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10 - Epilogue

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 March 2024

Barry A. R. Cooper
Affiliation:
University of Manchester
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Summary

After the Ninth: A Tenth?

Although Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony proved to be his last, this was not his intention or expectation when he composed it. As noted in the previous chapter, he had been commissioned in 1817 to write two new symphonies, and while he was drafting the Ninth he noted down occasional ideas about its successor. The first known idea in 1818 was purely verbal and proposed adding voices to the finale of this second symphony, but this plan became absorbed into the Ninth, and it seems hardly probable that he would have wanted to use the idea in both new symphonies. In 1819 he implied to Ferdinand Ries that the two symphonies were at least partially written, saying that he would bring them with him to London the following winter. Then in July 1820, when Franz Xaver Gebauer visited Breslau (now Wrocław), he heard that Beethoven had two new symphonies in progress, and reported this in Beethoven’s conversation book the following month. The earliest known musical sketches for the work, however, are those noted previously that date from about October 1822, appearing near the end of Artaria 201 (pages 124–5) and on a separate bifolio now in Bonn. They show a slow introduction in E flat major leading to a fast section in C minor, plus ideas for three possible later movements. Beethoven considered incorporating both main themes from the first movement into the Ninth Symphony (see Chapter 9), as he had done with the plan for a vocal finale, but he quickly abandoned this idea, leaving them available for future development as the Tenth.

In the theme of the slow introduction the first five notes – even the first seven in some sketches – are identical to the Adagio theme in the Pathétique Sonata, apart from the key (see Example 9.9 above, which shows both versions of the theme at a time when they were being considered for the Ninth Symphony). Beethoven must have noticed this similarity, and may well have had some poetic reason for reusing this theme so conspicuously.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2024

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  • Epilogue
  • Barry A. R. Cooper, University of Manchester
  • Book: The Creation of Beethoven's Nine Symphonies
  • Online publication: 02 March 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781805432036.012
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  • Epilogue
  • Barry A. R. Cooper, University of Manchester
  • Book: The Creation of Beethoven's Nine Symphonies
  • Online publication: 02 March 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781805432036.012
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Epilogue
  • Barry A. R. Cooper, University of Manchester
  • Book: The Creation of Beethoven's Nine Symphonies
  • Online publication: 02 March 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781805432036.012
Available formats
×