German Composer and Pianist
Ludwig van Beethoven
German Composer and Pianist
In the country I know no lovelier delight than quartet music.
It was not intentional and premeditated malice which led me to act toward you as I did; it was my unpardonable carelessness.
Many assert that every minor piece must end in the minor. Nego! On the contrary I find that in the soft scales the major third at the close has a glorious and uncommonly quieting effect. Joy follows sorrow, sunshine?rain. It affects me as if I were looking up to the silvery glistering of the evening star.
My defective hearing appeared everywhere before me like a ghost; I fled from the presence of men, was obliged to appear to be a misanthrope although I am so little such.
No friend have I. I must live by myself alone; but I know well that God is nearer to me than others in my art, so I will walk fearlessly with Him.
One must not flee for protection to poverty against the loss of riches, nor to a lack of friendship against the loss of friends, nor by abstention from procreation against the death of children, but to reason against everything.
Read Shakespeare's 'Tempest.' [An answer to Schindler's question as to what poetical conceit underlay the sonatas in F minor]
Sinfonia Pastorella. He who has ever had a notion of country life can imagine for himself without many superscriptions what the composer is after. Even without a description the whole, which is more sentiment than tone painting, will be recognized.
The just man must be able also to suffer injustice without deviating in the least from the right course.
Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us, and never stop learning.
This is the mark of a really admirable man: steadfastness in the face of trouble.
Truth exists for the wise; beauty for the susceptible heart. They belong together?are complementary.
Who was happier than I when I could still pronounce the sweet word 'mother' and have it heard? To whom can I speak it now?
You ask me where I get my ideas. That I cannot tell you with certainty. They come unsummoned, directly, indirectly ? I could seize them with my hands ? out in the open air, in the woods, while walking, in the silence of the nights, at dawn, excited by moods which are translated by the poet into words, by me into tones that sound and roar and storm about me till I have set them down in notes.
Inasmuch as the purpose of the undersigned throughout his career has not been selfish but the promotion of the interests of art, the elevation of popular taste and the flight of his own genius toward loftier ideals and perfection, it was inevitable that he should frequently sacrifice his own advantages and profit to the muse.
It was not the fortuitous meeting of the chordal atoms that made the world; if order and beauty are reflected in the constitution of the universe, then there is a God.
Men are not only together when they are with each other; even the distant and the dead live with us.
My fatherland, the beautiful locality in which I saw the light of the world, appears before me vividly and just as beautiful as when I left you; I shall count it the happiest experience of my life when I shall again be able to see you, and greet our Father Rhine.
No metronome at all! He who has sound feeling needs none, and he who has not will get no help from the metronome;?he'll run away with the orchestra anyway.
One must not hold one's self so divine as to be unwilling occasionally to make improvements in one's creations.
Recommend virtue to your children, that alone - not wealth - can give happiness. It upholds in adversity and the thought of it and my art prevents me from putting an end to my life.
So far as mistakes are concerned it was never necessary for me to learn thorough-bass; my feelings were so sensitive from childhood that I practiced counterpoint without knowing that it must be so or could be otherwise.
The little man, otherwise so gentle,?I never would have credited him with such a thing. Now Weber must write operas in earnest, one after the other, without caring too much for refinement! Kaspar, the monster, looms up like a house; wherever the devil sticks in his claw we feel it.
Then the loveliest themes slipped out of your eyes into my heart, themes which shall only then delight the world when Beethoven conducts no longer.
This rascal Rossini, who is not respected by a single master of his art!