BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Saturday, December 30, 1820

Franz Brentano in Frankfurt today writes in response to Beethoven’s letter of November 28, 1820. In that previous letter, Beethoven had bemoaned the fact that he had no choice but to accept Simrock’s discounted offer for the Missa Solemnis. Unfortunately, today’s letter from Brentano (Brandenburg 1423) is lost, and its existence is known only from Brentano’s notation on Beethoven’s letter as to the date of his response.

Given that a month has elapsed, Brentano may have received communications from Simrock regarding the ongoing negotiations for the Mass. The next surviving letter related to Beethoven from Simrock dates from May 13, 1822, impatiently wondering where the promised Missa Solemnis is.