BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO: Monday, June 17, 1822

Georg August von Greisinger, a trusted friend of Beethoven since about 1802 and now the Royal Saxon Embassy Councillor, writes from Vienna to Beethoven in Döbling today. He passes on a message from Gottfried Christoph Härtel of Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig. Härtel would like to discuss once again Beethoven setting a suitable opera libretto. Härtel and Beethoven had been in regular contact until about September 1812, but they had not been in contact for quite a while. Härtel regrets that they have not resumed their relationship, and “he very much wishes to renew it again.”

Greisinger asks that Beethoven visit him either at his apartment, or whatever location they can meet, so he can show the composer Härtel’s letter. Greisinger believes that Härtel will give him better conditions than anyone else, but asks that the proposal be kept confidential. Beethoven replied promptly upon receipt of this letter, about June 20th.

Brandenburg Letter 1470; Albrecht Letters to Beethoven 291. The original is in the Vienna Stadt- und Landesbibliothek (I.N. 54528).

Archduke Rudolph, still in Tobitschau, today holds a high mass and then gives the sacrament of confirmation to over a thousand children of the area. Brünner Zeitung, June 27, 1822.

Rossini fever continues in the musical advertisements of the Wiener Zeitung. Today, Weigl announces an arrangement of popular pieces from Cenerentola by Rossini, arranged for piano four hands (without words) by Hieronymus Payer, in two volumes. Weigl in his florid description notes the surprising effectiveness of the piano four hands arrangements of Barber of Seville and Italian Girl in Algiers, also by Payer.

Artaria & Co. repeats its advertisement of last Friday with its multitude of instrumentations of popular selections from Zelmira, with the added note that the opera soon will be arranged for military band. The firm puts the imperial regiments and regimental capellmeisters on notice to be on the lookout for that version.

Our next update will be June 20th.