Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen, Biamonti 1789 (1798-1799)
Author: Mark S. Zimmer
The poem "An die Freude" by Friedrich Schiller was of course the basis for the Finale to the Ninth Symphony. However, the song had been on Beethoven's mind for decades already at that point. The first known interest comes from Albrecht's Letters to Beethoven, letter 422, footnote 14, in a reference by Bartolomaeus Ludwig Fischenich (1768-1831), who on January 26, 1793 had written from from Bonn to Charlotte von Schiller, enclosing Beethoven's song 'Feuerfarbe', op. 52 no. 2, and saying that he intended to compose Schiller's 'An die Freude.' Fischenich was mentioned in a letter from Wegeler to Beethoven from Koblenz on December 28, 1825; he had been a councillor in the Ministry of Justice in Berlin since 1819.
That setting (if it ever existed) is catalogued by Hess as Hess 143. No trace of the song other than that letter exists. This sketch, from Grasnick 1, page 25, dates from the second half of 1798 or early 1799. The phrase is "Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen" ("Surely there must dwell a loving Father") is prominently featured in the great choral Andante Maestoso of the Ninth. Here Beethoven seems to make two different attempts at setting the phrase; a tantalizing fragment but nothing more appears to survive from this time period. Although Gustav Nottebohm published the first setting of the phrase, the second has never before been published.