BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, December 30, 1822 (approximately)

Beethoven writes at some point near the end of 1822 to publisher and bookseller Johann Baptist Wallishausser, asking whether he still has a particular calendar for the upcoming year, the Charitable and Amusing Calender, published by Anton Strauss, and what it costs. Beethoven is in a mischievous mood and has fun with Wallishausser’s name. “I offer my greetings to both Herr Vallis and Hauser, as well as to Herren Hauser and Vallis, and most especially to Herr v. Vallishauser.” He concludes, “give my most polite recommendations to Herren Vallis and Hauser etc. and to Herren von Vallishauser.”

Despite Beethoven’s jokiness in this letter, this was not an idle request. The particular calendar that he asks about includes the addresses of the embassies and legations for a number of important foreign countries, which will be key in directing the subscription solicitations for the Missa Solemnis across the continent.

Brandenburg Letter 1521, Anderson Letter 1046. The original letter is kept at the Bonn Beethovenhaus, H.C. Bodmer Collection Br 264, and can be seen here: