Beethoven - The Book of Ramblings
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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Tue, Dec. 22nd, 2009 10:05 am
Beethoven

First of all...sorry for being Miss Posty this morning. I have a lot to say I guess. I found all this stuff last night that I wanted to post this morning! I would have posted SOME of it last night but I couldn't get my laptop to connect via the wireless connection at OCC and the main computer in the room has a really loud keyboard so I didn't want to type too much.

Anyway...

I've been reading this book called "Beethoven: Letters, Journals, and Conversations." It's basically a collections of Beethoven's own letters to various people (patrons, publishers, and friends), some of Beethoven's notes jotted down in journals or on calendars, and some reminiscences from others at the time who knew him. It creates a fascinating picture of the man. I've copied down some of my favourite passages and have put them behind the cut for anyone interested!

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Letter to Eleanore von Breuning (Vienna, end of 1793)

"Here it is very hot; the Viennese are afraid that soon they will have no more ice cream: as the winter was so rarely cold, ice is scarce now. Here they have been arresting several persons of importance; they say that a revolution was about to break out -- but I believe that as long as the Austrians have brown beer and sausages, they'll never revolt."

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An account by Karl Friedrich Hirsch (1816)
(from Frimmel's biography)

"...As far as the externals of these lessons are concerned, we are told that Beethoven, already very hard of hearing at this time (Hirsch says: already at that time one had to speak to him very loudly), used to keep his eyes fixed upon his pupil's hands and would break out into violent rages when a wrong note was struck, whereupon he would grow very red in the face while the veins on his temples and forehead began to swell; also, in his irritation or impatience, he would pinch the artistic novice in a most ungentle manner; indeed, on one occasion he even bit his shoulder."

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From notebooks and calendars (1817)

"Sensual enjoyment without the union of souls is and always will be bestial: after it there is no trace of an exalted sentiment, rather one feels remorse."

"Your solitary life is like a poison to you in your deaf condition: a base person will always harbour suspicions of you."

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From Ludwig Cramolini's Reminiscences (1817)

His mother's description of Beethoven: "He is and always will be a grumpy old bear, and yet one can't really be angry with him. For it's all due to his deafness."

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To Nanette Streicher (1818)

"About everything else, to-morrow or the day after, my music. and unmusic. papers are almost in order; that was one of the 7 labours of Hercules."

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Edited to add: I forgot to include this little tidbit I read on a website about Beethoven: Medical science is divided as to whether Beethoven's deafness was due to direct damage to the auditory nerve (sensori-neural deafness) or to thickening and fixation of the bones which conduct sound through the middle ear (otosclerosis).

Otosclerosis? That's what I have. That's what is causing my hearing problems in my left ear. So glad they have a surgery that can fix it now!

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yesididit
yesididit
yesididit
Tue, Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)

you may have more in common with beethoven than you ever imagined!


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Tue, Dec. 22nd, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)

Definitely not something I want to have in common with him! LOL Hopefully they can correct it for me!


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