It was shortly before his forty-third birthday that Beethoven hit the jackpot. On the podium of the Great Hall of Vienna University, he conducted a spectacular charity event with a star-studded cast from the very top drawer. On that date, 8 December 1813, the success was so great that the concert had to be repeated four days later. For this event, Beethoven had taken an entertainment specialist on board: Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, ‘k. k. Hofmechanicus’ (Mechanic to the Imperial and Royal Court) by trade, an inventor as talented as he was crafty. From late summer to autumn 1813, assisted by Mälzel, Beethoven was engaged in the composition of Wellingtons Sieg (Wellington’s Victory). Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 had already virtually acquired a patina, so long did it have to wait for its extraordinary premiere: although it comes one opus number after Wellingtons Sieg, it was written nearly two years before it, between the autumn of 1811 and the spring of 1812. But the new path it blazed was all the more prodigious as a result.