JOCULAR AUTOGRAPH LETTER, SIGNED ("BEETHOWEN"), TO JOHANN BAPTIST RUPPRECHT, ABOUT THE SONG "MERKENSTEIN" (WOO 144 AND OP.100)

Lot Number 1
Author BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN
Title JOCULAR AUTOGRAPH LETTER, SIGNED ("BEETHOWEN"), TO JOHANN BAPTIST RUPPRECHT, ABOUT THE SONG "MERKENSTEIN" (WOO 144 AND OP.100)
Year Published 1814
Place Printed Vienna
Printed By
Description JOCULAR AUTOGRAPH LETTER, SIGNED ("BEETHOWEN"), TO JOHANN BAPTIST RUPPRECHT, ABOUT THE SONG "MERKENSTEIN" (WOO 144 AND OP.100) stating that he will set his poem to music with the greatest pleasure, that he will shortly deliver it to him personally, admitting that he does not know whether it will be celestial, since he is only earthly, and noting that he will however do his utmost to match his [Rupprecht's] exalted opinion of him...ob himmlisch das weiß ich nicht, da ich nur jrdisch bin, doch will ich alles anwenden ihrem übertriebenen Vorurtheil in Ansehung meiner so gleich [originally: 'nahe'?] zu kommen als möglich... 2 pages, 8vo (18.4 x 11.2cm), red wax seal with the composer's monogram ("LVB"), later pencil annotation to integral, [Vienna, November 1814], together with later typed transcriptions and translations of the letter, red cloth chemise and red morocco-backed slipcase gilt, traces of guard, tiny tear by hinge, trimmed, small seal tear with loss to lower outer corner of integral, light browning
Comments LITERATURE S. Brandenburg, Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, no.759 (the autograph was not consulted for this edition); Anderson (no.506), p.477; D. Johnson, A. Tyson and R. Winter, The Beethoven Sketchbooks (Oxford, 1985), p.233 CATALOGUE NOTE A good, characteristically humorous letter by Beethoven, the autograph of which has been unavailable for consultation by scholars in modern times. The writer, poet and botanist Johann Baptist Rupprecht (1776-1846) was active until 1809 as a merchant in Vienna, later being in charge of the Imperial censorship of books. He is mentioned several times in the composer's Conversation Books. His verses, often with a patriotic strain, were issued in various Viennese publications. The poem referred to here is Rupprecht's "Merkenstein", written in praise of Schloss Merkenstein near Baden. It was twice set by Beethoven: in E flat, for single voice and piano (WoO 144), published at the end of 1815 by Anton Strauss as a supplement to Castelli's almanac Selam; and in F, as a vocal duet with piano (Op.100), published by Steiner in September 1816. As sketches in the Sketchbook Mendelssohn 6 (Kraków, Biblioteka Jagiellonska) show (on pp.138, 140 and earlier in the volume), Beethoven's first version originated during or shortly after completion of the cantata Der glorreiche Augenblick, Op.136, first performed on 29 November 1814 as part of the celebrations surrounding the Congress of Vienna. An entry in Beethoven's now lost Tagebuch for the years 1812-1818 notes the completion of the song on 22 December 1814. Toscanini's recordings of Beethoven are among the imperishable classics of the gramophone, particularly his recording of the Seventh Symphony in 1936.
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Estimated Price GBP 40,000.00 - 50,000.00
( USD 67,200.00 - 84,000.00 )
Actual Price GBP 56,450.00 ( USD 90,320.00 )

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Sothebys
Website http://www.sothebys.com/
Auction Name Important Manuscripts, Letters and Memorabilia from the family of Arturo Toscanini
Sale Number #12413
Auction Date November 28, 2012 - November 28, 2012
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