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The Beethoven. For. The. For the commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ludvig fun Beethoven in 17:7 day. The second in a series of programs produced by the University of Michigan Broadcasting Service revealing the musical social and political climate of Europe during the lifetime of a man who free for the.
Days host Mr. Richard Crawford of a music literature department at the University of Michigan School of Music is topic Beethoven. The figures and facts and anecdotes from Beethoven's own letters and the writings of his contemporaries which paint a vivid picture of Beethoven. The figure here now is Mr. Crawford more than perhaps any other composer. Beethoven has won a place in the consciousness of the public. The modern public I mean it was no accident that when the creator of a popular American comic strip decided to make one of his characters a budding pianist made Beethoven the boy's hero rather than Tchaikovsky or Brahms. The cartoonist could be pretty much confident that people the people who would be reading the comic strip already had some idea of Beethoven some idea of what he looked like. Something about the general tone of his music and perhaps even some idea of the
major events of his life. Most everyone would know that the composer had become deaf during his career. Certainly a fearful thing to happen to a musician and most everyone would know also that deafness hadn't stap Beethoven from composing so that the idea of a heroic personality is also attached to Beethoven. Noted music historian who used to teach here at the university the late Professor Hans David liked to repeat the results of a poll which was taken during the 1930s in this country. I don't recall who conducted the poll but the question was who was the greatest composer who ever lived. Beethoven won hands down. George Gershwin finished second. Now just about anyone who's interested in music has some idea of what
Beethoven was like as a man. I'm going to try to point out a few traits which I think are commonly held about Beethoven and try to enlarge somewhat on this set of traits not to debunk them because I think the prevailing attitude that we tend to have about Beethoven is basically accurate. The traits that I isolate as being commonly held about Beethoven are to begin with we have a tendency to believe that Beethoven read led a rather unhappy life and that he was a gloomy sort of person that he was an impetuous person indifferent to society unkempt in public appearance and rather irregular and his life habits as to Beethoven the composer were pretty well convinced that
composing was quite a struggle for Beethoven that he tended to write a kind of music particularly near the end of his life which was not designed for instant perception on the parts of the audiences of the day. That he was one of the first composers who seems to have had an eye toward writing for posterity and that he was a composer who was basically unsatisfied with the social position of the composer of his day and refused to take his place in the in the background so to speak. Now as I say what I've done here is to sum up a few traits that I think are commonly held about Beethoven and I think the profile drawn there is a fairly accurate one but certainly it needs a certain amount of filling out and I want to begin my discussion of
some specific traits about Beethoven's character by reading a letter which I think is characteristic of the attitude that I have just expressed. In other words this is Beethoven. This is Beethoven speaking who we think of as the typical Beethoven. This is we this is the way we think Beethoven was most of the time. And I'm going to interrupt my readings of this letter occasionally to add my own comments to the characteristic an uncharacteristic touches in the letter. It's a rather long letter and it was sent to France Gerhard Wagner in 18:1. Wagner was a doctor and an old friend of Beethoven's my dear good vague learn how greatly do I thank you for thinking of me. I have so little deserved it and so little tried to deserve anything from you and yet you are so very good and refuse to be held aloof by anything not even by
my unpardonable remissness remaining always my true good brave friend. Do not believe that I could forget you who were always so dear to me. I want to interrupt right there to say that this apologetic tone is very typical of much of Beethoven's correspondence. It seems as if many of the letters that he wrote began with rather a effusively apologies for the fact that he'd been so desultory in his correspondence before. He obviously did not often particularly feel drawn to writing and usually wrote only when he had something very important to communicate or something relating to a business deal. Now to return to the letter. There are moments when I long for you and would like to be with you my fatherland the beautiful region in which I first saw the light it still is clear and beautiful before my eyes is when I left you. In short I shall look
upon that period as one of the happiest incidents of my life when I shall see you again and greet Father Rhyne When this shall be. I cannot now tell you but I want to say that you will see me again only as a great man. You shall receive me as a great artist but as as a better and more perfect man. And if the conditions are improved in our fatherland my heart shall be employed in the service of the poor. Oh happy moment now. Just a brief comment on this. Beethoven was of course by his isolation which I'll describe in somewhat more detail later. Inclined toward introspective and less often we do have a few instances of this idea of him talking about perfecting himself as an individual. But I should point out that such things are rather rare in the passage that I read you as it
is not common in most of his letters now to return again. You want to know something about my situation. It is not so bad since last year. Unbelievable as it may sound even after I tell you. Now ske who has always remained my warmest friend set aside a fixed sum of six hundred florins for me to draw against. So long as I remained without a position worthy of me from my compositions I have a large income and I may say that I have more commissions than it is possible for me to fill. Besides I have six or seven publishers and may have more if I chose. They no longer bargain with me. I ask and they pay. You see it is very convenient. For instance I see a friend in need and my purse does not permit me to help him at once. I have only to sit down and in a short time help is at hand. Moreover I'm a better business man than
formerly if I remain here always. I shall bring it to pass that I shall always reserve a day for my concert of which I give several. The only pity is that my evil demon my bad health is continually putting a spoke in my wheel by which I mean that my hearing has grown steadily worse for three years for which my dysentery which you know has always been wretched has also been getting worse and I'll break off now because Beethoven then launches into a rather detailed discussion of his illness. Basically for the information of vague there was of course a physician and he talks in detail about the kind of treatment that he's been getting. I'll pick the letter up a little bit later here. Since the last treatment I can say I am stronger and better only my ears whistle and Buzz continually day and night. I can say I'm living a wretched
life for two years I've avoided almost all social gatherings because it is impossible for me to say to people I am deaf. If I belong to any other profession it would be easier. But in my profession it is an awful state. The Morrisons my enemies who are not few. What would they say in order to give you an idea of this singular deafness of mine. I must tell you that in the theatre I need to get very close to the orchestra in order to understand the actor. If I'm a little distant I do not hear the high tones of the instruments singers and if I be but a little further away I don't hear it all frequently. I can hear the tones of low conversation but not the words. And as soon as anybody shouts it is intolerable it seems singular that in conversation there are people who do not notice my condition attributing it to my absent mindedness. Heaven knows what will help what will happen to me. Varying
says that there will be an improvement if no complete cure. I have often cursed my existence Plutarch's taught me resignation. If possible I will bid defiance to my fate although there will be moments in my life when I shall be the unhappiest of God's creatures. I beg you to say nothing of my condition to anybody. Now as I suggest I think that letter incorporates into it a portrait of Beethoven which we have come to think of as characteristic. And at the risk of a certain redundancy I'd like to go back now and give just a brief biographical sketch of Beethoven and then return to some ideas that I would like to add to this portrait. Beethoven was born in 1770. He was a native of Bonn Germany. His birth was
into a musical family. His grandfather was a professional musician. His father as well was a singer employed by the court at Bonn and from very early in his career Beethoven received musical training. We know that before he was twelve years old he was capable of taking over for the court organist when the court organist was not there to fulfil his duties. We know that in his early teens he became a keyboard player with the court and theater orchestras. We know that later still at Bonn he played viola in the orchestra. Beethoven left Bonn in 1792 with the idea of going to Vienna and studying there and eventually touring as a virtuoso performer and composer.
He remained in Vienna for the rest of his life from 1792 until his death in 1827 and one of the most remarkable chapters in the career of any young musician. One would think would be to see the way in which during his first seven or eight years in Vienna Beethoven managed literally to take the city by storm. He arrived at the end of 1792 as I have said as a relatively unknown extremely talented individual and by 18:00 he had published a number of compositions he had performed frequently in public usually with the greatest approbation and specifically because of his ability to improvise. He had already with the first series of works published and performed
found himself by the age of 31 or 32 being spoken of in the same breath as Haydn and Mozart. But as the letter suggests and as we all know approximately in the year eighteen hundred are 1799. Beethoven began to become aware of a deterioration in his hearing and this condition persisted. It grew worse as the years went on. We do learn from the sources available about Beethoven that he was still able to hear certain things at near the end of the first decade of the nineteenth century but by around 1815 his deafness appears to have been almost total. Nevertheless while the deafness forced him to give up his career as a performer and as a conductor it didn't
have a great effect on his composing and he did continue to compose until the end of his life. The most damaging effect of the deafness seems to have had is on Beethoven's social life as well as his career as a performer. And somewhat solitary by nature from the beginning he found himself growing more and more away from society and his certain eccentricities were certainly exaggerated in the later years of his life probably largely due to his isolation. There should be mention one other incident that stems from the last part of Beethoven's life namely his rather ill fated attempt to take over the upbringing of his nephew the son of his brother when the brother died. Beethoven did not believe the mother to be worthy of having a child
entrusted to her care. It doesn't take much reading of biographical material about Beethoven to show that he himself was not terribly well suited for this task either. But he went through an immense amount of litigation to have the guardianship given to him and the boy proved to be quite a distraction in Beethoven's later years and that this chapter in his life is not one of the more happy ones. But by the time that Beethoven died in 1827 he was certainly acknowledged as a great hero and his funeral was as I'm sure many know one of the great events in Vienna with huge crowds and genuine grief attached to it. Now I've said that I would like to add some heart to this portrait of
Beethoven that most of us hold in common and I can't think of much better way of doing it than to know some anecdotes which relate to Beethoven. Now Beethoven is an individual about whom we have a great wealth of material part of this is due to the fact that he was such a magnetic energetic. Sort of character and he made a very deep impression on every one who came in contact with him. And shortly after his death with his fame undisputed many people began to gather Beethoven memorabilia together and so the anecdotes which we have from describing Beethoven at various points of his life the correspondence conversation books which were of course called forth by the fact that he was forced often to
converse through writing. All of these things would present an extremely rich source of material about Beethoven's character. A few things that come to light immediately are the impetuosity and sort of childlike good spirits of Beethoven. These are things that we don't associate first with his character because we know that rather gloomy circumstances in which he lived but it seems very clear from many of the things that we read and and also we might say from certain aspects of the music that Beethoven was in fact a person of considerable boisterousness in good spirits. Here is an example for instance from the Journal of one of his friends RIAs who comments about Beethoven's fondness for him and quoting now from RIAs he says he was really very fond of me of which fact he once in his absent
mindedness gave me a very comical proof once when I returned from sleighs here where I had spent some time at the country seat of princeling now ski as pianist and Beethoven's recommendation. I entered his room and he was about to shave himself and had lathered his face up to his eyes for so far he is fearfully stiff beard reached. He jumped up embraced me cordially and thereby transferred so much of the leather from his left cheek to my right that he had none left and we had a good laugh out of that Beethoven. There is also another incident about Beethoven playing some some of his cello sonatas with the great contra bass player dragging Netti and dragging. Executing the passages of these cello sonatas on the double bass with great perfection and Beethoven jumping up and running over and embracing both dragonet he and his rather unwieldy instrument.
This quality of absent mindedness too as illustrated by this very brief and rather gross little snippet from the Journal of another musician who met Beethoven right near the end of his life I'm quoting now another of his characteristics was the liveliness with which he discussed matters of interest to him and which occasions it sometimes happened that walking up and down with my father. He would spit into the mirror without knowing it instead of out the window as was his habit. Then there's one other story here which I I have noted which I think is also rather amusing and enlarges a little bit on this portrait of Beethoven as a very direct perhaps somewhat tactless and extremely credulous childlike sort of person I'm quoting from. Now I'm paraphrasing him actually in Berlin Beethoven
associated much with Friedrich Heinrich Himmel musician of whom he said that he had a pretty talent but no more. His piano playing he said was elegant and pleasing but he was not to be compared with some others. Beethoven fell out with him all in the following manner. One day when they were together him and begged Beethoven to improvise which Beethoven did afterwards Beethoven insisted that hemol do the same in him or was weak enough to agree after he'd played for quite a time. Beethoven remarked Well when are you going to begin improvising. Himmel had flattered himself that he'd already performed wonders. But as Beethoven later said I thought that he was only playing a prelude hemol jumped up angrily from the piano and the two men argued later they were reconciled but Himmel never forgot the front and when the two men exchanged letters hemol got even with Beethoven. Beethoven always was anxious to hear the latest news from Berlin. But the thought of writing such letters
bored. Himmel Himmel I was in Berlin at the time so he sent word that the great news from Berlin was that a lamp for the blind had been invented. Beethoven was greatly excited by the news and ran around telling everyone of course he was questioned about the details. So he wrote back to him saying that hemol had blundered in not giving him more detailed information about the wonderful lamp. The answer which Beethoven received which does not permit of communication not only put an end to the correspondence but brought great ridicule upon Beethoven. I have two more stories about about Beethoven's general character and these both having to do with his impetuousness and sort of playfulness which I think round out of the picture a little bit. This is one about Regus playing the concerto in C Minor
of Beethoven and Rhea's tells the story. Beethoven had given me his beautiful concerto in C Minor Opus 37 in manuscript so that I might make my first public appearance as his pupil with it. Beethoven himself conducted but he only turned the pages and never perhaps was a concerto more beautifully accompanied. We had two large rehearsals. I had asked Beethoven to write a cadenza for me but he refused and told me to write one myself and he would correct it. Beethoven was satisfied with my composition and made few changes but there was an extremely brilliant very difficult passage in it which though he liked it seemed to him too venturesome. Wherefore he told me to write another in its place a week before the concert he wanted to hear the cadenza again. I played it and I floundered in the passage. He again this time a little ill naturedly told me to change it. I did so but the new passage did not quite satisfy me. I therefore studied the other and zealously.
But I was not quite sure of it when the cadenza was reached in the public concert. Beethoven quietly sat down. I could not persuade myself to choose the easier one when I boldly began the more difficult one. Beethoven jerked violently in his chair but the cadenza went through all right and Beethoven was so delighted that he shouted Bravo loudly this electrified the entire audience and at once gave me standing among the artists afterwards while expressing his satisfaction. Beethoven added but all the same you are wilful. If you'd made a little slip in the passage I would never have given you another lesson. Finally there's a picture of Beethoven presenting his own quintet for piano and wind instruments with the renowned oboist from participating again and rehearse his words in the last Allegro. There are several holds before the theme is resumed. And one of these Beethoven
suddenly began to improvise took the Rondo for a theme and entertained himself and the others for a considerable length of time but not the other performers. Remember they're all still at the ferrata they were displeased and even very angry. It was really very comical to see them momentarily expecting the performance to be resumed putting their instruments to their mouths only to have to put them down again as Beethoven improvised a head at length. Beethoven was satisfied and dropped into the Rondo. The whole company was transported with delight. Now this quality of playfulness is nowhere more evident I think than in Beethoven's letters. They're full of puns. It would seem that in at least half of the letters Beethoven gets out some outrageous joke or playful jibe at the friend or whatever and this evidence of high spirits is is very clear.
Beethoven's friends mostly tend to describe him as being this kind of person. And while it's always rather difficult to say precisely that a certain personal trait is reflected in the music of a composer Nevertheless I think we can say that Beethoven's playfulness impetuous exuberance and so forth is illustrated by several passages I'd like to point out just a couple of them so you can hear here a little music now and rest from the talk. The first example that I'd like you to hear is the beginning of the last movement of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony. Now I think maybe we'll just put that on and I'll comment on it after we hear the first portion.
See now the thing that's arresting about that passage of course is the completely unexpected and apparently extraneous interruption of that C-Sharp in the middle of a very soft spritely F Major melody. This sort of bomb continues to drop periodically throughout the movement and it becomes almost expected. Yet it's never explained. Now clearly a composer of Beethoven's stature and rigor would not be likely to give vent to just nothing more than a display of high spirits in a piece there would always have to be some reason why some event like this was happening and in the coda of the movement we finally find out what was happening all the time in the spot that you're going to hear Beethoven finally gives that C-Sharp
a little bit more function. He repeats it a number of times it becomes the dominant of F sharp and all of a sudden the melody blazes out at us and then in the key of F sharp of course far removed from the F major in which it originally appeared. Beethoven then wrenches it back into f by having the brass butt in but the effect is an extremely strong one. I'd like for you now to hear the latter part of the movement in which we find out why that C Sharp was dropped throughout the course of the earlier part of the movement.
The. Going. Now or back in the key of F and the excursion is over. Now in discussing Beethoven's boisterousness his roughness and so forth his humor. I would like to quote again from some of Beethoven's correspondence. This one happens to be Shindler who was a close associate of his late in his life. And by way of this quotation lead to another musical example which I think
between which quotation and example I think the connection will be fairly clear. Quoting now from Shandley the communications of Madame care of Beeny and Kramer commitment and Madame Caribbean he being the wife of the French composer and Kramer being a great piano virtuoso of the time his communications agreed in saying that in mixed society Beethoven's conduct was reserved stiff and marked by artists pride. Whereas among his intimates he was droll lively indeed voluble at times and fond of giving play to all the arts of wit and sarcasm not always wisely especially in respect of political and social prejudices. These are the two people were able to add much concerning Beethoven's awkwardness in taking hold of such objects as glasses coffee cups etc. to which master carabiner the composer added the comment to you Bosc
always rough these statements confirmed what I had heard in general from his older friends touching on the social demeanor of Beethoven. Now the roughness and obviousness of Beethoven's humour I think is demonstrated by a little song which I'd like for you to hear now. The name of it is because the kiss and the text is worth reading. I was all alone with Chloe and wanted I wanted to kiss her but she said she would cry out and my efforts would be in vain. I tried though and kissed her in spite of her resistance. And did she not cry out. Certainly she did but much later. Now not only is the text somewhat crude we might say but Beethoven's treatment of it is in the school of what we might call the elbow in the ribs. Tradition of humor.
Beethoven is not content to let the joke lie. The business about much later long ago the first time that crops up in the text would have been a time when many composers particularly composers of the later nineteenth century would have stopped rather coyly let's say as you'll see Beethoven's Lama is repeated and repeated in in the way in which a child tends to start laughing at a joke and to repeat it over and over again and to get every bit as much kick out of it. The third or fourth time as he does the first. Now I'd like for you to hear their kuis and a demonstration of Beethoven's unwillingness to let the thing drop.
A thing you know you're just like a. Song for me. This Susie. Being. Is going.
To pull. All. The. Get Oh you know. I think the song generally makes that point about Beethoven. And I'd like now to turn to something of a more general description made by one of Beethoven's contemporaries. Was I afraid I fried a conductor and musician
around the year a team five. Here's his description of Beethoven as as an individual and particularly interesting I think is his description of Beethoven as a conductor. Our master could not be presented as a model in respect of conducting and the orchestra always had to have a care in order not to be led astray by its mentor for he had ears only for his composition and was ceaselessly occupied by manifold gesticulations to indicate the desired expression. He used to suggested diminuendo by crouching down more and more and at a pianissimo he would almost creep under the desk when the volume of sound grew. He rose up also as if out of the stage trap and with the entrance of the power of the band he would stand upon the tips of his toes almost as big as a giant. Waving his arms seemed to soar upward to the skies. Everything about him was active.
Not a bit of his organism idle and the man was compared to was comparable to a perpetuum mobile. A perpetual motion he did not belong to those capricious composers whom no orchestra in the world can satisfy. At times indeed he was altogether too considerate and did not even repeat passages which went badly at rehearsal. It will go better next time he would say. He was very particular about expression the delicate nuances the equable distribution of light and shade as well as an effective tempo rubato without betraying vexation and would discuss them with individual players when he then observed that the players would enter into his intentions and play together with increasing ardor inspired by the magical power of His creations. His face would be transfigured with joy. All his features beamed pleasure and satisfaction in a pleased smile would play about his lips and a thundering Bravi to the reward the successful achievement.
It was the first and loftiest triumphal moment for the genius COMPRA comparable with which he confessed the tempestuous applause of a receptive audience was as nothing now having attempted to suggest some traits about Beethoven which we don't immediately associate with prevailing The gloomy tone of much of his life. I think it might be well to turn to discussion of a few more aspects of his personal and musical Thod which will touch upon the generalizations that I made at the beginning. As you may remember I said that we are pretty well
convinced we hold in common. Pretty much the idea that for Beethoven composition was a struggle. We have the idea as well that he almost uniquely among composers of his time composed with posterity in mind as well as as the immediate audience and that he was a composer concerned with the social position of composers at that time and unwilling to accept it. I might address the first one of these generalizations first. Basically to say that I am not really sure that I agree with it. I've spent a good part of time in the last couple of weeks reading Thayer's monumental biography of Beethoven reading through Beethoven's own letters reminiscences of those who knew him and so forth and the impression that I'm that I have right now although it's by no means provable of
course is that Beethoven's idea about social position the social position of the composer. And indeed I might even go so far as to say his attitude toward political issues toward liberty and and so forth issues which galvanize the world and many men of his of his time. I have the impression that these were mostly passing matters with him and that in fact his philosophy on these matters was probably tied pretty closely to his disposition. That is what the kind of mood that Beethoven happened to be in the kind of problems that he faced on a day to day basis were far more real far more interesting to him than abstract ideas about social matters and particularly having to do with composers social position
one statement one anecdote which is has often been repeated about Beethoven has to do with him and good to getting together at templates at a time when Napoleon was staying there. And this court being the center really of Europe at that brief moment where the nobility flocked around to be near Napoleon at this time when he was in his heyday Beethoven and Gupta met there. They are known to have talked and basically seem to have understood and liked one another quite a bit of the famous story comes and where Beethoven and Gupta are walking arm in arm down the street a group of nobility approach them good to become somewhat nervous. Eventually Let's go Beethoven's arm and steps off to allow the nobility to pass. Beethoven reportedly with folded arms barges right on ahead and the nobility
step aside for him. Then later he chides go somewhat for paying too much deference to the nobility. Now we treasure this story and we we tend to take it as an illustration of Beethoven's idea of equality of people and so forth. But it seems to me in my present state of mind that it's much more likely I think that that this is a kind of a function of Beethoven's particular disposition. He was he was an eccentric sort of person. He lived alone. He was used to obeying the dictates of his emotions at the moment. His tendency was to dig in his heels when opposed rather than to give in. And this story may well illustrate that trade more than any sort of abstract love for the
ideas of liberty or freedom or any sort of denunciation of the nobility. Now as to the matter of Beethoven writing for posterity. We have it on his own words a few times that particularly late in his life. This was the sort of thing he was interested in. For example in the years about 1822 1823 Rosine came to Vienna became the great rage. His works became extremely popular and a taste for lighter Italian music tended to predominate in those years in Vienna. Beethoven at that time was quoted as having said on the subject of Rossini. Well at any rate they won't be able to deprive me of my place in music history and that's a rather curious statement and one that certainly no composer would have made before that particular time. But
Beethoven was in a position at this particular time in his life to watch composers posthumous reputations growing for the first time in the history of music that we know namely composers such as Handel Bach and Mozart and Haydn who had died in 89 had written works which had become a part of a growing classical repertory a repertory which existed independent of the composers. Not according to the previous ideas of composers works usually dined with him. Beethoven saw that this kind of thing was possible. The concentration and intensity of the kind of music that he was writing seemed to him appropriate for this sort of thing. He had no real difficulties with that
with audiences by this time in his life since he had by his fame and the support of his friends achieved enough power to gain commissions for any kind of work that he would like to write. And so I think it is fair to say that at this point the composer begins to address a kind of anonymous public not the public of the here and now and certainly with with this by writing music of this kind of intensity and prickliness this music which was not designed necessarily to be immediately appealing. Beethoven set an example which later composers tended to follow. Finally as for the business of composing being a struggle for Beethoven this is eminently clear. We know that Beethoven could
compose very rapidly when he wanted to. We know that he was a magnificent improviser as a performer but we also have ample evidence from the numerous sketchbooks of Beethoven that have survived that as time grew on he became a slower and slower worker. He struggled harder and harder to make each work a kind of definitive statement. Now that music was being addressed across the ages to people who might come later and the importance of the success of a particular performance at a particular time was lessening. Now one idea which might mean while it may not seem abstract did haunt Beethoven and obsess him during a large part of his life was the idea of marriage.
Beethoven while he was apparently not a very attractive individual physically. Obviously possessed great personal charms which won him a large number of devoted friends both male and female. One of his biographers This is vaguely. Whom I mentioned earlier talks about Beethoven during his early time in Bonn and later in Vienna said the truth as I learned to know it and also my brother in law is that there was never a time when Beethoven was not in love and that in the highest degree certain passions and then he mentions those with the names names of a couple of girls that Beethoven knew and barn fell in his transition period from youth to manhood and left impressions as little deep as
were those made upon the beauties who had caused them in Vienna. At all events so long as I lived there Beethoven was always in love and occasionally made a conquest which would have been very difficult if not impossible for many an Adonis. Now there's been a great deal of speculation about various aspects of Beethoven's relationships with women. It is known that he came rather close to marriage more than once that he did offer proposals. We're not always sure of the reasons that these proposals were not put into effect but generally the state of marriage seems to have held a great attraction for Beethoven and it was one that always eluded him. In fact I think it could be said that he came to idealize the state of marriage to an uncommon degree.
Or perhaps it would be better to say he idealised it to a degree that would be impossible for anyone who was married even on Beethoven's death been as we would learn from a journal relating to that time of his suffering. We know that Beethoven was still as the writer says quote deeply concerned with his failure to enter the married state. Already during our first visit he joked about this with Hummel a composer whose wife he had known as a young and beautiful girl. This time he said to him smiling you are a lucky fellow. You have a wife. She looks after you. She is in love with you. But I'm a poor bachelor and he sighed deeply. End of quote Beethoven's only opera Fidelio bears witness to this deep conviction
that he had about the blessedness of the married state. In fact it's rather well-known that Beethoven was not at all pleased with Mozart for having written operas such as Kosi fun to take Don Giovanni as Beethoven told a friend. The subjects just didn't attract him at all because of their immorality. Fidelio however deals with a just and magnificent woman married to a hero wrongly imprisoned she undergoes deprivation and risks her life and finally succeeds in saving him from the tyrants who have imprisoned him. It seems that the finale of Fidelio is one of the most ardent bursts of joy that one is apt to find any place in Beethoven's works. Beethoven used to like
to describe himself as more boisterous. In his more boisterous moods as unbuttoned. And certainly I think we can call the finale of failure Fidelio an unbuttoned piece. If I might read the text it would seem to be somewhat perhaps at variance with the mood that's created. He who has won a noble wife will join us proudly. Never can they be praised too highly. Hail to her who saved his life and so forth. A real him to marriage. The deep conviction with which Beethoven believed in the institution I think can be seen in the fire and vigor of this finale made
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The. Today's host as been Mr. Richard Crawford of the music literature department of the University of Michigan School of Music taking on the topic Beethoven the figure facts and anecdotes from Beethoven's own letters and the writings of his contemporaries which paint a vivid picture of Beethoven the figure. This has been another in a series of programs produced by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan revealing the musical social and political climate of Europe during a lifetime of Ludvig fun Beethoven. Commemorating the 200 anniversary of his birth in 1778. A key. The for the
US. S. are invited to listen again next week at the same time for another program in the series. Beethoven the man who freed. The. Us.
Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music
Episode Number
Crawford: Beethoven - the Figure
Producing Organization
University of Michigan Broadcasting Service
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music is a program from the University of Michigan Broadcasting Service and the National Educational Radio Network. The series focuses on Beethovens life and works through musical selections and lectures from faculty members at the University of Michigan. The program was originally produced in 1970 in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Beethovens birth, and was later distributed by National Public Radio.
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Producing Organization: University of Michigan Broadcasting Service
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-15-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:59:33
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Chicago: “Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music; 2; Crawford: Beethoven - the Figure,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 26, 2021,
MLA: “Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music; 2; Crawford: Beethoven - the Figure.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 26, 2021. <>.
APA: Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music; 2; Crawford: Beethoven - the Figure. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from