[Beethoven, Ludwig van. (1770–1827)] [Schickh, Johann. (1770–1835)]

Wiener Zeitschrift für Kunst, Literatur, Theater und Mode. Zweytes Quartal. - INCLUDING A CONTEMPORARY REVIEW OF BEETHOVEN'S SECOND ACADEMY CONCERT OF MAY 23, 1824 including THE NINTH SYMPHONY

Vienna: Anton Strauss. 1824. Bound collection of the issues numbered 40 - 78, dated April 1 - June 29, 1824. 339 pp, paginated continuously beginning on page 337, with a complete table of contents. Page 579-580 (3. Juni 1824), features the report on "Zweyte musikalische Akademie des Herrn Ludwig van Beethoven" which includes details regarding the second ever performance of the Ninth Symphony.

"Am Sonntag den 23 May, in der Mittagsstunde, hatte diese Aufführung Statt. Besonders zeckmäßig war dieß Mal der große Redoutensaal gewählt worden, wo die Wirkung viel imposanter ist............ Dann folgt eine detailreiche Kritik, dass u.a. im Finale die Singstimmen untergingen, einzelne Instrumente an Wirksamkeit verloren hatten....etc. etc. Kapellmeister Umlauf hatte die Oberleitung, während Herr Schuppanzigh das Orchester führte........"

Following the legendary first performance of the 9th Symphony, Louis-Antoine Duport, the theater manager of Theater am Kärntnertor (where the first performance had taken place), scheduled a second one for the same venue. Duport convinced Beethoven to agree to a somewhat different program. Only one movement of the Missa Solemnis, the Kyrie, was performed, compared with the three movements which were performed at the Ninth's premiere. Moreover, the second concert had a decidedly Italianate tinge with the inclusion of Beethoven's "Tremate, empi, tremate," Op. 116 as well as "Di tanti palpiti" from Rossini's Tancredi.

"Such an appeal to the public fashion surely did not appeal to Beethoven's taste, who in any case was no supporter of Rossini's music. Perhaps he was so disappointed by the receipts of the first concert [he earned less than 420 florins] that he no longer took an active interest. This second concert ... provided an occasion for a large audience to hear a second and possibly better performance of the symphony. But as it happened, the great Beethoven, the pride of Vienna, had to compete with an unusually beautiful day: the public stayed away, and the house was less than half full." (Thomas F. Kelly, First Nights, 156-57).

In the end, Duport lost 800 florins on the concert because of the poor attendance, and, although Beethoven was unhappy with the circumstances, he still accepted Duport's guarantee of 500 florins despite the lackluster circumstances. (11800)

Classical Music