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Ludwig van Beethoven, Brief an Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Wien, 26. August 1804, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung H. C. Bodmer, HCB Br 63

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Beethoven stresses that contrary to a rumour circulating at the time, he does not have an exclusive contract with a Viennese publisher (possibly the Kunst- und Industrie-Comptoir). He complains that most publishers delay too long before deciding to publish his works. Beethoven offers the Leipzig publishers several works on condition that they are published as soon as possible. He asks for a total of 2,000 florins for the works opp. 85, 55 and 56 as well as the Sonatas opp. 53, 54 and 57
He is particularly interested in the prompt publication of the oratorio (op. 85), the symphony (op. 55) and the triple concerto (op. 56), which is why he especially praises them. In the oratorio (his brother had already offered it to them the year before) he has made changes and included a new chorus. In the symphony entitled "Ponaparte" (Eroica) Beethoven mainly emphasizes the three obligato horns and wishes for it not to be engraved in parts as is usually the case but in a full score. Finally he stresses that the concerto with the three solo instruments is also something quite new. The works mentioned are to be published as soon as possible, which is why Beethoven also enquires as to the publishers' deadlines.

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