Haptic Beethoven

10 Sep 2018

On 10 December 1849 the Viennese War Department official and dedicated collector of manuscripts Aloys Fuchs (1799–1853) wrote in high dudgeon to his Berlin contemporary and fellow collector Friedrich August Grasnick (1798–1877). Grasnick had borrowed from him two of his most important manuscripts, of works by Handel and Bach, and had failed to return them punctually, so that Fuchs now did not have them available to show to others. He blamed himself as much as Grasnick (clearly this was not the first occasion of its kind), and vowed never to let such treasures out of his possession again: ‘It is quite simply inexcusable for me to allow such a valuable and utterly irreplaceable jewel as my Handel item [Stük] ever to leave the house.’