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

A copy of page 6 from Beethoven’s calendar, facing the month of March, 1823, courtesy the Berlin Staatsbibliothek, aut.35,87c.

Beethoven notes on his 1823 calendar that today a letter was sent to Cherubini (of which we saw the draft on Wednesday, March 12), and a letter to Carl Friedrich Peters, in Leipzig. Neither letter is known to survive. The letter to Peters probably was following up about the packet of scores that had been sent to Peters earlier this year. Beethoven had not yet received Peters’ caustic response of March 4; he notes the receipt of that letter in his calendar as occurring on Wednesday, March 19. Brandenburg Letter 1612. Finally, Beethoven writes to Franz Brentano in Frankfurt, most likely confirming that repayment of the money borrowed from him is on the way.

Publisher Johann Cappi in today’s Wiener Zeitung at 248 advertises the new set of Four Fugues for Piano, op.5, dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven, composed by Simon Sechter (1788-1867). Sechter is described by Wikipedia as “one of the most prolific composers who ever lived.” In all, he wrote over 5,000 fugues, among other works, including a contribution to the variations of Anton Diabelli’s variations for which Beethoven is currently working on his set of 33 variations, op.120. Sechter’s music is almost entirely forgotten today, and is now best known as the teacher of Anton Bruckner. Beethoven and Schindler had already received his dedication copy of this set of fugues before March 2, when Schindler called them “tasteless.”

Our next update will be March 19th.