At about half past six, the evening began pleasantly enough with the cheerful feelings that arise as one arrives at the countryside.
Five movements more followed of Beethoven's 6th symphony with the composer conducting from the fortepiano as the audience cuddled into thick coats in the Theater an der Wien's wide and high round. An aria, a mass's Gloria, and a piano concerto played by Beethoven himself followed, all premieres like the symphony had been.
The intermission brought no warmth, but, one hopes, an additional blanket or two. December 22 was chilly in 1808 Vienna without heating.
Unwaveringly, Beethoven continued the premieres: the 5th symphony, two more excerpts from the mass in C major, a piano fantasy played, again, by the composer himself and, finally, the choral fantasy.
Johann Friedrich Reichardt, Kassel's new Hofkapellmeister, summed up the evening, which ended at half past ten: "even of the good — and more than that of the strong — one can get too much." Now, if you have much — too much — mail in your inbox good enough to keep, Facebook strongly suggests archiving it — which is easy in warm weather and cold:
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