(Shqip) Fan S. Noli “Beethoven dhe revolucioni francez” Beetoveni dashnor

Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838), who enjoyed the privilege of being one of the two pupils Beethoven ever had, maintains that the master was always in love for short periods but never for more than seven months[1]. Wegeler adds that the objects of Beethoven’s attachment were always of the higher ranks.[2] Schindler admits that Ries and Wegeler are right but remarks that Beethoven’s loves were platonic, that the master preserved is virtue unscathed» and that «he passed throught., life, conscious of no fault, with truly virgin modesty and unblemished character.[3] But this bold assertion about the platonic character of Beethoven’s loves does not appear in the third edition of Schindler’s Biography. The courage failed him when he was challenged to proclaim it for the third time. And yet, the legend of Beethoven’s virginity is still alive. Three widely different men, like Vincent d’Indy, Romain Roland, and Sir George Grove, believed in it even after Thayer had killed the legend once for all.[4] Yes, it is the old story of the hero, soaring high in heaven above all human weaknesses and passions. But in his letters and conversations Beethoven looks quite human and sometimes very weak.

In 1810, Beethoven writes to Zmeskall: «Do .you not remember the situation in which I am, as once Hercules with Omphale? . . Farewell, do not speak of me as the Great Man, for I have never felt the power or the weakness of human nature as I do now”[5]  The master states his case very clearly. He was the helpless slave of his Queen Omphale and, as we know, he crawled at the feet of a different Queen every six months. One of these Omphales was Amalie Sebald. Beethoven sends her a kiss: «Del’ Amalie einen recht feurigcn Kuss, wenn uns niemand sieht.»[6] The kiss must be very fiery, non -platonic, and it must be conferred upon Amalie when nobody sees the lovers, which .sounds rather suspicious.

In another letter we come across some more kisses of a more suspicious character: «Two lady singers paid us a visit today and wanted to kiss my hands by all means. As they were very pretty I preferred to offer them my mouth to kiss. This, by the may, is the shortest we can say to you.»[7] The last sentence sounds rather mischievous. But, as Dante says: Guarda e passa!

The mystery thickens and Beethoven is treading on dangerous ground. He is now casting amorous glances on a married woman, the German wife of a Frenchman, Madame Bigot. He tries to entice her into the woods, while her husband is absent. The lady not only rejects the invitation but also tells the whole nasty story to the jealous husband. And now Beethoven has to apologize to Monsieur Bigot and explain away e whole thing in a letter, in which we read his charming and exquisite sentence. «B ~t how can my good Marie put such a bad meaning on m actions.»[8] Anyhow, one cannot escape the conclusion that, in this case, the master :vas caught «en flagrant delit.» But Madame Bigot was not the only married ladyin whom the master was interested. Frau von Breuning, as the young Breuning tells us, was another.[9]  As we have already seen, there were two married ladles with whom Beethoven had intimate relations but the pious Thayer destroyed the evidence before it was discovered by scandal-mongering writers and musicologists.[10]

In the Conversation Books Beethoven is silent about his loves but what his friends note down: is very significant. For instance, Peters, c o-guardian of Beethoven’s nephew, writes: «Wollen Sie bei meiner Frau schlafen? Es ist schr kalt.”[11] We do not know whether Beethoven accepted this kind invitation on that cold night. But, a few after, the master paid a clandestine visit to Frau Peters who, by the way, was neglected by her husband[12], and now the plot thickens again. Herr Peters, jocularly or seriously, writes in the note-book : «Mithin Protest gegen die alleinige Visite bei meiner Frau !”[13]

In another entry a kind friend writes in Beethoven’s note-book: «Czerny knows a widow who loves you and wants to marry you,» Her name was Frau Stramm. We do not know what Beethoven said about this marriage, but we have a remark by the same friend about the widow: “Pas ware eine Maitresse wo es zu Frau nicht»[14]  Another friend writes in Beethoven’s note-book: «Das Madchen bei del’ Birne war nicht schlecht.» We do not know again what the master thought of this Birne girl. But the visitor offers his services to Beethoven: “Die werde ich für Sie kuppeln.»[15]  True, we cannot make Beethoven responsible for what his friends tell him about married women, widows and girls. But would Beethoven’s friends talk to him in that way if the master did not like that kind of loose talk?

To make a long story short, according to his own letters and conversations, Beethoven was just human, menschlich, and sometimes allzumenschlich . He was neither Puritanic nor oversexed, but he was too weak to defend and preserve his «virtue unscathed» against the onslaughts of the Viennese Harpies, Sirens and Omphales. He simply surrendered in the first encounter with the first real Omphale. And his defeats were always crushing and humiliating.” On the other hand, we must defend the master against the unjust accusation that he picked up his girls among e aristocratic ranks. There is plenty of evidence prove that, in this respect, Beethoven was very democratic. He was interested in good-looking creatures of all the social classes. For instance, Ries tells us that the master admired the three daughters of a humble tailor, and there. is a letter to prove his story. Beethoven sends his greetings to that famous trio through Ries: “Remember e to the fairest of the fair!”[16]

[1] Wegeler and Ries, Notizen, p. 42.

[2] Schindler-Moscheles, 1841, 1, p. 55.

[3] «Beethoven gleich jenem Halbgotte, seine Tugend, unbefleckt zu bewahren wusste.. . und von diesel’ Seite betrachtet er, sich keines Fehls bewusst, mit wahrhaft jungf’raulicher Scharnhaftigkeit und reiner Sitte durch’s Leben wandelte.» Schindler, 1845, 1. p. 35.

[4] Vincent d’Indy, Beethoven p. 56; Romain Rolland; Beethoven, pp. 12-13; Grove’s Dictionary, 1, p. 266; Romain Rolland changed his mind later on. See Beethoven the Creator, 1, p. 30.

[5] Letter to Zmeskall, April, UllO, Hull, P. D7; \a:;tner-Kapp, Letter to Zrneskull, 1817, p. 455.

[6] Letter to Tiedge, Sept. G. 1851, Kast ner-Kapp, p. 200.

[7] Letter to Brother Johann, Sept, 8, 1822, KastnerCapp, p. 621.

[8] “Aber wie kann die gute Marie meinen Handlungen so eine bose Deutung geben» “? Letter to the Bigots, 1808. Kustner-Kapp, p. 119.

[9] Breuntng, Aus clem Schwarzspariierhause. p. 32.

[10]Thayer, English Edition, T. p. 253.

11 Conversation Books. 11l20, Blatt 7a, o. 253.

 12 « Conversation Books, Blatt la, p. 253.

[13] Conversation Books, 820, Blatt 57a, p. 278.

[14] Conversation Books, 1819, Blatt 54b, p. 172.

[15] Conversation Books, 1819, Blatt 45u, p. 203.

[16] «Schneidern Sie nicht zu viel, empfehlen Sie rnich  den Schönsten der Schönen .» -Letter to Ries, July 25. 1804, Kastner-Kapp, p, 81.


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