BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, March 5, 1823

Prince Nikolai Galitzin writes Beethoven today from St. Petersburg. The fee of 50 ducats for the first of the three quartets should have been received by now by the agent in Vienna, Joseph Henikstein [banker and wholesaler.] “I hope you will not make me wait long to enjoy this sublime production of your mind.” Once it has been sent to Galitzin, Beethoven is free to publish it; he does not require any period of exclusivity since he does not want to harm Beethoven’s financial interests. He only asks for the dedication, and to have a manuscript copy. Galitzin begs Beethoven to promptly begin the second quartet; he need only let Galitzin know, and he will forward another 50 ducats right away.

Galitzin says his German is not good enough to write in that language, but he understands that Beethoven may wish to write in German. And that would give Galitzin the double pleasure of having a letter in Beethoven’s own handwriting.

Brandenburg Letter 1605. The original is held by the Vienna Beethoven Society. A few words are missing since one side of the letter is partially torn off, possibly by Beethoven in opening it. Beethoven, as usual, has progressed no further on the first quartet beyond some vague musical ideas, since he is primarily occupied with finishing the Diabelli Variations and the work on the first movement of the Ninth Symphony.

S.A. Steiner & Co. today advertises in the Wiener Zeitung at 212 a Duo for piano four hands, op.34, by Beethoven’s former student, Carl Czerny. The advertisement hypes Czerny as “this experienced and skilled composer” and the work as a perfectly-done original piece specially composed for the instrument. The Duo is an arrangement of Joseph Mayseder’s first piano trio, the original of which is also advertised by Steiner today.