BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, April 9, 1823 (approximately)

About today, Louis Schlösser has his third meeting with Beethoven, this time by accident. From Thayer/Forbes at 851, Schlösser relates the tale: “Only a few weeks later we met in the Kärthnerstrasse. His keen eye discovered me first; and coming up to me he at once seized me by the arm with the words: ‘If you can spare the time then accompany me to the Paternostergassel, to Steiner’s (the music shop of Steiner and Haslinger) whom I want to give a good set-down. These publishers always have all sorts of excuses handy. When it comes to bringing out my compositions they would like to put it off until I am dead, because they think they would do a better business with them; but I shall know how to meet them.’ (literally).”

Beethoven in a Beaver Hat

“At this encounter I had been so surprised at the very onset to find Beethoven, usually so careless about his attire, dressed with unwonted elegance, wearing a blue frock coat with yellow buttons, impeccable white knee-breeches, a vest to match, and a new beaver hat, as usual on the back of his head. I left him at the entrance to the shop, which was crowded with people while, thanking me for escorting him, he entered Mr. Steiner’s office with the latter.”

“I could not resist telling my teacher Mayseder, who lived in the neighborhood, about the striking metamorphosis of Beethoven’s elegant appearance, an event which, however, caused Mayseder far less surprise than it had caused me, for he said with a smile: ‘This is not the first time that his friends have taken his old clothes during the night and laid down new ones in their place; he has not the least suspicion of what has happened and puts on whatever lies before him with entire unconcern.'”