BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, March 25, 1824

As noted previously, today is the Feast of the Annunciation and the copyists have the day off. Unpaid assistant Anton Schindler asks that Beethoven proofread some parts this afternoon, so Schindler can deliver them to copyist Peter Gläser to be duplicated. Schindler asks if Beethoven can give him the Finale of the Ninth to take with him. [Beethoven has likely already given it to Maschek for copying.] The string parts for the Kyrie and the Agnus Dei are all collated there, but three bass and cello parts are missing from the Agnus Dei. Schindler has already arranged for the alto part from the Missa Solemnis movements to be given to Caroline Unger to learn. Schindler says he will take the bass parts from the Agnus Dei with him now, and when Beethoven has time he needs to proofread the first and second violin parts from the Credo yet today. “c’est-c que je vous prie” [I ask you this,] Schindler writes in French.

Beethoven starts to instruct Schindler as to how to handle Gläser and Maschek, and Schindler says he understands how to behave with both. One must take them as they are. Schindler asks Beethoven to write a note to Louis Antoine Duport, the manager of the Kärntnertor Theater and the Redoutensaal, asking for permission to use the larger Redoutensaal for the Akademie concert. At the same time, a letter needs to be written to the High Police Director Aloys von Persa making the same request. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Count Dietrichstein told Schindler directly that Duport’s approval is needed, which was obvious. Schindler doesn’t know what kind of request Dietrichstein actually submitted, which resulted in the denial of the use of the Redoutensaal on the evening of April 7th. But nothing has been spoiled yet. Schindler says he had told Johann two weeks ago the first thing to do was to reserve the hall, but here we are. The time is now really too short for the alternate date of April 8th.

Karl notes that Schindler gave soprano Henriette Sontag’s part for the Missa Solemnis to one of the Josephstadt orchestra musicians to be delivered to her, but Schindler went along with him. Then Schindler wrote her a note saying he didn’t have time to come himself, wanting not to come upstairs to her apartment, but then he dropped off the note and she saw him from her window anyway. Schindler says he really didn’t have time, plus there was some kind of social gathering going on there.

Violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh briefly joins the group, perhaps to see how the copying work is going, and comments that Schindler is a strange conductor; he beats time poorly.

Schindler then turns to one of his favorite topics, theatrical gossip. The Munich Court Actor Ferdinand Esslair arrived in Vienna on March 15, and between March 17 and April 10 gave a series of performances at the Theater an der Wien, which was an alternative possible location for Beethoven’s Akademie concert. He gets 40 ducats per performance, and all of the net proceeds after the 12th performance. Beethoven asks whether that is a profitable arrangement on all side, and Schindler tells him that the house is always full.

Conversation Book 60, 22v-26r.