|View from the terrace showing Prague, the Charles Bridge, and the Vltava River|
|We ate salad, goulash, and strudel.|
|One crazy-beautiful Lobkowicz ceiling!|
It seems Beethoven met the 7th Prince Lobkowicz, Josef František Maximilián, when the two were in their twenties. They became friends and the Prince arranged for Beethoven to receive a pension or subsidy which continued beyond the Prince's death until Beethoven's own. Beethoven showed his gratitude by dedicating a number of his compositions, important ones, to the Prince: Symphony No. 5, Symphony No. 6, the six String Quartets Op. 18, the Harp Quartet Op. 74, the Triple Concerto, and the song cycle An die ferne Geliebte.
I mentioned that there is an early printed copy of the "Eroica" Symphony (Beethoven's Third) on display. While composing this heroic symphony, Beethoven was planning to dedicate it to Napoleon Bonaparte. He even went as far as to inscribe the title page, and then Napoleon declared himself emperor. This didn't sit well with Beethoven, and he erased the dedication. There's a hole in the paper of the manuscript where the writing had been. He substituted the inscription "To the memory of a great man," meaning "Hey, remember when Napoleon was cool?" Eventually, he re-dedicated the piece to his friend Prince Lobkowicz. This celebrated symphony, a quintessential specimen of this genre, was premiered privately a whole year before its public Vienna premiere in the Lobkowicz's other property, Jezeří Castle, in 1804.
|Photographs are not allowed in the Collection, so here is a photo of the postcard I bought of the early Eroica edition.|
The scores and stories were enough to stop me in my tracks, but the room is filled with instruments from the castle's musical history. There's a wall of early clarinets, several oboes, trumpets, violins, violas, cellos, lutes, and guitars. The Lobkowiczes maintained their own court orchestra, and many of the instruments are from that ensemble. Following is the closest I could get on YouTube, the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Maestro Bernstein...
In order to preserve the treasures in the collection, photography is not allowed. BUT, if you are interested in seeing some of these items and learning more about the history of this notable family, click on through to the Lobkowicz Palace website!