December 22, 1808: The most remarkable concert of Beethoven’s career

Beethoven Mass in C major, Op. 86 – VI. Sanctus (Adagio)

See if this doesn’t get your heart beating faster…

Many of Beethoven’s most popular pieces were first performed at a concert on this day under less than ideal circumstances.

Beethoven was tired of having his music performed at charity concerts where he saw no money. So he begged the Theatre an der Wien to let him have a benefit concert for himself. What resulted was the storied “Marathon Concert”.

- The event lasted over four hours; the heater was broken.

- It saw the premiers of: Symphony No. 5, Symphony No. 6, Choral Fantasy, Piano Concerto No. 4, part of the Mass in C and an extended jam with Beethoven at the piano.

- The orchestra was unrehearsed. Their last concert with Beethoven ended with a fight, so they refused to rehearse with him this time.

- During the Choral Fantasy, Beethoven stopped the orchestra and had them restart.

- This was Beethoven’s last ever public piano performance before his hearing went.

Despite all this, it was his first (and only) financially successful concert that year. Could you imagine sitting in the cold theatre for four hours and hearing this?

Mahler: Symphony No. 3: Part II: Mov. 5

Symphony No. 3 (1893-96)
Gustav Mahler
•V. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck (Cheerful in tempo and bold in expression) [F major] “Es sungen drei Engel” (“What the Angels Tell Me”)
 
Text: Clemens Brentano and Bettina von Arnim from Des Knaben Wunderhorn

—(Original German)—
Bimm, bamm, bimm, bamm.

Es sungen drei Engel einen süßen Gesang,
mit Freuden es selig in dem Himmel klang.
Sie jauchzten fröhlich auch dabei:
daß Petrus sei von Sünden frei!

Und als der Herr Jesus zu Tische saß,
mit seinen zwölf Jüngern das Abendmahl aß,
da sprach der Herr Jesus: "Was stehst du denn hier?
Wenn ich dich anseh’, so weinest du mir!"

"Und sollt’ ich nicht weinen, du gütiger Gott?
Ich hab’ übertreten die zehn Gebot!
Ich gehe und weine ja bitterlich!
Ach komm und erbarme dich über mich!"

"Hast du denn übertreten die zehen Gebot,
so fall auf die Knie und bete zu Gott!
Liebe nur Gott in all Zeit!
So wirst du erlangen die himmlische Freud’."

Die himmlische Freud’ ist eine selige Stadt,
die himmlische Freud’, die kein Ende mehr hat!
Die himmlische Freude war Petro bereit’t,
durch Jesum und allen zur Seligkeit.

Bimm, bamm, bimm, bamm.

—(In English)—
Ding, dong, ding, dong.

Three angels sang a sweet song,
with blessed joy it rang in heaven.
They shouted too for joy
that Peter was free from sin!

And as Lord Jesus sat at the table
with his twelve disciples and ate the evening meal,
Lord Jesus said: "Why do you stand here?
When I look at you, you are weeping!"

"And should I not weep, kind God?
I have violated the ten commandments!
I wander and weep bitterly!
O come and take pity on me!"

"If you have violated the ten commandments,
then fall on your knees and pray to God!
Love only God for all time!
So will you gain heavenly joy."

The heavenly joy is a blessed city,
the heavenly joy that has no end!
The heavenly joy was granted to Peter
through Jesus, and to all mankind for eternal bliss.

Ding, dong, ding, dong.

mahler

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Stunningly rare and impressive collection of 12 ink AMQS on a single off-white 7.75 x 9.25 sheet bearing a pencil drawing of Gustav Mahler (signed illegibly by the artist), circa early 1930s. Each composer pens from three to six measures; most also add the title, and, in some cases, additional information or sentiments. The composers represented are: Ernst Toch (from Piano Sonata, Op. 47); Paul Hindemith (String Quartet, Op. 32); Heinz Thiessen (unidentified); Max Butting (unidentified); Alexander Jemnitz (Serenade, Op. 24); Kurt Weill (“Alabama Song” from the Threepenny Opera); Alban Berg (Wozzeck; Berg also adds in German: “So that the desire, after some bars of an aria from Wozzeck is taken even more into consideration, since I am not alone in this”); Arnold Schönberg (Jacob’s Ladder, including the sung text); Edmund Meisel (the film score Symphonie einer Großstadt); Ernst Krenek (Jonny spielt auf); Philipp Jarnach (unidentified); and Fidelio Finke (unidentified). A touch of very minor wear at edges, otherwise fine condition. The confluence of factors that contribute to the importance and rarity of this item is truly remarkable. In addition to the sheer number of composers who have signed together, fully half of the signers (Schönberg, Berg, Hindemith, Weill, Krenek, and Toch) can indisputably be regarded as figures of primary importance in the history of twentieth-century music. More incredibly still, these select six have quoted from some of their best-known and most recognizable works. icollector.com