BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, February 16, 1824

Ludwig and Johann fail to connect at the coffee house where they were to meet at 11 o’clock, so Johann goes to Ludwig’s apartment, probably mid-afternoon. He notes that his stepdaughter Amalie has a sore throat, and he was with her at Dr. Herbeck’s, a superb man. [This doctor visit may explain why they did not meet as planned.] Ludwig suggests to Karl he might visit Dr. Herbeck about his eyes, and Karl points out Herbeck is not an eye doctor.

Beethoven makes another note to visit Meissl Brothers, bankers.

Karl says the maid is always laughing with the old woman [housekeeper Barbara Holzmann], and when he came today after classes, they were both in the room laughing together. Even after he sat down they continued to laugh so he told them to go outside. The old woman had to mend some underpants.

Johann says [dictating to Karl] his wife Therese would like to get away from him and be independent, but she won’t go unless he gives her 80 to 100,000 florins, since half of his assets are her property, and he doesn’t want to do that. Ludwig says that she should be scolded, but Johann says reproaches are of no use. The situation cannot be changed any more, though he regrets it. Ludwig asks what she is doing now. She embarrasses Johann too much, because she is out of the house the whole days. She comes home and hardly eats and then rushes off again. Her illegitimate daughter Amalie’s father is also in Vienna, but does nothing for the girl. Ludwig suggests that maybe he isn’t her father in fact. Johann says the putative father, Waldmann, doesn’t acknowledge her as his [though she uses his last name], but in Johann’s opinion their physical similarity confirms his paternity. Ludwig asks whether he contributes anything to her upkeep. Waldmann has given 300 florins but doesn’t want to do anything more.

Johann mentions that conductor Ferdinand Piringer was at the Schuppanzigh Quartet concert yesterday, and he sends his respects.

After Johann leaves, Ludwig goes to a coffee house to read the newspapers. He notes down advertisements for white potatoes of the best kind, double flannel ties for the old vest, and “only one more flannel pants and vest.” Thinking about real estate, he also notes a kitchen garden for sale, also suitable for building lots. He also copies an advertisement for a garden for rent at Ungargasse 400.

[Karl appears to have gone to Carl Czerny’s salon yesterday, and seems to have passed on Uncle Ludwig’s invitation for Czerny to play the piano part for the Emperor Concerto at the pending Akademie concert.] Karl mentions that Czerny “expressed the greatest joy over it and said that he would take all possible pain to play it in your spirit.” Moritz Lichnowsky was also there. Czerny now has obtained a noble student, a princess who was entrusted to him by the Empress. He gives lessons from 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening. He played a Romanze by Beethoven with Steiner, which he had arranged for two pianos, four hands. [This work is an arrangement of Beethoven’s Violin Romance in F op.60, arranged as a Rondo brilliant for piano four hands, Czerny’s op.44, which had been published by Steiner in June, 1823.]

Conversation Book 56, 19r-20v.

J. Bermann, art dealer, repeats February 12’s advertisement of three Beethoven works for sale at 164 of today’s Wiener Zeitung. These are Das Glück der Freundschaft, aria with piano accompaniment [op.88], the Pathètique Sonata, op.13, and the mysterious unidentified set of 6 variations for fortepiano.

The Pathètique Sonata op.13 is here played by Daniel Barenboim: