April 30, 2024

"Joy, a Shining Divine Spark": Beethoven’s Ninth in the Original

© KHM-Museumsverband

In commemoration of the bicentennial of the world premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th Symphony on May 7, 1824, sections of the original manuscript may be viewed from May 1 to July 1, 2024, in the Eroica-Saal of the Theater Museum in the Palais Lobkowitz (Lobkowitzplatz 2, 1010 Vienna). Further Information

In addition to this precious item on loan from Berlin, a copy of the first edition in the possession of the Vienna Philharmonic will be on display as supplementary documentation of the history of the symphony's development. Also, Maestro Riccardo Muti's personal copy of a rare facsimile edition documents the history of the composition's reception.

The bicentennial of the premiere of Beethoven's 9th Symphony has occasioned the Vienna Philharmonic to present for the first time an impressive selection of diverse examples from the 397 pages of the original manuscript in Vienna. The presentation is produced in cooperation with the Theatermuseum and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, under the academic auspices of DDr. Otto Biba.

The original manuscript of Beethoven's 9th Symphony had at the time of Beethoven's death already been divided, and individual pages were subsequently passed on as memorabilia. The manuscript was brought back together almost entirely between 1846 and 1901 at today's Staatsbibliothek in Berlin. Most of the sections that were still missing were located in Vienna until 1901. The presentation intends to provide a deeper understanding and knowledge of the transcription process of this great work of art. The idea of setting Schiller's "Ode an die Freude (Ode to Joy)" accompanied Beethoven throughout the 32 year period from his arrival in Vienna until the premiere of the 9th Symphony. The emergence of none of his other works was intertwined over such a long time period with Vienna.  

The original manuscript will be on display in the music room of the Palais Lobkowitz, where Beethoven himself often played music. In like manner, the Vienna Philharmonic will present an accompanying series of chamber music concerts in the Eroica-Saal of the palace.

According to Vienna Philharmonic Chairman Daniel Froschauer, "Documents show that the premiere of the 9th Symphony also provided inspiration for the idea of founding the Vienna Philharmonic. Some of the musicians who played at the premiere performance organized by the composer at the Kärntnertor Theater subsequently became founding members of the Vienna Philharmonic. Since that time, the cultivation of the compositions of Beethoven has been ongoing, and the 9th Symphony has always held a position of particular prominence for our orchestra."   


The presentation will be accompanied by chamber music concerts featuring members of the Vienna Philharmonic:

Concert Dates in the Eroica-Saal of the Theatermuseum:

May 15
Lucas Stratmann, Violin
Adela Frasineanu, Violin
Benjamin Beck, Viola
Bernadette Kehrer, Violoncello

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in A Minor, op. 132

29. Mai
Ekaterina Frolova, Violin 
Martina Miedl, Violin
Benjamin Beck, Viola
Peter Somodari, Violoncello

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in B-flat Major, op. 130 
Ludwig van Beethoven: Große Fuge (Grand Fugue), op. 133

12. Juni
Yamen Saadi, Violin
Thomas Küblböck, Violin
Sebastian Führlinger, Viola
Peter Somodari, Violoncello
Walter Auer, Flute
Christoph Traxler, Piano

Ludwig van Beethoven: Two Movements from Symphony No. 6 in F major, op. 68, arranged for Flute and Piano by Christian Gottlob August Bergt (1771-1837) 
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in C-sharp Minor, op. 131

Programs subject to change. Concert Tickets.