250 Years from The Birth of Beethoven
250 years ago this month, Ludwig van Beethoven was born. Although the exact date of his birth is not known with complete certainty, it is generally assumed to be 16 December 1770. According to Wikipedia: “There is no authentic record of the date of his birth; however, the registry of his baptism, in the Catholic Parish of St. Remigius on 17 December 1770, survives, and the custom in the region at the time was to carry out baptism within 24 hours of birth. There is a consensus (with which Beethoven himself agreed), that his birth date was 16 December, but no documentary proof of this.”
Beethoven was born in Bonn, which at that time was the capital of the Electorate of Cologne, and is currently better known as the former capital of Western Germany. However, he ended up living in Vienna for more than half of his life, from shortly before his 22nd birthday until his death at age 56.
There are, of course, still many visible reminders of his 35-year residency in and around the Austrian capital. For example, there is an imposing statue of him in the Beethovenpark, right across from the Konzerthaus (concert house) in the city’s 3rd district.
According to NYT - "No composer left a mark on music quite like Ludwig van Beethoven. He took the popular forms of his time — symphony, string quartet, piano sonata, opera — and stretched them to their breaking points. He embodied the then-new ideal of the musician as passionate, politically engaged Romantic hero."
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