Fact and Fiction: From the Pen of Beethoven


“I am everything; what is, was and will be. No mortal has yet been able to lift my veil.” I framed these meaningful sentences across my desk and hung them. I used to read translations of JG Herder and J. Hammer to satisfy my interest in Persian literature. surprised? That's right… You only knew me as a 'sociopath' person. Being introduced like that must have made me more attractive. Despite all the fiction written and drawn about me, Beethoven, the 'real' and 'human', was constantly ignored. Oddly enough, while Mozart and his contemporaries were told as true as possible, my endless follies (!) were constantly pulled in the foreground like a series of scripts.

Now I will tell you my story in my own words. I will only write the facts, but chances are that the 'sociopath' you are used to will be more appealing to you and will not be accepted by your mind. My relationship with Haydn: Let's start with your famous slurred story. My teacher asked me to write “Haydn's student” for my first compositions, but I did not accept it. My desire to be addicted in my lessons and free in my compositions! I was 22 years old when I set foot in Vienna. You know that famous anecdote about my first meeting with Haydn? What about the word Prince Anton Esterhazy used for me?

So let me tell you: “The unplowed field” Isn't it wonderful that a prince makes fun of the shape of my teeth due to my jaw shape? We worked with Haydn until the end of 1793. My teacher left Vienna on January 19, 1794 to go to England. Joseph Gelinek, one of the first people I met in Vienna, was also the person with whom I shared my greatest distress. Can you guess? Of course Haydn.

It's not a personal problem, it's just that my teacher is very busy and can't spare me the time I expected! Gelinek had discussed the matter with his close friend, Schenk, and persuaded him to secretly teach me composition without Haydn's knowledge. When I became Schenk's student, I had spent six months on counterpoint with my teacher Haydn. My financial situation was also very bad. To help me, Haydn wrote to the Prince in November 1793 that my per diem of 100 ducats was not enough, that Vienna was an expensive city, and that it would be appropriate for me to receive an allowance of 1000 florins for the following years. Prince Archduke Maximilian – the person who sent me to Vienna – was paying. When I'm with Haydn, all I spend is the coffee and chocolates I buy for him and myself. It is my old teacher Neefe who wrote this privileged situation to the “Berlin Music Newspaper”.

The ad briefly states: “… at his own (Prince's) expense… “Also note, I was among the nobles who greeted him at the door at the concert held in honor of Haydn's 76th birthday! “Long live Haydn!” My old teacher was being applauded with his voices…

All the programs that took place in Vienna included my works as well as Mozart and Haydn. My deafness: In the letters I wrote to my friend Wegeler and Amenda in 1801, I openly write about my deafness and ask them to keep it secret. Since I included the statement “…I have been avoiding social environments for the last 2 years…”, it is obvious that I started to suffer from this problem when I was 29 years old. Take note: in 1799 my tinnitus started. In 1801, I began to express my situation in writing to my close friends and my doctor Wegeler, and to ask for a cure. In 1817-18 I could not hear the music. To communicate, you had to write on paper. My appeal to the high court for custody of my nephew Karl in 1820 was rejected on many grounds, including my deafness. In 1823, I could no longer receive composition orders. I had given up public performance completely…I remember Weber visiting me on October 5, 1823…

He wrote in his diary: “How sad is his health! Everything had to be written on paper!” The nobility's passion for me: when I was despised in Vienna, I was invited by the king of Westphalia. He had offered to pay me 600 ducats regularly throughout my life. As I was close to leaving, the leading nobles of the city asked my wishes to stay – I demanded 4.000 florins a year; They agreed and we signed the contract. If you would like to know who is paying: Archduke Rudolph 1.500 fl., Prince Lobkowitz: 700 fl., Prince Ferdinand Kinsky: 1.800 fl. Even though I couldn't make music, I was guaranteed to get paid for the rest of my life and I wasn't going anywhere… My conscience: Mendelssohn's visit to Milan in 1831 must have revealed everything. Baroness Dorothea von Ertman was one of my staunchest admirers. When her daughter died, I didn't want to go to her house, but I invited her to my home. He accepted my invitation and came. I played the piano for an hour without speaking to him. The Baroness recalls that day: “She told me everything and finally made me feel at peace. After playing the piano improvised for about an hour, I would quietly leave his room again…

Ta ta ta! Yes, I would like to share information about my favorite 5th symphony. According to the contract we signed with Count Oppersdorf in 1807, he would have it for 500 florins. When the Count did not make the rest of the payment, I did not make the sale, nor did I give the notes. Instead, I sold the 5th and 6th symphonies and some of my works to Breitkopf and Hartel. My first request was 900 florins. I then reduced it to 700 but was able to sell for 600 florins. Curious about what I'm selling? 5th and 6th symphonies, two trios for piano and a cello sonata! So what can be bought with this money? Let me share a few prices to help you make up your mind; a pair of boots cost 30 florins, and coats 160 florins. Whenever something is told about me, be sure to approach it with suspicion, research it yourself.

Signed by: L. v. Beethoven

Deaf: The Tragedy of Beethoven

Although the cause of his deafness, whose symptoms began to surface in 1799, is not definitively diagnosed, the letters he wrote to his childhood friend, German-born doctor FG Wegeler (29 June – 16 November 1801), also explains Beethoven's symptoms in full detail. The composer's own statements and autopsy findings dated March 27, 1827 (Dr. Joseph Wagner) indicate that he was deaf due to nerve-related or cochlear-related causes. This type of deafness is only possible with the destruction of the ear nerves by a severe infection. The basis and reference point of this argument is Salzburg-based surgeon Dr. Aloys Weissenbach himself. Dr. As a result of his meeting with the composer, Aloys noted that Beethoven suffered from typhus in his past, which caused the unfortunate deafness of his nervous system, which was worn out during this process. (Meine Reise zum Kongress, Wien, 1816) Aloys also confirmed that the composer had a very sensitive and problem-free hearing before this illness.

According to today's medical literature, it is known that typhus struggles with the central nervous system. The disturbance in question is thought to have occurred in the summer of 1796-97. Date: July 1, 1801, Address: Karl Amenda: “My noble friend, you should know that my hearing has deteriorated. I also felt the symptoms when we were together, but I chose to remain silent. Now it has gotten worse and it is unknown whether there is a cure or not. Said to be related to my stomach, my health is better. I hope my hearing will improve too.”, “God! How happy I would be if my hearing improved! I would come to you right away”, “I beg you not to tell anyone about my deafness”. Date: June 29, 1801, Address: Wegeler: “My hearing has gotten worse and worse over the past three years. They always attribute this to my stomach, you know, I had diarrhea all the time and it always weakens my body. Frank (Peter Frank, Chief Physician of the Vienna State Hospital) tried to treat me with tonic drugs, tried to cure my hearing problem with almond oil, but to no avail. My hearing is getting worse and worse, still bad in my gut. One vulgar doctor advised me to take a cold shower, and another, who seemed smarter, recommended a warm shower: my bowels improved but my hearing worsened. I went to Vering (Gerhard von Verin, army doctor) four weeks ago. I thought my condition required surgical intervention. It almost managed to stop my awful diarrhea. He recommended medicine for my stomach and herbal treatment for my ears. After that day, I felt stronger, but my ears are ringing incessantly day and night.

For two years I avoided all social situations, I couldn't say to people "I'm deaf"! Maybe if I had another profession, but it is not possible in my profession. Let me give you a few examples from the flow of my life to give you an idea: I need to get very close to the orchestra in order to hear the artist on the stage. If I put some distance, I can't hear the high pitch sounds of the instruments or the artist. The reason why my deafness is not understood in conversations is because people know me as forgetful and uninterested. I can hear the tones but no words if there is someone who speaks softly. When someone shouts, it is intolerable! I beg you not to tell anyone about my condition.” This letter gives us important clues. The ringing in Beethoven's ears that he complained about indicates "tinnitus" caused by nerve damage. His trouble hearing high-pitched tones also confirms the symptoms. Nerve degeneration is manifested first and severely in high tones. Date: November 16, 1801, To: Wegeler: “Vering applied vesicants to my arms for several months. It was quite an unpleasant treatment, not to mention the painful part, let alone not being able to use my arms! I can't hide the fact that the ringing in my ears has decreased, especially in my left ear where my deafness started, but my hearing ability has not improved either.

My stomach and diarrhea are better. I use the herbal therapies you recommend. I am dissatisfied with Vering, disinterested! What do you think of Schmidt (Johann Adam Schmidt, professor of Anatomy)? A doctor in Berlin says he treated a child who had been deaf for seven years. You can't imagine how lonely and miserable my life has been in the last two years. My hearing loss follows me like a ghost everywhere I go!”


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