BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, April 24, 1823

Beethoven’s good friend, violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh, having recently arrived back in Vienna, comes to visit today. He has applied for a position as orchestra director at the Kärntnertor Theater, but he can’t find the administrator, Louis Antoine Duport. “Every day, I run around and I can never find him.” He cannot stay for dinner today, or come tomorrow, but he could Saturday if Beethoven wants.

Shortly after Schuppanzigh leaves, Anton Schindler pays a call in the early afternoon. They discuss the benefits of Hetzendorf as a summer place. It would be convenient, with easy communication with the City, and has beautiful walks to Kalksburg and Kaltenleutgeben. Due to the ongoing work with the Missa Solemnis, it’s important that Beethoven be able to be in Vienna frequently, which makes Hetzendorf very suitable. The apartment there is furnished. Beethoven suggests that Schindler move into his present apartment, to be able to accept mail and so forth. Schindler says he has rehearsal in the morning but should have time to go talk to the Countess in the afternoon. Schindler believes there is a bath at Hetzendorf, and there are others in Hietzing and Meidling nearby.

Count Bernstorff, the Danish ambassador in Vienna, has accepted the solicitation letter for the Missa Solemnis, and has forwarded it on.

Beethoven continues to complain about his head cold. Dr. Smetana said that it’s primarily an irritation in the throat, caused by his constant coughing. Beethoven coughs so much that he may not even be aware of it any more. Schindler believes he is right.

They discuss Frau Blöchlinger, and Schindler believes she must be sick. “She looks like a corpse.” [A few weeks earlier, Karl had described her as looking like a skeleton.]

For business matters, Schindler will take the proposed contract for the publication of the Missa Solemnis to Anton Diabelli today; he hopes they will sign it right away. Beethoven does not give it to him yet.

Both the old woman, Barbara Holzmann, and the current maid are in a good mood today. Holzmann is very satisfied with the young maid, who understands everything that needs to be done very well.

Beethoven and Schindler wonder whether they will get a response soon from Cherubini. [Beethoven had written the composer in Paris over a month ago on March 15 to see if he could expedite the Missa Solemnis solicitation with the French Court.] If he knows publisher Maurice Schlesinger, he might be the one to respond. [In 1841, Cherubini told Schindler that he never received Beethoven’s letter.]

Schindler will go to check the apartment in Henzendorf later this afternoon; it only costs a florin to take a carriage there and back. But first, he needs to visit Diabelli with the contract for the Missa Solemnis. Beethoven has some hesitation, and gives Schindler the contract, but he doesn’t want to sign it just yet.

After Schindler leaves, Beethoven goes to a coffee house and reads the local newspapers. He makes notes of several apartments, carriage rentals to surrounding areas, and a widow who seeks employment as a housekeeper. He also makes a reminder memorandum to get a little savings book for Karl, with some small sums for incidentals.

In the late afternoon, Moritz Lichnowsky stops by, probably to drop off Grillparzer’s libretto to Melusine. Grillparzer still wants to visit in person, to discuss alterations. He also wants to write Dragomira for Beethoven. Lichnowsky agrees that Dragomira is a grand, tragic story. “Grillparzer is a very lovely and sincere man.”

Conversation Book 30, 36v-44v.

The emperor finally gives his approval of Beethoven accepting the membership in the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, which has been in process since January. Due to the many layers of bureaucracy, it will take nearly a month or more for Beethoven to get the formal approval in hand.