BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, April 28, 1824

It’s another very busy day as preparations for Beethoven’s Akademie concert continue, including a marathon copying session to correct the errors in the score and parts of the Ninth Symphony, while the tenor committed for the concert backs out, and Beethoven’s poor maid is treated like a pack animal, traipsing all over Vienna with scores and parts.

Copyist Peter Gläser and his assistant who did most of the work on the fair copy of the Ninth Symphony to be sent to London, this morning come to Beethoven’s apartment to incorporate his corrections into the score, and probably also into the parts that have been extracted. They will spend the entire morning at this work.

Meanwhile, Brother Johann comes to visit Ludwig. According to Franz Kirchhoffer, the British pound has fallen in value again, so the fair copy needs to be sent off and the 50 pounds sterling converted into florins as soon as possible. Johann is to bring him the score and the two letters [most likely a cover letter to Ferdinand Ries, which does not survive, and a receipt for the funds] Johann wants Beethoven to sign immediately, so he can be at Kirchhoffer’s by 10 o’clock; then that will be exchanged for the 2 bank shares, which Johann will immediately bring back. [As noted yesterday, the bank shares seem to have been given to Kirchhoffer as security for payment of part of the debt to S.A. Steiner, eventually to be repaid from the money from the London Philharmonic Society. Once the fair copy is received by Kirchhoffer, he can release the 50 pounds, convert them to florins, repay himself and then send the rest, along with the bank shares, to Beethoven.] Ludwig signs in haste, dating the receipt with yesterday’s date rather than today’s.

Gläser and his assistant wrap up the work on the fair copy, and Johann takes Ludwig’s maid to carry the symphony with him. Ludwig has written the dedication as being to the Philharmonic Society that had commissioned it. But was it expected to be dedicated to Ries? Johann says it was only an inquiry by Kirchhoffer on behalf of Ries, and in any event, that cannot be. Ries is leaving London soon, and Johann told Kirchhoffer it would be difficult to do that with this work, and he didn’t say anything more about it, and he doesn’t seem to be counting on the dedication.

Johann departs with the maid and the precious score to deliver it to Kirchhoffer so it can make its way to England.

Later that morning, unpaid assistant Anton Schindler shows up, finding Ludwig in a cranky mood. Schindler tells him that he has delivered the choral parts for the Akademie concert to Ignaz Dirzka, the choral director at the Kärntnertor Theater. He temporarily gave Dirzka the ones that were going to go to the Musikverein. This afternoon he can have everything [presumably meaning the vocal score, which Gläser and his assistant may be working on still.]

Unfortunately, the Minister of Police will not allow the ticket prices to be increased, as Duport had suggested. He pokes his nose into all kinds of things that are not his business.

Schindler has made an appointment for Beethoven to meet with the landlord [Johann Hörr, a tailor] of the house in Penzing that he is interested in, after midday, and then Beethoven can talk to him directly.

Schindler is now going to see Bäuerle, the editor of the Wiener Theater-Zeitung, about the publication of the Petition. He will take along 15 of each of the choral parts. Beethoven suggests that he take a carriage [perhaps so he can take them all.] Schindler asks, why they should pay for a carriage? He and the maid can carry it there, so he gets everything today. Beethoven is angry with Bäuerle for publishing the Petition and causing trouble, since it appears to others (such as Lichnowsky) that Beethoven himself was behind the publication. Schindler finds it really low, but Bäuerle has already been guilty of several dirty dealings of that sort. Beethoven asks when he will go, and Schindler repeats that he will go with the maid this afternoon.

It’s time for mid-day dinner with Karl, and they’re having vegetable soup with dumplings. The housekeeper could also make an herbal vegetable soup with noodles or some such for them. The maid is to go home every day, because her fiancé (whom she is to marry in a few weeks) will be taking over the proprietorship of a house she bought; the previous proprietor has now moved out.

Schindler returns later in the afternoon saying that Kärntnertor Theater manager Louis Antoine Duport is very disconcerted by the letter. [Schindler probably means the Petition to Beethoven.] He wants to make advantageous use of it for Beethoven, right away. He thus wants Beethoven to write a letter, but not directed to him. Beethoven should make no mention of the police [probably their delays in approving the concert] and no personal remarks against Duport [who similarly has been difficult]. Schindler suggests that Beethoven can “address it to me.” It only need be a few lines, which will take only two minutes. [The proposed letter is probably disavowing any knowledge on Beethoven’s part that the Petition was to be published.] Duport gives his assurance that everything will be settled this afternoon. [Beethoven does not write the requested letter immediately, but works on it either this evening or tomorrow morning.]

The second point is that Schindler went to see Bäuerle. Apparently Count Moritz Lichnowsky went there himself and “took him to task about this stupid story, whereupon he assured him that he did not get the Petition from you.” So Bäuerle requests that Beethoven answer with righteous indignation about all this nonsense, and to add that Beethoven did not mind that the Petition was made known publicly. There was nothing in the Petition itself to indicate it should not be made public, and it is scandalous if men make themselves important in this matter.

Schindler also stopped at the Theater an der Wien and spoke to the business manager, Vogel, concerning the tenor, Franz Jäger, to whom he also spoke. There Schindler found out that Lichnowsky told Count Palffy, the owner of the an der Wien, that Schindler was to blame because the difficulties at the Theater an der Wien were not overcome. Schindler regrets that people who don’t know the whole story believe his gossip, and make Schindler enemies.

In any event, Jäger is contractually committed to the Theater an der Wien. He cannot sing at the Kärntnertor and he begs Beethoven’s pardon. He does not want to become enemies with the tenors there, plus he still has an open feud going on with Duport. Ignaz Schuppanzigh suggests Joseph Barth, who sings in the Imperial Hofkapelle as a replacement tenor. Of course, he’s no Jäger, but he’s still the best alternative. Schindler will inform Barth, if Beethoven wants to use him instead. Beethoven asks, what if he turns me down? Schindler says he expects Barth will not refuse it. Even though he was not the first choice? Schindler thinks that is no slight to him.

There are still changes being made to the conducting score of the Ninth Symphony [the first fair copy made by Paul Maschek and his assistant, for those keeping track] so it can’t be given to conductor Michael Umlauf just yet. But can’t he have the score of the Mass today, Schindler asks. The trombones still need to be copied, so perhaps he can get it tomorrow. [As a practice, the trombone parts in Beethoven’s works seem to have always been copied last and been treated almost as an afterthought.] Beethoven asks about the choral parts, and Schindler says that they have been distributed as necessary.

Beethoven had spoken to Schindler about the proposed summer apartment earlier, but he did not understand rightly. The cost is 600 florins. Schindler thinks he will be comfortable and undisturbed there.

Schindler is leaving to see Duport again. He has only a little time, and in one hour will bring back Duport’s Declaration in writing, assuming it’s ready and doesn’t have to wait.

Before Schindler leaves, copyist Peter Gläser tells Beethoven he’s finished. He’s not feeling well and would like to go home. Schindler suggests he should take whatever Beethoven can spare of the Consecration of the House Overture for copying. Gläser will do that at home. He still has to supplement the score today, and that should be back here by tomorrow morning. Schindler and Gläser both depart.

Schindler returns after a while with the requested Declaration regarding the concert from Duport, then heads back out again, as he is going to meet with His Highness, the Tailor now. He’ll try to give Beethoven a report on the apartment before mid-day dinner tomorrow.

Conversation Book 63, 38v-46r.

Beethoven writes a short undated letter, probably to Theater-Zeitung editor Adolf Bäuerle, sometime around now. He says that in a few days he would like Bäuerle to repay his debt by publishing an announcement of his upcoming Akademie concert in his esteemed paper. [Beethoven likely included a sample advertisement for Bäuerle to print. The reference to a debt may relate to the trouble Bäuerle caused by publishing the Petition earlier this month.]

Brandenburg Letter 1824; Anderson Letter 1295. The original is lost, and the text is known from a copy made by Schindler held in the Berlin Staatsbibliothek (aut.35,29). The identity of the addressee is supplied by the always unreliable Schindler. However, given that the advertisement made its way to several newspapers, he probably is being truthful in this case. If the letter is indeed directed to Bäuerle, the requested publication was made in the Theater-Zeitung on May 1, so it has to have been sent at least a few days earlier, and may have been given to Schindler to take along when he was meeting Bäuerle today. It is likely that Beethoven writes a similar letter to Johann Schickh, editor of the Wiener Zeitschrift. Beethoven’s advertisement appears there on May 4, while a similar one appears in the Österreichischen Beobachter on May 7th, so editor Joseph Pilat likely probably received the same request.

Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony (performed complete) today opens the concert given in Berlin by Concertmaster Möser, which “in terms of content and execution was one of the most successful of the entire winter.” Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung Nr.20, May 13, 1824.

Today’s Vienna Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, Nr.25 at page 101 includes a lithographic reproduction of the gold medal given to Beethoven by King Louis XVIII of France.

Gold Medal awarded to Beethoven by King Louis XVIII of France, reproduced by the Lithographic Institute of Vienna.