BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, June 3, 1822 (approximately)

At a coffee shop back in Döbling, Beethoven reads the Intelligenzblatt of June 3, either late that afternoon or possibly on June 4th, and notes a few things of interest. At book dealer Franz Wimmer, there is information about eyeglasses and an improved, patented hearing machine. At Karl Gerold’s bookshop, threre is a new book, The Youth’s Companion to Astronomy, presumably for Karl’s use. This might be for his studies, or could simply reflect the boy’s interest in astronomy. Or the uncle’s.

Conversation Book 17, leaf 7v.

Finally, Beethoven notes that authentic Hungarian white wine is available in the cellar of Count Bathyani’s house in Döbling, and that samples are available.

Conversation book 17, bl. 6r-6v, 8r. On leaves 7v and 7r, Beethoven jots down with pencil (upside down in the book) some near-illegible sketches for what will eventually become the Consecration of the House Overture, op.124. Attached is leaf 7v with the bulk of these sketches.

Today’s Wiener Zeitung includes advertisements by Cappi & Diabelli for a number of works by Beethoven’s former pupil Carl Czerny, prominent among them being his new sets of variations for piano on a favorite Neapolitan Barcarolle, op.19, and his variations for piano four hands on the very popular Trumpet March from Rossini’s Lady of the Lake, op.20.

This evening, Louis Drouet, principal flautist of the King of France, gives the second of three concerts in Vienna, with other vocal and instrumental works. According to the review in the June 15, 1822 Vienna Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung by “W–t,” Drouet played to a full house with enchanting “floating and rolling, whispering and storming tones, in which he performs his arts with the lightest and most difficult figures…as if he were floating along on a lukewarm ethereal sea.”

The August 1 Vienna AMZ tells the following anecdote about Drouet: “Drouet plays in the literal sense of the words his entire concert with one breath, and transforms it into so many different forms that the listener is gripped by joyful amazement. You don’t hear sounds from him, as you do from some people, like a shovel working at the mill. Each breath he consumes, he processes artistically and inspires him with sweet euphony. At the first rehearsal held in Vienna, anyone – and by this we mean every flute player in Vienna, from A to Z – was present, because who would want to miss what had been reported? Everyone to a man was amazed at the effort and size of so many running passages, and the most difficult figures performed. They felt Drouet must be exhausted from the effort and would now be breathless for the concert. No one would hold it against him, but then Drouet turned, smiled, thanked them for the good accompaniment and reminded them about the lecture and to take a bath before the concert. All the winds and string players saw that either his lungs were some special creation, or that he must be a very special artist.”

In addition, at Drouet’s second concert the orchestra of the Concerts spirituels performed the overture to Mozart’s Titus “and the wonderful Andante from Beethoven’s symphony in A [number 7].” The August 1, 1822 edition of the Vienna AMZ at col. 492 will expand upon the review of this performance: “The most beautiful change was the execution of the Andante from Beethoven’s masterful symphony in A. The delicate singing passages that occur in it, which the violoncello has, were executed very well. The ingenious and oh so noble style of composition at all times inspires admiration throughout the world.”