BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Sunday, April 14, 1822

Foreign Minister Klemens Wenzel Lothar Metternich today notes in his diary about Rossini’s music: “It is difficult to understand the enormous pleasure it gives to a music enthusiast like me. In these moments, a shaft of sunlight penetrates the darkness of my prison: such is the extent of my emotion and my feeling.”

According to Gaia Servadio, it was at Metternich’s insistence that a season featuring the Italian company of the Teatro San Carlo should have operas by Rossini only, in order to more fully expose the Austrian public to his talents. Unlike Beethoven, Rossini did not spell a potential threat to the political order established by Metternich.