BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Sunday, March 23, 1823 (approximately)

Possibly today, Beethoven writes a short undated note to Schindler, saying that since he does not have to give Archduke Rudolph his lesson until 4:30 PM today (perhaps because it is Palm Sunday and Rudolph has religious duties to fulfill earlier in the day), Schindler should join him after dinner at roughly 2:30. But he warns that while he doesn’t respect Schindler’s opinion on soup in the least, the soup is no good today.

Brandenburg Letter 1616, Anderson Letter 1157. The original is held by the Berlin Staatsbibliothek, aut. 36,42.

Schindler shows up briefly on this date and asks Beethoven for recommendation letters for the singer Nina Cornega. She intends to do a singing tour from Berlin to Saint Petersburg. Beethoven writes, as a first draft of such a letter, that she “has a beautiful mezzo-soprano, and is on the whole an artistic singer.”

Conversation Book 27, leaf 18v and another loose sheet with a draft letter to Cherubini. Writing in the 1840 edition of his biography of Beethoven, Schindler recalled that Cornega had a low alto voice, and could also perform tenor parts.

Beethoven also makes a note to himself that he needs “a large table on which to lay music.” This is probably for purposes of doing the enormous task of proofreading the hand-copied subscriptions for the Missa Solemnis, now that acceptances are coming in.

On this Palm Sunday, a benefit concert is held in Leipzig for the local poor. The concert opens with Beethoven’s Coriolan overture, op. 62 (1807). The concert continued with a piano concerto by Weber, and in the second half, Mozart’s Requiem. Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung of June 18, 1823, Nr.25, at col.405.

Kurt Masur here conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra playing the Coriolan Overture:

In Vienna, a similar benefit concert for the pensions of widows and orphans of musicians is held today and tomorrow. The featured cantata is Haydn’s The Seasons. Vienna AMZ of March 19, 1823 , Nr.23 at col.184.