Beethoven’s Epistolary Personality
In this letter to the playwright, theater manager, and librettist Treitschke, Beethoven’s personality is clearly in evidence. He begins by thanking Treitschke for his advice to the composer to see a set designer (who was probably Ortner, a “court theater architect”), perhaps for help with a production of Wellington’s Victory. Beethovenarchly comments that it is better to “deal with artists rather than the so-called great ones (small dwarfs).” He then asks Treitschke to consider producing Goethe’s play Egmont with Beethoven’s music at the Theater an der Wien, where Treitschke was vice-director, for Beethoven’s benefit. Finally he ends the letter by skewering the composer Adalbert Gyrowetz, who had been granted an official court position Beethoven probably envied: Second Kapellmeister of the Vienna Court Theater, for which Gyrowetz was obliged to compose one opera and one ballet a year.
Beethoven to Georg Friedrich Treitschke, before February 27, 1814
Gift of Ira F. Brilliant, 2000
“My dear T.! Taking your advice I visited the architect, and the matter is already settled for me in the best way, it is better to deal with artists rather than the so-called great ones (small tiny tiny ones)—your song will be sent to you on whatever stroke of the clock you determine—my thanks for [your revision of] my opera will hurry ahead to you— … Worthy friend farewell, today I spoke to the principal bass singer of the Austrian Empire full of enthusiasm about a new opera from—girovez, I laughed heartily about the new artistic path that this work will open for us.—wholly your Beethowen”
Complete English translation
See also entry with more details and downloadable image in the Beethoven Gateway.
Also on display:
Portrait engraving of Adalbert Gyrowetz (1763-1850) by J.G. Mansfeld, published by Artaria in Vienna, 1798
Gift of the American Beethoven Society, 2004
See entry with more details and downloadable image in the Beethoven Gateway.
First edition of the orchestral parts for the Incidental music for the play Egmont by J.W. von Goethe, published by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, 1812
Gift of the American Beethoven Society in honor of Dr. Handel Evans, former interim president of SJSU, in appreciation of his support for the Beethoven Center, 1994
See entry with more details in the Beethoven Gateway