[Footnote 1: The C minor pianoforte Sonata, Op. 111?]
TO HERR PETERS.
Vienna, December 20, 1822.
I take advantage of a moment’s leisure to-day to answer your letter. Not one of all the works that are your property is unfinished, but time is too precious to particularize all the details that prevent the copying and sending off the music to you. I recollect in a former letter having offered you some more bagatelles, but I by no means press you to take them. If you wish only to have the four, so be it; but in that case I must make a different selection. Herr —— has not as yet got anything from me. Herr —— begged me to make him a present of the songs for the “Journal de la Mode,” which, in fact, I did not write for money; indeed, I find it quite impossible to act in every case according to so much per cent. It is painful for me to calculate in this manner oftener than is absolutely necessary. My position is far from being so brilliant as you think, &c., &c. It is not possible to listen to all these proposals at once, being far too numerous, but many cannot be refused. A commission is not always quite in accordance with the inclinations of an author. If my salary were not so far reduced as to be no salary at all, I would write nothing but symphonies for a full orchestra, and church music, or at most quartets.
Of my minor works, you can still have Variations for two oboes and one English horn, on the theme from “Don Giovanni,” “La ci darem la mano,” and a Gratulation Minuet for a full orchestra. I should be glad, likewise, to have your opinion about the full edition of my works.
In the most desperate haste, your obedient
[Footnote 1: It was reduced from 4000 gulden to 800.]
TO F. RIES,—LONDON
Vienna, December 20, 1822.
MY DEAR RIES,—
I have been so overburdened with work that I am only now able to reply to your letter of November 15. I accept with pleasure the proposal to write a new symphony for the Philharmonic Society. Although the prices given by the English cannot be compared with those paid by other nations, still I would gladly write even gratis for those whom I consider the first artists in Europe—were I not still, as ever, the poor Beethoven.
If I were only in London, what would I not write for the Philharmonic! For Beethoven, thank God! can write—if he can do nothing in the world besides! If Providence only vouchsafes to restore my health, which is at least improving, I shall then be able to respond to the many proposals from all parts of Europe, and even North America, and may thus perhaps be some day in clover.
TO IGNAZ RITTER VON SEYFRIED.
MY DEAR AND WORTHY BROTHER IN APOLLO,—