Beethoven’s Boyhood in Bonn, Germany–Quickflight

by bria4123 on February 6, 2012

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Is any place on earth more beautiful than the Rhine on a sunny day? Before young Ludwig van Beethoven moved on to bigger places (Cologne and Vienna), and before he lost his hearing, he played by these shores.

 

Beethoven began to lose his hearing around the age of 30–he first noticed a hum in his ears. He saw many doctors and quacks, but his affliction kept getting worse. This is the cruelest thing imaginable for one of the greatest musical geniuses in world history.

Beethoven wrote some of his most famous works when he realized that his hearing wasn’t going to improve, including his 3rd and 5th symphonies. Music lovers are astounded that they end triumphantly after earlier sections that are stormy.

It’s always dangerous to guess about the inner head of a genius. But I wonder if happy memories of the Rhine and the mountains beyond imprinted a positive view of life on him. Maybe these memories gave him hope. Listen to his 20th piano sonata–the despair in the 2nd movement suddenly transforms into the victorious 3rd, as though God suddenly lifted him up.

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