After the 'Battle of Vitoria', Beethoven's friend Johann Nepomuk Maelzel talked him into writing a composition for his panharmonicon (a kind of 'mechanical orchestra') to commemorating this battle. The piece, ‘Wellingtons Sieg’ (‘Wellington’s Victory’) was dedicated to the Prince Regent, later King George IV and first performed in Vienna on 8 December 1813 at a concert to benefit Austrian and Bavarian soldiers wounded at the 'Battle of Hanau', with Beethoven conducting. It was an immediate crowd-pleaser and met with much enthusiasm from early concertgoers and the piece proved to be a substantial money-maker for Beethoven.
‘Wellingtons Sieg’ is something of a musical novelty. Besides the orchestra, on stage there are two 'sides', British and French, both playing the same instruments: Trumpets, Snare Drums, ‘Canon’ and Ratchet. The work has two parts: the ‘Battle’ (‘Schlacht’) and the ‘Victory Symphony’ (Sieges Sinfonie). The first part is programme music describing two approaching opposing armies and contains extended passages depicting scenes of battle. It uses ‘Rule Britannia’ for the British side and ‘Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre’ for the French side. The ‘Victory Symphony’ exhibits some typical Beethoven composing techniques. It can be considered as a sonata form that, stripped of the development section, comes equipped with an extended coda.
Dutch arranger Andreas van Zoelen transcribed ‘Wellingtons Sieg’ for Symphonic Band.