Beethoven Beethoven Beethoven.
It’s a name that carries weight, great weight, even moral weight. It’s strange, what a name grows to symbolize, and what the energy of a name can become. And yet, long before HE came to life, his forefathers were probably beet farmers, in the Netherlands and what is now Belgium. What beets those must have been! To nourish such blood…
There was already musical talent in the family before the Great One came along. Interestingly, the first one was also Ludwig, who was the grandfather of our Ludwig. He was the one to emigrate from the Low Countries to Bonn, where he eventually became Kapellmeister at the Court of the Elector of Cologne, an important position that required a deep knowledge of music and good administrative ability. Kapellmeister Beethoven was an important personage in the city.
His son, Johann, was also a court musician, but with perhaps less talent, and more than anything, probably less discipline, which caused him to have a very minor career as a musician, except for having given lessons to and supervised young Ludwig’s musical upbringing.
There is so much to consider when thinking of great men, in their background, in their childhood and of course in their adult life. It is so convoluted, and so complex. Beethoven is a wonderful case because he was so famous during his lifetime, which spanned fifty-six years. As a result there are huge amounts of information about him from contemporary sources, and his deafness, having forced him to write and have conversation books at all times, actually gives us unbelievable glimpses into his daily life. But as much information as there is, there are yet hanging mysteries and questions.
The purpose here is not to be become scholarly, but rather to express personal thoughts and feelings on Beethoven’s life, and music. I invite all readers of this page to become writers and share them in the comment box below. All languages accepted!