BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, December 2, 1823

Beethoven writes a reminder to himself to buy ordinary paper.

Nephew Karl comes by after his Tuesday classes. The laundry isn’t ready yet. The servant is running late, since she bought a Nierenbraten [a part of a loin of beef or veal near the kidney] and that takes two and a half hours to cook. There are two pieces of meat, a leg and the loin roast.

Beethoven makes a note of part of a text of the Gloria, “C gloria dei Patris” in Allegretto maestoso e moderato. [He may still be thinking about writing another Mass, this time for the Emperor.]

Beethoven adds to his shopping list the following:
+Roasting spit.
+Hen coop.
Beer, ordinary.

He also writes a reminder to send the Missa Solemnis to Frankfurt. [This probably relates to the copy for the Frankfurt Cäcilia-Verein.]

Back to the housekeeper applicants. One would like a trial period of one day, and the other would like 2 weeks so that she can get more acquainted with everything. Karl thinks that a one day trial is sufficient, or none. “Too many woman have applied; if we gave each one a trial period of 2 weeks, then months would be lost. I think that you could get involved for 2-3 days, to see how she makes roast, venison, fish, etc. but not more.”

One would like to start Saturday December 6, but if she is afraid she will find the current woman still here and then she will have nothing. That’s why she wants the commitment for a two week trial. But if the woman leaves on Friday, she can make her sample on Saturday morning. Ludwig asks what she will make for the sample. Karl says simply “Everything.”

Brother Johann has 4,000 florins at his place that must be paid. He still owes money on the estate and is making installment payments. The receipts therefore have to be carefully done, and it’s taking a long time.

Karl will not be leaving [presumably tomorrow] until 9 o’clock, since he has a tutoring session, then Italian class from 12 to 1.

Conversation Book 47, 22v-26r.

Roughly about now, Beethoven begins using “Pocket Sketchbook” Autograph 8, Bundle 2, presently held in Krakow at the Biblioteka Jagiellońska. When Beethoven used it, it was not actually a stitched-together sketchbook, but rather a bundle of gatherings and single leaves that somehow remained in order. Presently bound together with Bundle 1, the second is the larger bundle, currently consisting of 37 leaves. An additional 11 leaves have been removed in seven different locations. Douglas Johnson suggests that some or perhaps even all of them may have been cut out before they were used, since where there are pages missing, the sketches are often nevertheless uninterrupted or refer to the next page. The sketchbook may therefore be nearly in the same condition as when Beethoven used it.

The sketchbook is entirely devoted to the latter part of the Finale of the Ninth Symphony, specifically from “Seid umschlungen” onwards. Beethoven will make a remark in Conversation Book 48 on December 8th that likely refers to that section, so this sketch work almost certainly comes very close to that date.