Beethoven in Gneixendorf and Lengenfeld

Portrait of Beethoven made by Hugo Hagen in around 1892

In 1826, Beethoven spent the autumn months in the vicinity of Krems, staying at Wasserhof just outside Gneixendorf. A guest of his brother Johann van Beethoven, it was at Wasserhof that Ludwig van Beethoven completed his last work, a string quartet in F-Dur: Opus #135. Beethoven’s work is often seen as being metaphysically laden with big themes that render man pitiful and insignificant. Although this is perhaps not at first sight in accord with a web-site that is dedicated to the propagation of humanism, the form of humanism advocated here is pragmatic and draws from the realisation that we are but a part of something much larger. The underlying ethos is that only once we understand where we belong in the world, can we claim for ourselves a place and ascribe for ourselves an informed and responsible role. To this extent we must confront the gaping void that awaits us and the crushing wheels of history and change that repeatedly grind our endeavours and achievements to dust. The final phrase of Beethoven’s Opus #135 is preceded by the words; „The difficulty resolved resolution. Must it be? It must be!“

During his stay at Wasserhof, it is known from a number of reports that Beethoven visited a doctor and surgeon called Dr. Karrer. Karrer lived and practised in Lengenfeld and when Beethoven arrived the doctor was out and his famous patient was left with no choice but to sit and wait, supposedly on this chair which is now on view in Museum Krems.

To mark the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth the Köchel Gesellschaft has organised a number of events:

9th September, 2020: “Beethoven in Gneixendorf — Fact and Fake”, a lecture given by Manfred Permoser will examine the circumstances of Beethoven’s stay at Gneixendorf. Danube University, Krems, Großer Saal, 17.00 and 19.00

Although Wasserhof is not open to the public, an impressive granary that is a part of the estate has been adapted for concerts and public performances and here a series of three talks accompanied by music are to be held.

The granary at Wasserhof prior to renovation and adaption

18th September, 2020: String Quartet C-Dur, Opus #29 along with a recitation and a talk hosted by Manfred Permoser exploring the theme: „Private — Beethoven and Women“. Schuttkasten, Wasserhof, Gneixendorf, 19.00

19th September, 2020: Quintet Es-Dur, Opus #16 along with a talk given by Manfred Permoser exploring the theme: „Publicity — Beethoven and Vienna“. Schuttkasten, Wasserhof, Gneixendorf, 19.00

20th September, 2020: Violin Sonate A-Dur, Opus #47 along with a talk given by Manfred Permoser exploring the theme: „The political — Beethoven as a revolutionary“. Schuttkasten, Wasserhof, Gneixendorf, 19.00

See www.koechelgesellschaft.at for further information.

Lithograph of Schubert by Josef Kriehuber, 1848

Featuring Robert Holl and friends, the Schubertiade is held every year in the Augustine monastery in Dürnstein.

For 2020, the three day event will examine the links between Beethoven and Schubert. Where Schubert was quick in seeing Beethoven’s greatness, Beethoven only realised Schubert’s stature on his deathbed saying; „Verily does the divine spark dwell in Schubert!“ In 1827, at Beethoven’s funeral in Vienna, Schubert was one of the torchbearers.

4th October, 2020: “Songs by Schubert and Beethoven”, Stift Dürnstein, 19.00

5th October, 2020: „More than Contemporaries: Schubert and Beethoven“, a lecture given by Otto Biba, Stift Dürnstein, 18.30

5th October, 2020: „Notturno“, music by Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven, Stift Dürnstein, 20.00

6th October, 2020: “Matinée”, songs by Beethoven, Pfitzer and Schubert, Stift Dürnstein, 11.00

See www.schubertiade-duernstein.at further details.