BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, August 18, 1823

Today, Carl Keller, a flautist and composer writes a letter from Donaueschingen to now-fired unpaid assistant Anton Schindler. On February 8, Schindler had written to Keller asking for his intervention in getting Prince Karl Egon II von Fürstenberg (1796-1854) to subscribe to the Missa Solemnis. Keller says here that while the Prince would be happy to subscribe, the 50-ducat price is too high for him. There must be plenty of subscribers. Would Beethoven be willing to consider a reduction in his price? If so, Keller would be happy to pass that on to the Prince. He also suggests that the Musikverein in Frankfurt run by Schelble might be interested in subscribing. [Johann Nepomuk Schelble, the head of the Cäcilia-Verein, had already subscribed to the Mass back in March.]

There were numerous problems with the address on the envelope, so this letter took longer than it should have in reaching Schindler at the Josephstadt Theater. Since there was nothing positive to report to Beethoven, it is unknown whether Schindler risked incurring Beethoven’s wrath by telling him that the Prince considered the asking price too high.

Brandenburg Letter 1730. The letter is held by the Bonn Beethovenhaus, BH 213, Schindlernachlaß.

A new composition from Beethoven’s former pupil Ferdinand Ries is advertised in today’s Wiener Zeitung by Sauer & Leidesdorf, the Fantaisie pour le Pianoforte on favorite themes from Rossini’s opera Zelmira, op.121.