BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, February 3, 1824

The “old woman” Barbara Holzmann is supposed to start working for Beethoven today, but Karl objects that she is too old. Ludwig asks how old she is, and Karl says 70. [She is actually 68, but probably close enough to 70 for a seventeen-year-old young man.] She needs assistance, and would like to have her granddaughter help her in the kitchen. She nevertheless resumes housekeeper duties, at least on a temporary basis, for Beethoven.

Ludwig complains of eye problems again and asks Karl to take a look. Karl objects that “I am no eye doctor.” Ludwig thinks he should probably visit one before the problem gets worse, but Karl cannot remember who he went to last winter.

The discussion turns to the use of the romantic technique of portamento by the Schuppanzigh Quartet. Karl wonders whether sliding from a higher tone to a lower one without lifting the finger is allowed.

The advertisement for a housekeeper will be in tomorrow’s newspaper. Another woman was interested, but after talking to the maid and getting answers to her questions, she appears to have changed her mind.

The building superintendent will be coming tomorrow to check on the smoky stove again, about 1 p.m.

For supper there is a capon.

Karl mentions that he saw Count Moritz Lichnowsky at Czerny’s today. Lichnowsky looks worn out.

Conversation Book 55, 1r-2r. Beethoven appears to have no visitors over the next few days. At least, there are no entries in Conversation Book 55 that reflect such visits.

Wiener Zeitschrift at 128 announces the upcoming fourth subscription series of five concerts by the Schuppanzigh Quartet. Subscription tickets are available for 10 florins W.W. and Steiner & Co. as well as Sauer & Leidesdorf. Tickets for individual concerts may be had at 3 florins W.W. each.

“This undertaking is all the more deserving and has a greater claim to the thanks of all true appreciators of music, for nowadays admirers of art rarely may enjoy such a pleasure as to have presented to them works that make up the core and the essence of real German musical art. This undertaking is doubly meritorious through the presentation and execution of the musicians, at the head of which is Mr. Schuppanzigh, who has completely penetrated into the spirit of these works, and can evoke the smallest shades of joke and happy mood, the most subtle hints, and the slightest sounds of feeling and coziness, and thus provide festive enjoyment for the listeners, who always gather in large numbers and form a truly elect circle.”