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Ludwig van Beethoven, "Gottes Macht und Vorsehung", Lied für Singstimme und Klavier op. 48,5, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung H. C. Bodmer, HCB Mh 31

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Here you can see the autograph score of the Gellert lied op. 48 no. 5, "Gottes Macht und Vorsehung" ("God's might and providence"). Along with the autograph score of no. 6 (also at the Beethoven-Haus, call number HCB Mh 30), with which the one shown here was once joined, it is the only surviving manuscript of the songs. Whereas the autograph score of no. 6 contains a clean and complete revision, the manuscript shown here is somewhat different. The lied "Gottes Macht und Vorsehung" no. 6 is on leaves 2v and 3r (in the original edition it was no. 5) although Beethoven did not give it a title here. However, on leaf 2r there is the end of an older version of the Bußlied op. 48 no. 6. These bars are the only ones that have survived from Beethoven's first manuscript of the Gellert lieder. Whilst the composer used the first version of "Gottes Macht und Vorsehung" without making any changes, he decided to revise the Bußlied. Beethoven obviously wanted this older version to completely disappear because he sewed an empty leaf over the front of the second leaf, sticking the pages together with sealing wax for increased durability. The pages have now been opened for the purpose of research, although the wax and the places where it was sewn can still be clearly seen. (J.R.)

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