BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, December 4, 1822

A smitten Katharina Sigl writes again to her dear friend Anton Schindler, addressed to him at the Theater an der Joseph-Stadt, expressing her thanks for him giving her a letter of introduction to Beethoven in mid-October. “You were the good angel that stopped the Divine Heavenly Bethoven [sic], to spend the happiest and strangest hour of my whole life together with me!”

Katharina Sigl-Vespermann, portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler

“I am also very proud to know such a Master, and how I am envied by his worshipers here. Had I not had the good fortune to get to know my dear Divine Beethoven, I would have felt truly unhappy. And now, the honor to get an aria from him, I am three times as proud. And I know I owe it all to you.”

“Dear friend, there are almost no poets here that I would dare to send Bethoven such a text. Who might you know in Vienna, who could write a text for an operatic work by Bethoven? You would make me your eternal debtor. I trust in you. A symphony by Bethoven was recently performed here in concert, which was extremely pleasing, and I must say I cried with joy.”

“Dear Herr von Schindler, how much I regret that I did not have the pleasure of seeing you in Vienna. Farewell, and write to me very soon; recommend me to Herr von Bethoven most sincerely–I dare not write to him myself. I remain with all respect,

Your friend,

Catherine Sigl.”

Brandenburg letter 1514. The original is held by the Beethovenhaus as BH 213, Schindler estate, and can be seen here:

Cappi & Diabelli advertises in today’s Wiener Zeitung an interesting amalgamation of three Viennese obsessions of 1822: Selections from Zelmira by Rossini, and Der Freischütz by Weber, as arranged for guitar by Italian virtuoso Luigi Legnani, who recently completed a successful concert series in the city. These works are Legnani’s respective op.21 and op.22. Cappi & Diabelli also repeats the advertisement from a few days ago of Vincenz Schuster’s arrangements of two movements of Beethoven string quartets for guitar duet. This same ad is repeated again on Friday, December 6 in the Wiener Zeitung at page 1124.