“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.”
“Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.”
Ludwig van Beethoven
December 16 (or 17 in other biographical books) is the Birthday Anniversary of one of my all time musical heroes…. one of the greatest giants of history of classical music (along with Mozart)……..And who along with Bach and Brahms he is called as one of the “three Bs of classical music”.
The genius of Bonn, Germany, Ludwig van Beethoven.
The history of music and specially of the symphonies changed with the genius of Beethoven. His Nine symphonies, which I adore all, and I specially recommend the wonderful concerts of Beethoven’s symphonies with Herbert von Karajan conducting the extraordinary Berliner Philharmoniker. Symphony No. 1 in C major, Symphony No. 2 in D major, the powerful Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major “Eroica”, the symphony that marked a change of history of symphonies (the fourth and final movement destroys me completely!) , the marvelous Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major (in which Robert Schumann called Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony a slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants) the famous and also powerful Symphony No. 5, Symphony No. 6 in F major “Pastoral” (absolutely exquisite and wonderful), Symphony No. 7 in A major (in which Richard Wagner called it the “apotheosis of the dance”) , the marvelous Symphony No. 8 in F major and his powerful Symphony No. 9 in D minor “Choral” which marked “a before and an after” in the history of the symphonies with making the perfect union of music with the words in a symphony, in the fourth and final movement, with Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” ( An die Freude) poem and the powerful chorus and beautiful four soloists singing. (And my favorite vocal voice, the Bass voice sings the first words)
In my opinion, of the nine symphonies of Beethoven, three made huge difference in music…. “Symphony No 3 “Eroica”, “Symphony No 7” and of course, “Symphony No 9 “Choral”.
And of course, we can not forget his Choral Fantasy. His 32 Piano Sonatas (The Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, ” Sonata Pathétique”, The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor “Sonata quasi una fantasia” and the Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor, Op. 111 are my favorites) his beautiful Violin Sonatas (The Violin Sonata No. 9 “Kreutzer Sonata” is my personal favorite) His exquisite 5 Piano Conertos (I highly recommend Beethoven’s Piano Concertos with Krystian Zimerman and Leonard Bernstein) his overtures and incidental music, ( Consecration of the House, Egmont, The Ruins of Athens, Coriolan , the Leonore overtures, King Stephen, The Creatures of Prometheus are my personal favorites) his magnificent String quartets (String Quartet No. 5 is my favorite) his String quintets, His Cello Sonatas, The Thriple Concerto For Piano, Violin, Cello & Orchestra Op.56 (I highly recommend the Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma performance ) his extraordinary Missa Solemnis, his Mass in C Major, and his only opera… but what an opera… an opera about the power of liberty for all humans, an opera about hope, the powerful “Fidelio” and that we will thankfully listen again at the MET next year.
The history of Music changed with the powerful, extraordinary music of Beethoven (and also Mozart!), an extraordinary man that had so much against him (his loss of hearing and the many more difficulties that Beethoven had in his life made me admire him more )
Beethoven was one of the most extraordinary human beings in history of arts… Beethoven, his life and music made a huge impact on me since I was a child/teenager ( my family took me to a lot of concerts of Beethoven’s symphonies and Piano Concertos since I was a Kid and also the famous movie “Immortal Beloved” marked my life) and I will always be thankful for having the beautiful music of Beethoven (and Mozart!) in my life.
Thank you, Ludwig van Beethoven for your beautiful, unforgettable music.
Herzlichen glückwunsch zum geburtstag, Ludwig van Beethoven!