Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van

German Composer and Pianist

Author Quotes

It is the duty of every composer to be familiar with all poets, old and new, and himself choose the best and most fitting for his purposes.

Love demands all, and has a right to all.

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.

Never did my own music produce such an effect upon me; even now when I recall this work it still costs me a tear.

Of Emanuel Bach's clavier works I have only a few, yet they must be not only a real delight to every true artist, but also serve him for study purposes; and it is for me a great pleasure to play works that I have never seen, or seldom see, for real art lovers.

Prince, what you are you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been thousands of princes and will be thousands more; there is only one Beethoven!

Sensual enjoyment without a union of soul is bestial and will always remain bestial.

The foundation of friendship demands the greatest likeness of human souls and hearts.

The unnatural rage for transcribing pianoforte pieces for string instruments (instruments that are in every respect so different from each other) ought to end. I stoutly maintain that only Mozart could have transcribed his own works, and Haydn; and without putting myself on a level with these great men I assert the same thing about my pianoforte sonatas. Not only must entire passages be elided and changed, but additions must be made; and right here lies the rock of offence to overcome which one must be the master of himself or be possessed of the same skill and inventiveness. I transcribed but a single sonata for string quartet, and I am sure that no one will easily do it after me.

There ought to be but one large art warehouse in the world, to which the artist could carry his art-works, and from which he could carry away whatever he needed. As it is, one must be half a tradesman.

True art is imperishable and the true artist finds profound delight in grand productions of genius.

When two persons like Goethe and I meet these grand folk must be made to see what our sort consider great.

You - my life - my All - farewell. Oh, go on loving me - never doubt the faithfullest heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.

It is very true that a drop will hollow a stone; a thousand lovely impressions are obliterated when children are placed in wooden institutions while they might receive from their parents the most soulful impressions which would continue to exert their influence till the latest age.

Man, help yourself!

Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken.

Never forget the days I spent with you. Continue to be my friend, as you will always find me yours.

Off with you! You're a happy fellow, for you'll give happiness and joy to many other people. There is nothing better or greater than that!

Prince, what you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am of myself. There are and there will be thousands of princes. There is only one Beethoven.

Show me the course where at the goal there stands the palm of victory! Lend sublimity to my loftiest thoughts, bring to them truths that shall live forever!

The genre would give me little concern provided the subjects were attractive to me. It must be such that I can go to work on it with love and ardor. I could not compose operas like 'Don Juan' and 'Figaro;' toward them I feel too great a repugnance. I could never have chosen such subjects; they are too frivolous.

The variations will prove a little difficult to play, particularly the trills in the coda; but let that not frighten you. It is so disposed that you need play only the trills, omitting the other notes because they are also in the violin part. I would never have written a thing of this kind had I not often noticed here and there in Vienna a man who after I had improvised of an evening would write down some of my peculiarities and make boast of them next day. Foreseeing that these things would soon appear in print I made up my mind to anticipate them. Another purpose which I had was to embarrass the local pianoforte masters. Many of them are my mortal enemies, and I wanted to have my revenge in this way, for I knew in advance that the variations would be put before them, and that they would make exhibitions of themselves.

There you are, you rascal; you're a devil of a fellow, God bless you!... Weber, you always were a fine fellow.

True friendship can rest only on the union of like natures.

When you reach the old ruins, think that Beethoven often paused there; if you wander through the mysterious fir forests, think that. Beethoven often poetized, or, as is said, composed there.

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Ludwig van
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German Composer and Pianist