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#655473 - 03/18/03 01:45 PM Beethoven and the Piano
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
An interesting bit on Beethoven and the piano from the Guardian's web site. Thought it might be of interest to others:

From the article:

"History has paid little attention to Beethoven's abiding concern with his instrument. Among the first generation to grow up as pure pianists, he placed great importance on new ways of playing and writing."

"Like Mozart, he used his piano reputation to create a public for his compositions. He was a powerful player notorious for breaking hammers and strings, celebrated for his unheard-of colorations, the velocity of his scales, his singing legato, his double and triple trills."

"By the mid-1810s, as deafness encroached, the performing was all over. Visitors found his pianos had strings shredded by his frantic pounding in a desperation to hear. He removed the legs from one piano, so he could sit on the floor and feel the vibrations. Yet to the end he would improvise for hours, though he could not hear a note he played. The image is heartbreaking, and revealing. He still needed the instrument. Improvisation at the keyboard was wedded to his inspiration. And this was one of the secrets of how Beethoven managed to compose when he was all but stone deaf. As he played his pianos, which were wildly out of tune and with missing strings, he heard the music through his fingers."

Article can be found here

Cheers, N
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#655474 - 03/18/03 04:01 PM Re: Beethoven and the Piano
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 1503
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Netizen:

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Whatever one thinks of his music it is impossible not to stand in awe at the titanic courage and determination of Beethoven the human being. It is easy to forget that in those days life was riddled with diseases and accidents waiting to happen around every corner. There was little help from anybody and many people would have considered him simply mad. Just about everything that could go wrong with him did go wrong. He didn't hesitate to speak his mind and probably ended up with more enemies than friends.

We talk on this forum about our passion for music but could any of us really say with any conviction that we would go that far ?

You know, what I always wonder about is that what he wrote out was probably only a shadow of what he imagined and played. Writing music out is a damned slow nuisance at the best of times for any of us. For somebody of his impetuous nature it must have been terribly painful. Therefore, there must have been a strong altruistic component to him, a conscious desire to pass these visions on, else he would have just improvised and imagined himself to death.
_________________________
"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows

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#655475 - 03/18/03 08:07 PM Re: Beethoven and the Piano
Gardener Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 290
Loc: New Jersey
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ted:
Writing music out is a damned slow nuisance at the best of times for any of us. For somebody of his impetuous nature it must have been terribly painful. [/b] Therefore, there must have been a strong altruistic component to him, a conscious desire to pass these visions on , else he would have just improvised and imagined himself to death.[/b]
Or perhaps he just needed to pay the rent. ;\)
_________________________
Gardener--
Two roads diverged in the woods and I ... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.(R. Frost)

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