BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, December 13, 1821 (approximately)

Beethoven’s agent in Frankfurt, Franz Brentano, apparently writes to Beethoven about this time on two topics: 1) when the Missa Solemnis score will be sent and Brentano will be repaid the money he long ago advanced to Beethoven on the sale of the Mass to Simrock, and 2) his anger at Beethoven for dedicating the sonata op.109 to Brentano’s daughter Maximiliane without consulting him first. If Brentano’s wife, Antonie, were indeed the Immortal Beloved as some scholars have suggested, Brentano may have already had reason to be suspicious of Beethoven’s motives. In any event, a protective father would be sensitive about such public dedications being made without his knowledge.

The existence of this letter is entirely conjecture, based on Beethoven’s letter of December 6 forwarding the dedication to Maxie, and Beethoven’s defensive letter of December 20 that appears to be responding to the protective father and creditor’s unhappiness on both of these counts.

Franz Brentano and daughters Maximiliane and Josepha, 1809, pastel on paper by Nikolaus Lauer, Beethovenhaus, Bonn.