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Ludwig van Beethoven, Brief an Ferdinand Ries in London, Wien, 11. Juni 1816, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, NE 28

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Beethoven turns to his former pupil Ries in London regarding business matters. (Ries negotiated with English publishers out of friendship for Beethoven on many occasions.) He once again asks Ries to remind the publisher Birchall about the outstanding sum of 10 Dutch ducats to cover his costs. Birchall had bought several of Beethoven's works and was supposed to cover the costs of copying and postage, but the money had not yet been paid. True to form Beethoven immediately thought that the publisher wanted to deceive him (this was not the case: the money had already been paid but had not yet reached Vienna).
Beethoven fixes the publication date for the Piano Trio op. 97 for the end of August (this was when the Viennese edition was to appear; when parallel editions were produced in different countries, the publishers often agreed on publication dates beforehand so that none of them lost out financially). Birchall should also get ready as far as the piano reduction for the Symphony no. 7 op. 92 is concerned. As soon as the publication date has been fixed in Vienna, he will let Ries or Birchall know.
Beethoven asks Ries whether Neate has already been able to find a publisher for the String Quartet op. 95 as well as the Sonatas for Violoncello op. 102. Charles Neate had visited Beethoven in Vienna and had taken several works back to London with him so as to sell them there and to give exclusive performances of them. (Beethoven expected greater profits due to the intercession of a local musician.)
He hardly dares to speak of the other works he had given Neate (opp. 61, 72 and 92 as well as the Overtures opp. 112, 113, 115, 117 and 136). Beethoven is worried that he has placed too much trust in Neate and once again expresses the fear that he has been deceived. Beethoven is afraid that the same thing will happen as happened with op. 91, which he had dedicated to the English Prince Regent. The work had been performed in London with great success without Beethoven having received any official recognition from the court, a fact which had greatly angered him. His fears were fed by an English newspaper article which had been translated for him. It said that a Beethoven symphony had been performed with great success. Beethoven now conjectures that Neate had unlawfully had the Seventh performed, without informing him. As Neate is later able to explain (see HCB ZBr 8, BGA 987), it was not op. 92 but op. 67.

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