Beethoven: How the World's First Rock Star Changed Music Forever | Mental Floss
Ludwig van Beethoven was often mistaken for a vagrant. He was so focused, he often forgot to empty the chamber pot under his piano. . The pair who's willing and able to meet those requirements will be getting a total annual salary of. Beethoven never got married. It is said that he wrote his most famous piano piece , "Für Elise," for the German opera singer Elisabeth Röckel. He supposedly. Chuck Berry famously demanded Beethoven “Roll Over” to help British rock royalty Deep Purple, which once held the Guinness World Record for loudest band, was As the Piano Man, Billy Joel has spent a lifetime tickling the ivories. Homepage · Playlists · Schedule · Meet the Composer · LPR Live.
His career depended on the people he wanted to see uprooted. So he kept quiet.
Hey Kids, Meet Ludwig van Beethoven | Composer Biography
Then his ears began to ring. It started as a faint whistle. Doctors advised him to fill his ears with almond oil and take cold baths. Byhis ears were buzzing day and night. Beethoven sank into depression, stopped attending social functions, and retreated to the countryside, where loneliness drove him to consider suicide. Music kept him going. At 31, he was known as a virtuoso, not as a composer. But it seemed he had little choice. He snuffed his performing career and dedicated himself to writing.
Artistically, isolation had its benefits. Every morning, he woke at 5: Then he wandered through meadows, a pencil and notebook in hand, lost in thought. Sketching ideas, he mumbled, waved his arms, sang, and stomped. One time, he made such a ruckus that a yoke of oxen began to stampede. He often forgot to sleep or eat, but did pause to make coffee—counting precisely 60 beans for each cup. He sat in restaurants for hours, scribbling music on napkins, menus, even windows.
He started grumbling more openly about politics. He admired Napoleon and planned on publicly naming his third symphony for the general. It was a daring move: But when Napoleon declared himself Emperor of the French, Beethoven was disgusted. Although he still had royal patrons, Beethoven had fewer friends in high places. Many were missing or dead, and his ordinary friends were just as unlucky—briefly jailed or censored. Thankfully, Beethoven wrote instrumental music. For years, listeners considered it an inferior, even vulgar, art form compared to song or poetry.
But as tyrants returned to power, Romantic thinkers like E. Hoffmann and Goethe praised instrumental music as a place for solace and truth. Beethoven had spent months preparing for this moment, corralling nearly musicians and dealing with censors who quibbled over a religious work on the program.
They did not, however, complain about Symphony No. No one had heard it yet. They had been ordered not to. Stone deaf, Beethoven was an unreliable conductor, so a friend actually led the orchestra.
The compositions of and 90 are 2 Preludes for the Piano op. They arrived on Christmas Day. One of Haydn's Masses was performed; he was complimented by the Elector, and entertained the chief musicians at dinner at his lodgings. Count Waldstein appears to have arranged the plan, and Beethoven composed the music; but his name does not seem to have been connected with it at the time, and it remained unpublished tillwhen it appeared arranged for piano. In the autumn the troupe accompanied the Elector to Mergentheim, near Aschaffenburg, to a conclave of the Deutschen Orden; the journey was by water along the Rhine and Main, the weather was splendid,—there was ample leisure, and the time long remained in Beethoven's recollection 'a fruitful source of charming images.
In Mergentheim the company remained for a month 18 Sept. An interesting account of the daily musical proceedings is given by Junker, the Chaplain at Kirchberg,  including an account of Beethoven's extempore playing. He compares it with that of Vogler, whom he knew well, and pronounces it to have displayed all Vogler's execution, with much more force, feeling, and expression, and to have been in the highest degree original.
Ludwig took his meals at the Zehrgarten  —a great resort of the University professors, artists, and literary men of Bonn, and where the lovely Babette Koch, daughter of the proprietress, was doubtless an attraction to him.
Music was their great bond, and Beethoven's improvisations were the delight of the family. His duties at the organ and in the orchestra at this time were not very great; the Elector's absences were frequent, and gave him much time to himself, which he spent partly in lessons, partly in the open air, of which he was already very fond, and partly in assiduous practice and composition.
The sketch-books of that time are crammed with ideas, and confirm his statement, made many years later,  that he began thus early the method of working which so emphatically distinguishes him. In July Haydn again passed through Bonn on his return from London. The Elector's Band gave him a dinner at Godesberg, and Beethoven submitted a cantata to him, 'which Haydn greatly praised, warmly encouraging the composer to proceed with his studies.
Hitherto the Elector seems to have taken no notice of the most remarkable member of his orchestra. But in the course of this year—whether prompted by Neefe or Waldstein or by his own observation, or possibly by Haydn's approbation—he determined that Beethoven should visit Vienna in a more permanent manner than before, for the purpose of studying at his expense.
Haydn was communicated with, and in the very beginning of November Beethoven left Bonn, as it proved, never to return to it again. His parting words to Neefe are preserved: Should I ever become a great man you will certainly have assisted in it, which will be all the more gratifying to you, since you may be convinced that' etc.
The Album in which his friends—Waldstein, the Breunings, the Kochs, Degenhart, and others—inscribed their farewells is still existing  and the latest date is Nov. Breuning's lines contain allusions to 'Albion,' as if Beethoven were preparing to visit England—possibly with Haydn? Waldstein's entry is as follows: The genius of Mozart is still weeping and bewailing the death of her favourite.
With the inexhaustible Haydn she found a refuge, but no occupation, and is now waiting to leave him and join herself to some one else. Labour assiduously, and receive Mozart's spirit from the hands of Haydn. Your true friend Waldstein.
Bonn, October 29, Thus ended the first period of Beethoven's life. He was now virtually twenty-two. The list of his known compositions to this time has been given year by year.
If we add the Bagatelles op. For the orchestra the Ritterballet already referred to is the single composition known, while Mozart—to mention him only—had in the same period written 36 Symphonies, including so mature a masterpiece as the 'Parisian' in D. Against Mozart's 28 Operas, Cantatas, and M asses, for voices and full orchestra, composed before he was 23, Beethoven has absolutely nothing to show.
And the same in other departments. That he meditated great works, though they did not come to paper, is evident in at least one case. A resident in Bonn, writing to Schiller's sister Charlotte, on Jan. It is by a young man of this place whose talent is widely esteemed, and whom the Elector has now sent to Vienna to Haydn. He intends to compose Schiller's Freude, and that verse by verse.
I expect something perfect; for, as far as I know him, he is all for the grand and sublime. Haydn informs us that he shall set him to great operas, as he himself will shortly leave off composing.
He does not usually occupy himself with such trifles as the enclosed, which indeed he composed only at the request of a lady. This impression was doubtless due mainly to the force and originality of his extempore playing, which even at this early age was prodigious, and justified his friends in speaking of him  as one of the finest pianoforte-players of the day. By the middle of November Beethoven was settled at Vienna. His first lodging was a garret at a printer's in the 'Alservorstadt'  outside the walls, in the direction of the present Votive-Church; but this was soon exchanged for one 'on the ground floor,'  of which we have no nearer description.
On the journey from Bonn we find him for the first time making notes of little occurrences and expenses—a habit which never left him. In the entries made during his first few weeks in Vienna we can trace the purchase of a wig, silk stockings, boots, shoes, overcoat, writing-desk, seal, and hire of piano. From the same source we can infer the beginning of his lessons. They were lessons in 'strict counterpoint,' and the textbook was Fux's 'Gradus ad Parnassum. Haydn was naturally much occupied, and it is not surprising that Beethoven should have been dissatisfied with his slow progress, and with the cursory way in which his exercises were corrected, and have secretly accepted the offer of additional instruction from Schenk, a well-known Vienna composer.
But no open rupture as yet took place. Beethoven accompanied Haydn to Eisenstadt some time inand it was not until Haydn's departure for England on Jan. He then took lessons from Albrechtsberger in counterpoint, and from Schuppanzigh on the violin, three times a week each. In the former the text-book was Albrechtsberger's own 'Anweisung zur Composition,' and the subject was taken up where Haydn had left it, and pursued much farther.
No less than exercises are in existence under the following heads—Simple strict counterpoint; Free composition in simple counterpoint; Imitation; Simple fugue; Fugued chorale; Double fugue; Double counterpoint in the 8th, 10th, and 12th; Triple counterpoint and Triple fugue; Canon. Nottebohm has pointed out the accuracy and pains which Albrechtsberger bestowed on his pupil, as well as  the care with which Beethoven wrote his exercises, and the characteristic way in which he neglected them in practice.
He also gives his reasons for believing that the lessons did not last longer than March The impression they left on Albrechtsberger was not flattering: Salieri's corrections are chiefly in the division of the Italian syllables. On Beethoven's application, however, the grant was allowed to go on, in addition to his own pay. Ries drew and transmitted the money for him. In January the Elector visited Vienna, and with the March quarter-day Beethoven's allowance ceased. In the following October the Emperor declared war with France, Bonn was taken possession of by the republican army, and the Elector fled.
Now that Beethoven is landed in Vienna—as it turns out, never again to leave it and is left to his own resources, it may be convenient to pause in the narrative of his life, and sketch his character and person as briefly as possible.
He had already a large acquaintance among the aristocracy of Vienna. Among his kindest friends and most devoted admirers were the Prince and Princess Karl Lichnowsky. He was also frequently at the houses of Baron van Swieten, Prince Lobkowitz, Count Fries, and other noblemen, at once leaders of fashion and devoted amateurs. At these houses he was in the constant habit of playing, and in many of them no doubt he taught, but as to the solid results of this no record remains—nor do we know the prices which he obtained for his published works, or the value of the dedications, at this period of his career.
Musical public, like that which supported the numerous concerts flourishing in London at this date,  and enabled Salomon to risk the expense of bringing Haydn to England, there was none; musicians were almost directly dependent on the appreciation of the wealthy. That Beethoven should have been so much treasured by the aristocracy of Vienna notwithstanding his personal drawbacks, and notwithstanding the gap which separated the nobleman from the roturier, shows what an immense power there must have been in his genius, and in the absolute simplicity of his mind, to overcome the abruptness of his manners.
If we are to believe the anecdotes of his contemporaries his sensitiveness was extreme, his temper ungovernable, and his mode of expression often quite unjustifiable. At the house of Count Browne, when playing a duet with Ries, a young nobleman at the other end of the room persisted in talking to a lady: No sooner however did Beethoven discover that such an order had been given than he engaged a servant of his own to answer his bell.
But so implacable was Beethoven that in crossing the Platz after the rehearsal he could not resist running to the great gate of the Lobkowitz Palace and shouting up the entrance  'Lobkowitzscher Esel'—'ass of a Lobkowitz.
When he composed the well-known 'Andante in F' he played it to Ries and Krumpholz. It delighted them, and with difficulty they induced him to repeat it. From Beethoven's house Ries went to that of Prince Lichnowsky, and not being able to contain himself played what he could recollect of the new piece, and the Prince being equally delighted, it was repeated and repeated till he too could play a portion of it.
The next day the Prince by way of a joke asked Beethoven to hear something which he had been composing, and thereupon played a large portion of his own 'Andante.
Beethoven: How the World's First Rock Star Changed Music Forever
In fact it led in the end to Beethoven's ceasing to play to the Prince's circle of friends. Even poor Schindler, whose devotion in spite of every drawback was so constant, and who has been taunted with having 'delivered himself body and soul to Beethoven,' had to suffer the most shameful reproaches behind his back, the injustice of which is most surely proved by the fact that they are dropped as suddenly as they were adopted.
Visit me no more. There will be no concert. Visit me no more till I send for you. Visit me besuche er mich no more. I give no concert. When Hummel died, two notes from Beethoven  were found among his papers, which tell the story of some sudden violent outbreak on Beethoven's part. There can be no doubt that he was on bad terms with most of the musicians of Vienna. With Haydn he seems never to have been really cordial. The old man's neglect of his lessons embittered him, and when after hearing his first three Trios, Haydn, no doubt in sincerity, advised him not to publish the third, which Beethoven knew to be the best, it was difficult to take the advice in any other light than as prompted by jealousy.
True he dedicated his three Pianoforte Sonatas op. In fact they were thoroughly antagonistic. Haydn, though at the head of living composers, and as original a genius as Beethoven himself, had always been punctilious, submissive, subservient to etiquette. Beethoven was eminently independent and impatient of restraint. They probably had no open quarrel, Haydn's tact would prevent that, but Haydn nick-named him 'the Great Mogul,' and Beethoven retorted by refusing to announce himself as 'Haydn's  scholar,' and when they met in the street their remarks were unfortunate, and the antagonism was but too evident.
For Salieri, Eybler, Gyrowetz, and Weigl, able men and respectable contrapuntists, he had a sincere esteem, though little more intimate feeling.
Though he would not allow the term as regarded Haydn, he himself left his characteristic visiting card on Salieri's table as his 'scholar '—'Der Schuler Beethoven war da. Steibelt had distinctly challenged him,  had been as thoroughly beaten as a man could wish, and from that day forward would never again meet him.
Gelinek, though equally vanquished, compensated himself by listening to Beethoven on all occasions, and stealing his phrases  and harmonies, while Beethoven retorted by engaging his next lodging where Gelinek could not possibly come within the sound of his piano.
Woelffl and Hummel were openly pitted against him, and no doubt there were people to be found in Vienna inas there are in London into stimulate such rivalry and thus divide artists whom a little care might have united.
Hummel is said to have excelled him in clearness, elegance, and purity, and Woelffl's proficiency in counterpoint was great, and his huge hands gave him extraordinary command of the keys; but for fire, and imagination, and feeling, and wealth of ideas in extempore playing, none of them can have approached Beethoven.
The wealth of ideas which forced themselves on him, the caprices to which he surrendered himself, the variety of treatment, the difficulties, were inexhaustible. And yet no outbursts of this kind seem to have made any breach in the regard with which he was treated by the nobility—the only unprofessional musical society of Vienna. Certainly Beethoven was the first musician who had ever ventured on such independence, and there was possibly something piquant in the mere novelty; but the real secret of his lasting influence must have been the charm of his personality—his entire simplicity, joined to his prodigious genius.
And he enjoyed good society. Excepting Breuning none of these seem really to have had his confidence, or to have known anything of the inner man which lay behind the rough husk of his exterior, and yet they all clung to him as if they had.Beethoven's 5th (Movement 1) Meets Metal
Of his tours de force in performance too much is perhaps made in the books. His transposing the Concerto in C into C at rehearsal was exactly repeated by  Woelffl; while his playing the piano parts of his Horn Sonata, his Kreutzer Sonata, or his C minor Concerto without book, or difficult pieces of Bach at first sight, is no more than has been done by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Sterndale Bennett, and many inferior artists. No, it was no quality of this kind that got him the name of the 'giant among players'; but the loftiness and elevation of his style, and his great power of expression in slow movements, which when exercised on his own noble music fixed his hearers and made them insensible to any faults of polish or mere mechanism.
It was not men alone who were attracted by him, he was an equal favourite with the ladies of the Court. The Princess Lichnowsky watched over him—as Madame von Breuning had done—like a mother. These young ladies went to his lodgings or received him at their palaces as it suited him. He would storm at the least inattention during their lessons, and would tear up the music and throw it about. He was constantly in love, and though his taste was very promiscuous,  yet it is probably quite true that the majority of his attachments was for women of rank, and that they were returned or suffered.
Unlike poor Schubert, whose love for the Countess Marie Esterhazy was, so carefully concealed, Beethoven made no secret of his attachments. Many of them are perpetuated in the dedications of his sonatas.
There are ear-trumpets and the pianoforte by whose help he strove so long and so hopeless to remain in communion with the world of sound. The piano was made specially for him, with extra strings. So long as he could hear a tone, Beethoven used this instruments. Then Maelzel, the metronome man, who invented and made the ear-trumpets for him, built a resonator for the piano.
It was fixed on the instrument so that it covered a portion of the sounding-board and projected over the keys. The deafness affected Beethoven in other than professional affairs. Directly or indirectly, it prevented him marrying, as he had wished to do.
As a young man he had been very sensible to the charms of female society. Ladies would knit him comforters and make him light puddings, and he would even condescend to lie on their sofas after dinner while they played his sonatas. His early friend Wegeler says that he was never without a love affair; and these affairs took, in more than one case, the serious form of an offer of marriage.
But no bride was Beethoven destined to bring to the altar. Writing to his pupil Ries in he says: Unfortunately I have none. I found One only, and her I have no chance of ever calling mine.
The Countess married a Count Gallenberg, and Beethoven said of the marriage: One does not fancy that he would commend himself as a possible husband. A man who afterwards threw books and even chairs at the head of a stupid, dishonest servant, was a trifle too tempestuous for a domestic companion.
And, indeed, he came to realise this himself, for he said he was "excessively glad that not one of the girls had become his wife, whom he had passionately loved in former days, and thought at the time it would be the highest joy on earth to possess. On his younger years he was rather particular about his appearance.
Before he left Bonn, we find him wearing a sea-green dress coat, green short-clothes with buckles, silk stocking, white flowered waistcoat with gold lace, white cravat, frizzed hair tied in a queue behind, and a sword.
Hey Kids, Meet Ludwig van Beethoven | Composer Biography
When he went first to Vienna he dressed in the height of fashion, sported a seal ring, and carried a double eyeglass. Later, he became extremely negligent about his person. An artist who painted his portrait in described him as wearing a pale-blue dress coat with yellow buttons, white waistcoat and necktie, but his whole aspect bespeaking disorder.
Even if he did dress neatly, nothing could prevent him removing his coat if it were warm, not even in the presence of princes or ladies. Beethoven was no exception. He began by disdaining to have his hair cut. He wanted a servant, and one applicant mentioned the accomplishment of hair-dressing.
Remembering the characteristic portraits, one agrees with him. Fancy a portrait of Beethoven with those fine Jupiter Olympus locks reduced to order! But it was not his hair only that he refrained from dressing: When Czerny first saw him in his rooms, he found him clad in a loose, hairy, stuff, which made him rather more like Robinson Crusoe than the leading musician in Europe. His ears were filled with wool, which he had soaked in some yellow substance; his beard showed more than half an inch of growth; and his hair stood up in a thick shock that betokened an unacquaintance with comb and brush for many a day.
Moscheles tells that he could not be made to understand clearly why he should not stand in his night-shirt at the open window; and when he attracted a crowd of juveniles by this eccentricity, he inquired with perfect simplicity "what those confounded boys were hooting at.
He "cut himself horribly," according to one biographer, and doing it at the window he enabled the people in the street to share in the diversion. He had none of the graces of deportment which we expect from the modern artist. It was dangerous for him to touch anything fragile, for he was sure to break it.
More than once, in a fit of passion, he flung his inkstand among the wires of the piano. He had a habit, when composing, of pouring cold water over his hands, and the people below him often suffered from a miniature flood in consequence. When he first arrived in Vienna he took dancing lessons, but, curiously enough in a musician, could never dance in time.
He was absent-minded to the point of insanity. Whether he dined or not was immaterial to him, and there is one authentic instance of his having urged on the waiter payment for a meal which he had neither ordered nor eaten. Somebody once presented him with a horse, but he forgot all about the animal, and had its existence recalled to him only when the bill for its keep was sent in. At one time he forgot his own name and the date of his birth!
A friend, not having seen him for days, asked if he had been ill. He was in perpetual trouble about his rooms and his servants. He would flit on the merest pretext, and usually it was himself who was in fault. Baron Pronay prevailed upon him one summer to stay with him at Hetzendorf. But the Baron persisted in raising his hat to him whenever they met, and Beethoven was so annoyed by this that he took up his lodgings with a poor clockmaker near by.
He seems to have been specially opposed to this act of courtesy. Once when he was walking along the street, he met a group of society notables, among whom he observed a particular friend of his own; but the revulsion against empty formalities was so strong in him that he kept hat tight on his head and passed by on the other side.
Every lodging turned out worse than its predecessor. Either the chimneys smoked, or the rain came through the roof, or the chairs were rickety, or the doors creaked on their hinges, or something else interfered with the comfort of the occupant.
And then the servants-oh, the servants! But really Beethoven was over-exacting here. Nancy might indeed be "too uneducated for a housekeeper," but surely the fact of her telling a lie did not imply, as Beethoven said it implied, that she could not make good soup. This habit of throwing the dishes at the heads of domestics who displeased him had its comic aspect for the onlookers, but it cannot have been pleasant for the domestic.
And the waiters suffered too. On one occasion when he was dining at a restaurant the waiter brought him a wrong dish. The poor man was heavily loaded with plates full of different viands, so that he could not move his arms.
The gravy meanwhile trickled down his face. Both he and Beethoven swore and shouted, while the rest of the party roared with laughter. At last Beethoven himself joined in the merriment at the sight of the waiter, who was hindered from uttering any more invectives by the streams of gravy that found their way into his mouth. It was probably after the cook went "off again" that Beethoven determined to try cooking for himself.