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amadeus
01-24-2001, 08:15 PM
Im talking about the point in time where the two greatest musical minds in human history were together. Obviously the encounter between Beethoven and Mozart..

What do we really know about this encounter?

I've heard two seperate ideas of what was thought to have happened.

1. Beethoven had been arranged to play for Mozart some piano music which left Mozart rather unimpressed. But when Beethoven was asked to improvise he stunned the great composer, and then he went to his wife Costanze and remarked something like "watch out for this boy, for one day he will give the world something to talk about." and that was it, there one and only encounter. Because of B's ailing mother he had to cut his stay in Vienna short. And when he finally went back with Haydn, a few years later Mozart had already passed on. the source of this were supposed Beethoven scholars and historians I watched on the A&E Biorgaphy of Beethoven.

2. I was reading the biography "Life of Beethoven" by David Wyn Jones and he writes http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/frown.gifentire paragraph on the encounter)

The Bonn-Vienna, Beethoven-Mozart axis resulted in 1787 in the composer being sent to Vienna to study with Mozart. UNFORTUNATELLY, NEXT TO NOTHING IS KNOWN ABOUT THE VISIT. Beethoven probably arrived on 7 April and stayed a little longer than two weeks, leaving about 20 April because of the serious illness of his mother. It is not known where he stayed; it could have been with a member of the Waldstein family or, if formal lessons had begun, with the Mozart family, then living in Landstrasse. A nineteenth-century anecdote relates that Beethoven played some piano music that left Mozart rather unimpressed, but when the sixteen year old improvised he remarked enthusiastically: "Mark that man; he will make himself a name in the world." Extant exercises by two regular pupils of Mozart, Thomas Attwood and Babette Ployer, indicate that Beethoven would have started with species counterpoint, moved on to the writing of canons and, then, over a period of a few months, to minuest and slow movements. If Beethoven was Privey to what Mozart was composing and planning, then he might have caught him putting the final touches to the C major quintet(K515), contemplating a journey to London and enthusing about his latest opera comission, Don Giovanni. As regards public concerts, Mozart himslef had not given any that season and none was held during Beethoven's short time in the city. Had he gone to the opera it would have been to performances of L'inganno amoroso by Guglielmi or Le gare generose by Paisiello.

Here are two credible sources; one with a firm stance to that Beethoven was not a pupil of Mozart's, and only met him once. The other leaves it open to the point where Beethoven might've not only been a student(for his short stay in Vienna) but might've actually lived with the Mozart family for a few weeks. However both sources seem to agree that Beethoven did certainly leave an impression on Mozart. gee what a suprise.

Does anyone have any thoughts to what they believed happen?? Is there anything else then the possiblities that I mentioned.

I'd like to know..

Serge
01-24-2001, 09:22 PM
Those accounts are both more detailed than anything I'd ever read, your sources seem to be reliable. I am aware that Mozart was impressed with the virtuosity of Ludwig and said that the young man wuld make a "great noise" someday (as obscure a compliment as anything I've heard).

It seems likely that if Ludwig had gone to Vienna to start making a name for himself, he'd spend as much time as he could schmoozing with the proper people. With two weeks before he was called back, I'm sure Mozart spent some time going over the talents of L.; perhaps even giving him a lesson or two. As far as the lasting impression Mozart imprinted on Ludwig, I think it wasn't that great as L doesn't ever seem to talk about it (could be wrong about this one).

Luis
01-24-2001, 11:06 PM
Apparently about this subject we all have the same information. But we all need a bit of common sense. Donít you think such important encounter to B must have been registered in lots of letters? I mean if youíve met and impressed the most renowned musician of Vienna and you are going to study with him; wouldnít you tell everybody about this? The fact is that while there are many letters of B complaining (this is not the best word, I know) for his bad luck of his mother causing him to return to Bonn, there arenít in them references such as ďJust when I have made a great impression on Mozart, etc.Ē. hmm I doní think the encounter took place.

Serge
01-25-2001, 03:05 AM
Oh, no, Luis, the encounter most certainly took place; it has been authenticated repeatedly. I think simply that B. din't much care about the whole thing. His attitude to the teachings of his predecessors never seemed to flow smooth.

Luis
01-25-2001, 04:16 AM
Originally posted by Serge:
Oh, no, Luis, the encounter most certainly took place; it has been authenticated repeatedly. .

I've never read but conjectures about this. ďit is said...bla bla blaĒ. But never an incontrovertible prove such as a letter, conversational book reference, etc. If you have youíd help me great deal quoting it for I've always wondered if this encounter took place.

I think simply that B. didn't much care about the whole thing. His attitude to the teachings of his predecessors never seemed to flow smooth .

That's true, but here we are talking about a 16/17 year-old boy (I don't remember correctly) having impressed and being teached by the most notorious available musician in the whole world and who later became a legend!!!! Donít you think that would have make him proud enough to tell everybody about this? (If my point is conjecture too, sure it is!!! But I find it more plausible than the other one.)

Here is a bit of the same imprecise information available everywhere:

"We do not know for certain who in particular supported Beethoven's spring 1787 journey to Vienna and how it was precisely financed, but we must conclude that Beethoven at least had the Elector's permission and some letters of reference along with him. Records show that Beethoven arrived in Vienna in early April, 1787. Since we do not have any first-hand reports of Beethoven's activities during his brief stay in Vienna, we have to very cautiously look at the existing reports of his having played and improvised before Mozart and as possibly having received a few lessons from him.

Mozart scholars generally advise that there is no direct evidence of such lessons having taken place. Anecdotal recollection also created the much-told story of Beethoven first playing a well-rehearsed piece which Mozart praised coldly and politely; realizing this, Beethoven supposedly asked him to give him a theme on which he then improvised so astonishingly well that Mozart ran out into the adjoining room and is supposed to have commented to his friends, "keep an eye on this one. Some day, he will give the world something to talk about." More reliable fact is that Beethoven could not stay even for two weeks, since a letter reached him from his father in Bonn, urging him to return home immediately as his mother had fallen seriously ill.
Beethoven returned home as fast as he could via Munich and Augsburg. There he met the piano maker Stein and also a lawyer by the name of von Schaden. When he returned home, he arrived just in time to witness his mother's final suffering from tuberculosis. She died in July, 1787.

The first letter we have of Beethoven is that of October, 1787, to Councillor von Schaden in Augsburg.

In it he apologizes for not returning some money that gentleman had evidently advanced him so that he could continue his journey. He also describes his emotional state during the ordeal of his return journey, his mother's death and his following grief. A few passages are highlighted here:

"I must confess to you that from the time I left Augsburg, my joy and with it my health began to vanish. . . . I found my mother still alive, but in such a very deplorable state of health. She had consumption and passed away seven weeks ago after much pain and suffering. She was to me such a good, loving mother, and my best friend. Ah, who was happier than I, when I could still utter the sweet name mother and it was heard? And to whom can I say it now? To the images of her only, which my imagination calls up..."

[This message has been edited by Luis (edited 01-24-2001).]

Luis
01-25-2001, 10:31 PM
Does anyone know at least where the encounter story about the improvisation incident came from. I also find here many incongruences,(the people to which M tell about B, his actual words, if B improvised by his own or if he was told by M to do so, etc.) all this can lead us to read it as a too much distorted rumor which origin isnít clear. What if, even if the encounter took place, B havenít caused such an impression to M? In this case itís possible than the facts were reinterpreted after B became such an important composer. This kind of distortions are very common in oral history.

amadeus
01-26-2001, 12:54 AM
I havent got a clue as of yet to where the story of the encounter came from. All I know is that I can't stop reading about it. I have yet to find an overview of B's life without the mention of this story.

The guys that I mentioned as the first source for the story, the people from the A&E Biography special, claim that this made Beethoven extremely happy and thrilled. Since he got to impress his idle. So that would make you think that he told some people about this ~unless he had a smile strecthing from ear to ear for a week and people just assumed he was pleased.~

But there is None? Not one piece of documented material about it? Where did the story come from then? Do you think it existed during B's life?

I for one believe it. Or I certainly want to believe it. From rereadind the Biography I mentioned before "The Life of Beethoven" it seems like the whole mission or reasoning to send Beethoven to vienna was to meet Mozart. The two people who wanted Mozart as a model for the development of Beethoven were Neefe and Maximilian Franz. Franz and Mozart were GREAT friends. In a letter from Mozart about Franz:

I can say that he thinks the world of me. He shoves me forward on every occasion, and might almost say with certainty that if at this momement he were elector of Cologne, I should be his Kapellmeister. It is, indeed, a pity that these great gentlemen refuse to make arrangements beforehand. I could easily manage to extract a simple promise from him, but of what use would that be to me now?

It seems obvious from the letter that the two had high regards for one another. Now if I were Franz(a powerful man with allot of money to spend) and had a jewel in my pocket, which he believed would become the next Mozart, wouldn't I write my good friend and ask him for a favor. One being, sitting down with my young future super star and tell him how "its" really done. Obviously could be extremely beneficial.

How could Mozart say no? Why would Mozart say No?

I dont think he would.. But then again what do I know?

Luis
01-26-2001, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by amadeus:

It seems obvious from the letter that the two had high regards for one another. Now if I were Franz(a powerful man with allot of money to spend) and had a jewel in my pocket, which he believed would become the next Mozart, wouldn't I write my good friend and ask him for a favor. One being, sitting down with my young future super star and tell him how "its" really done. Obviously could be extremely beneficial.

How could Mozart say no? Why would Mozart say No?

I dont think he would.. But then again what do I know?



I'm not saying neither that M refused to teach B nor that B went to Vienna to study with him! Iím just saying that as far as I know, there is no prove (apart from some XIX century rumors) about both the meeting and the classes.


[This message has been edited by Luis (edited 01-25-2001).]

~Leslie
01-26-2001, 02:17 AM
a page from Marcia Davenport's Mozart:

1787
..........a young traveler was brought in to see him. The visitor was a pianist, already of reputation, and had come from Bonn to Vienna, a meeting with Mozart being one of his objectives.

He was seventeen, though his broad scowling face topped by a shock of wild brown hair looked much older. He was unhappy and nervous. Wolfgang asked him to play. Ludwig chose one of his host's concertos, and played well but with so little spirit that Wolfgang could not force himself to pay attention. He was even more restless than usual today, unable to sit in one plasce or keep his hands and feet still.

He had been quietly visiting with Jacquin and several other friends when Beethoven's visit had interrupted them, and he had left them in the next room while he went to hear the young man play. Beethoven noticed his distraction, and unwilling to leave without some better reaction, asked Wolfgang for a theme on which to improvise. Wolfgang rose and went to the clavier, listless and bored; Beethoven, even in the presense of an admired master, was sullen.

How different each would have felt had Beethoven known that Mozart was grieving for his dying father, or Wolfgang known that his guest was wracked with despair for his mother, then dying on her deathbed!

Beethoven took Wolfgang's theme and began to improvise. Then the abstracted little man sat up and listened. A torrent of astounding music filled the room, and the ugly pockmarked face above the keyboard was transformed. Wolfgang arose and went to the doorway where Jacquin and the others were grouped in silent astonishment.

"Keep an eye on that young man", Wolfgang said. "He will make a noise in the world some day".

Beethoven came back before leaving Vienna to ask Mozart to give him some lessons. But Wolfgang was tired and worried, and unwilling to make the effort, and young Ludwig soon left for Bonn, reaching there in time to see his adored mother die.

********************

Luis
01-26-2001, 02:51 AM
Originally posted by ~Leslie:
a page from Marcia Davenport's Mozart:


Les:
From where this good lady took her information, I wonder?

~Leslie
01-26-2001, 03:15 AM
Luis, Her bibliography is 3 pages long. zzzzzzzzz........I do understand what yr getting at here... It's all heresay. an interesting read, but one thing that's fer sure, he was there in Vienna, and being the kind of guy he was, I think he probably did pop in on Wolfie. G'nite,........... yawn,zzzzz.........~

Luis
01-26-2001, 03:46 AM
Originally posted by ~Leslie:
Luis, Her bibliography is 3 pages long. zzzzzzzzz........I do understand what yr getting at here... It's all heresay. an interesting read, but one thing that's fer sure, he was there in Vienna, and being the kind of guy he was, I think he probably did pop in on Wolfie. G'nite,........... yawn,zzzzz.........~

Of course I didnít pretend from you that you pass me the whole bibliography! I just wondered if this text has some footmark on this paragraph for it's intriguing how she seems to know details such as Mozartís and Bís moods etc. If there is at least some witness to whom attribute the story... fine. Gee!! Iím not trying to compete! I just want to know whether this happened or not. Just that.

Rod
01-26-2001, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by Luis:
Of course I didnít pretend from you that you pass me the whole bibliography! I just wondered if this text has some footmark on this paragraph for it's intriguing how she seems to know details such as Mozartís and Bís moods etc. If there is at least some witness to whom attribute the story... fine. Gee!! Iím not trying to compete! I just want to know whether this happened or not. Just that.

There is enough evidence from contemporary accounts to convince me that B and M met. B himself later critically derscribed M's piano playing technique. How could he have doen this if he had never been in M's company?

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

~Leslie
01-26-2001, 01:01 PM
Luis, No foots notes.

In "The Life & Works of Beethoven" by John N. Burk 1943, he writes:

In the spring of 1787,Beethoven who had never been more than a few miles from Bonn save for a brief and unproductive trip with his mother down the Rhine into Holland for the purpose of concerts in 1781, journeyed alone to Vienna to visit and play for the great Mozart.

This is one of those episodes in Beethoven's life which is lacking in evidence and heaped with conjecture.

Did his father hope that Mozart would usher him into a career as boy virtuoso, at the age of sixteen, though passing for fourteen? Was the Elector behind it? Did Beethoven hope for instruction in piano or composition, and how long did he intend to stay?

Otto Jahn, Mozart's biographer, gives a plausible report of the first meeting:

"Beethoven was taken to Mozart, and at his request played something for him which he, taking for granted that it was a show piece prepared for the occassion, praised in a rather cool manner. Beethoven, observed this, begged Mozart to give him a theme for improvisation.

He always played admirably when excited, and now he was inspired too by the presence of the master whom he reverenced greatly; he played in such a style that Mozart, whose attention and interest grew more and more, finally went silently to some friends who were sitting in the adjoining room, and said vivaciously, "Keep your eyes on him, some day he will give the world something to talk about".
**********************

Is it safe to say here, that Madame Davenport derived her passage from Otto Jahn's Mozart-Paralipomenon published in 1867? Translated to English by Pauline D.Townsend (The Life of Mozart) in 1891.Stay tuned.~

***********************

Burk goes on to tell that Beethoven's stay in Vienna lasted no more two months, when he recieved a letter from his father in July urging him to return home. Ludwig had to borrow to pay for the remaining coach fare from Augsburg.

He returned to a family under extreme financial hardship and hunger, his father unable to cope, and his mother dying of tuberculosis.
A woman who had seven children in her life, in which four of them did not survive infancy.

A letter from Beethoven is known to be one of the earliest from his hand, written to Dr. Schaden who had aided his return to Bonn from Augsburg, asking for more time (to repay the loan?) speaking of his grief of his mother's passing.(She died on July 17,1787)

*****************


[This message has been edited by ~Leslie (edited 01-26-2001).]

[This message has been edited by ~Leslie (edited 01-26-2001).]

~Leslie
01-27-2001, 10:24 AM
Luis, As usual, I apologize for becoming a persistant irritant. As much as I want this encounter to be substantiated, you are correct in saying that there is not much tangible to go on. would like to see someone to post LvB's comments on Mozart's piano technique.~

I recieved this letter this morning from Agnes Selby, author of the book "Constanze, Mozart's Beloved", published in Australia by Turton and Armstrong.:

Dear Leslie,

I have just posted my thoughts on the matter on the Mozart Board.

I have not come across anything in any of Constanze Mozart's letters
regarding a reference to Mozart's audition of Beethoven. It would be nice
to think that it had in fact taken place and there is every possibility
that it has. Perhaps that was the only reason why Beethoven came to
Vienna, hoping to study with Mozart.

As far as the remarks made by Mozart regarding Beethoven's genius, this is
something left to each of us to believe or disbelieve.

As there is no
contemporary evidence from a witness, I personally regard it with caution.

During the beginning of the Romantic era, such reports were circulated
quite frequently especially in Vienna where the
cafe society gossiped and whiled their time away.

Kind regards, Agnes.

Luis
01-28-2001, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by ~Leslie:
Luis, As usual, I apologize for becoming a persistant irritant. As much as I want this encounter to be substantiated, you are correct in saying that there is not much tangible to go on. would like to see someone to post LvB's comments on Mozart's piano technique.~


Dear Leslie, as usual you are wrong in apologizing to me for Iím thinking is it me who always sound aggressive. Too often I get that feeling after reading things I wrote here and everywhere, so I sincerely apologize to you and to everyone here. I guess Iím a bit stubborn discussing and that gets more complicated with 1) my coarse English, 2) the fact that Iím not quite sensitive on others opinions about myself; a condition somehow I unconsciously extend to everybody I am with, sometimes with unfortunate consequences... Iíll try to improve on both, I promise.
Many thanks to you Les for taking the time to search and wrote down all the info. Iím not convinced, but Iíve learned a few things and thatís nice too. If you have missed it, the address of the forum where Agnes goes is http://mozart.composers.net/index.html and she was into the problem because I went to that forum trying to find something from Mozartís side.

Luis.

Peter
01-29-2001, 03:49 PM
I think the supposed encounter between the 2 great men would have taken place in what is now known as the 'Figaro' house in Vienna , which still stands today. I feel pretty sure that they did meet, but I doubt any lessons actually took place - surely Beethoven would have made some reference to this at a later date?

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'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 02-01-2001).]

Luis
01-30-2001, 01:37 AM
On the Mozart site Iíve found two interesting things:

1) That supposedly on a conversational book B once described Mozart's physical appearance. Has anyone heard about this?

2) That there is a possibility that Constanze would have met B on an unconfirmed concert of K. 466 on March 31, 1795.

To Leslie
About your request, I had suspected from the first time that you were discussing not with David but with Tim; now I have no doubts about that but Iím working on the topic right now. Not to give him a lesson (because that would be a total waste of my time) but to open a debate on a subject Iím most interested.


[This message has been edited by Luis (edited 01-29-2001).]

amadeus
01-30-2001, 02:26 AM
In the book I'm currently raedin "The Life of Beethoven" its sais that his public debut(since he began his career) was March 29, 1795. In which he did three consecutive concerts on three consecutive days. The last one on March 31. passage from book:

On a third consecutive evening , 31 March, the Burgtheater was the venue for a benefit concert organized by Constanze Mozart to raise money for herself and her children, and to promote the music of her late husband. Mozart's la Clemenza di tito was performed and Beethoven played a concerto by Mozart.

I dont see how knowing this would tell us if the two had ever met or not. All this proves is that Beethoven met Costanze.

Think she knew that this young man was going to take over the legendary status that her husband left behind?

dont think soooooooo...

Peter
02-05-2001, 06:11 PM
According to Ferdinand Ries, the two certainly met and Beethoven had some instruction from Mozart - B apparently complained that Mozart never played to him.

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'Man know thyself'

PDG
02-21-2001, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by amadeus:
In the book I'm currently raedin "The Life of Beethoven" its sais that his public debut(since he began his career) was March 29, 1795. In which he did three consecutive concerts on three consecutive days. The last one on March 31. passage from book:
On a third consecutive evening , 31 March, the Burgtheater was the venue for a benefit concert organized by Constanze Mozart to raise money for herself and her children, and to promote the music of her late husband. Mozart's la Clemenza di tito was performed and Beethoven played a concerto by Mozart.
I dont see how knowing this would tell us if the two had ever met or not. All this proves is that Beethoven met Costanze.
Think she knew that this young man was going to take over the legendary status that her husband left behind?
dont think soooooooo...

I don`t quite see how this necessarily proves that Beethoven met Constanze; did she personally request his participation at the concert? How successful was it? During his lifetime, Mozart was far more popular in Prague than in Vienna (Prague was the only city to honour his passing with a requiem mass). Did Mozart`s popularity increase immediately following his death? A case of the viennese appreciating what they had, only after it was gone (a typical human trait)?

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Peter (PDG)

Peter
02-21-2001, 11:02 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
Did Mozart`s popularity increase immediately following his death? A case of the viennese appreciating what they had, only after it was gone (a typical human trait)?



Indeed it did - 'The Magic Flute ' was a huge success. Constanze went on to earn quite a considerable amount from Mozart's works after his death - she became an astute business woman under the guidance of her 2nd husband, Nissen.



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'Man know thyself'

Luis
02-22-2001, 06:10 AM
As far as remember, whether if B met Constanze or not in this concert it's not certain. But one could presume that if C organized the event and B was a well-known composer and virtuoso by this time, as well as a confessed Mozart admirer, they both would probably wanted at least to have a courtesy salutation and conversation before or after the concert. Which is anyway nothing but an anecdote.

[This message has been edited by Luis (edited 02-22-2001).]