Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Beethoven - A Stance of and for the Enlightenment...

The world knows, of course, of the genius and work of Ludwig Van Beethoven - the power of his language moves us from the Classical to the Romantic, to encapsulate.
The pursuit of the portrayal of the human emotions simply for the sake of the extant  vocabulary of Human Emotion is the ultimate core of the power emanating from this towering figure in the world and history of the language we call Music. Ironically, the  substance and forms of the power of statement we hear when we listen to Beethoven, are, it seems to me, propelled even further because of the deafness, which may very well have acted as a deterrent; a kind of fire wall, against any form of influence, no matter how subtle or insidious. As there are no other examples, with any other great composer, of the same physical disaster that struck Beethoven, I  can only speculate. I've often wondered what kind of a Beethoven would the world know if he had not lost his hearing.
At any rate, his great regard for the works of Plato and other philosophers, is most assuredly reflected in  the tenets  of the morality code available to Man. Most powerful to Beethoven's view of the work of Plato are, of course, the ways of Wisdom and Reason, which dovetail into the ways  of the period of Enlightenment, of which Beethoven was a part. His sense of derision about the place of Royalty and Authority is  well  known to us. His refusal to take his hat off, or bow, metaphorically or in reality, to royalty is certified in his statement "it is they who should bow to us."
Which leads me to wonder -  just how much did Adolf Hitler know about the core of Beethoven?
The great composer's music was certainly heard in constancy throughout  Hitler's regime, which seems to me an anomaly. I'm quite sure that had Beethoven and Hitler been contemporaries; had Hitler's parochialism of the world outside of his own limited visions been dissipated just enough to understand the composer's hate of  artificial authority, Beethoven's stature, let alone possible fate, might very well  have turned  out to be very different. Would it have been  a concentration camp? Or escape, like Albert Einstein? Or would Beethoven have changed because of the ways of  the 20th century? We can only speculate.



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