BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, August 27, 1823 (approximately)

Beethoven continues to jot down reminders and things that need to be purchased in Conversation Book 39.

  • At the Electoral Hessian embassy, ask about the title of the elector; at the Darmstadt [embassy] tell them that the money, if it is already there must not be taken until the copy is delivered. [Beethoven is here wanting to avoid a situation like that he found himself in with the Prussians, who had paid for the Missa Solemnis in advance and now were angry when the score had not arrived.]

Beethoven then notes down the addresses of a number of embassies: the Swedish, Hesse-Kassel, and Hessen-Darmstadt embassies. The Swedish embassy was probably related to the diploma of honorary membership that he had been granted in the Royal Swedish Music Academy; Beethoven may have wanted to confirm that now-fired unpaid assistant Anton Schindler had delivered the Emperor’s approval of his acceptance of that honor. He continues with his shopping list:

Little primer-candles.

  • Matches.
  • Niebuhr’s address.
  • Tooth powder.
  • Coffee cups.
  • Lemon squeezer.
  • Pen knife.

Beethoven then reads yesterday’s Vienna newspapers and makes note of a book of interest: a book on how to cure eye, ear and mucous illnesses, by Dr. Z.F. Zwinger. His eyes clearly are still bothering him.

Conversation Book 22v-24r.

Yet another participant makes an entry into the battles over the rights to Rossini’s operas in piano reduction. Carl Lichtl in Pesth announces that he has in stock all of the published music of Artaria & Co, J. Cappi, Cappi & Diabelli, Mechetti, T. Mollo, J. Riedel, Sauer & Leidesdorf, Steiner & Co and Th. Weigel, as well as all excellent older and new domestic and foreign music. They have reached an agreement with Sauer & Leidesdorf subscribing to their Complete Collection of Rossini’s operas, reduced for pianoforte by M.J. Leidesdorf, with subscription of 6 fl. W.W. per opera. The subscription ends at the end of September of this year, and then a much higher retail price will apply.