The Beethoven Room
The Lobkowicz Music Collection
Lobkowicz Palace, January 13, 2020
The works in this room all represent the special enthusiasms of Franz Joseph Maximilian, 7th Prince Lobkowicz (1772–1816), who revered Handel’s oratorios and loved the music of Mozart and Haydn. Prince Lobkowicz gave financial support for public performances of Messiah and Creation and sang in private versions of these works. He also took the keenest interest in the career of Beethoven, hiring orchestras and lending his Vienna palace for the first rehearsals and performances of Beethoven’s third and fourth symphonies. Perhaps most important, all the music shown here is part of a working collection, touched and annotated by the hands of many composers and players, and used by them in actual concerts. It is thus part of a living tradition of music-making in the Lobkowicz circle that has endured for centuries.
Several of Beethoven’s works are displayed, including the first printed edition of Symphony no. 3 (Eroica); and the original manuscripts (with autograph alterations and corrections by the composer himself) for String Quartets, op. 18,
Symphony no. 4, and Symphony no. 5.
Visitors can also view works by other composers, such as a first printed edition of Haydn’s Creation or Part III of a manuscript copy of Handel’s Messiah, completely re-orchestrated in Mozart’s own hand.
Additionally, the gallery houses some rare examples of plucked instruments (including lutes, mandolins, and guitars) and Baroque lute music. This 17th to early 18th-century collection is considered one of the largest private collections in the world.