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Title: Ludwig van Beethoven - The New York Philharmonic-Symphony Society Presents
Author: Sanborn, Pitts
Language: English
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           [Illustration: Beethoven on the bank of a stream.]



                              _Ludwig van
                               Beethoven_


                            By PITTS SANBORN

                  [Illustration: Harp and cello logo]

                                NEW YORK
                           _Grosset & Dunlap_
                               PUBLISHERS

                      _Copyright 1939 and 1951 by
             The Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York_


                             Editor’s Note

The late Pitts Sanborn wrote this booklet under the title _Beethoven and
his Nine Symphonies_ and stated in a short preface that it made “no
claim to originality and no secret of its indebtedness to the masterly
treatises on the same subject.” I have left Mr. Sanborn’s pages on the
symphonies virtually intact and have only expanded the work a little by
incorporating here and there matter about other major works of
Beethoven’s, especially some of the concertos, overtures, piano and
vocal works, besides certain of the greater specimens of his chamber
music. Even if this procedure probably lends the booklet a patchy
character, I have followed it in order to supply a rather fuller picture
of the composer’s creative achievements. No more than my predecessor do
I make the slightest claim to originality of matter or treatment, or
deny my indebtedness to Thayer and Paul Bekker.

                                                       Herbert F. Peyser


                Printed in the United States of America



                         _Ludwig van Beethoven_


Ludwig van Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770, at Bonn, then one of
the most important cities on the lower Rhine. Though Bonn was German and
Beethoven’s mother and his father’s mother were both Germans, he was of
Flemish descent through his father’s father, a native of the country
that eventually became Belgium, whence the “van” in the name. Louis van
Beethoven, a tenor singer, went to Bonn in his youth and promptly became
a court musician to the resident archbishop-elector. His son Johann,
Beethoven’s father, was also a singer in the Elector’s employ, but he
was a worthless fellow, who was fortunate, however, in having as wife a
woman of character. Realizing that his son Ludwig had been born with
uncommon musical talent, he had the child begin to study violin and
piano very early with the idea of putting him forward as a prodigy, as
Mozart’s father had done. But the young Ludwig was less precocious than
Mozart and rebelled strenuously against the enforced training. However,
he did appear at a concert on March 26, 1778.

So strong was the boy’s musical gift that it triumphed over every
obstacle, including his own childish reluctance, and the Elector thought
it worth while to send him to Vienna, then the musical capital of
Europe. He had now been composing for several years, and Haydn accepted
him as a pupil in counterpoint, an arrangement that did not turn out
altogether to Beethoven’s satisfaction. He studied with other teachers
in Vienna and in March 1795, made his first public appearance in that
city, playing his own piano concerto in B flat major. This date marks
the beginning of a kind of recognition that could only spur the young
composer on to the activity that in a nature so vigorous and energetic
meant enthusiastic creation. Of course he wanted to write a symphony.
Mozart, dead in 1791, had left a legacy of forty-nine symphonies. Haydn,
the author of many more, was in full career at 63. They were the world’s
foremost symphonists.


                   Symphony No. 1, in C Major, Op. 21

Beethoven’s First Symphony was brought out at a concert which he gave in
Vienna on April 2, 1800. It was immediately successful and within a few
months carried its composer’s fame all over Germany. In the musical city
of Leipzig it was described as “intellectual, powerful, original, and
difficult.” That was in 1802. Today it is no longer difficult for our
accomplished orchestras, but, as in the case of other works that have
come to seem simple through the passage of time and changes in fashions,
it is no easy matter now for a conductor to catch and express the frank
joyousness of its youthful speech.

The symphony is in the customary four sections or movements. The key is
C major. Yet it does not begin in that key, but with a discord in F
major which shocked some pedants at the time. The slow introduction of
twelve measures leads to the first movement proper (“Allegro con brio”).
Its pages have spirit, gaiety, elegance, for this symphony has well been
termed a symphony of comedy, though here and there a cloud may for the
moment obscure its sunny brightness. The eighteenth century was not over
when Beethoven composed it, and he was still looking at music through
the eyes of Haydn and Mozart, in spite of the fact that the student may
readily discover Beethovenish characteristics that are not derived from
either Haydn or Mozart and distinct intimations of the moods and manners
of the nineteenth century to come. However, comedy itself is not all
compact of sunshine and, as the German proverb has it, laughter and
weeping dwell in the same bag.

This brisk Allegro is followed in the then-prevailing order by the slow
movement (“Andante cantabile con moto,” in F major and consequently not
too slow). It is mainly built up on a tricksy tune that no less an
authority than Professor Tovey described as “kittenish.”

                       [Illustration: play music]

The attentive listener should observe in this movement the recurrent
passage of dotted notes for drums on G and then on C, the drums being
tuned not in the tonic, but in the dominant. Yet bold though this device
might have seemed, it was not wholly original. Mozart had anticipated
Beethoven in his “Linz” Symphony.

The third movement in name is the minuet usual in symphonies of the
eighteenth century (“Menuetto: Allegro molto e vivace,” in C major), but
in reality Beethoven was already looking forward to the scherzo
(Italian, joke) with which he was presently to replace the minuet. This
movement, then, is much less the stately dance in triple rhythm than a
scherzo of generous proportions, rich in modulations and glowing color.
The scherzo, like the minuet, always includes a trio section. Listen in
this trio to the delicious dialogue between wind instruments and strings
and to the rousing crescendo that ends it just before the repetition of
the minuet.

The Finale, in C major, opens with seven measures of Adagio devoted to
the gradual release of a scale passage. So much accomplished, the music
plunges into an “Allegro molto e vivace,” beginning with this sprightly
theme which races along to the conclusion in a whirl of merriment and
humorous sallies.

                       [Illustration: play music]

                [Illustration: Beethoven as a young man.
               _From a painting by W. J. Mahler, 1808._]

 [Illustration: Beethoven’s birthplace in Bonn from the garden and from
                              the street.]


                      First Three Piano Concertos

Beethoven had settled permanently in Vienna in the autumn of 1792 and
the body of his work originated, of course, in the Austrian capital. We
cannot, however, dismiss the compositions preceding the First Symphony
as wholly negligible. The creations of this period are to a large extent
relatively small in scale. There is a quantity of piano music largely in
the form of variations, a number of songs and several arias, odds and
ends of chamber music, dances, marches, and such. Some of the variations
for piano and strings are based on melodies of Handel, Mozart, and a
number of lesser lights. During his Bonn days Beethoven had composed a
score for a “knightly ballet” (_Ritterballet_), performed by members of
the Bonn aristocracy and ascribed at first to Count Waldstein. It was
Beethoven’s first ballet score and preceded by some years his far more
pretentious _Creatures of Prometheus_, written in Vienna to a scenario
by the noted dancer, Salvatore Vigano.

The vocal compositions of this early period are not, perhaps, of
conspicuous quality. Beethoven’s best-known song and, indeed, his most
famous (though not the best) is the setting of Matthisson’s
_Adelaide_—more a _cantate_ than what we have come to classify as a
genuine _Lied_. Considerably later he was to write the cycle _An die
ferne Geliebte_, which together with some of his settings of Goethe
poems and the stark but majestic _Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur_, may
pass as Beethoven’s most memorable achievements in the province of the
solo song. To his Bonn days, however, belongs a genuine cantata, the one
composed in 1790 on the death of the Emperor Joseph II. This work
survives chiefly because one of its finest pages was later utilized in
the last scene of _Fidelio_, into which it fits admirably.

Three years before the First Symphony Beethoven began the first
orchestral score he decided to publish. This was the B-flat Piano
Concerto, which though we know it as No. 2, opus 19, actually preceded
the one in C major, opus 15. It was performed for the first time by the
composer March 29, 1795, on the occasion of his first appearance “as
virtuoso and composer” before the Viennese public. It had been announced
that he would play “an entirely new concerto” on this occasion of the
first two annual concerts given for the benefit of the widows of the
Tonkünstler Society. Thayer, following the lead of Nottebohm, felt
certain that this “new” concerto was the one in B flat. Beethoven was
tardy in completing it, and we are told that two days before the concert
the Rondo was not yet on paper. In spite of illness he wrote it out at
the eleventh hour, while four copyists sat in the next room and were
handed the piece, sheet by sheet, as soon as the music was set down.

We know as good as nothing of the public reaction to the work. We do
know, however, that the composer was far from satisfied with it and
revised the score before playing it in Prague in 1798. At that, he
confided to the publisher, Franz Hoffmeister, that he “did not consider
it one of his best.” The first movement has a vigorous and arresting
first theme, followed by a tranquil, songful one. Some of the cantabile
phrases that follow have a rather Mozartean character. The Adagio begins
with a devout, rather hymnlike melody, on which the piano subsequently
embroiders. The Finale, a rondo with a playful recurrent theme
suggestive of Haydn, contains a second lilting melody and another,
partly syncopated, which, though in minor, does not lessen at all the
high spirits of the movement.

Just as the composer considered the B-flat Concerto “not one of his best
works,” so he also questioned the value of the subsequent C major
Concerto, written in 1797 and not published (like the First Symphony)
until 1801. Yet this concerto is a great advance over its predecessor;
it contains a beautifully expressive Largo and a deliciously brisk and
zestful “Allegro scherzando” Rondo, marked by jocose _sforzandi_ on weak
beats and various striking rhythmic displacements. Taken as a whole,
there is far more of what we recognize as a true Beethoven quality in
this misnamed First Concerto than there is in the so-called Second.

The Third Piano Concerto (C minor, opus 37), composed in 1800 but not
played publicly till about three years later, is a great advance on its
two predecessors from every standpoint. The proximity of the more
“heroic” Beethoven is immediately evident. Indeed, it probably possessed
more of the unmistakably heroic quality than any other concerto written
before its time. The solo part is different and more striking in
originality than anything in the concertos in B-flat and C major; and a
symphonic breadth pervades the work, notably the opening movement. The
second movement—a Largo in E—begins in the piano and is then sung by
muted strings. There is a passage that, strangely enough, sounds like a
prophecy of the melody of the tenor air _Salut demeure_ in Gounod’s
opera _Faust_ and may easily have suggested it to the French composer.
Before the close of the Largo there is a cadenza “con gran espressione.”
The Rondo brings back the key of C minor and is, in a variety of ways, a
most remarkable movement. Curiously enough, the coda appears to have
been inspired by the closing page of Mozart’s C minor Concerto which,
some time earlier, had so struck Beethoven that he remarked to another
musician: “None of us will ever write anything like that!” And the
composer was not to occupy himself further with piano concertos for
several years till in 1806 he created his most deeply poetic (the
Fourth, in G major, opus 56), and again till 1809, when he wrote his
most spacious and lavish, the E-flat (“Emperor”), by which time he had
behind him several of his monumental productions.


                  Symphony No. 2, in D Major, Opus 36

Beethoven composed the Second Symphony in very different circumstances
from the first. The deafness that had first manifested itself several
years previously and was in time to become complete had reached such a
point that on the advice of his doctor he decided to spend the summer of
1802 in the village of Heiligenstadt, which, though near Vienna, was
then deep in the country. It was a tragic summer for Beethoven, as he
himself has testified in that infinitely pathetic document known as the
“Heiligenstadt Will.” He would probably have taken his own life but for
his determination to consecrate himself with new courage to his art. His
life was further complicated by a love affair with the youthful Countess
Giulietta Guicciardi. Whether or not this love affair was as serious as
some have maintained, the Countess preferred Count Gallenberg to the
turbulent composer and accordingly married him.

In such a setting Beethoven undertook his Second Symphony. This work,
however, reflects his tragedy only here and there and in a richer
romanticism than his music had previously expressed—a romanticism of the
nineteenth century. As in the case of the First Symphony, the Second, in
D major, has a slow introduction (“Adagio molto”), but this introduction
is much longer and, though based in style on Haydn’s symphonic
introductions, is instilled with the new romantic freedom and contains a
surprising prediction of the Ninth Symphony in a descending octave
passage.

The “Allegro con brio” that follows starts off with a buoyant theme
which sets the pace for an energetic and generally cheerful movement. It
is in the ensuing Larghetto in A major that we hear in full proclamation
the individual voice of Beethoven as we have not heard it before. This
has been aptly called one of the most luxurious slow movements in the
world, and its richness in melodies has been set down as “reckless.”
Here are two of them:

                       [Illustration: play music]

                       [Illustration: play music]

The next movement, again in D major, is this time called frankly a
“Scherzo,” not a “Menuetto.” This concise Allegro is particularly
noteworthy for the prophecy in its Trio of the Trio of the Scherzo of
the Ninth Symphony.

The Finale, “Allegro molto” in D, is a forthright, humorous rondo. In
view of the tragedy of that summer, this symphony, at once romantic and
exuberant, might perhaps best be looked upon as an escape. Brought out
on April 5, 1803, at a concert of Beethoven’s works given by the
composer at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, it was coolly received,
being regarded by many listeners as extravagant or enigmatic.


                Symphony No. 3, in E-flat Major (“Eroica”), Opus 55

Beethoven’s next symphony, though begun in the summer of 1803, was not
completed till the following year. As long before as 1802 Beethoven had
declared his dissatisfaction with his works up to that time: “From today
I mean to take a new road.” This symphony boldly takes that road. The
Second Symphony still belongs largely to the eighteenth century. The
Third embodies the developments with which Beethoven revolutionized the
symphony. In amplitude and opulence no previous symphonic movement had
ever equalled or even approached the initial “Allegro con brio,” and it
may be doubted whether any has subsequently surpassed it. Sensitive
listeners hearing it for the first time may well have cried out with
Miranda: “O brave new world!”

There ensues a Funeral March that is one of the most tremendous
lamentations conceived in any art. The Scherzo is not only the first but
one of Beethoven’s symphonic scherzos, it is also among the greatest.
For the Finale Beethoven provides a theme and variations of astonishing
diversity and splendor.

The first and dominating theme of the “Allegro con brio”

                       [Illustration: play music]

Beethoven very likely remembered from Mozart’s little _Bastien und
Bastienne_ overture, but he uses it here in the grand manner. The
Funeral March begins with a striking phrase in C minor. A tender lyric
passage in C major introduces an elegiac element into the sternness of
the dirge. The Scherzo (“Allegro vivace” in E-flat major) is an
enormously energetic movement and is interrupted by a Trio, prophetic in
its turn of the Ninth Symphony and including a particularly brilliant
and difficult passage for the horns.

The theme of the concluding variations (“Allegro molto” in E flat major)
Beethoven had previously employed in his ballet, _The Creatures of
Prometheus_. This theme, simple as it appears, contains the germ of one
of the most remarkable sets of variations ever put down on paper.

                       [Illustration: play music]

The Third Symphony is universally known today less by its number and its
key than by the title “Eroica” (“Heroic”). Everybody is familiar with
the story of the relation of this symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte.
Beethoven, sympathetic toward the republican ideals of the French
Revolution, originally hailed General Bonaparte as the Great Liberator,
but when in May 1804 he accepted the imperial crown of France, Beethoven
saw him in an entirely different light. Such was his rage that he was on
the point of destroying this symphony, which he had intended to dedicate
to Bonaparte as a tribute to his services to mankind. Fortunately he
desisted, tore Bonaparte’s name from the inscription, and entitled the
work “Eroica.” It should not be forgotten, though, that when seventeen
years later he heard of the death of Napoleon at St. Helena, he
remarked, “I have already composed the proper music for that
catastrophe,” which was an allusion to the Funeral March.

The meaning of the symphony as a heroic work is clear enough to anyone
who hears the first movement and the Funeral March. Perhaps only Anton
Rubinstein has ever questioned the heroic quality of the first movement
and nobody has or could doubt the heroism of the mighty threnody that
follows. But to fit the brilliant Scherzo and the dazzling set of
variations into the picture has occasioned any amount of controversy. To
go at length into the various theories is impossible here, but one might
point out that the Scherzo has been interpreted as a scene in the hero’s
camp, as an excited crowd waiting for the hero’s return and his
triumphant address in the Trio, and as a picture of funeral games at the
grave of the hero, such as one finds in the epic poems of Homer and
Virgil, this last theory being that of Berlioz. The variations of the
Finale have been plausibly explained as the nations of the earth
bringing each its tribute of flowers to deck the hero’s monument. The
first performance of this transcendent symphony took place in Vienna on
April 7, 1805.


                Symphony No. 4, in B-flat Major, Opus 60

Three years elapsed between the completion of the “Eroica” Symphony and
the emergence of the Fourth Symphony. The latter was brought out in
Vienna at a special subscription concert organized for Beethoven’s
benefit in the middle of the latter part of March 1807. Little is known
about the origin and composition of this work and its relation to the
other circumstances of Beethoven’s life. Apparently he had been busy
with his C minor Symphony (the Fifth) when in 1805 he laid that aside to
write a symphony in B flat. This act of his is in line with his general
procedure with regard to his symphonies, a lighter work following one of
deep import. Robert Schumann, a distinguished critic as well as a great
composer, likened the Fourth Symphony as related to the “Eroica” and the
Fifth to “a slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants.” This
comparison, however, lays too much emphasis on youthful ingenuousness,
for humor and the joy of living have their place here, and romance as
well, with touches of passion and of mystery. One of its admirers has
called it a “symphony of love.”

Mystery and romance are evoked in the elaborate introduction (Adagio),
which this symphony like the Second possesses, but the mood turns to
merriment when the “Allegro vivace” enters with this skipping tune:

                       [Illustration: play music]

The second movement (Adagio in E-flat major) is related in its
luxuriance and melodic richness to the Larghetto of the Second Symphony,
establishing another bond between the two works. A hint of the beauty of
this movement may be gathered from the first theme:

                       [Illustration: play music]

The fervor that breathes through its measures has been attributed to
Beethoven’s contemporaneous engagement to the Countess Therese von
Brunswick, to whom many believe he addressed the famous “Immortal
Beloved” letter. Berlioz, like Schumann eminent not only as composer but
as critic, accounts for this Adagio in a still loftier vein: “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
world’s uprising to the threshold of the empyrean.”

For the third movement Beethoven returns to the name “menuetto”
(“Allegro vivace” in B-flat major; Trio, “un poco meno Allegro,” in
B-flat major), though “scherzo” would do quite as well. This minuet is
planned on a particularly large scale and is further remarkable for the
fact that, as in the Scherzo of the Seventh Symphony, the Trio is played
twice and the Minuet proper repeated each time. The attentive listener
should also heed the striking change of key to B-flat minor at the fifth
bar. The exuberant Finale (“Allegro ma non troppo” in B-flat major) is
perpetual motion in music, flashing and glittering with tunefulness and
fun.


                                Sonatas

“Beethoven’s work,” says Paul Bekker, “is based on the pianoforte;
therein lie its roots and there it first bore perfect fruit.” Yet it is
a curious paradox that he abandoned this phase of composition relatively
early, producing the majority of his works for the keyboard before he
was forty. A number of reasons might be cited for this—his growing
deafness, the consequent impossibility of his public appearances as
performing virtuoso, the circumstance that his intellect outgrew the
expressive capacity of the piano, and the immense broadening and
deepening of his creative faculties which demanded subtler and more
ramified channels of expression. “The pianoforte is and always will be a
disappointing instrument,” he said at one stage of his career. And he
was distressed that his compositions for the piano exclusively always
produced on him the most regrettable impression. “Oh! Beethoven, what an
ass you were!” he exclaimed on one occasion when someone played him his
own Variations in C minor.

Nevertheless, the tremendous series of thirty-two sonatas, which began,
roughly speaking, in 1795 and continued more or less intermittently till
1822, are among his most moving, gracious, original, adventurous, and
completely extraordinary achievements. They range all the way from the
so-called “Pathétique,” “Pastoral,” and “Moonlight” to the “Waldstein,”
the “Appassionata,” and the programmatic “Les Adieux, l’Absence et le
Retour,” to the mighty series beginning in 1816 with the A major, opus
101, and culminating in the gigantic B flat, opus 106 (universally known
as “for the Hammerklavier”), the extraordinarily imaginative ones in E
major and A flat, opera 109 and 110, and the transcendent, Promethean C
minor, opus 111. Within the cosmic limits of this stupendous succession
there stretches a whole world of emotional experience and an
incalculable diversity of invention. And we may as well mention here
(though it was not composed till 1823) that prodigious set of
Thirty-three Variations on a Waltz by the publisher Diabelli, which has
not its like in the whole range of Beethoven’s output. Looking back over
the immense panorama of the composer’s piano works (including
variations, bagatelles, and solo sonatas) stretching, let us say, from
the awesome summits of the “Hammerklavier,” the C minor, and the
“Diabelli” Variations backward to the comparative simplicities of the
sonatas Opera 2, 22, 26, and 27 leaves one with the dizzy impression of
surveying a whole Alpine panorama.


                  Symphony No. 5, in C Minor, Opus 67

As we have seen, Beethoven interrupted work on a symphony in C minor to
write his Fourth Symphony. That done, he returned to the C minor
Symphony, finishing it late in 1807 or early in 1808. Both this Fifth
Symphony and its successor, the Sixth, were brought out in Vienna at the
same concert on December 22, 1808. The Fifth Symphony has turned out to
be the most unreservedly admired, the most generally beloved, and the
most frequently performed of all Beethoven’s nine, in fact, of all
symphonies. It is the drama in tone of man’s victorious struggle with
destiny and it was largely composed at Heiligenstadt, Beethoven’s own
spiritual battlefield. In 1801 Beethoven had made himself this promise:
“I will take Fate by the throat; it shall not wholly overcome me.” The C
minor Symphony opens with an intensely dramatic figure of four notes
which Beethoven explains as “Fate knocking at the door”:

                       [Illustration: play music]

This rhythmic group not only dominates the concise first movement, but
appears in every succeeding movement. The second movement (“Andante con
moto” in A-flat major) consists of a graceful, flowing set of variations
on a brave and lovely theme:

                       [Illustration: play music]

The uncanny Scherzo (Allegro in C minor), introduced merely by the
common chord of C minor in arpeggio, is the musical embodiment of the
terror that walketh by night. Berlioz said of the opening, “It is as
fascinating as the gaze of a mesmerizer.” An extraordinary bridge
passage, a supreme example of musical suspense, leads from the nightmare
of the Scherzo finally in a breathtaking crescendo to the triumphant
proclamation of the C major Finale. The effect produced by this symphony
on a contemporary composer is indicated in the frenetic outburst of the
veteran composer Lesueur to the youthful Berlioz: “Ouf! Let me get out;
I must have air. It is unbelievable! Marvellous! It has so upset and
bewildered me that when I wanted to put on my hat, _I could not find my
head_!”


            Symphony No. 6, in F Major, “Pastoral”, Opus 68

In the three symphonies that successively precede the Sixth, Beethoven,
as we have seen, is concerned with man as lover or as hero, for the
spiritual conflict of the Fifth Symphony is no less heroic than are the
exploits and lamentations of the Third. The Sixth Symphony, however,
though quite as personal, treats of man from a totally different angle.
This symphony, which the composer himself called “Pastoral,” is
Beethoven’s monument to Nature. It expresses his personal devotion to
the country and to what life in the country meant to him. He spent a
great deal of time in the lovely Viennese countryside, especially at
Heiligenstadt, but here the country is no battlefield as it had been in
the summer of 1802, the summer of the “Heiligenstadt Will”; it is rather
the cheerful, sunlit province of Nature’s healing power.

Copious and quaint is the verbal testimony to Beethoven’s pleasure in
Nature. A lodging had once been bespoken for him at the coppersmith’s at
Baden (near Vienna). When he saw there were no trees around the house,
he exclaimed, “This house won’t do for me. I love a tree more than a
man.” According to the Countess Therese von Brunswick, his one-time
betrothed, “he loved 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.” Charles Neate, one of
the founders of the London Philharmonic Society, who was on intimate
terms with Beethoven in Vienna in 1815, assures us that he had “never
met anyone who so delighted 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.” Michael Krenn, Beethoven’s
body-servant during the last summer of his life when he was staying at
his brother’s house at Gneixendorf, relates that Beethoven spent most of
his time in the open air from six in the morning till ten at night,
ranging over the fields, often hatless, shouting (he had long been
completely deaf), gesticulating, and in general quite beside himself
from the torrent of ideas in his mind.

The character of the Sixth Symphony Beethoven immediately makes plain on
the dedicatory page. “Pastoral Symphony,” he calls it, “or a
recollection of country life. More an expression of feeling than a
painting.” The word “more” is important, for actually the symphony is in
part a painting in tone, even if not for the greater part. Instead of
keeping to the traditional four movements, this symphony rejoices in
five, each carrying an identifying title. The first, “Allegro ma non
troppo” in F major, explains itself thus: “The cheerful impressions
excited on arriving in the country.” It begins immediately with this
theme:

                       [Illustration: play music]

which really holds the germ of the entire movement and, as Beethoven
develops it, becomes as the whole countryside in Maytime bloom.

The second movement, “Andante molto moto” in B-flat major, is more
definite in its treatment of Nature. Beethoven calls it “Scene by the
brookside,” and from the very first note you hear the purling of the
water in the lower strings.

                       [Illustration: play music]

Against this murmurous background lovely melodies bud and flower and the
whole orchestra seems filled with the tiny, numberless noises of summer.
Near the end occurs a specific imitation of the call of birds,
nightingale, cuckoo, and quail. Beethoven himself said that he meant
these measures as a joke, and others have termed them parody or
caricature. But, joke or parody, the unconquerable artist in Beethoven
has made them of one substance with the heavenly summer light and shade
that pervade this interlude of leisure by the brook.

Though not entitled Scherzo, the third movement, Allegro in F major, is
one in fact. Here the human beings that people this countryside possess
the picture. Beethoven labels the movement “Jolly gathering of country
folk.” Its downright gayety brings in its train an amusing takeoff on a
village band, especially the befuddled bassoon. The middle part of the
movement, “In tempo d’allegro,” corresponding to the usual trio, has
been construed by some as a quarrel among the dancers, by others as just
a rude episode in the dance. The jolly character of the movement is
evident in these consecutive tunes, in the contrasting keys of F and D,
that start it off:

                       [Illustration: play music]

The last three movements of the symphony are continuous. A dominant
seventh of F ends the “Jolly Gathering,” but, instead of its resolving,
an ominous drum roll on D flat immediately ushers in the fourth
movement, “Thunderstorm; Tempest” (Allegro in D minor), the storm
without which no country scene is perfect. In spite of the formidable
title, this is by no means a devastating outburst, though quite
sufficient to postpone festivities. Memorable is the feeling of tension
in the opening measures, the distant grumbling of the thunder, the first
staccato raindrops. The disappearing tempest is followed directly by the
last movement: “Shepherd’s Song; joyous and thankful feelings after the
storm.” Happiness settles on the landscape once more, as this
light-hearted tune abundantly proves:

                       [Illustration: play music]

Some of the melodies in this symphony are said to be derived from
Carinthian or Styrian folk songs. As we have observed, the work was
originally brought out at the same concert in Vienna (December 22, 1808)
with the Fifth Symphony. Since it had an earlier place on the program,
it was known for a while as the Fifth and the Fifth as the Sixth, but
the mistake was soon rectified.


                 _Fidelio_ and the “Leonore” Overtures

The period of Beethoven’s Second, Third, and Fourth Symphonies covers,
roughly speaking, a number of other compositions, some of them
relatively trifling, others of greater moment, still others of
altogether sovereign importance. Among the first type we can mention the
Romances in G and F for violin and orchestra, composed in 1802; the
oratorio “Christ on the Mount of Olives,” from the same year; and the
Triple Concerto for piano, violin, and cello, which dates from 1805. The
two Romances are fluent, lyrical movements, but without special depth or
originality. The “Mount of Olives,” a sort of dramatic cantata which at
first enjoyed an almost incredible popularity, for which it has paid
with speedy and wholesale neglect, is a score of extremely uneven value,
which handles a religious subject in a superficial, operatic fashion
scarcely in keeping. Here and there it is possible to find in it
interesting details but the chances for a revival of this work (which
Beethoven’s intelligent contemporary, Rochlitz, criticized in spots as
“comic”) are remote. The Triple Concerto, though not a masterwork of the
first order, has been somewhat too harshly dismissed by many and
therefore seldom visits our concert halls.

Otherwise the principal productions of these years include a quantity of
the brightest jewels in Beethoven’s crown. Leaving aside the chamber
music, which we prefer to consider by itself, they comprise the opera
_Fidelio_ and the three “Leonore” Overtures written in connection with
it; the Violin Concerto (which the composer also arranged as a sort of
piano concerto); and the “Coriolanus” Overture.

_Fidelio_, which Beethoven originally called _Leonore_, was begun in
1804. A child of sorrow to its composer, it was not to achieve the form
in which we now know it till 1814. In the odd century and a half of its
existence it has been attacked for countless reasons in spite of which
it lives on with an incredible tenacity and obstinately refuses to die.
It has been reproached for being poor theater, undramatic, unvocal,
patchy, and countless other things. The book, originally adapted from
_Leonore, ou l’amour conjugale_, by the Frenchman, Bouilly, and
translated into German by Joseph Sonnleithner, was cast into its
definitive form by Friedrich Treitschke. For a variety of reasons the
work failed when it was first performed at the Theater an der Wien in
November 1805. A bold attempt at revision the following season did not
manage to keep it afloat and it was not till eight years later that the
composer, with the clever dramatic surgery of Treitschke, made a final
attempt to salvage it. Just how drastic were the alterations that the
composer and librettist made in the piece can best be appreciated by
those who have had the opportunity to examine the reconstruction of the
original version which Erich Prieger published in 1905 on the occasion
of the centenary of the work. From this it can be seen that not only
have entirely new musical numbers supplanted the old but the opera (or
rather _Singspiel_) has been reduced from its original three acts to two
and that the dramaturgy betrays a vastly more experienced hand. The
musical changes and condensations of Beethoven have, in their way, been
no less thorough.

Far from being bad theater or unoperatic as sometimes charged, _Fidelio_
is basically one of the most dramatic and profoundly moving masterpieces
the lyric theater can show. The 1805 version lacked a number of its most
striking musical features. The original, for example, shows no trace of
the great outburst, _Abscheulicher_, which introduces Leonore’s
tremendous _scena_ in the first act; and in the second, Florestan’s
dungeon air lacks its present “Und spür ich nicht holde, sanft säuselnde
Duft,” which took the place of the long-winded bravura phrases the
composer originally gave the presumably starving prisoner to sing. Even
the present touching close of the dungeon episode was originally quite
different.

It has often been claimed that the previous “failure” of the work so
discouraged the composer that his operatic achievements ended then and
there. As a matter of fact, Beethoven to the end of his days never gave
up his search for another libretto. That he never found it was due to
the very special slant of his requirements. As for the “unvocal”
character of his writing for voices, it is necessary to remember that,
for all the opera’s undeniable exactions, generations of great dramatic
singers have repeatedly triumphed in the chief roles of _Fidelio_.

Beethoven composed four overtures to his opera—the three so-called
“Leonore” Overtures in C and the one in E major, known as the “Fidelio”
Overture. The last-named was written in 1814 for Treitschke’s new
version of the piece. It is the slightest of them all and is the one
that invariably prefaces performances of the opera. For years
controversies have raged as to the order in which the “Leonore”
Overtures were written and for what reason one supplanted the other. The
Second Leonore was the first used to preface the drama at its 1805
hearing; the Third introduced the 1806 revision. Theories have been
bandied about for generations to account for the First Overture, which
was issued as Opus 138 only some years after the composer’s death. The
researches of Dr. Joseph Braunstein in his exhaustive study _Beethovens
Leonore-Ouvertüren, eine historischstilkritische Untersuchung_ have
settled the problem for us. The overtures were composed in the order of
their numbering. “Leonore” No. 1 was found too light for its purpose
and, after a private try-out, was discarded before being publicly
performed. “Leonore” No. 2, less polished and formally perfect than the
more structural and popular No. 3, ranks if anything as more dramatic,
modern, and powerful, even if it does lack the brilliantly jubilant coda
that is the particular glory of No. 3. Neither of these two, however, is
a wholly well-conceived introduction to _Fidelio_, for the reason that
both overpower the opera as a whole and might almost be said to render
the drama superfluous. Actually, a _Fidelio_ representation profits by
the omission of all the “Leonore” Overtures, though practically every
audience these days expects the “Leonore” No. 3 quite as a matter of
course and ordinarily gets it as a sort of interlude between the dungeon
and the concluding scenes.

A word as to the “Fidelio” Overture of 1814, which has none of the
features of the “Leonore” tone poems, either thematically or otherwise.
It is more in the character of a _Singspiel_ overture and has as good as
no dramatic connection with the opera itself—no reference to Florestan’s
dungeon song nor to the off-stage fanfare of the rescue scene; yet it
leads quite properly into the light moods of the opening episodes of the
chattering Marzelline and Jacquino in the first scene and does not, like
the Second and Third “Leonore,” completely overweight the remainder of
the score. At that, it is structurally and otherwise fully worthy of its
composer and is a more logical adjunct to _Fidelio_ than any one of the
“Leonore” Overtures. Actually, it is a good deal more interesting in its
own right than the average person imagines and merits far closer study
than it ordinarily receives.

The “Coriolanus” Overture virtually coincides, in point of time, with
the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Symphonies. One of its creator’s most
striking, yet economically fashioned works, it is in no way related to
Shakespeare’s _Coriolanus_ as has frequently been imagined, but was
derived from a Coriolanus tragedy by Heinrich von Collin. Yet many
(including Richard Wagner) have interpreted it in terms of Shakespeare’s
drama, the basic emotional pattern of which it can suggest.


                  Symphony No. 7, in A Major, Opus 92

After the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, Beethoven let several years pass
without giving the world another, though he continued to compose
diligently in spite of uncertain health and ever-increasing deafness. At
length, in 1812, he finished two symphonies, which were probably played
in private for the first time at the house of the Archduke Rudolph in
Vienna on April 20, 1813. He was unable, however, to obtain a public
performance for either of them till the Seventh Symphony was given in
the great hall of the University of Vienna on December 8 of the same
year.

Beethoven himself spoke of this work as his “most excellent” symphony,
an opinion that not a few have echoed. He composed it in all the
exuberance of his creative maturity, and each of its four movements
brims over with the fiery essence of his inspiration. The listener is
overpowered by the very lavishness of its beauty. In this symphony you
feel Beethoven’s genius as something inexhaustible, glorying in its own
titanic power, as of a high god ignoring lesser breeds, proud in the
knowledge of invincible strength, unfettered, carefree, save where the
Allegretto acknowledges a divine melancholy.

Coming after the “Pastoral” with its avowed meaning, does this symphony
“mean” anything in the sense in which that work and the “Eroica” do?
Beethoven has not helped us with the clue of a title. However, there are
students of the Seventh to whom it has yielded a quite definite meaning.
Two of the most eminent are Richard Wagner and the French composer
Vincent d’Indy. To Wagner the Seventh Symphony is the “apotheosis of the
dance.” To d’Indy it is a second “Pastoral” Symphony, full of bird-calls
and other country sounds. Of course Wagner’s definition recognizes the
great part played in it by rhythm.

The Seventh Symphony begins in its title key of A major with a long
introduction (“Poco sostenuto”), which almost has the importance of a
separate movement. The second theme of this introduction—a capricious,
tripping melody, first given out by a solo oboe—is not only one of the
most captivating that Beethoven ever invented, but might very well be
taken for an invitation to the dance or, perhaps equally well, for the
caroling of a bird:

                       [Illustration: play music]

The principal theme of the main body of the movement (Vivace in A
major), first announced by the flute, dominates the whole movement with
its dotted dactylic rhythm. This theme, in its turn, might be a further
invitation to the dance or again the piping of a bird.

                       [Illustration: play music]

The second movement, an Allegretto opening in A minor on a long-held,
mysterious 6-4 chord of the tonic, is one of the most remarkable pages
in all Beethoven. Here, if the dance simile is to be preserved, it must
be a solemn, ritual dance. Thus the movement has been likened to a
procession in the catacombs. But it has been likened as well to the love
dream of an odalisque!

The third movement is a brilliant Scherzo, though marked only “Presto”
(in F major). Twice it is interrupted by the fascinating strains of the
somewhat less rapid Trio (“Assai meno presto” in D major), enshrining a
melody that is said to be taken from a pilgrims’ hymn of Lower Austria:

                       [Illustration: play music]

The Finale is an Allegro of enormous energy and rhythmic incisiveness,
whose tumultuous measures have been specifically compared to widely
diverse dances. Some have heard here the rough jollity of dancing
peasants, a “Bauertanz” or “Dance of Peasants,” while to others it is
nothing less than the ceremonial dance of those priests of Cybele, the
Corybantes, around the cradle of the infant Zeus.


                               Overtures

In 1809-10—or only two or three years before the Seventh and Eighth
Symphonies—Beethoven was commissioned to write incidental music for
Goethe’s tragedy of the Netherlands under Spanish oppression, _Egmont_.
The F minor Overture ranks indisputably as one of his finest, if it is
less spare and less dour than the one to _Coriolanus_. It is a dramatic
tone poem, but not a theatrical compendium in the manner of the
“Leonore” Overtures. Yet it has an exultant coda not wholly dissimilar
to the tremendous close of “Leonore” No. 3. This coda is identical with
the so-called “Triumph” Symphony which concludes the play and was
actually composed before the overture proper.

The greater Beethoven overtures might be termed off-shoots or
by-products of the symphonies. Let us consider them briefly at this
stage irrespective of their precise dates of composition. Not all the
rest, to be sure, rise to the heights of the “Leonore” Overtures, the
“Egmont,” or the “Coriolanus.” But it is only proper to allude to such
symphonic prefaces as the early overture to the _Creatures of
Prometheus_ ballet (from the period of the First Symphony), the tenuous
ones for the Kotzebue plays _The Ruins of Athens_ and _King Stephen_,
the “Namensfeier” Overture (an “occasional” piece, written in 1814), and
the magnificent, if slightly known and largely undervalued,
“Consecration of the House,” composed as late as 1822 for the opening of
the Josefstädter Theater in Vienna. The influence of Handel is
powerfully manifest in this late creation, which is strongly
contrapuntal in its texture but at the same time strangely suggestive
from a dramatic, even a pictorial, standpoint.

Having paid something of a compliment to Handel in the “Consecration of
the House” Beethoven was on the point of composing an overture on the
letters of Bach’s name a couple of years later. The formula B-A-C-H
represents in German notation B flat, A, C, and B as employed
contrapuntally not only by Bach himself but by countless other masters
since Bach’s epoch. Unfortunately, though he worked on studies for such
an overture till 1825, Beethoven was too occupied with other schemes and
never lived to complete it.


                  Symphony No. 8, in F Major, Opus 93

Although played privately in Vienna at the Archduke Rudolph’s on April
20, 1813, the Eighth Symphony had no public performance till it was
brought out at the Redoutensaal (Vienna) on February 27, 1814. The
Seventh Symphony was on the same program and its Allegretto was encored,
as it had been at its world première of the previous December. But the
new work was received with less favor. A reviewer generously remarked
that it was a mistake to place it after the manifold beauties of the
Seventh. He had no doubt that it would be well received in future if
given alone. Nevertheless this symphony was long neglected, in spite of
attempts to make it succeed with the public by interpolating the popular
Allegretto of the Seventh!

Beethoven himself called the Eighth his “little symphony in F” in
contrast to the “great” symphony in A (Seventh). Yet the indifference of
the audience at the Redoutensaal annoyed him and he testily remarked
that the Eighth was “much better” than the Seventh, perhaps saying more
than he really meant. There have been attempts to interpret this
symphony, to provide it with a specific program. One such would make of
it a “military trilogy” and d’Indy, still under the spell of the
“Pastoral,” detects in it the impression made by Nature on Beethoven’s
soul. He also hears a peasant band burlesqued in the Trio of the
Menuetto, and the Hungarian theme employed in the Finale suggests to him
the presence of gypsy musicians amid the festivities.

Be all that as it may, this is the symphony of laughter—not the laughter
of childlike glee or of a reckless or despairing levity. Rather it is
the “vast and inextinguishable laughter” that Shelley speaks of in
_Prometheus Unbound_. It is the laughter of a man who has lived and
suffered and, scaling the heights, has achieved the summit. So he has
fashioned his own humor and dares survey the very stars in their
appointed courses as integrals of a cosmic comedy. Only here and there
does a note of rebellion momentarily obtrude itself, and here and there,
in brief lyrical repose, we have, remembering Sir Thomas Browne, an
intimation of Divinity more than the ear discovers.

The first movement (“Allegro vivace e con brio” in F major) begins at
once with a sprightly tune which tells right away the nature of the
work. The second subject of the rollicking movement is one of
Beethoven’s most delicious inspirations:

                       [Illustration: play music]

The second movement (“Allegretto scherzando” in B-flat major) is unique
in symphonic literature. The persistent staccato ticking that runs
through it has lent credibility to the story that the movement is based
on a canon or round, “Ta, ta, ta, lieber Maelzel,” sung as a tribute to
Maelzel—the inventor of that invaluable mechanical timebeater, the
metronome—at a dinner given for Beethoven before he left Vienna for the
country in July 1812. Thayer, who investigated the story carefully,
says: “That Maelzel’s ‘ta, ta, ta’ suggested the Allegretto to
Beethoven, and that at a parting meal the canon on this theme was sung,
are doubtless true; but it is by no means sure that the canon preceded
the symphony.” There is a story that Beethoven himself set the date of
the dinner late in December 1817. In any event, the irrepressible
sixteenth notes tick away metronomically, and here is the airy theme
that leads them on:

                       [Illustration: play music]

Berlioz says of this movement: “It is one of those productions for which
neither model nor pendant can be found. This sort of thing falls entire
from heaven into the composer’s brain. He writes it at a single sitting,
and we are amazed at hearing it.” This would be all very well but for
the fact that Beethoven’s sketches show how mightily he labored over the
wholly spontaneous-seeming movement. When that eminent pessimist, the
philosopher Schopenhauer, heard it, he declared it could make one forget
that the world is filled with nothing but misery!

Instead of a scherzo Beethoven proceeds with a stately Minuet (“Tempo di
Menuetto” in F major), which is not the symphonic minuet of the First
and the Fourth symphonies, but a minuet in the noble manner of the
eighteenth-century dance and perhaps not untinged with irony. Here is
its courtly opening melody:

                       [Illustration: play music]

In the Finale (“Allegro vivace” in F major) the joy is truly unconfined
and the music roars and billows with the impact of Olympian laughter.


                 Mass in C Major and the Missa Solemnis

Aside from the above-mentioned oratorio _Christ on the Mount of Olives_,
Beethoven’s major religious compositions consist of the Mass in C major,
written in 1807, and the stupendous one in D—the overpowering _Missa
Solemnis_—begun in 1817 but not completed till 1825. The C major Mass
must not be thought of as an early creation or a thing in the manner of
the _Mount of Olives_. Actually, it is a work of the composer’s
maturity, virtually contemporaneous with the great “Leonore” Overture
and the Fifth Symphony. It was written at the instance of one of the
Esterhazy princes who, when he heard the mass, infuriated Beethoven by
asking: “Well, my dear Beethoven, what is it you have gone and done
now?” Strangely enough, the C major Mass for all its unquestionable
beauties is treated in rather stepchildly fashion. No greater mistake
could be made than to compare it with the _Missa Solemnis_ of a much
later date and of basically different premises. “It expresses in the
region of sacred music the joyful and victorious mood of the overture
and the Symphony,” says Paul Bekker. “An atmosphere of simple piety
pervades the Mass; no inner disunion, no brooding doubt, no unsatisfied
thirst for knowledge finds expression here. The Mass in C is a
confession of the composer’s faith and is at the same time liturgically
practicable; it expresses a great artist’s confident belief, at a time
when he was one in thought and feeling with the ‘spiritual powers that
be’ of his period.”

The great Mass in D is a totally different proposition. It was the slow
and gradual outgrowth of one of the periods of Beethoven’s life where
soul-shaking problems crowded ceaselessly upon him. He began to work
upon it with the idea of producing it at the enthronement of his friend
and pupil, the Archduke Rudolph, as Archbishop of Olmütz. But as it
slowly expanded the composer forgot more and more why he had originally
conceived it. It became in the grandest and deepest sense an expression
of its creator’s profoundest philosophies. Barring three movements of
the work, none of the _Missa Solemnis_ was ever performed during the
composer’s lifetime. And, singularly enough, those three movements were
presented at the concert on May 7, 1824, at which the Ninth Symphony was
heard for the first time. They had one other performance before
Beethoven died—in St. Petersburg at the instigation of the Prince
Galitzin.

The Mass in D, stupendous creation that it is, is far from a practical
church work. It lacks all pretense of ritualistic use. For one thing,
its vast proportions, the length of the individual sections, and the
duration of the score as a whole would completely unfit it for
ecclesiastical ceremony. The Mass is “unchurchly” in the highest degree.
According to Bekker, Beethoven “breaks through the walls which divide
the church from the world; his church extends to the limits of his
vision; his altar is the heart of the universe, and he will suffer no
dogmatic limitations.” Above the Kyrie the composer inscribed the words:
“From the heart—may it go to the heart.” He intended the work “for the
democratic concert hall rather than for polite social circles.”

The peak of the _Missa Solemnis_ is undoubtedly the great fugue “Et
vitam venturi” of the Credo. And here, incidentally, the demands on the
singing voices are perhaps more cruel than anywhere in the last movement
of the Ninth Symphony or in the most arduous pages of _Fidelio_. Only
now and then is there a wholly satisfying performance of the Mass in D.
Be this as it may, there are two pages so extraordinary that no listener
can ever fail to be stirred to the depths by them. One is the
“Benedictus,” with its transfigured violin solo and a prefatory
orchestral movement so spiritualized that it takes rank by the side of
the loftiest slow movements the composer ever wrote; the other is the
“Agnus Dei” and its “Prayer for inner and outer peace,” in which
Beethoven causes the drums and trumpet calls of war to alternate with
agonized supplications for peace.

All the same, despite the sublimities of the work and the vaunted
“morality” of the composer, Beethoven did not hesitate to offer the
score to at least three different publishing houses at practically the
same time! Small wonder that, before long, a London concert agent was
writing: “For heavens’ sake, don’t have any dealings with Beethoven!” If
the master was not above attempting a little business skulduggery now
and then he did not go about it cleverly!


  Symphony No. 9, in D Minor, with Final Chorus on Schiller’s “Ode to
                             Joy,” Opus 125

More than ten years passed after the initial performance of the Eighth
Symphony before Beethoven brought out its successor, his ninth and last,
on May 7, 1824. The earlier part of this period was comparatively
unproductive. Beethoven was profoundly disturbed by quarrels over his
guardianship of his nephew Karl, which eventually were taken to court.
His health and spirits suffered and, meantime, his deafness became
complete. Nevertheless his creative impulse found expression in two
works of the grandest dimensions, the Mass in D and the Ninth Symphony.
Sketches for the symphony were made as early as 1815—perhaps even
earlier—and he went to work on it in earnest in 1817.

The première took place at the Kaerthnerthor Theater, Vienna, on May 7,
1824. The problems of performance were complicated by the composer’s
using in the final movement a chorus and a quartet of soloists. Michael
Umlauf conducted and the solo singers were Henriette Sontag (one of the
most famous sopranos of her day), Karolina Unger, Anton Haitzinger, and
J. Seipelt. The difficulty of Beethoven’s voice parts gave trouble at
rehearsals. Mmes. Sontag and Unger begged him to alter their music, but
in vain. Mme. Unger declared in his presence that he was a “tyrant over
all the vocal organs.” Still, at the first performance it was she who
led the composer from where he had been sitting in the midst of the
orchestra to the edge of the stage to see the excited waving of the
audience and to bow.

              [Illustration: Beethoven in Vienna, 1820-25.
                 _Pen and ink sketch by J. P. Lyser._]

These solo parts have lost none of their difficulty for singers, and
from the sopranos of the chorus Beethoven well-nigh demands the
superhuman. With a view to helping matters some conductors have
transposed the Finale down a whole tone, thus dimming its brilliance and
upsetting Beethoven’s scheme of keys. Wagner believed that Beethoven by
having words and singers in the Finale had closed the cycle of purely
orchestral music. Others, however, regard the singers as a mistake and
maintain that Beethoven recognized his error. So devout and searching a
student of Beethoven as Professor Tovey, while dismissing as absurd the
theory of Beethoven’s discontent with instrumental music, holds that
every part of the Ninth Symphony becomes clearer when we assume that the
choral Finale is right, and that hardly a point in the work but becomes
difficult and obscure when we assume that the choral Finale is wrong.
Though he admits that Beethoven, long after the production of the
symphony, told some friends that the choral inclusion was a mistake and
that perhaps some day he might write an instrumental Finale, he sets
this down to a fit of depression. At any rate, the Finale stands as
written and there is no choice but to grapple with its problems.

For three movements the symphony is of course, purely instrumental. Of
the first movement (“Allegro, ma non troppo, un poco maestoso,” in D
minor) Ricciotto Canudo has written: “In the beginning was space; and
all possibilities were in space; and life was space.” It begins
pianissimo in empty fifths. A descending figure of two notes, from the
heights to the depths, is reiterated while a tremendous crescendo leads
to the theme that dominates the movement, given out fortissimo in unison
and octaves:

                       [Illustration: play music]

The entire movement, which is well stocked with other themes, has the
majesty and impetus of a titanic tragedy, and its propulsive drama ends
with a defiant proclamation of the chief theme.

Now Beethoven reverses his usual procedure by postponing the slow
movement and introducing a “Molto vivace” (in F minor), which has been
called at once the greatest and the longest of his scherzos. A phrase of
three notes, repeated on each interval of the chord of D minor, begins
it, followed immediately by this fugal subject:

                       [Illustration: play music]

The enormous vitality and rhythmic drive of the Scherzo have deafened
some hearers to the bitter strain in the jest. Joy unalloyed has not yet
burst upon the scene.

And meanwhile Beethoven gives us the slow movement, a combination of an
“Adagio molto e cantabile” (in B-flat major) and an “Andante moderato”
(in D major), which as a whole has been described conveniently and with
reasonable accuracy as a set of variations on two alternating themes:

                       [Illustration: play music]

                       [Illustration: play music]

Language has been ransacked for words to express the beauty and
elevation of this Adagio-Andante. Its seraphic song is dying away when
the initial D minor of the Finale, presto and fortissimo, roughly smites
our ears.

A series of orchestral sections, in contrast and conflict, occupy the
battleground of the earlier pages before the baritone soloist, first
using words by Beethoven himself, introduces the human voices and
Schiller’s “Ode to Joy.” Two of the themes brought in here the listener
should keep carefully in mind: the first is employed later by the
baritone in demanding sounds of gladness, and the second is the
so-called theme of joy:

                       [Illustration: play music]

                       [Illustration: play music]

Now chorus and soloists join valiantly in the good fight for “mirth and
rapture blended” till the symphony ends in the victorious D major
paeans, vocal and at the very last instrumental, of universal rejoicing.
The burden of Schiller’s praise of Joy is held in these two lines:

  “All mankind are brothers plighted
  Where thy gentle wings abide.”

And universal brotherhood is thus voiced by the tenors and the basses in
unison.


                             Chamber Music

If Beethoven’s best-known and most widely performed works are the nine
symphonies, his chamber music represents the most far-reaching,
diversified, profound, original, spiritualized, and at the same time the
most problematic manifestations of his genius. It is through his
quartets, when all’s said, that his influence has been most felt. In
these dwell the germs of more or less everything out of which subsequent
music has, in one way or another, developed. If Beethoven may be called
a “musician of the future” it is by reason of his sixteen string
quartets more than by anything else. More than all else he composed they
continue, in great measure, to be in advance not only of the master’s
own time but even of our own.

It may be said that his chamber music spanned his life. The earliest
specimens of it date from his Bonn days, from around his fifteenth year.
From then on they continued (intermittently, it is true) almost up to
the time of his death—indeed, the last composition he completed was a
new finale for the B-flat Quartet, opus 130, to replace the original
one, the Great Fugue, now opus 133, which early audiences could not
grasp and which, to this very day, is a stumbling block for most hearers
although one of the most extraordinary and transcendent pages Beethoven
ever produced. And though at his demise he left a quantity of sketches
(including studies for a tenth symphony) there is every reason to assume
that an even more copious quantity of chamber music might have come from
his pen had he lived five or ten years longer.

The mass of such chamber music as he did bequeath us includes sonatas
for piano and violin as well as for piano and cello; a Quintet in C
major, opus 29, for two violins, two violas, and cello, dating from
1801; a quintet fugue in D, written in 1817 but published as opus 137; a
number of trios for a variety of instrumental combinations, several
duets and serenades, and other miscellany for more or less intimate
performance. Lastly, the famous Septet in E flat, for clarinet, horn,
bassoon, violin, viola, cello, and double-bass, opus 20. This septet was
composed about 1800 and was at one time so immeasurably popular that
Beethoven himself wearied of it. Despite the vogue it long enjoyed, it
is far from one of its creator’s most inspired flights.

The series of trios for piano and strings constitute something of a
counterpart to the great string quartets. Opus 1 consists of three such
trios, and the composer’s friend Ries wrote that “when the three were
first heard by the musical world at one of Prince Lichnowsky’s soirées
nearly all the foremost artists and amateurs of Vienna were invited,
among them Haydn, whose opinion was awaited with intense interest.” The
trios caused a sensation. Haydn, who was enthusiastic about them on the
whole, had reservations to make about the third, in C minor, and advised
the composer not to publish it. Beethoven took this advice in bad part,
the more so because he regarded this trio as the best, and imagined that
his famous contemporary was actuated by envy. The truth of the matter
was that Haydn, struck by the bold originality of the score, was
honestly afraid that the public might not understand it. But it is
precisely this quality that has lifted the C minor Trio far above the
other two of opus 1.

The other trios for piano and strings are the pair in D major and
E-flat, opus 70, and the supremely great one in B flat, opus 97, called
the “Archduke” Trio because it was dedicated to the composer’s friend
and pupil, the Archduke Rudolph. The Opus 70 creations are remarkable
for the somewhat restless, indeed forbidding, quality that fills some of
their pages. The first has been named the “Ghost” Trio on account of an
eerie figure that pervades the slow movement and lends it a strangely
weird and hollow sound. The “Archduke” Trio has a spaciousness and
elevation, particularly in its Largo, which is a series of five
variations on a theme in the character of a hymn. Wisely enough,
Beethoven placed the Scherzo before the profound slow movement, as he
was again to do in the “Hammerklavier” Sonata and the Ninth Symphony.
But this scherzo utilizes in its middle part a curious, winding
chromatic figure which ranks with the master’s most striking ideas at
this stage of his progress.

Between 1799 and 1802 Beethoven wrote eight of his ten sonatas for
violin and piano. The most famous of these eight are the fifth—the
so-called “Spring” Sonata in F, opus 24, which opens with a theme of
lovely grace and has an adorable serenity throughout its four
movements—and the set in A major, C minor, and G major, opus 30, which
was published with a dedication to Czar Alexander I of Russia. The C
minor Sonata reveals a heroic quality which lends it something of the
spirit of the “Eroica” Symphony, and the closing Presto of the finale
has about it an element of dramatic grandeur. However, none of these
sonatas quite reaches the level of the “Kreutzer” or the much later
Sonata in G major, opus 96. The A major, opus 47, derived its name from
the fact that it was dedicated to Rudolph Kreutzer. It was first played
by a mulatto violinist named Bridgetower, while the composer performed
the piano part. Despite the haste with which the work was composed
(Czerny spoke of “four days”), the sonata, “written in a very
concertante style,” has remained probably the best-known and most widely
popular of all Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano. The music has
an expansiveness and plenitude that surpass any other work Beethoven
designed for this instrumental combination. The finale, a whirlwind
Presto originally conceived for the first sonata of the opus 30 set,
influenced Schubert when he composed the last movement of his D minor
Quartet. Undoubtedly it is the most original, not to say the most
exciting, part of the work—more so, indeed, than the Andante, with its
series of variations so arranged that each artist is given his adroitly
balanced share.

The G major Sonata, composed in 1812 and first performed by the French
violinist Pierre Rode and the Archduke Rudolph, is unquestionably the
most intellectual and the subtlest of Beethoven’s violin sonatas. In any
case it has some of the unmistakable traits of the master’s later style
about it.

The sonatas for cello and piano, in F major and G minor, were composed
as early as 1796 and performed in Berlin before the King of Prussia by
Beethoven and the Court cellist, Duport. But the memorable cello sonatas
of Beethoven’s are the one in A major, opus 69, one of his most lavish
and magnificent works; and the C major and D major, opus 102. The first
named, like the “Kreutzer” Sonata or the “Appassionata” of the piano
series, is a creation that needs no defense and no far-fetched
explanations. On the other hand, the opus 102 pair, despite their
indisputable profundities, are among Beethoven’s more unapproachable and
recondite works. Indeed, they have about them a certain hard-shelled
quality which scarcely lends them an especially intimate or endearing
effect.


                            String Quartets

The great series of string quartets begins with the six of opus 18,
published in 1801, and concludes, officially speaking, with the
masterpiece in F major, opus 135, completed only in 1826, but not
printed till something like half a year after his death. The half-dozen
works constituting the earlier opus had been ripening in the form of
sketches and experiments of one sort or another for several years. They
were finally issued in two numbers, each consisting of three scores. It
is not possible to determine precisely the order in which they were
written, but that fact is unimportant because the lot do not exhibit any
definite line of development. It seems that one version of the first
quartet, in F, was completed in 1799. Beethoven gave it to his friend,
the young ecclesiastical student Carl Amenda, but asked him to show it
to nobody because “I have altered it considerably, having just learned
to compose quartets aright.” Bekker finds that the revision “tends to a
freer, more soloistic treatment of the accompanying parts, a clearer
individualization of the cello part and a greater tonal delicacy in the
ensemble effects.... The main idea of the composition, however, remained
unchanged. This is no disadvantage, for the fresh naiveté of the content
and the unassuming clarity of structure are great charms, and more would
have been lost than gained by overmeticulous revision. As the work
stands it is gratifying to the performer and offers pleasant, not over
difficult problems to the listener.”

The finest part of the work is undoubtedly the second movement, an
“Adagio affetuoso ed appassionato.” It is the richest in texture and
certainly the most poetic and emotional of the four. When the composer
played it to Amenda he is said to have inquired what the music suggested
to him. “It suggests a lover’s parting,” replied Amenda; whereupon
Beethoven replied, “Well, the tomb scene from _Romeo and Juliet_ was in
my mind.” And Bekker insists that this Adagio is “a most moving song of
sorrow such as only Beethoven could accomplish when he turned to the
grave D minor key.”

The second quartet, in G major, has been christened in some German
countries the “Compliment Quartet.” It is graceful and rather courtly
but it reaches none of the depths of the more moving pages of the
preceding work, The Finale, however, is an instance of that “unbuttoned
humor” that Beethoven was to exhibit on later occasions and of which he
gave us supreme instances in the last movement of the Seventh Symphony,
the Eighth Symphony, and moments in the last quartets, the “Diabelli
Variations,” and several of the final piano sonatas. Opus 18, No. 3, in
D, is likewise marked by a quality of gaiety, though hardly of the
“unbuttoned” kind.

The fourth work of the opus 18 set, in C minor, is more or less a work
distinct from its companions. “A mood of deep seriousness is common to
it and the C major Quintet, opus 29,” believes Bekker, “but the Quartet
is full of passionate excitement,” and he alludes to its “mournful
earnestness ... and restless dissatisfaction, the very opposite of the
cheerful sense of concord with the world and mankind expressed in the
other five.” The Quartet in A major has been termed Mozartean by some,
operatic by others. Certainly it is fluent and lilting music, of which
the Minuet is in some respects the most winning portion even if the
final Allegro excels it in expressiveness.

The B-flat Quartet, sixth of the series, is particularly significant for
the sombre adagio beginning of its otherwise jubilant allegretto Finale.
Beethoven has headed this introduction (which is recalled dramatically
during the movement) “La Malinconia: Questo pezzo si deve trattare colla
più gran delicatezza” (“Melancholy: this piece must be played with the
greatest delicacy”). This eerie and wholly romantic movement is a true
glimpse of the Beethoven into whose newer world we shall presently
penetrate.

With the three monumental quartets of opus 59 we have entered this new
sphere. They belong to the year 1806, which means that they are of the
epoch of the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, the third “Leonore” Overture,
and the Violin Concerto and the G major Concerto for piano. Beethoven
dedicated them to the Russian Count Rasoumovsky, whose name is thus
imperishably linked with these masterpieces; and it was perhaps as a
compliment to this nobleman that he introduced into the first and second
of these works authentic Russian themes. Indeed, the Scherzo of the E
minor Quartet utilizes that great melody around which, more than half a
century later, Moussorgsky was to build the coronation scene in his
opera _Boris Godounov_.

The “Rasoumovsky” trilogy exhibits Beethoven’s inventive and technical
faculties at the ideal symmetry they had achieved at the flood tide of
his so-called “Second” period. The F major, C major, and E minor
Quartets are in some ways the most ideally “balanced” ones he ever
wrote; and, with all their splendor of form and substance, they are
still replete with the most astonishing originalities and departures.
Indeed, the amazing “Allegretto, scherzando” movement of the F major
Quartet so astounded the players who first undertook to perform it that
they imagined Beethoven’s rhythmic motto theme was intended as a joke at
their expense and almost refused to go through with it. The Adagio, on
the other hand, develops, with the utmost richness of sonority and color
possible to four stringed instruments, two gorgeously songlike themes
till it seems as if they had become expanded to orchestral dimensions.
The E minor Quartet, less a display piece than its companion works, is
in a totally different and quite as unprecedented manner, while its slow
movement (“Molto Adagio”) sounds a deep, spiritual note which seems to
have been inspired in the composer by a nocturnal contemplation of a
starry sky in the country around Baden, near Vienna. As for the C major
Quartet, the third of the “Rasoumovsky” set, it closes in a jubilant,
sweeping fugue, which is like a paean of triumph.

There are two E-flat quartets in Beethoven’s output: the first, opus 74,
is known as the “Harp” Quartet by reason of the numerous passages of
plucked strings in the first movement; the second is the tremendous opus
127. The former is the dreamier, less challenging of the two; it is rich
not only in a sort of romanticism that looks forward to the age of
Schumann, but also in unexpected effects bearing the unmistakable stamp
of the Beethoven of the “Emperor” Concerto period, though in its way it
is rather less venturesome than the “Rasoumovsky” trilogy. But the
quartet that was written down in 1810—the F minor, opus 95—is in another
category. It is the product of a new period of emotional ferment and a
disquiet pervades the score with the irascible pertinacity of a gadfly.
There is, indeed, a new quality of storm and stress in this _Quartetto
Serioso_, as the composer himself designated it. Here he is in no mood
for trifling. “At the moment when Beethoven had fought out his battle,
when he could look back on all stages of the contest and taste the
fruits of victory, he became most intensely aware of what it had cost
him,” writes Paul Bekker, adding that “the autographed title shows that
the composer sought no happy solution of his problem”—in spite of which
the F minor Quartet does, surprisingly enough, end on a note of
laughter.

Beethoven did not busy himself with the composition of string quartets
for another fourteen years. This stretch of time is longer than any
other interval in the various series of his compositions. It must be
recalled, however, that in this space he wrote the last three
symphonies, the last half-dozen piano sonatas, the _Missa Solemnis_, the
definitive revision of _Fidelio_ together with its new E major overture,
the _Ferne Geliebte_ song cycle, the “Consecration of the House”
Overture, and a quantity of other works only less significant.
Spiritually, of course, he had traversed cycles of experience and had
become, in an intellectual and artistic sense, another being.

It is almost inevitable, therefore, that the next great masterpiece of
chamber music, should lift the curtain on a new creative realm. The
E-flat Quartet, opus 127, has been properly likened to a majestic portal
opening on the grand landscape of the last four quartets—the B-flat,
opus 130; C-sharp minor, opus 131; A minor, opus 132; and the relatively
short F major, opus 135, which may be described as a short of epilogue
to the series.

There is nothing quite like these “last quartets” in Beethoven’s
myriad-faceted output. In its way the series may be said to transcend
even the Ninth Symphony, the “Hammerklavier” Sonata, and the “Diabelli”
Variations. The novelty, the explosive qualities, the far-darting
influence of these works (which span the nineteenth century and might
even be said to help leaven the musical art of our own time) cannot be
fully evaluated, let alone described, in this book.

It must suffice here to point out that the E-flat Quartet places the
listener at once in a world of unimagined wonders. The very opening
measures of the first movement with their powerful chords sound like a
heraldic annunciation. The second movement, (“Adagio ma non troppo e
molto cantabile”) is a series of variations of deepest earnestness. It
is as if the composer endeavored to bring to his hearers revelations
newly unfolded to his searching vision. The “Scherzando vivace” that
follows is wildly and even uncannily humorous—and, incidentally, the
longest of Beethoven’s scherzos. The Finale is a sort of triumphal march
in which “some adventurer from the heavens seems to visit the earth ...
with tidings of gladness, to return to his home in the heavens once
more.”

          [Illustration: Portrait of Beethoven in later life.]

             [Illustration: Etching of Beethoven’s study.]

The B-flat Quartet is, if anything, more unusual and amazing, and it is
in reality bound by a kind of mystical thematic kinship with the A minor
and the C-sharp minor Quartets which come next. This kinship can be
traced through the Great Fugue and is carried through the following
quartets with a variety of profound philosophical modifications. The
seven relatively brief movements of the B-flat masterpiece culminate in
the hyper-emotional Cavatina (of which Beethoven said that remembrance
of the feelings that inspired him to compose it always stirred him to
tears); and to this sentimental outburst the harsh if stupendous fugue
provided a truly beneficent purgation. The later-written closing
Allegro, if lively and effervescent, is much less truly “in the
picture.”

While it is risky, if not really impossible, to speak of the “greatest”
of the last quartets, more than one musician would vote for the
fourteenth—the tremendous one in C-sharp minor. The composition has
seven movements, extraordinarily diversified. Beethoven tried out one of
his little pleasantries on Schott, the publisher, and declared at first
the quartet was “pieced together out of sundry stolen odds and ends.” A
little later he reassured the frightened, unimaginative man of business
that it was really “brand new.” And subsequently he said impulsively
that he considered the C-sharp minor “my best.” The introductory “Adagio
non troppo” was called by Wagner “the most sorrowful thing ever said in
music.” All the same, the mighty creation, after passing through
unbelievable emotional transformations, closes in a triumphal frenzy
which Wagner likened to “the dance of the whole world.”

The A minor Quartet, opus 132, doubtless begun somewhat earlier than the
two preceding, is scarcely less amazing. Its heart is the “Molto Adagio”
movement which Beethoven called “Song of Thanksgiving in the Lydian mode
offered to the Deity by a convalescent.” It is filled with a mystical
quality, a religious mood explained by the circumstance that the
composer wrote the movement (one of his longest) when recovering from an
illness. But the still more amazing fact about this quartet is that some
pages of it were conceived for other works. It is a strange phenomenon
that Beethoven on several occasions designed a quantity of pages not
wholly sure where they would best fit, though in the end his artistic
intuitions invariably led him to discover the right place. Just as he
once intended the last movement of the “Kreutzer” Sonata for one of the
sonatas of the opus 30 set, so he at one time intended the “Alla Marcia”
that begins the finale of the A minor Quartet for the Ninth Symphony.
And the last quartets furnish other instances of the same kind of thing.

The sixteenth quartet, last of the series, is rather different from the
philosophical quartets that immediately preceded it. It is, on the
whole, of lighter weight, though its brief “Lento assai” movement
touches hands with the ineffable Cavatina of the B-flat Quartet. It is
the shortest, though one of the most moving, of Beethoven’s slow
movements. The last movement opens with a three-note motto under which
the composer wrote the words “Must it be?” and followed it with another
three-note theme (Allegro) inscribed with the words “It must be!”
Explanations have been numerous and often far-fetched. There is reason
to believe that this formula and the musical embodiments of this
interrogation and answer must be construed in the light of the master’s
philosophy, with its cheerful acceptance of the inevitable. It looks
almost like a purposeful reversion to the mood of “La malinconia”
episode in the B-flat Quartet of opus 18.


                      COMPLETE LIST OF RECORDINGS
                                 BY THE
               PHILHARMONIC-SYMPHONY SOCIETY OF NEW YORK


                            COLUMBIA RECORDS

 LP—Also available on Long Playing Microgroove Recordings as well as on
                 the conventional Columbia Masterworks.

                 _Under the Direction of Bruno Walter_

  Barber—Symphony No. 1, Op. 9
  Beethoven—Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra in C major
        (with J. Corigliano, L. Rose and W. Hendl)—LP
  Beethoven—Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major (“Emperor”) (with Rudolf
        Serkin, piano)—LP
  Beethoven—Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra (with Joseph
        Szigeti)—LP
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21—LP
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major (“Eroica”)—LP
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 5 in C minor—LP
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 8 in F major—LP
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”) (with Elena Nikolaidi,
        contralto, and Raoul Jobin, tenor)—LP
  Brahms—Song of Destiny (with Westminster Choir)—LP
  Dvorak—Slavonic Dance No. 1
  Dvorak—Symphony No. 4 in G Major—LP
  Mahler—Symphony No. 4 in G major (with Desi Halban, soprano)—LP
  Mahler—Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor
  Mendelssohn—Concerto in E minor (with Nathan Milstein, violin)—LP
  Mendelssohn—Scherzo (from Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  Mozart—Cosi fan Tutti—Overture
  Mozart—Symphony No. 41 in C major (“Jupiter”), K. 551—LP
  Schubert—Symphony No. 7 in C major—LP
  Schumann, R.—Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major (“Rhenish”)—LP
  Smetana—The Moldau (“Vltava”)—LP
  Strauss, J.—Emperor Waltz

               _Under the direction of Leopold Stokowski_

  Copland—Billy the Kid (2 parts)
  Griffes—“The White Peacock,” Op. 7, No. 1—LP 7″
  Ippolitow—“In the Village” from Caucasian Sketches (W. Lincer and M.
        Nazzi, soloists)
  Khachaturian—“Masquerade Suite”—LP
  Messian—“L’Ascension”—LP
  Schoenberg—Stein-Lied Der Waldtaure sus Gurrelieder (Martha Lipton,
        soloist)—LP
  Sibelius—“Maiden with the Roses”—LP
  Tschaikowsky—Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32—LP
  Tschaikowsky—Overture Fantasy—Romeo and Juliet—LP
  Vaughan-Williams—Greensleeves
  Vaughan-Williams—Symphony No. 6 in E minor—LP
  Wagner—Die Walküre—Wotan Farewell and Magic Fire Music (Act III, Scene
        3)
  Wagner—Siegfried’s Rhine Journey and Siegfried’s Funeral March—(“Die
        Götterdämmerung”)—LP
  Wagner—Overture “Rienzi”

                  _Under the Direction of Efrem Kurtz_

  Chopin—Les Sylphides—LP
  Glinka—Mazurka—“Life of the Czar”—LP 7″
  Grieg—Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 16 (with Oscar
        Levant, piano)—LP
  Herold—Zampa—Overture
  Kabalevsky—“The Comedians,” Op. 26—LP
  Khachaturian—Gayne—Ballet Suite No. 1—LP
  Khachaturian—Gayne—Ballet Suite No. 2—LP
  Lecoq—Mme. Angot Suite—LP
  Prokofieff—March, Op. 99—LP
  Rimsky-Korsakov—The Flight of the Bumble Bee—LP 7″
  Shostakovich—Polka No. 3, “The Age of Gold”—LP 7″
  Shostakovich—Symphony No. 9—LP
  Shostakovich—Valse from “Les Monts D’Or”—LP
  Villa-Lobos—Uirapuru—LP
  Wieniawski—Concerto No, 2 in D minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 22
        (with Isaac Stern, violin)—LP

                 _Under the Direction of Charles Münch_

  D’Indy—Symphony on a French Mountain Air for Orchestra and Piano—LP
  Milhaud—Suite Française—LP
  Mozart—Concerto No. 21 for Piano and Orchestra in C major—LP
  Saint-Saens—Symphony in C minor, No. 3 for Orchestra, Organ and Piano,
        Op. 78—LP

                _Under the Direction of Artur Rodzinski_

  Bizet—Carmen—Entr’acte (Prelude to Act III)
  Bizet—Symphony in C major—LP
  Brahms—Symphony No. 1 in C minor—LP
  Brahms—Symphony No. 2 in D major—LP
  Copland—A Lincoln Portrait (with Kenneth Spencer, Narrator)—LP
  Enesco—Roumanian Rhapsody—A major, No. 1—LP
  Gershwin—An American in Paris—LP
  Gould—“Spirituals” for Orchestra—LP
  Ibert—“Escales” (Port of Call)—LP
  Liszt—Mephisto Waltz—LP
  Moussorgsky—Gopack (The Fair at Sorotchinski)—LP
  Moussorgsky-Ravel—Pictures at an Exhibition—LP
  Prokofieff—Symphony No. 5—LP
  Rachmaninoff—Concerto No. 2 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra (with
        Gygory Sandor, piano)
  Rachmaninoff—Symphony No. 2 in E minor
  Saint-Saens—Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in C minor (with
        Robert Casadesus)—LP
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 4 in A minor
  Tschaikowsky—Nutcracker Suite—LP
  Tschaikowsky—Suite “Mozartiana”—LP
  Tschaikowsky—Symphony No. 6 in B minor (“Pathétique”)—LP
  Wagner—Lohengrin—Bridal Chamber Scene (Act III—Scene 2)—(with Helen
        Traubel, soprano, and Kurt Baum, tenor)—LP
  Wagner—Lohengrin—Elsa’s Dream (Act I, Scene 2) (with Helen Traubel,
        soprano)
  Wagner—Siegfried Idyll—LP
  Wagner—Tristan und Isolde—Excerpts (with Helen Traubel, soprano)
  Wagner—Die Walküre—Act III (Complete) (with Helen Traubel, soprano and
        Herbert Janssen, baritone)—LP
  Wagner—Die Walküre—Duet (Act I, Scene 3) (with Helen Traubel, soprano
        and Emery Darcy, tenor)—LP
  Wolf-Ferrari—“Secret of Suzanne,” Overture

                _Under the Direction of Igor Stravinsky_

  Stravinsky—Firebird Suite—LP
  Stravinsky—Fireworks (Feu d’Artifice)—LP
  Stravinsky—Four Norwegian Moods
  Stravinsky—Le Sacre du Printemps (The Consecration of the Spring)—LP
  Stravinsky—Scènes de Ballet—LP
  Stravinsky—Suite from “Petrouchka”—LP
  Stravinsky—Symphony in Three Movements—LP

              _Under the Direction of Sir Thomas Beecham_

  Mendelssohn—Symphony No. 4, in A major (“Italian”)
  Sibelius—Melisande (from “Pelleas and Melisande”)
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 7 in C major—LP
  Tschaikowsky—Capriccio Italien

                _Under the Direction of John Barbirolli_

  Bach-Barbirolli—Sheep May Safely Graze (from the “Birthday
        Cantata”)—LP
  Berlioz—Roman Carnival Overture
  Brahms—Symphony No. 2, in D major
  Brahms—Academic Festival Overture—LP
  Bruch—Concerto No. 1, in G minor (with Nathan Milstein, violin)—LP
  Debussy—First Rhapsody for Clarinet (with Benny Goodman, clarinet)
  Debussy—Petite Suite: Ballet
  Mozart—Concerto in B-flat major (with Robert Casadesus, piano)
  Mozart—Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183
  Ravel—La Valse
  Rimsky-Korsakov—Capriccio Espagnol
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 1, in E minor
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 2, in D major
  Smetana—The Bartered Bride—Overture
  Tschaikowsky—Theme and Variations (from Suite No. 3 in G)—LP

               _Under the Direction of Andre Kostelanetz_

  Gershwin—Concerto in F (with Oscar Levant)—LP

              _Under the Direction of Dimitri Mitropoulos_

  Gould—Philharmonic Waltzes (Zino Francescatti, violin)—LP
  Khachaturian—Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (Oscar Levant, piano)—LP
  Rabaud—La Procession Nocturne (Zino Francescatti, violin)—LP
  Saint-Saens—Dance Macabre (Robert, Gaby & Jean Casadesus, pianists)—LP
  Saint-Saens—Le Rouet d’Omphale (Zino Francescatti, violin)—LP
  Saint-Saens—Violin Concerto, Op. 61 (Zino Francescatti, violin)—LP
  Sessions—Symphony No. 2

               _Under the Direction of Leonard Bernstein_

  Bernstein—“Age of Anxiety”

                 _Under the Direction of Morton Gould_

  Gould—“Quick Step”—LP

                _Under the Direction of Darius Milhaud_

  Milhaud—Suite Française—LP

                 _Under the Direction of George Szell_

  Smetana—Bohemia’s Fields and Groves—LP
  Smetana—Symphonic Poem, Vltava (The Moldau)—LP


                             VICTOR RECORDS

               _Under the Direction of Arturo Toscanini_

  Beethoven—Symphony No. 7 in A major
  Brahms—Variations on a Theme by Haydn
  Dukas—The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  Gluck—Orfeo ed Euridice—Dance of the Spirits
  Haydn—Symphony No. 4 in D major (The Clock)
  Mendelssohn—Midsummer Night’s Dream—Scherzo
  Mozart—Symphony in D major (K. 385)
  Rossini—Barber of Seville—Overture
  Rossini—Semiramide—Overture
  Rossini—Italians in Algiers—Overture
  Verdi—Traviata—Preludes to Acts I and II
  Wagner—Excerpts—Lohengrin—Die Götterdämmerung—Siegfried Idyll

                _Under the Direction of John Barbirolli_

  Debussy—Iberia (Images, Set 3, No. 2)
  Purcell—Suite for Strings with four Horns, two Flutes, English Horn
  Respighi—Fountains of Rome
  Respighi—Old Dances and Airs (Special recording for members of the
        Philharmonic-Symphony League of New York)
  Schubert—Symphony No. 4 in C minor (Tragic)
  Schumann—Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor (with Yehudi
        Menuhin, violin)
  Tschaikowsky—Francesca da Rimini—Fantasia

               _Under the Direction of Willem Mengelberg_

  J. C. Bach—Arr. Stein—Sinfonia in B-flat major
  J. S. Bach—Arr. Mahler—Air for G String (from Suite for Orchestra)
  Beethoven—Egmont Overture
  Handel—Alcina Suite
  Mendelssohn—War March of the Priests (from Athalia)
  Meyerbeer—Prophète—Coronation March
  Saint-Saens—Rouet d’Omphale (Omphale’s Spinning Wheel)
  Schelling—Victory Ball
  Wagner—Flying Dutchman—Overture
  Wagner—Siegfried—Forest Murmurs (Waldweben)

                  [Illustration: Harp and cello logo]



                          Transcriber’s Notes


--A few palpable typos were silently corrected.

--Illustrations were shifted to the nearest paragraph break.

--Copyright notice is from the printed exemplar. (U.S. copyright was not
  renewed: this ebook is in the public domain.)





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