BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, January 23, 1823

Beethoven makes himself a to-do list of letters to Schindler, Bach and Blöchlinger. He also needs to buy wax candles, sugar, coffee and shaving soap.

Today, Schindler and Beethoven spend the day writing to the embassies in Vienna of various crowned heads and nobles of Europe, soliciting subscriptions to the Missa Solemnis. Not all of these letters written by Schindler today survive, but they are known to have sent such letters to the Elector of Hesse, the Grand Dukes of Baden, Weimar and Mecklenburg, and the Kings of Bavaria, Saxony, Prussia and Württemberg (Brandenburg Letters 1525-1532).

The form text for most of them read essentially as follows in this sample letter to the ambassador for the Elector of Hesse:

“The undersigned wishes to send his latest work, which he considers to be the most successful of his intellectual products, to the Supreme Court of Cassel.

“The same is a large solenne Mass for 4 solo voices, with choirs and full large orchestras, in score, which can also be used as a large oratorio.

“He therefore asks that the High Embassy of His Royal Highness the Elector of Hesse-Cassel deign to obtain the necessary permission for this from your Highest Court.

“However, since the copy of the score requires considerable expense, the person who wrote it does not think it is too high if a fee of 50 ducats in gold is set for it.

“Incidentally, the work mentioned will not be published in print publicly beforehand.

“Vienna, January 23rd. 1823

“Ludwig van Beethoven”

The letters are in Schindler’s hand, with Beethoven’s signature. The letter for the Elector of Hesse quoted above (Brandenburg Letter 1525) is held by the Berlin Staatsbibliothek as aut. 35,20.

In the afternoon, Franz Ludwig Carbon, mayor and landowner in Mödling where Beethoven often spent his summers, comes to visit. He writes with a red pencil, possibly the one Beethoven typically used for correcting scores. His wife is being treated by Dr. Ludwig von Türkheim, a Viennese physician, and Carbon believe he may need to sell his property in Mödling and move to Vienna. He feels bad about abandoning his people in Mödling, and fears there will be discontent and harm.

Conversation book 19, 19r-20r; Conversation book 20 4v-6r.

S.A. Steiner & Co. advertises in today’s Wiener Zeitung at 72 the newly-published Piano Sonata #4 in E minor by Carl Maria von Weber, op.70. This sonata would end up being Weber’s final work for solo piano.

Weber’s rarely-heard Sonata #4 is played here by Kenny Broberg: