[Beethoven, Ludwig van. (1770–1827)]
Einladung zu Ludwig van Beethoven’s Leichenbegängniss. ORIGINAL INVITATION TO BEETHOVEN'S FUNERAL
Single sheet black-bordered invitation to Beethoven's funeral, the text composed by Beethoven's life-long friend Stephan von Breuning. Vienna, March 29, 1827. Printed on heavy paper, cut by hand, measuring 19.2 x 13.1 cm. "...Man versammelt sich in der Wohnung des Verstorbenen im Schwarzspanier-Hause Nr. 200, am Glacis vor dem Schottenthore. / Der Zug begibt sich von da nach der Dreyfaltigkeits-Kirche / bey den P. P. Minoriten in der Alsergasse. Die musikalische Welt erlitt den unersetzlichen Verlust des berühmten Tondichters am 26. März 1827 Abends gegen 6 Uhr. / Beethoven starb an den Folgen der Wassersucht, im 56. Jahre seines Alters, nach empfangenen heil. Sacramenten ...“
["The Meeting of Mourners will take place at the residence of the deceased, in the Schwarzspanier House, No. 200, at the Glacis before the Schotten Gate. The cortege will proceed from there to the Trinity Church of the Minorites in Alser Street. / The irretrievable loss to the musical world of the celebrated tone-master took place on the 26th March, 1827, at 6 p.m. Beethoven died in consequence of dropsy, in the 56th year of his age, after having received the Holy Sacrament. / The day of obsequies will be made known by L. van Beethoven's Worshippers and Friends."]
In fine condition with a light crease lower right and somewhat rough lower edge, else a well-preserved and evidently cherished page announcing the death of the composer, exceedingly rare. Matted with a portrait line engraving of the composer by McRae.
"Ten thousand or more (some estimated the throng at double and even triple that number) crowded the streets on March 29 to witness the great procession, which wound through the streets from the courtyard of the Schwarzpanierhaus to the Trinity Church of the Minorites in the Alsergasse and thence to the nearby village of Wahring, where the eloquent funeral oration written by Franz Grillparzer was rendered by the actor Heinrich Anschutz and Beethoven was buried in the parish cemetary. The pallbearers were eight kapellmeisters; the torchbearers included many of Beethoven's closes friends as well as Vienna's leading musicians. A choir sang a solemn Miserere, WoO 130, to the somber accompaniment of trombones." (Maynard Solomon, "Beethoven," p. 383)