View RSS Feed

Pierre's Tuesday Blog

This Day in Music History - 7 May 1824

Rate this Entry

Related: Your favourite recording of Beethoven's ninth symphony

This week's selection from the Podcast Vault tries to recreate a concert that took place 189 years ago today. A concert that, in may ways, stands as the event where one of Classical Music's most beloved works of the SYmphonic repertoire received its first performance.

(This, might I had, is in sharp contrast to another noteworthy historic event that will celebrate its centenary later this month.)

In these pages almost a year and a half ago, I discussed a specific event that was organised by Beethoven - a mammoth undertaking - where no less than 4 of his major mature works received their premiere. This day, at Vienna’s Kärntnertortheater, was the composer's first on-stage appearance in 12 years.

The concert opened with the lesser-known overture Die Weihe des Hauses (The Consecration of the House), written in 1822.for the opening of Vienna’s new Theater in der Josefstadt.

Also premiered were the Kyrie, Credo and Agnus Dei from the Missa Solemnis, here presented as ‘Drei Hymnen’ to surmount the problem of liturgical music being censored for performace in a theatre.

Finally, the concert included the world premiere of the Symphony No. 9, which featured the touching spectacle of the completely deaf Beethoven, billed as assistant conductor (the performance was officially directed by Michael Umlauf, the theatre's Kapellmeister), beating time oblivious to the fact that the music had ended and the audience was applauding. Contralto Caroline Unger walked over and turned Beethoven around toward the crowd so he could accept their warm applause.

In order to fit my self-imposed 90-minute ceiling for a podcast (why I sometimes don't...), I limited the Missa excerrpts to the Kyrie movement only - the latter two sections are available through links from an earlier recording by the same orchestra and conductor (the NBC Symphony under Toscanini).

If you have read my Beethoven Cycle post from almost 2 years ago, you know I have a soft spot of the Leibowitz Beethoven cycle, which I originally obtained from the Reader's DIgest almost 35 years ago now. There's something unapologetic about Leiboiwitz's approach to the work: this ain't a HIP performance to be sure! It is great stereo sound, and the digital transfers from the Chesky engineers have retained (to my ears) all the awe that I experienced the first time the old vinyls were spinning on my old tuntable.

Happy Listening!

ITYWLTMT Podcast Montage #54 – Musikalische Akademie der 7. Mai 1824
(Originally issued on Friday, May 4, 2012)

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Die Weihe des Hauses (Consecration of the House), op. 124
Orchester des Wiener Festwochen
Josef Krips, conducting

"Kyrie" from Drei Hymnen (Missa Solemnis Op.123)
Lois Marshall, soprano
Nan Merriman, mezzo-soprano
Eugene Conley, tenor
Jerome Hines, bass
Robert Shaw Chorale
NBC Symphony Orchestra
Arturo Toscanini, conducting
[Credo and Agnius Dei from YouTube]

Symphony no. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 (Choral)
Inge Borkh, soprano
Ruth Sievert, contralto
Richard Lewis, tenor
Ludwig Weber, bass
Beecham Choral Society
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Rene Leibowitz, conducting

May 10 2013, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will feature a new podcast "The Paris Symphonies - Part 1" at its Pod-O-Matic Channel . Read more May 10 on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.

Updated Jun-01-2013 at 14:43 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Recorded Music


  1. DiesIraeCX's Avatar
    My Blog Post - a historical account of the Premiere of Beethoven's 9th Symphony - on May 7th, 1824