BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Sunday, April 27, 1823

Brother Johann visits Ludwig early this afternoon. Johann has promised an unidentified publisher a Trio, but there is an issue and he will write that the Trio is not yet finished. He suggests having Wenzel Schlemmer copy the Diabelli Variations; he could do it in just two days. [Another copyist copies most of the Variations, though Schlemmer does copy six pages of the work for the London engraving.]

Anton Schindler joins the two brothers at about 1:30 pm. He was at Müller’s to see the summer apartment in Hetzendorf. He has agreed to let Beethoven have it for 400 florins. The Countess who owns it was reluctant but Müller is confident he can get her to agree. It has two separate stairways, one of which goes directly to the kitchen.

Johann says he will have the six bagatelles [presumably the six rejected by Peters, op.119/1-6, which had previously appeared in Friedrich Starke’s Wiener Piano-Forte Schule] copied immediately. Johann then departs, and Schindler stays for dinner, which is rice with veal.

Baron Müller arrives with news that the countess is insisting on 500 florins for the apartment. He asks Beethoven for his best and final offer. The village of Hetzendorf is quite prosperous, with an Imperial summer palace, so there is everything needed by way of food, and they always take care to have the best meats. After Müller leaves, Schindler mocks him and his side dishes of vegetables and even meats.

Schindler suggests that Beethoven take another look at the apartment. He was shocked to find some farmer asking 600 florins. He cautions Beethoven against trusting Johann. Even his wife Therese complained to Schindler that Johann has no limits to his greed. But he is not quite as stingy as he was a few years ago. “He keeps watch over every kreuzer, and she must often wrangle for 1 fl.”

Schindler notes that Moritz Lichnowsky is an Ultra of Beethoven, so he can be forgiven many things. Schindler does not think that housekeeper Barbara Holzmann should go with Beethoven to Hetzendorf, if she is going to get drunk.

Piano maker Mathäus Andres Stein comes to Beethoven’s apartment later in the afternoon, and examines the Broadwood piano for needed repairs. He intends to come another time and give the piano a proper cleaning. Stein would like to come back tomorrow afternoon to install some strings and glue the hammers of the piano. [This exchange suggests that Beethoven, trying to hear something from the piano, had been pounding on the keyboard.]

The Musik-Verein in Graz, which had made Beethoven an honorary member in 1815, is hinting that they would like him to return the honor with a composition. [When Schubert was made a member, he gave them the Unfinished Symphony.] Schindler suggests that he ignore them.

The discussion turns to Ignaz Schuppanzigh. He says that a letter can get to Moscow in only 6 days, which Schindler finds not credible. Johann had asked Schuppanzigh whether there was anything to be done with the Moscow publishers, and he said that Herr P. Lenhold was the best, but he only published piano pieces.

Schindler spoke yesterday with Andreas Oberleitner, an upstanding man, who had some business with Diabelli & Cappi. He had the best relationship with Diabelli, but could say nothing good about their business practices. Oberleitner is a famous mandolin player, and four years ago he gave Diabelli an Elementary Method for Mandolin, but they have not published it, but they won’t give it back either, which makes them no better than Steiner. Schindler says Diabelli might not be that way “if he did not have the Jew Cappi at his side.”

Stein departs, saying he will return tomorrow with a carpenter. Schindler will see about the best and most secure means of sending the Diabelli Variations to London. Schindler also departs.

Conversation Book 31, 1r-8r.

Probably this evening or tomorrow morning, Beethoven writes a short note to Schindler regarding the negotiations for the apartment in Hetzendorf. Schindler should talk to Baron Müller and tell him that Lichnowsky will not pay more than 400 florins for the apartment so he may as well lease it to Beethoven for that price. He asks Schindler to report back when he has had a chance to talk to Müller. Brandenburg Letter 1640, Anderson Letter 1131. The original is held by the Berlin Staatsbibliothek, aut. 36,64.