New Facsimile Publication (2000)

"SINFONIA PASTORALE"  Beethoven-Haus Bonn

Beethoven Symphony No.6

Beethoven's "Sinfonia Pastorale" is one of the most celebrated works of the music literature. After
almost 200 years since its completion it is still a main part of the orchestra repertory. The symphony has been published in countless editions, including arrangements; all of these can be traced directly or indirectly to a central source, Beethoven's handwritten score. This precious manuscript, passing from Beethoven's estate through successive owners in Austria and The Netherlands, ended up in the Beethoven-Haus in 1910. The work, with 280 pages, represents the most valuable autograph of the collection.

In a curious way the autograph documents the last decisive steps in the compositional process as
the work took its final definitive form. Beethoven carefully revised the score, which had been written with quick and energetic strokes, and introduced in many places significant changes before giving it to his copyist for the performance material and fair copy of the partitur. The copyist, although well versed in his profession, struggled with his assignment. During the proofreading of the copyist's score and parts Beethoven made new revisions and during the rehearsal and after the premier of the work on December 22, 1808 he incorporated his final touches. "One cannot feel oneself so Godlike to restrain your work from improvements here and there" he wrote to his publisher to whom he had already presented the fair copy. The list of "kleine Verbesserungen" (small improvements) which he later sent has been lost, but an examination of the relationship of the sources, especially with the autograph, makes it possible to reconstruct it.

Ninety years after the acquisition of the work, the Beethoven-Haus has published for the first time facsimile edition of the autograph. The publication, in the original format and in six colors, takes advantage of the highest production standards, making it possible to discern various copying layers and observe different inks, red chalk, & pencil. A commentary (German/English) by Sieghard Brandenburg introduces problems in the dissemination of the text and describes the position and importance of the work. The facsimile makes available to the public the original autograph of one of Beethoven's monumental works.

Limited bibliophile edition of 600 hand-numbered copies, bound in quarter leather with gold stamping & case. Volume III/14 of the series "Veröffentlichungen des Beethoven-Hauses". Special OMI price: $695
(view other volumes from this series)

OMI - Old Manuscripts & Incunabula PO Box 6019 FDR Station, New York NY 10150

tel/fax 212 758-1946 • •