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10 curious facts about Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a mysterious but also very moody and grumpy person. Here 10 curious facts about the musical genius:

  • Little Ludwig did not have a pleasant childhood because his alcoholic father wanted to earn money with him as a child prodigy. He was often chased out of bed in the middle of the night and forced to practice the piano.
  • Beethoven was known for his quirky and fussy manner. Every morning he washed himself thoroughly with a watering can and then counted exactly 60 coffee beans for his morning coffee.
  • He liked living in the country because Vienna was too windy for him. In his diary he wrote “The wind, which comes in on the second beautiful day, cannot keep me in Vienna because it is my enemy.”
  • Evil tongues claim that the “van” in his name was very helpful for the composer because it was considered a title of nobility in Viennese society. It only refers to its Flemish ancestry. Beethoven himself did nothing to clear up this misunderstanding.
  • The moonlight sonata was not named by Beethoven. He simply called it Sonata No. 14. It only got its poetic name in 1832 from the poet Ludwig Rellstab, who felt that the sonata sounded like moonlight over Lake Lucerne.
  • Since he had to support his family financially, he left school at the age of 11. As a result, spelling was not his forte. When he capitalized words, it wasn't because they were nouns, but because he wanted to emphasize the importance of the word; the part of speech did not interest him.
  • Nevertheless, it was always important to him to complete his insufficient general education through studies, which is why he dealt intensively with the works of Kant, Goethe, Schiller, Herder, and Shakespeare's dramas and the Bhagavad Gita were also familiar to him.
  • The composer moved at least 68 times in his life. Sometimes he didn't like the coffee, sometimes the water was too cold or the stairs too dark. As soon as he felt uncomfortable, he packed his things and went looking for a better place to live.
  • Beethoven can also be heard in space! In 1977, data disks called Voyager Golden Records with image and audio information were attached to interstellar spacecraft. It was hoped that any intelligent, extraterrestrial life forms would learn about our humanity through this. His 5th symphony has been in the universe for at least 500 million years because that is the estimated lifespan of these records.
  • His last words on March 26, 1827 should have been “a shame, a shame, too late!” regarding the new wine delivery, which he could no longer enjoy.

See and hear Beethoven's most beautiful works on fidelio.


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