BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, March 27, 1822 (approximately)

On or about this date, success! Beethoven tells Carpani that he will see Rossini, most likely tomorrow.

On the evening of the 27th, Rossini attends a performance of Weber’s Der Freischütz. Rossini did not reciprocate Weber’s hostility to him, expressed in a number of critical reviews, but rather considered Weber a “composer of genius.”

The S.A. Steiner firm advertises in today’s Wiener Zeitung the set of three new string quartets, op.103, by Franz Krommer (1759-1831). Steiner also offers a number of other chamber works by Krommer. The Czech-born composer has been royal court composer for the Emperor since 1818. In his day he was as well known as Beethoven as a prolific composer, especially for wind ensembles. Due to his stylistic affinity to the music of Mozart and Haydn, he was considered old-fashioned even before his death and is largely forgotten today.

Beethoven does not seem to have had much interaction with Krommer, but Krommer is mentioned favorably in an 1803 letter from Beethoven’s then-assistant and student Ferdinand Ries to Nikolaus Simrock in Bonn. Ries told Simrock that in addition to Beethoven’s Second Symphony, the Septet arranged for piano trio, and some other works, he would forward a copy of the three new quartets by Krommer, probably op.34. This comment suggests Beethoven thought well of Krommer’s work.

The Marcolini Quartet plays the first movement Allegro Moderato from Krommer’s quartet op.103/3 in A minor here: