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Ludwig van Beethoven, Brief an Ferdinand Ries in London, Wien, 25. Mai 1819, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung Wegeler, W 14

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Beethoven's letter to Ries is written in a joking manner, which was often the case when Beethoven wrote to friends. Beethoven asks about the works op. 104 and op. 106 which he has sent a while back. He has not heard any news about their arrival nor has he received any payment, and he asks Ries to look into this. He hopes "to hear the best from you very soon, not allegro but veloce prestissimo".
Beethoven encourages Ries to compose industriously. He is playing Ries' works with his pupil ("my dear little Archduke") Rudolph, whose opinion that Ries is living up to his former teacher he gladly passes on.
As in many letters to Ries Beethoven does not forget to send heartfelt wishes to Ries' wife. He hopes to be able to hold her in his arms in the coming winter.
Beethoven announces that the letter will be delivered by an "intellectual Englishman". (This was probably John Smith from Glasgow. As can be seen from Thomson's entry, Smith gave the letter to a third party who left it lying around for months on end and only passed it on in October 1819.) Beethoven praises all the English, calling them "good fellows", stressing how he would really like "to spend a while in their country". He never did, however, realize this dream.

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