BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Saturday, December 27, 1823

In the afternoon at a coffee house, Beethoven makes a note of Anton Weidinger (1766/67-1852), the Imperial High Court Trumpeter, who also invented a keyed trumpet and a keyed horn with additional crooks. He marks this “(Important.)” [These inventions were over 25 years old and were being surpassed by newer modifications, but it seems likely that he had these kinds of instruments in mind for performance of the Ninth Symphony.]

Nephew Karl comes by his uncle’s apartment later in the day. He has been at the Theater in the Josephstadt, managed by Karl Friedrich Hensler. Karl reports that there are intrigues and as soon as applause begins, organized groups hiss out of pure malice in order to injure Hensler. Uncle Ludwig asks what he saw there. The performance today was Arsenius, the Woman-Hater. The title character’s beloved finally compels him to believe in womanly virtue.

Karl says he stopped by Steiner’s music shop earlier today; pianist Ignaz Moscheles was also there.

Karl is not happy with the current help. “The housekeeper is a terrible gossip; as often as she finds the opportunity, she likes to begin talking.” Uncle Ludwig asks what she gossips about. “For example, when the occasion presented itself, she would begin to talk about the housekeeping at Lichnowsky’s, etc. I always left right away, but she used every opportunity to gossip.” She was the same way when she was working for Lichnowsky.

Conversation Book 51, 1r-1v. This conversation book is comprised of 16 leaves, and carries us into the beginning of the New Year.