Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Thomas Jefferson and Ludwig Van Beethoven - Brethren in Spirit?

I remember reading, years ago, a book by David Ewen, titled "Beethoven - The Man Who Freed Music". The title is perhaps a bit simplistic; however, the author effectively deals with Beethoven's struggle and ultimate victory in representing, for the first time, music reflecting the vocabulary of man's emotion simply for the sake of its existence - or, to cite briefly, the creation of Romanticism in music.
Jefferson, a contemporary, and thousands of miles away, was doing the same thing in his writings; that is, to exemplify the spirit of the Enlightenment by way of reflecting upon the reality of man's struggle with and questioning of Authority, let alone dealing with the coming pragmatism of human contact and the lowering of the barriers to allow common language and egalitarianism to project the ongoing search for freedom in its many incarnations and forms.
It seems to me that these two giants were involved in the same process.

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