[Beethoven, Ludwig van. (1770–1827)]
Mass in C - Manuscript Soprano Part in a Copyist Hand
Early 19th-century autograph manuscript in an unidenified copyist's hand, the choral soprano part to Beethoven's Mass in C major, Op.86. The part is penned over 10 pp., with several passages crossed out and corrected. At the head of p. , a section sung by the solo soprano has been written out in error and then struck through. Dynamics and a few other small corrections and annotations have been made throughout in reddish ink. Leaves loosely sewn together at the left. On hand-ruled manuscript paper; wear and soiling to the edges commensurate with age, but overall good. 11 x 12.75 inches (27.5 x 32.5 cm).
Ludwig van Beethoven composed the Mass in C major, Op. 86, to a commission from Prince Nikolaus Esterházy II in 1807. The mass, scored for four vocal soloists, choir and orchestra, was premiered that year by the Prince's musical forces in Eisenstadt. Beethoven performed parts of it in his 1808 concert featuring the premieres of four major works including his Fifth Symphony. The mass was published in 1812 by Breitkopf & Härtel. While the Prince who commissioned the mass was not pleased (according to legend, he , the contemporary critic E. T. A. Hoffmann appreciated the "expression of a childlike serene mind", and Michael Moore notes the music's "directness and an emotional content".