BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, June 2, 1823

Beethoven writes a short note to Schindler today, addressing him once more as the Samothracian, containing a number of obscure references. He tells Schindler not to bother coming to Hetzendorf until the Hati-Scherif appears. [A Hatti-Sherif was a member of the Turkish Sultan’s cabinet, against whom no complaint was possible. Who exactly Beethoven has in mind here is unclear, but he may be referring to Esterházy Secretary Anton Wocher.] “In the meantime, you don’t have to fear the golden cord, for my fast-sailing frigate the high-noble-born Frau Schnaps will inquire about your well being every two or three days.” [Frau Schnapps was another of Beethoven’s names for housekeeper Barbara Holzmann, but what the golden cord was is more mysterious.]

Brandenburg Letter 1665, Anderson Letter 1143. The original is held by the Berlin Staatsbibliothek (aut. 36,11).

Prince Nikolai Galitzin writes to Beethoven today in French from St. Petersburg. The subscription letter has been presented to Czar Alexander I and he has agreed to subscribe to the Missa Solemnis. Orders have been given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to so advise the legation in Vienna.

Brandenburg Letter 1664, Albrecht Letter 322. The letter is lost and known today only from a transcription by Thayer; the original was then in the possession of Nephew Karl’s widow Caroline van Beethoven.

Much of the rest of the day is spent in preparing a list of errata for the score of the Piano Sonata #32 in C minor, op.111.

Today, Sauer & Leidesdorf repeats its advertisement in the Wiener Zeitung for the (error-filled) French edition of the final Piano Sonata, op.111, at 504.

A new set of two songs by Franz Schubert, op.22, is also included in this advertisement. These songs are Der Zwerg (today catalogued as D.771) and Wehmut (D.772). Both poems were written by Matthäus von Collin. The firm offers the songs in two versions, one with piano accompaniment, and one with guitar for the same price.

Jessye Norman here sings Der Zwerg, with piano accompaniment by Phillip Moll: