BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Friday, June 27, 1823 (approximately)

Sometime this week Beethoven pays a visit to the City and meets at his apartment there with Franz Hauser (1794-1870), a bass singer and teacher who was visiting from Kassel. He introduces himself and thanks Beethoven for the many pleasures his music has provided. Over this last winter, the Court Orchestra played all of Beethoven’s eight symphonies, conducted by Louis Spohr (1784-1859). They have even performed Fidelio, and look forward longingly to a new opera from Beethoven.

Hauser suggests that Beethoven should do a tour of Germany and perform his symphonies in concerts. It would in his view be very successful financially, especially if extended to London and Paris. Hauser is not interested in singing in Vienna; people don’t understand good composition in Vienna anymore.

Hauser asks whether he is being a nuisance; if Beethoven is busy, he can leave him alone. Beethoven assures him that he is happy to meet with him. Hauser would like to see Beethoven’s fortepiano, but unfortunately it has been moved to Hetzendorf. As a consolation, Hauser asks whether he could have a small piece of handwriting as a souvenir, since he can’t hear Beethoven play.

Beethoven asks about the theatre in Kassel. It is very tasteful, and nearly as large as the Josephstadt theatre. The prince supports it well so the box office is of secondary importance. Hauser is disgusted that the attitude in Vienna is that geniuses must live in want, even Mozart. But he also thinks artists should have nothing to do with politics.

Hauser says he is leaving at 4 o’clock today. It is unclear whether he means he is leaving Vienna at 4 today. If so, this conversation may come on July 2, which is the date that Hauser departs the City according to the July 4 Wiener Zeitung.

Getting ready to depart, Hauser says that Beethoven should not delay much longer in giving a concert. The musical public is jaded and such a concert would cure them. The theatres in northern Germany are very good now, and instrumental music in particular is held in high esteem. “I believe that music says what no language can – the Inexpressible. I believe that this broad field – Romanticism – offers instrumental music more.” The choral societies in Frankfurt, Kassel, and Braunschweig are also particularly beautiful. In Germany, the singers are there because of the composition; in Italy the composers are there because of the singers.

Johann Schelble [who had subscribed to the Missa Solemnis], director of the Frankfurt Singverein is an excellent man. He plays Beethoven’s pieces with more spirit and expression than anyone. He also arranges quartets for piano four hands. Simrock in Bonn wants to publish them.

Hauser notes that the portrait of Beethoven by Stieler is not very good. He then departs.

Conversation Book 34, 31v-36r.

On this date, June 27, Beethoven forwards to Archduke Rudolph a copy of Cappi & Diabelli’s corrected editions of the piano sonata op.111 and the Diabelli Variations, op.120. Brandenburg Letter 1682. The letter is now lost, but its contents and date are known from Beethoven’s letter of July 1, Brandenburg Letter 1686.

Meanwhile, unpaid assistant Anton Schindler has been visiting Brother Johann at his sickbed regularly. Today, while the doctor is there, Schindler blows up over the conduct of Johann’s wife Therese and her daughter Amalie Waldmann. Schindler is probably barred from the house for close to a week. News of all of this does not, however, get back to Beethoven until July 3rd, and will be addressed at that point.