It remained a free imperial town. The archbishops retained no civil or political power within its walls, not even the right to remain there more than three days at any one time. Thus it happened, that in the year Archbishop Engelbert selected Bonn for his residence, and formally made it the capital of the electorate, as it remained until elector and court were swept away in A new one being ordered, resulted in favor of the Bavarian, then a youth of eighteen years.
The Pope had ratified his election and appointed a bishop to perform his ecclesiastical functions ad interim , and the Emperor invested him with the electoral dignity December 1, Vehse says of him:. His love for pomp and splendor was a passion which he gratified in the magnificence of his court. He delighted to draw thither beautiful and intellectual women. Madame de Raysbeck, and Countess Fugger, wife of his chief equerry, were his declared favorites.
He held the opinion, universal in the courts of those days, that he might with a clear conscience enjoy life after the manner of secular princes. In pleasing the ladies, he was utterly regardless of expense, and for their amusement gave magnificent balls, splendid masquerades, musical and dramatic entertainments, and hunting parties. Simon relates that several years of his exile were passed at Valenciennes, where, though a fugitive, he followed the same  round of costly pleasures and amusements. Some time after his consecration, he caused public notice to be given, that on the approaching first of April he would preach.
It seems proper to say this much concerning a prince whose electorship is the point of departure for notices of music and musicians in Bonn during the eighteenth century; a prince whose fondness for the art led him at home and in exile to support both vocal and instrumental bands on a scale generous for that age; and who, moreover, made some pretensions to the title of composer himself, as we learn from a letter which under date of July 20, , he wrote to a court councillor Rauch to accompany eleven of his motets.
But the methodum which I have adopted is that of the bees that draw and collect the honey from the sweetest flowers; so, also, I have taken all that I have composed from good masters whose Musikalien pleased me. Thus I freely confess my pilfering, which others deny and try to appropriate what they have taken from others. Let no one, therefore, get angry if he hears old arias in it, for, as they are beautiful, the old is not deprived of its praise I ascribe everything to the grace of God who enlightened me, the unknowing, to do these things.
They rarely afford information upon the character of the music performed, but are sufficiently complete, when supplemented by the annual Court Calendars, to determine with reasonable correctness the number, character, position and condition of its members. The few petitions and decrees hereafter to be given in full because of their connection with the Beethovens, suffice for specimens of the long series of similar documents, uniform in character and generally of too little interest to be worth transcription.
Returned to Bonn, Joseph Clemens resumed his plan of improving his music, and for those days of small orchestras and niggardly salaries he set it upon a rather generous foundation. A decree of April 1, , put in force the next month, names 22 persons with salaries aggregating 8, florins.
War was the consequence; an imperial army successfully invaded the province, and, advancing to the capital, subjected its unfortunate inhabitants to all the horrors of a relentless siege, that ended October 15, , in the expulsion of the garrison, now reduced to some men, of whom were invalids.
MuTh - A BEETHOVEN CONCERT BY THE MAHLER PHILHARMONIC
Yet in the war of the Spanish Succession which opened in , notwithstanding the terrible lesson taught only eleven years before, the infatuated Joseph Clemens embraced the party of Louis. Emperor Leopold treated him with singular mildness, in vain. The Elector persisted. In he was therefore excluded from the civil government and fled from Bonn, the ecclesiastical authority in Cologne being empowered by the Emperor to rule in his stead. The next year, the  great success of the French armies against the allies was celebrated by Joseph Clemens with all pomp in Namur, where he then was; but his triumph was short.
John Churchill, then Earl of Marlborough, took the field as commander-in-chief of the armies of the allies. He was soon at Cologne, whence he despatched Cochorn to besiege Bonn. Leopold was still kindly disposed toward Joseph Clemens, but he died May 5, , and his successor, Joseph I, immediately declared him under the ban of the Empire. This deprived him of the means and opportunities, as Elector, for indulging his passion for pomp and display, while his neglect hitherto, under dispensations from the Pope, to take the vows necessary to the performance of ecclesiastical functions, was likewise fatal to that indulgence as archbishop.
Upon the victory of Oudenarde by Marlborough, and the fall of Lille, he took refuge in Mons. The treaty of Rastadt, March, , restored him to his electoral dignities and he returned to the Rhine; but Dutch troops continued to hold Bonn until December 11, On the morning of that day they evacuated the city and in the afternoon the Elector entered in a grand, solemn procession commemorated by an issue of silver medals. During all these vicissitudes Joseph Clemens, from whatever source he derived the means, did not suffer his music to deteriorate and, returned to Bonn, no sooner was the public business regulated and restored to its former routine than he again turned his attention to its improvement.
Joseph Clemens died November 12, , having previously secured the succession to his nephew Clemens August, last of the five Electors of Cologne of the Bavarian line. The new incumbent, third son of Maximilian Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria and his second wife, a daughter of the celebrated John Sobieski of Poland, was born August 17, , at Brussels, where his father resided at the time as Governor General. From his fourth to his fifteenth year he had been held in captivity by the Austrians at Klagenfurt and Gratz; then, having been destined for the church, he spent several years at study in Rome.
His rule is distinguished in the annals of the electorate for little else than the building, repairing, renewing and embellishing of palaces, hunting-seats, churches, convents, and other edifices. At Bonn he erected the huge pile the foundation of which had been laid by his uncle, now the seat of the university. The handsome City Hall was also his work; the villa at Poppelsdorf was enlarged by him into a small palace, Clemensruhe, now the University Museum of Natural History.
His theatre and opera alone cost him 50, thalers annually and the magnificence of his masked balls, twice a week in winter, is proof sufficient that no small sums were lavished upon them. At the centennial opening of the strong-box of the Teutonic Order he obtained the fat accumulations of a hundred years; and 25 years later he opened it again. Yet, though during his rule peace was hardly interrupted in his part of Europe, he plunged ever deeper and more inextricably into debt, leaving one of large proportions as his legacy to his successor.
He was a bad ruler, but a kindly, amiable and popular man. How should he know or feel the value of money or the necessity of prudence?
His childhood had been spent in captivity, his student years in Rome, where, precisely at that period, poetry and music were cultivated, if not in very noble and manly forms, at least with a Medicean splendor. The society of the Arcadians was in full activity. Those were very expensive tastes, as the citation from Ennen shows, which the future elector brought with him from Rome.
Italian palaces, Italian villas, churches, gardens, music, songstresses, mistresses, an Italian holy staircase on the Kreuzberg leading to nothing ; Italian pictures, mosaics and, what not? All these things cost money—but must he not have them? Owing to a sudden attack of illness he was once on the point of turning back soon after leaving Bonn.
He fainted in the ballroom, was carried to his chamber and died next day. It seems to have been the etiquette, that when an elector breathed his last, the musical chapel expired with him. At all events, no other explanation appears of the fact that so many of the petitions for membership, which are still preserved, should be signed by men who had already been named in the Court Calendars. Clemens August made his formal entry into Bonn, May 15, Vandeneet vient avec tout le respect qui luy est possible se mettre aux pieds de V.
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On the same date Van den Eeden received his appointment as second court organist. June 8, , a decree is issued granting him a salary of florins. To a third petition the next year, signed Van den Enden, the answer is an increase of his salary to thalers, and thus a future instructor of Ludwig van Beethoven becomes established in Bonn.
The records need not concern us now until we reach the following, which forms part of the history of the grandfather of the subject of this biography:. Our Gracious Lord having, on the humble petition of Ludovico van Beethoven, graciously declared and received him as Court Musician, and assigned him an annual salary of florins Rhenish, the present decree under the gracious hand of His Serene Electoral Highness and the seal of the Privy Chancellor, is granted to him, and the Electoral Councillor and Paymaster Risack is herewith commanded to pay the said Beethoven the fl.
March, Allowance of an additional Thalers annually to the Chamber Musician van Beethoven. Inasmuch as His Serene Highness Elector of Cologne, Duke Clement August of Upper and Lower Bavaria, our most Gracious Lord has increased the salary of his Chamber Musician van Beethoven by the addition of thalers annually which became due through the death of Joseph Kayser, instrument maker, the Court Chamber Councillor and Paymaster Risach is hereby informed and graciously commanded to  pay to him the said Beethoven the fl.
Witness, etc. Poppelsdorf, August 22, This is the first representative we have met of a name which afterwards rose to great distinction, not only in the orchestra of the Elector but also in the world at large. On March 5, , he was formally appointed Court Musician violinist having set forth in his petition that instead of confining himself to the trumpet he had made himself serviceable in the chapel by singing and playing other instruments.
Later he took ill and was sent to Cologne. We shall presently meet his two daughters and his son Franz Ries, the last of whom will figure prominently in the life-history of Beethoven. Under date March 27, , occur several papers which have a double interest.
They relate to the Beethoven family and are so complete as to exhibit the entire process of appointment to membership in the electoral chapel. To His Electoral Serenity of Cologne, etc. My most Gracious Lord the humble petition and prayer of Joan van Biethoffen. To the Music Director Gottwaldt for a report of his humble judgment. Attestation by the most gracious sign manual and seal of the privy chancellary.
Our Gracious Lord on the humble petition of Johan van Biethofen and in consideration of his skill in the art of singing, also the experience in the same already gained, having graciously declared and accepted him as court musician, appoint and accept him by this writing; therefore the said  Biethofen receives this decree with the gracious sign manual and seal of the Privy Chancellary, and those who are concerned to recognize him hereafter as an Electoral court musician and to pay him such respect as the position deserves.
Bonn, March 25, Johann van Beethoven was 16 years old at this time. Why he should appear in the Court Calendar as an accessist four years after the publication of this decree appointing him Court Musician does not appear. But slender success has rewarded the search for means of determining the character and quality of that opera and music, upon which, according to Ennen, Clemens August lavished such large sums.
It closes at the moment when Gluck, C. Bach and Joseph Haydn were laying the immovable foundations of a new operatic, orchestral and pianoforte music, and before the perfected sonata-form, that found universal adoption in all compositions of the better class, not vocal. Little music comparatively was issued from the press in those days, and consequently new forms and new styles made their way slowly into vogue. Another consequence was that the offices of composer for the chamber, the church, the comedy, or however they were named, were by no means sinecures—neither at the imperial court of Maria Theresia, nor at the court of any petty prince or noble whose servants formed his orchestra.
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Composers had to furnish music on demand and as often as was necessary, as the hunter delivered game or the fisherman fish. What a volume of music was produced in this manner can be seen in the case of Joseph Haydn at Esterhaz, whose fruitfulness did not, in all probability, exceed that of many another of his contemporaries. The older Telemann furnished compositions to the courts of Bayreuth and Eisenach as well as the Gray Friars at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and also performed his duties as musical director and composer at Hamburg. He wrote music with such ease that, as Handel said, he could write for eight voices as rapidly as an ordinary man could write a letter.
Under such conditions did the men write who are mentioned as official composers in our narrative. It is probable that not a note of theirs remains in existence, and equally probable that the loss is not at all deplorable except as it leaves the curiosity of an antiquary unsatisfied. For a century or more this house had enjoyed fat livings in the church at Cologne, in which city the new elector was born on May 13, He was by nature an easy, good-tempered, indolent, friendly man, of no great force of character—qualities which in the incumbent of a rich sinecure just completing his fifty-third year, would be too fully confirmed and developed by habit to change with any change of circumstances; and which, says Stramberg, made him unusually popular throughout the land despite the familiar little verse:.
The former was respected, feared, but not loved in the electorate; the latter was respected and very popular in the principality. Whatever opinions may be entertained as to the wisdom and expediency of clothing ecclesiastics with civil power, it would be unjust not to give the bright as well as the dark side of the picture. This is well put by Kaspar Risbeck in relation to the Rhenish states whose princes were churchmen, and his remarks are in place here, since they relate in part to that in which the childhood and youth of Beethoven were spent.
The whole stretch of the country from here to Mayence is one of the richest and most populous in Germany. Within this territory of 18 German miles there are 20 cities lying hard by the shore of the Rhine and dating, for the greater part, from the period of the Romans. It is still plainly to be seen that this portion of Germany was the first to be built up.
Neither morasses nor heaths interrupt the evidences of cultivation which stretch with equal industry far from the shores of the river over the contiguous country. While many cities and castles built under Charlemagne and his successors, especially Henry I, in other parts of Germany have fallen into decay, all in this section have not only been preserved but many have been added to them The natural wealth of the soil in comparison with that of other lands, and the easy disposition of its products by means of the Rhine, have no doubt contributed most to these results.
Nevertheless, great as is the prejudice in Germany against the ecclesiastical governments, they have beyond doubt aided in the blooming development of these regions. In the three ecclesiastical electorates which make up the greater part of this tract of land nothing is known of those tax burdens under which the subjects of so many secular princes of Germany groan. These princes have exceeded the old assessments but slightly. Little is known in their countries of serfdom. The appanage of many princes and princesses do not force them to extortion. They have no inordinate military institution, and do not sell the sons of their farmers; and they have never taken so active a part in the domestic and foreign wars of Germany as  the secular princes.