The obstacles which presented themselves before the concert in which for the first time parts of the Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony were to be performed seemed hardly surmountable. At any rate, the Viennese public was close to having to renounce this great musical event in favor of the Berlin audiences.
THE FIRST AND LAST PAGE OF THE "PLEA" ADDRESSED TO BEETHOVEN IN FEBRUARY, 1824 BY ARTISTS AND MUSIC LOVERS OF VIENNA The tremendous successes of Italian operas, and particularly of those by Rossini, in Vienna and moreover the almost complete indifference of the Viennese population to German music had so disgusted and discouraged Beethoven that he isolated himself increasingly, avoided the public and began to distrust even his most faithful friends. This inclination was aided by his natural timidity and by the deafness which at this time was almost complete. When his admirers learned that Beethoven was seriously considering offers from Berlin, they addressed the "Plea" to him and begged him to give the honor of a first performance of the Ninth Symphony and the Missa Solemnis to the City of Vienna. ( Former State Library, Berlin) NOTE OF BEETHOVEN TO SCHINDLER Beethoven's friends with great effort had succeeded in persuading him to prepare a big concert in Vienna in which the Mass and the Ninth were to be performed. Beethoven, however, convinced that such a concert would be a disaster and that a conspiracy against him was under way, made the enterprise twice as difficult. One day he believed that Prince Lichnowsky, Schuppanzigh and Schindler had betrayed him and sent three insulting notes to these most faithful protagonists. To Schuppanzigh he wrote: "Don't pay me any more visits. I give no more concerts. Beethoven." The note to Schindler said furiously: "Don't call on me until I ask you to. The Academy is not forthcoming. Beethoven." Prince Lichnowsky, his old patron, received a letter with the words: "I am contemptuous of falsities. Don't visit me any more. The concert will not take place. Beethoven." ( Former State Library, Berlin)
PROGRAM OF MAY 7, 1824 After numerous excitements the day approached on the evening of which the memorable concert took place in the hall of the Kärntnerthor Theater. After the Overture for Large Orchestra, opus 124, the Viennese audiences heard the Kyrie, the Credo and the Agnus from the Missa and, at the end, and as the apotheosis, so to speak, of it all, they heard the Ninth Symphony. ( Former State Library, Berlin)
THE KÄRNTNERTHOR THEATER IN VIENNA. Colored engraving by Tranquillo Mollo The famous concert of May 7, 1824 took place in this theater. Its success was extraordinary. Therefore it was repeated on May 23rd, but at that time was given in the large Redoutensaal of the Hofburg. ( Historical Museum of the City of Vienna)