BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Tuesday, January 8, 1822

Publisher Adolph M. Schlesinger writes to Beethoven from Berlin today, sending the proof of the 25 Scottish Songs, op.108, to Beethoven for correction. [Beethoven will spend most of February and March proofreading the songs, sending Schlesinger the corrections on March 29, 1822.]

Negotiations continue on the Missa Solemnis. Schlesinger offers 650 Reichsthalers in Prussian currency for the mass, which he will pay on a bill exchange one month after receipt of the score. But for that price Beethoven will need to prepare the score of a piano reduction. [Beethoven must have been puzzled by the introduction of yet another currency into the mix, rather than his requested fee of 200 gold ducats, plus more for the piano arrangement. While the exchange rates were in flux, a ducat was approximately equal to 3 Reichsthalers, so Schlesinger’s offer of 650 Reichsthalers, or about 219 ducats, likely met or exceeded Beethoven’s expectations.]

Schlesinger also requests a price for four-part songs and string quartets. This request, together with later negotiations for publications with C.F. Peters, may be the first impetus for Beethoven preparing a lengthy price list for compositions later in 1822.

Brandenburg Letter 1456. The letter is today lost, but its date and contents are known from the registration marks on letter 1450, as well as Beethoven’s response in letter 1458, dated February 20.

In Olmütz (now Olomouc in the Czech Republic), the Archduke’s 34th birthday is commemorated by a Te Deum and solemn high mass at the cathedral at 9 a.m. The mass is attended by a very large crowd, with the highest blessings offered for the Archbishop. Rudolph accepted the congratulations of all authorities. This report is again derived from the January 13th Brünner Zeitung.

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