BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, January 12, 1824 (approximately)

Sometime in mid-January, Beethoven writes a short undated note to Schindler. In it, he tells Schindler that he is already at the Birn [the inn Zur goldenen Birne], and Schindler should join him for dinner. On the back of the letter, Beethoven has written in pencil, “laßt uns andere ang u. Freudenvollere anst” [let us have other more pleasant and joyful tunes. This obviously resembles part of the text, written by Beethoven, of the bass recitative to the Finale of the Ninth (rearranged in the final version as “Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen, und freudenvollere“), which Beethoven was likely reworking as he was completing and orchestrating the symphony at this time.]

Brandenburg Letter 1778; Anderson Letter 1331. The original is in the Berlin Staatsbibliothek (aut. 36, 73). The watermark on the paper matches that used for Beethoven’s letters between January 8 and January 23, 1824, so it likely comes in or near that period of time. It would also likely be a day on which Karl could not join his uncle for dinner, which makes Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays likely candidates.