BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, September 9, 1823

Nephew Karl’s impoverished friend Joseph Niemetz likes Baden extraordinarily well; it is the first romantic region he has ever seen. But he also sees it is very expensive to stay there. Mid-day dinner includes small donuts filled with mincemeat. They are bothered by swarms of flies, and housekeeper Barbara Holzmann makes an impromptu flyswatter out of a piece of leather to deal with them.

At Karl’s insistence, all three of them go to the afternoon concert, using Uncle Ludwig’s permanent pass at the theater. Karl is determined that they arrive on time to hear the Overture to Prometheus, op.43. The boys would prefer to stand, but Karl asks that his uncle stay with them.

The Overture is here performed live by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor:

Apparently Ludwig and Karl get into an argument that is not written down in the conversation book, and thus was probably quite loud. Later in the day, Karl writes, “I know quite well why you started the whole thing today.” He does not elaborate, but we can hazard a guess that Uncle Ludwig complained about having another mouth to feed. Niemetz returns to Vienna on the 6 p.m. coach.

Conversation Book 41, 34v-36r. This ends Conversation Book 41.