BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, July 9, 1822

Friedrich Rochlitz, now in Baden, writes to music publisher Christoph Härtel in Leipzig a very long letter, telling him of his three meetings with Beethoven: the upsetting meeting at the Steiner firm last month, and his more gratifying meetings with Beethoven and Schubert over dinner and again by happenstance in Baden. Rochlitz closes his letter to Härtel with the following thoughts about meeting Beethoven in Baden bei Wien and sending him on his way at about six o’clock:

“Nevertheless, when I had thrust our good Beethoven into the carriage and was walking up and down in this charming valley, I once more felt very serious. This time my reflections did not turn only, as on the first time I met him, on the grievous complaint with which fate had afflicted Beethoven. After all, I realized that he also had his hours of great gladness and perfect happiness. In other hours, also good ones, he lived in his art or in his plans and dreams regarding it; the evil hours, however, are thrown into the bargain and he takes them, pours out his soul with regard to them and then forgets them. After all, who may claim to be any better off?”

Sonneck, Beethoven: Impressions of Contemporaries (New York: Schirmer 1926) at pp. 128-129.