BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, July 24, 1820

Today is a momentous day for Beethoven, although he may not actually learn about it until tomorrow since he is back in Mödling. The Magistracy notifies Beethoven that Johanna’s appeal to the Emperor has failed, and the litigation of the guardianship of nephew Karl is finally, after many long years, over. Four and one-half years of frustration and preoccupation since Casper Carl’s death in 1815 after naming brother Ludwig as Karl’s guardian, has come to a close.

Whether the hoped-for outcome will end up being a good thing for Beethoven and nephew Karl remains to be seen. But this long period of turmoil and regrettable distraction surely deprived the world of many great works by the master composer.