BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Saturday, December 13, 1823

Beethoven dictates to Karl a letter to Prince Nikolai Galitzin today. As usual, Karl translates the letter into French for his uncle. To Beethoven’s great embarrassment, he believes that the copy of the Missa Solemnis that was sent to Galitzin is missing the first page of the Gloria, which he had retained as security to prevent the copyists from pirating the work. He may be missing the last page of the Gloria as well, for the same reason. The missing pages are being forwarded, and in the meantime perhaps the Prince can use the Russian Czar’s copy, which should be complete. Also, it should be noted that at the beginning of the Gloria (“In Gloria Dei patri”) the tempo should be marked “Allo. maestoso e moderato.” [A short excerpt from the beginning of the Gloria is written here, as are the last four bars, both in Beethoven’s hand. The Prince’s copy had been sent just after Beethoven had returned to Vienna from Baden, so he may not have had an opportunity to review it closely in his eagerness to get it off to St. Petersburg.]

Brandenburg Letter 1757, Anderson Letter 1244. The original is held by the Public and University Library in Geneva, Switzerland (D.O. autogr.)

Later this afternoon, Anton Schindler pays a call. Amalie Schütz, who had been a singer at the Theater an der Wien, is being well received at the German Opera in Amsterdam.

Talk turns to the loan of Beethoven’s Broadwood piano to Ignaz Moscheles for his concert Monday. Karl mentions that piano maker Conrad Graf wanted to give Moscheles one of his pianos for the concert, but Graf required as a condition that Moscheles play only on his instruments. But Moscheles wanted to first play on the Graf, and then on the Broadwood, so there would be a contrast. So Graf revoked his offer, and now Moscheles will play on a Löschen piano and then improvise on Beethoven’s Broadwood.

Schindler mentions that he visited the Dutch Embassy, and the request for another copy of the diploma sent to Beethoven in 1809 has gone out.

In other gossip, Joseph Bernard, editor of the Wiener Zeitung, who was at one time close to Beethoven but has fallen out of favor partly related to his long-delayed libretto for Der Sieg des Kreuzes, has gotten married and is now a landlord. His wife is also “a first-class cook for good home-made meals.”

Schindler says he is extraordinarily happy with the new Overture, which he believes will be more effective with the Kärntnertor Theater orchestra than previously on Moscheles’s concerts. [The Overture meant is the Name Day Overture in C, op.115, which had regularly appeared on Moscheles’s concert programs, with mixed results due to its difficulty.] The Egmont Overture will be played tomorrow; though it is not difficult it is “great, sublime.” Schindler asks whether Steiner still has two Overtures that have not been heard? Beethoven says that yes, Steiner has two Overtures; one, The Ruins of Athens op.113 was published earlier this year; the King Stephan Overture op.117 has not yet been published. [And it will not be published until July, 1826.]

Tobias Haslinger at Steiner’s music shop is bragging that they have already shipped off nine copies of the score for Weber’s opera Euryanthe. Haslinger had a library of music copied, consisting of 61 volumes and 4,000 sheets of music, which he sold for 4,000 florins. Steiner and Haslinger used that money to buy the inventory and printing plates of Joseph Riedl, a Vienna music dealer, who went out of business in May, 1823. “Little Tobias” is supposed to give Beethoven 50 or 60,000 florins for the Collected Edition of Beethoven’s works. [Haslinger had prepared a listing of Beethoven’s works for this purpose in June of 1822.]

Conversation Book 48, 29v-34v. This is the end of Conversation Book 48. Conversation Book 49 picks up immediately this afternoon. Conversation Book 49 is quite short, consisting of only 12 leaves, and was used only for a couple days before being filled.

Karl starts the book with a number of currency computations. Schindler adds “I believe that I Have to ask you that we not speak about this matter until we are alone; certainly, for a reason.” [Beethoven appears to have brought up his disapproval of Karl’s impoverished friend, Joseph Niemetz.]

Karl has a stain on his clothing, which the maid is going to try to remove, and Schindler suggests waiting until tomorrow so it has a chance to dry first.

Karl departs with a headache, and Schindler continues the discussion about Niemetz. His family is his greatest asset, but his mother went bankrupt a few years ago, and young Joseph had to help her get back on her feet. Schindler urges Beethoven not to doubt Karl’s sincerity over his friend. He has just entered the awkward age, so while one looks after him to a certain extent, he also needs to be watchful on his own behalf.

Schindler suggests that Beethoven should write a note to Carl von Odelga, the intermediary for the Grand Duke of Tuscany’s subscription to the Missa Solemnis reminding him payment is due. Odelga told Schindler himself that the Grand Duke often needs admonishment and reminders. Schindler also finds it remarkable that the King of Sweden has made no response as of yet to the subscription solicitations for the Mass.

Conversation Book 49, 1r-2r.