Monday, June 20, 2011

Beethoven - The Tragedy, in His Own Words...

The world knows of the determinism of the Heiligenstadt Testament that the 32 year - old composer wrote to his brothers, but was never delivered; first, his thoughts about suicide due to his increasing deafness, followed by a determination, through rationalization, of his desire to continue and complete the job he was placed upon Earth to do.
But one should be reminded that this sense of purpose was constantly assailed by bouts of anguish and depression that accompanied his consciousness in regularity.
I came across a letter he wrote in the summer of 1817 - in part:
"As for myself, I am often in despair, and almost tempted to put an end to my life, for all these remedies seem to have no end. May God have compassion on me, for I look upon myself to be as good as lost.
I thank God that the thread of my life will soon be spun out."
And yet Beethoven endured for another decade, spinning out one masterpiece after another.
How wonderfully and mysteriously ironic the total deafness becomes. It certifies the cosmic power and oneness of the works this tormented genius gave to the world.
One statement that Beethoven uttered is one of my favorites. It most assuredly was not funny to the person he addressed it ; however, for me, there is a shard of humor, however wry, couched in the words:
"You will have to play yet for a long time before you realize that you cannot play at all."

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