PDA

View Full Version : Anecdotes


Luis
02-23-2001, 06:30 AM
I thought it was a nice idea to quote some anecdotes from B. Here’s a funny one that reveals B’s humor as well as other things...

Beethoven and prostitutes:
I’m quoting from Solomon:
“It was at about this time (1813-4) that the first in a series of lightly disguised references to prostitutes surfaced in Beethoven’s correspondence with Zmeskall. Apparently, their code word for prostitutes was festungen (fortresses). On February 28, 1813, Beethoven wrote: “Be zealous in defending the fortresses of the empire, which, as you know, lost their virginity a long time ago and have already received several assaults” Similarly, he wrote on other occasions, ”Enjoy life, but not voluptuously-Proprietor, Governor, Pasha of various rotten fortresses!!!”; (…) Keep away from rotten fortresses, for an attack from them is more deadly than one from well-preserved ones”
On another letter: “I thank you most heartily, my dear Z, for the information you have given me concerning the fortresses, for I thought you had the idea from me that I did not wish to stop in swampy places”; “Yes! and include me too, even if it’s at night” ; and more transparently: “I have seen nothing -I have heard nothing- Meanwhile, I am always ready for it. The time I prefer most of all is at about half-past three or four o’clock in the afternoon.”

Hope you liked it and post others!

Peter
02-23-2001, 04:55 PM
That's interesting - I don't possess the complete Beethoven letters, only a selection and that one certainly isn't among them !
Certainly shows Beethoven the man ! - Sort of thing that Schindler would have destroyed

------------------
'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 02-23-2001).]

Rod
02-23-2001, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
That's interesting - I don't possess the complete Beethoven letters, only a selection and that one certainly isn't among them !
Certainly shows Beethoven the man ! - Sort of thing that Schindler would have destroyed


I know of these letters. Why would Schindler want to destroy letters where Beethoven writes against using the services of prostitutes? The tone of the letter may be 'laddish' but the bones of it is utterly moral. The is plenty of negative remarks and incidents concerning Beethoven from various sources and situations in Schindler's 'Beethoven as I knew him'. For example, it is from Schindler alone that we learn about the massed demonstrations against the 'woman hater Beethoven' during the Karl court proceedings. S devotes a whole appendix to critisism from Weber alone! But Schindler always trusts the master's good judgement as the final word, in this I believe S to be sincere, regardless of the fact that in other areas he was operating to his own agenda.

------------------
"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Peter
02-23-2001, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
I know of these letters. Why would Schindler want to destroy letters where Beethoven writes against using the services of prostitutes?


Personally I think the tone of those letters is ambiguous (and I've no wish to enter into a Beethoven and prostitutes argument either as I couldn't care either way !) My point was really that Schindler destroyed much that would have been of value to scholars today for his own prudish reasons and I dare say he would have found those letters a bit near the mark.

------------------
'Man know thyself'

Rod
02-24-2001, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
Personally I think the tone of those letters is ambiguous (and I've no wish to enter into a Beethoven and prostitutes argument either as I couldn't care either way !) My point was really that Schindler destroyed much that would have been of value to scholars today for his own prudish reasons and I dare say he would have found those letters a bit near the mark.


Well, I flicked through my copy of Schindler's book and he refers to Zmeskal on a number of occasions without the slightest hint of malice. In fact S recognises that Z is a loyal and true friend of Beethoven's throughout. In later years Schindler even delivered Z's letters to Beethoven by hand when Z was too ill to venture out of his house. Based on this I don't think that had S read these letters in question he would have destroyed them. Perhaps you are in the unenviable position of owing Schindler an appology?

------------------
"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Peter
02-24-2001, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Well, I flicked through my copy of Schindler's book and he refers to Zmeskal on a number of occasions without the slightest hint of malice. In fact S recognises that Z is a loyal and true friend of Beethoven's throughout. In later years Schindler even delivered Z's letters to Beethoven by hand when Z was too ill to venture out of his house. Based on this I don't think that had S read these letters in question he would have destroyed them. Perhaps you are in the unenviable position of owing Schindler an appology?



Certainly not ! - Whether or not he would have destroyed them is debatable, but really unimportant - what does matter is that Schindler distorted facts left right and centre in his biography, as well as destroying plenty of other documents including many of the conversation books - and for that, Schindler should apologise to posterity.
I daresay S does speak highly of Z, why should he not? after all he could hardly dismiss someone who was known to have been a friend to Beethoven over so many years.

------------------
'Man know thyself'

Michael
02-25-2001, 02:01 AM
I'm not sure if this would qualify as an anecdote, but I have to mention it somewhere.
I am assuming most of you are familiar with the format of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"
Well, a few hours ago, on the English edition, the question posed was :"What nationality was the composer Ludwig van Beethoven". The choice wasn't too difficult as it was: German, Polish, English or Spanish.
It was bad enough that the contestant didn't know the answer (which might be understandable if Austria had been included) but he put the question to the studio audience. Luckily, they gave him the right choice. But what shook the presenter, Chris Tarrant, was the fact that three per cent of the audience thought Beethoven was English.
Good job they didn't give America as a choice or some of them would have thought of a certain St. Bernard ......

M.

PDG
02-25-2001, 02:10 AM
I thought he was Spanish.

------------------
Peter (PDG)

Peter
02-25-2001, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by Michael:
But what shook the presenter, Chris Tarrant, was the fact that three per cent of the audience thought Beethoven was English.
Good job they didn't give America as a choice or some of them would have thought of a certain St. Bernard ......

M.

Nothing surprises me ! - I had someone a while back on the guest book ask why I didn't have any photos of B on the site, particularly holiday snaps ! Damn, if only I'd had my camera with me last summer - that one of B on a surf board would have made a great homepage!


------------------
'Man know thyself'

Michael
02-25-2001, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
I thought he was Spanish.



Funnily enough, because of his swarthy appearance, he was nicknamed "The Spaniard". And by a strange coincidence, his last lodging place in Vienna was known as the "House of the Black Spaniard".

Michael

Rod
02-25-2001, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
Certainly not ! - Whether or not he would have destroyed them is debatable, but really unimportant - what does matter is that Schindler distorted facts left right and centre in his biography, as well as destroying plenty of other documents including many of the conversation books - and for that, Schindler should apologise to posterity.
I daresay S does speak highly of Z, why should he not? after all he could hardly dismiss someone who was known to have been a friend to Beethoven over so many years.


So no appology!? In a trial previous convictions are not taken as evidence in the UK! But Schindler is generally consistantly complementary or derrogatory about those who deserved either. Some of the distortions were made on grounds one could see as understandable, if not justifiable, some are due to poor memory, some complete lies as you say. But I think only Ries gets a really hard time in the biography.

------------------
"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Peter
02-25-2001, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
But I think only Ries gets a really hard time in the biography.



Well you have the advantage of having read it, which I confess to not doing - there is I know an edited version , which presumably you would agree would be the wisest to go for. The more experienced in life one becomes, the more one is hopefully capable of seeing the whole picture - it's very easy to regard Karl as a reckless youth who caused nothing but trouble for B, and I believe this is the way Schindler sees it. Another example is Schindler's attitude to Holz, a young man who S claims led B astray - might the truth be that B had fallen out with S and found the company of Holz to be congenial and a relief from the strains of life ? I remember from a previous post you were particularly impressed by Schindler's musical insights - perhaps that is where his strengths lie, rather than in biography.

------------------
'Man know thyself'

MCS
02-26-2001, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by PDG:
I thought he was Spanish.



But couldn't an argument be made for him being Flemish since his grandfather was from Antwerp? (And I'm not Belgian, BTW)

Michael
02-26-2001, 03:28 AM
Originally posted by MCS:
But couldn't an argument be made for him being Flemish since his grandfather was from Antwerp? (And I'm not Belgian, BTW)



So the two greatest Belgian exports could be Van Damme (Jean-Claude) and Van Beethoven?

Michael

PDG
02-26-2001, 03:32 AM
Originally posted by Michael:
Funnily enough, because of his swarthy appearance, he was nicknamed "The Spaniard". And by a strange coincidence, his last lodging place in Vienna was known as the "House of the Black Spaniard".
Michael


He was also black??!!

------------------
Peter (PDG)

Peter
02-26-2001, 10:24 AM
I've always loved the story of B being arrested as a tramp and ranting at the police for not believing who he was ! Definitely an incident to include in our film Euphony ! There are so many comic as well as tragic incidents in B's life, and I think all too often people concentrate on the latter.

------------------
'Man know thyself'

Rod
02-26-2001, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
Well you have the advantage of having read it, which I confess to not doing - there is I know an edited version , which presumably you would agree would be the wisest to go for. The more experienced in life one becomes, the more one is hopefully capable of seeing the whole picture - it's very easy to regard Karl as a reckless youth who caused nothing but trouble for B, and I believe this is the way Schindler sees it. Another example is Schindler's attitude to Holz, a young man who S claims led B astray - might the truth be that B had fallen out with S and found the company of Holz to be congenial and a relief from the strains of life ? I remember from a previous post you were particularly impressed by Schindler's musical insights - perhaps that is where his strengths lie, rather than in biography.


The 1860 version is the available one today, which is edited. But only half of the book is biography the rest is full of interesting observations in the Appendices. They are obviously subjective but extremely interesting from a histrical context. For example he goes into depth discussing Webers anonymous attempts at destroying Beethoven in the music press, and also Clara Schuman's performances of Beethoven etc. Realy interesting struff you will get nowhere else. I always recommend this book.


------------------
"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Peter
02-26-2001, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
The 1860 version is the available one today, which is edited. But only half of the book is biography the rest is full of interesting observations in the Appendices. They are obviously subjective but extremely interesting from a histrical context.



Thanks - I shall seek it out !

------------------
'Man know thyself'

MCS
02-26-2001, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by Michael:
So the two greatest Belgian exports could be Van Damme (Jean-Claude) and Van Beethoven?

Michael



Well, I MIGHT put Van Dyck ahead of Van Damme (not to mention PP Rubens..)

PDG
02-26-2001, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by MCS:
Well, I MIGHT put Van Dyck ahead of Van Damme (not to mention PP Rubens..)


Rubens is good but he`ll never beat Schumacher. http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/confused.gif

------------------
Peter (PDG)

MCS
02-26-2001, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
Rubens is good but he`ll never beat Schumacher. http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/confused.gif



Schumacher?...Is he before or after Pieter Bruegel?

MCS
02-26-2001, 09:49 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
I thought he was Spanish.



Actually, the idea that B. may have had some Spanish blood in him isn't all that far-fetched. Flanders used to be known as 'The Spanish Netherlands'. The area was 'inherited' by the Spanish throne in the 16th century and so there were plenty of Spaniards in that neck of the woods.

PDG
02-27-2001, 02:56 AM
Told you - he was Spanish. I know my stuff.

------------------
Peter (PDG)

Peter
02-27-2001, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
The 1860 version is the available one today, which is edited.



Who's the publisher ? Is it readily available as I'm having problems tracking it down!

------------------
'Man know thyself'

Suzie
03-04-2001, 05:41 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Peter:
[B] Who's the publisher ? Is it readily available as I'm having problems tracking it down!


Dover Publications, INC., Mineola, New York.

Peter
03-04-2001, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by Suzie:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Peter:
[B] Who's the publisher ? Is it readily available as I'm having problems tracking it down!


Dover Publications, INC., Mineola, New York.

Cheers Suz!


------------------
'Man know thyself'

MCS
03-04-2001, 10:45 PM
Getting back to the original idea of this thread...My favorite anecdote about Beethoven I read in a book called "Bach, Beethoven and the Boys - Musical History as it Ought to be Taught". In it, the author (I forget his name) tells of the time the violinist Schuppanzigh complained to the Master about a particularly difficult passage in a quartet. Beethoven retorted, "I can't think about your miserable violin while I'm speaking to my God!"
Well put.

Rod
03-05-2001, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by Peter:
Cheers Suz!



Hey! I've already given you the publisher AND the ISBN no. in another chain, but I didn't get no 'cheers Rod!'. Women get all the luck.



------------------
"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Peter
03-05-2001, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Hey! I've already given you the publisher AND the ISBN no. in another chain, but I didn't get no 'cheers Rod!'. Women get all the luck.



Well mega thanks then! - I shall be visiting my local Borders store on Wednesday.

------------------
'Man know thyself'