A Letter From Ludwig van Beethoven

A very thoughtful post from a fellow blogger which leads me to ask the question, would Beethoven: would Beethoven have been as great a composer if he hadn’t lost his hearing in his late twenties? Let me know what you think.

Pens and Pencils

Fiddle

On this day in 1827, Ludwig van Beethoven died at the age of 57. He completed nine symphonies, twelve concertos, numerous operas, arrangements, sonatas, trios, and quartets. He was a prolific composer whose impact on the musical world and western art is immeasurable. He was young when be began to lose his hearing, and there was at least one distinct moment when he weighed the burden of his life against the value of his art. At that moment, Beethoven considered the possibility of ending his life.

In 1802, he moved to Heiligenstadt, a short distance from Vienna, to rest while facing the reality of his deafness. In October, he wrote a letter to his brothers Carl and Johann in which he expressed his grief and anguish over his loss of hearing, lamenting incidents when, for instance, a flute played but he could not hear it.  Of these incidents he wrote…

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About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

One Response to A Letter From Ludwig van Beethoven

  1. kvennarad says:

    “…would Beethoven have been as great a composer if he hadn’t lost his hearing in his late twenties?…”

    I’m reinterpreting the question slightly and asking whether he would have been *considered* as great a composer, and really, for me, the answer simply isn’t in doubt. To me he simply defines what Romanticism means – the artist right at the centre of the art, which is an aspect of art that still has a strong hold upon creators and consumers alike.

    I don’t know where the composition of the Egmont Overture comes on the sliding scale of his deafness, but I wonder whether it matters. I feel it almost irrelevant to wonder whether he heard this composition in performance or just in his head. It’s great; end of!

    Of course having been taught by Haydn didn’t hurt one bit. 🙂

    Like

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