the ramparts, whatever the weather might 
be ; and the interesting account given bj Michael Krenn, his 

* How beautifully he has set the 'leichte Segelen' of Jeitteles's Liederkreis 
' an die ferae Geliebte ' (Op. P8). 

t Dr. Hermann Rollet, Stadtarchivar of Baden, was born on August 20, 1819. 
He had learned Beethoven's name from Nanette Streicher — who was his aunt 
or some other relation, and was constantly playing his music ; and on one 
occasion, when the little Hermann was five or six years old, she was walking 
with him in Baden and they came up to a man who was standing looking about 
him, with his hat slung behind his back. ' There,' said Frau Streicher, ' that 
is Beethoven.' 

X Gerhard v. Breuning, Ails d. SchwarzspanxerfuJAis, 


body-servant, of his last summer, spent at his brother's house 
at Gneixendorf, and given at the end of my remarks on the 
Fourth Symphony (p. 132), shows him in the open air, more or 
less, from six in the morning till ten at night, roaming about 
the fields, with or without his hat, and sketch-book in hand ; 
shouting, flourishing his arms, and completely carried away 
by the inspiration of the ideas in his mind. One of his 
favourite proverbs was * Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund ' — 
*The morning air has gold to spare.* His diaries and 
sketch-books contain frequent allusions to Nature. In one 
place he mentions seeing day break in the woods, through the 
still undisturbed night mists. In another we find a fragment 
of a hymn, ' Gott allein ist unser Herr,'* sung to himself * on 
the road in the evening, up and down among the mountains,' 
as he felt the solemn and serene influences of the hour. He 
addresses * the setting sun,' on the same occasion, with a 
fragment of a song, * Leb' wohl, schone Abendsonne.' This was 
in 1818, in the truly lovely (stiU lovely) environs of Modling ; 
and the phrases with which no doubt he shouted his emotion 
into the evening air are thus embalmed in the sketch-book : — 

• Ani dem Wege Abends zwischen den und auf den Bergen 


Gott al - lein ist un - ser Herr, Er al - leia' 

' An die Abend - Sonne 



Leb' wohl, schone Abendsonne.' 

The most beloved of all these spots, the situation of his 
favourite inn of *The f Three Kavens,' is more than once 
referred to by him as the * lovely, divine, Briihl,' or, in his 
spelling, 'Briehr — 'schone gottliche Briehl.' Every summer 
he took refuge from the heat of Vienna in the delicious wooded 
environs of Hetzendorf , Heiligenstadt, or Dobling, at that time 

* Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 137. 

f Now 'The Two Ravens.' The Briihl cannot have been more beautiful 
than it now ib. 

Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello's Edition. N 


little villages absolutely in the country, though now absorbed in 
Vienna ; or in Modling or Baden, farther off. To these, and 
to the * checi-ful impressions excited by his arrival ' amongst 
them, he looked forvard, as he himself says, and as the first 
movement of the Symphony shows, ' with the delight of a 
child.' ... * No man on earth,' says he, ' loves the country 
more ; woods, trees, and rocks give the response which man 
requires.' ' Every tree seems to say Holy, Holy.' Two little 
memorandums, written when his delight became too great to 
be repressed, have been *preserved by Otto Jahn. The first is 
in pencil and has no date ; the second was written at the end 
of September, 1815 : — 

• AUmachtiger * O Gott welche 

im Walde Herrlichkeit 

ich bin selig in einer 

gliicklich im Bolchen Waldgegend 

Wald jeder in den Hohen 

Baum spricht ist Ruhe — 

durch dich.' Euhe ihm zd 

dienen — ' 

• When you are among those old ruins,' writes he to a dear 
ffriend at Baden, * do not forget that Beethoven has often 
lingered there ; and when you wander through the silent pine 
woods, remember that I have often made poetry (gedichtet), or, 
as they say, composed, there.' In these charming places he 
would stay out of doors for hours together, wandering in the 
woods or sitting in the fork of some favourite tree ; and here his 
great works, with few exceptions, were planned and com- 
posed, and prepared for putting into score during the winter 
in Vienna. Wordsworth's servant said of her master when 
asked to show his study: 'This is the library where he 
keeps his books, but his study is out of doors ' ; and so 
might Beethoven's servant have said of him. The par- 
ticular spot from which he drew his inspiration for the 

♦ Tliayer, iii., 159. t To Frau Streicher, 1817. 


Pastoral Symphony was the Wiesenthal near Heiligenstadt, 
on the west of Vienna.* 

This is not Beethoven's first attempt at 'Programme- 
music ' in the widest sense of the word — music in which the 
endeavour is made to represent a given scene or occurrence, 
by the aid of instruments only, without the help of voices. 
The Eroica Symphony belongs to the same category. It is a 
portrait, but the extent of the portraiture is left so vague that 
we are driven to be content with little more than the mere 
fact. In fact, we shall find from several of his entries that 
Beethoven was always anxious to avoid anything like actual 
imitation of sounds or sights — anything, in short, like the 
'branching' horns of the stag, the tread of ' heavy beasts,' 
or the undulations of the serpent — in which Haydn indulged 
in the * Creation.' The ' Creation ' had only been brought 
out a few years before the date at which we have arrived, and 
was more talked about in Vienna than any other work, so 
that it is hardly fanciful to suppose that in the above 
cautions Beethoven had his eye more or less directly 
on Haydn's oratorio. But the Pastoral Symphony is a 
great advance on the vagueness of the • Eroica ' ; it is a 
series of pictures of Nature and natural scenes, so far 
labelled as to assist greatly in ihe recognition. That 
was nearly ninety years ago, and it is stiU undoubtedly the 
greatest piece of programme-music yet composed. Titles 
are now the rule rather than the exception, and we are so 
accustomed to the * Italian ' and * Scotch ' Symphonies of 
Mendelssohn ; the Overtures to * A Midsummer Night's 
Dream,' * Fingal's Cave,' * Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage,' 
by the same composer ; the * Consecration of Sound ' and 

• Seasons ' Symphonies by Spohr ; the * Lenore ' and the 

* Forest Symphony ' of Raff ; the ' Paradise and Peri ' Overture 
of Sterndale Bennett, &c., as to forget how modern the 
practice is, as applied to the full orchestra — a thing of our 

* See the spot discussed in Zweite Beeihoveniana, p. 377. 


own century. Like most musical innovations that have kept 
their ground, though it did not originate in Beethoven — for 
instances are found as early as 1545, the date of Jannequin's 
'La Bataille,' and many readers will still recollect the ' Battle 
of Prague ' and the ' Siege of Valenciennes ' — it was at least 
first successfully practised by him. Numerous as are the 
pieces with programmes, dating before 1808, it may be safely 
said that the Pastoral Symphony is the first which has 
survived in public taste. But such is the force of Beethoven's 
genius that after he had once opened the path, there was no 
help but to follow it. When Frederick Schneider, a stout old 
musical Tory, was complaining (says Schubring) of the modern 
tendency to programme music, Mendelssohn maintained that 
since Beethoven had taken the step he did in the Pastoral 
Symphony, it was impossible to keep clear of it. And 
Mendelssohn carried his convictions into practice in the 
glorious programme-overtures just named, which bid fair to 
maintain their ground as long as the Pastoral Symphony 

In the Pastoral Symphony Beethoven has fortunately 
indicated the images which were before his mind by the 
titles prefixed to the movements ; though even these, with 
admirable intuition and judgment, he has restricted by the 
canon with which he heads the description of the Symphony 
given in the programme of his concert of December 22nd, 
1808, when it was first produced, a canon fixing for ever the 
true principles of such compositions : ' Pastoral Symphonie ; 
mehr Ausdruck der Empfindung als Malerey ' — * more expres- 
sion of feeling than painting,' or, to render it freely, * rather 
the record of impressions than any actual representation of 

The inscriptions which form so very unusual and important 
a portion of the work exist at least in four shapes, and give a 
curious example of Beethoven's vacillation when he had the 
pen in his hand. Once get him to the piano, and his thoughts 


Beem to have issued through his fingers in the most complete 
and electrifying manner; but when he had to write it was quite 
different, and these titles supply a very characteristic instance 
of the impossibihty which he found in putting down his ideas 
in a shape satisfactory to himself, Ldtera scripta manet is a 
maxim which was of terrible force to him. 

These precious httle documents are found, as has been said, 
in at least four forms : — 

I. In the original MS. of the Symphony, in the possession 
of Baron J. M. Huyssen van Kattendyke, of Arnhem, near 
Utrecht, in Holland. Of this I can find no notice beyond that 
in Nottebohm's Thematisches Verzeichniss of Beethoven's works 
(1868), page 62 :— ' Sinf** 6**. Da Luigi van Beethoven. 
Angenehme heitre Empfindungen welche bey der Ankunft 
auf dem Lande in Menschen erwa — All°- ma non troppo — 
nicht ganz geschwind — N.B., Die deutschen Ueberschriften 
schreiben Sie alle in die erste Violine — Sinfonie von Ludwig van 
Beethoven.' These words are apparently copied from the first 
page of the MS. only. 

II. On the back of an original MS. first violin part, 
preserved in the library of the Gesellschaft der Mmlkfreimde 
in Vienna — and which may be supposed to be an exact repeti- 
tion of the inscriptions on the score, as it is the work of a 
copyist simply obeying Beethoven's injunction, given iu No. I. 
above — we find as follows. First, as general title : — 

' Sinfonia Pastorella. Pastoral Sinfonie oder Erinnerung 
an das Landleben |: Mehr Ausdruck der Empfindung als 
Mahlerei : T ; and then over each separate movement : — 

1st. ' Angenehme heitre Empfindungen, welche bey der 
Ankunft auf dem Lande im Menschen erwachen. Allegro ma 
non troppo.' 

2nd. ' Scene am Bach. Andante molto moto quasi Alle- 


8rd. ' Lnstige3 Zusammenseyn der Landleute. Allegro.' 
4tli. • Donner, Sturm. Allegro.' 

6th. * Hirtengesang. Wohlthiitige mit Dank an die Gottlieit 
verbundene Gefiible nach dem Sturm. Allegretto.' 
The above is found in Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 378. 

III. As inserted in the programme-book of the first 
performance, December 22, 1808, and published in the Allg. 
musikalische Zeitung, January 25, 1809, thus : — 

* Pastoral Symphonie *(No. 5), mehr Ausdruck der Em- 
pfindung, als Malerey. Istes Stiick : Angenehmene Empfin- 
dungen, welche bey der Ankunft auf dem Lande in Menschen 
erwachen. 2tes Stiick : Scene am Bach. 3tes Stiick : Lustigea 
Beysammenseyn der Landleute ; fallt ein : 4tes Stiick : Donner 
und Sturm; in welches einfallt : 5tes Stiick: Wohlthatige mit 
Dank an die Gottheit verbundene Gefiihle nach dem Sturm.' 

IV. As given on the back of the title-page of the engraved 
first violin part (No. 1,337), published by Breitkopfs in April, 
1809, and quoted by Nottebohm in his Beethoven Thematic 
Catalogue of 1868, page 62, thus : — 

• Auf der Eiickseite des Titels der ersten Violinstimme steht : 
Pastoral- Sinfonie oder Erinnerung an das Landleben (mehr 
Ausdruck der Empfindung als Mahlerey). 1. Allegro, ma non 
molto. Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bey der Ankunft 
auf dem Lande. — 2. Andante con moto. Scene am Bach. — 3. 
Allegro. Lustiges Zusammenseyn der Landleute. — 4. Allegro. 
Gewitter, Sturm. — 5. Allegretto. Hirtengesang. Frohe und 
dankbare Gefiihle nach dem Sturm.' These are translated in 
the list at the head of these remarks. 

V. With the foregoing agree the titles in the 8vo score 
published by Breitkopfs in 182-4 (No, 4,311), except that the 
general title is altered as given above at the beginning, the 

* The second part of the programme begins with * Grosse Symphonie in 
C moll (No. 6>.' 

knecht's pastokal symphony. 191 

important motto omitted, and the inscriptions to the separate 
movements only given. 

These five ultimate expressions of his intentions in words 
are the fruit of several attempts or offers, which occur in the 
sketch-books,* and are too interesting not to be quoted here. 
Thus :— 

* The hearers should be allowed to discover the situa- 


* Sinfonia caracteristica, or a recollection of country- 


* A recollection of country -life.' 

* All painting in instrumental music, if pushed too far, is a 


* Sinfonia pastorella. Anyone who has an idea of country- 

life can make out for himself the intentions of the author 
without many titles.' 
•People will not require titles to recognise the general 
intention to be more a matter of feeling than of painting 
in sounds.' 

* Pastoral Symphony : no picture, but something in which 

the emotions are expressed which are aroused in men by 

the pleasure of the country (or), in which some feelings 

of country -life are set forth.' 

The titles finally given to the movements of the work 

are curiously similar to — indeed they are virtually identical 

with — those of a ' grand Symphony ' by Justin Heinrich 

Knecht, a Suabian composer of the last century. This iy 

* The Musical Portrait of Nature,' published in or about 1784, 

by Bossier, of Spire, who also issued at the same date 

Beethoven's earliest productions, the three juvenile Sonatas 

for the piano. The two works — Knecht's and Beethoven's — 

were advertised on the same page, and the boy must often 

have read Knecht's suggestive titles on the cover of his 

* Zw&ite Beethoveniana, pp. 375, 504. 


own sonatas. If so, they lay dormant in his mind for 
twenty-four years, until 1808, when they fructified in the 
splendid Symphony now before us. Knecht's title-page is as 
follows : — 

* Le Portrait Musical de la Nature ou Grande Simphonie 
pour, &c., &c. Laquelle va exprimer par le moyen des 
sons : 

* 1. Une belle Contr^e oii le Soleil luit, les doux Zephyrs 
voltigent, les Ruisseaux traversent le vallon, les oiseaux 
gazouillent, un torrent tombe du haut en murmurant, le berger 
siffle, les moutons sautent, et la bergere fait entendre sa douce 

' 2. Le ciel commence h devenir soudain et sombre, tout le 
voisinage a de la peine de respirer et s'effraye, les nuages noirs 
montent, les vents se mettent k faire un bruit, le tonnerre 
gronde de loin, et I'orage approche a pas lents. 

* 3. L'orage accompagne des vents murmurans et des pluies 
battans gronde avec toute la force, les sommets des arbres 
font un murmure, et le torrent roule ses eaux avec un bruit 

* 4. L'orage s'appaise peu a peu, les nuages se dissipent et 
le ciel devient clair. 

' 5. La Nature transportee de la joie eleve sa voix vers le ciel, 
et rend au createur les plus vives graces par des chants doux et 

The work is still in existence, and an examination of it 
shows that beyond the titles there is no likeness between 
the two compositions. 

We may now proceed to the examination of this masterpiece 
of Beethoven's ; — 

I. The Symphony opens without other introduction or 
preliminary than a double pedal on F and C in the violas and 
cellos— with the principal theme in the violins, as sweet and 



fioft as the air of May itself, with buds and blossoms and 
new -mown grass : — 

No. 1. 

Allegro ma non troppo. 
Viol. 1. 


P strings only 











This beautiful subject may almost be said to contain in its 
own bosom the whole of the wonderful movement which it 
starts, and which is 512 bars long. As the piece proceeds 
each joint, so to speak, of the. theme germinates, and throws 
off phrases closely related to the parent stem in rhythm or 
interval. It would be difficult to find in Art a greater amount 
of confidence, not to say audacity, than Beethoven has 
furnished by his incessant repetition of the same or similar 
short phrases throughout this long movement ; and yet the 
effect is such that when the end arrives, we would gladly hear 
it all over again. The Violin Concerto gives another example 
of the same practice. As an instance of this boldness in 
repetition in the Symphony, we may quote a phrase of five 
notes, formed out of theme No. 1 : — 



which first occurs at the sixteenth bar, and is then repeated 
no less than ten times successively. At the 116th bar a 
somewhat similar phrase — 

No. 3. 



is reiterated for twenty bars. Near the end of the first section 
are another twelve — 

No. 4. 


I dim. sempre. 


Viola pp Cello 8va, 

After the repeat, at bar thirteen of the working-out, another 
subject, also formed out of the first theme — 

P cres. poco a poco. 

is given out by the violins, is repeated for thirty-six bars, and 
is thenceforward almost continually present. (This, by-the- 
bye, is quoted by Schindler as being a phrase of national 
Austrian* melody.) In fact, the movement is almost entirely 
made of rhort ■; lirases repeated over and over again. Even 
BO simple a feature as — 


is made to recur continually — in fact, something very like 

* An instance of Beethoven's adontion of a tlieme not his own invention. 



it appears in the first *sketch of the music known to exist. 
I believe that the delicious, natural, May-day, out-of-doors 
feeling of this movement arises in a great measure from this 
kind of repetition. It causes a monotony — which, however, 
is never monotonous — and which, though no imitation, is akin 
to the constant sounds of Nature — the monotony of rustling 
leaves and swaying trees, and running brooks and blowing 
wind, the call of birds and the hum of insects. Of the same 
nature is this delicious mockery of the bassoon and the violin 
in the working-out section — 

No. 6. 


Another instance of a similar persistent rhythm is the 
following subsidiary subject, where the string and wind 
instruments answer each other in charming soft rivalry — 

No. 7. 



Oboe dolce 






m^ — ^^^ '*' t— 


H^T*| lU: 

A temporary exception to this recurring motion is formed 
by the second subject proper of the movement, given out thus 
in the cellos — 

Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 370. 


and then appearing in instruments of higher register — 

No. 9. 

Flute cres. 

Viol. crea. 

a subject which, though allied to the others in tone and 
feeling, is in different rhythm. The manner in which the 
long notes of this beautiful phrase keep building themselves 
up one over the other, and the monotony into which it falls at 
last without power to escape, in the arpeggios, are too charming. 
But with all this repetition there is no weariness. Though he 
may not have known the axiom of d'Alembert, 'La natm-e est 
bonne a imiter, mais non pas jusqu'a I'ennui,' Beethoven 
acted on it thoroughly. Indeed, he is steeped in Nature 
itself; and when the sameness of fields, woods, and streams 
can become distasteful, then will the Pastoral Symphony 
weary its hearers. 

The working-out begins with a passage or section of ninety- 
two bars, mainly consisting of the incessant repetition of a 
phrase taken from bar two of the original subject No. 1 (see 
also No. 5) — or, rather, of one passage of forty- six bars, 
exactly repeated, first in B flat and D, and then in G and E. 
Thus the monotony already noticed is still further ministered 
to. But this portion is full of fresh beauties, all strictly in 
character with the foregoing. Here is a charming change, 
though simple enough — 

No. lO. 


-and here a delicious point — 


No. U. 

Viol. 1. 

Viol. 2, 

Then, after a repetition of the passage last quoted, in the 
key of A, comes a new treatment of bars 9, 10, 11 of the first 
theme (No. 1), given successively in the flutes and bassoons 
(in D), in the violas and cellos (in A), and next (which we 
quote) in the first violin only — 

In this, by giving the phrase in minor, and by a happy 
importunity of sforzando at the beginning of the sections of 
the phrase, quite a new character is given to the familiar 
theme, as it whispers its tender griefs in graceful iteration. 
After this we arrive at the reprise of the first section of the 
movement. But this last is much disguised, and is given — 
not con alcune licenze like the fugue of Op. 106, but with many 

• This B flat is specially marked in the score. 



a license. The key of F is given with no uncertain sound ; 
but the form of the subject, though unmistakable, is consider- 
ably modified. The theme comes back into the strings alono, 
which originally announced it ; but the phrase is given to the 
second violins and violas (see bar 3 of quotation), while the 
first fiddles sustain a high D, then C, and then, descending 
to G, 

No. 13. 

TfV- ^ 3ri-— i-r-?-> 


— 4 

1 — l- 

— h 

ppatac. - ^ w 

1 J-- 1 ^ 


f=" -i_ 



execute a dehcate passage of staccato notes, thus developing 
the pause which, on the first occasion, occupied the fourth bar 
of the passage (see No. 1) into one of the most charming 
flourishes possible, and forming a sort of companion to the 
unbarred oboe passage, which we noticed in the working- 
out of the C minor Symphony as the development of a 
previous pause, though of an entirely different complexion 
from that striking lament. That was deeply pathetic ; 
this, on the contrary, though delicate, is jubilant and full 
of the spring feeling which animates the whole move- 



The Coda (no less than nmety-five bars in length) is of the 
same general character as the previous part of the movement, 
but contains some new features, such as — 

No. 14. 


^f ^ V^r±5^: 


Viola h*C: 

— where the alternations of the B flat and B natural are 
charming. This also, a few bars from the end — 

No. 15. 


Fag. 8ve. 

f Tuttl 

will not escape notice. 

Schumann has pointed* out a place in the first movement 
(p. 35 of the original 8vo score, shortly after the reprise) in 
which he thinks that for three bars in the first violins the 
preceding triplet figure should continue instead of pausing, 
simili marks having been mistaken by the copyist for rests. 
In Breitkopf and Hartel's new complete edition the passage 
has been accordingly altered (page 16), though without 
anything to indicate the change which has been made 
from Beethoven's original edition. This certainly is a 

*Oesamm. Schriften, iv., 65, 


regrettable omission. While suggesting the change, Schumann 
himself makes a pertinent remark. He says : ' How we have 
gone on hearing the passage for years without altering it, is 
only to be explained by the fact that the magic of Beethoven 
is so great as to put our ears and our judgment to sleep.' 
Someone said a similar thing in regard to the apparent 
mistake in the score of the Vivace of No. 7, which was 
announced by Mr. Silas a few years ago (see p. 268). 

If Schindler's express* statement is to be accepted, 
Beethoven was driven to the key of F for this work. After 
distinctly affirming, in words which are evidently intended 
to be those of the composer himself, that certain keys are 
inevitable for certain situations and emotions — as inevitable 
as that two and two make four and do not make five— he goes 
on to say, with reference to this very work, that in order to 
obtain the most appropriate sounds for a picture of country 
life, it would have been impossible to choose any but F major 
as the prevalent key of the composition. But F major is 
also the prevalent key of the Eighth Symphony, the scene, 
circumstances, and tone of which are entirely different from 
those of the Pastoral. This depicts the quiet of the country ; 
that the noisy intercourse of a crowded watering-place. 
Moreover, in the few notes which we possess of the sketches 
for a * Senate Pastorale,' already alluded to, the key is 
certainly not F.f 

Whether Beethoven's words on this interesting subject 
are to be taken literally, or whether, with characteristic want 
of the humour in which the composer was steeped, Schindler 
has omitted something which considerably modified the 
conversation, cannot now be told. From another part of the 
same passage it must be infe;-red that the attributes which 
Beethoven ascribed to the various keys were independent of 
pitch. At any rate, from his own written words, we know 

♦ Biography (Ed. 3), ii., 166. 

t bee Zvoeite Beeihoveniana, p. 317. 



tliat his opinions on the subject were very strong. * H moll 
schwarze Tonart ' — B minor is a black key — which is hardly 
the characteristic of Schubert's unfinished Symphony. He 
rebukes Thomson, of Edinburgh, for marking a song in four 
flats (possibly F minor) as amoroso, and says it should be 
rather barbaresco. In talking to Eochhtz* of his early 
admiration for Klopstock and his ponderosities, he charac- 
terises them as D flat major. * You're astonished,' says he, 
* but isn't it so ? ' 

II. Andante molto moto . — 'By the brook.' This movement — 
which is thrown into the same form as the Allegro ^ except 
that there is no repetition of the first section — h based on a 
somewhat more definite picture than the former. That 
represented in a general manner the pleasant feelings aroused 
by the country. This is definitely laid by the brook-side, and 
accordingly the murmur of the water, or, rather, in obedience 
to Beethoven's canon, the prevailing impression made on the 
mind by the sound, is heard throughout almost the entire 
piece on the lower strings, either in quavers — 

Viola Q 

Cello in 8ves 

or m semiquavers — 

No. 17. 

The actual sound of running water, whether the same 
brook or another, he has recorded in a sketch-bookt of 1803, 

* Filr Freunde der Tonkunst, iv., .Soe. 
t See * Fin Skizzenbuch aits dem Jahre 1803 . 
1880.' p. 56. 

Grove.— Beethoven's Niae Symphonies.— Novello's Edition. O 

von G. Nottebohm, 



at a time when his hearing, though threatened, was better 
than it became in 1808 — as folloAVS — 

No. IS. 

Andante molto. Murmur of the brook. 




The more water the deeper the tone. 


It will be observed that in the Andante Beethoven has 
changed the key of the figure representing the noise of the 
water from what it was when he actually observed it. And 
this no doubt he has done to avoid anything like actual imi- 
tation. The brook forms the background of the scene ; but 
aboTv3and through the ceaseless murmur of the figures in Nos. 16 
and 17 are heard various motifs, none of them directly imita- 
tive, but all suggesting the delights of the life of Nature. 
And beside these Beethoven has managed, with the most 
extraordinary skill, to fill his score with an atmosphere 
of sound which conveys the glories of summer, and the busy 
* noise of life ' swarming on every sense. The first of these 
motifs — the principal subject of the movement with which it 
opens in the first violins— begins as follows; to end (as 
Beethoven generally ended) in a lovely consecutive melody — 
that of the last three bars of the passage — 

No. 19 

Viol. 1. 

^ ^ -I i-i :g:i 1^'^fg 1- ^ r- 1>- '^'^'^f^^^ i r^^ ^ Sj I- -1 ^=-^ 1 | *.rr r^ 



This is supported by the lower strkigs, in the figure given 
as No. 16, and by holding notes of the horns. The melody 
is then taken by the clarinet, the lower strings adopting the 
semiquaver figure (No. 17), while the first violins give a 
series of shakes on the upper B flat and 0, and the horns a 
syncopated pedal of a charming vagueness — 

No. 20 

both shakes and pedal being prominent features throughout 
the Andante. The syncopated notes of the pedal are heard 
continually through the movement, in bassoons, oboes, and 
other instruments successively. The shakes, and the grace 
notes in the quotation, bear an important part, as they some- 
how suggest heat. It is curious that Gluck in the beautiful 
air, 'Quelle belle jour,' in 'Orphee,' sung in the brilliant sun- 
light of Elysium, uses a similar expedient, with a similar result. 
Next we have the following elegant phrase, given out, like 
those just quoted, in the first violin — 




the graceful and soothing flow of which is immecliately re- 
peated by the clarinet, while an accompaniment is added above 
for the first violin, with the bassoon and cello in octaves — 

No. 22. 


Violin 1 


1 ^^ 1 

Cello & Fag. in 8va. 




gg ^^i u> t 

This two-bar phrase has a highly important part assigned 
to it at the close of the movement (see a, No. 31). After four 
connecting bars, the first subject (No. 19) is resumed, 
but with a delicious difference, as the quotation (at a) will 
show — 

No. 23. 

Viol. 1 

For this the music modulates into the key of F, the 
syncopated pedal is taken by the horns, bassoons, flutes, and 
clarinets, and by the flutes, oboes, clarinets, and bassoons 



alternately ; and the second part is ornamented with figures, 
the lazy grace of which well befits the summer climate that 
breathes around us, and seems indeed to hum — 

The murmur of a happy Pan. 

These delicious phrases will remind the hearer irresistibly 
of the similar ^ures in the Larghetto of the Second Symphony 
(see No. 15, page 29). 

Thus at length, after twelve connecting bars, we 
arrive at the second principal subject of the movement. 
This is of the same graceful, deliberate character as the 
others — 

No. 26. 

It is brought in first by the rich tone of the first bassoon — 
never perhaps to more advantage ; it is shortly strengthened 
by the violas and cellos, and accompanied by the shakes which 
added such a summer feehng to the first subject (see No. 20). 
It is then, m a shortened form, repeated by the first violii^ 



and flute with the accompaniment of the initial figure of 
No. 19— 

No. 26. 


Viol. l&Fl.l..-' --r-- I 

> J-' — -JT2^'<JJ^^' 



CeUo|jiL J. 





^^-A ^~* 



pizz. "I 

With two repetitions of the haunting phrase quoted as No. 21 
the first portion of the Andante comes to an end. The same 
principle of reiteration governs this movement that we found 
prevailing in the Allegro. True there are more themes, but 
they are, as a rule, so alike in character that they have aU 
the air of repetitions. 

The working-out begins with a repetition of the opening, but 
with considerable differences. The key is F ; the undulating 
figure, which before formed the accompaniment on the lower 
strings, is given to the clarinets and bassoons in octaves, 
while the lower strings have the semiquaver version of the 
same figure, and the characteristic phrase of the first half 
of the theme (No. 19) is enriched in form. This will be seen 
from the following quotation — 



Next we have a new phrase in the second violins and violas, 
repeated by the flute in the key of G, and with an arpeggio 
which is not only lovely in itself and in the modulation 
which follows it, but has a special interest of its own, as will 
be discovered later (see page 211) ; — 


VI. 2 & Violas in 8ves. 

Fl. 1. cri 





VI. 1.& Viola 8va. 



ip ., ^ «, ;^ J--'-^J l ^ '^J, 


— &0. 

T — 

These materials and the previous themes and phrases are 
used in the most masterly way, with great contrivance and 
combination, and considerable modulation, through the keys 
of E flat, C flat, E minor, and B flat, but without casting the 
least shadow of labour or science over the natural feeling of 
the music. The shakes, to which we have more than once 
called attention, lose none of their warm feeling when they 
are given thus — 

No, 29. 

With the key of B flat comes the inevitable recapitulation of 



the first part of the movement. The melody is now given to tlie 
flute, the accompaniment in the lower strings remains much 
as before, but great use is made of the arpeggios in the first 
violins and the wind. There is also much enrichment of the 
melodies, such as — 


The second subject (again in the bassoon, but this time in 
the key of F) arrives much sooner than it did before. It is 
not necessary to go into further details, everything is in 
perfect keeping, and to comment upon such beauty is to 
gild refined gold. The Coda is not long, but is very remark- 
able. After seven bars occur the imitations, or rather carica- 
tures, of the nightingale, quail, and cuckoo, which have 
become so celebrated, and, with the storm, always form the 
popular points in the work. Beethoven w^ould probably be 
surprised if he could know what favourites these birds are, and 
with how many hearers they are more enjoyed than the other 
portions of the Symphony, with which they really hold no 
comparison. In the programmes of the Conservatoire, at Paris, 
they were, and probably are, called special attention to, and 
Langage des oiseaux is added to Beethoven's simple title. He has 
himself told us that the passage is intended for a joke.* But it 
was hardly necessary to say so. It is obvious that the passage, 
eight bars in length — in which they really are only an episode, 
with no part in the construction of the movement — is one of 
those droll capricious interpolations which we have noticed 

* * MU denen soil es nur Scherz sein.' Schindler. i., 154. 



in each Symphony, from the second onward, put in in 
obedience to the promptings of his turbulent humour, and 
in defiance of any consideration but his own absolute will. 
It is more wilful and defiant here than ever, because it is 
more strange, and also because it is more realistic, more in 
direct transgression of the canon against mere ^malerei,' 
which Beethoven placed at the head of his work, and which we 
have already quoted. But surely he may be excused ; the 
constant intimate contact of his divine strains with Nature 
may well have bewitched his judgment, and, as if by mis- 
take, guided his mind to a too realistic passage, in contra- 
vention to the strict principle he formerly announced. Indeed 
the parody is of the broadest and barest description ; a prac- 
tical joke of the most open kind. And yet how the artist 
triumphs over the humorist I How completely are the raw 
travesties of nightingale, quail, and cuckoo atoned for and 
brought into keeping by the lovely phrase {a, see example 21) 
with which Beethoven has bound them together, and made 
them one with the music which comes before and after 
them — 

No. SI. 

I Nightingale (Flute) 

QuaU (Oboe) r. 

Just so in the equally anomalous arabesques of Oriental and 
Renaissance art do the feet and tails of the birds and 
dragons and children, which play among the leaves, run oQ 
into lovely tendrils, cm-ving gracefully round, and connecting 



the too-definite forms from which they spring with the vaguer 
foliage all round. Two of these birds Beethoven has else- 
where imitated — the nightingale in the opening of his setting 
of Herder's* Song, * Der Gesang der Nachtigal,' in 1813, five 
years after the date of the Symphony — 

No. 82. 

To the quail he has devoted a song, ' Der Wachtelsclilag,'t 
in which the bird's note is set to the words with which it is 
traditionally associated in Germany — ' fiirchte Gott, fiirchte 
Gott.' Of the cuckoo, nothing need be said. A fourth bird — 
the yellow-hammer — has been suggested as taking an integral 
part in the second portion of the movement, and this on the 
strength of a conversation between Schindler and the composer, 
reported in Schindler's biography of Beethoven (i., 153). It 
occurred in the summer of 1823, long after the great composer 
had become entirely deaf, during a stroll in the wooded 
meadows between Heiligenstadt and Grinzing, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Vienna, the scene of the conception of this and 
many others of his finest works. The passage gives a touching 
picture, for which its insertion may be pardoned. * Seating 
himself on the turf,' says Schindler, ' and leaning against an 
elm, Beethoven asked me if there were any yellow-hammers to 
be heard in the tree above us. But all was still. He then said, 

* The song vras first published in the supplemental volume of Breitkopf s 
great edition of Beethoven, in 1887, Serie 25, No. 277. 

+ Composed in 1799 and published in :\rarch, 1804 ; words by Sauter. So« 
Nottebohra, Thematisches Verzeichniss, p. 179. 


" This is where I wrote the Scene by the Brook, while the 
yellow-hammers were singing above me, and the quails, 
nightingales, and cuckoos calling all around." I asked why 
the yellow-hammer did not appear in the movement with the 
others ; on which he took his sketch-book, and wrote the 
following phrase (see No. 28) — 

No. 33, 

" There's the little composer," said he, ** and you'll find that 
he plays a more important part than the others ; for they are 
nothing but a joke." And in fact the modulation of this 
phrase into G major (after the preceding passage in F — see bars 
4 and 5 of No. 28) gives the picture a fresh charm. ' On my 
asking,' continues Schindler, * why he had not mentioned the 
yellow-hammer with the others, he said that to have done so 
would only have increased the number of ill-natured remarks 
on the Andante, which had already formed a sufficient obstacle 
to the Symphony in Vienna and elsewhere. In fact, the 
work was often treated as a mere jeu cVesprit on account 
of the second movement, and in many places had shared 
the fate of the Eroica. In Leipzig they thought that it 
would be more appropriately called a Fantasia than a 

But the note of the yellow-hammer, both in England and 
in Austria, is not an arpeggio — cannot in any way be twisted 
into one, or represented by one. It is a quick succession of 
the same note, ending with a longer one, sometimes rising 
above the preceding note, but more frequently falling. In 
fact, Schindler himself tells us that it was the origin of the 
mighty theme which opens the C minor Symphony I Taking 
these things into account, remembering how irresistible a 



practical joke was to Beethoven, and how entirely destitute of 
humour Schindler always shows himself, it is difficult not to 
come to the conclusion that in this elaborate proceeding 
Beethoven was hoaxing his humble friend. The reader must 
^udge for himself. 

A large collection of Slavonic tunes, by Professor F. Xaver 
Kuliac, of Agram, recently published in four volumes (Agram, 
1878 — 81), contains some melodies bearing a strong resem- 
blance to the subjects of some of the music of Haydn and 
Beethoven. Amongst others is the following (Vol. III., 
No. 1,016)— 

No. S4. 

which, it is safe to say, was either borrowed from the first 
movement of the Pastoral Symphony or was used by 
Beethoven in the composition of that work (compare quotation, 
No. 1, and notice the interesting difference in the first three 
notes) ; another is quoted a propos to the Finale, ■v\ hich we 
shall notice farther on. A somewhat similar insUnce is 
formed by the Trio in the Seventh Symphony, the melody of 
which is said, on the authority of the Abbe Stadler, to have 
been a well-known pilgrims' chant. The Russian themes in 
the last movement of the first and second of the Rasumoffsky 
Quartets are quite a different matter, as in both cases the 
theme is marked by Beethoven as ' Theme Eusse.* The 
subject of the Slavonic tunes has been discussed by Dr. 
Heinrich Reimann (JZ/^. Musikzeitung ior Oct. 6, 13, 20, 1893) 
and Professor Kuhac himself {Ibid., July 20, August 3, 17, 
1894), as well as in the Musical Times for November, 1893. 
The question is — which is the original, the Symphony or the 


Volkelied? — and this does not appear to be yet made out. 
iMeantime Beethoven does not seem to have scrupled to use 
materials wherever he found them. Attention was called by 
Mr. C. A. Barry, in the Beethoven number of the Musical Times, 
1892, to a similarity between a phrase of Beethoven's and one 
in the old German Orossvatertanz. It is difficult to believe that 
Beethoven had not seen Mozart's Overture to 'Bastien et 
Bastienne ' before writing the Eroica. Other instances of 
similarity between his phrases and those of his predecessors 
have been mentioned by Mr. Shedlock in his excellent book 
The Pianoforte Sonata, and others are familiar to students of 
his works. • While walking one night with Beethoven in the 
Mariahilf Strasse (apparently in Vienna), all at once,' says* 
Gloggl, ' he stopped, and I heard through a window some 
one playing very charmingly. Beethoven took out a small 
note-book and wrote in it, saying, **I like that idea.'" On 
another occasion he said, ' I quite agree with Cherubini as to 
his Requiem,! and, if I ever write one, shall borrow much 
from him, note for note.' It is hard to say why he should 
not do so. Handel probably borrowed more themes than 
anyone else, and he has shown us over and over again that 
it is not the theme that constitutes the value of the com- 
position, but the way in which it is used. 

III. Allegro. — ' Peasants' Festival.' So far we have had to 
do with Nature ; we now turn to the human beings who 
people this delicate landscape ; the sentiment at once com- 
pletely changes, and we are carried from graceful and quiet 
contemplation to rude and boisterous merriment. The third 
movement — answering to the usual Scherzo, though not so 
entitled — is a village dance or fair. The wind instruments 
most prominently heard are appropriately those of rustic 

* Thayer, Biography, iii., 518 and 215. 

t Sey fried, ii., 22. He seems to have seriouslY meditated a Requiem in 1813. 
^ee Monatshefte f. MvMkges., 1896, p. 54. 



artists, the flute, the oboe, and bassoon. The strings oegin 
thus in F, leading into D minor — 

No. 35. Allegro. 

^ dol. 

but the flute and bassoons enter after a very few bars, and the 
oboe shortly after. There is a delightfully rustic cast about 
it all — the close of one portion of the melody — 

No. 36. 






Sf Sf Sf 8f 

the false accent with which the oboe starts the second 
section — 

No. 37. 

Viol. 1 dim. 


-r i I I I 1 1 

Viol. 2 dimin, 

1 — r 





to the quaint *accompaniment of the two fiddles (we seem to 
see the village players bowing away) are all in exquisite 
keeping, and it is not too much to believe that the whole has 
a • foundation in fact.' Indeed, the very passage just quoted 

* Recalling the accompaniment of a portion of the Scherzo in the Second 
Symphony (see p. 33). 


is wid to be an intentional caricature of a band of village 
uiMfiicians whom Beethoven used to hear in the country ; and 
the irregular halting rhythm in the bassoon shows how 
drunk or how drowsy the player was — 

No. 38. 

Bassoon p 


while the two notes to which he is confined during this 
episode prove how very moderate are his powers. 

This party, seven in all (says Mr. Thayer in his Life of 
Beethoven, iii. 43), had for many years played regularly in 
the tavern of ' The Three Eavens,' in the Upper Briihl, near 
Modling; their music and their performance were both 
absolutely national and characteristic, and seem to have 
attracted Beethoven's notice shortly after his first arrival in 
Vienna. He renewed the acquaintance at each visit to 
Modling, and more than once wrote some waltzes for them. 
In 1819 he was again staying at Modling, engaged on the 
Mass in D. The band was still there, and Schindler was 
present when the great master handed them some dances 
which he had foimd time to write among his graver labours, 
so arranged as to suit the peculiarities which had grown on 
them ; and as Dean Aldrich, in his Smoking Catch, gives 
each singer time to fill or light his pipe, or have a puff, so 
Beethoven had given each player an opportunity of laying 
down his instrument for a drink, or even for a nap. In the 
course of the evening he asked Schindler if he had ever 
noticed the way in w^hich they would go on playing till 
they dropped off to sleep ; and how the instrument would 
falter and at last stop altogether, and then wake with 
a random note, but generally in tune. * In the Pastoral 
Symphony,' continued Beethoven, * I have tried to copy 



The next movement — Allegro 2-4 (answering to the Trio 
of the Schei-zo) — is said to represent a fight among the 
dancers, though indeed it may just as well be a rough 
dance. The harmony is of the same simple character as 
that which forms so fine a feature in the opening move- 
ment — 



Viol. 1 & 2 

IV. The Storm which bursts upon the revels and quarrels 
of the peasants would require a whole pamphlet for its 
adequate illustration and encomium. It comes abruptly on 
the scene. A modern composer would probably have let us 
hear the thunder gathering in the distance, and have given 
us the gradual dispersal of the dancers, and other incidents, 
as the rain came on, and the flashes grew more vivid — indeed, 
Knecht in his programme gives some indications of the kipd. 
But Beethoven — whether because such realistic painting had 
not yet invaded music, or because he so willed it — stops th« 
dancing suddenly, draws a double bar through his page, addg 

THE stor:\i. sublimity. 


a flauto piccolo to the score, alters the signature and the 
time, slackens the tempo, and treats the storm as a distinct, 
new, and independent scene — 

No. 40. 

Allegro. Gz.\ 

VI. 2. pp 


>i^.^ r - 


It is simple treatment, but he can do nothing without 
significance and effect. The sudden D flat* which begins the 
change — like very distant thunder, so soft as to be hardly 
audible — is, M. Saint-Saensf remarks, * really sublime.' This 
depends on the interpretation given to that tremendous adjec- 
tive. But sublime or not, it is very impressive. It has ' the 
light that never was on sea or land,' and throws at once a 
mystical cast over the rustic gaiety of the preceding music. 

* In the interesting convers.ation with which Rochlitz was honoured by 
Beethoven in 1822, the great composer, in speaking of his early fondness for 
Klopstock and his solemnities, characertises them as ' always Maestoso I D 
flat ! Isn't it so? But for all that, he is really great, and lifts one's souJ.'— 
Rochlitz, Fiir Freunde der Tonkunst, iv., 356. 

f HarMonie et Melodie, p. 11. 
Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello'a Sdltion. F 



much as a dark cloud might do on the actual field. This • stonn* 
is as distinct an addition to the usual four movements of the 
eSymphony as the Cathedral Scene in Schumann's third or 
' Rhenish ' Symphony is.* Fortunately it needs no com- 
mentary, but is so grandly and broadly written that the 
hearer has but to surrender himself to the impressions of the 
moment as the splendid war of the elements rages before 
him. It has no special • form,' but one or two favourite 
J)assages may be cited, such as the following bold pro- 
gression — 

No. 41. 

strings in 8ves. 

^^or this other, in which the basses virtually go down through 
three octaves, with the violins in arpeggios of double notes 
above them — cuiiously simple means for the immense effect 
produced 1 

No. 42. 


frf S r . 






-P- hfi. 



Cellos and Basses sf 




sf^ sf 






^n extraordinary effect is produced at an early period of the 

* At the first performance at Leipzig (March 26, 1809) it was specially 
announced as in five movements. In fact there is no denying that three of the 
Symphonies are in five movements, since the Introductions to Nos. 4 and 7 
are so long and important that they cannot be taken as mere preludes to 
the Allegros, but form separate and independent portions of the work. The 
Ninth, of course, is in many more than £vo, 



tempest by making the cellos play in groups of five semi- 
quavers while the double basses have groups of four — 

No. 43. 

Violins tz 

Basses "^5^^ \^^ 

an effect specially noticed by M. Berlioz. Mention has often 
been made of the truth to Nature shown in the mysterious lull 
before the storm reaches its cUmax (where the chromatic 
scales are first introduced), of the picturesque beauty of the 
final clearing off of the tempest (first oboe solo, with second 
violin in octaves) — 

No. 44. 



af^ g- 




Yio\. %dolce ' ■' ' 1 

— which is really the passage at the commencement of the 
movement (No. 40, bar 7), in minims instead of quavers — 
and the strip of blue sky (final scale upwards of the fiute) — 

No. 45 


a feature which is first found in the second Finale* to * Fidelio,' 
and which Mendelssohn and Schumann have not forgotten, 

* Apropos to this, a very interesting anecdote is told by the late Professor 
Otto Jahn iu his introductory article to Breitkopf's complete edition : 'In the 
autograph of the second Finale to Fidelio,' says he, *on one of the last pages, 
at a place where it is absolutely unsuitable, occurs this scale passage ; and it 
was only after the most careful investigation that the j^roper place for it could 
be found. It now stands in the new score of ' Fidelio ' at page 284 in the 
piccolo part, where it adds an extraordinary emphasis at the moment of the 
greatest climax.'— J ahu's Gesmnm. Au/satze (1866), p. 31§. 



the former in the close of the scene on Sinai in * Elijah,* the 
latter in the first movement of his B flat Symphony, thirty- 
five bars from the end. 

A sketch of this storm will be found in the ' Prometheus ' 
music, immediately succeeding the Overture ; and the com- 
parison of the two pieces is most interesting, and will be found 
to throw great light on Beethoven's modes of procedure in 
such cases. It is a parallel to the two Overtures to Leonora, 
where * No. 2 ' is a * first edition ' of * No. 8.' 

V. The Finale is an Allegretto, a * Shepherds' hymn of 
gratitude and *thankfulness,' at the passing of the tempest. 
Between the two there is no pause. Beethoven's original 
memorandum of the title in his sketch-book ran thus: — 
* Ausdruck des Dankes. Herr, wir danken dir,' as if he 
had a thanksgiving hymn in view. The movement now 
opens with a Jodel or Ranz des v aches, begun by the clarinet, 
and repeated by the horn, though the sketch-books show that 
this Jodel itself is an afterthought, and that the Finale 
originally began with the melody of the hynm (No. 47). The 
horn passage may be noticed because it is founded on a 
solecism in harmony, for which in this and other places 
Beethoven has been much censured by Oulibicheff, Fetis, 
and other conservatives of the old school, but which, in the 
music of our times, has been carried to lengths of which 
Beethoven himself can hardly have dreamt — 

No. 4t>. Allegretto. 
Clar.,^ ^ 


* Here again the French must add a definite programme ; and in the Con- 
servatoire programmes we accordingly have * Le calme renait. Les patre* 
rappelent leur troitpeaux,' &e. 



The offence, which Oulibicheff nicknames • la Chimere,' 
after the compound monster of classical mythology, con- 
sists of his employing the * tonic ' and ' dominant ' harmony 
together, at the same time. In this case the viola holds 
the bass notes G and G (of the chord of C, the * dominant ' 
of F), while the violoncello has the notes G and F (of the 
chord of the * tonic ' F), the horn at the same time sounding 
the same notes as the viola. Another instance is found in 
the famous horn passage which finishes the working-out of the 
first movement of the Eroica (see page 6Q). The effect of such 
combinations depends materially upon the way in which the 
instrumentation is managed — a strong point with Beethoven ; 
but our ears are accustomed to the combination, and it sounds 
all right ; that is, it conveys the impression which Beethoven 
intended it to convey, and which is therefore better than that 
conveyed by the alteration of M. Fetis, who has actually taken 
upon himself, in print, to improve this passage to suit the 
ears of his own generation, naively remarking that * with 
these alterations the effect would be excellent.' 

The ranz des v aches leads into the first and chief theme of 
the Finale — the Hymn of the Shepherds — as follows — 

No. 47. 




t^-f I— I Yzr -1 1 ^- -t 1 ta#- ^ 



VioLl pp 

This theme is given out by the first violins, repeated by the 
second violins and then by the violas, cellos, clarinets, and 
bassoons in unison. It is followed immediately by a short 
melody of two bars' length, given alternately by the violas and 
cellos — 

No. 48. 

Violas & Cello3 



and by the first violius — by tlie latter in this sprightly 
form — 

and relieved by a charming subsidiary melody. Then the last 
group of the phrase is played with, first as above, and next 
in a florid form — 

No. 50. 

Next comes a new phrase- 

No. 51. 

U ff 

leading to an extended repetition of the original jodel in the 
violins, with its * wrong ' harmony supported successively by 
the flute, oboe, clarinet, and horn, and diminishing to pianis- 
simo. This leads back to the principal subject (No. 47), 
richly accompanied, and modulating into the key of B flat, in 
which key at length the second subject proper appears in the 
clarinets and bassoons, and accompanied by the violas in 
semiquaver figures — 

No. 52. 
Clar. dolce ^ ^ 




After the second subject we have a modiilation through D flat 
into C, on which note there is a pedal for fifteen bars, with 
the two violins in semiquaver passages over it, and later 
still the original jodel returns in the wind. For the rest 
of the movement the music consists of variations of the 
themes already given — Eifugato on the principal subject, and a 
second fugato with the subject in semiquavers ; and a passage 
in which the fiddles descend note by note from the high G 
over a pedal in the basses, at the same time diminishing from 
ff to pp, and recalling a similar passage near the end of the 
opening movement of the work; a coincidence which, if 
intentional, is of rare occurrence in the Symphonies. The 
whole ends with a very peaceful Codaj terminating with the 
original jodel in the horns pianissimo, which might be sup- 
posed to indicate the retirement of the peasant band to a 
distance, if we were not brought to our senses by two very 
loud and startling chords. 

The subject which we have quoted as No. 48 is the second 
one of the two on which there is so curious a correspondence 
with the Croatian melodies (see page 212). The Volkslied is 
given by Professor Kuhac (Vol. III., No. 810) as follows ; and, 
as before, the resemblance is very strong (compare No. 52) — 

No. 53. 

^ f^J !»> 

— 1 K^ k 

1 K—l ^t 1 V- 


kJ-^' ^— ii=i 


^=1 hJ^ iq — ^M — A I 1 - 1 

The Pastoral Symphony was first performed at a concert 
given by Beethoven on Thursday, the 22nd of December. 
1808, in the Imperial private theatre at Vienna. It stood 
first in t-he programme, and was described in the announce- 
ments as follows : * Eine Symphonie unter dem Titel : 
Erinnerung an das Landleben, in F dur (No. 5).' The 
programme also included the G major Pianoforte Concerto 


—played by the composer ; the Symphony in C minor (given 
as * No. 6 ') ; the Choral Fantasia ; and other pieces of 
Beethoven's composition, ' quite new, and never before heard 
in pubhc' What a programme I We may well exclaim, 
' who is sufficient for these things ! ' The circumstances of 
its production make one shudder. Instead of appropriate 
spring weather the cold was intense, and the theatre appears 
to have been un warmed. The audience were very scanty ; in 
the stalls, Beethoven's Russian friend, the Count Vielhorsky, 
appears to have been the *only person ; the programme of 
forbidding length, and the rehearsals but imperfect. Under 
such untoward circumstances are the regenerators of mankind 
born into the world 1 

The confusion between the priority of the minor and 
Pastoral Symphonies was in force as late as 1820, as appears 
from the programme of the Concerts Sjriritu-els of Vienna of 
that year.f A similar confusion of numbers existed between 
ihe Seventh and Eighth Symphonies some years later. 

It was first publiclyt performed in London at a concert 
given for the benefit of Mrs. Vaughan (formerly Miss Tennant), 
at the Hanover Square Rooms, on May 27, 1811. Dr. Crotch§ 
was * at the organ and the grand pianoforte.' A fortnight 
later it was again performed at the concert of Mr. Griesbach, 
the oboe player, on June 13. 

A notice in an early number of i\i& Musical World (June 21, 
1838) says that at the first performance of the Symj^hony in 

* * He told me this himself,' said F. Hiller, ' and also that when Beethoven 
was called forward he gave the Count a special nod {Buckling), half in fun end 
half sarcastic' — Thayer, iii., 57, 8. 

t Given by Hanslick, Geschichte der Concertwcaens in Wien, p. 189. 

X I say ' publicly ' because there is some reason to suppose that it may have 
been practised by a Society called ' The Harmonic,' which held its meetings at 
the London Tavern. See The Harmonicon of 1832, p. 247. I am mnch 
indebted to my friend, Mr. F. G. Edwards, for this and much more interesting 
information on similar points in connection with the Symphonies. 

§ Comp. Ninth Symphony, p. 383 note. But this may have been for other 
pieces in the programme. 


England it was divided into two parts, and that the interval 
was relieved by the introduction of ' Hush, ye pretty warbling 
choir,' from *Acis and Galatea.' I am not able to say if 
either of the two concerts just mentioned are referred to, or 
whether it is a confusion with Bochsa's performance (see 
next page) on June 22, 1829. 

When performed *later by the Philharmonic Society, large 
omissions were made in the Andante, to make it go down ; and 
yet, notwithstanding this, the ancient members of the pro- 
fession and most of the critics condemned it. Thus the 
Harmonicon, the musical periodical of the day — edited by a 
very intelligent man, and usually a fair critic — is never happy 
without its fling at the length and the repetitions of this 
Symphony. ' Opinions are much divided on its merits, but few 
deny that it is too long. The Andante alone is upwards of a 
quarter of an hour in performance, and, being a series of 
repetitions, might be subjected to abridgment without any 
violation of justice either to composer or hearer ' (1823, p. 86). 

* Always too long, particularly the second movement, which, 
abounding in repetitions, might be shortened without the 
slightest danger of injuring that particular part, and with the 
certainty of improving the effect of the whole ' (1828, p. 130). 

• The Pastoral Symphony is too long for the quantity of ideas 
that it tcontains. . . . He must be a great enthusiast who can 
listen to it without some feelings of impatience' {Ibid., 
p. lOG). In such terms as these did our grandfathers, year 
after year, receive a work which, with all its repetitions, does 
not contain a redundant bar, and is now, next to the C minor, 
the most popular of Beethoven's first eight Symphonies ! 

• The date of its first performance by the Philharmonic is uncertain. The 
first time the name appears in the programmes is on April 14, 1817 ; but it 
may have been given earlier, as, for the first four years of the Society, it was 
not the custom to give the keys or names of the Symphonies performed. 

+ This reminds one of the judgment of the same gentleman on the Nintl; 
Symphony (see p. 393). 


Several attempts have been made to perform the Pastoral 
Symphony with scenery and even action — in other words, to 
disregard Beethoven's own injunction, and develop his 

* expression of emotions ' into a definite ' picture.' 

1. A performance at the King's Theatre in the Haymarket, 
on June 22nd, 1829, for the Benefit of Mr. Bochsa, the harp 
player; a prominent personage of the day. The Symphony 
was dramatised for the occasion by Monsieur Deshayes and 
produced under his immediate direction, the principal 
characters by six French actors assisted by a numerous 
corps de ballet. It was preceded by a dramatic performance 
of * Acis and Galatea,' by eminent singers from the Italian 
Opera. See The Times of June 24, 1829 ; the Quarterly 
Musical Magazine, Vol. X., p. 303 ; and Moscheles's Life 
(TransL, 1873), i., 229. 

Mr. Bochsa made an experiment in the same direction, 
at his Benefit Concert on June 23, 1830, by perform- 
ing Beethoven's Battle Symphony, * dramatised expressly 
for the occasion,' with ' Guards from Waterloo on the 
stage,' &c. 

2. ' An Illustration of the Pastoral Symphony,* by the 
Artists' Club, ' Der Malkasten,' of Diisseldorf, in February, 
1863. This had scenery for the background, and groups of 
reapers, peasants, a village parson, &c., but apparently no 
action. The original prospectus (February 7, 1863) and an 
article on the performance by Otto Jahn will be found in the 
Gesarmnelte Aufsdtze of that eminent critic (1866), page 260, 

* Beethoven im Malkasten.' Also see the A. m. Zeitung for 
1863, page 293, &c. 

3. A performance, with pictorial and pantomimic illustra- 
tions, at Drury Lane Theatre, January 30, 1864, as part 
of the Benefit of Mr. Howard Glover. The scenery was 
painted by Mr. Wm. Beverley ; the action composed and 
arranged by Mr. Cormack ; principal dancers, the Misses 


In taking leave of the Symphony it is impossible not to 
feel deep gratitude to tliis great composer for the complete 
and unalloyed pleasure which he here puts within our reach. 
Gratitude, and also astonishment. In the great works of 
Beethoven, what vast qualities are combined ! What boldness, 
what breadth, what beauty ! what a cheerful, genial, beneficent 
view over the whole realm of Nature and man ! And then 
what extraordinary detail I and so exquisitely managed, that 
with all its minuteness, the general effect is never sacrificed 
or impaired I The amount of contrivance and minute calcu- 
lation of effect in this Andante (to speak of one movement 
only) is all but inconceivable, and yet the ear is never 
oppressed, or made aware of the subtle touches by which what 
might have been blemishes, had the one necessary hairbreadth 
been passed, become conspicuous beauties. However abstruse 
or characteristic the mood of Beethoven, the expression of his 
mind is never dry or repulsive. To hear one of his great 
compositions is like contemplating, not a work of art, or man's 
device, but a mountain, or forest, or other immense product 
of Nature —at once so complex and so simple ; the whole so 
great and overpowering ; the parts so minute, so lovely, and 
30 consistent ; and the effect ?a inspiring, po beneficial, and 
?.o elevating. 

SYMPHONY No. 7, in A major (Op. 92). 

Dedicated to iloritz, Count Imperial von Jf'riea. 

1 Poco sostenuto. (•'^GQ.) (A major.) 

2. Vivace. {J._104.) (A major.) 

3. Allegretto. (J«_76.) (A minor.) 

4. Scherzo, Presto. (£=)• 132.) (P major.) Trio, Assai meno presto 

(J 84). (D major.) 

5. Finale, Allegro con brio, (c:' 72.) (A major.) 


2 Flutes. 
2 Oboes. 
2 Clarinets. 
2 Bassoons. 
2 Horns. 

2 Trumpets. 

2 Drums. 

1st and 2nd Violinj. 




The Drums are toned in A and E, except in the Scherzo, in which they 
are in F and A. 

The *parts appear to have been published on December 21, 1816. 
The score in a small quarto of 224 pages, lithographed, and published 
by S. A. Steiner & Co., Vienna. A poor edition. 

' Siebente Grosse Sinfonie in A dur von Ludwig van Beethoven 92tes 
Werk. Vollstandige Partitur. Eigenthum der Verleger. Preis 12 Fl. Wien 
im Verlag bei S. A. Steiner und Comp. So wie auch zu haben,' Ac, &c. 

[Page 2.] • Dem Hochgebornen Heim Moritz Reichsgrafen von Fries, 
S*" k: k: Apost : Majestat wirklichen Ivammerer, &c. , &c., &c., in 
Ehrfurcht zugeeignet von Ludw: van Beethoven.' No. 2560. 

A second and much better edition, folio, 180 pages, engraved, waa 
published by Tobias Haslinger, of Vienna, in 1827. 

* One of the few defects in Mr. NotteLobm's Thematic Catalogue of Bee- 
thoven (Breitkopf & Hartel) is that there is no indication of what the 
various publications are. It is often impossible to teli wbeUu'.r they are score 
or paru. 


The Seventh Symphony was completed in 1812, after an 
interval of four years from the termination of the ' Pastoral.' 
It was a longer time than had passed between any of the 
other *Symphonies, and much had happened in it. During 
the period of which we are speaking, though no Symphony 
was in progress, a large number of scarcely less important 
works were composed — The String Quartets in E flat (Op. 74) 
and F minor (Op. 95) ; the music to * Egmont,' * King 
Stephen,' and the ' Ruins of Athens ' ; the Choral Fantasia ; 
the Solo- Sonata in F sharp minor, and that called * Les 
Adieux, I'Absence, et le Retour ' ; the Trios in E flat and D 
(Op. 70) ; and in B flat (Op. 97) ; besides the Variations 
in D (Op. 76); the Fantasia, Op. 77; and the Sonatina, 
Op. 79. 

The Overture in C, originally intended to embody Schiller's 
Ode, but which we knowf as Op. 115, was constantly receiving 
attention during the whole of the time in question, as is 
shown by the sketch-books. The songs in Op. 75, 82, and 83 
are more or less due to this date, and it was in 1810 that 
he began the numerous arrangements of Scotch, Welsh, and 
Irish songs for Thomson, of Edinburgh, which occupied him 
at intervals from 1810 to 1815, and though not requiring the 
highest flight of his genius, must have been sufficient to give 
a good deal of employment to so conscientious a workman 
as Beethoven. Thomson's proposal, made on ifSeptember 17, 
1810, that he should compose a cantata on Campbell's 'Battle 
of the Baltic,' is an interesting one, and it is a great pity that it 
was not carried out, as the words are very far above the usual 
standard of such libretti ; and since Beethoven's stipulation 
that they should not contain anything offensive to the Danes 

• The followiiig are the dates, as iienr]y as we have been able to ascertain 
them: Symphony No. 1, 1800 ; No. 2, 1802; No. 3, ISOi ; No. 4, l&OG ; No. 
5, 1807 ; No. 6. 1807 or 8. 

f Entitled in France 'La Chasse.' 

X See Beethoven's letter in Thayer, iii, . 448 ; also 17d. 


is thoroughly respected, there is every reason to think that 
he would have composed them con amove* 

The engagement with Countess Theresa Brunswick, which 
took place in 1806, had been broken off, though it is 
impossible to say what way that event, or, indeed, any other 
event, affected Beethoven as a composer. During the four 
years a further development of his wonderful powers and 
equoUy wonderful style had taken place, another step towards 
the accomplishment of his great mission of freeing music 
from dependence on the mechanical structure in which it had 
grown up, and on the ingenuity of construction which was 
still considered one of its merits, and making it more and 
more the expression of the deepest and the most individual 
emotions of men's nature. Hitherto he had expressed in his 
Symphonies a very wide range of feelings, but he had not yet 
attempted what may be called moods and manners. In the 
opening movement of No. 5 he had shown himself severe and 
perhaps intolerant — what he did not approve of was crushed on 
the instant. In the Finale of No. 4 he is thoroughly gay and 
good humoured. But there was a temper or a mood which 
he had not yet tried in his compositions, and that is the 
boisterousness in which, as life went on, hewasprone to indulge 
in his personal intercourse, both in writing and action. His 
letters always more or less abounded with rough jokes, 
puns, and nicknames ; and similarly his personal intercourse 

* It is interesting to notice how like the methods of these great writers 
sometimes are to one another. Campbell's early version of part of this 
very fine poem has been preserved, and stood thus (Allingham, iSketch q/ 
Campbell's LiJ\ prefixed to poems) : — 

Of Nelson and the North 

Sing the day, 
When, their Imnghty powers to vex. 
He engaged the Danish decks, 
And with twenty floating wrecks 
Crowned the fray. 

No sketch of Beethoven's can have been more curiously inferior to the finisbcd 
work than this is. It is. indeed, a most ir^structive parallel, 

Beethoven's odd manners. 231 

was of a very free *' unbuttoned ' description. To name two 
instances. When he came to dine enfamille with his old fi-iend 
Breuning, as he often did, if he had come through the rain, 
the first thing to do on entering the dining-room was to take 
off his broad-brimmed felt hat and dash the water off it in all 
directions, regardless of the furniture or the inmates. When 
his brother, shortly after buying an estate, left a card on 
Ludwig containing the words, * Johann van Beethoven, 
Landed proprietor,' it was swiftly returned by one inscribed, 
* Ludwig van Beethoven, Brain proprietor ' : and there are 
many such instances. But, characteristic as these rough 
traits are, they had not yet made their appearance in his 
music. The time was now come ; and this constitutes a 
real difference between his first six Symphonies and the 
seventh and eighth, inasm-'ich as these two are more or less 
permeated by the rough humour which we have just 
been mentioning, as a part of his nature which was bound to 
show itself sooner or later, and the occurrences of which w^e 
shall point out as they arise. Here it will be sufficient to 
notice it in a general way, and to say that when this 
_hoisteiiousness Js combined with the forxie and character which 
are exhibited in the preceding six of these great works, as it is 
in the Finale of No. 7 and the opening and closing move- 
ments of No. 8 — the effect is indeed tremendous. Other 
occurrences may have some bearing on the increasing 
joviality of his expression. We must remember that to 
balance the breach with Countess Theresa in 1810 it was 
in the same year that he made the acquaintance of Bettina 
von Arnim, who, with all her exaggeration and false 
sentiment, evidently made a strong impression on his 
susceptible nature. 1810, too, was the date of the appear- 
ance of Hoffmann's criticism on the C minor, which was 
perhaps the first piece of reasonable sympathy from tha 

• A'U(fgtkvJS]pft. 


outside world that had reached him, and must surely have 
affected him considerably. 

Beethoven recorded the exact date — probably of his 
beginning to score the work — on the right-hand top corner 
of the first page of his manuscript, now in the possession 
of Mr. Ernst Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, nephew of the com- 
poser, who lives in the old family banking-house, 53, 
Jiigerstrasse, Berlin ; and if the MS. were still intact there 
would be no difficulty in ascertaining it. But a wretched 
binder has cat down the top and front of the page so far that 
at present the following only can be inferred : — ' Sinfonia. L. 
V. Beethoven, 1812 ; ISten. . .' Then follows the loop of 
a letter which may have belonged to either *May, June, or 
July ; and this agrees with Beethoven's own statement in his 
letter from Teplitz, July 19, i812, to Varena — * A new 
Symphony is now ready.' It was Beethoven's habit, as 
we know, to reduce the materials of his great works to their 
final form in Vienna, during the winter and early spring 
months. Their real composition — if one part of so complex 
an operation can be distinguished from another — took place 
during the excursions which, with few exceptions, he regularly 
took in the summer into the country more or less near the 
Austrian capital. In 1811 he went farther afield than usual. 
He was kept in town till an unusually late date, but by the 
end of August or beginning of September he was at Teplitz, 
a watering-place fifty miles or so North-west of Prague; 
and there, in the midst of an intellectual and musical society, 
he seems to have enjoyed himself thoroughly. Varnhagen von 
Ense and the famous Rahel, afterwards his wife, were there ; 
the Countess von der Reckef from Berlin ; and the Sebalds, a 

* The conf.dence with which such careful commentators as Nottebohm and 
Thayer read this as 'Mai,' is puzzling. 

t Can this be the family to whom the * Recksche Palais ' in the 
Potsdamer Strasse belonged, which afterwards became the Mendelssohns' 
liouse, and is now the Herrenhaus of the German Parliament, completely 
transmogrified from its ancient appearance, and bearing no trace of its former 
illustrious occupant 1 


musical family from the same city, with one of whom, 
Amalie, the susceptible Beethoven at once fell violently in 
love, as Weber had done before him ; Varena, Ludwig Lowe 
the actor, Fichte the philosopher, *Tiedge the poet, and other 
poets and artists were there too ; these formed a congenial 
circle with whom his afternoons and evenings were passed in 
the greatest good-fellowship and happiness ; and here, no doubt, 
the early ideas of the Seventh Symphony were put into score 
and gradually elaborated into the perfect state in which we 
now possess them. Many pleasant traits are recorded by 
Varnhagen in his letters t to his fiancee and others. The 
coy but obstinate resistance which Beethoven usually offered 
to extemporising he here laid entirely aside, and his friends 
probably heard, on these occasions, many a portion of the 
new Symphony which was seething in his heart and brain, 
even though no word was dropped by the mighty player to 
enhghten them. In his letters of this time he is, as usual 
quite dumb as to what was occupying him. The sketch- 
book of the Symphony, now in the Petter collection at 
Vienna, and fully analysed by Nottebohm in the Zweite 
Beethoveniana, p. 101, &c., gives apparently no information as 
to date or place ; but on this head there need be Httle doubt. 
It is a curious fact that three of Beethoven's great orches- 
tral works should be more or less closely connected with 
Napoleon Bonaparte. His share in the 'Eroica' we have 
already described ; the piece entitled the ' Battle Symphony ' 
(Op. 91) was written to commemorate one of the greatest defeats 
ever sustained by Napoleon's army, that of Vittoria ; and the 

* Beethoven to the end of his life retained his Bonn soft dialect, and one 
instance of it is that he pronounced Tiedge's name Tiedsche. Another is schenirte 
for genirte. Such words as ' schwartzen ' and ' Tage ' he pronounced soft, as 
* schwartzen ' and 'Tage.' Just so Garrick to the last said * shupreme,' and 
Johnson ' poonsh ' for ' punch.' Besides this, Beethoven's voice had a peculiarly 
soft winning sound — * that low gentle tone,' says a correspondent quoted by 
Thayer, iii., 209 — * which in his genial moments is so peculiarly fetching.' 

t See Thayer, iii., 176, &c 

Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonlos.— Novello's Edition. Q 


Seventh Symphony, if not written with a view to the French 
Emperor, was first performed in public on December 8, 1813, 
in the large hall of the University of Vienna, at a concert 
undertaken by Maelzel for the benefit of the soldiers wounded 
at the battle of Hanau, October 30, where the Austrian and 
Bavarian troops endeavoured to cut off Napoleon's retreat 
fi'om Leipzig. But indeed he made no secret of his animosity 
towards the Emperor, and Mr. Thayer (ii. 313) has preserved 
a saying of his after Jena, to the effect that if he knew as 
much about war as he did about music he would somehow 
contrive to beat him. Much enthusiasm was felt in Vienna 
on the subject of the concert of December 8, and everyone 
was ready to lend a helping-hand. The programme also 
contained the • Battle Symphony,' and two Marches, by 
Dussek and Pleyel, for Maelzel's ' Mechanical Trumpeter,' a 
etrange mixture, though not unsuitable to the occasion. 

Beethoven conducted the performance in person, hardly, 
perhaps, to its advantage, considering the symbolical 
gestures described by *Spohr, since he was then very deaf, 
and heard what was going on around him with great 
difficulty. The orchestra presented a striking appearance, 
many of the desks being tenanted by the most famous 
musicians and composers of the day. Haydn was gonet 
to his rest, but Schuppanzigh, Romberg, Spohr, Mayseder, 
and Dragonetti were present, and played among the rank 
and file of the strings ; Meyerbeer (of whom Beethoven 

* Spohr's SdbstUographie, i., 200. Spohr's account is sufficiently interesting 
to be extracted. ' At this concert I first saw Beethoven conduct. Often a,s I 
had heard of it, it surprised me extremely. He was accustomed to convey tha 
marks of expression to the band by the most peculiar motions of his body. 
Thus at a s/orzando he tore his arms, which were before crossed on his breast, 
violently apart. At a piano he crouched down, bending lower the softer the 
tone. At the crescendo he raised himself by degrees until at the forte he sprang 
up to his full height ; and, without knowing it, would often at the same time 
shout aloud.' He has left some directions of the same kind on record on the 
MS. of his setting of Goethe's Meerestille und gl'uckliclie Fahrt (Op. 112). Se« 
Nottebohm'a Thematic Catalogue. 

\ He died May 31. 1809. 


complained that Le always came in after the beat) and 
Hummel had the drums, and Moscheles, then a youth 
of nineteen, the cymbals. Even Beethoven's old teacher, 
Kapellmeister Salieri, was there, * giving the time to the 
drums and salvos.' There was a black-haired, sallow, thick- 
set, spectacled lad of fifteen in Vienna at that time, named 
Franz Schubert, son of a parish schoolmaster in the 
suburbs, and himself but just out of the Cathedral School. 
He had finished his own first Symphony only six weeks 
Defore,* and we may depend upon it that he was some- 
where in the room, though too shy or too juvenile to 
take a part, or be mentioned in any of the accounts. The 
effect which the Symphony produced on him is perpetuated in 
the Finale to the remarkable Pianoforte Duet which he wrote 
ten years afterwards among the Hungarian mountains, and 
which since his death has become widely known as the 
« Grand Duo, Op. 140.' 

It was the good fortune of a young Austrian named Gloggl, 
afterwards an eminent publisher, to accompany Beethoven 
from his residence to the concert-room on the occasion of the 
second performance ; and we are able, through his account, to 
catch a glimpse of the composer in somewhat novel circum- 
stances. Gloggl had made his acquaintance some time before, 
had been admitted to the rehearsals, and had witnessed a little 
scene between the fiddlers and the great master. A passage "in 
the Symphony was too much for them, and after two or three 
attempts they stopped, and were bold enough to say that what 
could not be played should not be written. Beethoven, 
wonderful to relate, kept his temper, and with unusual for- 
bearance begged ' the gentlemen to take their parts home with 
them,' promising that with a Uttle practice the passage 
would go well enough. He was right. At the next rehearsal 
it went perfectly, and a good deal of laughing and compli- 
menting took place. But to return to our young Austrian. 
* Schubert's first Symphony, in D, bears the date October 28, 1813 


The tickets for the performance were all sold, and Gl(5ggl 
would have been shut out if Beethoven had not told him to 
call at his lodgings at half-past ten the next morning. They 
got into a carriage together, with the scores of the Symphony 
and the Battle of Vittoria ; but nothing was said on the 
road, Beethoven being quite absorbed in what was coming, 
and showing where his thoughts were by now and then beating 
time with his hand. No doubt he had his unapproachable 
moments, and Schumann* was probably right in thinking that 
if Weber were in Beethoven's place he would be easier to talk 
to. Arrived at the hall, Gloggl was ordered to take the scores 
under his arm and follow ; and thus he passed in, found a 
place somewhere, and heard the whole concert without 

f But to go back. The new works were both received with 
(enthusiasm ; the performance of the Symphony, says Spohr,^ 
was * quite masterly,' the slow movement was encored, and 
^he success of the concert extraordinary. Schindler§ charac- 
fcerises the event as 'one of the most important in Beethoven's 
life, since, with the exception of a few members of the musical 
profession, all persons, however they had previously dissented 
from his music, now agreed to award him his laurels.' The 
concert was repeated on the 12th of December, with equal 
success, including the encore of the Allegretto ; and after tliis 
Beethoven showed his gratification by publishing, in the 
Wiener Zeitnng, a long letter of thanks to his * honoured 
colleagues' 'for their zeal in contributing to so exalted a 
result.' The Symphony was played again on the 2nd of 
January, as well as on the 27th of February, 1814, when it 
was accompanied by its twin brother, No. 8 (Op. 93, dated 
October, 1812). The two were published in December, 1816, 
and the popularity of Beethoven's serious works at this date 

♦ Gesammelte Schrifteyi (1st Ed. ), i. , 203. 'I like to picture him (Mendelssohn) 
clinging with one hand to Beethoven and looking up in his face as if he were 
a saint, while the other has hold of Weber— no doubt the easier to talk to. . .' 

f Thayer, ni., 259, 2G1. ; SelUibiograj^hie, i., 201. § Biography, i., 191. 


may be inferred from the fact that these most serious ones 
were issued in no less than seven* different forms. The 
arrangement for piano solo is dedicated to the Empress of 
Eussia, probably in recognition of the generous support which 
the Imperial family of Russia gave to the first performance. 

Such was the reception of the new work in Austria. Not 
so in North Germany : when it reached Leipzig a few years 
later we have the published testimony of Friedrich Wieck, 
Madame Schumann's father, who was present at the first 
rehearsal. According to Wieck's recollection, f musicians, 
critics, connoisseurs, and people quite ignorant of music, each 
and all were unanimously of opinion that the Symphony 
— especially the first and last movements — could have been 
composed only in an unfortunate drunken condition {trunkeiien 
Zustande) ; that it was poor in melody, and so on. This, no 
doubt, was an honest opinion, but the 'whirligig of time brings 
in his revenges ' ! — A long respectful review of the work will 
be found in the Allg. musik. Zeitung, of Leipzig, Nov. 27, 1816 
(p. 817), very soon after publication. What happened on its 
arrival in this country will be foimd at the close of these 

Weber is said to have expressed his opinion, after hearing 
the Symphony, that Beethoven was now ripe for the mad- 
house. I have not been able to discover the reference ; but 
remembering Weber's acrimonious remarks on Symphony 
No. 4, which have been already quoted a propos to that work, 
it is not difficult to believe it. In the autumn of 1823 Weber 
visited Beethoven in Vienna, on the occasion of the production 
of * Euryanthe,' and then doubtless there was a rapprochement 
between the two men. But a Nemesis awaited Weber in 

* These are announced in the Intelligenzblatt of the Allgemeine miisik. 
Zeitung for March, 1S16, and are as follows : — 

Full Score ; Orchestral Parts ; Arrangement for a wind band of nine 
instruments ; for string quintet ; for piano, violin and cello ; for piano, four 
hands ; for piano solo. 

+ Clavier und Oesang . . , von F. Wieck, Kap. 17, p. 110. 


reference to the Symphony in A. In 1826 he came to London 
to bring out his ' Oberon,' and while here had to conduct 
the Philharmonic Concert of April 3, the first piece in the 
second part of which was the very work which he had before 
so contemptuously censured 1 

A propos to this great composition, an interesting anecdote 
is given in Hiller's * Mendelssohn.' Hiller and Mendelssohn, 
when the latter was sixteen, went to call on Andi-e, the 
well-known collector of Mozart's works, at Offenbach. 
Andi'^ was a thorough conservative in music ; even Beethoven 
was a doubtful novelty to him. This was in 1825. The 
great Viennese soon came on the tapis. * The worst fault,* 
says Hiller, * that Andr6 could allege' against him was the way 
in which he composed. Andre had seen the autograph of the 
A major Symphony during its progress, and told us that there 
were whole sheets left blank, to be filled up afterwards, the 
pages before the blanks having no connection with those beyond 
them. What continuity or connection could there be in music 
80 composed ? Mendelssohn's only answer was to keep on 
playing movements and bits of movements from the 
Symphony, till Andr6 was forced to stop for sheer *delight.* 
It is a pleasant coincidence that Mendelssohn should after- 
wards have become the owner of the very autograph alluded 
to. A recent inspection of the manuscript shows that 
Andr^ was right in his statement. Four such blank pages 
occur in the first two movements — the Poco sosteriuto and the 
Vivace \ and there are several instances in the same move- 
ments of smaller blanks left in the course of the MS., as if 
for filling up afterwards, thus dilfering from Beethoven's 
usual procedure. 

r^ This is the only one of his nine Symphonies for which 
Beethoven chose the key of A : indeed, it is his only great 
orchestral work in that key. Mozart, too, would seem to 

* Hiller'd Mendelssohn, translated by M. E. von Glehn. Macmillan 187i 
(p. 6). 


have avoided this key for orchestral compositions, out of his 
forty-nine Symphonies only two being in A ; and of his 
twenty-three Overtures only one — the * Oca del Cairo.' Of 
nine Symphonies of Schubert and five of Schumann 
(including the Overture, Scherzo, and Finale), not one is in 
this key. But, on the other hand, of Mendelssohn's five 
published Symphonies, both the 'Scotch' and the 'Italian' 
are in A, as is also the ' Walpurgis Night.' Beethoven had 
his idiosyncrasies on the. subject of keys. B minor he calls 
a 'black key' (schwarze Tonart), and evidently avoided;* 
and he wrote to his Scotch publisher, who had sent him an 
air in four flats, marked amoroso, to say that the key of four 
flats should be marked barbaresco, and that he had altered the 
signature accordingly. f 

In * form ' the Seventh Symphony shows nothing that has 
not been already encountered in the previous six. The Intro- 
duction is more important even than that to No. 4, but it is 
no novelty here. The Codas to the Vivace and the Finale are 
hardly more serious than those in former Symphonies. The 
repetition of the Trio to the Scherzo, which increases the 
length of the movement to nearly double what it would have 
been under the original plan, had been already introduced in 
No. 4 (see page 121). Here, and in the eighth, the sister 
Symphony to that now before us, Beethoven has substituted 
an Allegretto for the usual Andante or Lar ghetto — though 
beyond the name the two Allegrettos have no likeness what- 

* The only important exception to this is formed by the Sanctus, Osanna, 
and Agnics of the Mass in D. Schubert's symphonic movement in B minor in 
deeply and brilliantly coloured, and can hardly be spoken of as ' black. ' 
Beethoven, however, contemplated at one time a Symphony in this key (with 
the drums in D and A), and a few notes from the sketches are given in the 
Zweite Beetkoveniana, p. 317. — Beethoven held, if we are to believe Schindler's 
report (ii., 166), that certain emotions required certain keys for their expression, 
quite irrespective of pitch ; and that to deny this was as absurd as to say that 
j|wii^<ww'tnd two make five ; that his 'Pastoral ' Symphony was bound to be iu the 
key of F, and so on. What about No. 8, also in F ? 

t Thayer, iii., 241, 451. 

^^^ AJ^-? 


ever. It is not in any innovation on form or on precedent of 

arrangement that the greatness of the Seventh Symphony 

^ consists, but in the originahty, vivacity, power, and beauty of 

the thoughts, and their treatment, and in a certain new 

^romantic character of sudden and unexpected transition 

j which pervades it, and which would as fairly entitle it to be 

"^called the * Romantic Symphony ' as its companions are to 

be called the * Heroic ' and the ' Pastoral,' if only Beethoven 

Jjad so indicated it — which he has not. In the Finale, as we 

( shall see, this ' romance ' develops into a vein of boisterous 

mirth, of which we have no example in any of the earlier 


What the qualities are which give the impression of size in 
a musical work it is difficult to say; but this Symphony 
certainly leaves that impression on the hearer, to an extra- 
ordinary degree ; as much — though the two works are so 
^ different — as Schubert's great Symphony in C does. What 
is it that makes the impression ? not the force, for that we 
have in its utmost in No. 6 ; nor the dignity, for that is one 
/ of the great characteristics of No. 3 ; nor the passion, for that 
is the attribute of No. 4 ; nor the pleasantness of the sound, 
for in that nothing can exceed No. 6. Whatever it is — and 
who shall tell? — there is no doubt that the mental image 
raised by No. 7 is larger than that of any of its predecessors. 
* * How the orchestra is treated ! what a sound it has 1 ' said 
*Mendelssohn, and no doubt that is partly, though not all, 
the explanation. 
' This noble work opens with an Introduction, Poco 
sostenuto, far surpassing in dimensions, as well as in breadth 
and grandeur of style, those of the first, second, and even 
fourth Symphonies, the only others of the immortal nine 
which exhibit that feature. In saying this, it is impossible not 
to think of Schumann's remark. He says, in speaking of 

HiUer's Afendetssohn, p. 7 



Brahmg : ' Let him remember the beginnings of Beethoven's 
Symphonies, and try to do something like them. The 
beginning is the main thing. When you have once begun, 
the end comes of its own *accord.' His Introductions — hke 
his Codas — are among Beethoven's most remarkable extensions 
of the plan of the Symphony ; and with this particular move- 
ment he may be said to have established a proceeding which 
he had essayed in the first, second, and fourth of his own 
Symphonies, and which has been since adopted in the 
splendid introductions to Schubert's C major, Mendelssohn's 
* Scotch,' Schumann's major, and Brahms's C minoi 

I. The Introduction starts with a short chord of A from 
the full orchestra, which lets fdrop, as it were, a melodious 
phrase in the first oboe, imitated successively by the clarinet, 
horn, and bassoon — 




This, after eight bars (by which time it has for a moment 
entered the remote key of F major), is interrupted and accom- 
panied by a new feature — scales of two octaves in length, 

• Letter, Januarj- 6, 1854. + This happy phrase is Dr. W. Polft'a- 



like gigantic stairs, as someone calls tliem, and alternating 
with the phrase in minims during seven repetitions — 

Clar. & Fag. 8va. dol. 

This conducts to a third entirely new subject in the key of 
'C major, given out by clarinets and bassoons thus — 

No. 3. 


The dignity, originality, and grace of this third theme, 
especially when repeated pianissimo by the fiddles, with a 
graceful descending arpeggio to introduce it, and a delicious 
accompaniment in the oboes and bassoons, as thus — 

Ob.&Fap:. pp 

— are quite *wonderful. Beethoven gets back out of the 

* Dr. 11. Rieraaun, in his analysis of the Symphony in the program me -book 
of the Berlin Philharmonic Concerts, states that ' out of this rhythmical figure 
is developed the principal subject of the Vivace (No. 6) ; and, indeed, that all 
the movements of the work have the closest relation to this passage.' It is, says 
he, * the thematic tie of unity {einheitliche moiivische Band) which runs through 
the entire composition in various forms.' In accordance with this idea lie 
again finds the same rhythm in the first four bars of the Finale. I confesii 
that I have failed to discover the connection. 



key of C by one of those sudden changes which are so 
characteristic of this Symphony, and the scales (No. 2) 
begin again in the treble and bass alternately. They land 
us in F, in which the thu-d subject (No. 3) is repeated by 
both wind and strings; and then, by the charming phrase 
which finishes our quotation, the original key is regained — 

No. 5. 


--and in seven bars more the Introduction ends. 
/ Then comes the First Movement proper, the Vivace; and 
/^the transition from the Introduction to it, by an E sixty-one 
times repeated, and echoed backwards and forwards between 
the flutes and oboes and the violins, mixed with pauses and 
with groups of semiquavers, for which the last quotation has 
prepared us — a passage now listened for with delight as one 
of the most characteristic in the work — was for a long time 
a great stumbling-block to the reception of the Symphony 
both in London and Paris. It gave Beethoven some trouble, 
and sketches for it are quoted in Zweite Beethoveiiiana, 
page 106. 

II. The Vivace itself, 6-8, into which the passage just 
alluded to leads, is a movement of wonderful fire and audacity. 
Berlioz, in his ' Etudes sur Beethoven,' wishes us to beheve 
that it is a Ronde des Paysans, and would have been so entitled 
if Beethoven had disclosed his intention, as he did in the 
•Pastoral.' But this is only another instance of the strange 
want of accuracy (to call it by no worse name) which detracts 
80 much fi'om the value of Berlioz's interesting comments. 


The statement is a mere invention of his own, and is entirely 
destitute of any authority from the composers The principal 
theme, in its character and in the frequent employment of the 
oboe, has no doubt a quasi-rustic air ; but, whatever it may 
be at the outset, there is nothing rustic about the way in 
which it is treated and developed ; on the contrary, the strains 
confided to it are not surpassed in distinction, variety, and 
richness in any of Beethoven's first movements. If the oboe 
was originally a beggar-maid she has here found her King 
Cophetua, and long before the end of the movement has 
mounted the throne. 

Similarly *Wagner calls the whole Symphony * the Apo- 
theosis {i.e., the deification) of the Dance; the Dance in its 
highest condition ; the happiest realisation of the movements 
of the body in an ideal form.' But surely this is, to say 
the least, much exaggerated. Few will not feel indignant 
at the * Programme ' with which Kubinstein is said to have 
illustrated the pace and the expression of the different sections 
of the Funeral March in Chopin's B flat minor Sonata, which 
was lately revived at a Piano Eecital in London: 1. The pro- 
cession to the grave ; 2. (Trio) A hymn sung over the remains ; 
3. The return of the mourners. But outrageous as this ig, it 
is hardly more outrageous than Berlioz's proposal. All great 
creations of the intellect, however, whether Shakespeare's 
or Beethoven's, poems or symphonies, are liable to such vague 
and violent interpretations as these. A list of nearly a dozen 
of the interpretations that have been hazarded d propos to this 
is given by f Brenet, and is sufficiently amusing if it do not 
evoke a stronger feeling of annoyance. But surely some 
practical clue should be given to the grounds on which such 
violent attempts are based. For our purpose it is enoug^h to 
say that the Symphony is throughout perhaps j^ore markedlyj^ 

• Gcsamm. Schri/ten, iii., 113. 

f Histoire de la Symphonie, <i:c., <i:c., par M. Michel Brenet, Parw, 1882 
p. 116. A hook of much merit. 



rhythmical than any other of the nine, and that there is no 
warrant for any such interpretations. 

To proceed with the Vivace. After four prehminary bars the 
theme is thus given out by the flutes, with an extraordinary 
elasticity which distinguishes the entire movement — 

No. 6. 

Flute :•■• -^ 

^5 'lV^-,^1' 

Wff' r ;r^-^# ^m-£r |f Ig 

^ I 

,f ^^r^i 


r4= — =1 r '^, 


strings C 


It is both difficult and presumptuous for anyone to compare 
masterpieces so full of beauty and strength, and differing so ^ 
completely in their character, as the nine Symphonies of 
Beethoven ; but if any one quality may be said to distinguish 
jhat now before us, besides its rhythmical construction, it is 
perhaps, as has already been hinted, that it is the most 
romantic of the nine, or, in other words, that it is full of swift 
unexpected changes and contrasts, exciting the imagination 
in the highest degree, and whirling it suddenly into new and 
strange regions. There are some places in this Vivace where 
an instant change occurs fiom fortissimo to j)ianissiino, which -^ 
have an effect unknown elsewhere. A sudden hush from ^* to 
pp in the full hurry and swing of the movement is a favourite . 
device of Beethoven's, and is always highly effective; but 



here, where the change from loud to soft is accompanied by 
a simultaneous change in harmony, or by an interruption 
of the figure, or a bold leap from the top to the bottom of 
the register — the most surprising and irresistible effect is 
produced. Two such passages may be quoted — 

No. 7. 


jm-i — ^L^tfLpL. 




: ?^ ^ g^ 

— and then the following, with its beautiful variant four 
bars later : — 

No. 8. 


\^, |uL_k'=!'*f5^ U-- — 1 f. ^ 1 ^ 

PP ' 



^-^-* — \ , ^ ^ 



In the second example the resolution of the harmony (the 
F sharp and E in the violins on to F natural) is an invention 
of Beethoven's, and adds greatly to the effect of the plunge 
through two octaves, and the sudden hush in the tremolaTuio, 
(An analogous effect will occur to many hearers in the 
third Overture to 'Leonora' — a work which surely deserves 
the epithet of * romantic ' if anything in music does — near 
the beginning of the Allegro, at an abrupt transition from the 
key of C major to that of B minor, accompanied with a 
change from loud to soft.) But, indeed, this Vivace is full ot 



these sudden effects — especially in its second portion ; and 
they give it a character distinct from that of the opening 
movements of any of the other Symphonies. 

What can be more arresting, for instance, than the way in 
which, at the beginning of the second half of the movement, 
immediately following the double bar, after a rough ascent of 
all the strings in unison, fortissimo, enforced in the intervals 
by the wind, also fortissimo and on a strong discord, and 
accented in a most marked manner by two pauses of two 
bars each, as if every expedient to produce roughness had been 
adopted — the first violins begin whispering pianissimo in the 
remote key of C major, and the basses, four bars later, continue 
the whisper in a mystic dance up and down the scale, all soft 
and weird and truly romantic ? None the less so because of 
the vague chord (a 6-4) on which the basses enter. 

We quote a few bars as a guide to the place — 

No. 9. 


1st viol. 


P^ ^ i ip^-r j p^ H^-f 

pp sernpre 

p p sempre 

The scale passage is continued in strings, oboe, flute, 
and bassoon, successively, all pianissimo, with truly delightful 
feeling . 



Another example of the same arresting romantic effect ia 
the sudden change from the chord of C sharp minor to that 
of E flat, earHer in the movement — 

No. 10. 




with the subsequent no less rapid escape into E natural. 

Another is the very emphatic passage of the violins, 
with which the two parts of the * second subject ' are divided; 
like a blow into which Beethoven has put all his strength — 

The second subject itself begins as follows — 

No. 12. 


and, recurring to the former rhythm, proceeds — 

No. 13. 

Oboe & Wind 


strings dolce (a) 

stamping itself effectually on the memory by the passage 
quoted as No. 11, and by the broad massive phrase (a) m 



which the subject itself is accompanied by the whole of the 
strings in unison. 

The reprise of the first section of the movement, after the 
working-out (which begins with our quotation, No. 9), is an 
astonishing instance of variety and skill. It is the same length 
as the first section, and the melodies are mostly the same, but 
treatment, instrumentation, feeling, all absolutely different. 
The same freedom is here shown that has already been 
noticed in the analogous portions of Nos. 5 and 6 — the 
same adherence to the broad general lines of the structure 
with constant novelty in the details. Thus, at the return to 
the original key of A, after the working-out, the four bars of 
high E's, which at the beginning precede the first subject, 
as given in quotation No. 6, are now occupied by a pre- 
liminary * offer at the subject by a playful scale of semi- 
quavers in the strings, twice given until the theme itself is 
reached : — 

No. 14. 


^msn snjrn .rij-xn 





Piuf "T^ t5- 

* Somewhat of the same nature as 'the qfers at the subject of the Trio in the 
C minor Symphony on its retuxTi. ^ 

Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies. — Noyeilo's Edition. K 



The scales are given again twenty-three bars later in the 
oboe alone. This is a specimen of the freedom shown in 
this movement and for which the reader must examine the 
score for himself. 

Again, the first Tuttij after the pause, where the violins 
originally led the entire band, sempre fortissimo (after the end of 
quotation 6), in thu repHse is changed to an oboe solo dolce^ 
with quiet harmonies in the strings, and with imitative accom- 
paniment in the flutes, clarinets, and bassoons, forming, with 
the silvery tones of the oboe, a combination of extraordinary 
beauty. And this, again, is followed by a passage of broad 
chords in the strings, and staccato notes in the bass — 

No. 16. 

A.^p^^j^V, iM^, ^i^j^^ 














1 h =t- 

Cello sustains. 

The rhythm is marked as strongly as possible throughout 
the movement, and there is hardly a bar which does not 
contain its two groups of dotted triplet-quavers, varied and 
treated in the most astonishingly free and bold manner. 
When Beethoven does abandon it, in the Coda at the close 
of the movement, it is to introduce the celebrated passage 
which at one time excited the wrath and laughter of the 
ablest of his contemporaries, though now universally regarded 



as perfectly effective, characteristic, and appropriate. In this 
passage the violas and basses repeat the following two -bar 
figure (in the bass) ten times, for twenty bars — 

No. 16. (Skeletons 

Flutes J- 

increasing in force throughout from, pianissimo to fortissimo — 
against a ' pedal point ' on E in the rest of the orchestra, 
four octaves deep, from the low horns to the high notes of 
the flute. It was for this that the great Carl Maria von Weber 
is said to have pronounced Beethoven 'fit for a madhouse.' 
Such mistakes are even the ablest, best instructed, and 
most genial critics open to I 

III. Not less strongly marked or less persistent than the 
Vivace is the march of the Allegretto ^ which is all built upon 
the following rhythm^ 

No. 17. 

or, to use the terms of metre, a dactyl and a spondee 

I - v/ w I 1 . This theme was originally intended for the 

second movement of the third Rasumoffsky Quartet — in C 
(Op. 59, No. 3) — and is to be found among the sketches for 
that Quartet in *1806. 

* See Nottebobm, Zvmte Beethoveniana, pp. 86, 101, 



Here, again, tliere is hardly a bar in the movement in which 
the perpetual beat of the rhythm is not heard, and yet the 
feeling of monotony never intrudes itself, any more than it 
does in the Pastoral Symphony. This is the opening — 

No. 18. 


strings p Ten. ♦ * 

The dashes and dots are here given as they are in the 
MS. at Mr. Mendelssohn's house, and in the edition of 
Haslinger. In Breitkopf s complete edition dots are sub- 
stituted for the dashes throughout. Surely this should not 
have been done without a note to call attention to the 
change. But to resume. 

f The movement is full of melancholy beauties ; the vague 
[soft chord in the wind instruments with which it both begins 
and ends; the incessant pulse of the rhythmical subject just 
spoken of; the lovely second melody in accompaniment to 
that last quoted — 

No. 19. 

^. ^"T I ^- ^ fegr^^^^^^ jgg 

Viola & Cello 

which turns out to have been *concealed under the first 
subject — a chain of notes linked in closest succession, like a 
string of beauties hand-in-hand, each afraid to lose her hold 
on her neighbours ; it begins in the violas as a mere sub- 

* When Beethoven played before Mozart in 1790, Mozart gave him a subject 
to extemporise upon which, if properly understood, contained a counter-subject. 
(Hogarth on Beethoven, p. 19.) Beethoven was not taken in; he detected the 
chance that Mozart had given him ; and here he has done something analogous. 



ordinate accompaniment, but becomes after a while the 
principal tune of the orchestra. More striking still, perliaps, 
is the passage where the clarinets come in with a fresh melody 
(note the delicious syncopations), the music changing at the 
same time from A minor to A major, the violins to a light 
triplet figure, and the effect being *exactly like a sudden gleam 
of sunshine — 

No. 30. 



*^ Fag. in 8ves. -^ — zr — 


r— y : 


One of the interests of this passage is that it may have 
suggested a similar beautiful change (in the same key) in the 
Andante con moto of Mendelssohn's * Italian ' Symphony. At 
any rate, Beethoven himself anticipated the change seven 
years before, in the Intermezzo of the Funeral March in the 
* Eroica,' where the oboe preaches peace and hope as 
touchingly as the clarinet does here, with a similar change 
of mode too, and a similar accompaniment in the strings. 
Even this short relief, however (but thirty- seven bars), 
does not appear to please the composer : we seem to see 
him push the intruder away from him with an angry gesture 
of impatience — 

No. 21. 

Fl.f-f:«4l' » •^, s/ 
. 4- 4- -P -.- r-ic ^- _ ' I » 


■^' » , «/ 

f » f » 

* The phrasing of this beautiful passage appears to have been somewLal 
altered in the ' Complete Edition,' but without any notice to that elfect. 



and almost hear him exclaim, 'I won't have it,' as he 
returns to the key of A minor, and to the former melody (No. 
18), given in three octaves by the flute, oboe, and bassoon, 
with a semiquaver accompaniment in the strings. During 
this, as well as during the truly heavenly melody which 
we have been describing and quoting (No. 20), the bass, 
with a kind of * grim repose,' keeps up inexorably the 
rhythm — 

No. 22. 

with which the movement started, tho 

One fatal remembrance, one sorrow that throwa 
Its black shade alike o'er our joys and our woes,* 

and maintains it even through the fugato which so effectively 
continues the latter half of the movement — 

No. 23. 

•Berlioz's quotation from Moore {Vojjage mxtsical, Parig, 1844, i., 326). 
The passage shows how finely Berlioz can appreciate, when he can prevent his 
unagination from running riot. 






sempre pp 


The fugato is as strict as if its composer had not been 
Beethoven, but some mediaeval maker of * canons,' to whom 
structure was everything and fancy nothing. 

No wonder that this Allegretto was encored at the first 
performances of the Symphony, or that it was for long one of 
the few of Beethoven's movements that could be endured in 
Paris. ' La septieme symphonie,' says *BerHoz, * est celebre 
par son Andante, En parlant de Beethoven en France, on 
dit rOrage de la Symphonie Pastorale, le Fmale de la 
Symphonie en ut mineur, V Andante de la Symphonie en la. 
It is even said that Beethoven's Second Symphony in D could 
only be tolerated when this A7idante (or, more accurately. 
Allegretto) was substituted for its own most beautiful and 
graceful Larghetto. Very good for those early days, but the 
Concerts Populaires should have cured the Parisians of such 

Beethoven appears in the latter part of his life to have 
been very anxious that this movement should not be taken 
too fast, and even to have wished that the tempo should 
be changed to Andante quasi Allegretto. See the subject dis- 
cussed in Nottebohm's Beetlwveniana, page 21. There can 
be no doubt that we now often play his music faster than he in- 
tended, or perhaps than the orchestras of his day could play it. 

IV. The fourth movement, Presto, with its subsidiary 
Presto meno assai (not entitled Scherzo and Trio, though 
they are so in effect), one of Beethoven's greatest achieve- 

* Berlioz {Voyage musical, i., 321). 



ments in a field peculiarly his own, is no less original, 
spirited, and entrainant than the two which have preceded 
it. As in No. 4, the Trio is twice *given. The movement 
opens in the key of F; but before the first twenty bars are 
over it is in A, in which key the first division ends — 

No. 24. 

P, T 

p ^ES^^ ^: 




t f t 

» T 4 

-* » itj ■ 1- 

Out of this region Beethoven escapes by a daring device- 

No. 25. 






—which brings him at a blow into C, and pleases him so 
much that he immediately repeats the operation in the new 
key, and so gets into B flat. The whole of this Scherzo is a 
marvellous example of the grace and lightness which may be 
made to play over enormous strength, and also of Beethoven's 
audacity in repeating his phrases and subjects. 

* The repeats of the Trio seem to hp'^e been first played in England by Costa, 
as Conductor of the Philharmonic Society. The Musical World of May 19, 
1849, records : ' The Schei-zo was liked all the better for being played as 
Beethoven wrote it. Mr. Costa had judiciously restored all the repeats.' 



In analysing Symphony No. 1, in C, and speaking of its so- 
called Minuet — which is really & Scherzo — we said (p. 11) that 
it has features which prove its relationship to the Scherzos of 
the later Symphonies. Here is one of them, as will be seen 
by a comparison of the following passage fi-om the Minuet of 
1800 with the quotation just given — 

No. 26. 

The Trio — Presto mem awai (slightly slower) — is an absolute 
contrast to the Scherzo in every respect. It is one of those 
movements, like the Andante in the G major Piano Concerto 
of this great composer, which are absolutely original, were 
done by no one before, and have been done by no one since. 
It begins with a melody (which it is difficult to believe was 
not floating in Schubert's mind when he wrote the first 
phrase of his Fantasie-Sonata in G, Op. 78, for piano solo) 
in the clarinets, accompanied as a bass by the horns and 
bassoons, and also by a long holding A in the violins. Of 
this we quote an outline of the first portion. The key 
chanojes from F to D : — 

No. 27. 

Viol. 1. 

^u 's''- -^-' ^' 

^^r^-r^^T >- h-P-^ 

4-F^=- -T— J 1 - ' 1 ^-F-T 

Clar. cZoice 

t^ r*, I- 



This melody we now know, on the perfectly trustworthy 
authority of the *Abbe Stadler, to have been a pilgrims' hymn 

* Thayer, BeeiJioven, iii., 191. 



in common use in Lower Austria, and is an instance of Bee- 
thoven's indifference to the sources of his materials when they 
were what he wanted, and would submit to his treatment. 
(See the Pastoral Symphony, page 212). The melody is re- 
peated by the oboes, with a similar accompaniment. 

The second portion of the Trio is in keeping with the first. 
The long holding A is maintained — 

No. 28. 

Horn 2 

but the horn soon takes a more marked part than before, a 
2-4 phrase forced into 3-4 rhythm, and gradually increasing 
in oddness* and prominence — a little less perhaps now than 
in the days of the old French horns (when a horn was an 
individual, a person, and not a mere orchestral instrument, 
as the valve-horn is) — 

No. 29. 


— till it brings back the first portion of the tune, this time in 
the full band. The return from this (key of D) to the Scherzo 
(key of F), through a C natural pfp^ is as strong, as affecting, 

* Schumann {Oes. Schriften, 1st Ed., i., 184) gives this as an instance of th« 
comic. Of humour ; but surely not of fun. 



an3 as •romantic' a point as can be found in the whole 
S^Tuphony — 

/To. 30. 


I ^ r ' 




L r 

^ — E 







- p 




.... I. 



r r 

The music seems ahnost to go out, as if it were a flame. 

Powerful as he always is, Beethoven is never more a 
magician than when he has the horns to conjure with. We 
have mentioned one most touching passage in the Trio of the 
Eroica ; and the horn does miracles in the Adagio of the Ninth 

V. The Finale forms an extraordinary climax to all that has 
gone before it. In the second and fourth Symphonies we have 
called attention to Beethoven's curious wilfulness, and disregard 
of the conventionahties of others. The Finale of the fourth 
gives us a fine example of him when overflowing with fun ; 
and the first and last movements of No. 5 show, as nothing 
else perhaps does, his extraordinary power, majesty, pomp, 



and strength. But all these are, if we may say so, within 
bounds. Though strange, they contain nothing which can 
offend the taste, or hurt the feelings, of the most fastidious. 
Here, for. the first time, wo find a new element, a vein of 
r'bugh, hard, personal boisterousness, the same feeling which 
inspired the strange jests, puns, and nicknames which abound 
in his letters, and the rough practical jokes of his later 
years ; a feeling which prompted him to insult the royal family 
at Teplitz, for no reason, apparently, but to perpetrate a 
practical joke on the sensitive courtier Goethe ; a feeling 
which may lie at the bottom of the fugues of his later life. 
For this condition he himself had a special and expressive 
term — aufgekndpft, or, as we should translate it, 'unbuttoned'; 
Schumann* calls it hitting out all round, scJdagen um sich, 
* Here,' says Wagner, * the purely rhythmical movement, so 
to speak, celebrates its orgies. 'f 

The movement shows its quality at tlie very outset. It is 
marked Allegro con brio, and it opens with four preliminary 
bars, containing two great explosions, thus — 

No. 31. 

r I III 

Str.^'Wind ^ 

* Oesavimelte Schriften, 1st Ed., i., 172. 

t Waguer on Conductuig, Mr. Dannreuther's translation, p. 37. — * But 
compare the roughness of the opening and concluding niovemeuts of this 
work with the grace, loftiness, and even deep devotional feeling of its middle 
sections, and we are presented with similar puzzling contrasts to those so 
often fuund in Beethoven's life, where, in his journals and letters, we find 
religious and personal appeals to God, worthy of one of the Hebrew Psalmists, 
side by side with nicknames and jokes which would befit a harlequin.' 



and these are arranged not only so as to give them the most 
abrupt effect, but also so as to sound what they are not. 
They are really the chords of the dominant of A, whereas they 
sound as if they were the tonic of E, and the D natural in the 
second explosion is, in effect, a practical joke of the rudest 
kind. After this comes the first subject of the Allegro, strange, 
furious, and not attractive — 

No. 32. 


accented on the weak beat of the bar, and accompanied by loud 
chords, extending through four octaves of the rest of the orchestra. 
The sketch-book contains an early form* of the figure — 

No. 33. 

and another one, more like that actually adopted (see No. 32), 
will be found in Beethoven's accompaniments! to the Irish air 
* Nora Creina ' — 

No. 34. 



- tf— b^^- 


♦ Ziceite Beethoveniana, p. 110. 

f No. 8 in Part 258 of Breitkopf & Haitel's complete edition. — I owe this to 
my friend, Dr. C. V. Stanford. 



Whether the Song was composed before the Symphony, or the 
Symphony before the Song, is a matter of doubt, Mr. Thayer's 
chronological *list only giving the general date 1810-1815 for 
the whole of the national songs. But inasmuch as the triplet 
figure and the interval of a minor sixth are integral parts of 
both, and as the phrase is so much stronger in the Symphony 
than it is in the song, the song is probably the earlier of 
the two. 

Then after a reference back to the crashing chords of the 
initial four bars of the movement (No. 31), a new subject 
appears (beginning in the wind and going on afterwards in the 
strings in double notes), as harsh and uncompromising as the 
first subject (No. 32)— 

No. 35. 

Wind ,♦ . , f , . 


This leads into a modification of the first subject- 
No. 36. 


Viola bvuluwei 

■ F C gr^ 

which may have been in Goetz's mind when composing 
the Finale to his Symphony. 

This is continued in a series of phrases of dotted 
quavers, all hard and harsh, and ends in C sharp minor, 

* Qhronologisches Verzeichniss, &c., 1865, p. 94. 



in which key the * second subject ' proper appears, full of 
vigour and elasticity, and with more sentiment than the 
previous portion of the movement would have led us to 
expect — 




, ten. 



Notice the humorous octaves in the bassoon, in bars 5, 7, 
and 9, and the force obtained by throwing the emphasis on to 
the latter half of the bar, and taking it off the former, in the 
last four measures of the quotation. In this rhythm there 
is some charming capricious work, from top to bottom of the 
scale among the strings, after which the first half of the 
Finale ends. The movement is in the ordinary Symphony 
form ; the first portion is repeated, and then the working-out 
commences ; and here the wild humour and fun distance 
anything that has gone before. The abrupt transitions and 
sudden vagaries (as in the last line of the next quotation, 
where the treble laughs at the bass, and the bass laughs 
back in return), like the rough jokes and loud shouts 
of a Polyphemus at play, are irresistible, and bring 
Beethoven before us in his most playful, unconstrained, and 
* unbuttoned ' state of mind. The force which animates these 



violent actions is nowhere else so overpoweringly manifested 
as here, unless it be in some parts of No. 8. 

No. 38 











9m-^ — — 






The force that reigns throughout this movement is literally 
prodigious, and reminds one of Carlyle's hero Eam Dass, who 
had ♦ fire enough in his belly to burn up the whole world.' 

The state of mind which this movement reveals to us ia 
apparently very characteristic of the extremely free and playful, 
though innocent, intercourse of the society at Teplitz in the 
autumn months of 1811. Some evidence of this is given by 
one of Beethoven's letters to Tiedge, dated Teplitz, 6th Sept., 
1811, containing the following odd passage, in which he has 
curiously confounded his own personality with that of his 
correspondent. Tiedge had left with the ladies mentioned 
at the beginning of these remarks: 'And now,' saya 
Beethoven. ' may you fare as well as it is possible for 


poor hnmairity to do. To the Countess (Recke) give a very 
tender but respectful clasp of the hand ; to Amalie (Sebald) a 
very fiery kiss, when there is no one to see us, and we two 
embrace as men do who have the right to love and honour 
one another.' 

Indeed the place was pervaded by a wonderful atmosphere 
of unr estraint . Varnhagen and Rahel may have been 
examples of the high ideal, but the following story admits 
us to a less formal school of attachment. Ludwig Lowe, 
the actor, whom we have already mentioned, had fallen in 
love with Theresa, the daughter of the host of the ' Stern.' 
The father heard of the attachment and questioned the lover, 
who thereupon, for the sake of the girl, discontinued his visits ; 
but meeting Beethoven a few days afterwards and being 
asked why he had given up the Stern, he confessed what had 
happened, and asked the composer if he would take charge of 
a note to the young lady. Beethoven at once consented not 
only to do this, but to bring back the answer, and apparently 
acted as go-between during the remainder of his visit. The 
attachment was a perfectly honourable one, but Theresa died 
soon after Lowe had left Teplitz. . . , The story was 
told to Mr. Thayer* by Marie von Breuning a few years ago. 
Irregular conduct, no doubt; but such is the natural soil 
for fine music and poetry. 

A somewhat similar picture to that given in the last 
quotation will be found in the Coda of the Finale to the 
Eighth Symphony, which was inspired by almost identical 
surroundings, and breathes throughout the same spirit oi 
almost reckless joviality. A gigantic, irresistible humour 
pervades the greater part of the movement, till the arrival of 
the Coda. This portion of the movement exceeds in length any 
of its predecessors. It is 124 bars long, and commences with 
the same feature as that on which we commented at the outset 
of the Finale (EiiL, 31), and which indeed acts as the harbinger 

* See Thayer, iii., 178. 
GroTe.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello s Edition. 3 



of each of its main diviKions. In this truly noble final section 
of his work, as the great composer approaches the close of his 
labours, he lays aside for a time his animal spirits and 
rough jokes, and surrenders himself to the broader and more 
solemn impressions which always lay in his mind, impres- 
sions graver even than those which inspired him during the 
conclusion of the first movement, in connection with which we 
have already referred to the passage we have now to consider, 
(See page 251.) This is, like that, a moving pedal, on E, 
alternating with D sharp, and lasting for more than twenty 
bars. During the whole of these, and the preceding passage 
of equal length, where the bass settles down semitone by 
semitone till it reaches the low E — 

No. 39. 

— 1 h 


— 1 — |- 

— 1 — T 

— 1 — -p 

— ) 1- 

1 1 ■ 

— 1 T" 

1 7^ 








^ ly 


vp ' -J t i^ ^J-^- 


the strings are occupied by imitations and repetitions of the 
original figure (No. 31), and the wind by long holdiug notes, 
the whole forming a passage of pathos, nobility, and interest 
rivalled only by the passage which closes the opening move- 
ment of the Ninth Symphony. But repose is no permanent 
mood of Beethoven's at this time. Beneath the surface of this 
broad noble calm we seem to hear the elements of the storm 
Ltill working below in the recesses of the ocean and gradually 
forcing their way to the top. The figure so incessantly 
repeated by the two violins is in itself an incentive to more 
violent agitation. As the long pedal proceeds the sound rises 
always louder and louder until at length it reaches a very 
unusual pitch of loudness (///) — a truly furious burst. The 


fourteen bars of this furious passage are then repeated, and the 
two form an explosion without parallel in Beethoven's music, 
or, indeed, in any music since. They fairly lift the hearer 
from his seat, and form an unexampled climax to one of 
the most stupendous movements in the whole range of 
music. After this, in a short time, the Sjniphony comes to 
an end. 

The entire contrast between the foregoing Symphony and 
this is truly extraordinary, perhaps the most remarkable 
tliat can be found in the whole series. We have more 
than once insisted on the distinct* individuality of these 
wonderful works, and have drawn attention to the fact that 
each Allegro, each Andaiite, each Scherzo, each Finale has 
not even a family likeness to either of the corresponding 
eight movements. But that so wonderfully calm and objective 
a work as No. 6 should be followed by music so vivacious 
energetic, and personal as that which we have just been 
attempting to consider, is indeed almost beyond comprehen- 
sion. For this power no one can compare with Beethoven 
but Shakespeare. 

The publication of the work seems to have caused 
Beethoven even more than usual trouble. The original edition 
of Steiner and Co., the quarto of December, 1810, is an ugly 
production, in every respect inferior to the well-engraved and 
careful octavos of the first six Symphonies. Nor was it 
merely slovenly, it was incorrect, and Mr. Thayer t has 
printed a letter from Beethoven to the firm on the subject, 
which is not pleasant to read : — 

The matter of this Symphony is very annoying to me, since it is 
unfortunately the case that neither parts nor score is correct. In 
the copies which are already prepared the mistakes must be corrected 
in Indian ink, which Schlemmer [his copyist] must do ; and a list ol 

* Coleridge remarks {Table Talk, February 17, 1833) that Shakespeare 
cannot be copied because he is ' universal,' and 'has no manner ' ; and this is true of Beethoven, and probably explains why he founded no school. 

t iii., 497. 


all mistakes without exception must also be printed and supplied. The 
score as engraved might have been written by the most clumsy copyist ; 
it is an inaccurate, defective affair, such as has hitherto never appeared 
of any of my works. This is the consequence of your inattention to the 
corrections and of your not having sent it me for my revision, or not 
having reminded me about it. . . . You have treated the public with 
neglect, and the innocent author suffers in his reputation I 

The passage in the Vivace (bar 109 after the double-bar) to 
which Mr. Joseph Bennett, on the information of Mr. Silas, 
called attention in the Daily Telegraph of July 22 and 29, 1893, 
and which was the subject of letters and remarks in the Musical 
Times of August, September, and October of the same year, 
is probably one of the passages of which Beethoven complains. 
In this bar the strings have the chord of A major and the 
wind that of D major. 

The first performance of the Symphony in England took 
place at the Philharmonic on June 9th, 1817, so that the 
Society had evidently been on the watch and had procured 
the score immediately after its publication. There is a very 
fair notice for those days in the Morning Chronicle of June 16; 
but excepting the Allegretto ^ which is qualified as ' one of 
the most exquisite pieces of music that we know, and a perfect 
gem,' the work is not, in the opinion of the critic, * in any 
way comparable to many others by the same writer.' This 
is hardly to be wondered at, and is of a piece with the opinions 
of the Paris critics, and even those of North Germany, which 
we have already noticed (p. 237). Beethoven was at this and 
later date much interested in English opinion. At a later date 
he took the English papers home with him, and read the 
debates on the slave trade with admiration, and was familiar 
with the names of Brougham and others. Now he seems to 
have consulted them only on musical topics. The ' Morning 
cronigle,' as he calls it, of March 22, 1816, had contained a 
notice of another of his Symphonies (probably* the ' Eroica ' or 
C minor), which was performed at the concert of March 11 ; 
• No key is uamed in the programme. 


and he not unnaturally supposed that this was his No. 7, 
and wrote to Neate, then in London, on May 15 of the same 
year, enquiring about it. Neate, however, corrected his 
mistake,* and the Symphony did not, as we have said, make its 
appearance here till the following year. A MS. note on this 
performance, by the late William Ayrton (one of the Founders 
of the Philharmonic Society), says : * All except the movement 
in A minor (the Andante) proved carfare ; but other beauties by 
degrees became patent, though a curtailment of at least ten 
minutes would improve it.' And this from a ripe and by 
no means reactionary musician ! Seven years later the 
following paragraph appears in The Harmonicon, an excel- 
lent musical periodical, edited with great care and skill by 
the same writer : * Beethoven's Symphony in A has before 
been mentioned in this work. Frequent repetition does not 
reconcile us to its vagaries and dissonances, though we admit 
the movement in A minor to be a chef d'oeuvre, and that which 
in our opinion alone secures to the other parts of the com- 
position a hearing' (1824, page 122). What musician, now-a- 
days, would shorten the work by a semiquaver, or express so 
absurd an opinion as to the proportion of the Allegretto to the 
other movements ? 

After 1817 the Symphony does not appear in the 
Philharmonic programme for some years, and the next 
performance opened the first concert of 1821, on February 2G. 
In Paris the first performance took place on March 1, 1829, at 
the second Concert of the Conservatoire for that season. It 
was repeated four weeks later, and thenceforward appears on 
the programmes with tolerable regularity. 

In this glorious work there is no falling off. It has not 
perhaps the terrible directness which is characteristic of the 

• See Moscheles's Life of Beethoven (Trans, of Schindler), ii., 235, 239, 242. 


C minor ; but in variety, life, colour, elasticity, and unflagging 
vigour it is, if possible, superior to any of its predecessors, 
while, with all its force, length, and weight, no sense of 
weariness is produced ; but notwithstanding its dimensions, 
in which it exceeds all but the Ninth, one hears the last bar 
with regret ; it is animated by its wonderful author with that 
extraordinary and undying life of which he seems so fully to 
have possessed the secret. 

It is a rare thing for Beethoven to mention his compositions 
in terms of praise or blame, but he has made an exception 
in favour of this Symphony. He names it twice — first in a 
letter to Salomon (June 1, 1815) : 'A grand Symphony in A, 
one of my best works'; and again in an English letter to 
Neate, in which occur the words : * among my best works 
which I can boldly say of the Symphony in A,* 

N.B. — Page 266. The two fjfs mentioned are given in 
the first edition (4to, lithographed, 1816), which certainly had 
Beethoven's full revision ; but in the folio (engraved, 1827). 
of which the same is not so sure, they are given/'. 

SYMPHONY No. 8, in F majoe (Op. 93). 

1. Allegro vivace e con brio. (^ 69.) (F major.) 

2. Allegretto scherzando. (J* _88.) (B flat.) 

3. Tempo di minuetto. (J_126.) (F major.) 

4. Allegro vivace. (<sj— 84.) (F major.) 

2 Drums in F and C. 
2 Trumpets iu F. 
2 Horns in F. 
2 Flutes. 
2 Clarinets. 

Double bass. 

2 Oboes. 

2 Bassoons. 

1st and 2nd Violins. 



N.B. — In the second movement the Trumpets and Drums are silent, 
and the Horns become Corni in B flat basso. In the Finale the Drums 
are tuned in F, and in octaves. 

First Edition, a small 4to, lithographed, a companion to No. 7. 
• Achte grosse Sinfonie in F dur, fiir 2 Violinen, etc., von Ludwig van 
Beethoven, 93te3 Werk. Vollstandige Partitur. Eigenthum der Verleger. 
Wien, im Verlage bey S. A. Steiner und Comp.' 1816. 

The parts were published also by Steiner (No. 2,571), in 1816, probably 
with those of No. 7. 

Second Edition, large folio (No. 7,060), 133 pages, engraved, a com- 
panion to that of No. 7, published in 1827, by Tobias Haslinger, of Vienna. 

The original manuscript of the Eighth Symphony, once in 
the possession of Herr Carl Haslinger of Vienna, and now 
in the Royal Library at Berlin, has fortunately escaped the 
destructive hands of the bookbinder, which inflicted so much 
damage on that of No. 7. It is inscribed by the composer 
» Sinfonia — Lintz im Monath October 1812 ' — in other words, 
four months after May, 1812, usually accepted as the date of 


it3 predecessor. Beethoven's practice wag to sketch hia 
Symphonies during his summer hoUday in the country, and 
to elaborate and score them in town during the winter and 
spring. He did this with No. 7 ; but the Eighth Symphony 
is an exception to the rule. The *sketch-bookg show that it 
was begun immediately after the completion of No. 7, and the 
Symphony must, therefore, have been finished in the astonish- 
ingly short period of time of four months! Nottebohm'a 
fverdict is that it was sketched in the main at the Bohemian 
baths, and completed at Linz. 

Beethoven had now been suffering for some time. Of the 
nature of his ill-health we have no clear accounts. It was 
probably some aggravated form of indigestion. At any rate, 
it was now ^chronic, and sufficiently severe to take him again 
to Tephtz, where he had passed so pleasant a time in the 
preceding autumn ; and there we find him on July 7, 1812, 
living at the Oak — * in der Eiche ' — whether an inn or a 
district does not appear— at No. 62. § 

On his arrival Teplitz was full of people of rank, who had 
assembled there after the departure of the Emperor Napoleon 
for II Russia, to consult over their common unhappiness ; 
amongst them were Beethoven's friends, the Princes Kinsky 
and Carl Lichnowsky, and — what was of more interest to 
him — Goethe, Vamhagen von Ense, Bettina von Arnim, her 
brother Clemens Brentano, and her sister Frau von Savigny. 

A concert for the benefit of the town of Baden, near 
Vienna, which had recently been nearly burnt down, was 
given at Teplitz on August 6, and in this Beethoven took 
much interest. He left before the end of the month, by his 
doctor's orders, for Karlsbad. On the road somewhere he 

• See Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 101. 

flMd., p. 118. 

X Bestandig is his own word, in a letter to Varena, July 19, 1812. 

§ See the lists given in Thayer, iii., 203. 

II lie crossed the Niemen on June 24. 


encountered a postillion, whose command over his horn 
struck him sufficiently to make him *record a passage in 
his note-book : — 

Postilion von Karlsbad 

At Karlsbad he apparently met Goethe for the first time, and 
there he had the well-known encounter with the Austrian royal 
family — a freak of atrocious manners on his part, but probably 
intended more as a piece of bravado for Goethe's benefit 
than for any serious disrespect to his sovereign, or to rank in 
general, as it is usually interpreted. On August 12 we find him 
at Franzensbad, and as his health did not improve by the 
change he returned to Teplitz. There, to his great pleasure, 
he found his dear friend of the previous summer, Amalie 
Sebald ; he renewed his love making, and a series of amusing 
notes to her have been f preserved, which testify to the uncon- 
ventional nature of their friendship. The attachment, however, 
came to nothing, and she ultimately married a Prussian judge. 
From Teplitz Beethoven proceeded to Linz on the Danube, 
a long journey, and on a very singular errand, his object 
being nothing else than to put an end to the irregular 
connection between his brother Johann and Miss Therese 
Obermeyer, a lady with whom Johann had for some time 
been living in his house there. What right Ludwig had thus 
to interfere with the most private concerns of his brother — 
a man nearly of his own age and independent in his 
circumstances— does not appear. It supplies a warrant for 
the expression contained in Goethe's ^letter about him, that 
he was * an entirely uncontrolled {ungebdndigt) person,' 

♦ Zweite Beethoveniana, 289. 
t Thayer, iii., 212, 213, 214. 
J Goethe to Zelter, Karlsbad, September 2, 1812. 


whose unexpected bursts — whether of noisy fury or equally 
noisy fun — must have been perfectly *alarming, even to those 
who, like Zelter, had not so much sensitiveness as Goethe. 
It is, however, certain that he invoked the aid of the bishop 
and magistrates of Linz, and that the poUce were actually 
authorised to expel the lady from the town. Anyone who 
recollects Beethoven's impetuosity and the fact that he was 
at this date extremely deaf, can realise the amount of 
excitement, wrath, and noise that must have accompanied 
this singular transaction. It seems to have led, at length, 
to nothing less than a personal combat between the two 
brothers. Johann, however, completely checkmated the 
furious Ludwig by marrying Miss Obermeyer on November 8. 
Beethoven's animosity to her continued to the fend of 
his days, and * Queen of Night ' was one of the offensive 
epithets that he used in speaking or writing of her. 

These turbulent proceedings did not, however, interfere 
with the composition of the Symphony, though they no 
doubt considerably coloured it. The room which he occupied 
at his brother's was a very pleasant one, commanding a 
wide view of the Danube and the surrounding scenery ; and 
between this and the eminence called the JPostlingsberg there 
was ample room for the walks which were so necessary to him, 
both for health and for the maturing of his compositions. 
They would be enough to account for the boisterous character 
of the Finale if the music did not, with all its roughness, 
show an amount of good humour quite at variance with the 
savage nature of the disputes we have just been describing. 
But, indeed, it is exceedingly hazardous to attempt to connect 
Beethoven's music with the simultaneous events of his life. 

* "Auch icb hewundere ihn mit Schrecken." — Zelter to Goethe, Berlin, 
September 14, 1812. Zelter belonged to the lower orders— a rough man, who 
for some time was a working mason. 

f See page 134. 

X In all these details, see the testimony given in Thayer, iii., 216. 


Two instances are enough to show this, and many others 
might he given. One is the fact that the despair of the letter 
of 1802, known as ' Beethoven's Will ' (reprinted at page 45). 
was coincident with the satisfied, happy mood depicted in the 
Second Symphony, of the same date ; and the other is the 
fact that the gay strains of the Finale to the great B flat 
Quartet (Op. 130) are actually dated with his own hand, 
'November 6' (1826), when he was in the midst of most 
unpleasant surroundings at the house of this very brother at 
Gneixendorf, near Krems, in constant contact with the woman 
whom he hated perhaps more than anyone else in the world, and 
to whose marriage he had endeavoured to put a stop fourteen 
years before.* (See the account by Michael Krenn, given on 
pages 131-135). Inferences drawn from such external facts 
as to the compositions of the time are, however, as already 
said, at the best very doubtful. Some pregnant words of 
Lord Tennyson's, given in a recentt work, seem to bear on 
this point — they are to the effect that people in general have 
no notion of the way in which * we poets ' go to J work ; 
and if poets are thus inaccessible, how far more inscrutable 
must be the still more irritable and unaccountable race oi 

• ' I am at Gneixendorf,' says he to Tobias Haslinger during this visit, in a 
letter headed by a few bars of flourish on the name of * Tobias.' * The name 
is something like the breaking of an axle-tree ' (Nohl's Briefe, i., No. 383). 
The house, garden, and fields remain almost untouched, and were in excellent 
order, in the possession of Herr von Schweitzer, when seen by the writer in 
August, 1892. The distance from the village to Krems is about four miles, 
a descending road, much exposed to the North-East wind, so that there 
is no difficulty in believing that Beethoven's journey down it, in an open 
trap, on December 2, 1826, may have given him the cold which killed him on 
March 26, 1827. 

f Tollemache's Benjamin Joiuett (p. 103). 

J ' Tennyson once told me,' said the Master of Balliol, 'that he could form an 
idea of the intellectual efforts of such poets as Byron and Shelley — their state 
of mind and feelings were comprehensible to him. But of the state of mind 
and feelings which found expression in Shakespeare's plays he could form no 
conception whatever.' 


musicians. Handel's bankruptcy and paralysis do not appear to 
have interfered with the freedom of his strains, any more than 
did Mozart's constant impecuniosity and other worries with the 
gaiety of * Figaro ' or • Don Juan.' In literature we know that 
Walter Scott dictated some of his most dramatic scenes while 
rolling on the floor in the agonies of cramp in the stomach, 
and that he could not, on the arrival of the proofs, recollect 
at all what he had written with so much power a day or two 

Beethoven had a great value for this Symphony. True, in 
writing to Salomon, Haydn's ancient entrepreneur, then living 
in London, on June 1, 1815, he speaks of it as * a little 
one ' {klein^ Sinfonie in F), to distinguish it from the 
* Grand Symphony in A, one of my most important ' {grosse 
Symphonie in A, einer meiner vorziiglichsten), which he mentions 
with it in the catalogue of the music he had to dispose of. 
But this obviously refers to its length. * Little,' perhaps, 
for indeed it is the shortest of the nine, except No. 1, and 
that is only a minute and a half shorter in performance ; but 
in any other respect it is vast. It may be said of it, as has 
been said of Beethoven himself, who was shorter in stature 
than most men, that • within that limited space is con- 
centrated the pluck of twenty battalions.' How prodigious a 
work it is, no one knew better than he did, and his opinion 
of it may be judged from the words which he let drop after its 
poor reception (page 279). That such appreciation was con- 
sistent with genuine modesty on the part of this wonderfully 
constituted being may well be believed. How truly modest he 
was at this very time is shown by one or two touching 
expressions in a letter addressed by him at this date to a 
very young lady-worshipper, 'Emilie M., from H.,' who, 
' with the sanction of her governess,' had ventured to 
send him a letter-case, worked by herself, with a letter, 
in which she had obviously compared him to other great 
composers, to their disadvantage. His answer is one of 

Beethoven's letter to a child. 277 

the many precious relics which we owe to the devotion of 
Mr. Thayer.* 

' Toplitz, July 17, 1812. 
* My dear good Emilie, my dear friend, 

• My answer to your letter comes late ; a heap of 
business and constant illness must be my excuse. The fact of 
my being here for the restoration of my health proves the 
truth of my plea. Don't take away their laurels from Handel, 
Haydn, and Mozart ; they are theirs by right, but not so mine 
yet. Your letter-case shall be put by with many other tokens 
of esteem, which I don't yet deserve by a long way. 

• Go on ; don't only practise your art, but force your way 
into its secrets ; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can 
raise man to the Divine. Should you, my dear Emilie, ever 
want anything, write to me without hesitation. A true artist 
has no arrogance ; he sees with regret that art is limitless ; 
he feels darkly how far he still is from the goal, and though 
he may be applauded by the public, he knows with sorrow 
that he is still far from the point where his good genius is 
shining like a too distant sun. No doubt I would rather come 
to you and your friends than to many wealthy people, who, with 
all their riches, can't conceal the poverty of their minds. If 
I ever am in H., I will come to you and your family. I know 
no other signs of superiority than those which betoken good- 
ness, and where I find these there I make my home. 

• If you want to write, dear Emilie, address here — where I 
shall still remain four weeks — or to Vienna, it's all the same. 
Think of me as yours, and the friend of your family. 

* LuDwiG V. Beethoven. 

At this time of life (forty-two) his love of fun and practical 
joking had increased so much on him as to have become a 

• See his Biography, iii., 205. 


habit ; his letters are full of jokes ; he bursts into horse- 
laughs on every occasion ; makes the vilest puns, and bestows 
the most execrable nicknames — and all this the most when he 
was most happy. In fact, he had an express term for this state 
of things, aufgeknopft — i.e., unbuttoned — was his own word 
for it. And as what he had in his mind was bound to come 
out in his music, this comes out here more than anywhere else ; 
indeed, the work might with propriety be called the Humorous 
Symphony — often terribly humorous ; for the atmosphere of 
broad rough enjoyment which pervades the first and last 
movements is in the former darkened by bursts of un- 
mistakable wrath, while every now and then there is a 
special stroke — such as the octaves of bassoon, drum, &c., 
in both first and last movements ; the bar's rest and staccato 
notes which usher in the second subject in the first Allegro; 
the way in which, in the working-out of the same move- 
ment, the first subject is persistently shoved away each time 
it appears ; the provoking Italian cadence which finishes up 
the Allegretto just as we want to hear the legitimate repeat ; 
in the Finale the loud unmusical C sharps ; the burst of 
laughter with which he explodes at the notion of making 
his Coda, according to practice, out of the previous material, 
and then goes off into entirely fresh subjects and regions ; the 
way in which the brass pull the orchestra back into F natural 
when it had got into F sharp. These are some of the droll, 
comic, points. But there was another humour which was as 
dear and as natural to Beethoven as fun was — the intense love 
of beauty; and this is also found in the Allegretto, than which 
nothing is more lovely in the world ; in the Minuet— especially 
the return to the subject by the bassoon — in the cantahile 
passages in the Trio, and in the serenely beautiful second 
subject of the Finale. 

The key of this Symphony is the same as that of 
the ' Pastoral,' which is remarkable when the very great 


difference in the contents of the two works is considered. 
Schindler, *indeed, states, as if from the mouth of the master 
himself, that the peaceful atmosphere of the country can 
only be conveyed by the key of F ; but the question of the 
individuality of keys, and Beethoven's opinion in regard to 
them, has been already alluded to (p. 239) and oannot be 
discussed here. 

The Eighth Symphony was first performed in the Great 
Redoutensaal, Vienna, on February 27, 1814, at a concert the 
programme of which contained — (1) The Seventh Symphony ; 
(2) the Trio * Tremate,' sung for the first time by Milder- 
Hauptmann, Siboni, and Weinmiiller ; (3) the Symphony in F, 
also for the first time ; and (4) the Battle of Vittoria. It was not 
well received, much more applause being given to the Seventh 
Symphony, the Allegretto of which was redemanded. The 
non-success of his pet work greatly discomposed Beethoven, 
but he bore it philosophically ; and, as on the occasion of 
the first performance of one of his great String Quartets, 
he simply said, 'It will please them some day,' so now he 
remarked : ' That's because it's so much better than the 
other. 't It is not even yet appreciated as it deserves, and 
as it will be hereafter. It is barely noticed by Marx in his 
elaborate (though often absurd) work. It is held up by Lenz 
as a * problem for criticism,' as if in it Beethoven had gone 
back to his earher style ; the fact being that Lenz is misled by 
the term ' Minuet,' and that the music is an advance in some 
respects even on that of No. 7. It is patronised by Berlioz, 
and abused by Oulibicheff as ' la moins goutee,' and is less 
often performed than either of the other Symphonies after 
No. 2. So much had it faded from the view of the musical 
public in its native city that Hanslick J recalls the significant 

♦ ii., 167. 

f Thayer, iii. , 273 ; from Czoruy. 

X Aiisdem ConcertsacU, p. 319. 


fact that up to 1850 the Pastoral Symphony was always 
announced as * Symphony in F, Beethoven,' as if he had not 
written a second in that key ! It did not appear in the 
programmes of the Socicte des Concerts du Conservatoire* 
till their fifth year — viz., on February 19, 1832, even later 
than the Choral Symphony ; and was then announced as 

* Symphonie inedite,' though the score had been published 
since 1816. In England it seems not to have made its 
appearance till the Philharmonic Concert of May 29, 1826, 
and its performance was always the signal for sneers by 
the critic of the Harmonicon, even smaller and nastier than 
those which he levels at others of those now favourite 
works. The reason of this, perhaps, may be found in the 
overflowing fun and realism of the music. The hearer has 
before him not so much a piece of music as a person. Not only 
is every movement pervaded by humour, but each has some 
special stroke of boisterous merriment, which to those whose 
minds were full of the more dignified movements of the 

* Eroica,' the C minor, or the No. 7, may have made it 
difficult to beheve that the composer was in earnest and that 
his composition was to be taken seriously. We would here 
call attention to the fact that, though bent on so much 
exhilaration, Beethoven has confined himself throughout 
the work to the simplest orchestra — not a single trombone ia 
employed, and in the Allegretto there are no trumpets or 
drums. In the Finale the drums are — probably for the first 
time, unless Sebastian Bach has somewhere done it — tuned 
in octaves. 

Instances have already been given of the imaginary and 
unfounded programmes, so confidently thrust upon their readerr 
by certain critics, in explanation of these great works, especiallj 
of the Seventh Symphony. They have not been less at fault 
in the present case, where they have attempted a similar task. 

* See El wart's Histoire de la Socieie des Concerts du Conservatoire, Paiis, 1861 
p. 155. 


Thus Lenz* treats the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies 
and the Battle of Vittoria as intended to form a 'Military 
Trilogy' ; finds in the Finale of No. 8 a 'most poetical tattoo,' 
and quotes his favourite authority, the Russian Seroff, for 
the opinion that the triplet figure so frequent in that move- 
ment is • an idealised roll of the drum.' Oulibicheff again 
sees in the Allegretto a mere caricature of Rossini. Berlioz, 
though he tells us that the same movement was composed at 
a sitting — tout d'un trait — which is absurd — is probably more 
correct in stating that the opening Allegro was written three 
times ; for though he gives no authority for his statement, 
it would, at any rate, be in keeping with Beethoven's 
tentative method of composing. These gentlemen, in their 
anxiety to form an ideal picture, forget the extraordinary 
human element in Beethoven's nature. They shut their eyes 
to the fact that, dearly as he loved to be in earnest, he loved 
fun quite as dearly ; that Shakespeare himself did not revel 
in jokes, good or bad, more than he did ; that he was not 
always striving his utmost to reach the heights and depths of 
some lofty and ideal theme. These writers are like the portrait- 
painters who give us, not his natural expression — would to 
God they did ! — but the expression which they think he 
ought to have had, when engaged on the subjects they 
deem appropriate to a great composer. And therefore of the 
many portraits which exist of him there is notf one which is 
satisfactory or can be accepted, any more than there is a 
genuine programme of his works except in the rare cases in 
which he has himself given us one. "With regard to programme, 
Beethoven has told us that it was his custom in composing 

* Beethoven, e, Kunst-Studie (1855-60), iii., 254. 

f We have elsev/here stated that Sir Thomas Lawrence was at Vienna 
during the Congress. Had he painted Beethoven we should have, if not the 
best possible representation of him, at least an adequate portrait (see p. 316). 
It seems hard that there are no portraits of the greatest of masters to compare 
with the delightful etchings of Wagner in Chamberlain's Michard Wagiier 
(Verlagsanstalt fiir Kunst und Wissenschaft in Munchen, 1895). 

Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello's Edition. T 


to write to a picture, and bad always a scene before bim ; but 
tbis does not autborise our inventing wbat we Hke. Are we suro 
tbat in tbe endless variety of tbe imagination we sbould see tbe 
picture or event as be saw it ? No, unless we bave bis own 
assurance on tbe subject, we must be rigbt to reject all sucb 
interpretations as tbose alluded to. In tbe present case it ia 
surely enougb to bave tbe extraordinary spirit and powei 
wbicb be bas put into bis notes ; tbe strong logic and 
persistent common- sense ; tbe bealtb, tbe bumour, or tbe 
beauty wbicb animates every page ; tbe admirable combina- 
tion of instruments and tbe general consistent purpose 
wbicb reign and run tbrougbout tbis astonisbing work from 
end to end, and wbicb, tbougb tbey may not express tb em- 
selves in words or visible pictures, military or otber, 
leave an indelible impression. No I No I in tbe ' Eroica ' 
Beetboven is absorbed by bis bero, in tbe * Pastoral ' 
by tbe country, but in No 8, if we must label tbis 
immortal work, it is sufficient to say tbat, perbaps more 
tban any otber of tbe nine, it is a portrait of tbe autbor in 
daily life, in bis babit as be lived ; and we may be sure 
tbat tbe more it is beard and studied, tbe more will be be 
found tbere in bis most natural and cbaracteristic per- 

Tbe Sympbony is now in tbe key of F. But it is not 
certain tbat it was always meant to be so. Mr. Tbayer, in bis 
Chronologisches VerzeicJmiss, No. 170, bas quoted from tbe 
sketcb-book a * grand introduction of eleven bars in lengtb, 
beginning in tbe key of A major and leading to an embryonic 
version of tbe present opening in tbe key of D major. Tbis 
is, bowever, unnoticed by Nottebobm in bis citations from tbe 
same sketcb-book [Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 111). He gives 
tbe following as an early form of tbe opening— and it bag 
some sligbt resemblance to tbe ultimate sbape of tbe 
music : — 



Twenty- six large pages are occupied with attempts in this 
direction before the actual present opening passage is arrived at. 

In another part of the same sketch-book is a sketch of the 
subject of the last movement, too remarkable not to quote, 
since it is one of the many instances which show how different 
the methods of invention are from our conception of them, 
and in how crude and flat a shape ideas, which afterwards 
became most successful, first occurred to the mind of this 
greatest and most indefatigable of all composers. This is 
especially the case with the Ugato passage forming the last 
half of the quotation. 

The sketch :— 

The finished composition : — 

^ I 



other instances, equally remarkable, of Beethoven's 
gradual improvement of his ideas are found io connection 



with the Second Symphony (in D), the C minor and tho 
Choral Symphonies, to which attention has aheady been 
called. In this, how like to Beethoven was Goethe (usually 
so unlike), who says of his * Ballade,' ' I carried it about with 
me a long time before I wrote it down ; there are whole years 
of thought crammed into it, and I made not less than three or 
four attempts before I could get it into its present shape.' 

I. Whatever may have been the original speculation of the 
composer, there is now no Introduction to the first Allegro, but 
the movement opens at once forte with the subject, without 
even a bar of prelude as in the * Eroica,' a note as in the 
* Pastoral,' or a rest as in the C minor. The following is tho 
melody of the first twelve bars : — 


AUeqro vivace e con brio. 

The opening phrase may perhaps have been running in 
]\Iendelssohn's head when he wrote his fine early String 
Quintet in A, which begins with the same intervals, though ip 
different rhythm : — 

No. 2. 

Allegro con moto. 

And here we may stop a moment to point out once more 
how fond Beethoven is of framing his principal subjects in the 



notes of the tonic chord, so as to impress the key of the 
movement thoroughly on the hearer before he begins to 
modulate. The principal subjects of the first movements of 
the * Eroica,' the First and Second Symphonies, and the 
Choral Symphony, at once occur to the mind. The present 
is another case. 

The tune of the subject is prolonged as follows for 
a further twenty bars (we have quoted the entire 
passage) : — 

Viol. 8v» 

and treated with harmony of strange, humorous temper; till, 
after an unresolved discord of eight bars, a bar's rest, and an 
unexpected but grateful change of key to D minor, couched 
in droll staccato leaps, the second principal subject is brought 
in by the violins in octaves : — 

No. 4. 

Viol. 2, 8va. 






a tempo 

Flutes & Oboes 



The very fact of beginning the theme in D and ending it 
in C is a stroke of humour, which is brought out still more 
by the ritardando at the sixth bar. The subject itself is full 
of grace— in fact, up to this point the leading part has been 
almost one continuous melody. It is in the treatment, 
the harmony and accompaniments, that Beethoven betrays 
the uneasy, not to say angry, condition of his temper at the 

A staccato character is kept up all through the thirty-five bars 
which connect the subject last quoted with the next melody. 
This is of a still more flowing character than the foregomg. 
It is given out by the flutes and oboes in octaves, with a 
smooth accompaniment in the bassoons and the rest of the 
wind, and a very pleasant quaver figure in the strings, and 
ending with a return to the staccato figures which had pre- 
ceded it : — 

No. 5. 


' ■ doi. ■ ^ )i ' ■ ^iiiij '-?rff iV Yf^rr? 

4 A 


J J .J i;^ 

^ i--u ^r\\ .r^jn 

Thti flowing grace of the two aubjects last quoted is now 



and then invaded by a spiiit of mischief, as in the 
delicate passage — 

No. 6. 

-T-j r-i 1 

until we reach a more decided outbreak than before, har- 
monised, too, in the contrary motion which is ^o obvious a 
feature of this Symphony : — 

At length comes a phrase which is a more absolute 
embodiment of rude fun than anything yet employed : — 

No. 8. 









•^strings in 8ves. sf 

Four bars of this phrase end the first section of the Allegro t 
and it is employed to begin the working-out on the farther 
side of the double-bar.* Beethoven has so far kept the wrath 
which seems to animate him at bay ; but whatever the cause 
it is no longer to remain in the background ; and it cornea 
out with the beginning of the working-out in very ominous 
and intelligible tones. The phrase last quoted is now used 
first as a prelude and then as an accompaniment to the 
group of six notes which open the movement (No. 3) ; each 

* Compare Mozart's similar course in tlie first movement of the 'Jupiter' 



of the two is repeated four times consecutively, and then, 
as it were, unceremoniously brushed away by a loud 'poohl 
pooh 1 ' from the whole orchestra : — 

ob._ . •^'j.rrh J. 



-r T: 



and so on for 3 bare 





This occurs three times, arriving at last in D minor; but 
now the second of the two phrases (that from No. 1) forces 
itself on the attention ; and then there is hardly a bar without 
it, now in the first part of the bar, now in the last ; now low 
down, now high up, as thus : — 

No. 10. 



At length the tension so caused becomes almost unbearable, 
and the original subject and key return in a wild tornado — not 
in the ordinary way, with the theme in the treble, as at first, 
but in the basses, with all the noise possible (even//*/, a mark 
which Beethoven only very *rarely employs), and with the 
rest of the band in long notes in the high regions : — 

No. 11. 

Tutti 8ve8. 

The instrumentation of this portion (the opening of the 
reprise), where the theme is somewhat overwhelmed by the 
accompaniments, and not brought out with Beethoven's 
accustomed definiteness, is possibly intentional, but it has 
been conjectured to be one of the earliest instances of the 
effect of his deafness, which by 1812 had become serious, 
though not so bad as it was in 1824, when he had to be 
turned roimd towards the audience that he might see the 
applause which they were bestowing on his Choral Symphony 
(see page 335). But to return. The reprise is treated with the 
greatest freedom. The same subjects are employed as in 
the corresponding earlier portion, but not always in the 
same proportions ; while the instrumentation and effects 
are often entirely changed and the phrases are made more 
piquant by the use of staccato — as has been already noticed 
in the ScJierzo of the C minor Symphony. A new phrase 
is introduced as the accompaniment to the subject quoted 

* The only instances that I am aware of in Beethoven are the two referred 
to above and on p. 291 ; Overture, Op. 115, fifth bar from end ; Overture to 
•Leonora, No. 2,' twic« ui finaJ Presto; Overture to 'Leonora, No. 3,' once 
in ditto. 



as No. 8, tLe phrase being most effectively placed in the 
basses : — 

No. 12. 

The Coda, which is long — seventy-seven bars — is most 
effective. It begins with the figure in No. 7, given with 
irresistible effect to the bassoon. A new feature of great 
ingenuity and charm is formed out of five notes of the 
quotation No. 1 : — 

No. 13. 

- ^ r r -T i 

which are worked in every part of the scale and the bar. The 
effect is extraordinarily telling in a pianissimo passage, full of 
mystery, with the phrase in question in the basses staccato. 
Apart, however, from individual phrases and modes of con- 
t;truction, or any other such mechanical points, there is the 
extraordinary amount of violent emotion and fury* which 

* 1 admit that this does not always come out so strongly in performances ; 
but in such performances as those, for instance, under Mr. Manns or Dr 
Richter, it does ; and the eflect is such as to leave no doubt in the mind of 
the hearer tliat it is what Beethoven intended. 


animates the greater part of the latter portion of this move- 
ment. From the double-bar onwards Beethoven betrays a 
feeling of wrath which I do not remember in any other of his 
works, or in any other piece of music — though I am not able 
to speak of Wagner. It is not the boisterous fun which we 
find throughout the Finale. Here it is edged by a distinct 
spirit of anger. After the final explosion, however — a 
second///, twenty-five bars from the termination — this dis- 
appears, and after a few bars of alternate strings and wind, 
the end is reached, with great point, by the soft repetition 
of the identical six notes with which it started. 

The present length of the Coda is the result of an altera- 
tion after the first performance. It was originally thirty- 
four bars shorter, as is proved by an ancient drum-part used 
at the first performance, and still surviving.* 

II. After so much commotion and combat, the well-known 
Allegretto scherzando produces a most remarkable effect. Its 
grace and elegance would be extraordinary whatever were its 
surroundings, but in its present position the contrast is of 
unspeakable rehef. Gaiety, grace, rich, though quiet, humour 
are its characteristics, clothed in a form of indolent, graceful 
beauty, which is essential to the full enjoyment of this most 
beautiful piece, and is missed entirely if the pace is taken too 
fast. Wagner, I know, suggests that the Allegretto should 
be taken rather quick and the following Minuet slow. He 
is probably right about the Minuet ; but — I say it with deep 
respect — certainly not as to the Allegretto. f 

The originality and beauty of its opening are remarkable, 
the melody being in the strings and the accompaniment in 

* Nottebohin, Beethoveniana, p. 25. 

f Why must we take music at so much faster a pace than it could have been 
played at in the time of its composer? The whole world moved more slowly 
then than it does now, even so soon after the impulse of the French Revolution. 
Moreover, the players, especially the wind instrument players, could not have 
played at the pace to which we are accustomed, however hard they tried. 



fche wind instruments, who reiterate their crisp chords with 
an indescribably charming effect : — 



Nothing can exceed the delicacy with which this delicious 
dialogue is conducted. 

Beethoven would have been amused if he could have fore- 
seen that his friend Romberg* would adopt this melody for the 
opening of the Finale, Allegretto, of his Concerto for cello and 
orchestra, No. 8, in A, but so it is : — 

No. 15. 

Not less remarkable is the second subject, as graceful as 
before, but with more obvious humour, and irresistibly sugges- 
tive of a sportive conversation, with muttered objections from 
the basses, though all with perfect good nature : — 

No. 16. 

5 '^ SS w* 

I owe this to my friend, Mr. George Herbert. 



« — »- 





1PP crei. 


This Allegretto is the shortest of all the movements in 
Beethoven's Symphonies. The abrupt and disappointing 
close with the commonplace Italian cadence of tonic and 
dominant, instead of the expected repeat, is obviously one of 
the jokes incidental to Beethoven's frame of mind, and to 
which one has to submit. Oulibicheflt interprets the movement 
as a caricature of Rossini, whose extraordinary popularity in 
Vienna was often a subject of remark with Beethoven ; but 
there is no occasion for this. His spirits are just now bo 
high that everything he touches is turned to amusement. 
The lovely opening itself is the embodiment of a piece of fun. 
It exists in the form of a Canon extemporised at a supper in 
the spring of 1812, and addressed to Maelzel, the inventor of 
the metronome (originally called the chronometer), in which 
the ticks of that instrument are represented by staccato semi- 
quavers : — 

No. 17. 


Vierstimmiger Canon.* 
ta ta ta ta tatata tata ta ta ta tatata ta lie-ber.lie-berMalzcl. 

:__ ' ^_- ^rg-^^jz^^ 

t- tg* — a>; — » » -;?;■ 


ta tatata tata ta ta la, . . . .leben Siewohl.sehrwohl. 

* The Canon is given in Breitkopfs complete Editioji, No. 256, 2; set; also 
ZweiU Jjeethove7i.iana, p. 289, &C. 



In one of the sketches for the Allegretto* the idea is differently 
given : — 

No. 18. g! 

Theina. f* 


1 — I — r 



The date of the Canon, as written, is uncertain ; it may be 
later than that of the Symphonyf ; it may be earlier. 

Berlioz J speaks of this Allegretto as having ' fallen from 
heaven straight into the brain of its author, and been written 
at a sitting ' — ' tout d'un trait.* But this is not a very happy 
conjecture, for there are § apparently about as many 
sketches for it as this great composer made for any piece 
of music, great or small, which he undertook. Here, as so 
often elsewhere, in both literature and art, what appears most 
spontaneous has been the most laboured. More fortunate was 
the exclamation which the movement forced from Schopen- 
hauer, prince of pessimists, that it was sufficient to make one 
forget that the world was full of nothing but misery. || 

III. The Minuet, or, more accurately, the Tempo di Minu- 
etto, though not so sparklingly elegant as the Allegretto, is not 
less finished, and is a singular union of homely beauty and 
humour. It begins very energetically with a passage of two 
bars, somewhat boisterously emphasised by the trumpets, but 
from which the lovely theme springs in the most spontaneous 
manner: — 




—J ' do. 

Trump. 8va. / 

* Zweite Beethoveniana, 113. 

f See Thayer, iii., 221. 

X Voyage Musical, Sytnphonie en fa, i., p. 334, 

§ Notteliohm, Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 113. 

|( Hanslick, Axes dem Concertsaal, p. 31§. 



The sketch-book shows that, contrary to his usual fortune, 
Beethoven found this melody almost at once.* 

The second strain is in absolute keeping with the first. A 
charming feature of this section is the reprise of the air, in the 
mellow notes of the bassoon, beautifully led up to. In the first 
portion of this reprise the ancient ecclesiastical phrase of which 
Beethoven was so fond appears in the basses pizzicato with the 
best effect, the notes of the first bassoon (with second bassoon 
legato) sliding over it like water over a stone in the brook : — 

No. 20. 


Fag. ^ 

m: — ^ 





»» nizz. 

1 r ' r 

h — 

Z3?=p=ti; 1 

'^ T 



pp 'pxzz. 

The necessity for keeping down the pace of this movement 
is strongly insisted on by Wagner, who makes it the subject 
of a highly characteristic passage in his interesting pamphlet, 
Veber das Dirigiren.-f The remarks are all aimed at 
Mendelssohn, of whom, as is well-known, Wagner had a 
poor opinion, and their effect is greatly interfered with by 
the personal bias which they betray. We should like to know 
Mendelssohn's reasons for the faster pace which he is said 
to have adopted and adhered to. 

The Trio (not so denominated by its author) is as spon- 
taneous and graceful as the Minuet. The subject is given out 
by the two horns, with an accompaniment for a somewhat 
fidgetty cello solo, which, perhaps, points to some circum- 
stance in the orchestra. We quote the opening as played : — 

No. 21. 


* Zweite Beethoveniana. p. 114. 

t Translated by Mr. Pauureuther (KeeveH), 



The second half of the melody follows in the clarinet, in the 
most reposeful and tender strain. There is a working-out, in 
w^iich a beautiful effect is made by bringing in the first bar 
of the melody (No. 21) in the basses and bassoons staccato 
with a light accompaniment over it. 

The form of the melody of this Trio is curiously anticipated 
in a Minuet for two flutes, dated * 1792, August 28, abends 12' 
(12 at night) and given by Thayer in his Chron. Verzeichnisst 
Kg. 17 ;— 

No. 22. 

Quani Allegretto. 

F1.1 J J. A J. 




A point in the Trio can hardly be said to be yet finally 
settled. We allude to the third bar of the horn passage 
(No. 21), which in the original edition (1816j appeara thus, 
in the same rhythm as the two preceding it : — 

No. 23. 

In the new * critical and correct ' edition of Messrs. Breitkopf 
and Hartel the rhythm is altered, and the bar is given as in 
our No. 21. No authority for the change is, however, stated, 
and the bar does not seem to be mentioned by Otto Jahn in 
his well-known article on the edition. But at a performance 
of the Symphony at a Philharmonic Concert at Berlin, on 
January 21, 1889, under the direction of Dr. H. von Biilow, 
the old reading (No. 23) was reverted to, on the ground* of a 

See the Berlin programme-book of the day. 


• correction of Beethoven's own, made in a copy of the four- 
hand arrangement in the possession of Brahms.' We must 
wait for more light upon the point. The case is probably an 
instance of the vacillation so frequent in this great master in 
fixing his final details. In one of the sketches the bar in 
question appears* thus — with no dot at all, as in the early 
nttle Minuet (No. 22) ;— 

No. 24. 

which looks as if Beethoven, at any rate, wished the rhythm 
of this bar to be different from that of the preceding ones. 

IV, After the studied grace and homely beauty of these 
two elegant and soothing episodes, we are hardly prepared 
for a return of violence and clamour equal to those of 
the first movement. Beethoven, however, wills it so, and the 
Finale^ Allegro vivace, while it is the greatest portion 
of this great Symphony — larger in dimensions and loftier 
in spirit than either of the preceding movements — is 
also the most humorous, not to say boisterous, of all. It 
is pure Beethoven, in his most mature, individual, and 
characteristic vein, full of that genuine humour, those 
surprises and sudden unexpected effects, those mixtures of 
tragedy and comedy, not to say farce, which played so large 
a part in his existence, and which make his music a 
true mirror of human hfe, as true in his branch of art as 
the great plays of Shakespeare are in his — and for similar 
reasons. The opening theme is one of those slight, trivial 
ideas which appear to contain nothing, but which, like an 
ordinary incident or a casual action, may become the germ of 
the passion and conflict of a life. It is of such as this that 

* Zweii-e Beethoveniana, p. 116. 
Grove.— Beethoven's Niiie Symphonies.— Noveilo's Edition- O 



Schumann says : • K you wish to know what can be made of 
a simple thought by labour and anxious care, and, above all, 
by genius, then look at Beethoven, and see how he can 
ennoble and exalt his ideas ; and how what was at the outset 
a mere commonplace phrase shall, before he has done with 
it, become a lofty sentiment for the world to prize.' 

With regard to the instrumentation, let us notice that» 
though bent on being noisy, Beethoven has included no 
trombones in his score, and also that the drums are here 
(perhaps for the first time in musical history) tuned in 

The following is the unpretending way in which this 
tremendous Finale enters the world : — 

No. 25. 

We have already quoted an early sketch of this theme (see 
No. 2), and it is one of the most instructive extant, as an 
illustration of the justice of Schumann's remark. No other 
example of the sketches shows more strikingly the common- 
place nature of Beethoven's earliesf rudimentary ideas, and 
the patience and success with which he turned his thoughts 
over and over till he had got all that could be extracted from 
them. If genius has been defined as * the art of taking pains.' 



surely Beethoven is one of the most remarkable exemplifi- 
cations of the definition. But this does not exhaust the 
interest of the theme. It has been recently *pointed out that 
it is not improbably an expansion of the opening of the 
final Allegro in a Symphony of Haydn's in G, known in this 
fcountry as * Letter V ' — 

No. 26. 


Haydn's work appears to have been familiar to Beethoven, 
inasmuch as he borrowed from it the melody of the Largo — 

No. 27. 

and has employed it no less than five times in his music. | 

Such reminiscences, however, as we have already re- 
marked (page 213), do not detract from the originality of the 
composer to whom the reminiscence occurs. It is the 
treatment that reveals the real creator, and in the present 
case Beethoven has completely vindicated his originality by 
the tremendous feature which he has attached to Haydn's 
trivial little phrase. For this innocent, domestic, idyllic theme 
is interrupted in its happiest and quietest moment by a loud 
and sudden C sharp, in unison and octaves, given with the 
whole force of the entire orchestra, following on an unusually 
soft C natural. The change from natural to sharp, the sudden 
energy of the fortissimo after the piajiissimo, and its occurrence 

♦ By Mr. Shedlock in The Pianoforte Sonata (Methuen), p. 167, note 1. 

f No. 13 in the 8vo edition of Haydn's Symphonies by Breitkopf & Hartel. 

:J: Namely, in the Solo Sonata, Op. 10, No. 1, Allegro molto; in the String 
Quartet, Op. 18, No. 5, Trio ; in the Violin Sonata, Op. 30, No. 3, Tempo di 
minuetto; in the Pianoforte Trio, Op. 70, No. 2, Allegretto; and ia the Solo 
Sonata, Op. 110, Moderato cantabile, bar 5 



in the weak portion (tlie 'up-beat') of the bar, all combine 
to make this huge note as prominent and as unbearable aa 
possible. It comes upon the artless passage, which it so 
rudely interrupts, like a sudden stroke of fate on the life of 
some gentle child. Not that this great blow produces more 
than a transient impression at first ; the theme is roused by 
it only to temporary energy, and soon pursues its course with 
all its original artlessness. The C sharp has, indeed, both 
here and on its next occurrence, some pages ahead, no 
musical significance. It is a mere cry or noise, and does 
not affect the music, which proceeds after it in the key of F 
exactly as before. It is not till the Coda (page 305) that it 
causes any change in the modulation— any serious effect on the 
course of the composition — in fact, till then it is a huge joke. 
The * second subject' is of a different character and graver 
beauty. The orchestra is arrested upon a sudden A flat (after 
G — one of Beethoven's favourite transitions), and a soft 
passage begins — a lovely melody, first in the violins and then 
in the oboes, one of those ' soft Lydian airs ' which truly pierce 
'the melting soul,' and 'bring all heaven before the eyes,' 
and which then passes, by a transition of remarkable beauty, 
into the key of C major, in which it seems to go straight up 
to heaven : — 

(Bar 7 in the first violin contains a fine example of what may 
be called the ' appoggiatura of passion,' a favourite with 
Beethoven.) The curious discrepancy between the tonality of 
the beginning and end of this theme is itself a bit of humour, 



and recalls the similar fact already noticed in tlie second 
theme of the first movement (see No. 5). 

This beautiful and dignified melody is repeated immediately 
in the wind with a very full accompaniment in the strings, 
and then has a Coda or termination of the following nature 
■ — four bars up, and four down : — 

No. 29. 


n '' "^ 

' 11- 


((f>^' r en 

r r rs^ 


h — I tia 

- — -— — H" 



all harmonised in the roughest and most boisterous manner, 
and terminating with a loud explosion, exactly as if Beethoven 
had jumped out in front of one with a loud and very terrible 
* Boh ! ' 

The movement is cast in Rondo form, and thus ends its 
first portion. 

The second portion answers to the * working-out ' in the 
form usually employed in these Symphonies. It begins at 
once with a modification of the opening phrase of No. 25 : — 

No. 30. 


and proceeds with a somewhat strict treatment of the latter 
part of the subject, the bass commencing in similar motion tc 
the treble, and close imitation, in the following fashion : — 

No. 31. 

semvre fi 


and afterwards going in contrary motion as thus : — 


Violin 1 




-ri — ^ . 

Viol. 2 / 

and thus : — 


which in the end has the better of the first. The wind is aii 
through fully employed, in sudden bursts from the brass, 
answered by the bassoons and clarinets, and other passages 
in which every humorous expedient is employed. 

A phrase of seven notes from bars 7, 8, 9 of the original 
subject (No. 25)— 

No. 31. 

is used again and again with a very abrupt effect. 



This section, though full, is but short, and ends with an 
astonishing octave passage — 

No. 35, 


^py- igjg- ifxilg- 1 = I = \- \- Fag.&Dr. /3^ 

Viol. & CeUo 

recalling the octaves in the first movement, though differently 

We now arrive at the third portion of the Finale. This 
again begins with the initial part of the first theme in the 
violins, accompanied by the wonderful octaves, just quoted, 
in the bassoon and drum, a holding F above the tune in 
the flute and oboe, and with other rich support from the 
wind. All is hushed and mysterious, full of sly humour, 
which soon develops in the most telling style by the re- 
introduction of the terrible C sharp, after a passage gradually 
diminishing to f^pip — like the sudden appearance of some 
hideous mask. The comedy here is very unmistakable 
and irresistible. Some passages seem to say, as plainly as 
possible : * Look out ! ' ' I'm coming 1 ' * I'm dangerous I ' 
The contrary motion already noticed is next used, often with 
very droll effect. The second subject has a good deal of 
space devoted to^it with its Coda (see No. 29), and the 
passage again ends with a sudden very startling explosion. 

We now come to the final section of the movement, call it 
Coda or by any other name ; and this is the most important 
of all ; nearly 240 bars in length, and exceeding in humour, 
and, it must be said, also in violence, anything that we have 
yet encountered. It begins once more with the originaJ 
triplets very quietly ; — 

No. 36. 

Violins p 

Violas P 



and we might suppose that all was joyous as before. But 
not at all; whatever may have been Beethoven's intention, 
a sudden thought strikes him as to the abr.urdity of thus 
repeating himself. He gives two hearty laughs ; — 

No. 87. 


(compare the Coda of the Finale of No. 7, page 264), makes a 
pause, and goes off with an entu^ely fresh idea — a succession 
of scales in exact contrary motion : — 

No. 38. 

VioHns only, p p 

JIJ-SJ2-J. . JJ2-J72.J. 

Oboel^ 1 , 

=^ 4— 




m — 1 

•^ semprepp 

^ J -1 

— f — 

A 4 

— 1 — ^n^i"'^ 



'^^^- CL-Z 

s^r "^~ 

accompanied by the triplets of the original theme, and pro- 
ducing a most overpowering effect. Here is another example 
of a similar passage, the treble and bass being reversed in 
position : — 

No- 39. ciar. & Bassoon ^iSL^ _- , 



^ — ^^TU^'^ 

^« &0. 

^ r -H-^ :JF^ 

This is the beginning of a section of more than fifty bars in 
length, founded on the constant recurrence of the scales as 
quoted, modulating into a fresh key at each repetition, until 
at length we return to the original key of F and to the octave 
figure already quoted, given out as before by the first bassoon 
and the drums without any accompaniment, pianissimo, and 
the very soul of drollery : — 

Viol. 2 & Viola 8va. p 

Beethoven here gives loose to all the fun and quaint 
humour with which at this time he was overflowing. He ia 
truly in a most "unbuttoned" frame of mind, full of grotesque 
joviality. His jokes follow one another with the most comical 
effect. Such passages as that already quoted (No. 22), and 
as the foregoing, where surely bassoon and drum were never 
before at once so simply and so drolly treated — such passages 
as these are irresistible. 

This soft passage is succeeded by an equally loud one, in 
which the terrible C sharp (No. 25) makes its appearance 
amongst the modest murmurings of the fiddles with really 
overpowering force. First it comes as D flat and then twice 
as C sharp, each time roaring out its presence in a truly brutal 
fashion. Here the intruder is not, as before, a mere joker, 
but exercises its due effect on the fabric of the music. The 
orchestra has now no alternative but to go entirely into F 



sharp minor. From this extreme position, however, they are 
rescued by the trumpets and horns, who vociferate their F 
natural at the top of their voices until they have again 
collected the entire flock: — 

No. 41. 

•^ 8ves/ 


-0 -r- 

1 — r 



Trumpets / =* ^ 

=*and so on for 
seventeen bars. 

^ * r r : 

, L_ ^J 1 ! \ — 


Through the whole of this long passage, more than 100 
bars in all, it is difficult to shut out the image of the 
composer, like Polyphemus, or Samson, or some other 
mighty humorist of antiquity, roaring with laughter at the 
rough fun which he is making, and the confusion and 
disturbance he is inflicting on everyone around him. 

Beethoven, however, is too much an artist and man of 
sense to indulge this mood too long. A milder though still 
droll humour succeeds, and the outbreak at length ends by 
the introduction in the bass— in keeping with the similar 
practice already noticed in the earlier movements — of 
the dignified and beautiful second subject (No. 28). It 
is as if Beethoven could not refrain from making an old 
friend look ridiculous, and ridiculous indeed he is made to 
appear : — 



No. 42. 

Viol. 1 


-^ Ob. Ac. 

I J ^ , * : 

- , y 



Viol. 2 


^ :.=-.i^ jZnz3|^^ 


After this we seem to hear, as it were, a call for a parting 
toast : — 

No. 43. 

Flutes 8va. 

r r r r r r r-fr 

This, however, is the final burst of fun; the mood softens, 
the boisterous spirits of the great humorist break down, and 
a softer change comes over the face of his music. 

First we have a pause. Then, in the clarinets and 
bassoons, comes a metamorphosis of the first bars of the 
opening subject beginning thus : — 

Then first the whole orchestra, through eight bars, in a 
succession of sforzandos, and next the wind instruments, 



through twelve bars, as gentle as the others were fierce — 
over a pedal F and a beautiful string accompaniment — 


repeat the chord of A F with which the Finale starts, in their 
different registers, one after another, with an enchanting and 
quite peculiar effect. Lastly comes a metamorphosis, lovely, 
but too short, of bars six and seven of the same theme :— 

No. 46. Flutes 8va. 


^gS ^ 

accompanied by the drums in octaves, as in No. 40, all very 
soft, and producing an extraordinarily tender effect, and 
recalling, as in a dream, what the same instruments, now 
so soft, were capable of doing when urged to excess. Here, 
however, as at the close of the Andante of the C minor, the 
master seems reluctant to allow his emotion to be seen, and 
ends with a very noisy passage. 

Beethoven was now forfcy-two years of age. In all his 
works there exists no other instance of 

That child's heart within the man's 
to compare with the Symphony of which we have just taken 
farewell. It is surely a matter of congratulation that on the 
eve of the long and difficult period of life on which he is 
about to enter he should have been permitted to enjoy 
a time of such thoroughly hearty and innocent merriment as 
he has depicted in his Eighth Symphony. 

SYMPHONY No. 9 (Choral) , in D minor (Op. 125). 

Allegro ma non troppo un poco maestoso. (^ 88.) 

Molto vivace. (J._116.) Presto. (^116.) 

Adagio molto e Cantabile. (*/ — GO.) Andante moderate. (^_63.) 

Presto. (J — 96.) 

Allegro ma non troppo. (^ 88.) 

Allegro assai. (c^ 80.) 

Presto. (Solos and Chorus.) (D.) No metronome mark. 

Allegro assai vivace. Alia marcia. (* _84.) (B flat.) (Tenor Solo 
and Chorus.) 

Andante maestoso. (-)__72.) (G.) (Chorus.) 

Adagio ma non troppo, ma Divoto. (^ 60.) 

Allegro Energico.sempre ben marcato. (o 84.) (D major.) (Chorus.) 

Allegro ma non tanto. {c:} 120.) (D major.) (Solos and Chorus.) 

Poco allegro, stringendo il tempo, sempre piu alio- 

Prestissimo, {i^ — 132.) (D major.) Maestoso, [a — 60.) Prestis- 
simo, (D major.) (Chorus.) 

2 Flutes. 
2 Oboes. 
2 Clarinets. 
2 Bassoons. 
4 Horns. 


Four horns are used here, probably for the first time. 

To the above are added, in some of the movements, 3 Trombones, ft 
Double Bassoon, a Piccolo, Triangle, Cymbals, and Big Drum. 

First Ed., a folio of 226 pages. ' Sinfonie mit Schluss-Chor iiber 
Schillers Ode "An die Freude," fiir grosses Orchester, 4 Solo und4Chor- 
Stimmen, componirt und seiner Maiestaet dem Konig von Preussen 

2 Trumpets. 

2 Drums. 

1st and 2nd Violina. 




Friedrich Wilhelm III. in tiefster Ehrfurcht zugeeignet von Ludwio van 
Beethoven. 125tes Werk. Eigenthum der Verleger. Mainz und Paris, 
bey B. Schotts Sohnen. Antwerpen, bey A. Schott.' [No. 2322.] 1825 
or '26. 

The earliest copies contain no metronome marks. These were supplied 
later, but at what date is uncertain. 

The Ninth Symphony was not ready for performance until 
the end of 1823 or beginning of 1824, and it is, therefore, 
separated from No. 8 by a gap of not less than eleven years. 
Of the manner in which these long years were filled up in 
Beethoven's life it will be my endeavour to give a brief 
account. It appears to me desirable to show what an 
exceedingly unhappy and disturbed period it was, how filled 
with events and circumstances which would seem to be in the 
highest degree inimical to the production of music at all, 
but to which, nevertheless, are due the Choral Symphony; 
the Mass in D ; ' Fidelio ' in its ultimate form, including the 
gay overture in E ; seven prodigious *Pianoforte works ; the 
Liederkreis — the earliest example of a ' Cycle of Songs,' and 
still the finest ; and several other works which would be 
remarkable in any composer but Beethoven. 

The Eighth Symphony was finished in October, 1812. 
After his return to Vienna, at the beginning of December, 
Beethoven again took up the Sonata for Piano and Viohn in G 
(Op. 96), and finished it, so that it was played by his pupil, 
the Archduke Rudolph, and Rode on the 4th January, 1813. 
Beethoven was not pleased with Rode's performance of his 
work, and in his Bonn dialect hef writes to the Archduke that 
it had even bored him a little — * schenirte {i.e., geuirte) mich 
doch etwas.' The two new Symphonies appear to have been 
rehearsed at the Archduke's on February the 20th; but at 
present there was no public performance of either. 

Meantime Napoleon's star was rapidly sinking. We are in 
1813. The spring months brought to Vienna the news of 

* Sonatas, Op. 90, 101, 106, 109, 110, 111 ; 33 Vars., Op. 120. 
t Letter (Kochel, 1865}, p. 22. 


Moscow and the destruction of the immense army in the 
retreat from Russia ; the health of the Emperor had never 
been* better, but 300,000 French soldiers had perished. The 
War of Liberation had begun in Germany, and, notwith- 
standing the defeats of Liitzen and Bautzen (May 2nd 
and 21st), the spirit of the German people was fast rising. 
On July 13 the battle of Vittoria (fought June 21) was known 
in Vienna, and by the beginning of November the decisive rout 
of Leipzig and the gallant attempt of the Austrian and 
Bavarian troops to cut off the French retreat at Hanau on 
October 30 were also known. Over this news Vienna was 
in a state of great excitement. Beethoven was not behind 
his fellow-citizens. He was at this time on terms of in- 
timacy with Maelzel, a very clever mechanic, not only the 
inventor of the metronome, but maker of Kempelen's 
famous chess player, and of two musical automatons, the 
Trumpeter and the Panharmonicon ; and he was induced to 
set to music a programme of a musical piece representing the 
battle of Vittoria, drawn up by this clever inventor. This, 
after being arranged for the barrels of the Panharmonicon, 
Beethoven scored for orchestra. It occupied him from August 
to October, 1813, and an occasion for its production was found 
at the Hall of the University, on the 8th December in that 
year, when the programme contained, in addition, the Seventh 
Symphony, for the first time, and two Marches for Maelzel's 
automaton trumpeter. The Symphony was well received, 
but the battle-piece took the fancy of the public to an extra- 
ordinary degree, and the concert was repeated four days later, 
on the 12th. The piece, entitled * Wellington's Sieg, oder 
die Schlacht bei Vittoria ' (Op. 91), is in two divisions : 1st, 
the Schlacht or Battle, founded on * Rule, Britannia,' and 
*Marlbrouk'; and 2nd, the Sieges- Symphonie or Victory. 

* *La sante de S.M. n'a jamais et6 meilleure,' is the concludiDg sentence of 
Napoleon's despatch (Molodetschno, December 3, 1812) which detailed the 
terrible events of the march from Snxolensk. — See Le CotiscnU 


The score was published in 1816 by Steiner, in the same 
moan lithographed form as Nos. 7 and 8, and was dedi- 
cated to the Prince Regent of England — afterwards George 
the Fourth. The dedication, however, was never *acknow- 

After the concert of December 12 a catastrophe occurred. 
Beethoven discovered that Maelzel claimed the Battle-piece 
as his own property in virtue of some money he had advanced. 
He at once broke with the inventor and, more sua, proclaimed 
him a rogue. After a time Maelzel made off to Munich, 
taking with him his Panharmonicon, and also a MS. 
orchestral score of the Battle-piece, which he had obtained 
without Beethoven's consent, and caused to be performed 
in Munich. Beethoven at once entered an action against 
him in the Vienna courts, which eventually came to 
nothing ; and addressed letters of protest to the musicians of 
Munich, and of London, whither Maelzel intended to go. 

Meantime Beethoven had again given the concert on the 
Bame general lines as before, but omitting the Marches 
for the ' mechanical Trumpeter ' — on January 2nd, 1814 ; 
and on February 27th he gave a fourth, with the important 
addition of his Eighth Symphony. All these performances 
were successful from a money point of view. 

Beethoven was not, however, able, with Maelzel's depar- 
ture, to shake off his unmusical worries. Prince Kinsky, one 
of the three noblemen who contributed to his income, died 
on the 3rd November, 1812, ^without having signed the 
necessary engagement to maintain the annuity ; on which 
Beethoven commenced a suit against his heirs. The suit 
was withdrawn two years later, but meantime he was 
extremely eager about it, and the correspondence and 
anxiety must have been very trying to him. * Such things,' 

* See letter to Salomon, June 1, 1815. 
f Thayer in Dictionary of Music, ii., 59 

Beethoven's last public appearances. 318 

said he* to his legal adviser, * exhaust me more than the 
greatest efforts in composition.' 

It is pleasant to turn to more congenial subjects. In the 
spring of 1814 he twice played the piano part of his great 
B flat Trio (Op. 97) in public, at concerts of his old friend 
Schuppanzigh ; first on April 11th, for the benefit of a 
military charity, and again a few weeks later. This was his 
f last appearance in public as a piano player. 

The revival of ' Fidelio ' this year must have afforded him 
much gratification. It was produced in its final shape, in two 
acts, at the Kamthnerthor Theatre, on May 23, 1814. The 
revision of the book had been in progress for some months 
under Beethoven's old friend Treitschke. It had involved much 
labour to Beethoven, but he seems to have been very good- 
humoured over this attempt to J ' rebuild the ruins of an ancient 
fortress.' It necessitated also the composition of the fourth 
overture — in E ; which, however, was not played till the second 
performance, on May 26. His benefit -concert took place on 
July 18. A pianoforte score of the opera, prepared by 
Moscheles under Beethoven's own direction, was published in 
August. And this gives Moscheles an opportunity for an 
interesting § anecdote : ' Under the last piece of the arrange- 
ment,' says he, * I had written Fine mit Gottes Hiilfe — The 
end, with God's help. Beethoven was not at home when I 
brought my manuscript to him ; and on receiving it back I 
found the words added Mensch hilf dir seller — man, 
help thyself.' 

On April 15 Prince Carl Lichnowsky, one of his earliest, 
kindest, and (notwithstanding many a needless rebuff) most 
forbearing friends, died. 

• Letter to Kauka, February 24, 1815. 

f But see Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 357, as to his playing Op. lOl at 
a Gesellschaft. 
\ His own expression. Letter to Treitschke, March, ISld. 
§ Lifey Translation, i., 15. 
Grove.— Beethoven's Niuv. Symphonies.— Kovello's Edition. X 


August 16, 1814,* is the date on the autograph of the 
beautiful Solo Sonata, Op. 90, in E minor, written for Count 
Moritz Lichnowsky, brother of Prince Carl, by way of 
sympathy and expostulation on his attachment to an actress. 
Schindler tells us that the first movement was to be entitled 
* Kampf zwischen Kopf und Herz ' — Contest between head and 
heart; and the second (there are only two), * Conversation mit 
der Geliehten ' — Conversation with the beloved ; and that such 
was the composer's own explanation to the Count when he 
enquired if the music had a meaning. The piece was 
accompanied by a charming letter dated September 21, 1814,t 
in unusually good spirits, though coloured by a certain vein 
of sentiment in a few playful notes given at the end, on the 
word ' but ' {allein) — 


Al-lein, allein, al-lein. 
Silentium ! 1 1 

which are a minor version of Paesiello's famous air * Nel cor 
piu,' on which he had composed six Variations some twenty 
years before. 

In this Sonata we find Beethoven for the first time writing 
his directions in German instead of Italian. He had for some 
time quite a fit of this nature, in which Hammerklavier takes 
the place of Pianoforte, lebhaft of AUegro, and langsam of 
Adagio, &c. 

A week later died the wife of Beethoven's very good friend, 
Baron Pasqualati. He commemorated her death soon after 
in the beautiful *Elegischer Gesang,' Op. 118, a most 
characteristic work, evidently inspired by affection. 

On October 1 {'Ersten Weinmonath') he completes the 
Overture in C, Op. 115, a piece which had been in hand since 

• Zweite Beethoveniana, p, 298, 
t In the autograph it is 1841- 


*1809, as the long contemplated embodiment of Schiller's * Ode 
to Joy.' All allusions to Schiller's Ode, however, were 
postponed for the present, and the autograph of the Overture 
is inscribed as for • the Name day of our Emperor,' and as 

* gedichteff fiir grosses Orchester.' 

In April, 1814, Napoleon was banished to Elba, and by 
the end of September the representatives of the various 
allied states had assembled at Vienna, though they did 
not go to business till November. This was the famous 

* Congress of Vienna,' an immense collection of royalties and 
other celebrities. It was, in fact, the first breathing time of 
Europe after its dozen years of slavery and apprehension under 
Napoleon's domination. No wonder the plenipotentiaries 
could not at once settle to work ! Notwithstanding the presence 
of Wellington and Castlereagh progress was so slow and the 
festivities so gay as to give rise to the well known remark, 
' Le congres ne marche pas, il danse.' Beethoven seized the 
opportunity of performing his new Symphonies, and also of 
composing some music specially appropriate to so great an 
occasion. For this he chose a cantata, entitled • The glorious 
moment ' — ' Der \qlorreiclie Augenhlick' — written by Weissen- 
bach ; he began its composition for solos, chorus and orchestra 
in September, and the first performance was given on Novem- 
ber 29, in the Eedouten-Saal, which had been placed at his 
disposal for the purpose by the Government. Beethoven was 
permitted to issue the invitations in his own name — a remark- 
able tribute to his position in Vienna. The concert was for his 
benefit ; it was announced for the 26th, but postponed to the 
29th. The programme contained the Seventh Symphony, the 
Cantata, and the Battle Symphony. The large room of the 

* Zweite Beethoveniana, p. '. 75. 

f The word is ordinarily used only in reference to poetry. But see Beethoven's 
use of it in a letter of 1S17 to I\Iadame Streicher (Nohl, Brief e. No. 200), 

J Republished to other worda in 1836 as • Preis der Tonkunst' — 'Praise ai 


establishment was crowded with an audience of 6,000 persons, 
and in a *letter to the Archduke Rudolpli, Beethoven describes 
himself as ' exhausted with fatigue, vexation, satisfaction, and 

The programme was repeated on Friday, December 2nd, but 
with a comparatively poor result. A third performance was 
intended, but was given up. One of the fetes provided for 
the Congress was a Tournament or Carrousel, in the Riding 
School, on November 23, and it would appear from anotherf 
letter of Beethoven's to the Archduke that he was composing 
music for it, which he promises shall arrive * at full gallop ' 
[ynit dem schnellsten Galopp)^ though nothing of it has yet been 

In addition to the profits of the two concerts, and also to 
his share of those in December, 1813, and January, 1814, 
Beethoven probably received presents from the various exalted 
personages — we hear§ of 200 ducats (£100) being sent by the 
Emperor of Russia ; and there were doubtless others. At any 
rate, he now found himself able to lay by money, which he 
invested in shares {Actien) in the Bank of Austria. 

To all this rejoicing the sudden news of Napoleon's escape 
from Elba and arrival in France on the 1st of March, 1815, 
put an end. Then ensued the Hundred Days, Waterloo, and 
the occupation of Paris — for which last event Beethoven 
composed a chorus, ' Estist vollbracht,' as Finale to a dramatic 
piece by Treitschke. 

It is not generally known that Sir Thomas Lawrence visited 
Vienna in 1819. He was sent by the Prince Regent to paint 

♦ Kbchel, No. 18. 

f Ibid., 'So. 15. 

X An entry in Moscheles's journal seems to claim this for him {Life of 
Mosclieles. Trans., Vol. 1., p. 16). The pieces for ' Afnsik zu einem 
Ritterballet,' given in the supplemental volume to Breitkopf's complete 
edition (Serie 25, No. 286), ar« youthful compositions of 1790. 

§ Nohl, Beethovens Lebm, hi., 808. 


the celebrities assembled at Aix-la-Chapelle, and thence he 
went to Vienna, arriving early in 1819, and remaining there 
till May 3rd.* It is much to be regretted that Beethoven was 
not included in this commission, as the world would then 
have possessed a worthy likeness of the great composer, while 
the honour would have been a pleasant return to him for his 
dedication of the Battle Symphony to the Prince Regent, for 
which no acknowledgment appears ever to have been made. 

A violent quarrel with Stephan Breuning, which deprived 
Beethoven for many years of one of his oldest and most faithful 
friends, occurred some time during the summer of 1815, and 
was not adjusted till 1826. f 

Through all this maze of excitement — lawsuits, fetes^ 
quarrels, concerts, production of the opera, interviews with 
emperors, &c. — the music that was composed, if small in 
quantity, was of first-rate quality. True, the two Cello 
Sonatas which form Op. 102 have never become popular, and 
the Overture in C (Op. 115) has not obtained the public 
appreciation which Beethoven's orchestral works usually 
receive. But the Overture in E, known as ' Fidelio,' and 
the Sonatas, Op. 90, 96, and 101, stand very high in that 
class of work. It is impossible not to regret that the 
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D, of which Nottebohm 
has givent so very tempting a description, and which that 
accurate investigator assigns to 1814 and 1815, was not 
completed. It occupies more than fifty pages in the sketch- 
books, and thirty leaves {Blatter) of score were begun in 
June, 1815. The piano was to come in after ten bars of 
full orchestra. 

To the quarrels, excitements, and other unmusical dis- 
tractions already mentioned as besetting this period, there is, 

♦ I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. Cosmo Monkhouse for these facta, 
f Dictionary of Music and Musicians, i., 1926. 
X See ZwdU Beethoveniana, pp. 223, 321, &c 


however, one of a still more malignant nature to be added. 
There was, indeed, a fatal sliadow ahead in Beethoven's 
path. On November 15, 1815, his brother Caspar died, 
bequeathing to him the maintenance of his son Carl, then 
a lad of eight. This involved a lawsuit with the widow, who 
was one of Beethoven's betes noires, and endless worries as to 
the education of the boy, for the details of which we have no 
room, but which penetrated mto the deepest recesses of his 
life and feeling, and must have given him the keenest and most 
constant annoyance till January 7, 1820, when the litigation 
was compromised, and indeed up to the very *end of 
liis life. To an irregular, impulsive being, like Beethoven, 
such occupations as this involved — the writing of long 
detailed letters, the keeping of appointments — must have 
been sadly annoying. One quotation from his diaries, 
expressing his dislike to business matters, has been already 
given. The following entry is still more touching, and is 
a good specimen of the way in which his inmost being was 
rent and racked at this period of his life. It dates from the 
early part of 1818 : — * God, God, my Guardian, my 
Kock, my All, Thou seest my heart, and knowest how it 
distresses me to do harm to others through doing right to my 
darling Karl. Hear Thou unutterable I hear Thy unhappy, 
most unhappy of mortals.' 'I have no friend,' he says to 
Fraulein del Rio at this time, ' and am alone in the world.' 
Perhaps, however, we have here the secret of the greatness 
of the Choral Symphony. For what says Schubertf under 
similar distress ? He may almost be said to have formulated 
this despondent mood in the following entry : * Grief sharpeni 
the understanding and strengthens the soul : Joy, on the other 
hand, seldom troubles itself about the one and makes the other 

* But for this wretched lad's neglect of his uncle's death-bed, Beethoven's 
days might have been prolonged. 

t See Schubert's diaries in The Dictionary of Music and Musicians^ iii., 


eJBTeinmate or frivolous.' * My musical works are the offspring 
of my genius and my misery; and what the public most 
relish is that which has given me the greatest distress.' 

Who that reads such passionate appeals as those just 
quoted — and there are many such at this date ; or hears the 
first movement of this Symphony, especially its concluding 
forty bars, can doubt that Beethoven was then profoundly 
miserable ; that his heart, morbid no doubt, was torn almost 
beyond endurance by the unseemly, squalid disorder which 
attended his home-hfe, and the unavailing anxieties and 
privations which he endui-ed for his nephew ? ^Yhatever its 
result upon his music, there could hardly be a dispensation 
of Providence so destructive of his happiness as that 
which brought these too incompatible natures together — on 
the one hand, a wretched, thoughtless, selfish, commonplace 
ne'er-do-weel, and, on the other, one of the simplest, noblest, 
most sensitive hearts in the world ! 

Against a settled habit of despondency, such as henceforth 
was Beethoven's prevailing mood of mind, external events, 
however pleasant in themselves, can have had little influence. 
Such were the bestowal of the freedom of the city of Vienna 
by the Municipal Council, at Christmas, 1815 ; the purchase 
by the Philhannonic Society of London of the Overtures to 
the * Ruins of Athens ' and * King Stephen ' for seventy-five 
guineas (July 11, 1815) ; the gift of a pianoforte from the 
reigning Broadwood early in 1818 ; and other similar occur- 
rences. To balance these pleasurable thiugs were the death 
of his old friend and benefactor. Prince Lobkowitz, on 
December 16, 1816, and the consequent reduction of his 
income by a third. It is also astonishing to see from his letters 
and entries the amount of unnecessary annoyance which he 
endured during these years from his servants, and from other 
household matters, notwithstanding the assistance he received 
from the good Frau Streicher, who was never weary of her 
endeavours to obtain order lq that most disorderly of houses. 


True, his correspondence was not uniformly occupied with 
such degrading details. In 1817 several letters passed 
through Ries (then in London) between Beethoven and the 
Philharmonic Society, as to his visiting this country in 1818. 
The project came to nothing, but must have gratified him, 
even though the letters and the pecimiary proposals, which 
were gone into with much minuteness, doubtless caused him 
considerable trouble and filled him with worry. 

Through all this runs a stream of the very finest music. 
In April,* 1816, occurs the first sketch of the exquisite 
Liederkreis, Beethoven's greatest composition for the solo 
voice (Op. 98). The same sketch-book f contains the 
passage which ultimately became the theme of the Scherzo 
of the Ninth Symphony, though originally only noted as the 
subject of a fugue. This memorable entry stands as shown 
on page 328. In the winter of 1817 the great Sonata, which 
became Op. 106, seems to have been begun, though it was 
not finished till the following summer. But all these works, 
great as they were, were to be soon overwhelmed by much 
larger and more elaborate compositions. These were the 
Ninth Symphony, the first movement of which was seriously 
begun J in 1817, and the Mass in D, which was attacked a 
year later, after the announcement of the Archduke Rudolph's 
appointment to the see of Olmiitz, in the summer of 1818 ; 
which entirely took up the year 1819, and occupied the 
greater part of his time and energy till the beginning of 
1823. Equally great in their own line with both Mass and 
Symphony, and eminently characteristic of Beethoven's later 
style and genius, are the last three of his Pianoforte Sonatas, 
which belong to this period — namely, Op. 109, finished in 
1820, concurrently with the 'Credo' of the Mass; Op. 110, 
dated Christmas Day, 1821 ; and Op. Ill, dated January 13th, 

* Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 334. 
flhid.,1^ 328. 
Xlbid., p. 15ft. 

bbbthovbn's I/Evelopment op the symphony. 321 

1822.* He was now therefore free to devote himself entirely 
to the great work before us. 

It may be well here to recapitulate the chief developments 
which Beethoven had already made in the Symphony, since 
\ie received it from his great predecessors. 

He had increased the Introduction from the twelve bars 
which it occupied in Haydn's works and in his own No. 1, to 
the sixty- two of his No. 7. In his hands the Coda had assumed 
the vast proportions which it takes in the Eroica and No. 8 ; 
and in the Eroica, and especially the Pastoral Symphony, 
he had sanctioned the adoption of programme in music and 
the attempt to represent external objects. He was now to 
make a further and most material modification in the same 
great department of orchestral music, in the choral Finale ; 
and here again the difference was all his own. No example of 
it is to be found in the works of either Haydn or Mozart, but 
Beethoven first attempted it in his t Choral Fantasia; and 
hitherto it has been followed — at least with success — only by 
Mendelssohn, whose Lobgesang, or * Hymn of Praise,' is a 
characteristic example of the same class of composition as the 
Ninth Symphony of Beethoven. t 

Schiller's ode To Joy, An die Freude (1785) — from which the 

* The seventh great pianoforte composition of this period, the ' Thirty-three 
Variations on a theme of Diabelli's ' (Op. 120), being really his farewell to the 
piano, belongs to the year 1823. 

t He describes the Symphony in a letter to Probst, the publisher, of 
March 10, 1824, as * in the style of my Choral Fantasia, but very much more 
extended.' — Nohl, Brief e, i., p. 255. It is not necessary to encumber our 
pages with a comparison of the two works. SuflBcient to say that there is a 
tftrong resemblance in the general plan, while the subjects of the two Finales 
are similar in the fact that in both the chief subjects consist almost entirely of 
consecutive notes. It is surely too much, however, to speak of them as 
' Identical,' as seems to be implied in Kretzschmai's excellent Fuhrer durch 
den Concertsaal (1887), i., 113. 

X At the Philharmouic Concert of March 25, 1822, a MS. Concerto of 
Steibelt's for piano and orchestra, 'with characteristic rondo and chorus,' was 
performed. Liszt has employed a chorus in the Finale of his Faust Symphony. 


words for the Finale of the Symphony are selected, and which is 
as characteristic of Beethoven as the more directly devotional 
text of the LohgemiKj is of his successor — was always a 
favourite with him. It is almost incredible that he started in 
his musical life with the same intention which he only carried 
out near its close. And yet we discover in a letter from 
Fischenich to Schiller's sister Charlotte, written from Bonn,* 
the following notice of that intention, when Beethoven, at 
the age of twenty- two, was just beginning his public career. * I 
have preserved,' says he, * a f setting of the Feuerfarhe for you 
on which I should like your opinion. It is by a young man of 
this place, whose musical talent is becoming known, and whom 
the Elector has just sent to Haydn at Vienna. He intends to 
compose Schiller's Freude verse by verse.' This was in 1793. J 

The musical theme to which Beethoven at last wedded the 
words thus fondly cherished by his republican nature for so 
long was, as usual with him, no sudden inspiration, but the 
fruit of long consideration and many a trial. Of this his 
sketch-books contain many evidences. The first time we §meet 
with the sacred words is in a sketch-book of 1798, between 
memoranda for the Piano Rondo in G, Op. 51, No. 2, and an 
Intermezzo for the Sonata in C minor. Op. 10, No. 1 : — 

Muss ein lie - ber Va - ter woh - - - nen. 

It is perhaps not safe to find a reference to the Ode in the 
reiterated use of the word ' Freude ' in the poignant postscript 
of the famous letter of 1802, where die Freude appears twice, 
once italicised by Beethoven himseK (see Symphony No. 2, 

•Thayer, Leben, i., 2;^>7. 

t Published in 1805, as Op. 52, No. 2. 

X Weber, writing in June, 1811, to Simrock, the publisher, of Bonn, says that 
he is composing Schiller's Ode an die Freude for orchestra, solos, and chorus, 
and asks if he will publish it- (Told to the writer by Herr Joachim in 1879.) 

§ Nottebohm, Z'iVeite Beethoventana, p. 479. 



page 48) — *Lass einmal einen reinen Tag der Freude niir 
erscheinen — so lange schon ist der wahren Freude innigerer 
Widerliall mir fremd.' 

Then again some words out of the same Ode are to be found 
in 1811, among the sketches for the Seventh and Eighth 
Symphonies, thus cited by Mr. Nottebohm* : — 

with a memorandum, not very legible, but somewhat as 
follows! : — * Finale, Freude schoner Gotter Funken Tochter 
Elisium. The Symphony in four movements ; but the 2nd 
movement in 2-4 time like the 1st. The 4th may be in 6-8 
time — major ; and the 4th movement well fugued.' 

Then a longer f sketch of the same date in the sketches for 
the Overture in G (Op. 115) :— 

No. 3. 


j-j^ r'LU-iM j _ , Ff f 



vielleicht so anfangen 

.J i l l J-J 

Freu - de, 

Freu - de, 











* See Nottebolim, Beethoveniana, pp. 41, 42. 
t Thayer, Chronologisches Veneichniss, p. 149. 



Then, still later, in 1822, among tlie *sketches for the 
Overture in C (Ox^ 124), an Overture on the name of Bach, and 
the Mass in D, occur other attempts, each in turn scratched 
out, with the word ♦ mellieur ' added (Beethoven's French for 
tneilleur). Then comes the following : — • German Symphony, 
either with variations (the chorus entering), or without them '— 

No. 4. 

Freu - de echo- ner Got - ter Fun - ken Toch-ter aus E - li - si - um. 

with another memorandum, ' End of the Symphony with 
Turkish musicf and chorus to the rhythm of three bars in the 
Gloria.' Then a variation of the foregoing: — 

No. 5. 

Freu- de scho-ner Got - ter Fun-ken 

At length he gets into a new melody, which then occupies 
his sketch-book, sometimes in triple, sometimes in common 
time, until at length it issues in the present magnificent tune, 
a tune surely destined to last as long as music itself. 

Beethoven has not used half of Schiller's words, nor has 
he employed them in the order in which they stand in the 
poem; and the arrangement and selection appear to have 
troubled him much. The note-books already cited abound with 
references to the ' disjointed fragments ' (abgerissene Sdtze) 
which he was trying to arrange and connect — so as not 
necessarily to employ the whole of Schiller's long Ode — 

* Thayer, Chroii. Verztkhniss, No. 238. 

f ' Turkish Music ' is the German term for the big drum, cymbals, and 
triangle, and these are introduced in Nos. 3 ('Haste like suns') and 7 (' Be 
embraced.') The 'Gloria' is probably the Gloria in the Mass in D, then 
just completed. The wTiter has not been able to trace any resemblance in th* 
two pieces The ' ritmo di tre battute ' occurs in the Scherzo. 


'Abgerissene Sdtze wie *Fursten sind Bettler u. s. w. nicht das 
Oanze.' In making his selection Beethoven has omitted, either 
by chance or intention, some of the passages which strike 
an Enghsh mind as most risqties in Schiller's Ode : such as 

Dieses Glas dem guten Geist 
Ueberm Sternenzelt dort oben 1 

Here's a glass to the good Spirit 
Up above the stars so high I 

and the omissions furnish an example of the taste by which 
his colossal powers were, with few exceptions, guided. Another 
point which puzzled him greatly was how to connect the 
vocal movements with the instrumental ones. His biographer, 
Schindler, gives an interesting description of his walking 
up and down the room endeavouring to discover how to 
do it, and at length crying out, ' I've got it, I've got it.' 
Holding out his sketch-book, Schindler perceived the words, 
' Lasst uns das Lied des uusterblichen Schiller siugen ' — 
Let us sing the song of the immortal Schiller — as a 
recitative for the bass^^s, with the words of the Ode itself 
following immediately for soprano solo. And though this was 
altered almost as soon as written down — the words of the 
recitative being changed into * friends, not these tones ; let 
us sing something pleasanter, and fuller of joy ! ' and the 
words of the Ode itself being given first to a solo voice — 
yet the method of the connection remained the same. How 
strongly is all this hesitation corroborated by Beethoven's own 
words to jRochlitz in 1822 — * You see, for some time past 
I have not been able to write easily. I sit and think, and 

* These strange words refer to a line, ' Bettler werdeu Flirsten-Brlider ' 
('beggars sliall be royal brothers'), which formerly stood in Schiller's poem. 
Schiller's original title of the Ode is said to have been ' An die Freiheit '—to 
Freedom, not to Joy ; which throws a light on the tumultuous rovolutioiiary 
f hrases of the poetry. 

t Fur Freunde der Tonkunst, iv., 35S. 


think, and get it all settled ; but it won't come on the papet, 
and a great work troublos me immensely at the outset ; once 
get into it, and it's all right.' 

Of the instrumental movements, the first trace yet 
discovered is (as has been already said) in a sketch-book of 
1815,* where, after the materials of the Cello Sonata, Op. 102. 
No. 2, and very definite memoranda for a Symphony in 
B flat, we come on four bars of what was destined several 
years later to be the germ of the Scherzo of the Ninth 
Symphony. Here it is, a fugue subject : — 

No. 6. 


— and a fugue subject it remains until it unconsciously 
assumes its present more rhythmical shape. Still, we have 
here the first memorandum of the theme of this great move- 
ment ; and, if Czerny is right in his anecdote, it suddenly 
entered his mind as he came out of the darkness into a 
brilliant light. 

The actual beginning of the composition of the work occurs 
two years later, in 1817, while he was engaged on the Piano- 
forte Sonata, Op. 106. t Here the memoranda, entitled * Zur 
Binfonie in D,' are chiefly for the first movement and Scherzo — 
then given as third movement (though without any sketch of 
♦ihe second). As to the Finale, there is no appearance of 
Schiller's Ode or any unusual intention. 

In 1818 we find the following memorandum, disclosing an 
ntention to write two Symphonies : — 

' Adagio Cantique : — 

* Religious song in a Symphony in the old modes (Herr 
Gott dich loben wir — Alleluja), either independently or as 

• Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 157. 
t Ibid., p. 159. 



introductory to a fugue. Possibly the whole second Symphony 
to be thus characterised : the voices entering either in the 
Finale or as early as the Adagio. The orchestral violins, etc., 
to be increased tenfold for the last movements, the voices to 
enter one by one. Or the Adagio to be in some way repeated 
in the last movements. In the Adagio the text to be a Greek 
mythos (or) Cantique Ecclesiastique. In the Allegro a 
Bacchus festival.' This dates from the progress of Op. 106, 
and shows how highly excited Beethoven's imagination must 
then have been to deal with two such vast compositions 
at once. Amongst the sketches of this date, evidently for the 
Scherzo, is found one which is a curious adaptation of the Trio 
of the early Symphony in D major (1802 !). It is transposed 
into D flat and treated in a different manner from the earUer 

No. 7. Sinfonia 3tes Stuck. 














By the winter of 1822 the Mass in D was finished, the 
wonderful chain of Sonatas, Op. 109, 110, 111, and the Overture 
for the opening of the Theatre (Op. 124), were all out of hand, 
and the somewhat crude vision of the religious Symphony — not 
more crude than Beethoven's first conceptions usually are, with 
its strange mixture of Greek myth, German chorale, and Can- 
tique ecclesiastique — 'Jehovah, Jove, and Lord' — seems to 
have retired into the background.! He now speaks of the first 

* Nottebolim, Ziceite Bcethoveniana , p. IGo. 

f But he speaks to Roclilitz, in 1822^ of having ' two grand symphonies 
round his neck, different from each other and different from any of my others.' 
{^Fv/r Frcimde der Tonkunst, iv., 357, 358.) But it is not heard of again. 



of the pair (no doubt the * Ninth ') as * Sinfonie Allemande * — 
German Symphony. * Variations ' are mentioned, and, in 
addition to recognisable passages of the first movement, the 
following most pregnant passage appears : — 

No. 8. 




rir r r 

m ' r 


Freu-(le sclio-ner Got-ter-Funken Toch-ter aus E - 11 - si-um. 

A loose memorandum of this date gives a thematic *catalogTie 
of the whole except the Adagio^ as far as the order was then 
determined on : — 

No. 9. 



3 Adagio 







accompanied by this note, ' also instead of a new Symphony 
anew Overture on Bach much fugued, with three ' Trombones, 
the words * New Symphony ' obviously pointing to another 
one in addition to that on which he is now so deeply 


* Two points in this thematic catalogue require notice : — (1) That the 
Sclierzo begins in the Bass ; and (2) that the notes quoted for the fourth 
movement, Presto, do not agree with anything which stands in the work. 
The Philharmonic MS. of the Symphony (corrected by Beethoven) entitles the 
.Bovements Erster, &c. 



Shortly afterwards appears the first germ of the present 
Trio of the Scherzo : — 

No. 10. Trio 


7=^ — Tf^- 

^ •r , P f M 




and a better instance could hardly be found of the elementary 
shape in which Beethoven's finest themes often came into his 
mind for the first time. 

The slow movement was the last to come into existence. 
Indeed not even the theme had been conceived when the 
thematic catalogue above quoted (No. 9) was written down. 

First we find the second section of the movement, Andante 
moderato, in the key of A, and designated as Alia menuetto. 
The opening theme of the Adagio itself first appears in this 
rudimentary form : — 





' fm (fee. 

Then later, somewhat nearer to its ultimate shape (see bars 
13, 14) :— 

No. 12. 

— r— p-i^ -1^-^-p:i-r-'^.*-p-T-n-— ^ff^-r— --t-^s.r->-- 

r-LTi^ 1 '"^-^-^ 1 & ^^ ^- ^--^^^- 

Grove.-^Beetlioven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello's Edition. Y 



though still without the echoes of each concluding phrase of 
the strings by the wind, which form so touching a feature in 
the completed work, and no hint of the throe crescendo 
quavers which produce such an overpowering effect in bars 
16 and 21 of the present Adagio (see No. 45). 

Notwithstanding his long preoccupation with Schiller's Ode, 
and even after making considerable progress with the present 
last movements, Beethoven appears* to have entertained the 
idea of an instrumental Finale to the Symphony even as late 
as June or July, 1823. This is evident from the following, 
which is found among the ^sketches of that date, and was 
afterwards used in another key for the A minor Quartet, 
Op. 132:— 

No. 13. 

Finale instromentale. 




^- «^ 








— gj-j: 

*~^ T- 







Indeed so far was this carried that, according to the evidence 
of Czerny (as vouched j: for by Josef Sonnleithner), some time 

* Given on the authority of Sonnleithner and Czerny by lis o\s\ {Beethoven* a 
Leben, 1877, iii., 925). The statement must, however, be taken with caution. 
Even his most intimate companions were quite unable to rise to the height of 
Beethoven's genius, but were puzzled by his progress. He was too far ahead 
of them. 

f Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 180. 

X See the Allg. musik. Zeitung, April 6, 18^ 


after the first performance of the Symphony, Beethoven 
expressed to a ch'cle of his intimate friends his conviction 
that the vocal Finale was a mistake, and that it was his 
intention to substitute a purely orchestral piece for it, for 
which he already had a theme — namely, the subject last 

The original MS. of the first three movements of the Choral 
Symphony, embodying the long and painful elaboration of 
the materials alluded to, is in the Royal Library at Berlin. 
Though more orderly than the originals of many of Beethoven's 
works — indeed, Schindler cites it as a model of neatness and 
distinctness — it is a rough manuscript, with many a blot and 
many a smear ; not smooth and clean like those of Mozart, 
Schubert, or Mendelssohn. But it does not appear to contain 
any afterthought of importance, such as those in the MS. of 
Schubert's Grand Symphony in G. Neither the well-known 
oboe passage in the Trio nor the chromatic pedal-bass at the 
end of the first movement — so wonderfully personal and 
characteristic of the composer — nor any other of the many 
individual points in the work, has been interpolated. Each 
appears in its place from the beginning, after the long 
continued sifting of his ideas due to the sketch-books. 

Here and there a date or a note of place or circumstance 
is scrawled on the margin, every one of which has its interest; 
and it is greatly to be wished that these could be inserted in 
an edition of the score, for the advantage of those who love 
every trace of the great musician and desire to connect his 
person with his works down to the minutest detail. A better 
method still would be to photograph the manuscript in fac- 
siynile, as has been so well done with respect to Beethoven's 
Op. 26, and in the last volume of the Bachgesellschaft 
publications. We should then practically possess Beethoven's 
own manuscript, and it cannot be doubted that the study of it 
would reveal many a fact at present undreamt of. One such 


fact appears hitherto to have escaped notice — namely, that 
in the original MS. just named the Trio is not written in 4-4, 
as it stands in the printed scores, but is in 2-4 time, and ia 
put into 4-4 by cancelling every alternate bar-line. Though 
not very material, this is interesting and worthy of record. 
In the *MS. by the copyist, carefully corrected by Beethoven 
himself, and containing the fdedication to King Frederick 
William III., the time is altered, and appears as printed. 

There exists, however, another dedication of the Symphony, 
to a body who had more right to that honour than was 
possessed by King or Kaiser — namely, the Philharmonic 
Society of London. These gentlemen, prompted probably by 
Beethoven's pupil and friend, Eies, who was then settled in 
England, and to whom Beethoven had written on the 6th 
April, 1822, asking ' what the Philharmonic Society were 
likely to offer him for a Symphony ' — passed a resolution on 
the 10th of the following November (1822), offering him £50 
for a MS. Symphony to be delivered in March, 1823, and to 
be their exclusive property for eighteen months, at the end of 
which time it was to revert to the composer. This offer was 
communicated to Beethoven by Ries, and accepted by him 
in his letter of the 20th December. The money was at once 
despatched.^ The manuscript copy in the possession of the 
Philharmonic Society bears the following inscription in the 
handwriting of the great composer: — 

* In the Royal Library, Berlin, 

t See Beethoven's own letter to Wegeler, October 7, 1826 (Nohl, Brief e, i., pp. 
327-8). It went through ' a certain Dr. Spieker.' In his letter to Ries {Notizen, 
p. 155) he tells Ries he has dedicated it to him ! Similarly in his letter to Ries, 
July 16, 1823, he tells him he has dedicated the thirty-three Variations 
(Op. 120) to Ries's wife, whereas they are really dedicated to Frau Antonie 
Brentano I 

X Hogarth's ' History of the Philharmonic Society,' page 32. The amount 
was generous for those days, but contrasts sadly with the much larger pricea 
paid to composers of the last few years. 


* Grosse Sinfonie gesclirieben 

fiir die Pliilharmonische GesellscLaffc 

in London 

von Ludwig van Beethoven 

erster Satz.' 

How it came to pass that after the engagement, and the 
payment of the money by the Philharmonic Society, Beethoven 
should have allowed the Symphony to be first performed in 
Vienna, and have dedicated it to the King of Prussia, is a 
mystery which must be left to Mr. Thayer to unravel in the 
forthcoming volumes of his Biography.* Certain it is that 
it was not performed in London till the 21st March, 1825, 
when it formed (with Italian words) the second portion of the 
programme of the Philharmonic Concert for that evening. 
Sir George Smart was the conductor, and his experience of 
the difficulties of the performance not improbably made him 
take the trouble to go to Vienna, in the following September, 
on purpose to get the right tempos from Beethoven himself. In 
particular he seems to have asked the composer after dinner, 
on September 6, to play him the recitative passages which 
connect the last movements with their predecessors.f On 
this occasion Sir George received a Canon from the great 
composer, the autograph of which, dated ' September 16, 
1825, Baden near Vienna,' is still preserved in the Smart 

The actual first performance of the Symphony was on May 
7, 1824, at the Karnthnerthor Theatre, Vienna, at a concert 
given by Beethoven, in compliance with a request addressed 
to him by all the principal musicians, both professional and 
amateur, of that city. Notwithstanding this enthusiasm, 
however, only two rehearsals were possible ! There would 

* 'Ludwig van Beethoven's Leben.' Von Alexander Wheelock Tliayer, 
Vols. L, TI., III., 1866-79. 
f Nohl ; on Schuppanzigh's authority {Beethoven's Leben, iii., 643-4). 


have been a *tlnrd, but that some ballet music Lad to be 
practised by the band I What such rehearsals — even those of 
the best orchestras — were twenty years only before the date 
in question, may be judged from the expressions contained in 
Beethoven's own f complaints as to the rehearsals for * Fidelio' 
in 1805 — 'Of the wind I say nothing; but all pp^ cres,, all 
decres., and all /, jf may as well be struck out of my music, 
since not one of them is attended to. I lose all desire to 
write anything more if my music is to be so played.'— In a 
letter to Schindler, quoted by Lenz, he calls the day 
* Fracktag,' because he had the bore of putting on a smarter 
coat than usual. On this occasion it was a green coat, 
and he probably also wore a three-cornered cocked hat. 
The preparations had somewhat upset him, and his dress had 
to be discussed with Schindler in one of the conversation 
books.J His deafness had by this time become total, but that 
did not keep him out of the orchestra. He stood by the side 
of Umlauf, the conductor, to indicate the times of the various 
movements. The house was tolerably full, though not crowded, 
and his reception was all that his warmest friends could desire. 
To use Schindler' s expression, it was ' more than Imperial.' 
Three successive bursts of applause were the rule for the 
Imperial Family, and he had five I After the fifth the Com- 
missary of Police interfered and called for silence I Beethoven 
aclmowledged the applause by a bow.§ The Scherzo was so 
completely interrupted — at the Ritmo di tre hattute, where the 
drums give the motif— that it had to be begun again. || A 
great deal of emotion was naturally enough visible in the 
orchestra ; and we hear of such eminent players as Mayseder 
and Bohm even weeping. At the close of the performance an 

♦ Schindler (Biography, ii., 72, note). 

+ In a letter to Mayer (Nohl, Brief e, i., p. 50). 

X See Nohl, Beethoven's Leben, iii., 491 and 503. 

§ See Nohl, 7&i(f., iii., 493. 

II lind. 


incident occurred which must have brought the tears to many 
an eye in the room. The master, though placed in the midst 
of this confluence of music, heard nothing of it at all and 
was not even sensible of the applause of the audience at the 
end of his great work, but continued standing with his back to 
the audience, and beating the timet till Fraulein Ungher, who 
had sung the contralto part, turned him, or induced him to 
turn round and face the people, who were still clapping their 
hands, and giving way to the greatest demonstrations of 
pleasure. His turning round, and the sudden conviction 
thereby forced on everybody that he had not done so before 
because he could not hear what was going on, acted like an electric 
shock on all present, and a volcanic explosion of sympathy 
and admiration followed, which was repeated again and again, 
and seemed as if it would never end.* 

Our previous quotations show that there is no lack of the 
progressive sketches for the music of this mighty work ; but of 
the dates and circumstances attending its later stages, the 
connected composition of its first three movements, we have 
at present only a meagre account. The earliest apparent 
mention of the work in Beethoven's correspondence is in the 
letter to Kies mentioned above, and in a second letter to the 
same, dated December 20, 1822, in which he offers to write 
a Symphony for the Philharmonic Society — ' the first artists 
in Europe.' Six months later, in a letter to the Archduke 
Kodolph, dated July 1, 1823, we catch another indication 
that the work is occupying his thoughts : — * I thank Him who 
is above tlie stars, that I am beginning to use my eyes again,' 
the words ' den iiber den Sternen ' evidently alluding to the 
line in Schiller's poem, * iiber Sternen muss er wohnen.' In 
fact, at the moment of writing this letter he was in the very 

* This anecdote, which is given in several forms in the books, was told to 
the writer exactly as above by Madame Sabatier-Ungher (the lady referred to) 
in the end gallery of the Crystal Palace Concert Room during her visit to 
London in 1869. 


heat of composition. ♦ By the end of June,' says Schindler, 

• the thirty-three Variations for Diabelli were finished ; then he 
embarked full sail on the Symphony, and at once all the good 
humour which had recently made him so pleasant and 
accessible disappeared, all visits were forbidden except to the 
most intimate friends, and these much restricted.' At length, 
in a letter dated from his favourite Baden, the 5th September, 
1823, to Eies, we find these words : ' The score of the 
Symphony has been finished to-day by the copyist.' But 
this must have been some mere preliminary draught ; or, at 
any rate, can refer only to the earliest movements ; since three 
weeks after this, on the 28th September, 1823, he is visited 
at Baden by Mr. Schulz,* and questions him on the 

* highest possible note of the Trombone, for a particular 
composition he was then about ' — surely for this very work. 
It also seems plain, both from Schindler's statements and 
from the fact that Beethoven does not offer it for sale till 
March 10, 1824 (letter to Probst), that the Sj^mphony was 
not absolutely complete till that time. Schindler states that 
Beethoven returned to Vienna from Baden for the winter at 
the end of October, 1823. Contrary to his usual practice, he 
made no secret of the work on which he was engaged, but let it 
be known that his new Symphony was ready — ready, that must 
mean, in his head and in his sketch-books, and complete except 
as to writing out the detailed score — down to the concluding 
vocal portion, with regard to which he was unable yet to 
satisfy himself as to the stanzas to be selected from Schiller's 
Ode. To the completion of the first movement he applied 
himself directly after his return, with great ardour ; and 
the manuscript is (as already mentioned) remarkable among 
his autographs for its comparative legibility and clean- 
ness, and for the small number of corrections which it dis- 

* See Ilarmonicon, January, 1824, p. 10 ; the name was given me by th« 
late Mr. W. Ayrton, son of Dr. Ayrton. 

Beethoven's metronome-marks. 


The metronome -marks in Beethoven's works are not alwaya 
of his own putting ; but in the Ninth Symphony there can 
be no mistake, as they are stated at length for the benefit of 
the Philharmonic Society in a letter to Moscheles, which he 
dictated on March 18th, 1827, only seven days before his 
death, which letter was exhibited in the Loan collection of the 
Inventions Exhibition of 1885 in the Albert Hall. I give 
them verbatim, because they are not correctly given either 
in Moscheles's reprint of the letter (in his translation of 
Schindler) or even in the last ' critical ' edition of Beethoven's 
works : — 

Allegro ma non troppo, 
un poco maestoso - - 

88 # 

Molto vivace 116 o** 

•Presto 116 J 

Adagio molto e Cantabile- 60 J 
Andante moderato - - - 63 ^ 
Finale, presto - - - - 96 c*. 
Allegro ma non troppo - 88 # 

Allegro assai - - • 
Alia marcia - - • 
Andante maestoso - 
Adagio divoto - - 
Allegro energico 
Allegro ma non tanto 
Prestissimo - - - 
Maestoso • - - 

80 d 

84 J. 
72 J 
60 d 
84 J. 
120 «d 
132 J 
60 J 

The first edition of this great work was published by Messrs. 
Schott, of Mainz, at the end of 1825 or the beginning of 
1826, with the Mass in D and the Overture m C (Op. 124), 
in score (folio) and parts. The publishers' number for the 
score is 2,322, and for the parts 2,321. The invitation to 
subscribe to these was issued earlier, and Czerny's copy, 
which has been preserved, is dated * Wien, im August, 1825.* 

• In all the modem editions, including those of Schott, this is given '116 = ^'. 
But though in Schott's original score the minim in the metronome-mark above 
the staves has lost its tail, so as at first sight to look something {only something) 
like a semibreve, yet in that below the staves it remains an unmistakable 
minim, as Beethoven meant it to be. See the Proceedings of the Mtusical 
/i.tsociation, for February 12, 1895. 



The metronome marks were added to the edition later. 
In 1867 Messrs. Schott pubHshed a second edition in 8vo, 
numbered as before 2,322 ; and the engraved plates of the first 
edition were then melted down.* In 1863 or '64 the work 
appeared in the ♦ critical and tcorrect edition ' of Messrs. 
Breitkopf and Hartel. Neither of these two reprints adequately 
represents the original edition. 

I. The Symphony starts in a different manner from any 
other of the nine, with a prologue which is not an introduction 
properly speaking, and yet introduces the principal subject of 
the movement. The tempo is the same from the beginning — 
Allegro ma non troppo, tin poco maestoso. It begins, not with 
the chord of D, but with that of A, whether major or minor 
is uncertain, as the ' third ' of the chord is left out ; neither 
C sharp nor C natural are present. All is pianissimo; the 
second violins and cellos sound the accompaniment, with 
the horns in unison, to give it more consistency, while the 
first violins, tenors, and basses are heard successively 
whispering their way through them from the top of the treble 
stave to the bottom of the bass — still, however, avoiding the 
third of the chord : — 

No. 14. 

* I am indebted for this information to Dr. Strecher, of the house of Schott 
at Mainz. 
f Issued between January, 1862, and November, 1865. 



This is repeated, after a bar's interval, with the diiference 
that the first violins begin on the upper A instead of on the 
E, and that a clarinet is added to the accompaniment; and 
then the phrase is given a third time, but with a very 
Beethovenish difference : the intervals remain the same, but 
the phrase is hurried — twice, the second time more hmried 
than the first : — 

No. 15. 






^ b fT g^ 

^ :s :r? 


And so, at last, the wind instruments coming in one by one, 
and the whole increasing in force bar by bar, we are launched 
into that tremendous unison of the whole orchestra in the 
successive intervals of the chord of *D minor, which really 
forms the principal subject or animating spirit of the move- 
ment : — 

It is now easy to see, what at first sight may not be 
i-pparent, that the first broken phrases of the first violins, 

* It is startliug to find this chord almost identically given at bar 23 of the 
introductory Adagio of Symphony No. 2, see p. 25. 



tenors, and basses are, in fact, the same with the great 
subject itself, except for the mysterious vagueness which 
they acquire from the suppression of the third, and the secret 
manner of their entrance. Each consists of the intervals of 
a common chord descending through a couple of octaves. 
This is even more apparent when the prologue is repeated in 
the key and on the chord of D, in the strings, with long 
holding notes in the clarinets and horns, as it is shortly after 
the conclusion of the last extract : — 

No. 17 



v. 2. 

7io\. 1 g 

sotto voce. 

Cor. pp 





This time, however (to proceed with our analysis), the great 
subject-passage is given in B flat : — 

perhaps as a remote preparation for the entrance of the 
* second subject ' in that key. And then we have an indication 
(ut ex ungue leonem) — 

No. 19. 

of what Beethoven intends to do with the rhythm and inter- 
vals of the semiquavers which are contained in that great 



phrase (see a, No. 16), notes for which a very remarkable and 
important role is destined. But though for a moment in B flat, 
he has no present intention of remaining there, and he imme- 
diately returns into D minor, and gives us this vigorous new 
phrase, ben marcato si.nd forte in the whole orchestra ; a phrase 
which he has put down at an early period* in the sketch- 
book, as one of the principal stones to be employed in his 
edifice : — 

No. 20. 

fif ben marcato 

This he immediately repeats, according to a favourite habit, 
in a more florid form, showing, at the same time, how it may 
be made to imitate at a bar's interval — 

No. 21. 

and at length arriving at the ' second subject ' in the key of 
B flat. According to the usual rule, the ' second subject ' 
should be in F, the relative major of D minor, but Beethoven 
has chosen otherwise, and having reached the key of B flat, 
he plainly signifies his intention of not going back for 
some considerable time to D minor by the unusual course of 
drawing a double bar through the score, and altering the 
signature to two flats. 

* See Zweite Beethoveniana, p. 159. 



The second subject is as strong a contrast to the first as can 
be desired or devised : — 

No. 22. 

Fl. Clar. 



p dolce 

^^ ^^^ 





» 1 1 1 1 i II 11 *i » ••» I 

It begins with a legato phrase, in three members of two bars 
each, divided between the flutes, oboes, and clarinets ; and 
continues with bolder phrases, also distributed between the 
various members of the wind band (somewhat after the 
fashion of the second subject in the Allegro of the Eroica), 
while to the latter portion the strings maintain an interesting 
accompaniment in semiquaver arpeggios. An indication of 
the restlessness implied in the hurrying already noticed is 
visible here again in the change of the phrase in the last three 
bars of the quotation, and the more rapid repetition of the 
arpeggios in the accompaniment. 

It may be mentioned eii passant that this subject (No. 22) ig 
maintained by Seroff, a Russian critic, to be ' identical ' with 
the theme of the Finale (No. 62), and that this curious 
identification is adopted by Lenz as a ' thematic reference of 
the most striking importance, vindicating the unity of the 
entire work, and placing the whole in a perfectly new light. 



(Lenz, Beethoven, eine Ktmst-Studie, 4ter Theil, p. 178.) This 
is too strong a statement, as is also that of a writer in the 
Orchestra of May 1st, 1874, who calls attention to the ' form 
and figure ' of the opening phrase of the second part of the 
Scherzo (Trio, No. 41) as an * announcement ' of the ' vocal 
portion of the work.' But the subject of the Finale is in 
D major, and starts on the third of the scale. The one may 
be a modification of the other, but they are certainly not 
'identical.' It is, however, very remarkable that so many 
of the melodies in the Symphony should consist of consecu- 
tive notes, and that in no less than four of them the notes 
should run up a portion of the scale and down again — 
apparently pointing to a consistent condition of Beethoven's 
mind throughout this work. But surely the ' unity of the 
work ' does not require to be ' vindicated ' or denoted by 
such mechanical means as this ! However, to return. 

The second subject has a Codetta in the wind instruments, 
which finishes it — not in B flat, but in G minor : and after 
this the following stormy phrase is started by the viohns, in 
E flat :— 

No. 23. 

repeated by the clarinet and bassoons in the same key; 
by the clarinet, bassoon, and flute in C minor ; and lastly by 
the strings again in D minor. In each case the phrase is 
accompanied in contrary motion, though never in the same 
way. By this bridge we are landed fortissimo on an 
episode : — 




the march-like rhythm of which (bars 1, 2, 5, 6) plays a large 
part in subsequent portions of the movement. 

Out of it grows a broad melody in the key of B major :— 

which, however, after a short existence of four bars is dissolved 
into an astounding passage of semiquavers for all the strings 
(except the basses) in unison and sempre pianissimo, leading 
into an episode entirely different and distinct from anything 
that has come before it, and of the most beautiful effect : — 

No. 26. 

Viol. 1 

Viol. 1 

Viol. 2 

The G flat and G natural with which the members of the 
passage alternately commence, seem to be entirely accidental 
to the chords which follow them ; and perhaps it is this 
fact that is the secret of the peculiar tender poignant effect 
that they produce. The passages repose on the figure 
quoted in No. 25, here given in the drum, and it will be 

* This group stands as above in the printed scores. But it surely ought to 
be B, A, A, like the others. At the repetition of the passage (in E flat) after the 
working-out, another variation is given, in the new edition— viz., E, D, iw 
Still, on its very first appearance, it stands in the basses thus :— 

Rhythm perhaps was more than phrase to Beethoven, 



observed that the phrases are again hurried as the conclusion 
is approached: — 

From here to the end of the first division of the movement 
Beethoven remains almost entirely in B flat. He closes this 
portion of his -work with a loud passage of eight bars, in which 
the whole orchestra ranges in unison up and down through 
the intervals of the common chord of the key, in the rhythm 
of No. 25 :— 




/ -ir.-ir/ -1^.-^ 

and here once more we encounter the restless hurrying 
already spoken of. The first division is not repeated as usual, 
Beethoven doubtless having an eye to the unusual length to 
which his Finale was to stretch ; so he makes a transition in his 
own wonderfully direct way from B flat to A, draws a double- 
bar through the score, restores the signature to one flat, and 
proceeds at once with the working-out. For this he makes 
use of the prologue in somewhat more concise form than at 
the opening, but very soon introduces the striking rhythm 
quoted in Nos. 25 and 28, always with violent sforzandos 
For key, he is evidently leaning towards G minor. He has 
already (see No. 19) given an indication that he knows what 

Grove.— Beethoven'3 Nine Symplionies.— Novello's Edition. Z 



development liis main subject is capable of, and he now 
«ommences the process of treating the four semiquavers {a of 
No. 16) as a regular melody, in a phrase of four bars given 
alternately to the oboes and clarinets, and ending with a short 
ritardando, which becomes very characteristic before the move- 
ment is over. However, he abandons this phrase for a time, 
and goes back to the main subject itself, the grand phrase 
quoted in No. 16. And now we see how nobly this great com- 
poser and poet could treat a subject after his own heart. Surely 
there is nothing in the whole range of music more noble than 
the effect of this great theme, sweeping down through its 
simple natural intervals from top to bottom of the scale, 
and met by the equally simple pizzicato bass, which is in 
fact little but the theme itself in reversed order. The A flat 
which Beethoven has added to the phrase on its second 
occurrence (*) ; — 

No. 29, 

Basses vxzz. 

has an astonishingly passionate effect. It is no exaggeration 
to say, as Geminiani* said of a certain semitone in the fugal 
answer in Handel's Overture to Muzio Scevola : * Quel 
semitono vale un mondo ' — that A flat is truly worth the 
world I But Beethoven is still too restless to remain in 
this noble and dignified frame of mind, and he brings it to an 
end as he did the prologue, with impatient sforzandos — this 
time in C minor, and again introduces his four semiquavers, 
which he seems to love, as a mother sometimes loves a puny 

See Mainwaring's Memoirs of Handel (1760), p. 44, note. 



child, almost in inverse proportion to their significance. 
Something appears at last to decide him, and he goes off 
into a lengthened passage founded entii'ely on these two bars 
of his original subject: — 

Ho. 30. 

-» ^ rr (f ^~r ^ 


It begins as follows : — 

No. 31. 

Viol. 1 







Viol.2fe '^^y ^=^-^^ ' A-^ P=H B=S 0=R p5=! 

Fag. Cellos & Basses 

j-:^ri i^ 4 


J J J 

r z^ r l ,'^t =s^ 

The second violins and basses have the working of the subject, 
while the first violins indulge in wild leaps from theii 
lowest G to the same note two octaves higher. This passage 
— six bars in length — is repeated three times in * double 
counterpoint ' — that is to say, the instruments change their 
parts among themselves, that which was above being played 
below, that which was below, above ; and with other variations 
suggested by the skill of the composer. In the present case, 
aa will be seen from the quotation, there are three subjects — 



that in semiquavers, that in quavers, and the octave passage 
of the violins : and each of the three is made to do duty in 
diifcrent positions and parts of the scale with an effect of 
which the hearer may judge for himself. At length the 
semiquavers are consigned to the basses, who retain them 
for twenty bars, while the violins execute their leaps in the 
latter portion of the figure. It takes Beethoven in all forty 
bars to work off this mood, and at the end of it he seems more 
than ever alive to the capabilities of his little subject for 
expressing the feelings which are in his mind. But the mood 
has softened, and now the phrase appears as a * Cantahile ' — 
a word which Beethoven never uses without special meaning, 
and never with more intense meaning than here. The 
passage is a duet between the first and second violins, the 
cellos accompanying with the quaver portion of the theme : — 

No. 32. 

Viol. 1, with Oboe 

Vi(,l. 2. with Flute 
cantabLleC ' ' 

== Ilk^ 




VI. 2 

cres. ^ — -, pizz. 


At length he seems to recollect that there are other materials 
at command, and turning to the second half of the second 
subject (No. 22), he gives it in F, treating it partly as 


before and partly in double counterpoint, the melody in the 
basses and the arpeggios in the treble. But the charm of 
the little semiquaver phrase is still too much for him ; he 
returns to it once more, trying it this time mixed with 
inversions ; and at length, as if resolved to dismiss it for ever 
from his thoughts, gives it with one grand burst of the whole 

Here I would call attention, though with reluctance, to a 
singular feature in this great work — namely, to the occm-rence 
more than once during the working-out of the first move- 
ment of a vacillation or hesitancy in expression of which I 
know no trace in any of the other Symphonies, but which 
cannot but be recognised here by a loyal hearer ; where the 
notes of flutes and oboes seem to tremble and falter as if they 
were the utterance of human lips, the organs of an oppressed 
human heart. These places need not be specified, they 
cannot but strike the sympathetic listener, and will almost 
suggest, if it be not disrespectful to entertain such a thought, 
that the great Beethoven was, with all his experience, too 
much overpowered by his feelings to find adequate expression 
for them. These tokens of human weakness may be safely 
left to the affectionate sympathy of the friends and admirers 
of this great poet. 

At length the composer completes the due circle of the 
form, and arrives at the resumption of the original subject 
(No. 16) in its entirety, after having made so thorough a 
treatment of the several parts. For this he prepares by a 
recapitulation of the original theme from the prologue (No. 14); 
but in how different a style from that in which it first crept on 
our notice ! Instead of that vagueness and mystery which made 
it so captivating, it is now given with the fullest force of the 
orchestra and the loudest clamour of the drum, and ending 
unmistakably in D major. Its purpose is accomplished, its 
mission fulfilled, its triumph assured ; no need now for 
concealment or hesitation ! And so it merges into the great 



descent of the main subject, not a mere unison as before — bnt 
in full harmony, with a bass ascending in contrary motion, and 
with all possible ostentation. Nor is this all. To give greatei 
weight to the main features of the subject, it is lengthened 
out by the insertion of two bars in the middle and two bars 
at the end. See (a) (a) and (b) (b) : — 

No. 33. 


j^r^ -i- 


«J All strings in 8ves.# -< g &B**^ l"^' ^ i 

1—= ^3 (a) ^ Sw 


" — ; ^ , T wind^f 


^ '^' ^ 


^r^Z i'^-f^^^ =ir=. , ^^ 


This is a difference far more pronounced than that in which 
Beethoven has indulged himself at the return of the subject 
either in No. 5, 6, 7, or even No. 8, where the theme comes 
back in the bass ; and it shows— if such a thing wanted 
showing — how entirely the prescriptive forms of music had 
become subordinated in Beethoven's mind to the expression 
of the thoughts and emotions which were animating him. 

The ben m areata phrase (No. 20) is next given, but with a 
difference, and on a pedal D — six times over. The second subject 
(No. 22) follows on this, in D major, and then the various 
passages and episodes already enumerated, with corresponding 
changes of keys, and important modifications in the 


distribution of the instrumentg. At length the repetition of 
the first portion of the movement is concluded, not as before 
in B flat, but in D minor, and now begins a peroration, or Coda, 
which is so immense in its proportions, so dignified, noble, 
and passionate in its sentiment, and so crowded with touching 
beauties, as almost to put out of mind even the noble 
music we have been already hearing. This Coda begins with 
the descending phrase of the first subject (No. 16), harmonised 
as before by pizzicato basses in contrary motion, but treated 
at much greater length than before, and with constant variety. 
Next a great deal is made of the stormy phrase quoted as No. 
23. The two favouiite bars which formed so prominent a 
feature in the working-out (No. 30) are once more brought 
forward and worked between the horns and oboe, over a 
holding A in the strings ; then by the strings themselves 
in unison, with the holding A in the horns ; then the stormy 
phrase recurs with an astonishing passage in contrary motion 
in the violins ; and then the ritardando, twice given. So far 
Beethoven is dealing with previous materials. But, before 
finishing, he has something to tell us entirely different from 
anything that he has already said. The earlier portions of 
this movement, notwithstanding the occasional hesitation to 
which we have referred, paint in unmistakable colours the 
independence and impatience which characterise him 
throughout life, and which in 1823 had increased to an 
almost morbid degree. They show all the nobility and vigour, 
and much of the tenderness and yearning, which go to make 
up that individual being who was called Beethoven. But this 
the former Symphonies do also in their degree. He will now 
show us a side of himself which he has hitherto kept veiled. 
He will reveal to us the secret of his inmost grief, and we 
shall see that, great and noble and stupendous as he is, his 
heart can be a prey to pangs as bitter and as unassuageable 
as those which rack the fondest woman. And this he does 
as no one but himself ever could do. The strings begin a 



passage consisting of repetitions of the following phrase of 
two bars : 

No. 34. 


AU Strings pp 

This passage, like the somewhat analogous one in the 
first movement of the Seventh Symphony, may be regarded 
fts a * pedal point ' on D. It commences pianissimo, and 
gradually increases in tone through sixteen bars till it 
reaches double forte ; while over it, in the touching accents 
of oboes, clarinets, and flutes, is heard the following affecting 
wail : — 

No. 35. 



_^^ n j- 




Was ever grief at once more simply, more fully, and more 
touchingly told ? The sorrows which wounded the great 
composer during so many of the last years of his life, through 
his deafness, his poverty, his sensitiveness, his bodily sufferings, 
the annoyances of business, the ingratitude and rascaUty of 
his nephew, the slights of friends, the neglect of the world* — 
sorrows on which he kept silence, except by a few words in 
his letters, are here beheld in all their depth and bitterness. 
Surely if anywhere he has here produced his proprio e proposto 
effetto. We almost seem to see the tears on his cheek. But if 
Beethoven thus succumbs to emotion, it is only for a moment. 
His independence quickly returns, and the movement ends 
with the great subject in its most emphatic and self-reliant 
tones; and, like the first Allegro of the Eighth Symphony, iii 
the very notes of the chief subject. Mendelssohn has left his 

* It is of no avail to say that these griefs were often imaginary. Possibly 
ao : but they were real enough to Beethoven. 


opinion of this portion of the Symphony on record * in the 
following interesting words : * The conclusion of the first 
movement (of Beethoven's Violin Sonata in C minor, Op. 30, 
No. 2) has a 'go' (Schwung) which I hardly know in any other 
piece of his ; except, perhaps, the end of the first movement 
of the Ninth Symphony, which certainly surpasses in 'go' 
everything in the world.' 

The opening movement is almost always the most important 
portion of a Symphony. It gives the key to the work, in 
every sense of the word, and is usually the representative 
member of the entire composition. To this rule the opening 
Allegro of the Ninth Symphony is no exception. Great as 
are the beauties of the second and third movements — and it- 
is impossible to exaggerate them — and original, vigorous, and 
impressive as are many portions of the Finale^ it is still 
the opening Allegro that one thinks of when the Ninth 
Symphony is mentioned. In many respects it differs from 
other first movements of Beethoven ; everything seems to 
combine to make it the greatest of them all. The mysterious 
opening, which takes one captive at once ; the extra- 
ordinary severity, simplicity, and force of the main subject ; 
the number of the subsidiary themes ; the manner in which 
they grow out of the principal one, as the branches, twigs, 
and leaves grow out of a tree ; the persistence with which 
they are forced on the notice ; the remarkable dignity of some 
portions and the constant and obvious restlessness of others ; 
the incessant alternation (as in no other work) of impatience 
and tenderness, with the strange tone of melancholy and 
yearning ; the inevitable conviction, here and there, that with 
all his experience Beethoven has not succeeded in express- 
ing himself as he wants, and the consequent difficulty of 
grasping his ideas, notwithstanding the increasing conviction 
that they must be grasped — all these things make the openmg 

• To Mad. Voigt, January 10, 1835 {Acht Brie/e, &c., Leipzig, 1871, p. 12), 


Allegro of the Ninth Syinpliony a thing quite apart from all 
the others. It is starthng to think how much the world 
would have missed if Beethoven had not written this 
work, and especially the first movement of it. Several 
of the eight others would still have been the greatest 
Symphonies in the world, but we should not have known how 
far they could be surpassed. It is in the hope of elucidating 
some of the difficulties of the movement, and thus leaving 
the hearer more free to realise the total effect, that the 
foregoing imperfect analysis has been attempted. 

It must be here said that no connection need be looked for 
between the first three movements of the Choral Symphony 
and the ' Ode to Joy ' which inspired its Finale. The very 
title of the work — Beethoven's own — is conclusive on this 
point. It is not a Symphony on Schiller's Ode to Joy, but 
it is a Symphony with Final Chorus on Schiller's Ode to 
Joy — ' Sinfonie mit Schluss-Chor iiber Schillers Ode an die 
Freude.' Beethoven, says an intelligent *critic, ' has not 
given us any programme to the first movement, not even a 
descriptive title, as he does in the Pastoral Symphony.' The 
first three movements might have had another Finale — 
indeed, they nearly had one (see No. 13) ; and it is not 
necessary to attempt to reconcile either the opening Allegro ^ 
the Scherzo (so called), or the Adagio with the train of 
thought and feeling suggested by the Ode which is embodied in 
the latter portion of the work. In fact, as we shaU see farther 
on, Beethoven tries the three first movements one after the 
other, to see if any of them will suit for a Finale, and rejecU 
them all ! 

So far, then, the first movement of this great Symphony. 

n. The second movement is the Molto vivace ; in fact, 
though not so entitled, the Scherzo— heve, for the first 

* Ehlert, Brirfe, p. 14. 



time in the nine * Symphonies, put second. It has a 
double interest from the fact, already noticed, that, as far as 
at present known, its chief subject is the first actual morsel 
of the Symphony ever put on paper. The movement is in 
the same key with the Allegro, and, like all Beethoven's other 
Orchestral! Scherzos, in triple time. It has been called a 
* miracle of repetition without monotony,' and truly it is so ; 
for it is not only founded upon — it may almost be said to 
consist of — one single phrase of three notes, which is said to 
have come suddenly into Beethoven's mind as he stepped 
from darkness into brilliant light. — The autograph sketch in 
the collection at the Royal Library at JBerlin bears Bee- 
thoven's favourite proverb, * Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund.' 
That there may be no mistake as to his intention, he opens 
this — at once the longest and greatest of his Scherzos — with 
a prelude of eight bars, in which the phrase in question is 
given four times successively in the four intervals of the chord 
of D minor, though with a strange irregularity of rhythm in 
the sixth bar : — 

No. 36. ^ 

The movement then starts pianissimo (and observe, almost 
wholly in consecutive notes), in the second violin, the oboe 
accenting the first note of each bar. The subject on its original 
appearance, in 1815 (see page 326), is labelled ' Fnge,' and it 

* This alteration of the order of the movements is rarely found in Beethoven's 
earlier works (see, for an instance, the Quartet in F, Op. 59, No. 1). In his later 
years he did it more frequently, as in the last four Pianoforte Sonatas ; the 
B flat Trio ; the last two Quartets. In such things Beethoven acknowledged 
no prescription in his later life, but did exactly as his imagination dictated. 

f In his Pianoforte Sonatas — at least, in the Sonata, Op. 31, No. 3 — he has 
written a Scherzo d deux temps. Mendelssohn's finest Scherzos — witness that 
of the Scotch Symphony — are in common time. 

J See Dr. A. C. Kalischer in MonatshefUfur Musik-Qeschichte, 1896, p. 19. 



is here treated in a fugal style. After four bars the viola 
answers ' in the 5th below ' in strict imitation, accompanied 
by the clarinet ; then — at intervals of four bars — the cello, 
first violin, and double bass follow, each with its strict 
response : — 

No. 37 

Viol, a 




11= ^ — r 




Viola pp 


sempre pp 

! T 






CeUo pp 

— I — -i I 


The second motif^o, perfect contrast to the foregoing — is a 
delicious crescendo in the wind instruments (note the harmonies 
at * and *) accompanied in the strings by the incessant octave 
fifirure : — 

No. 38. 



Fl. ,. 





Fag. cres. 

^t0 1 ^i^A Jfei 



do ff 

This is given twice, and is followed by another very melodious 



•phrase, also given out by the wind, and accompanied as before 
by the strings in the initial figure — 

No. 39. 


and this again is soon succeeded by a long and tuneful passage, 
of which we can only quote a few of the commencing bars : — 

Wind p cres 

Viol. 8va. 

After this, the tone diminishes to pianissimo, and with a 
pause of three bars we arrive at the end of the first portion 
of the Scherzo, This portion is then repeated. After the 
repetition a connecting-link or * inter-chapter ' of eight bars 
(ending with three bars' pause) brings us into E flat, and the 
second portion of the movement. And here, under the same 
form as before, and in the narrow limit of eighteen bars, we 
encounter a great deal of modulation, and pass from E flat, 
through D flat, C flat, E, into E minor. In this last key the 
original theme (No. 36) starts off with great drollery in 
the bassoons, and, as Beethoven has marked the score, in the 
rhythm of three beats, 'Ritmo di tre battute' — the phrases 
being three bars long. In the course of this it will not escape 
notice how the drum, with characteristic audacity, puts the 

* Wagner {Zum Vortrag d. neunten Symphonien Beethc/vens) seriously proposes 
to strengthen the melody in this place by adding horns and modern valve- 
trumpets, with other modifications. The wonder is that so great a composer 
should not have felt that any alteration of a completed work, by any but the 
author himself, is impossible. Mozart's authority is of no avail here. Make 
the same proposition in regard to a picture or a poem and its inadmissibility 
is at once obvious to everyone. 


composer's direction at defiance by coming in four times at 
intervals of three bars, and the fifth time making the interval 
four. This, with the co-operation of the bassoon, seems to have 
been one of the points which specially enraptured the audience 
*at the first performance. The rhythm of three bars is succeeded 
by a * rhythm of four bars,' containing some charming effects 
of the horns and trumpets. — We cannot help noticing at this 
place the extraordinary persistence with which Beethoven has 
given his directions throughout tliese movements. In the 
original folio score, and probably still more if we could 
examine the autograph manuscript, the various indications 
are sown thick through the staves. It was his constant 
practice. He had certain very definite intentions and it 
should be no fault of his if they were not carried out. This 
reiteration is one of the most characteristic things about a 
Beethoven manuscript, and it has here found its way to a 
certain extent into the engraved score. 

The pianissimo is maintained almost throughout, and this 
part of the work contains some truly splendid music. It is 
wonderful with what persistence the original figure is 
maintained, and how it is made to serve for melody, 
accompaniment, filling up, and every other purpose. The 
second portion of the Scherzo is repeated ; we then have 
another * inter-chapter ' of twenty-four bars, the last eight of 
them marked Stringendo il tempo — in other words, slightly 
accelerating the time and fortifying the impulse. By these 
we suddenly reach the Trio, in this case called simply a 
' Presto.' This Presto is in the key of D major, and in 
common time of four crotchets. In the original MS. of the 
Symphony, in the Imperial Library, Berlin, it is in two 
crotchets ; but Beethoven afterwards changed this by erasing 
each alternate bar, and in the fair copy corrected by his own 
hand, and dedicated to the King of Prussia, it appears as in 

♦ Nolil, Leben, ili., p. 493, on Holz's authority. 



the printed scores. At the same time the pace changes to 
PrestOy an indication which, in the original folio score, is 
accompanied, both over and under the score, by the metronome 
mark *cJ— 116,' in accordance with Beethoven's own letters to 
Moscheles and Schott already quoted (see p. 337). In Schott's 
octavo score and in the later ' critical edition ' of Breitkopf and 
Hartel this minim is changed to a semibreve, thus doubling 
the pace and making it almost impossible for the horns to 
play the passages given to them. No warrant whatever exists 
for the change, and it ought to be at once rectified. 

The Trio brings in the wind with a subject of eight bars, 
made sixteen by repetition. The bass trombone wakes up 
from its long sleep and utters its first note, a high *D, 
fortissimo^ to welcome it : — 

c. «. 

Oboes & Clar. , I „ | J2- J J \ \ \ , 

B. Tromb. * 













Fag. 8tac. 

Thisf theme — a slight modification of the familiar ancient 
melody on which * Non nobis ' is founded, employed by Handel 
in * The horse and his rider,' and elsewhere, and simple 
almost to rusticity — is succeeded by a charming motif, in 
which the violas and cellos run up the scale crescendo with a 

* Tliis is the note tliat Mendelssohn brought out more prominently than 
before at his performance of the Symphony at Leipzig in 1841 (the fourth time 
he had conducted it at the Gewandhaus), and which Schumann notices as 
haviug ' given quite a new life to the passage.' {Ges. Schriften, iv., 98.) 

t Some would have us accept this old melody as ' unmistakably ' the result 
of Beethoven's studies in Russian music ! Others, with equal probability, 
would look upon it as an anuouucemeut of the subject of the Finals I 



delicious eagerness, as if rejoicing in the freedom of the major 
scale after so much minor : — 

No. 43. 

^^^J ^ fe E:^^ ^ ^^ ^ 

Cello & Viola p 

F r f i t f ^ 

The first motif then re- appears in the horns, with the 
melody which before accompanied it as a bass divided between 
the strings in turns — now above and now below the theme. 
The theme then shifts to the bassoons, and the accompaniment 
(see No. 41) — in its turn a theme, and a most charming 
one— to the oboes, the horns gradually joining with a sub- 
stratum of harmony : — 

No. 43. 

The wkole of this passage is well known, and the delicate 
temporary modulation into F at bar 7 — 


\ ^ I fP 





g: A p: ^^ gf"^^ ^'-^^^ f- 

is as anxiously watched for and as keenly enjoyed as 
any passage in Beethoven's works. The delicious effect 
of the peculiar tones of the oboe in this place must be 
heard to be understood. Berlioz is not far* wrong when he 
classes it with the effect produced by the fresh morning air 
and the first rays of the rising sun in May. Whatever 
privations his deafness had inflicted on Beethoven, it had not 
deprived him of the memory of nature, or of the sense of 
the combination of sounds I Here he is possibly reproducing 
the feeling of some sunrise which he had ' seen through the 
mist ' on the hills above his beloved * Briihl ' at Modhng, 
or at Baden — occasions which seem to have awakened all 
his religion and all his poetry. 

In the Coda — after the repetition of the first portion of the 
Trio — the whole orchestra comes into play ; and the effect of 
the great crescendo and diminuendo, with the grand clang 
of horns and trombones, and trumpets in low register (some- 
what unusual with Beethoven), is truly splendid. After this 
the Scherzo is repeated throughout ; and then, with a short 
allusion to the Trio, this long but most interesting, elaborate, 
and exhilarating movement comes to a close. 

A characteristic anecdote connected with this movement, at 
the first performance of the Symphony at the Conservatoire 
at Paris, has been preserved by Elwart in his history of those 
famous concerts (p. 204). As Eossini was coming out of the 
building after the performance, he was heard to say to 

♦ Voyage Musical. Etudes av/r Beethoven (1844), i., 346. 
Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Sym]9lxonies.— Novello's Edition. 2 A 



Ferdinand Hiller, • I know nothing finer {plus beau) than that 
Scherzo. I myself could not make anything to touch it. 
The rest of the work wants charm, and what is music without 
that ? ' Hardly less interesting is the anecdote told by *Lenz 
of the behaviour of his fiiend Glinka, at the first performance 
of the Symphony at St Petersburg. He was completely 
overcome by the Scherzo ; weeping violently and hiding his 
face in his hands he said, ' Mais on ne touche pas la ! Oh ! 
e'est impossible.' Interesting; but it is difiicult to say 
which of the two composers, Glinka or Rossini, was the 
more self-conscious in his remarks. 

III. The Adagio is absolutely original in form; and in 
effect more calmly, purely, nobly beautiful than anything that 
even this great master — who knows so well how to search 
the heart, and try the spirit, and elevate the soul — has 
accomplished elsewhere in his Symphonies. 

It consists of two distinct pieces— distinct in tune, in 
character, in key, and in speed — which are heard alternately 
until the one yields, as it were, to the superior charms of the 
other, and retires. The first of the two is in B flat, and in 
common time. Adagio molto e cantahile. A prelude of two bars 
— the second containing a crescendo full of such unutterable 
yearning as seems almost to burst the heart of the author — 
introduces this broad, sweet, and tender melody,f in four 
separate strains: — 

No 45. 

Adiain ^ \ \ \ Stnngaonly 


Adagio. ^ . 1 J^ J K ^ ' -V 

-^ — > r- -1 r^r • err ^'-^^^-^^^--j^^ui^: 

^ ' ' mezzavoce ^ 

^^'>(> :ur-n^.^_|.i-..r J' ui r.|p— — y,^=^ — \ 

^^ stri^gs.,^^ ^itr 'r '" '' r "-r-^f-t^ 

* Beethoven et ses trois styles (1852), ii., 189. 

+ Dr. Charles Wood has pointed out to me that the bass of the first two bars 
of this melody is identical with that of the beginning of the slow movement 
in the Senate Path6tique (Op. 13). 




harmonised in the same style. The two choirs of the 
orchestra, string and wind, are kept distinct. The melody is 
given out on the strings alone, and the effect of the echo of the 
last few notes of each strain by the clarinets, bassoons, and horns 
is exceedingly beautiful, quite original, and always fresh. 

After the strings have completed the melody, the last two 
strains are taken up by the wind, with an arpeggio accompani- 
ment in the strings, and the first portion of the movement, 
twenty-two bars in length, ends. The time then changes 
to 8-4, and the key to D, the speed quickens to Andante 
moderato, and the second violins and tenors give out the 
following melody (a polacca, as it has been sometimes termed 1) 
in unison, accompanied by the basses and bassoons in an 
exquisite rhythm, and by the upper portion of the wind : — 

No. 46. 

Viol. & Viola , espre ssivo 

^ &c. 



Viol. 1 , - 

In the autograph sketches in the Eoyal Library at *Berlin, 
shortly before the arrival of tbe second theme, we find the 
words, ' The chorus may perhaps appropriately enter here ' ; 
and immediately before the theme itself, as if an indication 
of tempo, ' Grandioso, alia Menuetto.' 

On the repetition of this tune (over a pedal A in the cellos) 
the first violin accompanies it with an independent melody of 
great charm (see (a) in the last quotation). The Andante is 
eighteen bars long, and it gives place at once to the Adagio 
in its old key. The tune is now varied, after Beethoven's own 
noble and f incomparable manner, by the first violins, in 
semiquaver figures — 

No. 47. 


and the treatment of the wind and the other strings in the first 
portion is entirely different from what it was before. After 
each section of the tune has been completed, the clarinets 
and their companions echo the concluding notes as before, and 
with the same accompaniment. The delicious lazy grace of the 
figures just quoted — due to the syncopation introduced— is 

* See the Catalogue of the Beethoveu-autographs by Dr. A. C. Kalischer 
appearing monthly in the Monatshefte fur Musik-Oesdiichte, 1896, No. 3, p. 19. 

f Schubert, in the variations in his grand String Quartet in D minor, is the 
only one who has rivalled this style of Beethoven's. 



almost a repetition of that which gives such a charm to a portion 
of the Larghetto in Beethoven's Second Symphony, namely : — 

This over, the Ayidante returns, but now in the key of G :- 

!iIo. 49. 

Flute & Oboes 

Fag. in 8ves. 

The tune remains unaltered, but it is taken by the flutes and 
reed instruments. On the repetition, the accompaniment 
melody in the first violins (a, No. 46) is strengthened and 
made more prominent. 

We now return to \h.Q Adagio, and arrive at a most beautiful 
section of the movement. The melody (in E flat) is given by 
the clarinets and bassoons, with a deep horn as bass, and 
occasional pizzicato notes distributed over the strings. The 
efiect of the opening is so strange and so beautiful that we 
give a skeleton of the first few bars. Note the G flat (*) and 
the mysterious effect produced by the distance between the 
melody and the bass : — 

No. 50. 


? 1 ^- 

,,,j_4^z>fL^trr • rjif^^^ 

W^ — ' 

Cor. ^ 

_i — 1 — 


— — r"=r^ r ^~ "1 ■ 1 ■ r F ^ 


-^^rj-— ^ ' -^r-r 



Note too the imitation by the horn, in bars 8 and 4, of the 
tune as given by the clarinet in bars 1 and 2. Here, too, is a 
melody, the speaking beauty of which is, if possible, increased 
by the peculiar tones of the horn — the fourth horn be it 
observed — which delivers it : — 

No. 51. 4th Horn 

This section of the movement is only sixteen bars long. It 
is not a repetition of the former Adagio, and if a variation 
it is a remote one ; but whatever it be, it is most beautiful. 
Farther on is a *passage in which the fourth horn runs in 
semiquavers up and down the scale of C flat : — 

No. 52. 4th Horn 


a feat of no ordinary difficulty for that much-tried instrument, 
and, like other trials of hfe, not always successfully accom- 

These sixteen bars lead into the second variation proper of 
the original melody ; the key B flat as before, the time 12-8, 
and the figure a semiquaver one, of wonderful beauty, dignity, 
and elegance : — 

No. 53. 

* In the new edition of the orchestral parts of the Symphony (in Breitkopf & 
Hartel's Orchesterhihliothek) this scale is slurred and marked in the most 
elaborate way — quite unnecessary, especially as Beethoven has not marked it 



with a pizzicato accompaniment, and at the same time extra- 
ordinarily full of vigour. No passages of Beethoven's or 
anyone else's can surpass the following for irrepressible 
brilliancy and majestic sweep of life — full of dignified 
sentiment, without a grain of sentimentality or any other 
morbid thing : — 

and there are several of such ! 

In the course of this variation, the horn hag again some 
difficult feats to accomplish (we quote a couple of specimens) : — 

No. 55. 4th Horn 

and — 

No. 56. 4tij Horn 



-I I F -p!g -i- J '^ 


but Beethoven has amply repaid this most human instrument 
for any such trials by the lovely pan which he has given it 



in this Adn/jio. The fourth horn was in his good* graces 
all through the movement, and a horn-player might well 
choose to have engraven on his tomb the beautiful notes 
which are given to his instrument— either those already 
quoted (No. 50) or the delightful accompaniment of triplets 
which we give farther on (No. 58). 

As he approaches the end of the variation, Beethoven 
gives a specimen of his skill in counterpoint by adding a new 
melody in the flute (doubled in the octave below by the oboe) 
above the long violin figure, while taking as bass to the passage 
a portion of the primal melody of the movement. The latter 
melody is sustained by the bassoons and two horns, and given 
in detached notes in the basses : — 

No. 57. 


Flute & Oboe J . 


4)^ :£LLj'^ 

:gg^L,£.igalLiL.-J.J .. 


Two Horns, with 
Fag. 8ve below. 


s)- 1 


^■"H= =T-T— 

_® — ^ =4 1= ,_J 


, . _..t= _. 

Tutti Bassi. cres. poco apoco. 

* The fourth horn. An indication of Beethoven's scoring being influenced 
by circumstances has been noticed in Symphony No. 4, which is scored for one 
flute only, as indeed are the Piano Concertos in C and B flat, the Triple 
Concerto (Op. 50), and the Violin ditto. And this while the other orchestral 
pieces of the same date have two flutes. In the above cases Beethoven was 
probably writing for private or special orchestras. In the present case the 
fourth horn may have been a friend to whom he washed to do a special favour. 
Professor Prout has referred to a Minuet of Mozart's in which the melody ia 
given to the second violin and the accompaniment to the first — possibly for 
some similar cause (see The Monthly Musical Record, June, 1887). 



It will not be overlooked that the melody for the flute is 
marked with Beethoven's special term Cantahile. 

The Coda of the Adagio, like the Coda of the opening 
Allegro, is almost more striking and more beautiful than the 
body of the movement itself. We cannot resist quoting the 
beginning : — 

No. 58. 

Viol, s 

4th Horn 

Fl. , Viol. Fl.|^^ 




where the A flat (*) and G flat (*) have an effect truly 
magical; and the resumption of the florid figures by the 
violin — first in quavers {Cantahile) and then in semiquavers — 
with the response of the flute, is too beautiful for words. 

Another passage of four bars with a transition into D flat, 
shortly after the last quotation, might bo headed Yanitas 
Vanitatum, for no more solemn or impressive dirge was ever 
uttered. But indeed the whole of the Coda is a gem of the 
purest lustre. The movement ends without any mark of 
pause— a thing carefuUy observed in all the other sections of 
the work. And this is so not only in Beethoven's own first 
edition, the proofs of which were repeatedly through his hands, 
but in the manuscripts. No irdication of a pause at this place 


is to be found in any of them. Recollecting his extreme care to 
note everything necessary for the exact performance of his 
music — a care which increased upon him towards tire end 
of his life — it seems impossible not to believe that he* 
intended the interruption which follows to be as sudden as a 
thunder-clap. It is to be hoped that no future Editor 
will supply the /tn without a word of warning 1 Alas I it is 
not improbable. 

At the same time, is it possible to make the necessary 
changes in the horns and drums to suit the change of key in 
the next movement, without a pause? In our own days 
it may be done, as Sir Arthur Sullivan showed at the 
Leeds Festival of 1889, but in 1823 there were no valve- 
horns or other mechanical helps to the player, except his 
' crooks.' 

IV. The disturbance of the beautiful dream which has so 
long held us spell-bound is indeed of the roughest description 
— a horrible clamour or fanfare, Presto, given with all the 
force of the drums and wind instruments, including the 
contra-fagotto, or double bassoon, an octave lower than 
the ordinary instrument, which was employed in the Finale to 
the C minor Symphony, and is here introduced into the score 
for the remainder of the work : — 

No. 59. 

* Beethoven's care that all the indications of tempo, ho.., should be fully 
given in his published works was as minute and unfailing as usual. To give an 



A dignified recitative by the whole of the cellos and double 
basses, to which the composer has affixed this direction, 

* Selon le caractere d'lm Recitatif mais in tempo,' seems to 
rebuke this demoniacal uproar. We say ' the whole,' 
because in the *early pei-formances by the Philharmonic 
Society it was the custom for Dragonetti to play it as a solo. 
True, expression is imperative, as is proved by Schindler's 
question to Beethoven on the point in the conversation 
books : * also ganz so als standen Worte darunter ? ' 

* exactly, then, as if it had words to it ? 'f but this is a 
different thing from giving the passage to a solo player, 
however eminent. The rebuke, however, is administered to 
no purpose ; the blow is repeated with even aggravated 
roughness : — 

No. 80. 


Instance from this very Symphony. On September 29, 1826, he writes to 
Schott— evidently with the proofs in his hands — that the D. S. {i.e., Da capo al 
Segno) after the last bar of the D major section of the Scherzo {i.e., the Trio) 
has been forgotten by the engraver. On January 27, 1827, he again points out 
the same omission, giving also the page of the score (73). Will it be believed 
that after all this care the score was published without any indication that the 
Scherzo was to be repeated ? Another indication relating to p. 65 of the 
score, corrected by him in the same letter of January 27, was also neglected. 
(See Nohl's Xeiie Brief e Beethovens, pp. 290, 297, 298). Surely with so sensitive 
an eye he would not have omitted to notice that the rr\ was left out at the end 
of the Adagio if he had intended it to be there 1 

* David's letter to Mendelssohn on the performance of May 3, 1841 
(Eckardt's Ferdinand David, p. 123). Also C. Severn to A. C. White, in 
Musical Association Proceedings, 1886-7, p. 106. 

t Nohl, Beethoven, iii., p. 484. 


Again the basses interpose, and then a remarkable passage 
occurs in which Beethoven passes in review each of the 
preceding three movements, as if to see whether either of 
them will suit for his Finale. All this singular passage — 
as truly dramatic ' as if it had words to it ' — is Beethoven's 
device, of which Schindler tells us (and indeed gives, in the 
facsimile of Beethoven's writing at the *end of his Biography), 
to connect Schiller's words with his previous music. Hitherto, 
in the three orchestral movements, Beethoven has been 
depicting * Joy' in his own proper character: first, as part 
of the complex life of the individual man ; secondly, for 
the world at large ; thirdly, in all the ideal hues that art 
can throw over it. He has now to illustrate what Schiller 
intended in his Ode, and the method he adopts of connecting 
what he has done with what he has to do is truly a simple 
one, but it is effectual. He makes a horrible clamour and 
then says: *0 friends, not these noises ! as we are to sing 
about this great thing in words, let us sing the words of 
the immortal Schiller.' ' But will the themes of any of 
the preceding movements be suitable for the new under- 
taking ? Let us try. ' The first few bars of each move- 
ment are then brought on in order, and each is instantly 
dismissed by its author, speaking through the voices of his 
cellos and double basses ; the Allegro and Scherzo are even 
sent back with some show of impatience. The heavenly 
opening of the melody of the Adagio, though but two bars, 
alone has power to shake his resolution, and the recitative 
which succeeds it is softer in tone, and almost caressing 
in manner, though still sternly antagonistic in its con- 
clusions. It is too plain that no portion of his preceding 
movements will suit him to express the new idea. At 
length we hear a new, fresh motif stealing-in in the wind 
instruments — 

* See Schindler, ii., p. 55, and facsimile, No. 1. 



No 61. 

Allo.asaai. Oboe 

and then at last not only the basses, but other members of 
the orchestra welcome the deus ex machina with every mark 
of applause. It is only a sketch of the great tune which is to 
come, but it contains infinite promise. 

If not too technical for these imperfect notices, it is right 
to mention here the slight point by which Beethoven has 
differenced his sketch of the new subject from the perfect 
theme as it appears later, and which gives it a distinct 
flavour. There it is frankly in the tonic of D major (see 
the next quotation) ; here it is in the dominant of the key, 
over a pedal A ; and he has even enforced the fact by 
marking the Gl^ in the score in the fourth and twelfth notes 
of the second bassoon, which had had Gj in the preceding 

And now the Finale begins in earnest. First we have the 
theme, the prediction of which has just been welcomed — the 
result, as we have seen, of years and years of search, and 
worthy of all the pains that have been lavished on it, for a 
nobler or more enduring tune surely does not exist. * Bee- 
thoven,' says Wagner finely, * has emancipated this melody 
from all influences of fashion and variations of taste, and has 
raised it into a type of pure and lasting humanity.' And 
here, just before we enter upon this grand melody, think of 
the astonishing boldness and originality, and yet the perfect 
propriety in so great a master of the orchestra — in giving 
out with the Band a theme which was to be varied hy the 
Chorus I Beethoven still lingers among his beloved instru- 



ments, as if unwilling to forsake them for a field less 
peculiarly bis own. * When an idea occurs to me,' said 
he, * I always hear it in some instrume^nt or other — never in 
the voice.' 

And now, here at last is the theme of the Finale^ frankly, 
as we have said, in the key of D major : — 

No. 62. 

Allegro aasai. 








r-w ■ 

Cellos and Basses p 

cres. ^ 

And note — while we are still listening to the simple tune 
itself, before the variations begin — how very simple it is ; the 
plain diatonic scale, not a single chromatic interval, and 
out of fifty-six notes only three not consecutive. Much the 
same is the case with the melody of the vocal Finale to the 
Choral Fantasia ; the melody in the Adagio of the Grand Trio 
in B flat ; the Adagio of the Fourth Symphony, and others of 
Beethoven's noblest and most enduring themes. It is indeed 
a grand and pregnant tune. Schubert could not escape the 
spell of it in his Great Symphony in C — see the working-out 
of the Finale of that noble work immediately after the 
double -bar : — 

No. 63. 

But to return to Beethoven. The tune is first given soft, 
stealing upon the ear piano in the double basses and. 



cellos alone ; tlien it is taken up by cellos and violas with an 
independent bass, and a separate counterpoint for the 
bassoon : — 

No. 64. 

Violas& Cellog fJ_ 





li^- ^r - 

Basses sempre p 

■t— ^-t- 

Next the first violins take it up, accompanied by the whole 
of the strings, and with occasional help from the bassoon ; 
and lastly it is given forte by the whole power of the orchestra. 
Then comes a Coda containing new features : first a ritornel* 
melody : — 

No. 65. 

obviously formed out of a phrase of the principal tune; then 
an accompaniment figure — 

No. 66. 


illTSi&A iit& i 


in a rhythm which we shall meet again in the accompaniment 

* Mendelssohn could not avoid the unconscious influence of this part of the 
Symphony any more than Schubert could. This melody (No. 65) is all but 
identical with the opening of his lovely Volkslied— * Rs ist bestimrot' (Op. 4.', 
J^o. 4). 



to one of the vocal pieces: and closely following tliia, 
vague and wistful phrase of one bar, 'poco ritenente — 

No. 67. 



Tpoco ritenente. 

almost conveying the impression that he was uncertain oi 
unwilling to proceed farther in his task — an impression 
which is strengthened by the repetition of the phrase four 
times, in the four strangely unrelated keys of A major, 
B minor, E flat minor, and A major again. 

And yet noble and endearing as this great tune appears to 
as — fully meriting Wagner's warm eulogium just quoted — so 
far in advance of its time was it that we find ripe and able 
musicians like Spohr and Oulibicheff speaking of it in the most 
depreciatory terms. Oulibicheff *finds in the theme of the 
Finale 'no reflex of the fiery words of Schiller, and the 
immense and sublime feeling which animates them; but a 
languishing Cantilene repeating itself over and over again, 
and furnishing no images but those of age and exhaustion!' 
He even suggests that it has been borrowed from the old 
Grossvatertanz of the German nurseries, as another sapient 
critic, Ortlepp,f derives it from the old hymn, * Freu dich sehr, 
o meine Seele ' — 

No. 68. 

Freu dich sehr, o mei -ne See - le, und ver - giss all Noth und Qual. 

♦ OuUbicheff, Biog. de Mozart (1843), ui., 247, 248. 
t Lenz, Beethoven et ses trois styles (1852), i., 201. 


It is more to the point to notice, as Herr Wasie- 
ieweky* has done, that Beethoven himself has closely 
anticipated his great subject in a song (Op. 83, No. 3) of 
1810 to Goethe's words — 


S^E^.i=^^i^ l ^.J JlJ J 

Kiel - ne Blu - men, klei-ue Blat-t«i. 

Spohr, while fjudging the first three movements to be, 
' in spite of occasional flashes of genius, inferior to either of 
the previous eight Symphonies,' finds the Finale ' so 
monstrous and tasteless, and as an expression of Schiller's 
Ode so trivial, that he cannot understand how a genius like 
Beethoven can have put it on paper.' 

And now, that he may carry out consistently the plan 
which he had conceived for introducing Schiller's poem, 
Beethoven again suddenly dismisses his irresolution, and 
allows his music to be interrupted by the horrible cry which 
we have heard twice already, and which might well be an 
impersonation of the opposite to all that is embodied in the 
* Ode to Joy.' But this time the rebuke of the prophet finds 
an articulate voice, and Beethoven addresses us in his own 
words and through the bass singer, in a noble strain of florid 
recitative : — 

♦ Freunde, nicht diese Tone ! Sondern lasst uns 
angenehmere anstimmen und freudenvollere ! ' 

' friends, no more these sounds ! But let us sing some- 
thing more cheerful, and more full of gladness I ' 

* L. van Beethoven, ii. , 258. 

♦ Selbstbiographie, i., 202. 

Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— NoveUo's Editioa 3 B 


This recitative stands in the score as follows :— 

No. 70. 

Babitone Solo. Recitative. 

»J ^' 

lasst uus an 

ge - neh-me-re an-stimme 
^.^ ad lib. 

tind freu 


But the latter part was too ranch for Preisinger, a basso 
profondo who was engaged to sing the part ; and, notwith- 
standing Beethoven's dislike to changes for the sake of 
executants, and his rebuffs to Mademoiselles Sontag and 
Ungher, we are told by Schindler* that Beethoven altered 
it as tfoUows, both in range and length ; — 

No. 71. 

und freu 


\ With which exhortation and a third repetition of the four 
poisy bars we enter the vocal portion of the Symphony. The 
khole of the following six numbers are formed on the great 
tnelody so recently played (No. 62), or on motifs formed out of 
it or upon it. 

* Biography, ii., 78. 

f Preisinger, however, did not sing it after all ; but at the performance it 
was taken bv Seipelt with one rehearsal (Schindler, ii., 78). 

Beethoven's alteration of schiller's word. 879 

1. Quartet and Chorus: Allegro assai. (D major.) 

Freude, schoner Gotterfunken, 

Tochter aus Elysium, 
Wir betreten feuertrunken, 

Himmlische, dein Heiligthum. 
Deine Zauber binden wieder, 

Was die Mode streng getheilt.* 
Alle Menschen werden Briider, 

"Wo dein sanfter Tliigel weilt. 

Wem der grosse Wurf gelungen, 

Eines Freundes Freund zu sein, 
fWer ein holdes Weib errungen, 

Mische seinen Jubel ein I 
Ja — wer auch nur eine Seele 

Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund I 
Und wer's nie gekonnt, der stehle 

Weinend sich aus diesem Bund. 

Freude trinken alle Wesen 

An den Briisten der Natur ; 
Alle Guten, alle Bosen 

Folgen ihrer Eosenspur I 
Kiisse gab sie uns und Eeben, 

Einen Freund, gepriift im Tod; 
Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben, 

Und der Cherub steht vor Gott ! 

Freude, schoner Gotterfunken, &c. 

Sing,tthen,of theheav'n-descended 
Daughter of the starry realm, 

Joy by love and hope attended, 
Joy whose raptures overwhelm! 

Joy whose magic re-uniteth 
All that custom sternly parts ; 

Brothers all whom joy delighteth, 
Beconciler sweet of hearts I 

Ye who own the crowning treasure, 
Loyal heart of faithful friend. 

Ye whose love is woe and pleasure, 
To our strain your voices lend. 

Yea, who e'er mid life's delusion. 
One fond heart hath called hia 

Join us — but on him confusion, 
Who nor love nor j oy hath known. 

Draughts of Joy from cup o'er- 

Bounteous Nature freely gives ; 
Grace to just and unjust showing. 

Blessing everything that lives. 

Wine she gave to us and kisses. 
Friend to gladden our abode. 

E'en the worm can feel life's blisses. 
And the Seraph dwells with God 

Sing, then, of the heav'n-descended 

* A liistorical interest attaches to this line. Schiller is said to have first 
written it ' Was der Mode Schwert zertheilt,* — That which Fashion's sword 
divides. Beethoven in composing the line in its later form (as above) substituted 
frech (audaciously) for streng (strictly) a.ud/rech will be found in the first bar of 
p. 207 of the first folio score — in No. 5 of the Finale. It has, however, been 
erased by the publishers of the subsequent editions in favour of Schiller's word 
streng, and Beethoven's alteration is no longer to be found. 

t It will be remembered that these two lines form a part of the libretto of 
Beethoven's 'Fidelio.' 

Z This version, by Lady Macfarren, is now generally adopted in performance 
tnd is used in Messrs. Novello's edition of the vocal score. 



This begins with a bass solo on the tune itself, in- 
troduced by the four bars which predict the tune (see 
No. 61), and afterwards beautifully accompanied in inde- 
pendent counterpoint by the oboes and clarinets. The 
wealth of melody in such accompaniments throughout this 
number is extraordinary. Here is a fragment of one of the 
tunes — 

No. 79. 
„ J, Oboe 1 ^r- ^^< 

Bass Voice 

1 a 


1 tt 1 \ '. J ! — 

J 1 'i 1 M J| Ul ^ ^ ^ 1 "- 

Wir be-tre-ten feu -ertrunken, d;c. 
Joy by love and hope atteud-ed, &c. 

Dei - ne Zau-l>er,d;o. 
Joy whose magic, &o. 

(in which observe (at a) the Beethovenish touch of repeating a 
phrase in notes of half the value). There is another accom- 
paniment — quite as independent— in the flute and bassoon, 
and the melody quoted in No. 65 also appears furtively, in the 
flutes, as a ritornel. After the bass solo the chorus and quartet 
join in, at first with the melody in crotchets, but towards the 
end in a more florid shape : — 

No. 73. 


Freu - de 
X)xaughts of 

trin-ken al-le We- sen, An den BrUsten der Na^tur; 
joy from cup o'er-flowing, Bounteous Na-tiire free-ly gives; 

Beethoven's idea of cherubim. 881 

with a jubilant accompaniment in the strings : — 

No. 74. 




The foregoing sparkling figures and the loud fiery accom- 
paniment of the following nature, in double octaves, given to 
the long high holding notes which carry the words ' vor 
Gott '— 

No. 75. 

ff Gott 

vor Gott 

seem to show that Beethoven's conception of the Cherubim 
who surrounded the throne of the Almighty was of a *fiery 
being. They do not inspire him with the awe which he feels 
when he contemplates the * loving Father dwelling above the 
tent-roof of the stars, with His children bowing down before 
Him,' in the impressive passage which terminates the next 
movement but one. (See page 385). 

2. Tenor Solo and Chorus : Allegro assai vivace: alia Marcia, 
(B flat, &c.) 

Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen 

Durch des Himmels pracht'gen 

Laufet, Briider, eure Bahn, 
Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen. 

Freude, schoner Gotterfunken, &c. 

Glad as suns thro' ether wending 
Their flaming course with might 

Speed ye brothers glad and true. 

Conquest in your train attending. 

Sing, then, of theheav'n-descended, 

* This is the interpretation of 'Seraph ' rather than of ' Cherub' in the Jewish 
writers. See Gesenius's Lexicon, under each of the words. But Beethoven 
had uo taste £0^ such etymological erujiiiries. 



For these stanzas we seem to come down from heaven to 
earth; but a splendid earth, full of the pomp aud circumstance 
and also the griefs of war. This is a showy military march- 
movement with big drum, piccolo, flute, triangle, cymbals, and 
all other apparatus of warlike parade. It begins with a long 
orchestral introduction, for the wind only (contra-fagotto very 
prominent), on the following variation of the theme in 6-8 : — 

No. 76, 

A llegro assai vivace. A lla marcia. 

Flutes & Olars. pp 

^xr rt ^F F^^^ 

Then follows the tenor solo : — 

No. 77. 



wie sein - e Son - nen, 

sein - e 


flie - gen. 



glad as his suns, his 

suns thro' 

e - ther 

wend - ing, 

supported, after thirty-six bars, by a chorus of men's voices; 
then a long orchestral interlude with the signatures of B flat 
and B minor, containing some beautiful points, especially a 
diminuendo episode, eighteen bars in length, for horns, oboes, 
and bassoons, beginning with a very arresting passage for 
horns in octaves. The whole episode might well convey the 
poet's dread at the thought of battle* — 

No. 78 


^^ ^"tt'^IT'Cr-hf bMn^ 



jaiu p 

• The figure of the oboes and bassoons (bars 5 and 6, 11 and 12 of the 
quotation) will be recognised as a part of the original main theme. 



piu pp 

pp sem^gre 

and lastly a short chorus in D major.* The following phrase, 
beginning in the basses and gradually pervading the whole 
orchestra, is largely used in the accompaniment of this 
movement : — 

No. 79. 

f-rV , rr F 

aempre ff 

Chorus : Andante maestoso. (G major.) 

ye millions, I embrace ye. 
Here's a joyful kiss for all ; 

To the power that here doth place ye, 
Brothers, let us prostrate fall. 


Seid umschlungec, Millionen 1 
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt 1 
Briider — uberm Sternenzelt 

Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen. 

* At the performance of the Symphony at Moscheles's ' Morning Concert,' 
at the Hanover Square Rooms, May 23rd, 1838, Mr. Moscheles introduced an 
organ accompaniment to the latter part of the Finale. ' Mr. Turle will preside 
at the organ in the Choral part of the Symphony ' ; such ia the advertisement 
in the Musical World, May 10, 1838. It begins eighteen bars before the entry 
of the chorus in D major in this movement, and lasts, with considerable 
intermissions, to the end of the work. It is obviously intended to sustain the 
voices which are so sorely tried in some of the choruses. The title of the MS. , 
which I have had an opportunity of inspecting through the kindness of my 
friend, Mr. Felix Moscheles, is as follows : ' Organ : Beethoven's Ninth 
Symphony, last movement ; written for the use of the Philharmonic Society by 
I. Moscheles, May, 1838.' The accompaniment was used at the Society's next 
performance, May 3, 1841 ; since F. David, then in London, mentions it in his 
letter to Mendelssohn of the 4th. ' Yesterday I heard the Ninth Symphony 
conducted by Moscheles ; and, would you believe it ? the bass recitative in the 
last movement was played by old Dragonetti as a solo. In the *' stlirzet nieder, 
Millionen " there was an organ accompaniment, and in several places the voice 
parts were greatly altered. If Moscheles plays such tricks, what can be 
expected from others ? ' (Eckardt, Ferdinand David, &c. (Leipzig, 1888), 
p. 123. See also Musical World, May 10 and 31, 1841, pp. 40, 84 ) 



Adagio ma non troppo, ma divoto. (G major.) 

*Ihr stiirzt nieder, Millionen? 

Alinest du den Schopfer, Welt ? 

Such' ihn iiberm Sternenzelt 1 
Veber Sternen muss er wohnen. 

ye millions, kneel before Him, 
Tremble, earth, before thy Lord, 
Mercy holds His flashing sword, 

As our Father we implore Him I 

This movement is throughout choral, and as distinctly 
religious in character as the last was military. The three 
trombones appear here in the score for the first time, and the 
chorus opens with the following subject for the tenors and 
basses in unison, finely sustained by the solemn tones of the 
bass trombone : — 

No. 80. 


; maestos 



1 — 

— I-' 


1— -— 1— 


— — 1 

— I- 

Seid umsehlungen, Mil 
O ye mil-lions,! . . 

li-on - en, Dies-en Euas der gan-zen Welt. 
embrace ye, Here's a joy-ful kiss for all. 

— answered by the full chorus, with grand accompaniment in 
the following imposing figure : — 

No. 81. 



• ^ ^r 


■^^ > ■ i s t ><"■». I F=-« 


•I — tiT 

Contrafagotto col Bassl 

* These words occur in the final chorus of the Cantata on the accession of 
the Emperor Leopold H. to the throne of Austria, composed by Beethoven 
in 1790 :— 

Sturzet nieder, Millionen, an dem rauchenden Altar. 

Tutti 8va. 1 

J. J. J-. J- 





Stiir-zet nie - der, Mil - li - on - en, an dem rauch-en-den Al - tar. 

There is no similarity between the two pieces of music, ' and yet,' says Dr. 
Hanslick, in the Nene Freie Presse, May 13, 1884, ' the Cantata unconsciously 
reminds one of this Symphony ; as if, after thirty years, a dim recollection of the 
identity of the words had visited Beethoven in composing Schiller's Ode.' It is 
an interesting coincidence. The Cantata is published in the Szippletnent to 
Breitkopf and Hartcl's large edition (Serie 25, No. 265). 



The gecond portion (Arlarjio ma non troppo^ ma divoto) opens 
with a passage of interlude, in which the wood instruments, 
cellos and violas produce a beautiful effect. This is a most 
impressive piece, full of mystery and devotion, especially at 
the words, * Ueber Sternen muss er wohnen.' The accom- 
paniments are wonderfully original and beautiful throughout, 
and by keeping the voices and instruments in the upper 
registers, Beethoven has produced an effect which is not 
easily forgotten. The flutes, oboes, and clarinets seem to 
wing their way up among the stars themselves. The germ 
of this most mystical and beautiful effect is found in the 
Finale to ' Fidelio ; ' and then more developed in the Choral 
Fantasia. It has been alluded to by Schumann in the Finale 
to the third part of his ' Faust.' 

4. Chorus : Allegro energico, sempre ben marcato. (D major.) 

Freude, schoner, &c. 

Seid umschlungen, Millionen, &q. 

Sing then of the, &c. 
ye millions, &c. 

Beethoven does not intend his hearers to remain in this 
mood of mystic devotion. The next movement is a chorus of 
extraordinary energy and spirit. It is formed on two motifs — 
the original tune (in triple time), supported by trumpet and 
trombones, and the theme of the last chorus, which we now 
discover to have a most intimate relation with the main 
theme — and it starts thus : — 

No. 82 

de, sclion 
then of 

er Gott ' er • funk 
the Heav'n -de - scend 





Toch - ter aus 
Daugh - tcr ol 

E - li 
the star 

at - um. 
ry realm. 


1 r] 



J 1- 


— ^ 

r.^— ^^- 





Mil - 


. li 
em - 


- brace 



^ ye. 







— j^j^ 
f- — 

-^ — hr-Ti 





The brilliant accompaniment for the violins is afterwards 
transferred to the basses. 

This is one of the most trying movements in the work for 
the chorus, and though not so exacting as the well-known 
passage of the Credo of the *Mass in D — where the sopranos 
lead off the subject of the ' Et vitam venturi ' with four high 
B flats — it has a passagef in which the high A natural has to 
be sustained for twelve bars, as well as other all but impossible 
feats. Many representations and remonstrances were addressed 
at the time to Beethoven, not only by Sontag and Ungher, 
but by the | chorus-master, but without effect, he would 
change nothing ; and it is affecting (though not unnatural) to 
find that at last the singers were compelled by the necessities 
of the case either to be silent in these impossible passages or 
to take advantage of Beethoven's deafness and sing what they 
could for what he had written. § The only exception he 
made was for Preisinger, the bass singer ; and that we have 
already noticed. Moscheles took his own remedy, which will 
be seen in his version of Schindler.|| He was certainly 
carrying Beethoven's hint (see page 813) into practice, and 
* helping himself.' 

• Page 167 of the first folio edition (page 84 of Novello's 8vo score). 

t Page 190 of the first folio edition. 

X Schindler, Biography, ii., 76. 

§ Ibid., -p. 77. 

II His alterations are given in his lAfe of Beethoven, 1841, il., pp. 19-2SL 



6. QuABTET AND Chorus I AlUgro ma non tanto. (D major.) 

Freude, schoner Gotterfunken, (fee. I Sing we of the, &c. 

Deine Zauber binden wieder, &o. | Joy whose magic, &o. 

This is for solos and chorus alternately. It opens with 
four bars of introduction, in which the original theme is at 
once given in shorter notes (* in diminution ' is the technical 
term), and treated with close imitation : — 

No. 83. Allegro ma non tanto. 


'^4^^2:. jum 

Viol. 2 


After four bars of this the solo voices enter with a motif to 
the words, • Joy, whose magic,' &c., which, though related to 
the original one, is new, and not unhke one of Mozart's gay, 
spontaneous little themes : — 

No. 84. 

Toch • ter, Toch-ter aits E li - si-um. 
Joy,. . . thou daugh-ter of the star -ry realm. 

Farther on the soli soprano and tenor (and afterwards the 
alto and bass) move in strict * canon ' with one another : — • 

No. 85. 


ne Zauber, 


Joy, thy magic._p^^g Zauber binden wieder, &c. 
Joy, thy magic, &c. 

The movement contains a cadence for the solo voices of the 
most elaborate kind, Poco adagioy at once very difficult, very 


singular, and very beautiful ; it has a strong resemblance in 
effect, though not in passages, to the cadenza in the Mass 
in D, near the end of the • Et vitam.' For this the sig- 
nature is changed to that of B natural, and a double-bar 
drawn through the score.* At the close of the cadence ten 
bars of increasingly ra^^id Allegro connect the number with 
the final movement. 

6. Chorus : Prestissimo. (D major.) 
Seid umschlungen, Millionen, &c. | ye millions, I embrace ye. 

This is the Coda to the Fljiale, and is on a theme closely 
related to the second theme of No. 81, but in shorter notes, 
and entirely altered in character. The noisy military 
instruments here re-appear in the score : — 

Unis. Seid um-schlungen. Mil- li -on- en, Dies - en Kuss der ganz-en Welt I 
O ye mil-lions, I embrace ye, Here's a joy-ful kiss for alL 

Near the close the sudden introduction of four bars, maestoso ^ 
makes a remarkable effect, after which the Prestissimo returns, 
and the chorus ends with a mighty shout : — 

Tochter aus Elisium, 
Freude, schoner Gotterfunken 1 
Gotterf uaken 1 

Daughter of the starry realm. 
Sing we of the Heav'n-descended I 
Heav'n-descended 1 

Such is Beethoven's music in his last Symphony. The first 
three movements contam his most human and some of his 
most beautiful orchestral strains ; and if in the Finale a 

* For some reason — doubtless a good one — Beethoven makes this change 
three bars after the beginning of the cadenza. The editor of the critical and 
correct edition of Messrs. Breitkopf and Hartel, with that curious disregard of 
the composer's wishes which we have elsewhere noticed, takes upon himself^ 
without a word of notice, to introduce the double-bar four measures earlier 1 

Schiller's extravagances. 889 

reptless, boisterous spirit occasionally manifests itself, not in 
keeping with the English feeling of the solemnity, even the 
sanctity, of the subject, this is only a reflection, and by no 
means an exaggerated reflection, of the bad taste which is 
manifested in parts of the lines adopted from Schiller's Ode, 
and which Beethoven, no doubt, thought it was his duty to 
carry out in his music. That he did not entirely approve of 
such extravagance may be inferred from the fact that, in 
his selection of the words, he has omitted some of the more 
flagrant escapades, as will be seen by comparing the Ode itself, 
which is given entire at the end of these remarks. 

Such lines as those which close the thirteenth and fourteenth 
stanzas of the Ode are only intelligible in connection with 
the solemn scenes described when we remember the frantic 
delight so widely felt throughout the Continent at the 
magnificent prospects held out by the philosophers of France, 
and which more or less upset even the best spirits of the times ; 
which in four years after the date of Schiller's poem were to 
culminate in the Revolution and the Reign of Terror, and the 
recollection of which several years later probably influenced 
even our own Wordsworth, in his splendid Ode, to use the 
words 'jollity' and 'shouts,' and to impersonate the universal 
gladness under the image of a hot, noisy young rustic* — 

Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy shepherd-boy. 

We must also remember that Beethoven — and it throws a 
strong light on the sobriety and dignity of his genius — had 
already uttered his raptures at the new era in the ' Eroica ' 
Symphony, the first conception of which dates from 1797, 
many years before the date of the Ninth, and which does not 
contain a trace of extravagance. 

We have witnessed the reception of the Symphony in 
Vienna. In Germany the welcome was naturally not so warm, 

• ' Ode on the Intimations of Immortality,' &c. (1S03-6), Stanza 3. 


The first performance outside Austria appears to have taken 
place at the concert of Herr Guhr — a Kapellmeister to whom 
Mendelssohn was indebted for an autograph of Bach's and 
much* else — at Frankfort, on Good Friday, April 1, 1825. 
The second was at the Lower Rhine Festival of May 23 of 
the same year, at Aix-la-Chapelle. The performance wag 
conducted by Beethoven's pupil, F. Ries, but it cannot be 
called satisfactory, inasmuch as the whole of the second 
movement and part of the Adagio were omitted. It is not 
necessary to quote the report of the Allg. musik. Zeitung,^ but 
its tendency may be inferred from its concluding words : ' In 
spite of all, we may say of Beethoven, as has been said of 
Handel, great even in his mistakes.' At the Gewandhaus 
Concerts at Leipzig the work was brought forward under 
Schulz, the then conductor, on March 6, 1826. After this the 
following appeal appeared in the newspaper of three days later 
(March 9) : * A request. The honourable board of directors of 
the Concerts is most earnestly requested to give, if possible, a 
second performance of Beethoven's last Symphony at the 
Concert for the poor on Palm Sunday, that a repetition of this 
noble poem may enable its inmost depths to be revealed. In the 
names of several friends of music. 'J Doubtless in obedience 
to this request, a second performance took place on March 
29th, and a third was given on October 19th of the same 
year (the second of these without the Finale), A long 
and adverse criticism of the last of the three (doubtless by 
Fink) will be found in the A. m. Z. of that year, p. 853. 
' Beethoven is still a magician ; and it has pleased him on 
this occasion to raise something supernatural ; to which this 
critic does not consent.' These judgments cannot be 
wondered at. The standpoint of the work is in advance of that 

♦ Mendelssohn, Lett^, June 18, 1839. 

f xxvii. (1825), 447. 

% Dorfifel, Festschrift ; 'Chronik,' p. 68- 

Mendelssohn's performance on the piano. 891 

of even the latest of its predecessors. Splendid and beautiful 
as several of the orchestral movements are, they contained 
none which at once fastened on the world as the Allegrettos of 
No. 7 and No. 8 had done ; while in addition to its length and 
its native strangeness and frequent obscurity, there was the 
executive difficulty of the music, which was really above* the 
heads of the orchestras of the day, and the serious obstacle of 
the novelty of the vocal Finale. Some such consideration 
may have induced Moser, then a concert- director in Berlin, 
to take the singular course of engaging young Felix Mendels- 
sohn, then a lad of seventeen, to play the work through ov 
the piano as an introduction to an orchestral performance a 
fortnight later. Mendelssohn's feat took place on the 13th 
of November, 1826, at the Jagerhall, at Berlin, before the most 
eminent musicians and amateurs of the city, and a report of 
it was made at the time by L. Rellstab — who turned over for 
him on the occasion — which is given in his Gesammelte 
Schriften, xx., p. 5. Moser's orchestral performance took 
place on the 27th of the same month. 

The first performance at the Gewandhaus Concerts, under 
Mendelssohn's direction, took place on February 11, 1836. 
Schumann thought the tempi too t rapid, but in other respects 
does him justice. For instance, in the concert of February 
11, 1841, he notices Jthe note of the bass trombone at the 
beginning of the Trio, which Mendelssohn had brought out 
for the first time * with an astonishing effect, giving quite a 
new life to the passage.' 

With all her unusual opportunities for music Mendelssohn's 
sister Fanny, strange to say, had not heard the Symphony 
till 1836, when she heard it under her brother's baton at 

* Even when tliey had a fair chance ! What hope could there have been 
when, as at the concert mentioned by Hanslick {Geschichie Concertwesew in 
Wien, p. 62), the conductor had never seen the score 1 

t Gesam. Schriften (Ed. 1), ii., 214. 

X i&id.,iv..98. 


Diisseldorff. FTcr remarks upon it are worth reading, though 
they were probably modified as she became acquainted with the 
music. * This gigantic Ninth Symphony,' says she,* * which is 
so grand and in parts so abominable, as only the work of the 
greatest composer could be, was played as if by one man ; the 
finest nuancesj the most hidden meanings were expressed to 
perfection; the masses fell into shape, the music became 
comprehensible, and for the most part exquisitely beautiful. 
A gigantic tragedy with a conclusion meant to be f dithyrambic, 
but falling from its height into the opposite extreme— into 

In Paris, Habeneck, with his usual caution, deferred the 
production till he had had sufiicient rehearsals ; and it was 
first performed at the Conservatoire Concert of March 27, 
1831. 1 After that time, and after a little coquetting with 
the instrumental movements only, it took a regular place in 
the programmes. 

In England the Symphony was first heard at the Phil- 
harmonic Society, at a concert of the early date of March 21, 
1825, conducted by Sir George Smart. The score was not yet 
published, and a MS. copy had been obtained from Beethoven, 
still in the possession of the Society, which, though not wholly 
an autograph, had been corrected throughout by him and bore 
these words, in his own hand, on the title-page : * Grosse 
Symphonie gesclirieben fiir die Philharmonische Gesellschaft 
in London, von Ludwig van Beethoven. Erster Satz.' 
(' Grand Symphony written for the Philharmonic Society of 
London by Ludwig van Beethoven. First Movement.') The 
words of the Finale were translated into § Italian, and the 
solos were sung by Madame Caradori, Miss GoodaU, Mr. 

* Die Familie Mendelssohn (Ed. 2), ii. , 9. 

f ' Dithyrambic : Any poem written with wildness and enthusiasm.' — 

X A year earlier than No. 8. 

§ A prose English version was printed on the programme-card for the 
information of the hearers- 


Vaughan, and Mr. Phillips. The performance lasted for one 
hour and four minutes. 

Sir George Smart had taken great pains on the occasion. 
We do not know how many rehearsals there were, but the 
work met with no favour from the audience, as is evident 
from the remarks in the Harmonicon, at that time the 
leading musical paper in London, edited by Wm. Ayrton, a 
musician of much intelligence, and, for the time, of liberal 
views. But, as we have already said, no proper judgment 
could be expected, either here or in Germany, in the teeth of 
a poor performance and extreme novelty, from gentlemen who 
were not only far behind the great composer whom they were 
criticising, but believed themselves to be so far his superiors 
as even to advise him how to modify his work that it might 
obtain their approbation.* 

Apropos of the rehearsal or trial — probably there was only one 
— Wm. Ayrton saysf that the composition * embodies enough 
of original matter, of beautiful effects and skilful contrivances, 
to form an admirable Symphony of ordinary duration, but 
that unfortunately the author has spun it out to so unusual a 
length that he has drawn out the thread of his verbosity finer 
than the staple of his argument.* Of the performance itself, 
a month J later, he remarks : — 

*The new Symphony of Beethoven, composed for, and 
purchased at a liberal price by, this society, was now first 
publicly produced. We see no reason for altering the opinion 
offered in our last number. ... In the present Symphony 
we discover no diminution of Beethoven's creative talent ; it 

* Mendelssohn, of course, was in a different boat ; and yet I fear that there 
is no donbt that he made cuts in Schubert's great Symphony for the performance 
at Leipzig. Berlioz, too, allowed himself some strange freaks in reference to 
Weber's ' Freischiitz.' 

f Ha/nnonicon, 1825, p. 47. It is difficult to understand the statement (p. 48) 
that the Symphony would take an hour and twenty minutes in performance. 
t lUd., p. 69. 
Grove.— Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.— Novello's Edition fl 


exhibits many perfectly new traits, and in its technical 
formation shews amazing ingenuity and unabated vigour 
of mind. But with all the merits which it unquestionably 
possesses, it is at least twice as long as it should be; it repeats 
itself, and the subjects in consequence become weak by 
reiteration. The last movement, a chorus, is heterogeneous, 
and though there is much vocal beauty in parts of it, yet it 
does not, and no habit will ever make it, mix up with the 
first three movements. This chorus is a hymn to joy, 
commencing with a recitative, and relieved by many soli 
passages. What relation it bears to the Symphony we could 
not make out ; and here, as well as in other parts, the want of 
intelligible design is too apparent. . . . The most original feature 
in this Symphony is the Minuet, and the most singular part, 
the succeeding Trio — striking, because in duple time, for 
which we are not acquainted with anything in the shape of a 
precedent. We were also much pleased by a very noble march 
which is introduced. In quitting the present subject, we must 
express our hope that this new work of the great Beethoven 
may be put into a produceable form ; that the repetitions may 
be omitted, and the chorus removed altogether. The Symphony 
will then be heard with unmixed pleasure, and the reputation 
of its author will, if possible, be further augmented.' 

The next performance in London was on April 26, 1830, at 
the concert of Mr. Charles Neate, a well-known musician of 
the time, who had spent a year in very intimate contact with 
Beethoven. Sir George Smart was the conductor. The Phil- 
harmonic Society resumed their performances on April 17, 
1837; April 23, 1838; and May 8, 1841, &c. ; each time 
under the conduct of Moscheles. On March 26, 1855, the 
Symphony was given under the conduct of Wagner. 

The following performances are also recorded : the Eoyal 
Academy of Music, June 20, 1835, and agam April 15, 1836. 
Mr. Charles Lucas conducted both times, and Oxenford's trans- 
lation was first used ; the Societa Armonica, March 24, 1836, 


conductor, Mr. H. Forbes; at Drury Lane Theatre for the 
Beethoven Monument at Bonn, July 19, 1837, conductor, 
Mr. Moschelea ; Moscheles's Morning Concert, May 23, 1838 
(already mentioned). London can hardly be said to have 
been wanting in anxiety to hear the masterpiece ! 

An epoch in the history of the Ninth Symphony in this 
country is formed by the performances of the so-called New 
Philharmonic Society, under Berlioz and Spohr,in 1852 (twice) 
and 1858 respectively. They were held in Exeter Hall, and 
many persons then heard this mighty work for the first time. 
A fresh translation was made by G. Linley. — At the Crystal 
Palace it was first performed on April 22, 1865, and has been 
played twenty-five times since. It is now one of the most 
attractive pieces that can be given in London, and even if 
the *proposal of Dr. von Biilow to perform it twice at one 
concert, with an interval of half-an-hour between the two 
performances, were attempted, we should probably be 
astounded at the number who would remain to the second I 

Li the United States the first performance was given on 
May 20, 1846, by the Philharmonic Society of New York.f 

There would seem to be a certain difference between the 
position of the Ninth Symphony in England and in other 
countries. It is received with a special sentiment by 
Englishmen, a sentiment which attaches to no other of the 
nine. When classical orchestral music began to be brought 
before the pubhc of non-professional hearers, through the 
performances of the ' New Philharmonic ' and the Crystal 
Palace, the Choral Symphony, to those who heard it, as many 
did, for the first time, assumed a special position outside its 
individual musical qualities. This was more or less based 
on the following facts. It was Beethoven's last and greatest 

* This was carried into effect at the Berlin Philharmonic Concert of JlarchS, 

+ See The Philharmonic Society of New York, by Henry Edward Krehbiel, 


orchestral work. It was said to be extraordinarily difficult, if 
not impossible of execution. It stood alone among Symphonies 
as having a chorus. This flavoured the whole performance, 
and one felt through the Finale a desponding sympathy with 
the singers, who, do their best, could never execute their 
parts properly. It was strangely different from Handel's 
choruses, at that time to English hearers the accepted model 
for choral music. It was for the most part pervaded 
by a lofty, mystical, almost religious tone, which none of 
the others possessed. There never was a doubt in one's 
mind that in this work one was entering a higher, more 
remote heaven than even the * Eroica,' the C minor, or the 
No. 7. Hence the hearing of this work was an event in one's 
life ; and to some, certainly to the writer, this feeling remains. 
To me, I am happy to say, the Ninth Symphony still possesses 
the strange cast and mysterious fascination with which I first 
heard it imder Berhoz and Spohr in 1852 and 1853. Com- 
parisons are always undesirable, but sometimes they are 
inevitable. The impression left by Mont Blanc or the Great 
Pyramid is unique, and so is that of the Ninth Symphony. 
There can be no doubt that Beethoven's last Symphony is 
also his greatest. This was Schumann's opinion. He says :* 
* It seems as if we were at last beginning to understand 
that in this work the great man has given us of his greatest/ 
In his fletter to Prince von Hatzfeld, the Prussian 
Ambassador at Vienna, Beethoven too says : ' I am just 
publishing the greatest Symphony I have yet written — ' die 
grosste Symphonie die ich bisher geschrieben ' — (not ' one of 
my best,' as in the case of No. 7, see page 270). 

These judgments, by the master himself and one of the 
greatest of his disciples and followers, have been amply 
ratified by the world in the interval, and there is perhaps 

♦ Ges. Sckri/ten, iv., 98. Concert of February 11, 1S41. 
t Nohl, Brie/e, i., 323, note. 


now no one able to judge who does not fully join in the 
opinion that the Ninth Symphony was the climax of 
Beethoven's work. 

In the last few years of his life, the thoughts of the 
composer of * Fidelio ' and the ' Mount of Ohves ' often 
strayed in the direction of opera and oratorio, but without 
any definite result. A large number of MS. opera libretti had 
accumulated in his possession, but none of them was to his 
mind. What he wanted he told Gerhard von Breuning on his 
death-bed. He craved something to interest and absorb him, 
but of a moral and elevating tendency, of the nature of ' Les 
deux journees ' or ' Die Vestalin,' both which he thoroughly 
approved. Immoral stories like those of Mozart's operas had 
no *attraction for him, and he could never be brought to set 

At the request of the ' Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde ' of 
Vienna, Beethoven had imdertaken, somewhere about 1818, 
to write an oratorio to a libretto to be supplied by a certain 
Herr von Bernard ; and though he would have preferred a 
heroic subject to a sacred one, so far did he look upon the 
engagement a,sbondJide that on August 18, 1819, he received 
from the Committee a sum of four hundred florins in respect 
of the work. It dragged on, however, in spite of repeated 
enquiries and remonstrances, and died a natural death in 

Meantime, in 1823, he received a communication from an 
unexpected quarter, the ' Handel and Haydn Society,' of 
Boston, U.S.A., inviting him to write a Bibhcal oratorio for 

* This is put in an exaggerated form by the Duchesse d'Abrantes, in the notice 
of Beethoven's death in her Menwires sur la Restauration (1837), vii., 69, 70 : 
* II pretendait que Mozart ne devait^os prostituer son talent, c'est son mot, sur 
un sujet si scandaleux.' 

t See the story in C. F. Pohl'a Die Geseilscha/t der Musikfreunde, Wien. 1871, 
pp. 8, la 


them, on a text translated into German from an original in 
English by the U.S. Consul at Vienna. This also came to 
nothing ; but the attempt will always redound to the lasting 
honour of the Boston Society.* 

Another very important proposition was made to him by 
the eminent publishing firm of Breitkopf and Hartel, of 
Leipzig, through fRochlitz, at his visit to Vienna in 1823 
— namely, the composition of ' Faust ' in a similar style to 
the * Egmont ' music. It seems to have inspired the old 
admirer of Goethe with unusual interest: 'That,' said he, 
• would be a fine piece of work.' ... * Something might be 
done with that.' But no progress seems to have been made 
with it. He was now probably too far advanced in life to look 
with the favour necessary for composition on any subject not 
entirely spontaneous. 

There was, however, one department of music which 
Beethoven still pursued with the greatest success. To the 
last two years and a half of his life are due those wonderful 
String Quartets which, under the name of ' posthumous,* 
have been the admiration and astonishment of the world 
up to the present time, and which bear a somewhat similar 
relation to the earlier Quartets that the Ninth Symphony 
bears to the earher Symphonies. The last Quartet that he 
produced before the period of which we are speaking was that 
in F minor, Op. 95, which bears his own title, Quartett 
serioso, and date of October, 1810. Those of this period are 
as follows : — 

E flat. Op. 127. 1824. 

B flat. Op. 130. 1825. 

Cft minor. Op. 131. 1826. 

A minor. Op. 132. 1825. 

F major. Op. 135. 1826. 

• See The History of the Handel and Haydn Society (Boston, 1893), p. 87. 
t See Rochlitz, Fiir Freunde der Tonkunst (Leipzig, 1832), Vol. IV., p. 357. 


The very last piece of work completed by the master wag 
a fresh Finale — the existing one — to the Op. 130, to replace 
the extremely long and elaborate fugue which had originally 
terminated it, but which is virtually unplayable. (It is now 
known in two forms, as Op. 133 and 134.) The new Finale 
was written at Gneixendorf (see page 133), and though dated 
November, 1826, within four months of his death, on 
March 26, 1827, is extraordinarily gay. 

These great works he did as no one ever did, and probably 
no one ever will. But of orchestral music he wrote no more 
after the Ninth Symphony. Music will advance in richness, 
scope, and difficulty; but such music as Beethoven's great 
instrumental works, in which thought, emotion, melody, and 
romance combine with extraordinary judgment and common 
sense, and a truly wonderful industry, to make a perfect 
whole, can hardly any more be written. The time for such an 
event, such a concurrence of the man and the circumstances, 
will not again arrive. There can never be a second Beethoven 
or a second Shakespeare. However much orchestras may 
improve and execution increase, Beethoven's Symphonies 
will always remain at the head of music as Shakespeare's 
plays are at the head of the literature of the modem world — 

Age cannot wither them,. nor custom stale 
Their infinite variety. 



KB. —The stanzas marked by the side-rules were not composed by Beethoven. 

Fronde, schoner Qotterfunken, 

Tochter aus Elysium, 
Wir betreten feuertranken, 

Himinlische, dein Heiligthum, 
Deine Zauber binden wieder, 

Was die Mode streng getheilt ; 
Alle Menschen werden Brtder, 

Wo dein sanltor Fiagol weilt. 


Seid tmisclilTingen, Millionen I 
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt I 
Brtider— liberm Stemenzelt 

Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen I 

Wem der grosse Wurf gelnngen, 

Eines Frenndes Freund zu sein, 
Wer ein holdes Weib errungen, 

Mieche seinen Jubel ein I 
Ja— wer anch nur eine Seele 

Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrtmdl 
Und wer's nie gekonnt, der stehla 

Woinend sioh ans diesem Bond. 

Was den grossen King bewohnet, 

Hnldige der Sympathie! 

Zu den Stemen leitet sie, 
Wo der Unbekannte thronot. 

Frende trinken alle Wesen 

An den Briisten der Natur; 
AUe Guten, alle Bosen 

Folgen ilirer Rosenspur. 
Kiisse gab sie uns nnd Reben, 

Einen Freund, gepriift im Tod; 
Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeuen, 

Und der Cherub steht vor Gott. 

Ihr stfirzt nleder, Millionen? 

Ah TI P, at, du den Schopfer, Welt? 

Such' ihn tlberm Stemenzell 1 
Ueber Stemen muss er wohnen. 

Frende heisst die starke Feder 

In der ewigen Natur. 
Freude, Freude treibt die Rader 

In der grossen Weltenuhr. 
Blumen lockt sie aus den Keimen, 

Sonnen ans dem Firmament, 
Sphfiien rollt sie in den Raumen, 

Die des Sehers Rohr nicht kenut. 


Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen 
Durcb (les Himmels pracht'gen Plan, 
Wandelt, Brtider, eure Bahu, 

Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegtn. 

Ans der Wahrheit Feuerspiegel 

L&chelt sie den Forscher an. 
Zu der Tugend steilem IKigel 

Leitet sie des Dulders Bahn. 
Auf des Glaubens Sonnenberge 

Sieht man ihre Fahnen wehn, 
DuTCh den Riss gesprengter Sarge 

Sie im Chor der Engel stehn. 

Dnldet muthig, Millionen ! 

Duldet far die bess're Welt! 

Droben ttberm Stemenzelt 
Wird ein grosser Gott belohnen. 

Gottem kann man nlcht vergelten ; 

Schon ist's, ihnen gleich zu sein. 
Gram und Armuth soil sich melden 

Mit den Frohen sich ertreun. 
Groll und Rache sei vergessen, 

Unserm Todfeind sei verziohn. 
Keine Thrfine soil ihn pressen, 

Keine Reue nage ihn. 

Unser Schnldbnch sei vemlchtet! 

Ausgesohnt die ganze Welt ! 

Briider— tiberm Stemenzelt 
Richtet Gott, wie wir gerichtet. 

Freude spmdelt in Pokalen, 

In der Tranbe goldnem Blut 
Trinken Sanftmuth Kannibalon, 

Die Verzweiflimg Heldenmnth— 
Brtider, fliegt von euren Sitzen, 

Wenn der voile Romer kreist, 
Lasst den Schaum zum Himmel 
spritzen : 

Dieses Glas dem guten GeistI 


Den der Sterne Wirbel loben. 
Den des Seraphs Hymne preist. 
Dieses Olas dem guten Geist 

Ueberm Stemenzelt dort obeu I 

Festen Muth in schwerem Leiden, 

Hilfe, wo die Unschuld weint, 
Ewigkeit gescbwomen Eiden, 

Wahrheitgegen Freund und Fei nil, 
MannerstoLz vor Konigsthronen,— 

Brtider, gait' es Gut und Blut— 
Dem Verdienste seine Kronen, 

Untergang der Liigenbrut I 


Schliesst den heil'gen Zirkel dichter, 
Schwort bei diesem goldnen Wein, 
Dem Gelubde treu zu sein, 

Schwort es bei dem Sberneurichtez| 



Andrfi 238 

Arabesques 209 

aufgekndpft 124, 231, 260, 263, 278, 305 

Ayrton, Mr. W 269, 336 note, 393 

Baoh, J. S 4 

Baden, near Vienna 184 

Barry, Mr. C. A 213 

Bastien et Bastienne 60, 93 

Battle of the Baltic 229 

Bennett, Mr. Joseph 268 

BerHoz ... 30, 117, 152, 161, 165, 169 note, 178, 219, 243, 254, 

255, 279, 281, 294, 393 noU 

Bernadotte 51 

Bettina 231 

Bonaparte ... 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 04, 71, 172, 233, 310, 311 note, 315 
Bonn-dialect 233 note, 310 

Borrowing, Beethoven's 194 note, 213, 223, 258 


9, 18, 58, 59, 60 

Breitkopf's complete edition 77 note, 199, 252, 293 note, 337, 

360 note, 

379 note, 388 note 

Brenet, M 

244 note 

Briihl, The ... 


Brunswick, Countess Theresa 112, 

140, 151, 154, 230 

Billow, Hans von 

296, 395 

Campbell, Thos 

230 note 


... 115, 348, 369 

Cantata on accession of Leopold II., Beethoven's ... 

384 note 


... 77 note, 264 

Carlyle's French Revolution 




Caspar Beethoven 


402 INDEX. 


Chim^e, la C6, 221 

Choral Fantasia, Op. 80, Beethoven's 321 

Cibbini, Madame 43 

Coda 8, 68 

Coda to ^(iaflrio of No. 9 - 369 

Coda to Finale of No. 2 38 

Coleridge 72 

Coleridge quoted Hi note^ liQ note, 2G7 note 

Conducting, Beethoven's 234 note 

Costa, Sir M 66 note, 256 nofe 

Countess Theresa Brunswick {see Brunswick). 

Cramer's Studies Ill 

Dannreuther, Mr. E 41 note 

David, Ferdinand 383 note 

Davison, J. W., quoted 10 

Deafness, Beethoven's 10, 45, 335 

Development of the Symphony, Beethoven's 50, 68, 321 

Dorffel, Alfred 91 

Dragonetti 371 

Drum 9, 107, 109, 280 

Ehlert 354 

'EmilieM., from H.' 276 

Empereur, L' 172 

Faust 398 

Fc8 159 note 

Fidelio 219 note, 313, 334, 379 note, 385 

frech 379 note 

Freude 48 note, 322 

gedichtet 186 

Geminiani 346 

Glinka 362 

Gloggl 213,235 

Gluek 203 

Gneixendorf 78, 127, 131-135, 275 note 

Goethe 137, 273, 284 

Gobs, Sir John ... 162 

Gounod 87 

Gros»vatertanz 159 note, 213, 378 




Ham, General 


' Handel and Haydn Society ' of Boston 

Hansliok, Dr 


Hensel, Fanny 

Hiller, F 

Hoffmann, E. T. W 

Horna ... .. ... 

* Hush, ye pretty warbling choir' 


92, 169 note, 175, 392 

43 note 

60, 146, 213, 346, 390 


384 note 

... 11, 12, 30, 176. 299 


180, 238 

139 and note, 176, 231 

76, 121, 258, 259, 368 note 


Individuality of Beethoven's compositiona 


Jahn, Otto 

Joachim, Professor Joseph 

10, 175, 219 note 
32 note, 322 note 

Kalischer, Dr. A. G. 



Kinsky, Prince ... 


Krehbiel, Mr. H. E. 
Krenn, Michael ... 
Kreutzer, Kudolph 
Kuhac, Prof. 
Kyd, General 

355 note, 364 note 


200, 201, 239 note 


... 201, 217 note 


395 note 
132, 275 
321 note 
... 51 note 

212, 223 
••• 43 note 

Lawrence, Sir Thos. 


Leonora, Overture to ... 


Lichnowsky, Moritz 
Lichnowsky, Prince Charles 

Liederkreis, The 


Lobko witz , Prince 
Louis Ferdinand, Prince 

... 281 note, 316 
66, 279, 342, 362 




... 42, 47, 313 

184 note 

321 note 

... 88, 149, 319 


404 IKDEX. 

Maelzel 293,311,312 

Manns, Mr. August .. w., 290 note 

Marlowe 59 

Martonvasar 156 

Marx 75, 279 

Mass in D, Beethoven's 320, 386 note, 388 

Matthison ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 42 

Mendelssohn 60, 74, 97, 100, 137, 148, 158, 174, 2:52, 288, 2o3, 284, 
295, 321, 352, 355 note, 359 note, 375 note, 391, 393 note 

Meyerbeer 234 

Minuet, the term 50 nofe, 78, 118, 394 

Moderation in scoring, Beethoven's 123 note 

Modling 215 

Monkhonse, Mr. Cosmo 317 note 

Moore, Thos 254 

Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund 185, 355 

Morning Chronicle 268 

Moscheles 74, 235, 313, 316 note, 337, 383 note, 386 

Mozart 8, 10, 35, 37, 60, 93, 177, 252 note, 287 note, 397 

* Musical Association ' The 337 note, 371 note 

Musical Portrait of Nature, A 191 

Neate, Chas 158 note, 183, 269, 394 

Neglect of Beethoven's corrections 267, 370 note 

Nel cor pia ... ... ... ... ... ... 314 

Nephew, Beethoven's 318 

Nora Creina ... ... ... ... ... 261 

Nottebohm 136 note, 177, 228 note 

Obermeyer, Miss ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 273 

Oulibicheff 99, 159 note, 221, 279, 293, 376 

Overture in C, Op. 115 229, 323 

Parry, Dr. Hubert, quoted 6, 167 note 

Pastorale, Sonata, Op. 28 183 note 

Pastoral Symphony performed with scenery 226 

Path^tique, Sonata 362 note 

Philharmonic Society, The 44, 91, 127, 141 note, 162, 179, 383 note, 392 

Philharmonic Society of New YoTk 395 

Photographs of MSS vii., 331 

Pianoforte Concerto in D 317 

Pole, Dr. W lOi note, 2il note 

INDEX. 40ft 


Portraits of Beethoven 281 

Postillion at Carlsbad 273 

Potter, Cipriani 22 

Preisinger 378 

Prieger, Dr. vii 

Programme-music 187 

Prometheus-music 81 

Prout, Professor, quoted 107 note, 368 note 

Quartets, Beethoven's 127, 398 

Raben, Die drei 



185, 215 

Ram Dass 



Easumoffsky Quartets 



149, 251 

Rehearsals in Beethoven's time 




Reimann, Dr. Heinrich 



... 212, 242 note 

Rellstab, L 








Richter, Dr 



290 note 

Ries, Ferdinand 



22, 390 





Rollet, Dr 








Romantic movement, The 







234, 292 



293, 361 

Saint-Saens, M 






... 78,163,164 

Schiller's extravagances 



62, 325 




378 note 



200, 210, 

325, 834, 872, 878 




Schubert 32,59,235, 


240, 257, 318, 

331, 364 note, 874 

Schumann 18, 58, 70, 98, 110, 114 note, 116 note, 121, 166 note, 

180, 199, 218, 


258 note, 260, 

298, 885, 391, 396 

Sebald, Amalie 


233, 273 





v., 43 

, 59, 126, 267 note, 281, 297, 399 

Shakespeare quoted 



28, 399 

Shedlock, Mr. J S 



111, 213, 299 note 


Silas, Mr 

Smart, Sir George 

Spohr , 

Stadler, Abb6 

Stanford, Professor C. V. 


Steiner & Co , 

Streicher, Frau 


Sullivan, Sir A 






333, 392 

179, 234 note, 376, 377 

212, 257 

261 note 

321 note 


184 note, 186 note, 319 

217, 146 note 


73, 78, 143, 146 note, 

Tenger, Mariam ... 
Tennyson quoted 


* Testament,' Beethoven's 


Theresa, Countess of Brunswick {see Brunswick). 


Tiedsche (Tiedge) 

Titles to Beethoven's Works 

Tollemache's ' Jowett' 



Turkish Music 

Turle, Mr -. 

112 note, 156 

202, 205, 275 note, 308 

232, 272 


vi, 112 note, 282, 296 


233 not« 

51 note 


161 note 


383 note 

Ungher, Fraulein 

Vanitas Vanitatum 
Violins, fiery attack of ... 
Violin Sonata, Op. 30, No. 1 
Violm Sonata, Op. 30, No. 2 


« Waldstein Sonata ' 

Watson, Mr. W., quoted 

Weber, C. M. von 

„ his criticisms.. 

Weber, Dionys 

White, Mr. A. C. 

Wieck, Friedrich 

41, 66 note, 146, 180, 244, 295, 357 note, 

15, 101, 124, 



26, 38, 40 
.. 117 
.. 353 

373, 394 
.. 110 
.. 126 
322 note 
237, 251 
.. 4,90 
371 note 
.. 237 

INDEX. 407 

Wood, Dr. Chas U, 302 noti 

Wordsworth 148, i83, 183 

Wordsworth quoted 62, 77, 99, 217, 389 

Yellowhammer 147 210 

York Festival 180 

'^^J^r , 21inote