(1785 - 1793)


At the end of Part 1 of this history, we left you with the reading material of the 1785 original text of the ‘Ode to Joy' and with our invitation to you to also consider this text and its content in light of what influences out of Schiller's own life might be reflected in it.

However, the dynamic process of the development of BEETHOVEN'S ‘Ode to Joy' is far from over. In proceeding chronologically, we shall now have the opportunity in this second part (that deals with the time period of 1785 - January, 1793) to investigate both Schiller's and Beethoven's further development as it is relevant to this process. In doing so, we hope to be able to convey to you a thorough impression of the following:

IN SCHILLER'S DEVELOPMENT, we hope to be able to not only relate further ‘bare-bone' timetable biographical data that is then somewhat ‘prettied up' by further background information, but also an impression of Schiller's intellectual development during this period, particularly with respect to the ‘topics' discussed in the ‘Ode to Joy'. As much as, for example, the ‘Heiligenstadt Will' speaks for itself as witness to Beethoven's initial struggle with his loss of hearing, the writer is of the opinion that Schiller, too, can ‘speak for himself' and thus communicate directly with you--as far as this is possible--in near-literal translations of his writings. For this purpose of your ‘direct communication' with Schiller, we have selected the following texts:

SCENE 10 OF ACT 3 OF SCHILLER'S PLAY ‘DON CARLOS' (written in 1786). Many of the topics that Schiller already discussed in the ‘Ode to Joy' have been, perhaps more maturely, presented again in this dialogue. We will also not merely ‘throw you to the dogs' in this process, but render a description of this plays's plot and of the significance of this dialogue in it. We think that your careful reading and consideration of this dialogue will leave you with a ‘better understanding' of Schiller's thinking at that time and of the ‘Ode to Joy' topics. THE ‘12 LETTERS ON ‘DON CARLOS', written by Schiller in 1788. Since this play, when it premiered in 1787, was only understood by the public and by its critics from its ‘apparent content' but not from the import of its actual ‘theme', Schiller found it necessary to provide to the public these letters in which he clearly laid out what his intentions were in writing this play and what its actual ‘theme' was. This process shows again Schiller's way of ‘dynamically moving forward' in his own thinking and lets us gain a better understanding of it.

While this additional reading material may seem to be ‘much to chew on', we do not only hope but are fairly certain that you will come out of it with your gums intact.

IN BEETHOVEN'S DEVELOPMENT we have, of course, to pay attention to any of the opportunities that presented themselves to him during this time period which enabled him to become even more familiar with Schiller's works, including the text of the ‘Ode to Joy', but also to his ‘intellectual development' in general.

However, we shall also have a ‘first opportunity' to study Beethoven's ‘initial application' in a work of music some of the concepts of this period's thinking by which Schiller was, of course, also influenced but which Schiller, in turn, influenced, as well. The work(s) referred to here are the 1790 "Kaiserkantaten" (the Funeral Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II and the Coronation Cantata for Emperor Leopold II), Beethoven's ‘early masterwork(s)' that may also have earned him his ‘ticket to Vienna'.

Once you will have gained an impression of this subject matter, it will also seem ‘logical' to you that the young composer already left for Vienna with a concept of writing music to ‘every strophe' of the ‘Ode to Joy' in his mind, and you will also understand that this ‘Part 2' of the ‘Ode History' is ‘begging for continuation' in further ‘sequels'.

Alas, for now, we invite you to enjoy your exploration of the time period of 1785 - 1793 as outlined above and as presented herein.