BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Saturday, February 15, 1823

Early in the day a doctor comes by to check on one of the household workers (probably Barbara Holzmann, who suffered an injury a few days ago.) Her arm is better but she must replace the poultices every hour and remain at home, lest infection set in.

Between 10 and noon, Caspar Bauer and Schindler visit Beethoven. Bauer is eager to help Beethoven in London any way that he can. His recollection is that the King [George IV] had Wellington’s Victory, op.91, performed, but that nobody reminded the King he should send a reply or an honorarium for the dedication. Although he cannot give the King the subscription solicitation directly, he can certainly see that it gets into the proper channels. He is happy to act as go-between to deliver the score of the Ninth Symphony to the Philharmonic Society when it is completed.

Bauer again suggests that Beethoven should come to London himself, an idea that Beethoven embraces, health permitting. Bauer assures him that he is looked upon there as “the God of Music,” and that he would find an excellent reception everywhere there. Bauer points out that they have baths and spas in England. From Calais to Dover, a steamboat takes only three hours. Bauer again insists that every task Beethoven needs to have done in London should be addressed to him and he will take care of it with pleasure.

Schindler fills Beethoven in on Artaria’s continued unhappiness about the situation with Pacini in Paris and Johann’s actions. Artaria had wanted to take some of the works that Johann offered to Pacini. Apparently, Johann believed that Pacini would write directly to him and not to Artaria. He doesn’t think that anything malicious was intended, however, but Artaria is annoyed by Johann’s bragging about his riches and his plans for Ludwig.

Conversation Book 24, 17v-24r.

Beethoven hastily writes to publisher Carl Friedrich Peters in Leipzig. The bundle of promised scores had finally gone out last week [February 8th] and Beethoven is anxious to hear from Peters, but he realizes he messed up. He should have sent two more small marches (“tattoos”) and one large march, which he will send along with this letter. Although Peters only wanted four piano bagatelles, he hopes it is all right that he sent six, at an additional charge. Beethoven says he must rush as he needs to catch the mail coach for Leipzig; otherwise he will need to wait until next week. Brandenburg Letter 1570, Anderson Letter 1137. The original is held by the Bonn Beethovenhaus as H.C. Bodmer Collection BBr 74, and can be seen here:

Unfortunately, Beethoven misses the Leipzig mail, so this letter will end up being sent on the 20th along with a longer letter to Peters and the missing scores. In his afternoon shopping he buys some coffee and sugar.