In the winter of 1803-04, the Archduke, a passionate music lover, had become Beethoven's pupil. He studied not only piano but also composition. Despite the social disparity he became his teacher's true friend. In 1808 together with the Princes Kinsky and Lobkowitz he obligated himself to pay the composer an annuity which would keep him in Vienna.
ARCHDUKE RUDOLF OF AUSTRIA, CARDINAL AND ARCHBISHOP OF OLMÜTZ (1788-1831) Oil painting ( Historical Museum of the City of Vienna)
MANUSCRIPT OF THE PIANO SONATA E FLAT MAJOR, opus 81 A On the cover page of the manuscript Beethoven's words: "The Farewell--Vienna, May 4, 1809--during the departure of His Imperial Majesty--the venerable Archduke Rudolf." At the head of the first page Beethoven repeats the date: "Vienna, May 4, 1809." At the beginning of the last movement Beethoven notes: "The Arrival of His Imperial Majesty, the venerable Archduke Rudolf, January 30, 1910." The work is called the "Farewell" because it was composed on the occasion of the Archduke's absence from Vienna for several months. Written in 1809-10, it was published by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig in 1811. ( Society of Friends of Music, Vienna)
FORTY VARIATIONS ON A THEME BY BEETHOVEN, COMPOSED BY ARCHDUKE RUDOLF Title page with dedication to Beethoven Most modestly the Archduke, calling his work "an assignment," identifies himself as "by his ( Beethoven's) pupil." The composition was published by Steiner in Vienna in 1819 in a collection entitled "Museum for Piano Music." ( Bodmer, Zürich)
PIANO CONCERTO IN E FLAT MAJOR, No. 5, opus 73 Title page with dedication to Archduke Rudolf The Concerto was completed in 1809 and published by Breitkopf & Härtel in 1811. ( Society of Friends of Music, Vienna)
AUTOGRAPH OF THE CANON FOR ARCHDUKE RUDOLF The Canon was a New Year's greeting addressed to his Imperial disciple and patron, and bears the notation: "By your obedient servant, L. v. Beethoven, January 1, 1820." ( Society of Friends of Music, Vienna)
His financial insecurity made Beethoven attempt to obtain an annuity several times, but not before 1809 was he assured of such an income, and then through the generosity of his three patrons.
CONTRACT BETWEEN ARCHDUKE RUDOLF, PRINCE FRANZ JOSEPH MAX LOBKOWITZ AND PRINCE FERDINAND KINSKY, ON THE ONE HAND, AND LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN ON THE OTHER ( Vienna, March 1, 1809) Prompted by an appointment offered Beethoven by King Jérôme of Westphalia--the position of a conductor in Kassel with a fixed salary--three of his greatest admirers, the Archduke Rudolf and the Princes Kinsky and Lobkowitz, offered him an annual retainer of 4,000 florins under the condition that he would not leave Vienna. Of these 1500 florins were contributed by the Archduke, 1800 by Prince Kinsky and the balance by Prince Lobkowitz. Even though the Archduke never failed to pay his share on time, the premature death of Prince Kinsky and the devaluation of the fortune of Prince Lobkowitz were responsible for the fact that this agreement never covered the intended goal which had been to free Beethoven of financial troubles for the rest of his life. ( City Library, Vienna)
RECEIPT WITH BEETHOVEN'S SIGNATURE ( October 15, 1822) The receipt concerns a payment of 600 gulden made by the Bank of Prince Kinsky in Prague for the months April to September, 1822. ( City Library, Vienna)
RECEIPT WRITTEN BY BEETHOVEN HIMSELF ( September 1, 1814) It acknowledges the payment of 750 gulden paid Beethoven by order of the Archduke Rudolf for the months March to August, 1814. It is entirely written in Beethoven's hand. However, Beethoven made errors and the names of the months had to be corrected. ( Bodmer, Zürich)