BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, July 10, 1823 (approximately)

Beethoven writes another undated note to Schindler, sometime after July 3, Brandenburg Letter 1693, Anderson Letter 1247. “Yesterday’s incident, which as you can see from the reports to the police, is something that can only be handled by the official police authorities. The statements of an unnamed person in the report match entirely with your own. At this point, it is out of the hands of private individuals.”

This letter probably relates to Ludwig, Karl and Schindler’s agreement on July 7th to register a complaint with the police to have Therese’s lovers stop hanging around the house. Beethoven seems to have enclosed with it a finished report based on his draft of July 3, in which he made several allegations against Therese van Beethoven, with a witness statement (possibly from Dr.Saxinger, who as Therese’s brother-in-law would have good reason to remain anonymous.) Exactly what “yesterday’s incident” that Beethoven refers to was is unclear.

The original of this letter is held by the Philadelphia Historical Society of Pennsylvania. On it, Schindler has written the following explanatory note, which may or may not be accurate: “This concerns the scandalous performance of Johann van Beethoven’s wife during his illness in the summer of 1823. This woman not only visited her lover, an officer, in the barracks where he lived, she also went to walk with him to the most frequented places, and even received him in her own apartment. A part of my lettter to Beethoven of 3 July, which is attached, relates to this subject and was intended to serve as Exhibit A for the Master in his submission to the police. I managed to keep him from taking this step, as it would only increase the annoyance, without having improved this honor-deprived woman.”

If Schindler is to be believed, the matter ended up not in fact being submitted to the police. However, that claim is contradicted by Schindler himself in an annotation on another letter, so the facts remain murky. But if he stopped the matter from being sent to the police, that may be an indication that he was grossly exaggerating Therese’s misconduct, for if the police became involved, his wilder claims would surely be investigated and discredited.

Cappi & Diabelli publishes an advertisement for the Diabelli Variations op.120 in today’s Wiener Zeitung at 638. The lavish description (probably written by Carl Czerny) is pretty much the same as the original version published on June 16th. The corrected version should be available by this date, but there is no mention of that in the ad.

On the same page, J.Riedl’s art shop advertises Beethoven’s 10 Russian, Scottish and Tyrolean Themes for piano and flute, in 5 volumes [op.107,] as well as Beethoven’s Third Symphony (Eroica) arranged for piano four hands.