BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, July 2, 1822

Berlin publisher Adolph M. Schlesinger writes today to Beethoven, following up on three letters received from Beethoven, dated April 9, May 1, and May 29. Schlesinger apologizes that first he was at the Leipzig Fair, where he became ill and was unable to return to Berlin for several weeks. In the interim, things piled up, hence the delay in responding.

Insofar as the Missa Solemnis is concerned, they have a deal, and he asks that Beethoven send the score along with the two songs promised in the letters of April 9 and May 1 as soon as possible. He may then draw on 650 reichsthalers at 14 days’ sight. While there are several music dealers in Vienna who owe him money that Schlesinger could call upon to pay Beethoven, he complains that they neither respect property rights nor pay their accounts except with difficulty. The book dealers in general are more respectable.

Per Beethoven’s request, Schlesinger has sent a copy of the Sonata #30, op.109, to Dr. Wilhelm Christian Müller in Bremen as a gift. [Müller had visited Beethoven two summers ago, shortly after he moved back to Vienna, and Müller and with his daughter Elise were warmly greeted.] Schlesinger says that the next two sonatas, #31, op. 110, and #32, op.111, will be engraved in Paris and will be truly superlative when they appear. [Schlesinger’s son Mortiz ‘Maurice’ Schlesinger ran the business’ Paris operations.] He has asked Ignaz Moscheles, friend and student of Beethoven, to proofread one of them. He asks for the dedication of the op.110 Sonata, which Beethoven had coyly hinted at in his letter of May 1. Schlesinger has apparently been advised in a now-lost letter that Archduke Rudolph is to be the dedicatee of op.111.

Beethoven had mentioned some quartets, and Schlesinger asks about the progress on them. [As was the case with so many projects during this time period, Beethoven had ideas but had as of yet committed little to paper.] His son Maurice sends his sincere greetings.

[Brandenburg Letter 1474, Albrecht Letters to Beethoven 292. This is apparently the earliest letter of Schlesinger to survive, no doubt thanks to the fact Johann is now handling Beethoven’s business affairs and keeping copies of important correspondence. The original today is held by with Vienna Stadt- und Landesbibliothek, I.N. 54529. Schlesinger was of course oblivious to Beethoven’s machinations with Nikolaus Simrock and C.F. Peters, to both of whom Beethoven had also sold the Mass.]