Thursday, April 16, 2009

Muss es sein?

Of all the great souls who have passed before us the one, I think, that moves me the most is Beethoven. I am inspired by literature and art, but music expresses even more to me.

The majesty of his Ninth Symphony alone expresses a joy and freedom that takes us beyond our own confines and out into the Universe. His sombre sonatas express the ultimate inescapability of our human fate.

Yet always when I listen to this music of a genius I am filled with compassion for the Beethoven the man. The pain of his disease which robbed him of his greatest gift- his hearing. The mystery of his greatest love, his "Immortal Beloved". We have a copy of three of his love letters, the last runs so:

" thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves..."

We do not even know the name of the Immortal Beloved.


Newmania said...

Interesting that you like Beethoven .I would have thought your 18th century rationalist approach would have inclined you to Mozart and the classical (pre-romantic ) period .
Beethoven is the hinge between these sensibilties I `m afraid he reminds me a little too much of piano lessons . Speaking of piano lessons one of the very few things that does bind your beloved Europe are Piano lessons
they are much the same from Warsaw to Walsall

Same in America and Japan as well of course

Cicero said...

Indeed the memory lingers on *shudder*! Actually as far as piano music is concerned, I think Chopin is probably my favourite. Of course I like Mozart -and Bach and Handel of course- the there is Sibelius and Elgar, Vaughan-Williams, Grieg, Arvo Paert, Alhegri, Gorecki or Peteris Vasks but the Ninth Symphony is just in a different space- almost always makes me weep.