BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Friday, September 19, 1823

Karl notes that they are out of wood; housekeeper Barbara Holzmann uses a great deal. Her daughter-in-law is now in Baden also. Karl suggests that they order meals from the local restaurant. Between the expense and the “innumerable pleasant scenes” with her, he thinks it best that they dismiss her. She costs them about 24 fl. per month. But Uncle Ludwig does not dismiss her, at least not yet.

Conversation Book 42, 28v-29v. The discussion picks up immediately in Conversation Book 43.

Beethoven is more reconciled to having Joseph Niemetz stay with them; the boy has come up with a plan to stay in the composer’s good graces.

Karl notes that one of Dr. Staudenheim’s acquaintances is living next door. To prevent gossip it would be best to talk more quietly, and also to avoid French, which he understands better than German. Karl just met him over a game of billiards. He was so unhappy about the disturbances that he refused to tip his cap but instead threw his cue down with an enraged expression. Karl says he did not do anything about it. “In any case, this behavior is very stupid, because he can really lose many customers by it.”

The wine is too strong for Karl, and he has taken to prefer drinking water every day. “I much prefer to see water sparkling in the glass rather than wine. Since today is a Friday, the maid has prepared fish for dinner. “The girl appears to be very good-willed.” For the evening meal, Karl suggests a capon be roasted, and it might not be too expensive from a local restaurant. Karl likes venison best.

Conversation Book 43, 1r-2r.

Beethoven’s patron Archduke Rudolph meets with his brother Emperor Francis I today for luncheon in the Moravian town of Kremsier (today Kroměříž in the Czech Republic). The Emperor is on a tour of the empire, having arrived in Moravia this morning via Straßnitz [Strážnice], Ostra [Ostrá], and Hungarian-Hradisch [Uherské Hradiště]. After lunch, the Emperor departs for Weisskirchen [Hranice], with large crowds meeting him at the station there at 5 p.m. Brünner Zeitung of September 25, Nr.264 at 1075.

Archduke Rudolph thus appears to be away from Vienna and Baden, likely in his seat at Olmütz in Moravia, and out of Beethoven’s hair for the time being.