BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, December 4, 1823

Nephew Karl comes by Uncle Ludwig’s apartment after classes this afternoon to interview the next housekeeper applicant. This one can write. She has several testimonials, but doesn’t have them with her. She used to work for a wholesaler/banker. She’s willing to do a trial.

Karl says that he will go to see Schuppanzigh for his uncle at 5 p.m. But Ludwig decides to come along himself.

Uncle Ludwig is thinking of writing some passion music that focuses on Judas Iscariot.

They go to the Spenglergasse, where Schuppanzigh was supposed to be, but he’s not there. Instead he’s at Wirschmidt’s coffeehouse. They find him there. Karl takes dictation from Schuppanzigh, who seems to be busy with a meal. Schuppanzigh likes the food there and suggests Beethoven should eat there sometime. He will go to see Henning tomorrow to find out more about the proposed use of Consecration of the House, which will need to be coordinated with Brother Johann, who owns the rights.

Schuppanzigh, like Schindler, urges Beethoven to write to Archduke Rudolph on his behalf for a position as a violinist in the Kärntnertor Theater orchestra. The letter must be written tomorrow, or it will be too late since a decision will be made in a few days. The position carries a yearly income of 2,000 florins guaranteed. [In the right margin of 38r, Conversation Book 47, Beethoven writes out the “Freude” theme from the Ninth symphony, which is partially covered by Karl’s writing.]

Beethoven, thinking about the orchestra for his planned Akademie concert asks Schuppanzigh whether Joseph Linke, the cellist for the Schuppanzigh Quartet, would be suitable to lead the cello section [presumably a point of concern for the recitatives in the Finale to the Ninth, which Beethoven is working on. This may have prompted Beethoven to write the Freude theme into the book for Schuppanzigh’s review.] Schuppanzigh rather dodges the question, saying Linke is “the best violoncellist in Europe in quartets.

Franz Hüther, manager of the Anton Pennauer music shop or his business partner, Max Joseph Leidesdorf, would like to see Beethoven Sunday. [Sauer & Leidesdorf was right across the street from Wirschmidt’s, so Leidesdorf may have told Karl this.]

Karl and Uncle Ludwig return to the apartment, where a servant of Count Moritz Lichnowsky is waiting. He says the Count “certainly wishes to have the pleasure” of seeing them tomorrow. [Beethoven is interviewing housekeepers tomorrow, so he appears to decline. Lichnowsky does not appear in the entries for tomorrow in any event.]

Conversation Book 47, 35v-38v.