Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Culture Forum

Culture Forum

  1. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    30 Nov '11 22:31 / 3 edits
    Much has been written about the grandeur, the clarity and the elegance upon which this master composer created some of the greatest music of our time. What has not been written about and characterized to the same degree is the person that Beethoven actually was.

    Indeed, he was a man like that of which you probably are not aware. I offer this for your amusement and reflection...

    Growing up a child, poor and abused, Beethoven had a different viewpoint than most of us and indeed very different from those he received patronage. His disdain for the aristocracy was legendary and best described in a letter he wrote to a Prince Likhnovsky whose home Beethoven had been living at for 2 years in the late 18th Century. After a quarrel with the Prince and feeling offended by the tone and underlying sentiment of the Prince's comments directed to Beethoven, he charged into the rainy night never to be seen again by the Prince.

    Some weeks later, the Prince received a letter that read,

    "Prince,

    Whatever you see yourself as, you owe it to good luck and your lineage; but I have achieved everything for myself. There have been thousands of princes and there will be thousands more, but there is only one Beethoven."

  2. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    03 Dec '11 08:10 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by uzless
    Much has been written about the grandeur, the clarity and the elegance upon which this master composer created some of the greatest music of our time. What has not been written about and characterized to the same degree is the person that Beethoven actually was.

    Indeed, he was a man like that of which you probably are not aware. I offer this for your amu usands of princes and there will be thousands more, but there is only one Beethoven."

    [/i]
    Which is 100 percent true. France's loss.
  3. 03 Dec '11 14:24
    Did Beethoven really refer to himself as "Beethoven"?
  4. 03 Dec '11 22:51
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Which is 100 percent true. France's loss.
    France? Lichnowsky was Austrian nobility, not French.

    Besides, Lichnowsky may have been haughty, but Beethoven himself could be insufferable at times. He didn't have the easiest of lives, true enough, but he vented his anger at that on other people who were frequently not nearly as guilty as he made them out to be. In this case, certainly, it seems that Beethoven turned a slight that was dubious in the first place into a world-burning offence. It is telling that, even after this arrogant reply by the composer, Lichnowsky at least tried to continue to support him as an artist, even if not as a person: it is Beethoven who was the instigator of the separation, not the prince.

    Richard
  5. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    05 Dec '11 05:20
    Originally posted by Great King Rat
    Did Beethoven really refer to himself as "Beethoven"?
    Are you asking FMF?
  6. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    05 Dec '11 20:26
    Originally posted by Great King Rat
    Did Beethoven really refer to himself as "Beethoven"?
    I'm pretty sure he didn't refer to himself as Mozart....
  7. 06 Dec '11 17:54 / 10 edits
    Heard a lot of Beethoven music, but do not know a lot of his biography.

    I know of the incident where some patrons paid for him to go and take composition lessons from Joseph Haydn. But Beethoven thought that Haydn was not teaching him the things he wanted to know. So he secretly went off to study with another composition teacher of his liking. Of course he kept this a secret from Haydn.

    Anyway, Beethoven was somehow getting another musician to do the homework that Haydn was giving him to do. (That's messed up). On top of this Ludwig then asked Haydn to write his patrons and advize them that Ludwig needed more money from them to get by.

    " Um, my pupil Mr. Beethoven is short of cash. Can you help ?"

    The aged Haydn received a curt reply from Beethoven's patrons upon receiving "samples" of Beethoven's composing assignments, identifying them as pieces known to them. No, he was not to receive more money!

    This thing came as an embarressment to Joseph Haydn in the extreme, not to speak of to the young Beethoven. Haydn dismissed him, I do believe.

    It was also during a difficult time in Haydn's life because he was heartbroken because of the deaths of two people in his life, one of which was his young friend Mozart. It was just a hassle that Haydn exactly didn't need at the time.

    Anyway, Beethoven, in spite of this hooky and getting others to do his homework, went on to prove himself an extremly talented composer.

    Unlike a lot of composers Beethoven had a circle of supporters urging him on to be revolutionary and supporting his tendencies to individualism. I can be corrected if wrong. But I think Beethoven had behind him a group of like minded "liberals" for lack of a better politically correct term, urging him on to be the bad boy of symphonic music. And Beethoven played the part well as we know.

    What I find curious about Beethoven is his sense that he had learned all that there was to know about composing. If I am not mistaken, in latter life he said he learned nothing from Haydn, which I think is an overstatment. He did not have to do what Mozart and Haydn did because they already laid the tracks for Beethoven. I think he could have acknowledged that.

    I think that Beethoven said that it was only from George Fredrich Handel he felt that he could STILL learn something. Very curious. Am I right about that ?

    Nice thread. Talk composers with you any time.