Octavo. Engraved throughout. Title (v.b.); 1–162 pp. [PN] 1973. Original period boards and marbled flyleaves, nicely rebacked in brown leather with gold titling. A small number of leaves with slight tears in lower margin, not affecting music; very clean copy with no foxing. Kinsky-Halm, 91; Hoboken 2, 195. Ownership stamp in lower margin of first page of score: Bibliothèque de E. de Coussemaker. Book plate to inner front board, from the library of Percy Digby Hawker, dated by hand April 1877, with initial A., possibly for auction of Coussemaker's library that year in Brussels.
The present first German edition of early 1822 is the earliest edition of Beethoven's Second Symphony as an independent work; it follows the edition printed in London 1808, in which the work was included among a collection of symphonies by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
Composed in 1801–2 and premiered under Beethoven's baton at the Theater an der Wien on April 5, 1803, this symphony has been described by many biographers as the closure of his early Vienna period, the first of three periods into which Beethoven's life and works have repeatedly been cast by historians including Schlosser (1828), Fétis (1837), Lenz (1852), and others. It also corresponds to a point in life at which the composer could no longer avoid contending with his increasing deafness. Beethoven broke existing boundaries of scale in the carefully-executed second movement in sonata form, and famously substituted a scherzo for a minuet in the third movement.
This particular score formed part of the personal library of over 1,600 items—including first edition print scores, manuscripts, and musical instruments—of the prolific medievalist and musicologist Charles-Edmond-Henri de Coussemaker, whose scholarship encompassed chant, liturgical drama, early polyphony, the history of music notation, and music theory.(18249)