You think my Book may now be finished – ah, if it only was! – From about Sept. 20 to middle of February I had no time even to study upon it. – My official duties during the winter months take up all my time.
I am now again at work and am writing out the Second Chapter of Vol. III. So I have a long job of it still. Please give my truly affectionate, loving regards to my dear friends Prof. Allen and his amiable family. I must use very strong expressions if I will convey the half of what
I feel towards them all. –
With sincere, hearty thanks to you for the facsimile, I am, dear Sir,
very truly yours
Alexander W. Thayer.
Philadelphia, May 21, 1873
My Dear Mr. Thayer,
Your letter of March 4th was duly received, am glad to perceive that you are pleased with the Manuscript Music of Beethoven, I had intended to reply sooner, but postponed on account of having learned that a friend of mine had a very interesting letter of Beethoven. I wrote to him (he lives in New York) and requested him to send me a copy of it, but am sorry that I was disappointed, he replied, that he was out of his house preparing to go to Europe for one year, and adds “ I shall have to ask your indulgence until I get a little more time. The letter is not exactly fit for Ladies or old Bachelors to read, as in some parts is somewhat more than course”. So that leaved me a hope of getting a copy at some future time, but perhaps too late for your purpose. Herewith you will receive a copy of my Beethoven letter, and also one from the one owned by a friend of mine Mr F. J. Dreer. Mine, as you will see is of no interest, particularly it doesn’t give the year, not to whom it was addressed. That of Mr. Dreer is interesting to me, when he mentions the metronome Mr. Maelzel, the constructor of the metronome (with whom I was well acquainted) told me that he had been particularly anxious Beethoven should mark his music by his metronome, and get his recommendations, that he (B) refused and became quite indignant […] Mr. Schott had probably requested him to mark the Tempos of the Quartett mentioned in that letter, or some other music.
The Album in my possession was a present from a friend who spent some time in Vienna about 15 years ago, it contains 76 leaved bound, 9 by 6 ¼ inches, written in prosy, poetry, music, sketches in drawings, among the musicians the following are the most interesting. The March of Beethoven, at the bottom is written in pencil, “Beethoven kam 1792 in Wien”. The earliest date in the Book is 1791.
Abb. Stadler, a piece of Music, and autograph, signed
Joseph Haydn, Music and signature
Jos. Weigl, 2 ½ pages Music 1792, and signature
Constance Mozart, wife of the composer, portrait of M. 3 ½ lines autographs and signed
George Albrechtsberger […] Fuge 3 pages, 1791
There are a great many other pieces of Music in the Album probably written by Amateurs. From different writers it appears that the owner of the Album was a Lady who was a fine Piano player, […].
On the last leaf is a piece of Poetry.
I don’t find anything in the Album relating to Beethoven beside the March. Should I find any original unpublished matter at anytime I will mot cheerfully communicated it to you, if I can assist you in anything relating to the Biography of Beethoven I am at your service but I suppose you have searched our about everything to be found, particularly such as has been published on the subject.
I have also a great deal of work on hand, during my three years travel have kept a diary, which I am now engaged in copying. While I was in Sweden I found a considerable amount of original unpublished matter relating to the settlement of the Swedes on the Delaware, which I intent to translate after I get through write my Journal.
Copy of Beethoven letter […]
Copy of Mr. Dreer’s letter […]
Mr. Allen and family desire to be remembered to you. […]
In the hopes that this will be of some little use to you, I remain my dear Sir,
Very Truly yours
Jos. J. Mickley