BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Friday, April 9, 1824

Beethoven, enamored of the gold medal awarded to him by King Louis XVIII of France, thinks he would like to wear it to the Akademie benefit concert. Karl says he “absolutely cannot wear the medal; its weight would pull your collar down.”

Karl looks through either the soprano part, or the fair copy of the score to the Ninth Symphony. In the phrase “Úber sternen” at bars 749-752, in declamation the accent needs to fall on Sternen [stars.] Ludwig demonstrates to him three different settings of the phrase, placing the emphasis slightly differently each time.

Two settings of “Über sternen,” Conversation Book 61, 6r (courtesy Berlin Staatsbibliothek)
Third setting of “Über sternen,” Conversation Book 61, 6v (courtesy Berlin Staatsbibliothek)

Karl needs money for rose water.

Uncle Ludwig starts drafting a letter to an unidentified Court official, asking that his request for approval of his diploma from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music be provided to the Emperor as soon as possible. [This honor had been conferred in December of 1822, but Beethoven could not accept it without Imperial approval, and that approval has been stuck in bureaucracy for well over a year now.] Albrecht Letter 354.

Karl visits Gläser’s copying operations. While there, he saw there were several copyists at work. “He must be 80 years old already.” [Peter Gläser was in fact younger than Ludwig, and only about 48, so Karl either is talking about someone else, or is grossly exaggerating Gläser’s age.] Karl tells his uncle that he understood that Ludwig wanted certain passages written out more clearly, and that’s what he did. Karl personally entered the articulation markings that were missing from the fair copy of the symphony, which had been done by Paul Maschek and his copyists. By this point, Maschek seems to have been eliminated from the copying for the Akademie

Ludwig is concerned that he has heard nothing more from Carl von Odelga, the ambassador for Tuscany and Nassau about payment for the subscription to the Missa Solemnis. Karl says he will go to see Odelga on Sunday. “It must be done, though, otherwise they will keep the Mass and send nothing.”

Karl has been having a dispute with Brother Johann. Karl did not want to go to the theater today, because he had things to do. But Johann said he really wanted to see Johann von Paris [an opera by François Boieldieu, which was performed at the Theater in the Josephstadt on Thursday, April 8 and Friday, April 9.] The last performance probably will take place after Easter.

Karl asks his uncle if he’s finished with proofreading. Ludwig says, no, not even close. Karl replies, “Damnable work!”

Conversation Book 61, 5v-7r.

Music publisher Johann Cappi announces the new publication of Carl Czerny’s latest work for piano four hands, Ouverture brillante, op.54, in today’s Wiener Zeitung at 356, for 3 and 1/2 florins W.W. However, there is no further description of the piece, so we are deprived of the usual glowing prose about Czerny’s compositions. Czerny was of course Beethoven’s former composition pupil.

Czerny’s Ouverture brillante, op.54 in B minor for piano four hands is here played live by Mirosława Sumlińska & Małgorzata Findysz: