Ludwig van Beethoven

Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.

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German Composer and Pianist

Beethoven remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music. He believed that music was a higher revelation than philosophy.

  • Beethoven walk in nature 1

The True Artist Has No Pride

He sees unfortunately that art has no limits; he has a vague awareness of how far he is from reaching his goal; and while others may perhaps admire him, he laments the fact that he has not yet reached the point whither his better genius only lights the way for him like a distant sun.

Art

An artist is someone who has learned to trust in himself.

I only live in my music

I only live in my music, and I have scarcely begun one thing when I start on another. As I am now working, I am often engaged on three or four things at the same time.

Producing all that I felt called upon to produce

Only art it was that withheld me, and it seemed impossible to leave the world until I had produced all that I felt called upon me to produce, and so I endured this wretched existence.

Barriers are not erected

The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, Thus far and no farther.

There ought to be an artistic depot

There ought to be an artistic depot where the artist need only hand in his artwork in order to receive what he asks for. As things are, one must be half a business man, and how can one understand - good heavens! - that's what I really call troublesome

Art and science

Only art and science can raise men to the level of gods.

What I have in my heart must come out

I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose.

You ask me where I get my ideas

You ask me where I get my ideas. That I cannot tell you with certainty. They come unsummoned, directly, indirectly… 

A great poet

A great poet is the most precious jewel of a nation.

The true artist is not proud

The true artist is not proud, he unfortunately sees that art has no limits; he feels darkly how far he is from the goal; and though he may be admired by others, he is sad not to have reached that point to which his better genius only appears as a distant, guiding sun. I would, perhaps, rather come to you and your people, than to many rich folk who display inward poverty.

Force your way into your arts secrets

Don't only practise your art, but force your way into its secrets for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.

What is difficult is also beautiful

What is difficult is also beautiful, good, great, etc, therefore every person understands that this is the greatest praise that one can give, because the difficult makes one sweat.

Seize Fate

I shall seize fate by the throat. It will never bend me completely to its will.

Life

An artist is someone who has learned to trust in himself.

Barriers are not erected

The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, Thus far and no farther.

There ought to be an artistic depot

There ought to be an artistic depot where the artist need only hand in his artwork in order to receive what he asks for. As things are, one must be half a business man, and how can one understand - good heavens! - that's what I really call troublesome

I am obliged to live like an outcast

My misfortune is doubly painful to me because it will result in my being misunderstood. For me there can be no recreation in the company of others, no intelligent conversation, no exchange of information with peers; only the most pressing needs can make me venture into society. I am obliged to live like an outcast.

Recommend to your children virtue

Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold.

Off with you!

Off with you! You're a happy fellow, for you'll give happiness and joy to many other people. There is nothing better or greater than that!

Nobility is the thing that makes a king

Even in poverty I lived like a king for I tell you that nobility is the thing that makes a king.

Learn to be silent

Hide your secret even from the closest friend; learn to be silent.

Never misjudge

Never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.

World, do you know your creator?

World, do you know your creator? Seek him in the heavens. Above the stars must he dwell.

Grasp the spirit of the best and wisest in every age

You will not find a treatise that is too learned for me; without laying claim to any genuine learning, I yet accustomed myself from childhood onwards to grasp the spirit of the best and wisest in every age. Shame on the artist who does not consider it his duty to achieve at least so much

I joyfully hasten to meet death

I joyfully hasten to meet death. If it come before I have had opportunity to develop all my artistic faculties, it will come, my hard fate notwithstanding, too soon, and I should probably wish it later - yet even then I shall be happy, for will it not deliver me from a state of endless suffering?

Abiding friendship

Whoever has created an abiding friendship, or has won a true and loving wife, all who can call at least one soul theirs, join in our song of praise; But any who cannot must creep tearfully away from our circle.

Goodness

The only sign of superiority I acknowledge in man is goodness.

Music

To play without passion is inexcusable!

Music is a higher revelation

Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.

Music should strike fire from the heart of man

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.

Music is the mediator

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.

Music is the one incorporeal entrance

Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind, but which mankind cannot comprehend.

Music is like a dream

Music is like a dream. One that I cannot hear.

I wish you music to help with the burdens of life

I wish you music to help with the burdens of life, and to help you release your happiness to others.

From the glow of enthusiasm I let the melody escape

From the glow of enthusiasm I let the melody escape. I pursue it. Breathless I catch up with it. It flies again; it disappears; it plunges into a chaos of diverse emotions. I catch it again; I seize it; I embrace it with delight.

Only pull him up about the rendering

If once he has got the right fingering, plays in good time, with the notes fairly correct, then only pull him up about the rendering; and when he has arrived at that stage, don’t let him stop for the sake of small faults, but point them out to him when he has played the piece through. . . I have always adopted this plan; it soon forms musicians which, after all, is one of the first aims of art and it gives less trouble both to master and pupil.

Love Demands All

Love demands all, and has a right to all. 

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven died on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56. 

  • Was Beethoven really deaf?

    The cause of Beethoven's deafness remains a mystery. It started in his mid-20's and he was completely deaf by age of 45. When Beethoven's hearing loss started began he already had a reputation as a musician and composer. And even as his hearing went he continued to compose and conduct, and perform publicly as a musician. 

  • What were Beethoven's last words?

    Beethoven's last words are also a bit of a mystery. One report is he said “Pity, pity, too late” after receiving a case of wine as a gift. It's also speculated his final words were Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est meaning, applaud, my friends, the comedy is over.

  • Beethoven immense musical talent

    From a young age, it was clear Beethoven had immense musical talent. Beethoven's father Johann trained him as a prodigy. Beethoven worked as a keyboard player to help support his family from the age of 12!

  • Beethoven died at the age of 56

    Beethoven died on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56, Beethoven had been suffering from fever, jaundice and dropsy, with swollen limbs, coughing and breathing difficulties. Beethoven was plagued with poor health including chronic hepatitis, jaundice, colitis, various skin diseases, rheumatic fever and cirrhosis. However, the actual cause of his death is still unknown. His friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner was present when he died. 

  • How did Beethoven compose while deaf?

    Beethoven used ear trumpets to compose at the piano. He also used a wooden stick between his teeth to feel the vibrations when he played. Even without his hearing, Beethoven could still ‘hear’ the music in his head. Beethoven’s perhaps most complex work, Ninth Symphony, was written when he was almost entirely deaf.

  • What was Beethoven's contribution to music?

    Beethoven played a significant role in the evolution of the symphony, from instrumentation to length. Beethoven produced the first complete pieces for the piano. Symphony No. 9 was the first to use a full choir. And Symphony No. 3 was the longest symphony to have been written at that time. Just to name some of his contributions. Beethoven collections of works in classical music is still considered one of the most important. 

  • Beethoven debuted his first symphony at age 29

    Beethoven debuted his first symphony, Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21 on April 1800, at the K.K. Hoftheater nächst der Burg in Vienna. 

  • Beethoven elaborate funeral procession

    On March 29 1827 Beethoven was given an elaborate funeral procession in Vienna, attended by about 10,000 people and many significant composers and musicians. 

Art and Science

Only art and science can raise men to the level of gods.

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