Logo
legal |
HomepageDigital archive
back to "Searching the Digital Archive"

Charles Neate, Brief an Ludwig van Beethoven in Wien, London, 29. Oktober 1816, Zweitschrift

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung H. C. Bodmer, HCB ZBr 8

Enlarge Image 1 / 3forward

Open via DFG-Viewer

Nice to know
Neate replies to a letter Beethoven had sent to George Smart, in which the latter had bitterly reproached Neate. On his visit to Vienna Neate had brought several works by Beethoven back to London to perform them there in the Philharmonic Society and to find London publishers for them.
After Beethoven had not heard anything from Neate for months on end, he had read in Vienna of a successful concert in London in which one of his symphonies had been performed. This made him extremely angry as he felt he had been deceived.
Neate defends himself against Beethoven's accusations, complaining that his criticism was too hard and unfair. He has had a difficult time during which he has fought for the love of his life and has now won her over. Just as he was about to get in contact, Beethoven's letter to Smart arrived in London, in which he complains so bitterly. Beethoven's accusations had hurt him all the more as they came from the man whom he admires and respects above all others and whose well-being is so important to him.
Neate explains the circumstances in more detail. As his wife's family had rejected him on account of his profession (musician), he had thought it better not to appear in public for a while. He wanted to see to it that Beethoven's works were circulated but did not want to commission anyone else to do this. For this reason Beethoven's music lay hidden for a while, unperformed and unpublished.
He has, however, presented all of Beethoven's works to the Philharmonic Society on the condition that they show their gratitude to the composer if they accept them. The Society had agreed to listen to the works, to evaluate them and then to possibly even purchase some of them. However, Neate had rejected this offer so as not to expose the honoured Beethoven to the Society's public displeasure. The Society's mistrust has been occasioned in particular by the unsuccessful performance of the overtures (opp. 113, 115 and 117).
He has offered the sonatas (op. 102) to publishers, but they have thought them to be too difficult and unplayable. This is why they have offered unacceptable prices. He will endeavour to have them circulated privately and thus stimulate demand for these works.
Beethoven had read about a performance of one of his symphonies in the newspaper and had accused Neate of having op. 92 performed without his permission. Neate appeases him and puts the facts right - the work in question is op. 67. He will try to perform op. 92 in the next season. Neate once again assures Beethoven of his innocence and that it was a misunderstanding on Beethoven's part.

Letter text

Library indexing

Link to this page

Glossary Glossary

© Beethoven-Haus Bonn
E-Mail: bibliothek@beethoven.de