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During his Bohemian spa trip in September 1811, Beethoven notated the first sketches for the Seventh Symphony, a work that occupied him until May 1812 – parallel at times with its disparate sister work, the Eighth Symphony in F major. After a non-public rehearsal on 21 April 1813 in Archduke Rudolph’s palace, the Seventh was officially premiered on 8 December, together with the programmatic symphony “Wellington's Victory or the Battle of Vitoria” op. 91. The concert given before 5,000 enthusiastic listeners became Beethoven's greatest success, probably mainly because of the second mentioned work.

The present edition from the new Beethoven Complete Edition re-evaluates the complicated source situation, using as the main sources only the autograph and the parts from the premiere. Revealed could be a number of writing errors and misunderstandings in the copying of the parts, leading to changes from previous editions, particularly concerning numerous markings of dynamics and articulation.

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