BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, May 28, 1823

Prince Nikolai Galitzin writes to Beethoven today from St. Petersburg. He has received Beethoven’s letter [the March 25 request for Czar Alexander I to subscribe to the Missa Solemnis] and he has forwarded it on to its high destination. As soon as there is an answer, he will pass it along.

Prince Nikolai Galitzin

Galitzin also suggests it would be profitable for Beethoven to consider whether the local Philharmonic Society should be approached about subscribing. Galitzin would have made inquiries, but did not want to do so without Beethoven’s authorization. If Beethoven would like to proceed, he can send Galitzin a subscription prospectus. Galitzin thinks that it will be easy to find subscribers and it would raise unexpected money for Beethoven with little effort. “I hope that you will soon satisfy my extreme impatience by making me the possessor of a new masterpiece of your fertile and sublime genius.”

Brandenburg Letter 1658, Albrecht Letter 320. The original is lost; text from TDS V, p.553f. Beethoven receives this letter in mid-June, and writes directly to the Philharmonic Society.