Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-nmvwc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-19T06:35:18.454Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

3 - A Four-Leaf Clover: A Newly Discovered Cello, the Premiere of the Ninth Symphony, Beethoven's Circle of Friends in Bonn, and a Corrected Edition of the Song “Ruf vom Berge,” WoO 147

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 September 2020

Get access

Summary

A Recently Discovered Cello Formerly Owned by Beethoven

In 2008 a cello formerly owned by Ludwig van Beethoven resurfaced (see fig. 3.1). Since then it has been on loan to the Beethoven-Haus. According to Aloys Fuchs in 1846, the instrument was in Vienna after the composer's death, in the possession of P. Wertheimber [sic], a descendant of Samson Wertheimer (1658–1724), who was court factor (purveyor to the royal household, banker, and financial adviser) to Emperor Leopold I. (Leopold I was himself a gifted composer.) Samson Wertheimer held the same post for Leopold's successors, Emperor Joseph I and Charles VI, as well as for the electoral palatinate and the electors of Mainz, Trier, and Saxony; he was, moreover, the chief rabbi of Hungary. A few years ago it became known that Beethoven, in addition to the string quartet instruments exhibited in the Beethoven-Haus since 1890 (and thought to belong together as a set), owned another violin and a second cello. On the basis of two seals carrying the initials “LvB” found on this “new” cello, one can conclude that this instrument was once part of the original string quartet set presented to Beethoven around 1800 by Prince Lichnowsky, as a gift in recognition of his first six string quartets, his op. 18. The seal on the button is the large seal that the composer frequently used; the one on the rib below the endpin is his less frequent small seal (see figs. 3.2 and 3.3).

The other two instruments that formed part of this original set (one of the violins and the viola at the Beethoven-Haus) differ somewhat from them in that the large seal is located at the upper end of the back plate, just below the foot of the neck. In addition, both have the initial “B” incised in the back plate, a mark that our instrument lacks—perhaps having been obliterated in the course of a later repair. Another violin, also originally part of this set, was presented to the Beethoven-Haus by Gerda Taussig for a token purchase price. This violin was presumably built by the Salzburg violin maker Johann Joseph Schorn around 1720. It, too, exhibits the large seal as well as the incised initial on the back plate.

Type
Chapter
Information
The New Beethoven
Evolution, Analysis, Interpretation
, pp. 50 - 77
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

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 Dropbox.

Available formats
×

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.

Available formats
×