BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, June 4, 1821 (approximately)

Portrait of Franz Lauska by an unknown artist.

If Beethoven’s letter of June 7 is credible, the parcel with the proof and engraver’s copy of the piano sonata #30, op.109 from Berlin publisher Adolph Martin Schlesinger are forwarded to him in Döbling about now and he begins to review the proofs. Beethoven is promptly horrified by the number of serious errors in the proof, and he begins the tedious process of correction. It is probably in connection with this error-correcting work that he engages copyists Wenzel Rampl and Wenzel Schlemmer to produce a copy of the sonata, which eventually ends up in Archduke Rudolph’s collection. Berlin composer and teacher Franz Lauska, in Vienna at the moment, assists Beethoven in the proofreading chores.

As noted in the entry for May 12, it is possible that Franz Lauska brought these materials with him personally from Berlin to Vienna for delivery to Beethoven. Or it may simply be coincidental that he arrives at about the same time as the parcel with the proof, and ends up assisting Beethoven over the next few days in the proofreading of the sonata. Unfortunately, the Wiener Zeitung Arrivals column does not note exactly when Lauska arrived in Vienna.