BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Sunday October 27, 1822 (very approximately)

Soon after her return to Munich from Vienna, soprano Katharina Sigl, intoxicated by her meeting with the composer, writes to her friend Anton Schindler, who gave her the letter of introduction. She asks whether Schindler would be so good as to ask Beethoven “if he would be so kind as to write me an aria, perhaps with cello obbligato, because my brother plays himself. [Katharina may mean either Eduard Sigl (1810-1882) or less likely her younger brother Ignaz Sigl (c.1812-1863), both of whom were professional cellists.] If you think so, I will write to Bethoven [sic] myself. I adore him, and I’m also a little bit in love…Who wouldn’t be, how I envy you, always being near the god!”

Brandenburg Letter 1506. The original is held by the Beethovenhaus, BH 213, Schindler estate, and can be seen here:

Schindler apparently responded to her promptly in a now-lost letter, saying that Beethoven would indeed write her such an aria as requested. Whether Beethoven ever even knew about this romantic aria commission is open to question. In any event, it never materialized. Sigl will write a followup letter to Schindler on December 4th, 1822.