In Extravagant Binding
with Ducal Crown
Bonn’s Spectacular Beethoven jubilé
Beethoven – Schilling, G. (ed.). BEETHOVEN-ALBUM. (A Commemorative Book of Grateful Love and Veneration for the Great Deceased, endowed and described by an Association of Artists and Art Lovers from France, England, Italy, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Hungary, and Russia.) Stuttgart, Hallberger’sche Verlagshandlung, together with Paris, Bureau central de musique, London, Ewer & Co., Milan, G. Ricordi, (1846). Sm. 4to (10¼ × 7¼ in [26 × 18.5 cm]). 2 ll. preliminary matter, XVI, 312 pp. With portrait frontispiece in steel engraving. Contemp. ducal Bavarian red velvet with white moiré inner covers/fly-leaves & rich roundabout ornaments of musically elated arabesque on both covers & back together with ducal crown supralibros on the front cover ,
all in applied shining gilt metal sheet .
Ducal Bavarian “desirable provenance copy”
(Löffler-Kirchner) with library number 3973 on label at the lower back. – Partially faintly foxing, only occasionally slightly spoilingly more, among which title and the portrait printed by J. Niederbüll in Stuttgart. The extravagant binding rubbed conditioned on the velvet and the back paled. Gilt edges as the metal sheet embossing and particularly the raised ducal crown of unbroken radiation.
Outward reason for present Album were the celebrations to the erection of Hähnel’s Beethoven Memorial at Bonn in the presence of the King of Prussia and the Queen of England the year before from 10th to 12th August 1845. Planned since 1835, the receipt of too few donations prevented the realization until finally Franz Liszt (his composition contribution here pp. 274/77) put the highly famous committee for the erection up to banker Mertens-Schafhausen to shame and guaranteed the total costs. That three-day inauguration celebration inevitably leaving but a sentimental personal value, the Album should secure lasting continuance. And, so the intention of the publisher Louis Hallberger and the musicologist Gustav Schilling there, to set by this
“ Beethoven yet another worthy memorial ,
which , accessible for everyone , also can be for everyone always …
a visible … sign of the great love and veneration ”.
The artistic world was called upon for short contributions. So the Album is at the same time a reflection of music life in its day with contents frequently published for the first time . Lead as “Never before printed; discovered and related by A. Geissler, cantor in Zschopau“ by
Mozart’s “The Nose. Lullaby, composed for his wife”.
No less important the 3-page reminiscence of the ravishing Schröder-Devrient who as 17-year-old had sung the Leonore at the revival of the Fidelio, and here mentions especially the last rehearsal, too, the personal direction of which the deaf master had insisted on. And with reference to the latter confirms herself as participant what Ignaz von Seyfried had reported. That is
“ Should to his opinion be played piano he almost crept under the music-stand, and when he wanted the forte he leaped up with the strangest gestures, uttering the queerest sounds … ”
And on the opening night itself:
“ and really that evening a more mature spirit seemed to have come over me for some independent ingenious traits showed in my performance, which Beethoven cannot have missed, for he came himself … the other day to present me with his thanks and his appreciation … He has not experienced it anymore that his Fidelio became familiar in France’s and Albion’s capital, and that his naive shy Leonore of 1823 (recte “November 3, 1822, the fête-day of the empress”) … could contribute to procure for such a mighty work the appropriate and full recognition also in the German fatherland … ”
On this Kerst, Die Erinnerungen an Beethoven, II (1913), as annotation page 39 correcting at the same time the date of the performance:
“ made the opera popular by her Leonore in ‘Fidelio’ she sang 1822 as a 17-year-old. Her recollections on this are usually quoted from the book by Cläre von Glümer, who used Schröder’s notes, or from the book by Alfred von Wolzogen based on this.
More exact and interesting is the recollection
the artist herself
has published 1846 in the Beethoven Album by Schilling
and is little known … ”
C. O. Sternau (p. 134 f.) by the way sees in his toast to the diva retiring from Dresden on Beethoven’s anniversary of death 1843 the model for Adelaide (“Fidelio , whom once his mind created for You, You, mistress of art, Adelaide! His work was your youth’s ideal, Was Your fame’s golden crown of stars …”), while the Hanoverian court musician Wallerstein (p. 28) sees a forester’s daughter immortalized in the former.
Among the 180 mostly music contributions furthermore Meyerbeer’s 7-page setting to music of Ferd. Braun’s poem The Wanderer and the Ghosts, at Beethoven’s Grave, Spontini’s Romance traduite de Sapho, a 2-page one by Léon Kreutzer, Rodolphe’s (Kreutzer Sonata) nephew, Tobias Haslinger’s (Vienna’s music house Steiner & Co., Beethoven’s “Best of all Tobiases”) 2-page vocal mass and of the same stable Carl Haslinger’s 2-page Hommage à Hector Berlioz as Sketch from my Most Recent Composition.
Not ignorable finally the various voices relativizing the monument in Bonn like “… At least the Beethoven Memorial in Bonn is a signal to attention for the simple, ignorant wanderer” (the feuilletonist Alster, p. 131). Or by L. C. Beckmann, Amsterdam (p. 149):
“ One has erected a monument for you … As if one dreads to forget your music … Then you pay greater honor to the master Than by a stone likeness, for, confess, ‘In his music his mind lives again.’ ”
Noteworthy also the musician Baron of Lannoy’s (p. 98) reference to the political Beethoven on occasion of the withdrawal of the Eroica’s dedication to Napoleon, who “shrunk to the autocrat and put Europe in chains again, the clanking of which still reverberates … Liberty for ever, without high church and high tories …”. Also not to be passed over E. von Heydebrand’s (retired Prussian officer in Oels, p. 228) plain confession
“ Deep in my breast I silently preserve in high admiration for what word and pen are not sufficient for me! ”
Besides, like the small memorial paper Bonn 1845, too,
of greatest rarity on the market
including even Werner Wolffheim’s legendary music library dissolved 1928/29 as
“ The most precious collection of musical books of any kind which ever was on the market … The reputation of this famous library and its owner … who together with … Hermann Springer and Max Schneider continued Eitner’s source dictionary is that firm even out of musical science that we may save ourselves to refer especially to the single preciousnesses in the preliminary notes. In addition their specification would require a special catalog before the actual catalog ”
whose 2-volume catalog became a standard work of its own. Obviously copies becoming available found their way like lemmings into the Beethovenhaus in Bonn where currently six copies are assembled. Up to provenances like Wegeler and Bodmer. However, to what extent among those items
a that extravagantly bound one as the present shines
of ducal Bavarian provenance
may remain an open question. Coming down therefore to Jean-Louis Dumas-Hermès’ recommendation based on intimacy with the exquisite
“ Postpone nothing to the other day . One shall do it today … and not wait until retirement . For then
the quite particular item
I saw at the antiquary yesterday is gone ”.
Offer no. 15,579 / price on application