BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, January 20, 1824

Beethoven continues his shopping list from yesterday, using newspaper advertisements in today’s Intelligenzblatt:

+Authentic wax candles, 5 pounds, as one batch, for 3 fl; Fortuna Grocery Shop, Schwertgasse.
+Linen Shop, Graben, Schoberlechner, at the White Cat; the prices are specified.
+Boot polish.

After Beethoven returns home from the coffee house, he is met by Frau Schlemmer’s copyist, who has questions about the Mass. If he could work on his own, it would be no problem, but he has to accommodate the work of others as they assemble the piece. But his main question is whether an indicated repeat of a bar or phrase in the score should be written out in full, or whether a repeat sign should simply be used to match the original. [Beethoven most likely told him to write it out in full; he commonly used repeat signs for his own shorthand in scores but would not expect that to be acceptable in these subscription copies.]

Conversation Book 53, 20r-20v.

A concert is held today in Zurich for the benefit of Concertmaster von Blumenthal, played to an unusually large crowd. The first number of the second half of the very packed program is Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio, op.72. Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung Nr.25, June 17, 1824 at 402. The critic reports that “it was a very enjoyable evening.”

The Overture to Fidelio is here played live by the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Bernstein: