Beethoven with anecdotes


I'm sure you've heard a lot of nonsense about me being a nuisance, capricious, and impudent person whose music is to be avoided, but whose music is enjoyable. I know these malicious and lying mouths; If the world thinks of me as a heartless person because I rarely meet people who can understand my feelings and thoughts, so I have few friends, then they are wrong.

Beethoven / Louis Schlösser (March 1, 1823)

At the soiree to be held at Prince Lichnowsky's house, Op. The first three of Beethoven's Trios, scheduled to be published as 1, were to be introduced to the Viennese art community. Along with a large group of artists and music lovers, Haydn, whose ideas were the most curious, was also there. The trios were played in one go and received extraordinary attention. Haydn also praised the works, but advised him not to publish the third in minor tonality. Surprised by the advice given for his third work, which he believed to be the most beautiful of all, Beethoven thought Haydn was jealous and malicious. I must confess that when Beethoven told me this story, I did not have much confidence. I personally asked Haydn about the subject, but his answer seemed to confirm Beethoven. He thought that the third work would not be easily and quickly understood by the public, so it would not find a positive response.

Ferdinand Ries (1793)

Prince Carl von Lichnowsky and Count Werdenberg were both friends and patrons of Beethoven. The prince received him as a guest at his home, and Beethoven stayed there for several years. I saw him in late 1794. Despite being a guest, Beethoven certainly had a house in the city. The prince was a music lover, he would play the composer's works as best he could, and whenever he had the opportunity, he would complain about the technical difficulties of the works. Music was played in his house every Friday morning. For these events, Schuppanzigh, Weiss, the famous cellist Kraft and Link were hired as musicians. At one of these meetings, composer Förster brought his quartet, which he had cleared that morning. The performance was started, but had to stop in the middle of the first part because the cello was shuffling. While Beethoven was playing his piano, he stood up and hummed the bass part loudly. When I asked him about this situation that requires great skill, he smiled and replied: "The bass part should be like this, otherwise the composer doesn't understand anything about the composition." He added that it is not possible to see all the notes, adding that it is a piece he saw for the first time and that the tempo is Presto [too fast]. when you say; “There is no need for that. As long as the language is familiar, if you read fast there may be a lot of typos, but you won't see them and you won't mind.

Franz Wegeler (1793)

This place is so hot. The mild winters and the availability of ice make Viennese people anxious about finding ice cream. Many important people are here. Revolution is said to be imminent – ​​but in my opinion Austrians won't revolt as long as they have black beer and sausage. The gates to the suburbs are said to close at ten in the evening. The soldiers' weapons are loaded. Nobody speaks loudly, they are afraid of being caught by the police.

Beethoven / Nikolaus Simrock (August 2, 1794)

Beethoven knew nothing about the value of money or thrift. To give an example, the Prince's dinner time was four in the afternoon. "Now," said Beethoven, and continued, "I'm expected to be ready by half past three every day, with clean clothes and a shave—I can't stand it." He preferred to eat in taverns rather than follow the rule. Like I said, he didn't know anything about being thrifty. The prince gathered his staff at a meal and ordered that if he rang the service bell at the same time as Beethoven, priority should be given to Beethoven over himself. Beethoven hired a servant to serve him immediately after this meal. Another similar situation was experienced in horse riding training. Learning of his short-lived enthusiasm, the Prince conveyed that he could use the palace barn as he wished. Beethoven bought himself a horse the next day.

Franz Wegeler

There are differences of opinion regarding the ability of both, but it seems that the majority is on Wölffl's side. I will try to show the skills of both without getting into the discussion. Beethoven's performance is simply magnificent, but less subtle and a victim of obscurity. It has a lot of advantages in improvisation. He is able to really develop the given theme with extraordinary skill, with ideas that are both light and steady and follow one another. Since Mozart's death, which in my opinion he was perfect in this field, no improvisations I have listened to have satisfied me so much. Wölffl could not approach him in this regard. But it also has its own advantages; He can perform seemingly impossible passages with incredible ease, error and clarity. I have to say that in addition to his musical knowledge, he also benefited from his great hands in this skill that aroused great admiration on the audience. Adagio comments are both fascinating and suggestive. Wölffl, who looks quite natural compared to Beethoven, who seems partially arrogant, also has an advantage with his friendly stance.

Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung (22 April 1799)

Beautiful, talented and educated singer Magdalena Willmann is invited to the Venice carnival in 1794. Leaving Bonn with his brother Max, they set off for Venice. After giving a concert in Graz, the brothers cross their path to Vienna; Max stays, Magdalena goes to Berlin. When things didn't go the way she wanted in Berlin, Magdalena returned to Vienna and soon began to sing in German and Italian at the Royal Opera. Beethoven renews his ties with the Willmann family and wants to conclude his admiration for the young singer's beauty with a marriage proposal. This story was transmitted to the author by the daughter of his brother Max Willmann, who lived until 1860. The girl, who tells that her father often tells about this story, explains why her aunt turned down this marriage proposal: "Because she was so ugly and crazy!" Magdalena's happiness is short-lived when she marries someone else in 1799. He died quite young, in 1801.

Madame S. / Thayer (1860)

Countess Anna Brunsvik wishes her daughters Josephine and Therese to take piano lessons from Beethoven when she visited Vienna in 1799. In her memoirs, published in La Mara in 1909, Therese describes the lessons as follows: “During our 18 days of temporary stay in Vienna, my mother asked me and my sister to study with Beethoven. Adalbert Rosti, my brother's friend from school, said by ordinary invitation that Beethoven could not be summoned to St. He had warned that he should go himself to his flat in Peter. We did what we were told. Beethoven sonatas in hand, we went home just like a student. The great composer welcomed us very warmly. He sat me down at his out of tune piano. Because he liked my work, he agreed to teach at the Erzherzog Carl hotel where we stayed. I expected the lessons to be one hour, but they lasted from twelve to four or even five in the afternoon. He wouldn't tire of lowering and twisting my fingers, which were constantly raised and straight, as I had been taught before.

Therese Brunsvik, La Mara (1909)

Beethoven, who is still known as a virtuoso pianist, meets the young fireman Georg August Griesinger at the house of Prince Lobkowitz. Chatting with a gentleman among the guests, Beethoven complains about his sales, bargaining and irregular income, saying that he is looking for a publisher who will pay him regularly, just like Goethe (Cotta) and Handel (London). The response of the other party is: “Young friend, you shouldn't complain because you are neither a Goethe nor a Handel and you are not expected to be at this level anytime soon. Such masters are not born again.” Beethoven bites his lips, puts on a contemptuous smile, does not answer. Lobkowitz said to uplift his composer friend, “Beethoven didn't say that to offend you. The majority opinion is that this generation cannot produce great writers and musicians like the previous ones.” Composer replies; “What a pity, Your Highness, I cannot speak to people who do not believe and do not trust me because I am not yet known.”

Griesinger / Ignaz Seyfried (Beethoven: Studies, 1853)

By examining his sketchbooks, one can get an idea of ​​the endless productivity of Beethoven's genius. These notebooks, like Hawthorne's "Notebooks" in literature, are like a fountain from which new ideas flow, constantly flowing until you turn off the death tap. There are themes and ideas that are unrelated to each other, written for all kinds of compositions, called “Bagatelle”, some of which have never been used. These ideas and scribbles are so numerous that their published works contain only a small part of them.


Although the exact cause of Beethoven's deafness is not known, his friend Dr. Considering the letters he wrote to F. Wegeler, in which he explained his symptoms clearly, dated 29 June and 16 November 1801, and the autopsy report, it is understood that the hearing loss is not due to diseases such as conductive type – otosclerosis, but to a disease related to the nervous system. Nervous system deafness can occur as a result of a severe infection that damages the auditory nerves.

Dr. L. Ashby Adams / E. Forbes

Beethoven had valuable Italian instruments given to him by his friend and patron, Prince Karl Lichnowsky. I will explain these instruments in detail:

Beethoven had valuable Italian instruments given to him by his friend and patron, Prince Karl Lichnowsky. I will explain these instruments in detail:

*A violin made in 1718 by Joseph Guarnerius, who lived in Cremona. Now under the auspices of Mr. Karl Holz.

*Another violin made by Nicholas Amati in 1667. Before he died, Dr. Ohmeyer is now under the care of Mr. Huber.

* A viola made by Vincenzo Ruger in 1690. Under the auspices of Mr. Karl Holz.

*A cello made by Andreas Guarnerius in 1712. Under the auspices of Mr Wertheimber.

A large "B" is engraved on the backs of the instruments. There is a Beethoven stamp under the necks. The most valuable among them is undoubtedly the Guarnerius violin. Mr. Holz turned down an offer to sell for 1000 florins.

Alois Fuchs (December 1846)


THA IThayer's Life of Beethoven, Edited By Elliot Forbes, Princeton University Press, Vol. 1, 1967
THA IIThayer's Life of Beethoven, Edited By Elliot Forbes, Princeton University Press, Vol. 2, 1967
notesFranz Wegeler and Ferdinand Ries, Biographische Notizen über Ludwig van Beethoven. Coblenz, 1838. With a supplement by F. Wegeler. Coblnez, 1845.
AEmily Anderson, Letters of Beethoven. 3 Vols. London, 1961
CWallace, Robin, Beethoven's Critics: Aesthetic Dilemmas and Resolutions during the Composer's Lifetime, Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition (January 26, 1990)
With IAlbrecht, Theodore, Beethoven's Conversation Books: Nos. 1 to 8 (February 1818 to March 1820), Boydell Press (May 18, 2018)
Con IIAlbrecht, Theodore, Beethoven's Conversation Books: Nos. 9 to 16 (March 1820 to September 1820), Boydell Press (March 16, 2018)


1. THA II, 849-50

2. THA I, 164

3. THA I, 171

4. A, Vol.1, 18

5. Notizen, 35-6

6. THA I, 205

7. THA I, 232

8. THA I, 234

9. THA I, 240

10. THA I, 251

11. THA I, 252

12. THA I, 264


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