Beethoven's Days: February 19-22, 1820



Considered one of the best composers in the world, Beethoven's hearing loss began in 1798 (Davies, Peter J., 2001) has started. On June 29, 1801, his friend Dr. In his letter to Franz Wegeler “My hearing has been getting weaker over the past three years”, the composer begins to use the famous ear trumpets specially manufactured for him by Johann Nepomuk Malzel in 1812 and 1816.

Peter Joseph Simrock, son of the famous German publisher Nikolaus Simrock, told his biographer Thayer about the year 1816, when he visited the composer in Baden, “He could understand me if I shouted in his left ear, but confidential and personal matters had to be written in his notebook.” gives the information.

Due to the increasing hearing loss in 1818, the composer had to carry a blank notebook and pen with him. Friends respond by writing, and the composer by speaking or writing by topic.

Anton Schindler, who was the secretary of Beethoven, who died in 1827, took a total of 140 notebooks under his protection in order to write the biography of the composer. All these notebooks have brought to the present day how, where and with whom the composer spent his days, in a detail that has never been seen before in the history of art.

With this series of articles, I will share with the readers the hours Beethoven wakes up and starts the day, his shopping lists, the people he chats with, the restaurants he loves, his ideas about his art life and many information about human life, sometimes on a day or a week basis.

The page where he notes an idea about the Missa Solemnis work, next to it the address of a dentist

Beethoven's Routine

05:00  Beethoven gets up early. He is interested in his compositions and writes his letters. Makes a shopping list.

12:00  After cleaning, he leaves his home, deals with the pre-dinner chores (shopping, psota, etc.).

14:00  He eats lunch (usually with friends). If he is going to eat at his house, he invites his friends to come around 13:30.

15:30  Shopping and other unfinished business

17:00  He stops by the coffee shop and drinks coffee. Sometimes he uses tobacco. He reads the newspaper and notes the advertisements that interest him in his notebook.

19:00  friend meetings

Night    He eats something light, reads a book, goes to bed at around 22 pm.

Guidance Information

Although the article is in Turkish, a few words that need to be learned in German in order to follow the records correctly:

Booklet    Notebooks                                                 Clarification
Leaf    Notebook's page
r          front of page (al. recto)
v          back of page (al. verso)


Booklet 2nd - [Blatt 4v]:    The back of the 2th page of the 4nd notebook

WRITTEN PERSON[ place, time etc.]: His Note

[//] Pause during conversation, end of topic.

// Pause for Beethoven to respond.

HEFT 7 (January 27 – February 22, 1820)

[Blatt 82v]

BEETHOVEN [Saturday, February 19, at a coffee shop in the afternoon]: Spar brand patent leather lacquer. On Wipplingerstrasse, next to the waterproof hat shop. [//] [Blatt 83r]

Kilian Bookstore, correspondence paper, 2 florins [Blatt 83v]

[drafting a letter]:

.. you have a lawyer in Prague; also Karl went a second time because of his (mother's) deception…  [//]

[reading newspaper]: Kerzmann, No. 854, own house, [Blatt 84r]

 From the Weihburggasse to the Bastion. [//]

BERNARD [briefly joins Beethoven]: One should try one's luck. Let's buy a lottery ticket for your nephew Karl. [//]

[Blatt 84v]

OLIVIA [Sunday, February 20, at Beethoven's home at Josephstadter Glacis]: The cleaner is coming tomorrow morning. [//]

UNKNOWN PERSON [Sunday afternoon]: Today Eroica We were amazed by your symphony. [//] It is very well composed but the violins are very weak. Allegro not for the part.

WOLF [meets Beethoven]: I'm looking for a book about praeadamites [//] [Blatt 85r] Why didn't you go see Stieler? [//] 3 guilders of wine is better. [//] Baron Buschmann became an economic advisor. [//] Like all other Austrians? [//] Generally confused [//] Woodpecker.

BERNARD [briefly joins Beethoven]: Rarely have fine taste.

[Blatt 85v]

BEETHOVEN [Monday, February 21, at home]:

Sheet, 3 meters
letter paper
Candles, beeswax and semi-wax
Schlemmer: Adding to the violin
Lambskin [Blatt 86r]

Wenzel Schlemmer is Beethoven's favorite note multiplier.

[Towards noon, in the coffee shop]

Coffee cup for maid.
Linen fabric.
pottery shaving bowl

[Blatt 86v]

STYLER [At noon in the painting workshop]: The picture should dry. When it's dry, I'll send you a note to see if you can spare me an hour for the next session. [//] Koller [//] Your portrait should be my masterpiece. [//] 69 to 250 florins //

Stieler, In the exhibition held in Vienna in 1820, he exhibited the portrait of amateur painter Johanna Koller alongside Beethoven's portrait.

Stieler's portrait price range is 69 – 250 florins.

BERNARD: In addition to the information from Spain; Prince Metternich and Beobachter were in a very difficult situation. [//]

News about the ongoing wars in Spain / Cadiz

[Blatt 87r]

UNKNOWN PERSON [Music store, Feb 21 or 22]: He has composed an opera // Let me show you a piano sonata for the four hands that will go into print // Mr. Stieler paints a portrait of you and him [//]

[Blatt 87v]

BERNARD [A coffeehouse in town, possibly February 22]: Peters was going to join Prince Lobkowitz on his way to Italy. // Painter Daffinger is in high demand because his portraits are so realistic. He wants to draw your portrait too. Just finished drawing the Grillparzer [//] [Blatt 88r]

Painter Moritz M. Daffinger, friend of poet Franz Grillparzer. He gained notoriety by drawing representatives of the Vienna Assembly.

We have to come to an agreement before you can write the oratorio earlier this year. [//]

Der Sieg des Kreuzes

The best and the cheapest // Consultant asked why doctor Bach didn't talk more about Johanna [Blatt 88v] The documents should be taken from the court [//] He didn't want anything other than getting to this point. //

According to a rumor circulating yesterday and today [Blatt 89r]  Duke Berry was stabbed and died outside the Paris Opera // Yesterday Prince Palffy, the two counts and other nobles attended his funeral [//]

[Blatt 89v]  The first lottery will be drawn on March 1st [//] If we win, let's travel immediately [//] Lots of idiots won [//] I bought tickets for every lottery but I never won [Blatt 90r] [//] Not being able to win requires great luck //

The Vienna Opera organized lottery drawings in order to get rid of financial difficulties.

I have to go now, I need to review the report on Duke Berry [//] [Blatt 90v] He was stabbed in the back while riding a carriage [//] At the exit of the 13th [//] he was married to the daughter of the Prince of Naples, he was the only one who had a chance to give a grandchild for the throne. [Blatt 91r] The path to the throne of the conservatives was closed. [//] They used silk fabric instead of paper in their toilets in Koblenz.

**7. End of Notebook**


ALBRECHT , THEODORE, Beethoven's Conversation Books: Nos. 1 to 8 (February 1818 to March 1820), Boydell Press (May 18, 2018)


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