Oration at Beethoven's Funeral - The Book of Ramblings
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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Dec. 30th, 2009 09:31 am
Oration at Beethoven's Funeral

I meant to post this one yesterday with the other quotes from the Beethoven book I'm reading.

From Grillparzer's Oration at Beethoven's Funeral
March 29, 1827

As we stand here at the grave of this departed, we are, as it were, the representatives of a whole nation, of the entire German people, mourning the fall of the one highly celebrated half of what remained to us of the vanished splendour of native art, the flower of our country's spirit. True, the hero of poetry in the German language [Goethe] is with us still--and long may he remain with us! But the last Master of resounding song, the sweet lips that gave expression to the art of tones, the heir and successor of Handel's and Bach's, of Haydn's and Mozart's immortal game, has ended his life, and we stand weeping beside the tattered strings of the silent instrument.

Of the silent instrument! Let me call him so! For he was an artist, and all that he was he became only by virtue of his art. The thorns of life had wounded him deeply, and as the shipwrecked cling to the shore, so he fled into thy arms, glorious sister alike of goodness and truth, consoler of the suffering. Art, whose origins are above. He held fast to thee, and even when the gate was closed through which thou hadst entered into him and hadst spoken to him, when he had grown blind to thy features because of his deaf ears, still he bore thy image in his heart, and when he died still it lay upon his breast.

He was an artist, and who can bear comparison with him?

As Behemoth rushes, tempestuous, over the oceans, so he flew over the frontiers of his art. From the cooing of doves to the rolling of thunder, from the most subtle interweaving of the self-determined media of his art to the awe-inspiring point where the consciously formed merges in the lawless violence of the striving forces of Nature, all these he exhausted, all these he took in his stride. Whoever comes after him will not be able to continue, he will have to begin again, for his predecessor ended only where art itself must end...

He was an artist, but he was a man, too, a man in every, in the highest sense. Because he shut himself off from the world, they called him malevolent, and because he avoided sentiment, they called him unfeeling. Oh, the man who knows himself to be hard does not flee! The finest points are those which are most easily blunted, bent or broken. Excessive sensibility recoils from sentiment. He fled the world because in the whole realm of his loving nature he could find no weapon with which to oppose it. He withdrew from men after he had given them everything and received nothing in return. He remained solitary because he could find no second I. But even unto his grave he preserved a human heart for all who are human, a paternal heart for those who were his kin, himself as a heritage to the whole world.

Thus he lived, thus he died, thus he shall live for ever.

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littleloveflame
littleloveflame
littleloveflame
Wed, Dec. 30th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)

Just - wow.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Dec. 30th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)

I know. I'd never read it before and it blew me away. Half of it was written before his death, when they knew the end was near. The person who wrote it was disturbed halfway through with news of his death and the remainder was written shortly thereafter. 20,000-30,000 people showed up for his funeral. Just amazing.


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angely78
angely78
angely78
Wed, Dec. 30th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)

I might actually be a little teary-eyed.

Wow.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Dec. 30th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)

I teared up while reading it! It's not like I didn't know he was gonna die or anything. But still...lol


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angely78
angely78
angely78
Wed, Dec. 30th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)

it's still amazing, and a stunning tribute. Would that you and I be remembered in such a way. :;sigh::


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