BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Sunday, June 9, 1822

Beethoven joins brother Johann and his wife Therese for lunch today. Johann mentions that he “just now encountered Rossini,and he greeted me in a very friendly way. He would very much like to speak with you. If he had known that you were here, he would have come here immediately.”

[It is unclear how Rossini would have happened to know Johann; it seems most probable that Johann saw Rossini and went up and introduced himself as Ludwig’s brother, which would be sure to have gotten Rossini’s attention. As you will recall, Rossini had taken up a collection to try to buy Beethoven a house. Although it had fallen quite short of that goal, Rossini nevertheless has accumulated some money (to which he adds some of his own) and would like to get it to Beethoven. He did not, however, apparently tell Johann about the money.]

Johann continues that by fall they should contact Johann Friedrich Kind (1768-1843) in Berlin to ask him to write an opera libretto for Ludwig. [Kind was a hot commodity currently since he had written the libretto to Weber’s Der Freischütz, still hugely popular in Vienna.] Since Rossini is rich because of his operas, Ludwig should write more of them. [Here a portion of the page is missing, but from what is present on this side of the page, it appears Johann continued to talk at some length about Ludwig writing operas.

Conversation Book 17, leaf 14v.