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View Full Version : Beethoven's mother & siblings--facts?


thuer
04-29-2001, 10:48 AM
My brother sent me a message purporting to describe the condition of Beethoven's mother and the alleged disabilities of his siblings--all of which I suspect to be apocryphal.Is this statement (below)supported by any evidence?
"If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis..." This allegedly is Beethoven's mother, when pregnant with Ludvig von Beethoven. To me it sounds far-fetched. Any confirming information available--or substantially disconfirming evidence?

~Leslie
04-29-2001, 12:46 PM
Thuer,
Beethoven was raised in a poverty stricken household by a hardworking mom, and a good-looking, but a vain singer and tippler for a dad. Out of the seven children she bore, 4 did not survive infancy.

The first was Ludwig Maria and lived six days.

The second, our Ludwig, again named after the child's paternal grandfather.

Kaspar Anton Karl

Nicolas Johann

Anna Maria - lived 4 days

Franz Georg - lived 2 and a half years

Margareth died when she was less than a year and a half old, after Frau van Beethoven passed on from tuberculosis earlier that year.


As for the rest of the details, I leave that to the experts of this forum. Suffice to say, that I have heard this propaganda floating around for years, and I believe it was used as a pro-life arguement.~

Peter
04-29-2001, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by thuer:
"If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis..." This allegedly is Beethoven's mother, when pregnant with Ludvig von Beethoven. To me it sounds far-fetched. Any confirming information available--or substantially disconfirming evidence?

Beethoven's mother, Maria Magdalena Keverich married a certain Johann Laym, valet to the Elector of Trèves, in 1763 when she was sixteen. She bore him one son who died in infancy. In November 1765 her husband died. A few years later she married Johann Van Beethoven and of their 7 children, only 3 survived infancy - so one fact at least is correct, she did have 8 children. She died of consumption (TB) in 1787.

Beethoven's brother Carl, was dogged by ill-health and in 1813 he fell seriously ill with consumption (TB) - the disease that had killed his mother.
His health improved, but a little over two years later the consumption took hold again and he fell terminally ill and died aged 41.

Gerhard von Breuning, had this to say of Beethoven's other brother Johann -

'For some years after the death of the great "brain owner", his brother, the "landowner", played a strange, naive role. During Ludwig's life Johann's interest in his works was limited to possible gain from them; now he tried to present himself as an appreciative admirer. At concert performances of music by his deceased brother he would sit in the first row, all got up in a blue frock coat with white vest, and loudly shriek Bravos from his big mouth at the end of every piece, beating his bony white-gloved hands together importantly. These oversize gloves, with their flapping fingers, could often be seen elsewhere as well, in the elegant drives in the Prater ...

'All this pretentiousness and in general the overall appearance of Johann - who bore no physical resemblance to Ludwig: he had a long face, big nose, one eye squinting outwards, giving his face an expression of perpetual self-satisfaction - earned him the nickname of "Archduke Lorenz", from the familiar proverb about people who endeavour to put on a great show and conduct themselves ridiculously in the process. Johann died in Vienna in January 1848 (aged 72). He proved to be as preposterous after his brother's death as he had been contemptible during his brother's life.'


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'Man know thyself'



[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 04-29-2001).]

Michael
04-29-2001, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by thuer:
My brother sent me a message purporting to describe the condition of Beethoven's mother and the alleged disabilities of his siblings--all of which I suspect to be apocryphal.Is this statement (below)supported by any evidence?
"If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis..." This allegedly is Beethoven's mother, when pregnant with Ludvig von Beethoven. To me it sounds far-fetched. Any confirming information available--or substantially disconfirming evidence?

I have come across this description before. As Leslie says, it is used as a pro-life argument, usually put across as a conundrum: "If you knew a woman ... who had three deaf children ... one mentally retarded, etc., ... and she was pregnant, would you advise her to have an abortion?"
And if you answer "yes", the retaliation would be: "You have just murdered Beethoven".

All the facts have been changed merely to make a point.

Michael

Rod
04-29-2001, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
Gerhard von Breuning, had this to say of Beethoven's other brother Johann -




Solomon thinks G's critisism of Johann and indeed many other of B's associates is an exaggeration of the facts - Schindler especially (of course) on occasion appears to have influenced Gerhard after B's death in this respect says Solomon. But Solomon contradicts himself as he also mentions the fact that the generally reliable young G openly critisises these men from his own experience in the conversation books. Appart from B, Gerhard reckoned they were ALL scoundrels and hippocrites, including Holz. Solomon is right to critisise Schindler, but occasionally goes to much in the opposite direction to my mind. Sometimes when the mud sticks, there is reason for it to do so.


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



[This message has been edited by Rod (edited 04-29-2001).]

Peter
04-29-2001, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
But Solomon contradicts himself as he also mentions the fact that the generally reliable young G openly critisises these men from his own experience in the conversation books.


I confess to knowing little about Gerhard Von Breuning other than he was around 13 at the time of B's death and later became a doctor. I would think the remarks he made about Johann were true and based on his own experience not Schindler's. His early views of Johann were probably coloured unfavourably by Schindler and Beethoven himself, so if he came across him in later years, the sight of this 'dandy' with his dyed hair shouting bravos must indeed have been nauseating.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
04-30-2001, 12:11 AM
Originally posted by Peter:
I confess to knowing little about Gerhard Von Breuning other than he was around 13 at the time of B's death and later became a doctor. I would think the remarks he made about Johann were true and based on his own experience not Schindler's. His early views of Johann were probably coloured unfavourably by Schindler and Beethoven himself, so if he came across him in later years, the sight of this 'dandy' with his dyed hair shouting bravos must indeed have been nauseating.


I have G's reminicences of B, edited by Solomon. A very good read but a few times S's notes opposing G's point of view are, here and there, not totally justified on the evidence given.


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

MICAULT-VERHAEGHE
05-13-2001, 08:17 PM
There are too indispensable books any fan of B. must have :
- MEMORIES of BEETHOVEN, by Gerhard von BREUNING, (Edited by SOLOMON)
- BEETHOVEN, Impressions by his Contemporaries (Edited by O.G. SONNECK)
The pity is that all the correspondance of B. is not translated in English yet. I am translating it in french and find a lot of things which are not the same as what was translated by others in several books. A lot of autors are working with informations they take from books written by others. It is necessary to read a good german to have a real idea of the truth. All B. letters (and the answers sometimes...) are in 7 big books (HENLE Verlag). They finished the recollection in july 1997... and we do think a lot of correspondance is of course lost, but also that part the correspondance with the Brunswick family is in America. B. was very much more intelligent as one actually think !

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Prof. VERHAEGHE-MICAULT

Rod
05-13-2001, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by MICAULT-VERHAEGHE:

The pity is that all the correspondance of B. is not translated in English yet.


Well, by coincidence I have a volume of over 450 of B's letters translated into English in my back-pack at this very moment, on Dover, ISBN 0-486-22769-3. These are all the important letters, I can live without those with no particular musical or biographical interest.

Originally posted by MICAULT-VERHAEGHE:

B. was very much more intelligent as one actually think !



Who said Beethoven was not intelligent. A dim-wit can't compose music of B's standard!

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

Peter
05-13-2001, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by MICAULT-VERHAEGHE:
The pity is that all the correspondance of B. is not translated in English yet.


I believe Beethoven's surviving correspondence amounts to around 1600 letters, most of which have been translated into English by Emily Anderson. Translating Beethoven's letters must be something of a nightmare considering his handwriting, ink blots and disregard for punctuation!

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'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 05-13-2001).]

Claudie MICAULT
05-14-2001, 11:31 PM
Sorry ! I did not meant that YOU, B.'s fans were saying he was not intelligent ! But I have so much books in which it is written that he had no instruction, he could not write properly, etc, etc,.... Reading the whole correspondance in German shows you that he had more knowledges as THEY thought just taking in consideration a part of the letters. There are a lot of more than 400 letters which are of importance, believe me !

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Claudie

Rod
05-15-2001, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by Claudie MICAULT:
There are a lot of more than 400 letters which are of importance, believe me !


Alas, I no longer have the time to read 1600!!!


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

stacibeth
07-16-2012, 04:26 PM
In my research, I am unable to find the age of Johann Laym at the time he was married to Maria Magdalena. Any ideas?

Megan
07-16-2012, 05:07 PM
In my research, I am unable to find the age of Johann Laym at the time he was married to Maria Magdalena. Any ideas?






here is a link from Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_van_Beethoven


He probably met his future wife, Maria Magdalena Keverich (1746–1787), on a trip to Ehrenbreitstein. She was the daughter of the head chef to the Archbishop of Trier, whose court was there, and she had family connections in the court orchestra at Bonn. Already widowed at the age of nineteen, she and Johann were married in January 1767 in the Catholic St. Remigius church, Bonn.





Apologies, I now realize you mean Magdalena's first husband Johann Leym.

Peter
07-16-2012, 05:25 PM
In my research, I am unable to find the age of Johann Laym at the time he was married to Maria Magdalena. Any ideas?

All I can tell you is that he was a valet to the Elector of Treves and married Maria Magdalena on Jan 30th 1763. He died on Nov 28th 1765.

Roehre
07-16-2012, 07:37 PM
Hopefully superfluously, but one has got to be aware:

Erzbisschof-Kurfürst von Trier = Elector-Archbishop of Treves

Fidelio
07-17-2012, 01:12 AM
In my research, I am unable to find the age of Johann Laym at the time he was married to Maria Magdalena. Any ideas?

Johann Laym (1733-65) married Maria Magdalene on 30 January 1763.

He would have been 30 years of age.

Fidelio
07-17-2012, 01:31 AM
Beethoven's correspondence provides an essential key to understanding his works and personality. It was published between 1996 and 1998 by G. Henle Publishers. Each letter is accompanied by information concerning its origin, where it is held, etc. as well as explanatory notes. The letters are published in seven volumes (Volume 7 = index). Volume 8 (documents, subject index) is in progress.
All awaiting translation into English.

The edition of documents, the eighth and last volume of the edition of Beethoven letters, will contain non-letter written documents such as register sheets, certificates and newspaper ads from Beethoven, as well as contracts with publishing houses, property declarations, bills and minutes from court trials such as the conflict concerning Beethoven's nephew Karl. Several of these documents have not been published before.

The volume will be complemented by an extensively commented index of persons, locations and works.

In addition, volume 8 also comprises addenda and corrigenda concerning volumes 1 to 7 as well as a large index covering all published letters.