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[文化博览] 【整理】文化 2008-01-19, Beethoven 贝多芬 - 09

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The great composer's romantic life was much less successful. He gave piano lessons to many women of noble birth. In 1801, he dedicated the Moonlight Sonata to one of these aristocratic pupils whom he loved. Her name was Countess Giulietta Guicciardi. "Unfortunately, she is not at my station," Beethoven wrote. “And at this time, it is impossible for me to marry.” Giulietta had a cousin, Josephine / Brunsvik, and her relationship with Beethoven intensified when she became a widow in 1804.

We're never quite sure what Josephine's side of this is, but Beethoven’s side of it was: this was a real true love affair on his part. And it's the only one that we absolutely know happened and we know who it is. And there are 13 love letters that Beethoven wrote to Josephine over the years from 1804 perhaps to 1807 or 1808. This is a relationship that is just full of importance for Beethoven. In fact, he says, "you are my return to life from my crisis over my deafness. And I'm going to prove myself worthy of you. I'm going to compose all these compositions." So there is this tremendous blossoming in Beethoven's composition.

Beethoven's productivity was helped by the extraordinary discipline of his working routine. In contrast, his personal life was chaotic and unsettled.

He never stayed in one place for very long. There were 30 or 40 different places he lived in Vienna. Because each time he moved he had to take all his stuff with him and of course things might disappear or get damaged.

There's one occasion in 1806 where he stayed the summer with Prince Lichnowsky, way out in Silesia. And Beethoven then had a quarrel with Lichnowsky and left in a hurry, and went straight back to Vienna in the middle of a storm. And of course the storm penetrated his trunk and all his music got damaged. And so the autographed score, the Appassionata Sonata is still got damp stained. But that's rather useful because you can tell which sketches had been written before the storm, which one written after the storm. So it helps you to date / these sketches.

He spent 10 years on and off with a house known as the Pasqualati House. Herr Pasqualati, the landlord, kept the flat underneath Beethoven's empty so he could make as much noise as he liked. One of the first pieces he composed here was the Violin Concerto in D.

Er, if you think this is hard work, it must have been / pretty hard work for people moving Beethoven’s furniture and his piano.

The Beethoven Museum in the flat next-door gives no hint of the squalor in which Beethoven chose to live.

 

Picture to yourself the dirtiest, most disorderly place imaginable, blotches of moisture...

Books and music were strewn about in every corner. Here, the fragments of a cold snack.

He seldom picked up anything with his hands without dropping and breaking it. On several occasions, he upset his inkwell into the piano."

Under the piano. And I do not exaggerate.

An unemptied pot de nuit beside a small warm… " "No furniture was safe from him. All was overturned dirty and destroyed."

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