Friday, 16 December 2016


Beethoven as he would have appeared in 1812
Today’s Quote of the Day comes to us courtesy of 19th century German composer Ludwig van Beethoven in the form of a letter written to a certain “Emily M. at H.”thought to be a young pianist and admirer of the maestro, of around eight or nine years of age – in which the celebrated composer proffers to the girl a poetic verse of musical insight and perspective:

“Do not merely practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; it deserves that, for only art and science can exalt man to divinity.”

(Fahre fort, übe nicht allein die Kunst, sondern dringe auch in ihr Inneres; sie verdient es, denn nur die Kunst und die Wissenschaft erhöhen den Menschen bis zur Gottheit) -Ludwig van Beethoven, Toplitz, July 17, 1812.

This letter (published in an alternate translation on page 259 in the compilation below) by Herr Beethoven - whose date of birth is undocumented, but believed by scholars to have originated on this 16th day on December in 1770 at Bonn – and more letters penned by the iconic maestro can be read in their entirety by perusing the pages in the book embedded below (provided courtesy of the public domain archive at

Enjoy a gorgeous rendition of Beethoven’s “Mir ist so wunderbar” (A wondrous feeling fills me), the famous quartet from Ludwig’s only opera, Fidelio. Sung by Lucia Popp, Gundula Janowitz, Manfred Jungwirth and Adolf Dallapozza under Leonard Bernstein:

A note on Herr Beethoven's "birthday" (from Wikipedia):

"There is no authentic record of the date of [Beethoven's] birth; however, the registry of his baptism, in a Catholic service at the Parish of St. Regius on 17 December 1770, survives. As children of that era were traditionally baptised the day after birth in the Catholic Rhine country, and it is known that Beethoven's family and his teacher Johann Albrechtsberger celebrated his birthday on 16 December, most scholars accept 16 December 1770 as Beethoven's date of birth."

To learn more about the life and exploits of this famous composer, visit the Beethoven Archives here at Unraveling Musical Myths. 


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