BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Saturday, July 12, 1823

Beethoven today writes to Franz Anton Adam Stockhausen in Paris. Stockhausen (1789-1868) was a harpist and composer. Beethoven is answering Stockhausen’s letter, which has not survived. He is pleased that Luigi Cherubini was receptive to Louis Schlösser, who went bearing letters from Beethoven. He wishes that he could be in closer contact with Cherubini but his health prevents it.

Beethoven then launches into a lengthy explanation of the subscriptions for the Missa Solemnis, which our regular readers will be quite familiar with by now and will not be belabored. But there was a dentist from Paris who was a great lover of music and had written to him. Beethoven has misplaced the letter and does not recall the dentist’s name, and hopes that Stockhausen might possibly be familiar with such a music-loving dentist. He would like to send him a subscription invitation. As usual, Beethoven proudly notes that the only address necessary to get a letter to him is “an l. v. Beethoven in Vien.”

In a postscript (which Beethoven unsealed the letter to add, tearing off a few words that he then filled back in), Beethoven notes that the price of a subscription is not all that high, and perhaps Stockhausen might be interested personally in subscribing. Alternatively, he hopes that Stockhausen could recommend a French publisher of the Mass. He sends his greetings to Schlösser.

Brandenburg Letter 1698, Anderson Letter 1207. The letter is in a private German collection.

Beethoven does not attend Henriette Blöchlinger’s Name Day party, though Nephew Karl does. Whether he was able to bring a dish to pass is unknown, but he stays up until dawn celebrating.