SHEET MUSIC USA
Ludwig Van Beethoven
|Beethoven's birthplace was at 20 Bonngasse in Bonn, Germany. Ludwig had a very unhappy childhood.
His father was an abusive drunkard. When Ludwig showed the slightest interest in music at an early age, his father
became driven to turn Ludwig into another Mozart to reap the financial rewards. Ludwig was forced to practice at
the piano for hours. On some nights his father would come home drunk and force Ludwig to play until dawn. When
Ludwig would make mistakes, then blows from his father would follow.
Ludwig was a loner as a child. He was not handsome. Ludwign was untidy and clumsy in everything he did. He had no friends. The only warmth and compassion he received was from his mother, who adored all of her children, but gave special attention to Ludwig.
In 1783 Beethoven's music instructor paid for a trip to Vienna for Ludwig. This was a major ordeal for Ludwig, because Vienna was the home of the great Mozart. Beethoven played for Mozart, but Mozart was initially not impressed. "Now", young Beethoven said, "I will improvise." Here he showed great imagination and originality. At last Mozart was convinced. "You will some day make a big noise in the world." Ludwig had to cut short his trip to Vienna upon receiving word that his mother was dieing of tuberculosis. He returned home only to have a short time with his mother.
In 1790 Joseph Haydn passed through Bonn on his way to Vienna. Haydn convinced Beethoven that he must join Haydn in Viennaa to study music. Although not without harsh critics, Beethoven's musical abilities at the piano as well as his composing ability became admired in Vienna.
In 1801 Beethoven began to recognize signs that he was growing deaf. This reality through him into dispair. "O ye men, who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn, or misanthropic, how greatly do ye wrong me, you do not know the secret cause of my seeming", he wrote in a document in 1802. "For me there can be no recreation in the society of my fellow, refined intercourse, mutual exchange of thoughts; only just as little as the greatest needs command may I mix with society. I must live in exile. O providence-grant me at last but one day of pure joy-it is so long since really joy echoed in my heart-O when-O when, O Divine One - shall I feel it again in the temple of nature and man - Never? No - O that would be too hard!"