Beethoven, Ludwig van
The patron, in the day immediately preceding Beethoven, was not an incident in a musician's career but a necessity, and in his day the public concert was uncommon in Austria, musical entertainments being given in the great private houses and at court functions. Vienna, at this time the gayest capital in Europe, was celebrated less perhaps for luxury than as a musical center. The rich Vienna nobleman was par excellence a patron of music. Thayer tells of twenty-one great houses open to Beethoven, nine of these belonging to princes. He numbered among his friends and intimates not only several princely patrons but also not a few court ladies; of these mention should be made of the Princess Odescalchi, the Baroness Ertmann, and the Countess Gallenberg. That he did not adapt himself to the conventions of the polite world about him there is no lack of proof; the adapting and conciliating had to come from the other side of his relations with the fair Viennese, G. A. Fischer remarks: " Beginning with hero-worship on the part of these devotees, the sentiment usually developed into the more intimate relation of friendship or love. The `Ewig Weibliche' appears constantly in his music and was always in his life. He formed many romantic attachments which may not always have been Platonic, but they were always pure. Beethoven had as chivalrous a regard for women as had any knight of the middle ages." He never married, but evidence would go to show he at one time was engaged to be married to the Countess Therese, sister of the Count of Brunswick. It was during this period that he produced the Fourth Symphony, a work that bespeaks its creator inspired by the "very genius of happiness;" the period, the symphony, in tragic contrast with the later, sad, sordid bachelorhood, the harried household, the uncared-for, lonely state in which his last days were passed. It is looked upon as probable that Beethoven him-self broke off the engagement with the Countess, his irritable pride chafing -against the secrecy enjoined for fear of the disapproval of the lady's mother. The Countess Therese, too, never married, but interested herself in charitable works, founded in Vienna a home for little children, the first of its kind in Austria and lived to the age of eighty-three.
Beethoven ever begrudged the time he had to spend in teaching; and as soon as he was able to get along without it, gave up lessons, except to a favored few here and there. One of these was the Archduke Rudolph, brother of the Emperor. He began taking lessons in 1804 and a lasting friendship grew up between the two, some of Beethoven's best work being written for Rudolph. The young Archduke was passionately fond of music, and was an excellent performer. Another pupil, Ferdinand Ries, son of the old friend at Bonn, was a protege over whom the master labored with rare patience and gentleness, and was rewarded by seeing his pupil become one of the most distinguished pianists of the day. Ries also was a faithful friend, and a long-suffering one. He put up with the master's eccentricities, suspicions and rages, and loved him and served him well. Another pupil was Czerny, who began lessons with him at the age of ten, made very rapid progress, and was a favorite pupil. Lessons also were given to a few ladies, the Brunswick sisters, Madame Ertmann and others; but these were given irregularly and not continued as were the lessons to Rudolph, Ries, and Czerny. During the period of his social successes Beethoven was by no means idle. In addition to his playing and some teaching he was much engrossed in study and composition. Three years after his coming to Vienna, appeared his opus 1, consisting of three trios for piano and strings; and shortly after, opus 2, which consisted of three sonatas, dedicated to Haydn, variations and smaller pieces. In this and ensuing work piano pieces, songs, trios, and quartets the influence of Haydn and Mozart is markedly shown. But from 1800 on, from his thirtieth year, there is noticeable a change. The beginning of the new century is the beginning of a new era with Beethoven. These days are emphasized by the First Symphony; the oratorio, The Mount of Olives, "reminiscent of Handel and prophetic of Wagner;" and the Prometheus Ballet Music; as well as the Piano Concerto in C minor; the descriptive septet; six string quartets; a string quintet; and four piano sonatas; two grand sonatas, opus 26 and opus 28; and the two sonatas constituting opus 27, one of these the famous one nicknamed by Rellstab the "Moonlight Sonata." The year 1802 saw the completion of the Second Symphony. The following year appeared the wonderful scena for soprano and orchestra, Ah Perfido, and 1804 saw the completion of the Third Symphony. This heroic symphony, inspired by the republican spirit of the day, was dedicated to Napoleon and was written for him; Napoleon at the time looming as liberator, not as tyrant. Beethoven, living in imperial Austria, was the avowed enemy of imperialism; in Austria, where the name of Napoleon was most odious, he dedicated to him the wonderful Third Symphony. It lay on the master's table all ready to be transmitted to Paris, when the news reached Vienna that the "liberator" had had himself made Emperor. Beethoven in a rage tore from the music the title page with its mistaken tribute, and ever afterward showed strong antipathy for the name of Bonaparte. The symphony was given the title Sinfonia Eroica and dedicated to Prince Lobkowitz, at whose house it was first produced.