BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, July 3, 1821

Beethoven writes from Unterd√∂bling to Berlin publisher Adolph Martin Schlesinger today, with the list of authors of the poems contained in the 25 Scottish Songs, op.108. Brandenburg Letter 1433. “Sally in our Alley” is just identified as an “old English Ballad.” The list, written in English, is by an unknown hand, with a note in German at the end by Beethoven, “Names of the Authors of the Scottish Songs.” The numbered list of authors matches Beethoven’s intended ordering, which was disregarded by Schlesinger when the set was printed.

The first page or pages of the letter are lost, but the date is known from the registration mark on the fourth page, which repeats the date of the letter, rather than the date of receipt. Schlesinger’s response followed on October 13.

Robert White sings “Sally in our Alley,” accompanied by Samuel Sanders, Yo-Yo Ma (his first recording) and Ani Kavafian. Lyrics by Henry Carey.