Beethoven, Ludwig van


Beethoven, born in the year 1770, came into the world in the beginning of a new era, a period of change and overthrow. During his boyhood, America established her freedom, in his manhood, in France were uttered the three words that vibrated round the world. In his art and in his life Beethoven stood for freedom, with no hampering of conventions.

Ludwig van Beethoven was born at Bonn, on the Rhine, December 16 or 17, 1770, on his father's side being of Flemish blood. The grandfather, also Ludwig, a native of Antwerp and descendant of an old Flemish family, had come to Bonn to take the position of Court musician in the service of the Elector of Cologne, and from 1761 to 1763 was music-director at the Court. A French writer, M. Theodor de Wyzewa, in a study of Beethoven's heredity describes the grandfather thus: "Great energy and a high sense of duty were combined in him with a practical good sense and a dignity of demeanor that earned for him, in the city he had entered poor and unknown, universal respect. His musical knowledge and ability were considerable; and although he was not an original composer, he had frequently to make arrangements of music for performance by his choir." His wife, whose maiden name was Maria Josepha Poll, having developed a passion for drink soon after her . marriage, was finally confined in a convent and kept there the remainder of her life. Their son Johann, Beethoven's father, the very opposite of good old Ludwig, is dismissed by M. de Wyzewa with these words "a perfect nullity, ... idle, common, foolish." Beethoven's mother, to whom he was very much attached, was a woman of tender nature and strong affection. Daniel Gregory Mason, in his book on Beethoven, gives this summary "If, to begin with, we eliminate the father, who, as M. de Wyzewa remarks, was an 'absolute nullity and merely an intermediary between his son and his father, the Flemish music director,' we shall find that from the latter, his grandfather, Beethoven derived the foundation of his sturdy, self-respecting and independent moral character, that from his mother he got the emotional sensibility that was so oddly mingled with it, and that from his afflicted grandmother, Maria Josepha Poll, he inherited a weakness of the nervous system, an irritability and morbid sensitiveness, that gave to his intense individualism a tinge of the eccentric and the pathological."

Ludwig was the second of Johann's seven children. The father, indulgent to himself, was a stern taskmaster to others. Early recognizing that little Ludwig possessed unusual musical ability, with shrewd intent of developing a musical prodigy he kept him, often weeping, to his practise. Ludwig was made to begin the study of music when not yet four years old, the father giving him lessons on violin and clavier. When the boy was nine years old, he was turned over to Pfeiffer, a tenor singer, and received instruction from him, more or less regularly, for a year. He also studied the organ, under the Court organist, Van den Eeden, an old friend of the grandfather's, and at the age of eleven came under the influence of Christian Neefe, who succeeded Van den Eeden as organist at the Court. Neefe immediately noticed the promise of his pupil, and prophesied that if he kept on as started he would become a second Mozart. When only twelve, Beethoven could play the greater part of Bach's Well-tempered Clavier, a performance none but the initiated can rightly appreciate. When he was not yet twelve years old Ludwig acted as chapel organist during Neefe's absences, an important though unpaid post. When Neefe was given charge of secular music also at the Court, Beethoven, then only a little over twelve, was appointed cembalist of the orchestra; as he was always obliged to attend rehearsals and performances, he gained valuable practise and experience. When he was fourteen, he was given the appointment of second Court organist with a salary of 150 florins (about $63), and every morning played the organ at six o'clock mass. During the year he studied violin with Franz Ries, and continued trying his hand at composition. While the compositions of this period were not of much value, the improvisations were, and he began to be spoken of as one of the best piano-players of his day. In 1787 he made his first journey to Vienna, where he met Mozart and played before that master so effectively, extemporizing on a subject given by Mozart, that the latter remarked to a companion: "Pay attention to him. He will make a noise in the world some day."

Beethoven was recalled from Vienna by the serious illness of his mother, who died of consumption, July 17, 1787, when Ludwig was in his eighteenth year. The following were dark days; death visited the Beethoven home again and the bur-den of the family, the harsh, dissolute father, weighed heavily upon Ludwig. The father's pittance was small, and the son had to give lessons to help in the general support, though teaching was ever distasteful to him. But this gloom and depression were brightened by the coming into his life of new friends, the family of Stephen von Breuning, a fellow-pupil under Franz Ries. This cultivated, hospitable family, in welcoming young Beethoven to their circle, opened up a new world for him. Madame von Breuning was a woman of much tact and intelligence, intimacy with whom awakened in the boy an interest in the classics and in German and English literature. On their side, they de-lighted in his playing, especially in the improvisations and the friendship was of mutual pleasure and benefit. He gave lessons to the daughter Eleanore, to whom some of his later compositions were dedicated and with whom he kept in touch after leaving Bonn. Another important friendship of this time was that with a young noble, Count Waldstein, an enthusiastic amateur musician. They were on terms of close intimacy, Waldstein in as delicate a manner as possible assisting Beethoven not only pecuniarily, but in every way in his power. It is thought Count Waldstein's influence was what induced the Elector of Cologne to awaken at last to recognition of Beethoven's rare ability, which recognition resulted in his finally being sent to Vienna.

When only nineteen Beethoven had to take the place he had long borne the burden of head of the family; his drunken father being now so irresponsible that the decree was issued that part of his salary be paid over to Ludwig. Beethoven was at this time working hard on his studies and making great progress as Court musician, his chief recreation being long walks in the country, of which he was passionately fond. In 1788, the Elector established at Bonn a national theatre modeled after the one maintained at Vienna by his brother, the Emperor Joseph, and here both opera and drama were produced. The orchestra, in which Beethoven played second viola for four years, included a number of illustrious musicians, among these Franz Ries, Andreas and Bernhard Romberg, and Christian Neefe, who was pianist and stage manager. Association with these artists was of greatest value, and inspiration, the listening to noteworthy opera and play representing the best in literature. In 1792, Haydn, passing through Bonn, heard a cantata of Beethoven's, which he warmly praised and added to the praise the suggestion that the author be allowed opportunity for further study. The Elector shortly arranged that Beethoven depart for Vienna on this mission and in November, of 1792, he left Bonn, not to return again. The Bonn days end with Beethoven twenty-two years old.

The compositions of these days are, relatively, of inconsiderable importance; a few songs a rondo; a minuet; three preludes; a trio and three quartets for piano; a string trio; four sets of piano variations; a rondino for wind instruments; the Ritter ballet with orchestra; and a few other works. Beethoven's creative powers developed slowly. Grove says, "If we compare them (his composition up to this time) with those of other composers of the first rank, such as Mozart, Schubert, or Mendelssohn, it must he admitted that they are comparatively few and unimportant . Against Mozart's twenty-eight operas, cantatas, and masses for voices and full orchestra, composed before he was twenty-three, Beethoven has absolutely nothing to show."

In Vienna, musical center of the world, Beethoven was to spend the remainder, and the greater part of his life. He arrived late in the autumn of 1792, and as soon as he was established began lessons under Haydn, with whom he remained until January, 1794, though not satisfied with the progress made or the cursory attention given him by the very busy Haydn. On the departure of the latter for England, Beethoven, under Albrechtsberger, continued the study of counterpoint, and under other teachers studied violin and vocal composition. It is interesting to note that neither Haydn nor Albrechtsberger regarded their pupil as one from whom much was to be expected; the latter making the unfortunate prophecy that he would never do anything in decent style; while conservative Haydn, holding to due respect for superiors and for established rules, looked with disapproval on the young man's independence of thought and manner, and in ridicule nicknamed him "The Grand Mogul." Appreciation of his playing was quickly yielded by the Viennese. He had brought letters from the Elector and Count Waldstein which gave him introduction to the aristocracy, by whom his extraordinary ability was soon recognized, the doors of many great houses were open to him and his playing, especially his improvisations, created a remarkable sensation among the many cultivated musicians of Vienna society. Rough, blunt, eccentric, Beethoven found him-self in the midst of a society made up of people of fashion and culture. Prince and Princess Lichnowsky, both excellent amateur musicians, were among his first friends. They treated him with the greatest kindness and consideration; set aside for him a pension of 600 florins a year, he became a member of their household and in their home his prejudices were respected and his eccentricities condoned. Prince Lobkowitz was a disciple and friend, as was Baron von Swieton, also Count Brunswick, at whose home he was a frequent visitor and on terms of intimacy with the Count's sisters.

The patron, in the day immediately preceding Beethoven, was not an incident in a musician's career but a necessity, and in his day the public concert was uncommon in Austria, musical entertainments being given in the great private houses and at court functions. Vienna, at this time the gayest capital in Europe, was celebrated less perhaps for luxury than as a musical center. The rich Vienna nobleman was par excellence a patron of music. Thayer tells of twenty-one great houses open to Beethoven, nine of these belonging to princes. He numbered among his friends and intimates not only several princely patrons but also not a few court ladies; of these mention should be made of the Princess Odescalchi, the Baroness Ertmann, and the Countess Gallenberg. That he did not adapt himself to the conventions of the polite world about him there is no lack of proof; the adapting and conciliating had to come from the other side of his relations with the fair Viennese, G. A. Fischer remarks: " Beginning with hero-worship on the part of these devotees, the sentiment usually developed into the more intimate relation of friendship or love. The `Ewig Weibliche' appears constantly in his music and was always in his life. He formed many romantic attachments which may not always have been Platonic, but they were always pure. Beethoven had as chivalrous a regard for women as had any knight of the middle ages." He never married, but evidence would go to show he at one time was engaged to be married to the Countess Therese, sister of the Count of Brunswick. It was during this period that he produced the Fourth Symphony, a work that bespeaks its creator inspired by the "very genius of happiness;" the period, the symphony, in tragic contrast with the later, sad, sordid bachelorhood, the harried household, the uncared-for, lonely state in which his last days were passed. It is looked upon as probable that Beethoven him-self broke off the engagement with the Countess, his irritable pride chafing -against the secrecy enjoined for fear of the disapproval of the lady's mother. The Countess Therese, too, never married, but interested herself in charitable works, founded in Vienna a home for little children, the first of its kind in Austria and lived to the age of eighty-three.

Beethoven ever begrudged the time he had to spend in teaching; and as soon as he was able to get along without it, gave up lessons, except to a favored few here and there. One of these was the Archduke Rudolph, brother of the Emperor. He began taking lessons in 1804 and a lasting friendship grew up between the two, some of Beethoven's best work being written for Rudolph. The young Archduke was passionately fond of music, and was an excellent performer. Another pupil, Ferdinand Ries, son of the old friend at Bonn, was a protege over whom the master labored with rare patience and gentleness, and was rewarded by seeing his pupil become one of the most distinguished pianists of the day. Ries also was a faithful friend, and a long-suffering one. He put up with the master's eccentricities, suspicions and rages, and loved him and served him well. Another pupil was Czerny, who began lessons with him at the age of ten, made very rapid progress, and was a favorite pupil. Lessons also were given to a few ladies, the Brunswick sisters, Madame Ertmann and others; but these were given irregularly and not continued as were the lessons to Rudolph, Ries, and Czerny. During the period of his social successes Beethoven was by no means idle. In addition to his playing and some teaching he was much engrossed in study and composition. Three years after his coming to Vienna, appeared his opus 1, consisting of three trios for piano and strings; and shortly after, opus 2, which consisted of three sonatas, dedicated to Haydn, variations and smaller pieces. In this and ensuing work piano pieces, songs, trios, and quartets the influence of Haydn and Mozart is markedly shown. But from 1800 on, from his thirtieth year, there is noticeable a change. The beginning of the new century is the beginning of a new era with Beethoven. These days are emphasized by the First Symphony; the oratorio, The Mount of Olives, "reminiscent of Handel and prophetic of Wagner;" and the Prometheus Ballet Music; as well as the Piano Concerto in C minor; the descriptive septet; six string quartets; a string quintet; and four piano sonatas; two grand sonatas, opus 26 and opus 28; and the two sonatas constituting opus 27, one of these the famous one nicknamed by Rellstab the "Moonlight Sonata." The year 1802 saw the completion of the Second Symphony. The following year appeared the wonderful scena for soprano and orchestra, Ah Perfido, and 1804 saw the completion of the Third Symphony. This heroic symphony, inspired by the republican spirit of the day, was dedicated to Napoleon and was written for him; Napoleon at the time looming as liberator, not as tyrant. Beethoven, living in imperial Austria, was the avowed enemy of imperialism; in Austria, where the name of Napoleon was most odious, he dedicated to him the wonderful Third Symphony. It lay on the master's table all ready to be transmitted to Paris, when the news reached Vienna that the "liberator" had had himself made Emperor. Beethoven in a rage tore from the music the title page with its mistaken tribute, and ever afterward showed strong antipathy for the name of Bonaparte. The symphony was given the title Sinfonia Eroica and dedicated to Prince Lobkowitz, at whose house it was first produced.

Beethoven's work as a whole is divided into three periods, the division not altogether chronological, but made with special reference to style. The second period, Grove designates a " time of extraordinary greatness, full of individuality, character, and humor, but still more full of power and mastery and common sense." To this great period belong, in addition to the works before mentioned, the opera Leonora- Fidelio; the Mass in C; six symphonies, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth; overture to Coriolan; Music to Egmont; Piano Concertos in G and E flat; Violin Concerto; The Rasoumowsky Quartets; the quartet for strings in E flat and quartet for strings in F minor; piano trios; twelve piano sonatas, among them the one dedicated to Count Brunswick, the wonderful Appassionata; and the Liederkreis. In this period Beethoven reaches the zenith of his fame and prosperity.

It was in 1813, with the production of his Battle Symphony, that he was acclaimed patriot as well as musician; at the moment the Austrians and Germans were looking for fit expression of their joy over the defeat of the French. This work was suggested to Beethoven by an inventor who had made him an ear-trumpet and with whom he was on intimate terms. Maelzel was a man who understood the public taste, and it is evident Maelzel's influence was responsible for the Battle Symphony, which Grove rates as conceived on a " vulgar plan " and containing "few traces of Beethoven's genius. The Battle Symphony, first produced at a benefit concert for the soldiers disabled at the battle of Hanau, made a great sensation; the most distinguished musicians played in the orchestra, desiring to do their part in the patriotic demonstration, and the orchestra was conducted by Beethoven himself. The concert was a tremendous success and was repeated several times, the Battle-Piece always winning great applause. As " Wellington's Victory " it became very popular in England. The work is not placed among the notable Nine Symphonies.

To Beethoven's third period belong the Ninth Symphony; the Mass in D; the last five piano sonatas; and the last five string quartets. This is analyzed by Ernest Walker as the period of " new birth with its strange and sometimes painful struggles, and its steady, persisting reaching up to a supreme, dim ideal; but he (Beethoven) died too soon, and then that particular door in music was shut, and not even Brahms found the key."

Beethoven, the symphonist, is not at his best in the writing of opera. His one opera, Fidelio, which was written to Bouilly's libretto, Leonore, shows a lack of harmony between music and libretto, though the music itself is of marvelous beauty and grandeur. His temperament inclined him to symphonies and masses, the freedom of purely   orchestral compositions invited him. Haydn and Bach put their best thought into their sacred compositions; not by preference did Mozart write operas; Wagner, poet as well as musician, was the one with " temperament for opera."

Fidelio, produced at a most unfortunate time, 1805, during the French occupancy of Vienna, was withdrawn after three nights. At any suggestion of revision, Beethoven was enraged, but the diplomacy of friends prevailed in the end and the world was enriched by the third Leonore Overture, which Wagner declares so much more than an overture, "mightiest of dramas in itself." The revised Fidelio-Leonore was brought out in 1806, and met with some success; again much revision was given and in 1814 it was produced with great success.

Beethoven's first mass, the Mass in C, is one of the best known of all masses. Its appeal is universal, its aim being to stir the soul rather than merely to please with melody. In this composition the ascendency of the orchestra is marked, Beethoven being the first musician to emphasize its importance over the voice in musical expression. The Mass in D, the Missa Solemnis, is, Bach's Mass in B minor excepted, the most colossal work ever written for the Catholic Church. The occasion for which the Grand Mass was originally designed, was the installation of Archduke Rudolph as Archbishop of Olmütz, but the work took years for its completion. Beethoven labored on it from the autumn of 1818 till the spring of 1823.

In 1809, there had come to Beethoven the offer of the post of music director to the King of Westphalia, Napoleon's brother, acceptance of which meant an assured income of over $1,400 and leisure for composing. Beethoven hesitated about refusing the offer, although it would have been very hard for him to leave Vienna, and very distasteful to accept favors of a Bonaparte. Fearing in the end he might be tempted to accept, three of his friends, The Archduke Rudolph, Prince Lobkowitz and Prince Kinsky, put together an annuity for him of 4,000 florins, nominally $2,000, but in paper money of fluctuating value. This sum became so lessened by the depreciation of paper and loss following the death of a donor, that in his later life Beethoven felt the harassment of poverty and the urgent need of writing for money. To better his financial condition in the days that proved to be the last ones, Ferdinand Ries, in London, labored zealously to awaken interest in the master, with the result, that an invitation came for Beethoven to visit London, with a concerto and symphony for the Philharmonic Society, a large sum being offered as inducement. This project, though not definitely abandoned, was destined never to be carried out.

It may be of interest, to Americans, to read that the Haydn and Handel Society of Boston wrote to Beethoven in 1823, offering him a commission to

write an oratorio especially for its use. Elson relates that Beethoven was pleased with the commission from across the ocean, but adds: "Fortunately, it remained only a project; one shudders to think of the fate of a work of perhaps the caliber of Beethoven's great Mass, or the finale of the Ninth Symphony, handed over to the tender mercies of an American orchestra and chorus in 1823."

Beethoven's choral and solo vocal compositions are comparatively few. The oratorio, the masses, some cantatas, written in his younger days, the setting of Goethe's Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt, an Opferlied and a Bundeslied, make up the list of his choral works. Of the eighty-three songs with piano accompaniment, there are not many that are to be considered as adding to his fame, although as Walker phrases it, it is "impossible to take up any collection of Beethoven's music without discovering pearls of great price." There is the wonderful song cycle, An die feme Geliebte; the splendid die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur; the great scena, Ah! Perfido; and the noble Elegischer Gesang.

The larger part of Beethoven's instrumental compositions is in the sonata form. Not counting immature work, the sum of the piano sonatas is thirty-two, many of them belonging with his very greatest work and of the pianist's best treasures. Beethoven's symphonies are nine in number; a small number, yet, as Herr von Eltenheim says, "each represents a world in itself, with an ideal center of its own. Thus, in his first symphony, we are introduced to a little idyll of the heart; the second presents to us a picture of the joyous vigor and amorous strivings of youth; the third suggests a world of daring heroism; in the fourth the wonders of a romantic world are revealed to us; tragical conflict with fate, and eventual victory is the theme of the fifth; while in the sixth we commune with ever-kindly nature; the seventh is a manifestation of joy in human existence; in the eighth the humorous element predominates; and finally, in the ninth, both an inferno and a paradise of the inmost soul are unrolled before our eyes."

Beethoven's music sounds the height and depth of emotion; beauty and peace of life intensity of pain; pasionate revolt, tenderness and calm of resignation. He gives strongest contrasts; this is brought out powerfully in the Mass in D. He was the first musician to bring to the fore an enthusiastic appreciation of nature, as he was the first to feel and express the modern social spirit.

It is the popular belief that Beethoven was the originator of program music; Grove calls attention to predecessors in this field, but adds that though Beethoven did not invent it, he raised it at once to a higher level than before, his program pieces having had a great effect on the art. Chief among these are the Pastoral Symphony, the Eroica Sinfonia, the Sonata pathetique, and his Liederkreis An die feme Geliebte. " The Pastoral Symphony," declares Mason, " of all Beethoven's works ventures farthest into the domain of program music; contains actual imitation of sounds and sights in nature, as the rippling of the brook (strings); the muttering of thunder (contrabasses in their low register) ; flashes of lightning (violins) ; the bassoon of an old peasant sitting on a barrel and able to play but three tones; and the song of the nightingale (flute), quail (oboe), and cuckoo (clarinet)." Each movement has a descriptive heading, as Merry gathering of the peasants; Scene by the brook; Rejoicing and thankfulness after the storm, etc.

Of keenest interest to the student of Beethoven is the tracing of the influence upon the master of his forerunners Haydn and Mozart, as of deepest interest the debt owed Beethoven by Schumann, Liszt, Berlioz and Wagner. Hero-worship reached its climax in the feeling Wagner held for Beethoven, to whom he continually pays tribute. At the laying of the foundation stone of the Bayreuth Play House, Wagner spoke thus of what he had received from the master: "I wish to see the Ninth Symphony regarded as the foundation stone of my own artistic structure."

Edward Dannreuther, distinguished musician and critic, calls attention to the fact that though Beethoven was most industrious and enjoyed nearly double the years to work in that Mozart did, he left behind less than one-fourth as much work as either Mozart or Haydn. That Beethoven was a tremendous, tireless worker is shown in his Sketch-books, several of which have been preserved in their original form, in a notable collection in the British Museum. When he went on his long walks, he always carried a note-book with him, and at night kept one beside his bed. The pages of the books, including margins, are covered close with notes, first impressions being later worked over and over with infinite care and painstaking. He would keep a composition for years before sending it out, destroying much and continually re-writing. The apparent spontaneity of his work really had back of it the most laborious effort and painstaking care.

Joyousness is the characteristic of Beethoven's second period, that Heiterkeit Wagner uses so often in his rhapsody on Beethoven.  In the third period this quality is less marked, but still existent.

Beethoven's later life was greatly disturbed by grave family responsibilities, by litigations, financial worries and failing health. His deafness had now become much worse. The last five years of his life all communication with him was carried on by written word. There seems no tragedy of history greater than Beethoven's deafness. He was about twenty-eight  years old when the first symptoms asserted themselves, gradually became morbidly sensitive over the threatening infirmity; in that pathetic letter to his brother known as "The Will," written in 1802, one gets a realization of the depth of melancholy into which he was plunged. Wagner gave in seven words an idea of what deafness meant to Beethoven, when he said: "Is a blind painter to be imagined?" With increase of the infirmity he retired more and more into himself. Shut out from the world, he lived the life of the spirit and brought forth works whose dominant note is spiritual exaltation The world profited by his deafness, but the world cannot forget the tragedy of it, Beethoven at the piano his head close to the wooden shell of a resonator, ear-trumpet at ear; Beethoven making failure in the conducting of his opera (1822); Beethoven standing with his back to the thunder of applause greeting his Choral Symphony, turned round by a kindly hand that he may "see" the plaudits he cannot hear.

Irritable, impatient of restraint or intrusion, Beethoven was always harassed by those about him, always moving from one lodging to another. Even m the early days of residence with the Lichnowskies he was not able to endure what few restraints were put upon him by the close association and left their great house for the freedom of a humble lodging outside. After his mother's death he seems never really to have had a home, though a pitiable attempt at one was made late in life. No matter how his work absorbed him, and though he sacrificed everything else to music, throughout his life duty to his family would draw him away from seclusion and absorption. When, in 1812, rumors reached him that gossips were talking about his brother Johann's relations to a woman he had taken for housekeeper, Ludwig hastened to Linz, where Johann lived, used argument and, it is said, physical violence, to enforce the point that the family good name was at stake, and that the young woman must be got rid of. In the end Johann married her.   The brother, Caspar Carl, had married a woman of uncertain character, to whom Beethoven always referred as " Queen of Night," and when Carl died he left his son to Ludwig, in a belated feeling of responsibility making provision for a fit guardian for the youth. The mother, very much averse to giving the control of her son to his uncle, began legal proceedings to obtain full control herself. And then followed years of litigation that were very distressing and disturbing to Beethoven. The suit would now be favorable to one side, now to the other, the nephew meanwhile residing with the party winning the temporary success. Beethoven had a passionate sense of responsibility to his dead brother's wish, and made most strenuous effort to keep the boy Carl from his mother's influence. He even went so far as to set up housekeeping. The result, for this most impracticable and impatient of householders, was a cheerless, desolate abode, the master harried by petty trials and details.

The nephew for whom all the sacrifice was being made, ill repaid it all; an undisciplined, wayward lad, he went from bad to worse, causing Beethoven great anxiety and pain. His uncle, noting that he had talent, tried to make a musician of him, having Czerny give him lessons.. He desired also that Carl be a scholar, and carefully watched over his education. But Carl disappointed him ever; when he entered the University and tried for his degree, he failed; at the examinations of the Polytechnic School, where effort was made for him after the University course proved impossible, he again failed. The young man now tried to end his career by shooting himself, and failed here. But through all the trouble and disgrace Beethoven clung to the nephew, his influence mitigated the severity of the police vigilance kept over Carl after the attempted suicide, and he was instrumental in getting him placed as favorably as possible in the army.

Beethoven, the indefatigable worker, died in harness and did not live to enjoy the ease he dreamed some day was to follow after the strain and stress. It was in 1826 that Beethoven's nephew was put in his charge by the authorities, on condition  that he be removed from Vienna immediately. Johann Beethoven offered uncle and nephew the hospitality of his country place, and for Carl's sake the offer was accepted. The visit proved a most unfortunate one; Johann's arrogance and pretensions grated hard on Ludwig's sincerity and simplicity and the latter's eccentricities undoubtedly must have been disturbing to Johann's household. The visit terminated abruptly and disastrously, and, on the return journey to Vienna in the inclement December weather, Beethoven suffered from exposure, contracted a violent cold and arrived at his quarters in the city very ill indeed. Difficulty was experienced in getting a physician for him he had quarreled with the two who formerly attended him and his condition grew more and more serious. His nephew cared for him at the first, and his friends, as soon as they heard of the illness, hastened to give their services. He lingered on until toward the end of March. During the long illness, SchindleP and Stephen von Breuning came daily and the eleven-year-old Gerhard Breuning, Stephen's son, was his constant attendant, while Carl Holz, whose companionship he had been wont to find of much cheer, was a frequent visitor. He tried to work, but weakness forced him to desist, his last finished work being the B flat Quartet completed in November, 1826. Anxiety about money proved a worry, for he was very loth to draw on his savings. In 1815 he had made his one investment, buying shares to the value of 10,000 florins in the Bank of Austria, and this was carefully guarded for Carl. It was of great help when there arrived at this juncture the sum of $500, sent by the London Philharmonic Society as advance on a benefit concert they were to give.

Carl presently received his army appointment and uncle and nephew parted, not to meet again. Beethoven for years had suffered from trouble with the liver, which now became much aggravated, and several operations were necessary to remove the dropsical accumulations. He grew very weak. On the 23d of March, aware that the end was near, he added a codicil to his will, which provided that Carl be allowed only the income from his estate. On the 24th he received the sacraments of the church, and then began the long death-struggle. Late in the afternoon of the 26th there came a strange storm of hail and snow accompanied by lightning and thunder; the outburst seemed to reach even his dull senses and long-deafened ears, he opened his eyes, threw out his arm as though in defiance, and died. He was but fifty-six years old. The funeral, which took place on the 29th, was attended by a multitude; twenty thousand people, it is estimated. Eight musicians carried the coffin, among the torch-bearers surrounding the body being Czerny and Schubert. A choir of sixteen male singers and four trombones alternately sang and played; the music having been originally written by Beethoven for trombones, and arranged for the choir by Seyfried. On April 3 Mozart's Requiem was sung for him, and on April 5 Cherubini's Requiem.

Beethoven the man is most difficult to present, his surface, of almost insane irritability and eccentricity, obscuring the nobility and purity deep down in his character and finding lofty expression in his music. This great genius often appeared a pitiable, ludicrous figure, there being story upon story to illustrate his extreme irritability and absent-mindedness; the books thrown at the servant girl, the stew over the waiter's head, standing in his night-clothes by the open window in the morning to the enjoyment of the passers-by and perplexed when a friend suggests that he awaken to the peculiarity of this act. He was by turns joyous and morbid, affectionate and distrustful. Witness his love of nature; he ever sought the country at the approach of summer, his best work being done under the inspiration of out-of-doors. In his childlike pleasure in field and wood, he exclaims, "No man on earth can love the country as I do." In sharp contrast to this is his quarrelsomeness and unjust suspicions of friend, as well as foe. He accuses faithful Ries of treachery; parts with Prince Lichnowsky in anger; grossly assails the patient friends, Schuppanzigh and Schindler, when they are making tactful efforts in his behalf; breaks off the precious friendship with Stephen von Breuning and continually insults and rebuffs the tireless Schindler, Beethoven's " Boswell." He was fond of horse-play, a great joker, yet had no relish for the joke turned on himself. To every thing and everybody he gave a nickname his brother is Asinus; his cook, Frau Schnapps; Prince Lobkowitz, Fitzli Putzli. The oft-told story of the card returned to his arrogant brother is as follows: Johann sends in to Beethoven a card bearing the inscription, Johann van Beethoven, Landed Proprietor; it is returned with this writing on the back, Ludwig van Beethoven, Brain Proprietor. Also a grim humor characterized him, which one writer suggests was a device deliberately assumed to escape mental suffering.

Grove calls attention to how strongly the humorous trait of his character is paralleled in his music; " In the finales of the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies there are passages which are the exact counterparts of the rough jokes and horse-play. . . . The Scherzo of Symphony Number Two, where the F sharp chord is so suddenly taken and so forcibly held, might almost be a picture of the unfortunate Kellner forced to stand still while the dish of stew was poured over his head. The bassoons in the opening and closing movements of Number Eight are inimitably humorous; and so in many other instances."

In appearance, Beethoven was short and broad of shoulder, his head large and covered with a great shock of very black hair, snow-white in later life, his face is universally described as ugly but expressive, his complexion was ruddy, and his eyes his best feature. The expression of his face was generally one of intentness and abstraction, often of gloom. Beethoven, while careless of speech, his education being obtained at a common public institution and carried on only to his thirteenth year, was a man of considerable culture. He was very fond of the Greek classics, could quote passage after passage at length, and was familiar with Goethe, Schiller and other German poets. The English poet Thomson was his favorite, and of Shakespeare he was a loving student.

The strongest characteristic in his life was the sturdy independence, which made it impossible for him to live dependent on a patron. To be sure, the maintenance of this independence was made possible, by the development, in his day, of the art of printing music, making him able, as his predecessors had not been, to depend on the public rather than a patron. He would come and go at the bidding of no prince or sovereign. The incident is often told of his attitude toward royalty as demonstrated in his behavior the day he and Goethe, in company together at Toplitz, met the imperial family Goethe bowing with all reverence, Beethoven keeping the middle of the road, passing royalty unheeding, head in air. No fear of losing an income kept him from a rupture with Prince Lichnowsky, and after leaving that nobleman he did not again accept a post. He was always falling in love, now with a tailor's daughter, now with Countess or Baroness, but no breath of scandal ever touched his name. Krehbiel dwells on the nobility of his character, the chastity of his mind, the purity of his life. Beethoven was baptized and brought up a Catholic, but in mature life affiliated with no church. Though not a churchman, he was essentially religious. Dannreuther declares that the spirit of Beethoven is as humanizing as the spirit of Sophocles and that Beethoven is an ethical, a religious teacher. A work showing any sensual tendency, such as is noticeable in Mozart's Don Giovanni was very repugnant to him, and he refused with scorn to set to music anything that came below his ideal. Quoting Dannreuther directly, it is " the austere intensity of his nature which distinguishes Beethoven from Haydn and Mozart on the one hand, and constitutes a sort of elective affinity between him and such men as Sebastian Bach and Michelangelo on the other."

Of his influence as a musician it is said: " By virtue of Beethoven music has become the modern art." " In his hands it has become one of the main elements of esthetical culture, and the reigning art of our day." "There is no sculptor to set beside the Greek, no painting to set beside that of Florence and Venice; no poet has equaled Shakespeare, no musician has rivaled Beethoven."

From the great mass of literature on Beethoven, man and musician, mention should be made of a few of the best works. The authoritative biography is the work of an American, Alexander Wheelock Thayer. Thayer chose to have the biography appear first in German, and as yet there is no English translation. This work attempts no analysis of his music. The article on Beethoven in Grove's Dictionary is analytic, as well as historically accurate. One of the first sympathetic appreciations of Beethoven is found in Berlioz's Voyage Musical and in his A Travers Chants. The life of Beethoven written by his close friend, Schindler, is of very great interest but not entirely reliable; and Beethoven's own letters have intense  interest. For the student of the master's method of composition, Nottebohm's contribution is of inestimable value. Attention should be called to Daniel Gregory Mason's, Beethoven and His Forerunners, and to Ernest Walker's, Beethoven, in the Music of the Masters series. Wagner's treatise on Beethoven is of peculiar value, though, as defined by Walker, it is rhapsodical almost to the point of incoherence.