And the Music Composer of the Month is…. BEETHOVEN!
Come join us THIS FRIDAY August 7, to learn more about who Beethoven was and his influence upon the world with the last of Dr. Van der Beek’s Composer Series at 6 PM in the concerto hall at Brigham Larson Piano’s.
Here are some interesting facts about Beethoven!
- “He was absolutely incompetent at the usual business of life and friendship and love, but he had the most incredible resilience and courage. As he once said: “I’m bad at everything but music.'”
- Beethoven was massively suspicious and paranoid, more so as he got older, but at the same time massively sympathetic to people’s suffering. What that meant in practice is that one day he might call you a villain who deserves hanging and, if he found out next day that you were broke, give you everything in his pocket.
- Playwright Franz Grillparzer, who knew Beethoven, said that when he exploded in wrath Beethoven “was like a wild animal.” And he exploded a lot.
- The Archduke Rudolph was one of the men that gave Beethoven and annual grant of 4,000 florins, allowing him to live without financial constraint. The only condition was that Beethoven was not to leave Vienna. Beethoven accepted. This grant made him the world’s first independent composer.
- Beethoven went deaf in his later years which is amazing to know that some of his most profound works were written when he could no longer hear.
- Unlike Mozart, Beethoven’s funeral services was attended by 10,000-30,000 people! He was obviously revered, even if they didn’t always understand him or get a long with him.
One of my favorite reviews of Beethoven’s music comes from E.T.A. Hoffman, the writer of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
“Beethoven’s instrumental music unveils before us the realm of the mighty and the immeasurable. Here shining rays of light shoot through the darkness of night, and we become aware of giant shadows swaying back and forth, moving ever closer around us and destroying within us all feeling but the pain of infinite yearning, in which every desire, leaping up in sounds of exultation, sinks back and disappears. . . . Beethoven’s music sets in motion the machinery of awe, of fear, of terror, of pain.”
Listen. Listen. Listen.
For the composer of the month, the students earn $10 extra music bucks for filling out a questionnaire about Beethoven! They also get $2 for every song they listen to on the Beethoven playlist found HERE.
Sit back and enjoy the music of Beethoven!