Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
I take the name of my god before starting my blog. His blessings have been with me since i was a child. Starting with his masterpiece The Mighty 9th, his music has become an integral part of my life. It compels one's imaginations to the extreme to think that while he was composing his 9th Symphony he was stone deaf. The symphony was premiered on 7 May 1824 in the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna.The performance was conducted by Michael Umlauf but Beethoven shared the stage with him. It was instructed to ignore Beethoven's directions as he was completely deaf. When the performance was finished the whole theater applauded which Beethoven could not hear. He was still 'conducting' to the orchestra which he could not hear. Because of that, the contralto Caroline Unger had to walk over and turn Beethoven around to accept the audience's standing ovation to him. It was a great success.
The reason for deafness of Beethoven is still not definitely known. According to some sources, it was due to his father Johann van Beethoven who wanted his son to become 2nd Mozart and for that he almost tortured his son, made to practice keyboard at the middle of the night and sometimes even beat him badly. There is no solid documented proof to support this though. The were no ENT specialist at that time who could solve Beethoven's problems. Doctor Wagner, who made Beethoven's Autopsy on March 27 1827 claimed that ... "The ear cartilage is of a huge dimension and an irregular form. The scaphoïde dimple, and above all the auricle, were vast and had one and a half times the usual depth...".
One hundred years later, Doctor Marage brought up Beethoven’s deafness at the conference of the French Academy of Sciences on January 9th and 23rd 1928, as well as December 2nd 1929.
He thought that Beethoven's deafness was due to a labyrinthitis of intestinal origin, that is to say that he had a lesion of the inner ear.Deaf or not, whatever be the reason for deafness he still remains one of the influential (if not the most) composers of the Late Classical era and one of the great composers of all time.