BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Sunday, June 2 1822

Today is an unseasonably hot Trinity Sunday, and Beethoven has lunch with Nephew Karl, brother Johann, and Johann’s wife Therese at Johann’s apartment in suburban Windmühle at Kothgasse No. 61. Karl is having issues with a stained pair of trousers and needs to visit the tailor, but he is of course closed today. Karl can still wear them around the house in the meantime.

Karl notes that uncle Ludwig should respond to publisher Carl Friedrich Peters’ letter of May 18th immediately. Johann agrees; the opportunity with Peters is one that should be seized. He suggests having Peters make a bid for the Mass at 1000 florins, which will give him preference over Schlesinger’s offer of 100 louis d’or, and that Ludwig also write him a short piece. Ludwig apparently objects that he has already sold the Mass twice now, but Johann simply says, “That is business.”

The carriage to take Beethoven back to Döbling arrives early, and Johann says it has been reserved until 2 o’clock. Continuing on about Peters, Johann notes that Ludwig can simply write to Peters that he can have all of his works, without obligating himself. When the time comes, a contract can be made.

Switching to Beethoven’s living arrangements, Johann notes that there are 2 rooms next to Johann where a Herr Tichter (or possibly Dichter or Richter) lives. [Dichter could also mean poet, so they may be referring to him by profession rather than name.] He thinks there would be enough space for Ludwig there. If Ludwig is interested, Johann will see to it that he gets the rooms by the Michaelmas rental season that begins on September 29th. Karl notes that it is seven minutes by foot from the City. But they could also stay with Johann in Gneixendorf. Johann chimes in that they would be left alone there; “absolutely no one comes to see us.”

Ludwig apparently very much likes the wine that Johann is serving, as Johann says he will have a small barrel of it brought for Ludwig in the fall. Right now he only has the one bottle of it. Therese notes that it is too hot to bring the wine now; it would turn sour in the heat. Karl suggests they go look at the apartment. If Tichter is there they should appear not to be interested in the apartment, but to pretend to be visiting him. Ludwig says he will make an appointment with the tailor for Karl on Thursday morning, June 6. That will be a holiday (the feast of Corpus Christi). Johann tells Ludwig he should only drink water and wine; the beer in Vienna is all adulterated. They then go to visit the apartment, and Ludwig heads back to Döbling.

Conversation Book 17, bl. 2v-6r.