BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, January 10, 1821

The Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung of today (Nr. 3, columns 20-21) reports that Beethoven is recovering from rheumatic fever.

“Herr von Beethofen [sic] was sick due to rheumatic fever. All friends of true music and all worshipers of his muse feared for him. But he is already on the mend, and working hard. Also ailing is veteran imperial Kapellmeister Anton Salieri [of Amadeus fame, and Beethoven’s former teacher for Italian vocal writing]. May all friends of the beautiful take hope for the early healing of these two great masters. Mr. Anton Salieri is now able to go out, but has not yet resumed his official duties in the imperial court chapel so far.”

The specificity of the remark that Salieri is able to leave his bed suggests that Beethoven is not yet able to do so. If Beethoven is indeed “working hard” he is probably making revisions to the Agnus Dei and possibly begins full scoring of the Kyrie of the Missa Solemnis. He has not yet begun serious work on the second piano sonata for Schlesinger, which will become op.110, beyond a few sketches.

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