BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Friday, Feburary 14, 1823

Copyist Wenzel Rampl briefly stops by to visit Beethoven on his way home to ask questions about the Missa Solemnis. During that time, Beethoven asks him to pick up a book for him [probably the Aristides und Themistocles book noted at Grund’s yesterday.] Rampl says he will do so, and if time permits he will bring it along tomorrow.

Schindler arrives, apparently while Rampl is still there, to report that Bauer will be leaving in a week, so they need to put everything in order that needs to be taken to London. Bauer suggests that Beethoven write the solicitation to the King in French; everything will be transacted in French anyway. It may be best not to bring up the still-rankling failure of the Prince Regent to acknowledge the dedication of Wellington’s Victory op.91 in any way. That can only cause trouble for the possible subscription.

Beethoven writes (so as not to be overheard), “Today I already gave my brother Cain his 200 fl.” [Beethoven had borrowed 200 florins from Johann last July, against the promise of 1000 florins on the sale of the Missa Solemnis.]

Schindler asks whether Rampl will come by again tomorrow; he would prefer that they be alone with Bauer. Schindler will pick up Bauer tomorrow morning at 8 AM and bring him to Beethoven’s apartment. He should expect them between 10 and 12 o’clock.Schindler reports that a woman [probably Karl’s mother Johanna] is still not well.

Conversation Book 24, 15r-17r.

This same day, Baron von Rumberg, the intendant of the Bavarian Royal Court Orchestra issues the report to the King of Bavaria on the subscription solicitation for the Missa Solemnis. The report is not encouraging. The orchestra already possesses so many religious works composed by famous masters that even these cannot all be performed. For this reason, and the high fee of 50 ducats for the score of Beethoven’s latest musical work, plus the costs of transcribing parts, which would be no less than another 500 gulden, it is impossible. The intendant suggests that if the King would like to have the Missa Solemnis “by its brilliant author,” he should wait until it is in general publication. [It’s probably a good thing that Beethoven did not know of this report, since it surely would have discouraged him.] Albrecht Letter 308.