Sinfonie mit Schluss-Chor über Schillers Ode: "An die Freude" für grosses Orchester, 4 Solo und 4 Chor - Stimmen. Componirt und Seiner Majestät dem König von Preussen Friedrich Wilhelm III in tiefster Ehrfurcht zugeeignet...125.tes Werk.
by BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van.
Engraved title-page, one letter-press leaf of subscribers, 226 engraved pages, & a final blank. Folio, cont. sheep-backed marbled boards (rubbed, lower joint expertly repaired, foot of spine a little worn), orig. printed upper wrapper cut-out & mounted on upper board (a little stained). Mainz & Paris: B. Schott Sons; Antwerp: A. Schott, . First edition, the rare first issue with the leaf of subscribers, of Beethoven's epic Ninth Symphony. "Even for Beethoven, the Ninth Symphony was a signal accomplishment, the most ambitious work in a series of pieces that changed forever the concept of the symphony. The Ninth required a gestation period of almost thirty years, beginning with Beethoven's initial consideration of Schiller's 'An die Freude' in the 1790s, continuing with his first sketches of 1815, and ending with his completed score of 1824... "Significantly, it was also the composer's last word in the realm of the symphony, since plans for the Tenth -- or what seems to have been the Tenth -- remained in sketch form. In the Ninth, even more than in Fidelio, Beethoven set forth a visionary credo for humankind, for its 'rescue from the chains of the tyrants.' The work represents a forceful voice for Romantic aspirations, as expressed with such deep fervor in Schiller's famous ode... "The Ninth is an epic, revolutionary work. Within its extended time frame, one traverses the many plains of Beethoven's compositional landscape: demonic conflict (the opening Allegro), tempestuous contrasts (the scherzo), ethereal reflection (the Adagio), and unabashed exuberance (the finale). In the last movement, Beethoven symbolically broke not only the chains of tyrants, but those of instrumental music as well, moving out of E.T.A. Hoffmann's abstract realm of 'pure expression' and into the world of the vocal symphony. The immense mixed forces of the Ninth prepared the way for the changes that took place in the symphonic repertory in the next hundred and fifty years, from Berlioz to Mahler to Berio."-George B. Stauffer, in his preface to David Benjamin Levy's Beethoven: the Ninth Symphony. "The first edition score of the Ninth Symphony was not issued until the end of August 1826 (B. Schott Söhne, Mainz; Plate Number 2322), and it was marketed as Beethoven's '125.tes Werk' on a subscription basis along with the score of the Missa solemnis, op. 123 and the 'Consecration of the House' Overture, op. 124. Beethoven promised the Philharmonic Society of London that he would not publish the Ninth until after it had been performed in London."-Levy, op. cit., p. 42. The leaf of subscribers was only inserted in copies ordered prior to publication; it is itself a fascinating document listing the names of the (mostly) German world of musical institutes, publishers, and musicians of the time. The word "Partition" on the upper wrapper (here mounted onto the upper board of the binding, as is common with some of the few other surviving copies) was omitted in the later issues. The original stab-holes are present. Provenance: Jacob Martin Severinus Heuckeroth (1853-1936), composer, and chief conductor of the Arnhemsche Orchest Vereeniging from 1892 to 1904, and of the Nederlandse Opera from 1908 to 1912, with his ownership inscription in pencil to the upper margin of the second front free end-paper and upper margin of title, and with his stamp at foot, and to the lower blank margins of a couple of further pages, as well as on the mounted printed original upper wrapper. Heuckeroth placed specific emphasis on the performance of symphonic works. The Arnhemsche Orchest Vereeniging first performed Beethoven's Ninth, with Heuckeroth conducting. His studies of the symphony are reflected by occasional notes in pencil and blue crayon in this copy. A very good copy and extremely fresh, preserved in a cloth box. A few leaves with light, marginal damp-staining; oval purple ownership stamp on title, to lower margins of a couple of pages, and on the mounted upper wrapper; several old page markers; one leaf with a stain and with minor paper abrasion in outer blank margin. ❧ Stanford 48; Hirsch IV, 395. . (Inventory #: HillBibl-5289)
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