Schubert and Beethoven
For the investigation of the issue, as to whether and to what extent Schubert and Beethoven might have known each other, I had at my disposal five sources, of which the first merely served me as a source of original texts, namely the little Schubert volume edited by Hans Rutz, "Franz Schubert - Dokumente seines Lebens und Schaffens", published by C.H. Beck, Munich, in 1952. From this source, I want to present to you here the some relevant original texts, before we embark on a further investigation of all factors related to this issue:
The first text is a report of the Schubert friend Josef Hüttenbrenner from 1822:
"Die Beethoven gewidmeten Variationen op. 10 trug Schubert im Stich zu Beethoven, der aber nicht zu Hause war. Sowohl Karl Beethoven als Schindler sagten aber wiederholt, daß sie Beethovens Beifall erhielten; denn ein paar Monate hindurch spielte sie Beethoven mit seinem Neffen fast täglich. Ansonsten kam Schubert mit Beethoven nie in Berührung, nur zum ersten und letzten Male an Beethovens Sterbebett mit Anselm, mir und Teltscher, wohin uns Schindler führte . . ." (Rutz: 119; Hüttenbrenner reports here that Schubert took his Variations, op. 10 to Beethoven who was not at home. He further reports that both Karl Beethoven as well as Schindler had confirmed to him that they found Beethoven's approval since Beethoven played them with his nephew for a few months. Otherwise, so Hüttenbrenner, Schubert only came into contact with Beethoven for the first and last time at the latter's deathbed, where he, his brother Anselm and the artist Teltscher were led by Schindler).
The following report of Anton Schindlers will be discussed subsequently by referring to Thayer and other sources. For the time being, let us present this original text featured in Rutz:
"Im Jahre 1822 machte sich Franz Schubert auf, um seine vierhändigen, Beethoven gewidmeten Variationen über ein französisches Lied, op. 10, dem von ihm hochverehrten Meister zu überreichen. Ungeachtet Diabellis Begleitung und Verdolmetschung seiner Gefühle für diesen spielte er doch bei der Vorstellung eine ihm selber mißfällige Rolle. Die bis ans Haus fest gewahrte Courage verließ ihn ganz beim Anblick der Künstler-Majestät. Und als Beethoven den Wunsch geäußert, Schubert möge die Beantwortung seiner Fragen niederschreiben, war die Hand wie gefesselt. Beethoven durchlief das überreichte Exemplar und stieß auf eine harmonische Unrichtigkeit. Mit sanften Worten machte er den jungen Mann darauf aufmerksam, beifügend, das sei keine Todsünde; indessen ist Schubert vielleicht gerade infolge dieser begünstigenden Bemerkung vollends aus aller Fassung gekommen. Erst außer dem Hause raffte er sich wieder zusammen und schalt sich selber derb aus. Das war seine erste und letzte Begegnung mit Beethoven; denn er hatte niemals wieder den Mut, sich ihm vorzustellen . . ." (Rutz: 119 - 120; Schindler reports here that in 1822, Schubert went to see Beethoven to present to him his Variations for Piano for four hands, based on a French Song, op. 10, and that Diabelli accompanied him there. However, according to Schindlers report, during his visit, Schubert did not play a role he was proud of, afterward, since the courage he had talked himself into by describing to Diabelli the great admiration he held for the great master, melted away at the sight of the majestic artist. And when Beethoven had requested of him to write down the answers to the questions he put to him, the latter's hand was paralyzed. Beethoven, so Schindler, had looked at the presented score and came across a mistake in harmony. With gentle words, he pointed this out to the young man, adding that it was not a mortal sin; due to this kindness, Schubert was supposed to have completely fallen apart. Only after he had left the house, he could regain his composure and scolded himself thoroughly. That was, according to Schindler, his first and last meeting with Beethoven, since he never again had the courage to present himself to him).
Schindler's report subsequently refers to events in February, 1827:
"Da die Krankheit, der Beethoven . . . erlag, ihm von Anbeginn derselben die gewohnte Geistestätigkeit unmöglich machte, so mußte man an eine Zerstreuung für ihn denken, die seinem Geiste und seiner Neigung entsprach. So kam es auch, daß ich ihm eine Sammlung von Schubertschen Liedern und Gesängen, ungefähr 60 an der Zahl, und darunter viele damals noch als Manuskripte, vorlegte. Dies geschah nicht allein in der Absicht, ihm eine angenehme Unterhaltung zu verschaffen, sondern ihm auch Gelegenheit zu geben, Schubert in seiner Wesenheit kennenzulernen, um eine günstigere Meinung von seinem Talente zu bekommen . . . Der große Meister, der früher nicht fünf Lieder von Schubert kannte, staunte über die Zahl derselben und wollte gar nicht glauben, daß Schubert bis zu jener Zeit deren bereits über 500 geschrieben hatte. Aber staunte er schon über die Zahl, so geriet er in die höchste Verwunderung, als er ihren Inhalt kennenlernte. Mehrere Tage hindurch konnte er sich gar nicht davon trennen und stundenlang verweilte er täglich bei "Iphigienia", "Grenzen der Menschheit", "Allmacht", "Junge Nonne", "Viola", den "Müllerliedern" und anderen mehr. Mit freudiger Begeisterung rief er wiederholt aus: "Wahrlich, in dem Schubert wohnt ein göttlicher Funke!" -- "Hätte ich dies Gedicht gehabt, ich hätte es auch in Musik gesetzt." So bei den meisten Gedichten, deren Stoff, Inhalt und originelle Bearbeitung er nicht genug loben konnte. Ebenso konnte er nicht begreifen, wie Schubert Muße hatte, "sich über so viele Dichtungen zu machen, wovon manche zehn andere enthält", wie er sich ausdrückte...Kurz, die Achtung, die Beethoven für Schuberts Talent bekam, war so groß, daß er nun auch seine Opern und Klavierwerke sehen wollte; allein seine Krankheit nahm bereits in dem Grade zu, daß er diesen Wunsch nicht mehr befriedigen konnte. Doch sprach er noch oft von Schubert und prohezeite: "daß dieser noch viel Aufsehen in der Welt machen werde", so wie er auch bedauerte, ihn nicht früher schon kennengelernt zu haben . . ." (Rutz: 120 - 121; Here, Schindler reports that from its outset, Beethoven's final illness prevented him from pursuing his usual intellectual activities, so that a distraction had to be thought of that was suitable to his inclinations. Thus, so Schindler, it came about that he presented to him approximately 60 Schubert songs, and many of them still in manuscript form. This was not only done in order to provide him with pleasant entertainment, but also for the purpose of providing him with an opportunity to become acquainted with Schubert's artistic nature, in order do gain from him a better opinion of his talents. . . . The great master, so Schindler, who, up to that time, had barely known five Schubert songs, was amazed at the number of them and did not want to believe that Schubert had already written 500 of them by that time, and, if he was already amazed at their number, he was even more amazed when he became familiar with their content. For days in a row, he could not separate himself from them, and for hours, he studied songs such as "Iphigienia", "Grenzen der Menschheit", "Allmacht", "Junge Nonne", "Viola", the "Müllerlieder" and other songs. With joyful enthusiasm he repeatedly exclaimed: "Truly, a divine spark dwells in Schubert!" -- "Had I had this poem, I would have set it to music!" Thus it was with most of the poems, the material, content and original treatment of which he could not praise enough. Likewise, he could not understand how Schubert had found the time to pour over so many poems, of which some contain ten others, as he expressed it. In short, so Schindler, the esteem that Beethoven held Schubert in, was so high that now, he also wanted to see his operas and piano works; alone, his illness progressed to an extent that made it impossible to him to fulfill this wish. However, he often talked of Schubert and prophesied, that he would make himself known in the world and that he regretted not to have become familiar with him earlier).
Let us refer to Thayer as our second source here. In the chapter of the year 1816 of the Thayer/Forbes edition, the first traces that lead to Schubert can be found
"to the few names which this year have appeared in our narrative, there is still to be added one worthy of a paragraph: that of a wealthy young man from Graz . . .--Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who came to Vienna in 1815 to study with Salieri, and formed an intimate friendship with Franz Schubert. His enthusiasm for Beethoven was not abated when the present writer, in 1860, had the good fortune to enjoy a period of familiar intercouse with him, to learn his great and noble qualities of mind and heart, and to hear his reminiscences from his own lips. . . . He relates: 'I learned to know Beethoven through the kindness of Hr. Dr. Joseph Eppinger, Israelite. The first time Beethoven was not at home; his housekeeper opened to us his living-room and study. There everything lay in confusion--scores, shirts, socks, books. The second time he was at home, locked in with two copyists. At the name 'Eppinger' he opened the door and excused himself, having a great deal to do, and asked us to come at another time. But, seeing in my hand a roll of music--overture to Schiller's 'Robbers' and a vocal quartet with pianoforte accompaniment, text by Schiller--he took it, sat himself down to the pianoforte and turned all the leaves carefully. Thereupon he jumped up, pounded me on the right shoulder with all his might, and spoke to me the following words which humiliated me because I cannot yet explain them: 'I am not worthy that you should visit me!' Was it humility? If so it was divine; if it was irony it was pardonable.' And again: 'A few times a week Beethoven came to the publishing house of Steiner & Co. in the forenoon between 11 and 12 o'clock. Nearly every time there was held there a composers' meeting to exchange musical opinions. Schubert frequently took me there. We regaled ourselves with the pithy, often sarcastic remarks of Beethoven particularly when the talk was about Italian music'" (Thayer: 658).
What can be discerned from this report is that the wealthy young man from Graz did not hesitate to venture into a meeting with Beethoven, while Schubert, at least at this time, reportedly only admired and observed him from a distance.
This respectful distance to Beethoven can also be observed in further reports, such as that of Rochlitz on the occasion of his 1822 visit to Vienna
"There must now be recorded some of the facts connected with the visit to Beethoven of Friedrich Rochlitz, distinguished musical literateur and first editor of the Leipzig Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung. Rochlitz arrived in Vienna on May 24 and remained there till August 2. He wrote two letters to Härtel about his experiences in the Austrian capital, one of June 28 from Vienna and the other of July 9 from Baden. The latter contained his account of his meeting with Beethoven asnd is reprinted in Vol. IV of his Für Freunde der Tonkunst ((25). He had never seen Beethoven in the flesh and was eager for a meeting. A friend to whom he went (it is very obsious that it was Haslinger( told him that Beethoven was in the country and had grown so shy of human society that a visit to him might prove unavailing; but it was Beethoven's custom to come to Vienna every week and he was then as a rule affable and approachable. He advised Rochlitz to wait, and he did so until the following Saturday. The meeting was a pleasant one and enabled Rochlitz to study Beethoven's appearance and manner; but the interview was suddenly terminated by Beethoven in the midst of the visitor's confession of his own admiration of the enthusiasm which Beethoven's symphonies created in Leipzig. From the beginning Beethoven had listened, smiled and nodded; but after he had curtly excused himself on the score of an engagement and departed abruptly, Rochlitz learned that his auditor had not heard or understood a word of all that he had said. Rochlitz continues:
'Some two weeks later I was about to go to dinner when I met the young composer Franz Schubert, an enthusiastic admirer of Beethoven. The latter had spoken to Schubert concerning me. 'If you wish to see him in a more natural and jovial mood,' said Schubert, 'then go and eat your dinner this very minute at the inn(27) where he has just gone for the same purpose.' He took me with him. Most of the places were taken. Beethoven sat among several acquaintances who were strangers to me. He really seemed to be in good spirits and acknowledged my greeting, but I purposely did not cross over to him. . . . " (Thayer: 800, italics mine.
From this can at least be discerned that Schubert, also after 1816, found many an opportunity to observe Beethoven. However, what does not become entirely clear is as to whether he also was in direct contact with him. This seems to be confirmed in a further report of Thayer:
"The name of Franz Schubert was introduced in the account by Rochlitz and the impression created is that the younger composer was aware of the master's habits but knew and admired him from afar. In an earlier chapter was given the description by Anselm Hüttenbrenner of the gathering of composers, of whom Schubert was one, between 11 and 12 o'clock a few times a week at Steiner's store in the Paternostergässchen to exchange musical opinions. On April 19, 1822, the firm of Cappi and Diabelli announced their publication of Schubert's variations on a French song for pianoforte, four hands, which was 'dedicated to Herr Ludwig van Beethoven by his Worshipper and Admirer Franz Schubert.'(29) That this work made Beethoven more aware of Schubert as a person and an artist is suggested by the following evidence from Kreissle's biography of Schubert: 'It should be stated, however, that a gentleman still living at Vienna, an intimate and trusted friend of Schubert's [Herr Josef Hüttenbrenner](40) shortly after the presentation of his musical work [the four-hand variations to Beethoven], heard from Schubert's own mouth that he certainly visited Beethoven, but that he was not at home, and that Schubert entrusted his variations to the care of the housemaid, or man-servant, and consequently that at that time he neither saw and still less psoke to Beethoven. Hüttenbrenner remarks further that Schubert subsequently heard with great pleasure of Beethoven's enjoying these variations and playing them frequently and gladly with his nephew Karl'(41)" (Thayer: 805 - 806).
A further indication of Schubert's respectful distance to Beethoven is Thayer's chapter on Beethoven events of the year 1823, of which the following, however, refers to the fall of 1822:
"Louis Schlösser (1800-1886) was a violinist in the Darmstadt court orchestra and in the spring of 1822 he received a leave of several years in which to travel and broaden his knowledge through study with foreign artists. He went first to Vienna and then to Paris before returning to Darmstadt where he eventually became kapellmeister. His 'Personal Reminiscences of Beethoven,' an account written some 50 years later of his stay in Vienna, may be summarized here.(59) For months he was unsuccessful in his attempts to meet Beethoven. Finally on November 4, 1822, at the second performance of Fidelio he got his chance to see him at least from a distance.--He was leaving the theatre with his friend Franz Schubert. 'Together with us, three gentlemen, to whom I paid no further attention because their backs were turned to me, stepped out of a lower corridor; yet I was not a little surprised to see all those who were streaming by toward the lobby crowding to one side, in order to give the three plenty of room. Then Schubert very softly plucked my sleeve, pointing with his finger to the gentleman in the middle, who turned his head at that oment so that the bright light of the lamps fell on it and--I saw, familiar to me from engravings and paintings, the features of the creator of the opera I had just heard, Beethoven himself. My heart beat twice as loudly at that moment; all the things I may have said to Schubert I now no longer recall; but I well remember that I followed the Desired One and his companions (Schindler and Breuning, as I later discovered) like a shadow through crooked alleys and past high, gable-roofed houses, followed him until the darkness hid him from sight" (Thayer: 848; italics mine).
Almost four years would pass before Thayer's Beethoven chronology refers to Schubert, again, and this time in connection with a recorded conversation Beetveen Karl Holz
"A remark in a Conversation book of 1826 indicates that Stadler has urged Beethoven to write a mass. Holz says:
If Stadler tells you to write a mass it is certain that something will be done for it. He knows best of anybody which way the wind blows.
He has Dietrichstein and Eybler in his pocket.
You are well cared for if Stadler favors it.
The conversations of Holz also provide a fleeting glimpse of Schubert in this year. Holz told Beethoven that he had seen the young composer with some one (perhaps Artaria or Mosel) and that the two were reading a Handel score together.
He [Schubert] was very amiable and thanked me for the pleasure which Mylord's [Schuppanzigh's] Quartets gave him; he was always present.
He has a great gift for songs.
Do you know the Erlkönig?
He spoke very mystically, always" (Thayer: 988 - 989).
Here, it can not be avoided to feature Thayer's quote of Schindler's report with respect to the events of February, 1827:
"Beethoven's preoccupation with the works of Handel has already been mentioned. He also received great pleasure from the compositions of Schubert with which he became acquainted through Schindler.--In the first edition of his biography Schindler writes:(40) 'And how much Beethoven respected the talent of gifted Franz Schubert, which he really began to know only on his final sick-bed because previously certain people had lacked trust in him and belittled his name! After he had come through me to know the 'Ossian's Gesänge,', 'Die Bürgschaft,' 'Die junge Nonne,' 'Die Grenzen der Menschheit,' etc., hie cried out with inner emotion, 'Truly a divine spart dwells in Schubert!'"
Schindler at one time had expressed the opinion that Schubert was a greater song-composer than Beethoven and excited criticism thereby. As a defense of his opinion he wrote an article which was published in the Theaterzeitung (May 3, 1831):
"As the illness to which Beethoven finally succumbed after four months of suffering from the beginning made his ordinary mental activity impossible, a diversion had to be thought of which would fit his mind and inclinations. And so it came about that I placed before him a collection of Schubert's songs, about 60 in number, among them many which were then still in manuscript. This was done not only to provide him with a pleasant entertainment, but also to give him an opportunity to get acquainted with Schubert in his essence in order to get from him a favorable opinion of Schubert's talent, which had been impugned, as had that of others by some of the exalted ones. The grat master, who before then had not known five songs of Schubert's, was amazed at their number and refused to believe that up to that time (February, 1827) he had already composed over 500 of them. But if he was astonished at the number he was filled with the highest admiration as soon as he discovered their contents. For several days he could not separate himself from them, and every day he spent hours with Iphigenia's monologue, 'Die Grenzen der Menschheit,' 'Die Allmacht,' 'Die junge Nonne,' 'Viola,' the 'Müllerlieder,' and others. With youous enthusiasm he cried out repeatedly 'Truly, a divine spark dwells in Schubert; if I had had this poem I would have set it to music'; this in the case of the majority of poems whose material contents and original treatment by Schubert he could not praise sufficiently. Nor could he understand how Schubert had time to 'take in hand such long poems, many of which contained ten others,' as he expressed it. . . . What would the master have said had be seen, for instance, the Ossianic songs, 'Die Bürgschaft,' 'Elysium,' 'Der Taucher' and other great ones which have only recently been published? In short, the respect which Beethoven acquired of Schubert's talent was so great that he now wanted so see his operas and pianoforte pieces; but his illness had now become so severe that he could no longer gratify this wish. But he often spoke of Schubert and predicted of him that he 'would make a great sensation in the world,' and often regretted that he had not learned to know him earlier" (Thayer: 1043 - 1044).
Thayer then reports that, in his letter of February 21, 1858, to Ferdinand Luib, Anselm Hüttenbrenner had written: "Beethoven said of Schubert one day: "That man has the divine spark" (Thayer: 1044), and in a further letter to Luib: "But this I know positively, that about eight days before Beethoven's death Prof. Schindler, Schubert and I visited the sick man. Schindler announced us two and asked Beethoven whom he would see first. He said: 'Let Schubert come first!' (Thayer: 1044).
The names of the torch bearers at Beethoven's funeral are listed in Thayer as follows: "On both sides of the coffin came the torchbearers: Anschütz, Bernard, Blahetka, Joseph Böhm, Castelli, Karl Czerny, David, Grillparzer, Konrad Graf, Grünbaum, Haslinger, Hildebrandt, Holz, Kaller, Krall, Lannoy, Linke, Mayseder, Meric, Merk, Mechetti, Meier, Paccini, Priinger, Rodicchi, Raimund, Riotte, Schoberlechner, Schubert, Schickh, Schmiedl, Streicher, Schuppanzigh, Steiner, Weidmann, Wolfmayer, and others, with lily bouquets adorning their shoulders. . . . " (Thayer: 1054).
While we already know from Robert Schumanns report that Schubert was buried at the Wáhring cemetery, not far from Beethoven's grave, Thayer's remarks with respect to Schubert are concluded with the following:
"The grave in the cemetery at Währing was marked by a simple pyramid bearing the one word
It fell into neglect, and on October 13th, 1853, the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde of Vienna caused the body to be exhumed and reburied. On June 21st, 1888, the remains of Beethoven and Schubert were removed to the Central Cemetery in Vienna, where they now repose side by side: (Thayer: 1056).
The excellent discussion of this topic by the Beethoven and Schubert biographer George Marek in his Schubert Biography from the 1980's confirms in its introduction of this topic in the chapter "Schubert and Beethoven" Schubert's shy observation of Beethoven from afar, namely on the occasion of Schubert's and Louis Schlösser's attendance of the Fidelio performance of November 3, 1822, which Thayer also discussed. The following description of the first actual meeting between Schlösser and Beethoven that is also featured in Thayer, provides a framework to the topic rather than going to the heart of its matter, so that we might forego featuring it here.
Marek subsequently also confirms Rochlitz' meeting with Schubert in the same year, however, chronologically reversed, since this event refers to the spring of 1822, while the Schlösser incident refers to the fall of the same year.
More interesting her are Marek's comments and quotes with respect to Schindler's version of Schubert's attempts of 1822 to personally present to Beethoven his Variations, op. 10. With respect to this, we will certainly recall Thayer/Forbes report featured above, according to which Schubert did not find Beethoven at home, left the score with the servant and later learned that Beethoven liked his work and often played it with his nephew. In his discussion, Marekt relies on the Krehbiel edition of Thayer, while we derived the original report in German from Rutz and featured it here at the very beginning of this page. Thayer/Forbes report, by quoting from Kreissle, also relies on Josef Hüttenbrenner's report. However, let us now feature Mark's quote from Thayer/Krehbiel:
" . . . Schindler's story is to the effect that Schubert, accompanied by Diabelli, went to Beethoven and handed him the variations for pianoforte for four hands, which he had dedicated to him; but that Schubert was so overwhelmed at the majestic appearance of Beethoven that his courage oozed away and he was scarcely able to write the answers to the questions which were put to him. At length, when Beethoven pointed out a trifling error in harmony, remarking that it was "not a mortal sin," Schubert lost control of himself completely, regained his composure only after he had left the house, and never again had courage enough to appear in Beethoven's presence. As opposed to this, Heinrich von Kreissle, Schubert's biographer, adduces the testimony of Joseph Hüttenbrenner, a close friend of Schubert's, who had it from the song composer himself that he had gone to Beethoven's house with the variations, but the great man was not at home and the variations were left with the servant. He had neither seen Beethoven nor spoken with him, but learned with delight afterwards that Beethoven had been pleased with the variations and often played them with his nephew Karl" (Marek: 188).
In our feature of original texts from Rutz, both Schindler's and Hüttenbrenners versions are presented. With respect to these, Marek has the following to say:
"Almost certainly untrue is Schindler's story of a meeting between Schubert and Beethoven. . . . " (Marek: 188).
Marek then also discusses Schindler's report of the events of February 1827 and, in doing so, notes the same discrepancies that any observant reader of the above quotations would not have failed to discover.
In his discussion, he then deals with the brief Schindler text feature in his biography, in which the latter expressively points out that he put before Beethoven the Schubert lieder "Die junge Nonne," "Die Bürgschaft," "Der Taucher," "Elysium," and the "Ossianic Songs" and that the latter was delighted with them, although, as Marek notes, "At the time, however, only a small number of Schubert's works had appeared in print" (Marek: 189).
Marek quotes Thayer's comment to this as follows:
"here no date is fixed for the incident and a little suspicion was cast upon the story because of the fact that only "Die junge Nonne" of all the songs mentioned had been published at the time of Beethoven's death. Schindler helped himself measurably out of the dilemma by saying in an article published in the "Theaterzeitung" of May 3, 1831, that many of the songs which he laid before Beethoven were in manuscript. He contradicts his statement made in the biography, however, by saying: "What would the master have said had he seen, for instance, the Ossianic songs, 'Die Bürgschaft,' 'Elysium," 'Der Taucher' and other great ones which have only recently been published?" . . . " (Marek: 189).
It is very reassuring to note that both experts and lay individuals can discover the same discrepancies
Marek also refers to the conversation of Karl Holz with Beethoven in 1826, the content of which, however, does not ignite any controversies, so that he concludes his remarks with respect to it by noting Schubert's acquaintance with Schuppanzigh.
Marek also points out that Anselm Hüttenbrenner [in Thayer/Kehbiel?] reported that:
"--Schindler, Schubert and Hüttenbrenner called on the morbund man. Schindler asked whom Beethoven would want to see first. He answered: "Let Schubert come first." . . . " (Marek: 190).
Marek describes this as a "meaningless encounter probably lasting only a few minutes, beside a sickbed" (Marek: 190).
Since Marek's subsequent discussion as to why the two composers did not know each other better presents, on the one hand, his personal views with respect to this and, on the other hand, very general observations, we might, perhaps, continue here with Marek's further discussion which, as the next event after Beethoven's death on March 26, 1827, describes the visit of Schubert's friend Franz Hartmann at the Schwarzspanierhaus where the latter had the opportunity to take a look at Beethoven's body. Since this report is not relevant to our topic, it should only be noted that Marek might have featured it to illustrate to today's readers the different attitude to death and the remains of the dead of Schubert's and Beethoven's contemporaries to our attitude.
In the evening of the day of Beethoven's funeral that saw Schubert amongst the ranks of torchbearers, so Marekt, he, Hartmann, Schwind and Schober went to the "Castle of Eisenstadt Cafe" and only talked of Beethoven, that, however, the story of Schubert's raising his glass in honor of the man who would follow Beethoven would, with great certainty, belong to fiction rather than reality.
Marek's report then continues with the further events in Schubert's life and work of 1827, such as the composition of his song cycle "Die Winterreise" that he had begun in February of that year, the publication of his Valses Nobles op. and the G-Major Sonata op. 78 by Diabelli, describes the initial lack of understanding and later liking of the "Winterreise" by Schubert's friends, in order to arrive at the description of a further event in September of that year that has not been dealt with here, yet .
It deals with an invitation for Schubert to visit Graz that was extended to him by Marie Pachler-Koschak, that Beethoven friend whom Schindler erroneously described as his "autumnal love", while the real nature of this friendship is best described by Beethoven himself, as follows:
"I am delighted that you are sparing us another day. We will make a great deal more music. Surely you will play for me the Sonatas in F major and C minor, won't you? I have not yet found anyone who performs my compositions as well as you do, and I am not excluding the great pianists, who often have merely mechanical ability or affectation. You are the true fosterer of my spiritual children" (Marek: 198).
Marek reports that Johann Baptist Jenger, Secretary of the Graz (Styrian) Music Society, had asked Schubert to visit Graz, several times, and that Schubert, through the sale and publication of more of 50 of his works during the period of 1825 and 1827 might have been able to save up enough money to pay for the travel expenses. His letter of acceptance to Marie Koschak reads as follows:
"Vienna, the 12th June 1827
Although I cannot imagine in what way I may have deserved so kind an offer as your honour has informed me of by letter sent to Jenger, nor whether I shall ever be able to offer anything in return, I nevertheless cannot forbear to accept an invitation whereby I shall not only set eyes at last on much-vaunted Graz, but have the privilege, moreover, of making your honour's acquaintance.
I remain with all respect
your honour's most devloted Frz. Schubert" (Marek: 198 - 199).
According to Marek's report, Jenger and Schubert left Vienna on Sunday, the 2nd of September at 0:30 Uhr hours by express coach and arrived in Graz at nine the following morning.
Hoffmann v. Fallersleben who also stayed in Graz at that time, described Schubert as follows:
"He seemed to me to have quite a healthy, vigorous nature. He spoke Viennese, wore, like everybody in Vienna, fine linen, a clean coat and a shiny hat, and thee was nothing in his face, or in his whole being, that resembled my [conventional picture of] Schubert" (Marek: 200).
Marek reports that the Pachlers and Anselm Hüttenbrenner arranged a benefit concert for him that took place on September 8 and had to be repeated because of its success. According to Marek's report, Schubert also felt very much at home in the private company of the Pachlers in which, due to his presence, a great deal of music making occurred, but that Schubert, in his holiday bliss, did not compose very much but only two songs and twelve small waltzes, the so-called Graz Waltzes, op. 91.
Jenger and Schubert left for Vienna on the 20th of September. After his return, Schubert wrote the following letter of thanks to Mme. Pachler-Koschak:
"Vienna, September, 1827
Already it becomes clear to me that I was only too happy at Graz, and I cannot as yet get accustomed to Vienna. True, it is rather large, gut then it is empty of cordiality, candour, genuine thought, reasonable words, and especially of intelligent deeds. There is so much confused chatter that one hardly knows whether one is on one's head or one's heels, and one rarely or never achieves any inward contentment. 'Tis possible, of course, that the fault is largely my own, since I take a long time to warm up. At Graz I soon recognized an artless and sincere way of being together, and a longer stay would have allowed me to take to it even more readily. Above all, I shall never forget the kindly shelter, where, with its dear hostess and the sturdy "Pachleros," as well as little Faust, I spent the happiest days I have had for a long time. Hoping to be yet able to prove my gratitude in an adequate manner, I remain, with profound respect,
most devotedly yours,
Frz. Schubert" (Marek: 201).
Marek still mentions that Schubert wrote a children's march for Faustus, the son of the Pachlers, and sent it to Graz on October 12, 1827 and concludes his Beethoven-Schubert chapter by mentioning that not even four weeks later, Jenger introduced Schubert to the Vienna banker, Mozart friend and intermediary between Prince Gallitzin and Beethoven at a luncheon and that this music friend could have become useful to Schubert, so that, according to Marek,
"In more ways than one, there was a connection between the great Ludwig and the great Franz" (Marek: 203).
This excellent discussion by Mark of the topic of "Beethoven und Schubert" will be rounded off here by some comments from Elizabeth Norman McKay's 1996 Schubert biography.
With respect to Schindler's reports and his reliability, McKay only briefly comments as follows:
" . . . Schindler continued, if with some of his customary unreliable coloring" (McKay: 273).
With respect to the question as to whether Schubert visited Beethoven a week before his death, she writes:
"Whether or not Schubert visited Beethoven on his deathbed, as claimed by Schindler (24) and the Hüttenbrenner brothers (25), but denied by Spaun (26) cannot be determined on the evidence available" (McKay: 274;).
The following sentence from Rochlitz' report of 1822,
"The latter had spoken to Schubert concerning me" (Thayer: 800),
iis interpreted by her with:
" . . . that the two composers were to some degree personally acquainted at that time" (McKay: 274).
McKay also confirms Schubert's attendance of Beethoven's funeral as torch bearer which, due to the available documentation, is obvious.
McKay's further description of the Schubert's everyday life and work in his remaining years of 1827 and 1828 contains no further compelling cross-references to Beethoven, so that we, in featuring her relevant comments with respect to this topic, have provided you with an as update comments as possible. Overall, however, we might walk away from the present, sometimes rather dry discussion, with a vivid impression of Marek's inspired comments on the topic and consider them our real gain in having gone through it.
Beethoven=Briefe, Ausgewählt und herausgegeben von Dr. Leopold Schmidt, Berlin: 1922, Volksverband der Bücherfreunde Wegweiser=Verlag G.m.b.H.
Marek, George R.,.Schubert. New York: 1985. Viking Penguin Inc..
Rutz, Hans, Franz Schubert - Dokumente seines Lebens und Schaffens, München, 1952: Verlag C.H. Beck.
Thayer's Life of Beethoven, Revised and Edited by Elliot Forbes, Vol. I and II, Princeton, 1967. Princeton University Press.