BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Saturday, April 3, 1824 (approximately)

Beethoven writes an undated letter, probably around now, to his friend Tobias Haslinger. He asks for Haslinger to send him what Rochlitz wrote about him, and he’ll send it right back “via the flying, driving, riding, or walking post.” Sieghard Brandenburg suggested this request probably relates to the very lengthy review of the last three piano sonatas that appeared in the Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (Nr.26) on April 1, at 213-225, and excerpted in our entry for that date. The author of the review is not identified, but Beethoven seems to have come to the reasonable assumption that it was written by the editor of the journal, Johann Friedrich Rochlitz.

Brandenburg Letter 1804; Anderson Letter 547. The original is in the Berlin Staatsbibliothek, Mus. ep. autogr. Beethoven 8.

The controversy over Weber’s opera Euryanthe continues. In today’s Vienna Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, Nr.14 at 56, the following anecdote is told: “Someone had seen Weber’s Euryanthe and had not understood a good portion of the work, which was beyond his horizons. He sadly turned to his neighbor, complained about Weber’s music, and added that he had been able to understand Rossini. Yes, that’s natural too, replied the neighbor who had seen the two masters’ pictures the day before on a street. ‘Weber writes as God desires, Rossini writes as the people want.'”

The Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung Nr.26 of June 24 at 416 reports that Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio was performed at a musical Akademie in the imperial Redoutensaal in Prague, for the benefit of poor blind children and those with eye diseases. “The overture from Fidelio, by Beethoven, was followed by a prologue spoken by a pupil of the Institute for the Blind; then the new piano concerto by Ries in C minor [Concerto Nr.4 op.115], was played by a twelve-year-old dilettante Karl Hofmann.” Ries’ concerto Nr.4 had been written back in 1809, but was not published until 1823 in London.

The Dresden correspondent for the Wiener Zeitschrift in today’s issue at 350 mentions in passing that there were two quartet Akademies held there in early January with great success. The first of these featured quartets by Beethoven and Louis Spohr.