Beethoven completed Symphony No. 7 in April 1812 and it was published by the Steiner firm. Immediately after completion of that symphony, he started composition of Symphony No. 8, drafting throughout the summer. He spent part of that summer in Teplitz and other Bohemian spas (Karlsbad and Franzensbad) – and it was...
Beethoven completed Symphony No. 7 in April 1812 and it was published by the Steiner firm. Immediately after completion of that symphony, he started composition of Symphony No. 8, drafting throughout the summer. He spent part of that summer in Teplitz and other Bohemian spas (Karlsbad and Franzensbad) – and it was quite an eventful summer. He met with poet Goethe (and called him a sycophant courtier), wrote the emotional letter to the "immortal lover" whose recipient still remains a mystery, and worked on drafts of the symphony. In October 1812, he was sufficiently satisfied to start writing down the score. He might have finished Symphony No. 8 as early as late 1812 but it was certainly done in March 1813.
The firm of Sigmund Anton Steiner published many of Beethoven’s compositions, and the Symphonies No. 7 and 8 were among them. Composer and arranger Tobias Haslinger was employed by Steiner and worked with Beethoven, and the two men became close friends. Haslinger, who would later take over ownership of the firm, seemed especially adept at drawing out the great composer’s humorous side. He and Steiner became part and parcel of a wonderful series of letters in which Beethoven created an imaginary army, naming himself as the top general -the Generalissimus, Steiner as the Lieutenant-General; and Haslinger as the latter’s aide. As with many of his friends, Beethoven would often include little jokes in his letters to Haslinger. They would refer to money as their "little army" and make other private allusions.
Autograph Letter Signed “der G–S” [the Generalissimus], in German, in pencil, no date or place specified but written from Vienna in the summer of 1812, to Haslinger, whom he addresses as “the best and brightest aide-de-camp of the G-ll-t” [Lieutenant General- Steiner], with autograph address panel. In it, Beethoven asks Haslinger “whether you could come and see me tomorrow morning concerning the correction of the symphony – they should be done by then and it is necessary to discuss certain things as there are still several inconsistencies. So I expect you here since I will not be able to come to you…“. This letter appears in the complete edition of Beethoven’s correspondence, Volume 4, No. 1076. The composition referred to in this letter is very likely the piano score of Symphony No. 8 (op. 93), which Haslinger was working on with Beethoven, and a draft of which needed review and revision.
Here Beethoven, in the midst of composing one of his symphonies, offers a glimpse of how he worked with his publisher to polish his compositions.
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