BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, March 30, 1824

Still angry over Duport giving him the small Redoutensaal for the Akademie concert rather than the large one, Beethoven likely stops proofreading parts since he no longer wants to give an Akademie at all. The appointment for 2 p.m. with the copyist Paul Maschek was probably canceled yesterday by Schindler, so Beethoven would send the maid to pick up the fair copy of the Finale to the Ninth Symphony and the parts from Maschek. He may instruct her to tell Maschek the Akademie is off, since Maschek disappears from the conversation books after this.

Beethoven also appears to draft three undated letters today to the principal planners of the Akademie concert, violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh, unpaid assistant Anton Schindler, and supporter Count Moritz Lichnowsky. The tenor of all three letters is the same: Don’t come to see me any more, there will be no Akademie. To Lichnowsky’s letter, Beethoven adds, “I despise falsehoods,” possibly blaming him for the Petition to hold an Akademie that set this all in motion.

Brandenburg Letters 1801, Anderson Letter 1279 (Berlin Staatsbibliothek aut.36,78); 1802, Anderson 1282 (Berlin Staatsbibliothek aut.36,63); and 1803, Anderson 1283 (Bonn Beethovenhaus NE 67). None of these letters bear postal markings, and were probably never sent. Perhaps the exercise of writing them got the rage out of Beethoven’s system for the most part, and he decided it would not be prudent to burn these bridges, even if the Akademie is called off.

The letter to Lichnowsky can be seen here:

Beethoven turns his attention to other matters that have been neglected while he has been busy proofreading. Ludwig and Nephew Karl go to St. Rochus Church, about ten minutes away from Beethoven’s apartment, to get the necessary note from the parish priest that Beethoven was still alive, so he can collect his annuity from the cashiers of Prince Lobkowitz and Prince Kinsky. They have to wait because the priest is hearing confessions right now.

While they wait, Beethoven contemplates making a tour of Europe, as Caroline Unger and numerous others had suggested. He makes a note to write to Archduke Rudolph to obtain permission to travel.

Karl, getting impatient to go, tells his uncle it will still be another fifteen minutes. Ludwig doesn’t need his presence, since the priest will know him immediately. Ludwig would still like Karl to be there to assist. Karl says he can, if his uncle can wait until Thursday, April 1. Then his Collegium is not until 9, so he could come before that. The document does not get signed today, and Ludwig and Karl go their separate ways.

Reading yesterday’s newspaper in a coffeehouse, Beethoven makes a note that the subscription will be closing tomorrow for the copperplate edition of Schiller’s collected works at 2 florins C.M. that he wanted to get for Karl at Jacob Mayer’s bookshop. He also makes a note of Mocha coffee at 2 florins 48 kreutzers C.M.

Conversation Book 60, 44r-44v.