Tmost abshis was the composer's first on-stage appearance in 12 years; the hall was packed with an eager audience and a number of musicians.
this time, the mistro instructed the singers and
musicians to ignore the almost totally deaf Beethoven. At the beginning
of every part, Beethoven, who sat by the stage, gave the tempos. He was
turning the pages of his score and beating time for an orchestra he
could not hear.
Violinist Joseph Böhm
recalled: "Beethoven directed the piece himself; that is, he stood
before the lectern and gesticulated furiously. At times he rose, at
other times he shrank to the ground, he moved as if he wanted to play
all the instruments himself and sing for the whole chorus. All the
musicians minded his rhythm alone while playing".
When the audience applauded—Beethoven was several measures off and still
conducting. Because of that, the contralto Caroline Unger walked over
and turned Beethoven around to accept the audience's cheers and
applause. According to one witness, "the public received the musical
hero with the utmost respect and sympathy, listened to his wonderful,
gigantic creations with the
orbed attention and broke out in
jubilant applause, often during sections, and repeatedly at the end of
them." The whole audience acclaimed him through standing ovations
five times; there were handkerchiefs in the air, hats, raised hands, so
that Beethoven, who could not hear the applause, could at least see the