Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Beethoven - Revealing Excerpts From His Diaries

Beethoven quite regularly was in the habit of writing notes down about himself on blank pages of daily calendars; not only about issues concerning music, but also about aspects of daily experiences outside of music.
For instance, he wrote quite a bit about the problems of housekeeping, especially during the years 1819, 1820 and 1823.
And what a terror he must have been!
(1819) January 31 - Gave the housekeeper notice.
February 15 - The kitchen - maid entered upon her duties.
March 8 - The kitchen - maid gave her notice.
May 12 - Entered a new apartment. "Miser et pauper sum." (I am poor and wretched).
May 14 - The housekeeper entered service at 6 gulden monthly.
July 20 - Gave the housekeeper notice.
(1820) May 16 - Gave notice to the kitchen - maid.
May 10 - The kitchen maid left.
July 1 - The kitchen - maid entered upon her duties.
July 28 - The kitchen - maid ran away in the evening.
August 10 - 13 - Four evil days - I ate in Lerchenfeld (a suburb outside of the city limits).
These notes, and these are but a few written down by Beethoven, were in the Beethoven biography of Anton Schindler, the composer's official biographer, who followed him around, sometimes from a rather discreet distance.

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