BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, July 25, 1822 (possibly the 24th)

Ferdinand Piringer, friend of Franz Xavier Gebauer, leader of the Concerts spirituels and sometimes conductor, writes a letter dated today to Beethoven, addressing him as “Domine Generalissime!” [It seems Piringer was part of the running joke between Beethoven and Haslinger and others at the Steiner publishing company, where they formed a musical army with Beethoven at its head.] “Victoria in Döbling – fresh troops are arriving!” Piringer writes to confirm that Meisl Brothers, bankers and wholesalers, have received instructions from C.F. Peters to pay a few hundred gulden over to Beethoven. “I hasten with Degen’s wings to tell Illustrissimo this happy news at once.” [Jakob Degen (1756-1846) was a Swiss-born clockmaker and aeronaut who experimented with flying contraptions in Vienna. Beethoven and his circle were interested in his experiments.]

“Today is the first sad day in the Viennese calendar, because yesterday was the last Italian opera!” [But the final performance of Corradino, the German language version of Mathilde, was on the 23rd, two days ago if he was writing on the 25th. Piringer must be confused either about this fact, or today’s date.]

Brandenburg Letter 1482; Albrecht Letters to Beethoven 297. The original is held by the Bonn Beethovenhaus as H.C. Bodmer Z Br 5/106, glued into in BBr 39. The funds Piringer references were sent to Meisl Brothers as payment for the four marches, three songs and a group of bagatelles for piano, which Peters believed he had bought from Beethoven. As we will see later, Beethoven is quite displeased that Meisl is making his business public knowledge.

According to Beethoven’s calendar held by the Berlin Staatsbibliothek, aut. 35, 87b p.7, Beethoven gives the kitchen maid hired on July 1 her notice of being fired. However, Beethoven may reconsider as this note is crossed out. She stays on for three more days.