BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, September 6, 1820 (approximately)

Conversation Book 16, leaves 55r through 56v

Continuing his memoranda to himself in Mödling, Beethoven writes a reminder about the solar eclipse tomorrow at around 2 p.m.

Someone with a name like Zechmeister (the first four letters are difficult to make out) knows about a nice apartment in the Brühl rural area around Mödling that Beethoven thinks he should visit with Karl. It seems between this and the Speer vineyard house, Beethoven may be considering giving up on finding an apartment in the City at all.

He also sets a reminder that he needs to deal with Lobkowitz’s cashier about his pension.

More about chickens: “The coachman can carry the chickens to the City. They can be picked up in the afternoon, since the maids are there the whole day until evening.” [It’s unclear exactly why Beethoven is carting chickens back and forth between the City and Mödling, but it is a topic of some concern to him over the ensuing week.]

Beethoven makes a note to buy some rice and barley, as well as a case for the hearing mechanism that Stein is making for Beethoven’s Broadwood piano, which is to be delivered tomorrow.

In the morning of the 5th, 6th, or 7th (less likely since Stein is coming with the piano then), Beethoven stops by his landlord Johann Speer’s house but no one is there. Beethoven waits until 11:30 when he finally gives up and writes Speer an undated letter, still pretending he has a friend who is interested in the property. He asks the questions from attorney Bach: 1) What is your valuation of the house, together with the vineyard? 2) what contractual arrangements do you have with the vineyard employee who lives on the ground floor of the house? and 3) How much remains to be paid off on the mortgage?

He asks for precise details, for “perhaps the buyer whom I know of may be very conscientious.” Beethoven adds [truthfully] that he does not know for certain how long he will remain in Mödling. [The apartment search is not going well and the available properties are an ever-shrinking pool.] Anderson letter 1034, Brandenburg letter 1408; privately held.