Ludwig von Beethoven

Ludwig Van Beethoven, German Composer

Ludwig Van Beethoven, German Composer: December 16, 1770, Bonn, Germany, 1:29 PM, LMT (Kraum correcting Eschelman; also from Marc Penfield), 1:00 PM, LMT (March) 3:40 AM, LMT (Eschelman from Lyndoe); 4:11:40 AM (Jansky). The Ascendant is arguably Taurus or Scorpio. There are, in fact, reasonable arguments for both the Scorpio and Taurus rising charts. Died March 26, 1827, Vienna, Austria

“Lyndoe in AA, 5/1970.  Kraum in AA, 12/1970, corrected that to 1:29 PM as, “the true time given in Mensch Im Alle, 3/1935.”  Robert Jansky  had 4:11:40 AM.  March had 1:00 PM.  Tyl rectified to 11:03 PM.

Bekker, “Beethoven,” Dent and Sons, New York, 1925, p.3, “early authentic information of his life is remarkably scarce, even the date of his birth is unknown.  It may have been 15th or 16th December, 1770.”

A copy of Parish Church Book of Baptisms in hand from Steinbrecher gives the baptism date as 12/17/1770, noting that, “Generally new babies are baptized two or three days after their birth”

Taurus Rising Chart: (Ascendant Taurus with Uranus rising in Taurus, and hidden Vulcan playing a very important role); MC, Capricorn, with Jupiter and Venus in Capricorn and Pluto in Capricorn conjunct the MC; Sun, Moon and Mercury all conjunct in Sagittarius; Mars in Gemini; Saturn in Leo, H5; Neptune in Virgo)

This chart with many planets above the horizon fits the fame of Beethoven, even in his own time.

Scorpio Rising Chart: (Ascendant, Scorpio; MC, Leo with Saturn conjunct the MC; Sun, Moon and Mercury all conjunct in Sagittarius, all in H2, Taurus house!; Jupiter, Pluto and Venus in Capricorn, H3; Uranus in Taurus, H7; Neptune in Virgo, H6).

The powerful sonic blows found throughout much of Beethoven’s music relate to Taurus and its esoteric ruler Vulcan, the “Blacksmith of the Gods”. Taurean people have much first ray because of Vulcan, and this was true in Beethoven’s case. Sagittarius bestows its tremendous aspiration, one-pointedness and high idealism. Taurus rules the hearing and the deafness.

Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup.
(Scorpio Ascendant)
Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess?

Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth.

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
(Venus in 3rd house)

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.
(Venus in Capricorn)

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.

Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors.

Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.

Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience.

The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, “Thus far and no farther.”

What you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am by myself. There are and will be a thousand princes; there is only one Beethoven.
No one should drive a hard bargain with an artist.

Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us, and never stop learning
(Sagittarius Sun & Moon)

I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits.

Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men.

Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.
Tones sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes.

Applaud friends, the comedy is over. (Said as he was dying)

No friend have I. I must live by myself alone; but I know well that God is nearer to me than others in my art, so I will walk fearlessly with Him.

Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken.

I can live only wholly with you or not at all.

This is the mark of a really admirable man: steadfastness in the face of trouble.

I despise a world which does not feel that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Off with you! You’re a happy fellow, for you’ll give happiness and joy to many other people. There is nothing better or greater than that!

A great poet is the most precious jewel of a nation.
Rossini would have been a great composer if his teacher had spanked him enough on the backside.
Recommend virtue to your children, that alone – not wealth – can give happiness. It upholds in adversity and the thought of it and my art prevents me from putting an end to my life.
Do not let that trouble Your Excellency; perhaps the greetings are intended for me.
My misfortune is doubly painful to me because it will result in my being misunderstood. For me there can be no recreation in the company of others, no intelligent conversation, no exchange of information with peers; only the most pressing needs can make me venture into society. I am obliged to live like an outcast. (Uranus conjunct Descendant)

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy, it is the wine of a new procreation, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for men and makes them drunk with the spirit.

Ludwig van Beethoven (pronounced [‘]) (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He is widely regarded as one of history’s greatest composers, and was the predominant figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music. His reputation and genius have inspired—and in many cases intimidated—ensuing generations of composers, musicians, and audiences.

Born in Bonn, Germany, he moved to Vienna, Austria, in his early twenties, and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. In his late twenties he began to lose his hearing, and yet continued to produce notable masterpieces throughout his life in the face of this personal disaster, even after his deafness became absolute. Unusually among his contemporaries, he worked as a freelance composer, arranging subscription concerts and being supported by a number of wealthy patrons who considered his gifts extraordinary.

Beethoven was born at 515 Bongasse, Bonn, Germany, to Johann van Beethoven (1740–1792) and Magdalena Keverich van Beethoven (1744–1787). Beethoven was baptized on December 17, but his family and later teacher Johann Albrechtsberger celebrated his birthday on December 16.

Beethoven’s first music teacher was his father, a musician in the Electoral court at Bonn who was apparently a harsh and unpredictable instructor. Johann would often come home from a bar in the middle of the night and pull young Ludwig out of bed to play for him and his friend. Beethoven’s talent was recognized at a very early age. His first important teacher was Christian Gottlob Neefe. In 1787 young Beethoven traveled to Vienna for the first time, where he may have met and played for Mozart. He was forced to return home because his mother was dying of tuberculosis. Beethoven’s mother died when he was 16, and for several years he was responsible for raising his two younger brothers because of his father’s worsening alcoholism.

Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792, where he first studied with Joseph Haydn in lieu of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who had died the previous year. Beethoven immediately established a reputation as a piano virtuoso. His first works with opus numbers, the three piano trios, appeared in 1795. He settled into the career pattern he would follow for the remainder of his life: rather than working for the church or a noble court (as most composers before him had done), he supported himself through a combination of annual stipends or single gifts from members of the aristocracy, income from public performances, concerts, and lessons, and sales of his works.

Beethoven 1820 portrait Beethoven’s career as a composer is usually divided into Early, Middle, and Late periods.

In the Early period, he is seen as emulating his great predecessors Haydn and Mozart while concurrently exploring new directions and gradually expanding the scope and ambition of his work. Some important pieces from the Early period are the first and second symphonies, the first six string quartets, the first two piano concertos, and the first twenty piano sonatas, including the famous Pathétique and Moonlight.

The Middle period began shortly after Beethoven’s personal crisis centering around deafness. The period is noted for large-scale works expressing heroism and struggle; these include many of the most famous works of classical music. Middle period works include six symphonies (Nos. 3–8), the last three piano concertos, triple concerto and his only violin concerto, five string quartets (Nos. 7–11), the next seven piano sonatas including the Waldstein, and Appassionata, and his only opera, Fidelio.

Beethoven’s Late period began around 1816 and lasted until Beethoven’s death in 1827. The Late works are greatly admired for and characterized by their intellectual depth, intense and highly personal expression, and experimentation with forms (for example, the Quartet in C Sharp Minor has seven movements, while most famously his Ninth Symphony adds choral forces to the orchestra in the last movement). This period includes the Missa Solemnis, the last five string quartets and the last five piano sonatas.
Considering the depth and extent of Beethoven’s artistic explorations, as well as the composer’s success in making himself comprehensible to the widest possible audience, the Austrian-born British musician and writer Hans Keller pronounced Beethoven “humanity’s greatest mind altogether”.

Beethoven’s personal life was troubled. Around age 28, he started to become deaf, which led him to contemplate suicide (see the 1802 Heiligenstadt Testament). He was attracted to unattainable (married or aristocratic) women; he never married. His only uncontested love affair with a known woman began in 1805 with Josephine von Brunswick; most scholars think it ended by 1807 because she could not marry a commoner without losing her children. In 1812 he wrote a long love letter to a woman only identified therein as the “Immortal Beloved.” Several candidates have been suggested, but none has won universal support. Some scholars believe his period of low productivity from about 1812 to 1816 was caused by depression resulting from Beethoven’s realization that he would never marry. He didn’t publish anything during this period, but he released an enormous amount of material in 1816.

Beethoven quarrelled, often bitterly, with his relatives and others (including a painful and public custody battle over his nephew Karl); he frequently treated other people badly. He moved often and had strange personal habits, such as wearing dirty clothing even as he washed compulsively. Nonetheless, he had a close and devoted circle of friends his entire life.

Many listeners perceive an echo of Beethoven’s life in his music, which often depicts struggle followed by triumph. This description is often applied to Beethoven’s creation of masterpieces in the face of his severe personal difficulties. His last musical sketches belong to the composition of a string quintet in C Major [1].

Beethoven was often in poor health. According to one of his letters, his abdominal problems began while he was still in Bonn and thus can be dated to before 1792. In 1826 his health took a drastic turn for the worse. The autopsy report indicates serious problems with his liver, gall bladder, spleen, and pancreas. There is no general agreement on the exact cause of death. Modern research on a lock of Beethoven’s hair cut from his head the day after he died and a piece of his skull taken from his grave in 1863, both now at the Beethoven Center in San Jose, California [2], show that lead poisoning could well have contributed to his ill-health and ultimately to his death. The source (or sources) of the lead poisoning is unknown, but may have been fish, lead compounds used to sweeten wines, or pewter drinking vessels. It is unlikely that lead poisoning was the cause of his deafness, which several researchers think was caused by an autoimmune disorder such as systemic lupus erythematosus. The hair analyses did not detect mercury, which is consistent with the view that Beethoven did not have syphilis (syphilis was treated with mercury compounds at the time). The absence of drug metabolites suggests Beethoven avoided opiate painkillers.

Beethoven died on 26 March 1827, after a long illness, in the midst of a fierce thunderstorm, and legend has it that the dying man shook his fists in defiance of the heavens.

He was buried in the Währinger cemetery. Twenty months later, the body of Franz Schubert was buried next to Beethoven’s. In 1888, both Schubert’s and Beethoven’s graves were moved to the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery), where they can now be found next to those of Johann Strauss I and Johannes Brahms.

Beethoven is viewed as one of the most important transitional figures between the Classical and Romantic eras of musical history. As far as musical form is concerned, he built on the principles of sonata form and motivic development that he had inherited from Haydn and Mozart, but greatly extended them, writing longer and more ambitious movements. But Beethoven also radically redefined the symphony, transforming it from the rigidly structured four-ordered-movements form of Haydn’s era to a fairly open ended form that could sustain as many movements as necessary, and of whatever form as necessary to give the work cohesion.

During his lifetime, Beethoven also radically influenced the evolution of the piano. There had previously existed two common schools of piano making: In Vienna the instruments were made light and easy to play for purposes of precision with less dynamic range whereas those in London had a fuller sound with heavier keyboard action. Beethoven, though living in Vienna, had adopted a much heavier style of playing than most of his contemporaries, and although he was not the only pianist of the time to lobby for a heavier instrument, he was the only one whose musical genius had become synonymous with the artistic culture of Vienna. More specifically, Beethoven had connections to the prominent piano manufacturer Andreas Streicher and as Beethoven’s esteem increased, the pianos in Vienna evolved to fit his specific taste.

Beethoven was much taken by the ideals of the Enlightenment and by the growing Romanticism in Europe. He initially dedicated his third symphony, the Eroica (Italian for “heroic”), to Napoleon in the belief that the general would sustain the democratic and republican ideals of the French Revolution, but in 1804 tore out the title page upon which he had written a dedication to Napoleon, as Napoleon’s imperial ambitions became clear, renamed the symphony as the “Sinfonia Eroica, composta per festeggiare il Sovvenire di un grand Uomo”, or in English, “composed to celebrate the memory of a great man”. The fourth movement of his Ninth Symphony features an elaborate choral setting of Schiller’s Ode An die Freude (“Ode To Joy”), an optimistic hymn championing the brotherhood of humanity.

Scholars disagree on Beethoven’s religious beliefs and the role they played in his work. For discussion, see Beethoven’s religious beliefs.

A continuing controversy surrounding Beethoven is whether he was a Romantic or a Classical composer. As documented elsewhere, since the meanings of the word “Romantic” and the definition of the period “Romanticism” both vary by discipline, Beethoven’s inclusion as a member of that movement or period must be looked at in context.

If we consider the Romantic movement as an aesthetic epoch in literature and the arts generally, Beethoven sits squarely in the first half along with literary Romantics such as the German poets Goethe and Schiller (whose texts both he and Franz Schubert drew on for songs) and the English poet Percy Shelley. He was also called a Romantic by contemporaries such as Spohr and E.T.A. Hoffman. He is often considered the composer of the first Song Cycle and was influenced by Romantic folk idioms, for example in his use of the work of Robert Burns. He set dozens of such poems (and arranged folk melodies) for voice, piano, violin and cello.

If on the other hand we consider the context of musicology, where Romantic music is dated later; the matter is one of considerably greater debate. For some experts, Beethoven is not a Romantic, and his being one is a myth; for others he stands as a transitional figure, or an immediate precursor to Romanticism, the “inventor” of the Romantic period; for others he is the prototypical, or even archetypal, Romantic composer, complete with myth of heroic genius and individuality. The marker buoy of Romanticism has been pushed back and forth several times by scholarship, and it remains a subject of intense debate, in no small part because Beethoven is seen as a seminal figure. To those for whom the Enlightenment represents the basis of Modernity, he must therefore be unequivocally a Classicist, while for those who see the Romantic sensibility as a key to later aesthetics (including the aesthetics of our own time), he must be a Romantic. Between these two extremes there are, of course, innumerable gradations.

Beethoven’s grave in the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.Listening to Beethoven’s music yields another possible scholarly analysis: there is definitely an evolution in style from Beethoven’s earliest compositions to his later works. The young Beethoven can be seen toiling to conform to the aesthetic models of his contemporaries: he wants to write music that is acceptable in the society of his days. Later, there is much more iconoclasm in his approach, like adding a chorus to a symphony, where a symphony had until then only been a purely instrumental genre. This means that the question changes from whether Beethoven was a classicist or a romantic, to: where is the pivotal moment that Beethoven tilted from dominant classicism to dominant romanticism?

Most scholars seem to concur: the presentation of the 5th and 6th symphonies in a single concert in 1808 is probably closest to that pivotal point. In the 5th symphony, he let a short pounding motto theme run through all movements of the composition (unheard of until then). Then the 6th symphony was the first example of a symphony composed as “program music” (what in Romanticism became standard practice), and it broke up the traditional arrangement of a symphony in four movements. Yet, after that, Beethoven still wrote his gentle 8th symphony and some innocent-sounding chamber music for the English market. However, by the end of the first decade of the 19th century, Beethoven the romantic was without a doubt primary.

In contrast, Carl Dahlhaus argues that the evolution of Beethoven’s style actually takes him past Romanticism to a place where he was separate from the music of his contemporaries. Dahlhaus points out that our understanding of Beethoven as a Romantic composer derives largely from Beethoven’s early middle period, which contains the Symphony No. 3 and Symphony No. 5. Beethoven’s impact on other Romantic composers, however, is taken largely from works between Opp. 74 and 97, of the second half of the so-called middle period. Dahlhaus argues that the tradition of Romantic music is essentially a tradition of Schubertian music, and that Beethoven’s influence on Schubert is largely taken from Opp. 74 to 97. By the time Beethoven reaches the late period, he is such an individual as to be best understood as no longer belonging to the same genre as his Romantic contemporaries.

Ludwig van Beethoven was baptised on December 17th 1770 at Bonn. His family originated from Brabant, in Belgium. His father was musician at the Court of Bonn, with a definite weakness for drink. His mother was always described as a gentle, retiring woman, with a warm heart. Beethoven referred to her as his “best friend”. The Beethoven family consisted of seven children, but only the three boys survived, of whom Beethoven was the eldest.

At an early age, Beethoven took an interest in music, and his father taught him day and night, on returning to the house from music practice or the tavern. Without doubt, the child was gifted, and his father Johann envisaged creating a new Mozart, a child prodigy.

On March 26th 1778, at the age of 8, Beethoven gave his first know public performance, at Cologne. His father announced that he was 6 years old. Because of this, Beethoven always thought that he was younger than he actually was. Even much later, when he received a copy of his baptism certificate, he thought that it belonged to his brother Ludwig Maria, who was born two years before him, and died as a child.

But the musical and teaching talents of Johann were limited. Soon Ludwig learned music, notably the organ and composition by renowned musicians, such as Gottlob Neefe. Neefe recognised the how extraordinarily talented Beethoven was. As well as teaching him music, he made the works of philosophers, ancient and modern, known to Beethoven.

In June 1784, on Neefe’s recommendations, Ludwig was appointed organist of the court of Maximilian Franz, Elector of Cologne. He was 14. This post enabled him to frequent new circles, other than those of his father and friends of his family. Here he met people who were to remain friends for the rest of his life: The Ries family, the von Breuning family and the charming Eleonore, Karl Amenda, the violinist, Franz Gerhard Wegeler, a doctor, and a dear friend who also went to Vienna, etc.

At home, little by little, Ludwig replaced his father. Financially first of all, because Johann, often under the influence of drink, was less and less capable of keeping up his role at the court. The young Beethoven felt responsible for his two younger brothers, an idea he kept for the rest of his life, sometimes to the extent of being excessive.

Prince Maximilian Franz was also aware of Beethoven’s gift, and so he sent Beethoven to Vienna, in 1787, to meet Mozart and to further his musical education. Vienna was, after all, the beacon city in terms of culture and music. There exist only texts of disputable authenticity on the subject of this meeting between Mozart and Beethoven. Mozart is thought to have said “Don’t forget his name – you will hear it spoken often.”!

But a letter called Beethoven back to Bonn: his mother was dying. The only person in his family with whom he had developed a strong and loving relationship passed away on July 17th 1787.

Five years later, in 1792, Beethoven went back to Vienna, benefiting from another grant, for two years, by the Prince Elector, again to pursue his musical education. He never went back to the town of his birth. His friend Waldstein wrote to him: “You shall receive Mozart’s spirit from Haydn’s hands”…

At Vienna, the young musician took lessons with Haydn, then with Albrechtsberger and Salieri. He captured the attention of, and astonished, Vienna, with his virtuosity and his improvisations on piano. In 1794, Beethoven composed his opus 1, three trios for piano. The following year, Beethoven made his first public performance at Vienna (an “Academy”) whereby each musician was to play his own work. Then followed a tour: Prague, Dresden, Leipzig and Berlin before leaving for a concert in Budapest.

Beethoven made numerous acquaintances at Vienna. Everybody in the musical and aristocratic world admired the young composer. These music-lovers were Beethoven’s greatest supporters. He became angry regularly with one or another of them, often making honourable amends soon afterwards. His talent excused his excessive, impulsive behaviour.
In 1800, Beethoven organised a new concert at Vienna including, notably, the presentation of his first symphony. Although today we find this work classical, and close to the works of Mozart and Haydn, at the time certain listeners found the symphony strange, overly extravagant, and even risqué. This genius, Beethoven, who was still a young, new composer, was already pushing the established boundaries of music.

In 1801 Beethoven confessed to his friends at Bonn his worry of becoming deaf. At Heiligenstadt, in 1802, he wrote a famous text which expressed his disgust at the unfairness of life: that he, a musician, could become deaf was something he did not want to live through. But music made him carry on. And he wrote that he knew that he still had many other musical domains to explore, to discover, and to pass on. Beethoven did not commit suicide, rather, knowing that his handicap was getting worse and worse, he threw himself into his greatest works: exceptional sonatas for piano (notably The Storm, opus 31), the second and the third symphonies- The Eroica – and of course many more.

Beethoven wrote this third symphony in honour of a great man, Bonaparte. He was seen as the liberator of the people, opening, from the French Revolution, a door to hope. When the First Consul declared himself Emporor, Beethoven became enraged and scowled out Bonaparte’s name from the score.

On April 7th 1805 the Eroica symphony was played for the first time.

Meanwhile, Beethoven had finally finished his opera, Leonore, the only opera he ever wrote. He wrote and re-wrote four different overtures. The name of the opera therefore changed to Fidelio, against the wishes of the composer. November 20th 1805 was the date of the opening performance … before a thin audience of French officers. This was because Napolean, head of the army, had captured Vienna for the first time. This happened again in 1809.
read and listen on this site

In the years that followed, the creative activity of the composer became intense. He composed many symphonies, amongst which were the Pastoral, the Coriolan Overture, and the famous Letter for Elise. He took on many students, those he found young and attractive, and he therefore fell in love with several of them. The Archbishop Rudolph, brother of the emperor, also became his student, his friend and eventually one of his benefactors.

In 1809, Beethoven wanted to leave Vienna, at the invitation of Jérome Bonaparte. His long-standing friend, the Countess Anna Marie Erdödy, kept him at Vienna with the help of his wealthiest admirers: the Archbishop Rudolph, the Prince Lobkowitz and the Prince Kinsky. These men gave Beethoven an annual grant of 4 000 florins, allowing him to live without financial constraint. The only condition was that Beethoven was not to leave Vienna. Beethoven accepted. This grant made him the first independent composer. Before this contract musicians and composers alike (even Bach, Mozart and Haydn), became servants in the houses of wealthy aristocratic families. They were thus part of the domestic staff, with no more rights than any other, but with the added task of composition and performance. Thus, for the musician of the day, Beethoven had outstanding circumstances: he was free to write what he wanted, when he wanted, under command or not, as he pleased.

In 1812, Beethoven went for hydrotherapy at Teplitz, where he wrote his ardent letter to “The Immortal Beloved”. This letter which was found in a secret draw with the Heiligenstadt Testament, has not stopped the theories and suppositions of researchers and biographers ever since. Numerous women amongst his students and friends have been, in turn, proposed as the recipient of this letter. Unless a new document is discovered (perhaps within the possessions of a private collector) it is likely that the truth about this mysterious woman will remain a secret.

At the end of July 1812, Beethoven met Goethe, under the organisation of Bettina Brentano. These two great men admired each other, but didn’t understand each other. The composer found the poet too servile, and the poet last estimation was that Beethoven was “completely untamed”. Beethoven admired Goethe, he put to music several of his poems. I always regretted not having been better understood by Goethe.

Then one of his benefactors, the Prince Lobkowitz, fell into financial difficulty, and the Prince Kinski died from falling off his horse. Kinski’s descendant decided to put an end to the financial obligations towards Beethoven. Here started one of the composer’s many attempts at saving his financial independence.

The Czech Johann Nepomuk Maelzel took up contact with Beethoven. Inventor of genius, and probably inventor of the metronome, Maelzel had already met Beethoven and had created various devices to help Beethoven with his hearing: acoustic cornets, a listening system linking up to the piano, etc. In 1813, Beethoven composed ‘The Victory of Wellington’, a work written for a mechanical instrument made by Maelzel, the “panharmonica” (or “panharmonicon”). But it was above all the metronome which helped evolve music and Beethoven, who had taken interest straight away, noted scrupulously the markings on his scores, so that his music could be played how he wished.

The Academy of 1814 regrouped his work, as well as the seventh and eighth symphonies. This was also the time of the re-writing of Leonore as Fidelio, Beethoven’s only opera. This work eventually became successful before the public.

Then the Congress of Vienna met, which brought together all the heads of state to decided the future of Europe after Napoleon. This was one of Beethoven’s moment of glory. He was invited to play many times, bringing him recognition and admiration of which he could be truly proud.

On November 15th 1815, Kaspar Karl, Beethoven’s brother, died. He left behind his wife, whom the composer referred to as ‘The queen of the night’ due to the pastimes of the widow, as well as a son, Karl, who was 9. Here Beethoven’s life was to change dramatically. His brother had written that he wished Karl’s guardianship to be exercised by both his wife and his brother Ludwig. Beethoven took this role very seriously, but the 45 year old celibate who could no longer hear found it difficult to live with and understand a child, and then a young man. This cohabitation was the cause of a new trial against the mother of the child, a generation conflict and numerous troubles.

In 1816, Carl Czerny (future teacher of Franz Liszt and once Beethoven’s student) became Karl’s music teacher, but didn’t find the talent in the boy which Beethoven hoped him to posses. At this time , he ended his cycle of lieders ‘To the distant loved one’and drafted the first theme for his ninth symphony.

Two years later, the Archduke Rudolph became Cardinal and Beethoven began composing his mass in D. It was never ready for the intronisation, but the work was rich beyond compare.

Gioachino Rossini triumphed in Vienna in 1822 where he met Beethoven again. The language barrier and Beethoven’s deafness meant that they could only exchange brief words. The Viennese composer tolerated

Italian opera only in moderation – he found it lacked seriousness.

The ninth symphony was practically finished in 1823, the same year as the Missa Solemnis. Liszt, who was 11, met Beethoven who came to his concert on April 13th. He congratulated the young virtuoso heartily who, years later, transcribed the entirety of Beethoven’s symphonies for piano.

May 7th 1824 was the date of the first playing of the ninth symphony and despite musical difficulties, and problems in the sung parts, it was a success. Unfortunately it was not financially rewarding. Financial problems constantly undermined the composer. He always had money put to one side, but he was keeping it for his nephew.

Then began the period of the last quartets, which are still difficult even for today’s audience, which knows how to interpret his other works. He started to compose his tenth symphony.

In 1826, Beethoven caught cold coming back from his brother’s place, with whom he had rowed again. The illness complicated other health problems from which Beethoven had suffered all his life. He passed away encircled by his closest friends on March 26th 1827, just as a storm broke out.

The funeral rites took place at the church of the Holy Trinity. It is estimated that between 10 000 and 30 000 people attended. Franz Schubert, timid and a huge admirer of Beethoven, without ever having become close to him, was one of the coffin bearers, along with other musicians. Schubert died the next year and was buried next to Beethoven.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *