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Beethoven Begins to Grow Deaf

Although a brilliant pianist and budding composer, in 1800, Beethoven had not reached his potential and did not have the fame he would one day enjoy.  As Alexander Thayer notes, in his Life of Beethoven, Volume 1:

. . . there is a time in the lives of distinguished men when they are but aspirants to fame, when they have their reputations still to make, often, in fact, attracting less notice and raising feebler hopes of future distinction in those who know them, than many a more precocious contemporary ...

The composer himself was not the Beethoven whom we know.  Had he died in 1800, his place in musical history would have been that of a great pianoforte player and of a very promising young composer, whose decease thus in his prime had disappointed well-founded hopes of great future eminence.  (Thayer's Life of Beethoven, Volume 1, Revised and Edited by Elliot Forbes, page 228.)

In short ... at this point in his life ... Beethoven had not yet "arrived."  For him, that fact was worsened by an onset of deafness.

A feeling that time was running out began to overwhelm him.  An almost-manic response to that worry began to surface in letters to his brother.  Everything Beethoven had fought so hard to achieve seemed in jeopardy.

Clip from “Beethoven,” a 2005 BBC television production, featuring Charles Hazlewood and starring Paul Rhys as Beethoven. 

 


Media Credits

Clip from “Beethoven,” a 2005 BBC television production, featuring Charles Hazlewood and starring Paul Rhys as Beethoven. 

Online, via BBC Worldwide Channel at YouTube.  Copyright, BBC, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the program..

Director:
Ursula Macfarlane

Key Cast Members:

Paul Rhys
Ludwig van Beethoven

Jack Shepherd
Joseph Haydn

David Bamber
Prince Lichnowsky

Alice Eve
Countess Giulietta Guicciardi

Nicholas Farrell
Stephan von Breuning

Tom Goodman-Hill
Anton Schindler

Gareth David-Lloyd
Older Karl

Casper Harvey
Young Karl

Sarah Hadland
Johanna van Beethoven

Christian Coulson
Archduke Rudolph

Charles Hazlewood
Himself - Presenter

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Beethoven Begins to Grow Deaf" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Oct 19, 2019.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Beethoven-Begins-to-Grow-Deaf/1>.
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