BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, May 22, 1823 (approximately)

Beethoven writes an undated letter to Schindler in Vienna not long after his move to Hetzendorf. The plan was to have Schindler stay at Beethoven’s apartment, but he has complained that no bedding was left behind for him; it all went to Hetzendorf. Beethoven responds that he expected Schindler to provide his own, but he will arrange for housekeeper Barbara Holzmann to get him some, and Beethoven will pay for them.

Wenzel Schlemmer has been engaged to make the copies of the Missa Solemnis for the subscribers, but Beethoven tells Schindler not to go to Schlemmer any more; Karl is going and knows the instructions.

Beethoven has rethought the subscription solicitation to Prince Esterházy for the Missa Solemnis, and would like Schindler to send him the current version. He thinks it would be more appropriate to have the letter come personally from Beethoven. [In the end, the letter is written by Karl in a form very close to Schindler’s standard solicitation letter.]

Exasperated with Schindler’s flowery and fawning language, he begs that Schindler write to him quickly, without salutation or signature. “Vita brevis, ars longa. Do not use figures of speech, but just say directly what is necessary.”

Brandenburg Letter 1651, Anderson Letter 1185. The original is held by the Berlin Staatsbibliothek (aut. 36,19).