Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-4rdrl Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-19T08:54:10.604Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

2 - “A Really Excellent and Capable Man”: Beethoven and Johann Traeg

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 September 2020

Get access

Summary

On June 18, 1794, eighteen months after he had arrived in Vienna, Beethoven wrote a letter to his friend in Bonn, Nikolaus Simrock. As well as playing the horn in the court orchestra, Simrock had for some years run a business selling a variety of goods, including carpets, books, stationery, and wine. Music came to be a central feature in his life, with Simrock offering his services as a copyist and as a seller of publications from elsewhere in Europe and of musical instruments. The previous year he had expanded his business to include the engraving of printed music, tentative beginnings of an accelerating process that was to make Simrock one of Europe's leading music publishers. Beethoven had heard from his brother Carl, that Simrock was planning to engrave the composer's Eight Variations on a Theme by Count Waldstein (WoO 67), and Beethoven was irritated that he had not been consulted, pointing out that it might have compromised any plans he had to offer the work to Artaria in Vienna. More constructively, Beethoven suggested to Simrock that he should think about having an agent in Vienna to sell his forthcoming publications: “If so, I would willingly undertake to recommend to you one whom I know to be a first-rate man.”

Two months later, on August 2, the subject matter emerged in a second letter to Simrock. Beethoven had agreed that Simrock could, after all, publish the variations: he had read the proofs, was very complimentary about the quality of the engraving, and promised some further compositions. In addition he wrote, “Regarding an agent [Commissionaire] I have looked around and have found a really excellent and capable man. His name is Traeg. All you have to do is to write to him, or to me, indicating the terms you would like. He requires a discount of a third from you.”

In many ways Johann Traeg was the obvious choice. He was the leading music dealer in Vienna, selling manuscript performing parts and printed music from dedicated premises in the Singerstrasse in the inner city.

Type
Chapter
Information
The New Beethoven
Evolution, Analysis, Interpretation
, pp. 37 - 49
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
×