Posts Tagged ‘Beethoven’

Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770-1827)
Beethoven allowed his titled friends to patronize and assist him but never permitted them to dictate to him. His carefree existence at the Lichnovsky mansion was doomed after a quarrel. When he left it ina huff he smashed the bust of his good friend and generous host. Later he wrote a note: ’Prince, what you are, you are by accident of birth. What I am, I am of myself. There are and will be thousands of princes. There is only one Beethoven.’
During the busy years of composing, Beethoven’s music so filled his life and thoughts to his dress or eating hardly making demands on him. One day in a restaurant he sat at a table and ordered his meal. Before the waiter could bring his order he started to jot down notes in his ever handy notebook. He became so absorbed that he didn’t know the waiter had taken unusually long time to serve him. When he finally arrived Beethoven thinking that he had already eaten asked for the check.


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Mozart had unusual power of detachment. From his pupil Attwood’s account we know it in his creative activity as observed.
‘Mozart was observed at the end of a meal to begin folding and unfolding his napkin; with polite excuses he left the room and returned to the company in good spirits. Often when this happened he had completely scored a lengthy work that would never be altered by so much as an accent, bow mark, or staccato dot’.
From Abbé Stadler’s account (incidentally he was the one who put Mozart’s musical affairs in order after his death)’ Beethoven began before he knew his own mind, and altered passages backwards and forwards as fancy directed; but Mozart never began to write until he had arranged the whole design in his mind just as he had wished it; it then stood without change.
Let me finally quote  Mozart’s way of working from his widow.
‘Mozart seldom went to the instrument when he composed…He walked about the room and knew not what was passing around him. When all was arranged in his mind he took inkstand and paper and said, “Now, dear wife, let us hear what people are talking about”. He could as well have been writing a casual letter! (ack: Arthur Hutchings)-benny

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