Saturday, December 16, 2006

Someone's Birthday

On this day in 1770, the greatest composer who ever lived (and my personal favorite) was born in Bonn, Germany to Johann van Beethoven and Magdalena Keverich van Beethoven. They named him Ludwig van Beethoven.

Interestingly, there is a bit of dispute as to which day, exactly, gets the distinction of being his birthday. Beethoven's parents celebrated it on this day, December 16, but he was baptized on December 17. In addition, if I remember correctly, Beethoven himself preferred one date over the other, though I don't remember which exactly - I think it was the 17th.

Was Beethoven a Christian? This seems debated as well. There were certainly moments in his life when he was angry at God; there are also moments when he seemed Deist, at least. He had elements of pantheism in his makeup as well as Hinduism. At the very least, I wouldn't hesistate to call him rather confused on a lot of things. He considered his Missa Solemnis to be his greatest work, a monumental and very difficult choral piece that is definitely Christian in outlook. On the other hand, John Rutter has written some of the finest sacred music in existence, and he is definitely no Christian. The weight of evidence seems against it. However, one thing I have not done is read Edith Schaeffer's Forever Music, which deals with this topic, if I remember correctly.

In any case, make sure you listen to something or play something by Beethoven today, in memory of this giant of music.

In Christ.

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At 12/16/2006 04:04:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm dutifully listening to the 5th :-D. Oh the sacrifices I make. . .

That would be the 5th symphony, not 5th piano concerto, mind you ;). I don't have the latter on CD.

At 12/16/2006 04:05:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Weird. ^That was me. I'm not sure why I wasn't logged into Blogger. *scratches blond hairs in confusion*

At 12/16/2006 05:24:00 PM , Anonymous MG said...

'Tis also Jane Austen's birthday today. (1775) :-)

At 12/17/2006 08:28:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Susan.

Yes, I rather gathered from the reference to the Fifth Piano Concerto, that the commenter was a regular on my blog. You were the most likely choice, of course, but I didn't know for sure. ;-)]

Reply to Mrs. G.

I did not know that! Wow! Quite the red-letter day in history, to be sure. Only five years after Beethoven, in fact. So we have the greatest composer, and certainly one of the greatest authors born on the same day.

In Christ.


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