BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, November 18, 1822

Anton Teyber (1756-1822), Imperial Composer to the court, dies today. Not long afterwards, Beethoven will make application to Count Moriz von Dietrichstein to succeed Teyber as court composer. In a now-lost letter, Beethoven will say that he is happy to propose that he be chosen to fill the position. His understanding is that the position requires occasionally delivering a composition for the High Court. “I do not believe that it can be considered too daring if I were to commend your Excellency’s insight in choosing me, all the moreso since you know that my situation is not brilliant, etc. If it were not for my sickness, I unfortunately would have had to leave Vienna long ago in order to have no worries about my future.”

Brandenburg Letter 1511, Anderson Letter 1121. The text is based on the transcription by Anton Schlosser, Ungedruckte Briefe Beethoven, Die Musik 9 (1909/10), p. 40 (Nr.9). The precise date of that letter is unknown, but it almost certainly dates from before January 23, 1823, when Beethoven learns that the position will not be filled at all but will instead be abolished. Dietrichstein did not respond directly to Beethoven, but instead to his patron Count Lichnowsky (Brandenburg Letter 1578, dated February 23, 1823).