There are some interesting facts and tidbits that we don’t know about Beethoven. In this article it will explain some of these little details about him that you may not have known prior to reading this.
Did you know that Beethoven was the third Ludwig Van Beethoven?
The first was his grandfather who was a famous musician in Bonn and the second was his older brother who passed away six days after he was born.
Beethoven’s father was the first one to notice that he had a knack for playing the piano at an early age. His father wanted him to be famous like Mozart, so he instilled playing the piano day and night for Beethoven to have the same talent as Mozart. Neighbors of Beethoven were said to have seen him crying while sitting on the piano bench while his father stood over him.
Ludwig left school at age 11 to help make extra money for his family. He never learned how to multiply or divide. So if he were to be given a multiplication problem like 40*20 he would just add 40 twenty times and then figure out the problem that way.
Another fact about Beethoven was that he would seem preoccupied with other thoughts. When a childhood friend was talking to him and noticed he wasn’t paying attention to a question she had asked him. She confronted him by asking ‘what did I just say to you?’ to which he responded, ‘I was just occupied with such a lovely, deep thought, I couldn’t bear to be disturbed.’
On his very first trip to Vienna Austria, Beethoven was supposed to perform for Mozart, but he usually wasn’t fond of other musicians due to being more talented than his peers. It is not known what was said or done in that meeting but Mozart stated while leaving the room, ‘keep an eye on him..someday he will give the world something to talk about.’
Another not so well known fact about Beethoven was that before he lost his hearing, he was known for his improvisational skills. One of his composers, Johann Baptist Cramer told his students, ‘if you haven’t heard Beethoven improvise, then you haven’t heard improvisation!’
Beethoven was trying to court women. Unfortunately his luck varied with courting. Some women found him to be a genius and some felt that he was very repulsive. One woman in particular that he was courting at the time, said to him, ‘you’re ugly and lazy!’
Beethoven was a sickly child until his dying day. He suffered from a number of diseases throughout his life. He was deaf, had colitis, rheumatism, rheumatic fever, typhus, skin disorders, abscesses, a number of infections, ophthalmia, inflammatory degeneration of the arteries, jaundice, chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver. He thought that his deafness came from when he was a child and fell but in reality it probably came from when he suffered from a disease called typhus or known today as smallpox. He began to hear constant buzzing noises at the age of 27.
Moonlight Sonata, which is one of his more elegant compositions, was dedicated to Beethoven’s student and love interest, Julie Guicciardi. This song is beautiful and well written. It is one of my personal favorites of Beethoven’s original songs and one of the first of his that I learned to play on the piano from memory.
Beethoven disliked giving piano lessons to students, but would make exceptions here and there. An example would be if the students were incredibly talented or beautiful young women of varying talents. This is a true fact.
Another little known fact about Beethoven: ‘One of the major inspirations of Beethoven’s famed Ninth Symphony was poet Friedrich Schiller’s poem “Ode to Joy,” which he’d been meaning to put to music since his youth.’ This excerpt was taken from an article written about Beethoven on the internet.
Despite his undeniable talent, in order to make money for himself, Beethoven had to work for a living by giving piano lessons, and writing songs for Vietnamese residents or by composing his own music. This helped him earn enough money to keep a roof over his head.
Beethoven that may not be well known is this: he never married nor had children. This was due to his intense shyness around women and unfortunately, to most of those ladies, he wasn’t very attractive or appealing. Despite all of this, he was desperately in love with a married woman at the time. Her name was Antonie Brentano.
The last known fact or tidbit about Beethoven that most people do not know is that he passed away during a thunderstorm at the age of 56. He wasn’t very old at the time of his death. His friend at the time stated that him passing was like that of one of his symphonies. ‘“crashes that sound like hammering on the portals of Fate.” Thousands of his admirers joined in the procession of his funeral. His gravestone/monument simply states “Beethoven” without anything else written on it. It was a simple gravestone for a great man.
All of these interesting facts/tidbits of this well loved and respected classical musician makes him even more intriguing than he was before. He had ups and downs within the start of his career and if it wasn’t for his father pushing him to achieve his goals, he wouldn’t be one of the most well known, loved and respected classical geniuses of this day and age. His talent was undeniable and his compositions are beautifully written. Today many pianists learn from their teachers the songs that he wrote and play them to the best of their ability with the hope that they can perform them as well as he did.