Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Giant, Beethoven - After all; Only a Human

The power of Ludwig Van Beethoven as a creative force, can be summarized by the great 19th century pianist , composer and thinker, Franz Liszt, in his words (to paraphrase): "that giant shadow; always behind me."
The world is, of course, conversant with the magnificence of Beethoven's creations; however, it may be of interest to become more familiar with the Master's life style, as it appears to us in different forms.
A visit to Beethoven by a member of Napoleon's Council, Baron de Tremont, is noted in de Tremont's memoir; as follows:
"Imagine all that is most filthy and untidy: puddles on the floor, a rather old grand piano covered in dust and laden with piles of music, in manuscript or engraved. Beneath it (I do not exaggerate), an unemptied chamberpot. The little walnut table next to it was evidently accustomed to having the contents of the inkwell spilled over it. A mass of pens encrusted with ink - and more manuscripts. The chairs, most of them straw chairs, were covered with plates full of the remains of the previous evening's meal. Both Balzac and Dickens would use two full pages to describe what I have seen in Beethoven's two rooms. But as I am neither Balzac nor Dickens, I limit myself to saying this: I was at Beethoven's."

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