BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, January 24, 1821 (approximately)

After a brief recovery of less than two weeks, Beethoven has a relapse and falls ill with rheumatic fever again. If Beethoven’s letter to Adolf Martin Schlesinger of March 7 is to be trusted, he spends most of at least the next six weeks in bed. Beethoven was prone to exaggerate his ill health, especially when dealing with publishers, but the lack of evidence of any serious compositional activity, or of any significant correspondence, suggests that in this instance he is telling the truth and is really very sick. Our next update will be February 9, lest we simply repeat “Beethoven is very ill again today” over and over.