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Beethoven the Person


Beethoven was slim until his early thirties. ... In his later years Beethoven became stockier. ... Baron de Tr mont visited Beethoven in 1809: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Beethoven the Person

Beethoven the Person
  • Appearance and manner
  • Character and behavior
  • Relationships

Beethoven was slim until his early
thirties.Penetrating brown eyes, broad forehead
and thick eyebrows.Scars from childhood
smallpox cleft in his chin which becomes more
marked in later years.Dressed elegantly and
In his later years Beethoven became
stockier.Grillparzer on changes in his
appearance I first saw Beethoven in my boyhood
years which may have been 1804 or 5.Beethoven
in those days was still lean, dark, and contrary
to the habit in later years, very elegantly
dressed.One or two years later I was living with
my parents in Heiligenstadt, near Vienna. Our
dwelling fronted on the garden, and Beethoven had
rented the rooms facing the street.My brothers
and I took little heed of the odd man who in the
meanwhile had grown more robust, and went about
dressed in a most negligent, even slovenly way.
Röckel, the original Florestan in 1806, visited
Beethoven about the same time and described his
powerful physique was placed the mighty
bathing apparatus in which the Master was laving
his powerful chestand I had the opportunity of
admiring his muscular system and sturdy bodily
construction. To judge by the latter the composer
might look forward to growing as old as
Methuselah, and it must have taken a most
powerful inimical influence to bring this strong
column to so untimely a fall.
Ries, on Beethovens clumsiness Beethoven was
the most awkward and bungling in his behavior
his clumsy movements lacked all grace. He rarely
picked up anything without dropping or breaking
it.Everything was knocked over, soiled, or
destroyed. How he ever managed to shave himself
at all remains difficult to understand, even
considering the frequent cuts on his cheeks.
He never learned to dance in time with the
Beethovens personality was filled with
contradictions good intentions / uncontrollable
temper kind / hard and cold morose /
high-spiritedOn successive days he wrote to
Hummel Dont come to me anymore! You are a
false dog and may the hangman do away with all
false dogs! followed byDear little Ignaz of
my Heart! You are an honest fellow and I now
realize that you were right.Kisses from your
Beethoven, also called dumpling.
Frankness and rudenessAfter a quarrel with
Prince Lichnowskyin 1806, Beethoven apparently
said Prince, what you are, you are by an
accident of birth what I am, I am through my
own efforts. There have been thousands of
princes and there will be thousands more there
is only one Beethoven!
Beginning when he was 27, his deafness grew
worse and worse, leading to bouts of
despair more reserved more suspicious and
distrustful of others
Beethovens ResidencesHe rarely stayed in one
dwelling for long.Baron de Trémont visited
Beethoven in 1809Picture to yourself the
dirtiest, most disorderly place
imaginableblotches of moisture covered the
ceiling, an oldish grand piano, on which dust
disputed the place with various pieces of
engraved and manuscript music under the piano (I
do not exaggerate) an unemptied pot de nuitthe
chairs, mostly cain-seated, were covered with
plates bearing the remains of last nights supper
and with wearing apparel, etc.But
paradoxically, Beethoven was obsessed with
washingand often the water from the buckets he
emptied over himself leaked through the floor.
Pasqualati House
Music room in Beethovens last apartment, on
the Schwarzspanierstrasse
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Beethovens DressingCount von Keglevics (nephew
of Beethovens pupil Barbara) He had the whim
one of many since he lived across from her,
of coming to give her lessons clad in a dressing
gown, slippers and a peaked nightcap.
As he got older, he became more and more
eccentric, distrustful, convinced that he was in
a bad state financially, and his
appearanceespecially his hair grew more and
more neglected.
Beethovens Daily Routinefrequent change of
addresshousekeeping problemstrouble managing
financial affairsnegligence concerning appearan
ceoverall untidinessmany rough and
apparently illegible sketches
But Beethovens apparent disorder was only
external he maintained a disciplined approach
to composing
From SchindlerBeethoven rose every morning
the year around at dawn and went directly to his
desk. There he would work until two or three
oclock, his habitual dinner hour. In the course
of the morning he would usually go out of doors
once or twice, but would continue to work as he
walked..His afternoons were regularly spent in
long walks. Late in the afternoon he would go to
a favorite tavern to read the papers.Beethoven
always spent his winter evenings at home reading
serious works of literature. Only very rarely did
he work with musical scores during the evening
for the strain on his eyes was too great.He
would go to bed at ten oclock at the latest.
On walking Beethoven would twice make
the circuit of the city in double-quick
time I encountered Beethoven several
times on my walks in Mödling, and it was most
interesting to see him, a sheet of music paper
and a stump of pencil in his hand, stop often as
though listening, and then write a few notes on
the paper.