BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, November 13, 1822

Today’s Wiener Zeitung in the legal notices section at page 430 includes another printing of the summons for Beethoven’s one-time unpaid assistant Franz Oliva. The summons was issued May 8th, 1822, so this would mark six months that Oliva did not reappear to explain himself. Oliva was sent to Russia to negotiate a deal for his employer, and left on a six-month passport. He did not return to Vienna, instead marrying and becoming a professor of German literature and language at the Imperial Lyceum in St. Petersburg.

“Franz Oliva.
“Franz Oliva, former accountant at the local wholesaler Joseph Biedermann, who received a joint passport to Russia from the government in December 1820, and who did not return after the passport expired, is hereby requested to return all the more definitely within the year and justify his unauthorized absence to the relevant authority; as required under §.27. of the Emigration Decree of 1784.
From the Imperial North Austrian State Government.
Vienna on May 8, 1822.”

Whether Beethoven contacted Oliva about this summons is unknown; all of Beethoven’s letters to Oliva were lost in a fire.

Today’s Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, Nr. 46 at col.756 includes a brief review of the recent publication of the full score for Beethoven’s Symphony No.1 in C major op.21 by Nikolaus Simrock in Bonn. The reviewer compares it as comparable to the beautifully engraved Paris edition of Haydn’s symphonies published by Pleyel. “There is no need to talk about the work itself here; since its first appearance it has been a favorite of all full orchestras, all connoisseurs, and all music lovers who are not entirely impoverished, and is therefore well known and self-recommending. The publication of symphonies in scores greatly promotes their study … because the higher this genre of instrumental music is, the less a mere indication of the first violin party and the concertmaster’s playing will be sufficient. That goes without saying. One has to wish the company to have make progress in bringing out the others over time.” [Recall that Simrock had written to Beethoven on May 13, 1822 advising him that this Symphony was being published in score by him.]