BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, February 11, 1823

Brother Johann writes to Artaria today about the kerfuffle over his offer last December of certain works to Antonio Pacini in Paris. He asks that Artaria tell Pacini that he cannot accept the 500 francs offered, nor send the two desired works (the Trio WoO 87 and the Consecration of the House Overture, op.124), until word is received from London. [Ludwig had himself offered those works there.] Johann says they have decided that they will sell no work unless it can be sold simultaneously in all three empires, in Vienna for Austria and Germany, in London for all of England, and in Paris for all of France. Due to that new arrangement, he quoted Pacini a low price, which will be offered to all. He signs himself “Johann v. Beethoven, Estate Owner.” Brandenburg Letter 1566, Albrecht Letter 307. The original is held in the Bonn Beethovenhaus, H.C. Bodmer Collection Br 292.

Beethoven writes today to Maurice Schlesinger forwarding a corrected proof of Piano Sonata op.111, and offers Schlesinger the Consecration of the House Overture op.124 and various other works, undercutting Johann’s offer of the same overture to Pacini in Paris. [This offer to Schlesinger, also located in Paris, suggests that Johann was making these offers without Ludwig’s knowledge.]

Beethoven also writes to Joseph Uibel, tailor Joseph Lind’s attorney. He insists that it was unnecessary for Lind to take legal action against him; he never denied that he owed the money. While Johann considered Lind’s bill excessive, Ludwig had asked Lind to send his agent to Johann but he never showed up. Now that Lind wants to take revenge on Beethoven, “I who am innocent.” He says he will, as he promised Lind directly yesterday, settle the bill tomorrow without delay. Brandenburg 1569, Anderson 1128. The original is held by the Bonn Beethovenhaus, H.C. Bodmer Collection BBr 76.

Beethoven goes to visit copyist Werner Rampl at the library of the Kärntertor Theater. Rampl says that even though today is Mardi Gras, his wife is ill and she will be taking medicine instead of eating pastries. Johann had come to try to get him to copy the Missa Solemnis at 20 kreuzers per sheet. Rampl says no copyist could make a living at that rate; there is a lot of work involved. It is also work that cannot be hurried, or it will be copied full of errors. “It is a very large work, for which one should be paid very well; a beautiful work earns a beautiful life in Heaven.”

Rampl says Wenzel Schlemmer owed him half a year for some work, but he got paid after he threatened Schlemmer. He was happy to serve Schlemmer in copying, but Schlemmer is always short of money, and in any event there is no copying to be done during the summer. [Presumably because everyone flees the city for the countryside, as Beethoven does.]

He also notes that tomorrow Beethoven’s Egmont Overture will be performed at the Noblewomen’s Akademie. It will also feature a new chorus by Conradin Kreutzer. Joseph Michael Böhm will also play a violin solo. The concert is sold out.

Later in the afternoon, Schindler comes by and suggests that Beethoven would be best off getting the best quality covering for the reed mat on the floors. He suggests green would be a suitable color. They discuss whether a form subscription solicitation should also be sent to the Cäcilia-Verein in Frankfurt, or an individualized one asking for 50 ducats for the work. They apparently agree to send an individualized one, which Schindler probably writes on the spot. Brandenburg Letter 1569a. The original is not however known to survive.

Schindler suggests that the Overture to Consecration of the House should be sent directly to the Philharmonic Society in London, rather than sending it through a third party. That will be more meaningful to the Londoners.

Frater Alexius Weber from Pressburg had asked to borrow a score of the Mass in C, op.86. Schindler suggests that Beethoven should be careful who he lends it to. It would be simpler for Weber to borrow the score from Prince Ersterházy in Eisenstadt, since he has a proofread copy of the work, which has already been performed there.

Housekeeper Barbara Holzmann has injured herself, and Schindler is to arrange for a skilled wound doctor to attend her tomorrow.

Conversation Book 23, 11v-16r.

Carl von Odelga, ambassador from Tuscany and Nassau, today writes to Grand Duke Ferdinand III of Tuscany to recommend that he subscribe to the Missa Solemnis. Schindler had mentioned on January 20 that he would enlist Odelga’s assistance, though as of yet no formal solicitation has gone out to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Brandenburg Letter 1567. The original of this letter is today lost.