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Peter
10-18-2000, 12:11 AM
Further test results on the Guavera lock of Beethoven's hair have been published - I quote :

'The second test was a trace metals analysis conducted by Dr. William Walsh at the HRI & Pfeiffer Research Center in Naperville, Illinois. This test will reveal the presence of any trace heavy metals. The following results of this test were announced by Dr. Walsh on Tuesday, October 17:

High lead concentrations in Beethoven's hair were found in independent analyses by McCrone Research Institute & Argonne National Laboratory. This is evidence that Beethoven had plumbism (lead poisoning) which may have caused his life-long illnesses, impacted his personality, and possibly contributed to his death.

Distinctive trace-metal patterns associated with genius, irritability, glucose disorders, and malabsorption were not present in the Beethoven samples tested by McCrone Research Institute.

Very low (undetectable) mercury levels were reported independently by McCrone Research Institute and Argonne National Laboratory. These results provide no evidence that Beethoven received medical treatment for syphilis, usually treated in the 1820's with mercury compounds. This supports the consensus of Beethoven scholars who believe that Beethoven never had syphilis. Rumors that Beethoven suffered from syphilis have been discounted in all serious musicological literature for the last thirty years.'

For those seeking further information, check out the new book, 'Beethoven's hair' by Russell Martin (New York, Broadway Book 2000) - published today 17/10/2000.



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'Man know thyself'

Kevin
10-18-2000, 05:31 PM
What is amazing to me about this research is that it appears Beethoven refused opiates for his pain.
"What's also intriguing about the findings, said Martin, is the hair contained no evidence of opiates. Beethoven was said to have been suffering from liver failure due to cirrhosis."
"...it's impossible to imagine that he wasn't offered laudanum, morphine or some other opiate-based painkiller before his death, as was customary," said Martin. "My guess is that he declined the drugs because he didn't want them to interfere with his composing."
He was working on a string quartet and the 10th at the time.
I also did not know that he was known to refuse champagne while working, for fear that it would affect his compositions.

Eroica Indeed! What dedication to Art and Humanity.

"The fundament upon which all of our knowledge is based is the inexplicable."

Originally posted by Peter:

Further test results on the Guavera lock of Beethoven's hair have been published - I quote :

'The second test was a trace metals analysis conducted by Dr. William Walsh at the HRI & Pfeiffer Research Center in Naperville, Illinois. This test will reveal the presence of any trace heavy metals. The following results of this test were announced by Dr. Walsh on Tuesday, October 17:

High lead concentrations in Beethoven's hair were found in independent analyses by McCrone Research Institute & Argonne National Laboratory. This is evidence that Beethoven had plumbism (lead poisoning) which may have caused his life-long illnesses, impacted his personality, and possibly contributed to his death.

Distinctive trace-metal patterns associated with genius, irritability, glucose disorders, and malabsorption were not present in the Beethoven samples tested by McCrone Research Institute.

Very low (undetectable) mercury levels were reported independently by McCrone Research Institute and Argonne National Laboratory. These results provide no evidence that Beethoven received medical treatment for syphilis, usually treated in the 1820's with mercury compounds. This supports the consensus of Beethoven scholars who believe that Beethoven never had syphilis. Rumors that Beethoven suffered from syphilis have been discounted in all serious musicological literature for the last thirty years.'

For those seeking further information, check out the new book, 'Beethoven's hair' by Russell Martin (New York, Broadway Book 2000) - published today 17/10/2000.

Peter
10-19-2000, 01:14 PM
Sensational and disgraceful articles are now appearing in the tabloid press 'The madness of Beethoven' - 'The madness of Leadwig' - 'he wrote music like an angel but looked like a devil' - Beethoven was NOT mad !! Yes he was eccentric, a trait quite commonly associated with genius, but that is not the same as madness - lucky that there are no direct descendants today who can sue !
Now that high traces of lead have been discovered in Beethoven (the most likely source being the health spas !) several questions need to be asked - why were many others not affected in the same way ? - after all these Spas were extremely fashionable.
I would be very surprised if there is a link with Beethoven's deafness - we shall have to await further tests.

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'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 10-19-2000).]

Suzie
10-19-2000, 04:33 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Peter:
[B]Sensational and disgraceful articles are now appearing in the tabloid press 'The madness of Beethoven' - 'The madness of Leadwig' - 'he wrote music like an angel but looked like a devil' - Beethoven was NOT mad !! Yes he was eccentric, a trait quite commonly associated with genius, but that is not the same as madness - lucky that there are no direct descendants today who can sue !
Now that high traces of lead have been discovered in Beethoven (the most likely source being the health spas !) several questions need to be asked - why were many others not affected in the same way ? - after all these Spas were extremely fashionable.
I would be very surprised if there is a link with Beethoven's deafness - we shall have to await further tests.

I read in one of the early biographies(Wegeler, Ries or Breuning) that B liked to drink spring water and added something like "too much of it". I'll have to get an opinion from my personal water quality engineer. I'm not convinced about the test results though. I agree with you, why not anyone else?

Peter
10-20-2000, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by Suzie:

I read in one of the early biographies(Wegeler, Ries or Breuning) that B liked to drink spring water and added something like "too much of it". I'll have to get an opinion from my personal water quality engineer. I'm not convinced about the test results though. I agree with you, why not anyone else?

Well perhaps B did over indulge and drank gallons of the stuff believing it would cure him of his ails - particularly as he became more desperate over his deafness, but it still does not answer the question as to how many others were suffering from lead poisoning ? - perhaps they will have to exhume the entire Viennese population who died in the 1820's and 30's to do a proper study !!
The moral of the story is do not touch bottled mineral water - stick to good old tap water, even if it sometimes comes out a rather suspect colour !


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'Man know thyself'