BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, January 7, 1822

Tomorrow is the 34th birthday of Beethoven’s most devoted patron, Archduke Rudolph. The Archduke is staying in his archbishopric of Olmütz in Moravia currently. In celebration of the festivities, the local casino company and amateur music lovers present a large surprise musical Academy this evening, which Rudolph attends. The youth of the normal school line up in the courtyard of the palace with their faculty bearing torches, while on the stairs eight white-clad girls with garlands receive the Archduke and escorted him into the hall. There, Rudolph is greeted by trumpets and the bang of bells and whistles from the gathered aristocracy, civil and military authorities. The entire assemblage provides shouts of long life, accompanied by trumpets and drums, followed by several pieces of music alternating with a cantata specially composed for the birthday party.

In the meantime the local magistrate and the bourgeoisie gather in the gardens in front of the Archbishop’s residence. These gardens had been built last year, 1821, for the enjoyment of the local public. The gardens are tastefully illuminated, and in the middle a burning sacrificial altar and a triumphal arch are erected. The Archduke is greeted with general jubilation by the large crowd as he heads toward the residence, accompanied by the sound of trumpets and drums. Rudolph takes the surprise party with his usual “gracious condescension.” A canon in his honor is sung with a full orchestra.

Upon arriving at the residence, the Archduke is greeted by the high school youth lined up on the stairs with their teachers, singing a suitable poem. This concludes the celebrations for the evening.

This report is derived from the January 30 Wiener Zeitung, repeating an article from the Brünner Zeitung of Sunday, January 13.

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