BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, January 28, 1824

Brother Johann visits this afternoon. Perhaps seeing Schuppanzigh’s discussion of copyists on the preceding page from yesterday, Johann mentions that he called on Frau Schlemmer. She hopes to bring everything, the last of the subscription copies of the Missa Solemnis, by Sunday, February 1.

Johann mentions he came by yesterday with the carriage for a drive in the beautiful weather, but Ludwig was out.

Ludwig complains again about his smoky stove, and considers buying a different type. Johann doesn’t think that’s necessary; it will change the arrangement of the entire room, and winter will soon be over anyway.

Johann has tried to reach a deal with Max Leidesdorf for publication of the Six Bagatelles, op.126, the Opferlied op.121b, and the Bundeslied, op.122, which Johann now owns as repayment for a loan. But they have been unable to reach an agreement, so he thinks it would be best to write to Maurice Schlesinger in Paris about publishing them. Ludwig suggests trying again with Leidesdorf. [He is no doubt still angry with Schlesinger about the many errors in his publication of the piano sonatas op. 110 and 111.] Johann, losing patience, retorts, “I was at Leidesdorf’s at least 6 times, but it appears to me that the Jews have no money.”

Ludwig asks how Johann liked Conradin Kreutzer’s new opera, Der Taucher. It pleased the audience. “They say that there is nothing great and absolutely nothing new in it, but he put the pieces together well, and now, when there is nothing better to be found, one is quite satisfied with it.” Ludwig asks whether anything of his has been used in it, and Johann responds that there is a bit of Fidelio in it.

After Johann departs, Ludwig goes to a coffee house and reads today’s newspapers. Among the ads he copies out are a book on how a Viennese cook should be, and cream and milk products, as well as “potatoes of the best quality.”

Later that evening, Johann returns to Ludwig’s apartment. He has made the rounds trying again to interest publishers in these small works without success. Tobias Haslinger at least sends his most obliging regards and says he will visit soon.

Pianist Ignaz Moscheles is ill in Prague with an illness of the urinary tract, probably kidney stones [which necessitates Kalkbrenner’s early departure from Vienna to cover Moscheles’s concerts there.] Johann observes that generally Kalkbrenner is considered a much better pianist than Moscheles.

Johann asks whether Ludwig has written to Duport yet. [Beethoven either has done so, without waiting for a response from Grillparzer, or possibly does so yet today, since tomorrow afternoon Caroline Unger will tell Beethoven that Duport agrees with all of his conditions. The letter does not, however, survive.] Johann has suggestions for the contract regarding the proposed opera Melusine. “You should stipulate 2 free tickets in the parterre for yourself; everyone has them, even Bernard.”

After dinner, Johann chides Ludwig for drinking too much water at the coffee house.

Conversation Book 54, 14r-17v.

Selections from Conradin Kreutzer’s new romantic opera in two acts, Der Taucher, as presented at the K√§rntnertor Theater, are available for purchase at the A. Pennauer shop, as well as the full opera in piano reduction without the vocal parts. The Overture can be had in versions for piano solo and piano four hands, and the March is available in both of those formats. The complete opera and all individual pieces, both with and without vocals, will follow within a few days, according to the advertisement in today’s Wiener Zeitung at 102.