BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, March 26, 1822 (approximately):

According to Anton Schindler, who is not the most reliable of biographers, the rotund and elegantly-dressed Rossini makes a second unannounced visit to Beethoven’s quarters with Domenico Artaria, but they are again turned away with apologies and excuses. Schindler says, “Beethoven did not want to receive Rossini.”

Giuseppe Carpani

Undeterred, Rossini and Salieri turn to poet Giuseppe Carpani, whom Salieri describesd yesterday as “persona grata” with Beethoven. Some 15 years earlier, Beethoven had written two versions of the arietta “In questa tomba oscura” [In this dark tomb] on Carpani’s poetry, today catalogued as WoO 134, and they had remained friendly. Carpani meets with them and is agreeable to attempt to get Beethoven to see Rossini. Carpani suggests that rather than show up unannounced as Artaria had been trying without success, he should pave the way with a letter of introduction, sending along the scores of some of Rossini’s more serious operas, such as Mosé, Tancredi, and Otello. Carpani believes this may be the best way to obtain an audience, but warns Rossini that Beethoven is difficult and misanthropic, so it may not work. Carpani immediately forwards the scores and the request, and Rossini waits impatiently for the results.