Beethoven, as Revealed in His Own Words by Ludwig van Beethoven

By Ludwig van Beethoven

Greatly considered as probably the most singular geniuses to have labored within the Western classical culture, Ludwig van Beethoven was once as distinctive as his once-in-a-generation musical expertise. This sequence of rates and memories from Beethoven himself paints a shockingly multifaceted photograph of the guy and his dedication to his artwork. A must-read for classical song fanatics.

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Extra resources for Beethoven, as Revealed in His Own Words

Sample text

So I thought I’d go wake him up, make him play some! I went up to his room. He was lying there with corn pads on his toes, and I woke him up, and he says, ‘Oh, really! Well wait. ’ He just loved to play. And he just jumped into his clothes right quick and came downstairs and started to blowing. Man! ’ He loved the give-and-take of a jam session, where he could take turns with other players, test himself and swap musical ideas. A jam session was a mixture of social event, competitive examination and educational experience, and it was strictly for insiders.

He seems to have taken up with a white woman called Bess Cooper, by whom he had a daughter, named Beverly. No documents survive, but an interview with Beverly, then aged fifty-four, was featured in the Minneapolis Star & Tribune of 25 August 1985. In it, she says that her mother, Bess, died soon after giving birth to her and that she had been brought up by foster parents. She recalls her father with great affection, and claims that he kept in 2 the territory 19 touch with her until the end of his life, visited her whenever he could, bought her a piano, and even took her on tour with him occasionally.

Simon, reviewing a live broadcast from the Grand Terrace for Metronome magazine, was particularly trenchant: ‘If you think the sax section sounds out of tune, catch the brass! And if you think the brass by itself is out of tune, catch the intonation of the band as a whole!! ’8 By dint of much rehearsal, and with the help of a pile of arrangements generously lent by Horace Henderson, Fletcher’s brother, matters gradually improved, but some problems were endemic. Musicians who had scarcely been earning a living wage could not afford new instruments, nor could they pay for the professional maintenance of those they had.

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