Beethoven is known as one of the best composers of the Romantic period. Many of his works are still being played and praised today including the Moonlight Sonata, Fifth Symphony and Ninth Symphony. However, there’s actually more to this great composer than meets the eye. Following are some of the most interesting things you probably don’t know about Beethoven.
1. Like all great artists, Beethoven has a ritual before composing. He liked to dip his head in cold water before getting creative!
2. The musician sadly suffered from bad complexion.
3. Beethoven doesn’t like anyone talking during a performance. He hated it so much he used to just walk out in the middle of a presentation.
4. Part of Beethoven’s genius might have developed through his association with another great musician – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The young Beethoven studied under Mozart’s tutelage as well as Joseph Haydn for a short time.
5. The “Moonlight Sonata” is called such because Beethoven composed all of it at night! Perhaps he dipped his head in cold water to stay awake?
6. Beethoven didn’t let something as small as deafness stop him from making music. Instead, he fashioned a rod that runs through the sound board of his piano. Every time he hits a note, he bites onto the rod and figures out the sound through vibration.
7. Beethoven loved to cook! In fact, he named one of his pieces “Christ! On the Mount of Olives”
8. The great musician was no stranger to love. He actually wrote love letter to an “Immortal Beloved”, the recipient of which is still in debate today. Unfortunately, Beethoven didn’t end up with his Immortal Beloved and left the world a single man.
9. Beethoven’s father made it seem as though he was approximately 2 years younger than believed. This was done to make the composer seem more like a musical prodigy. In fact, even Beethoven didn’t know he was a few years older, not until he received his baptism certificate did he know the truth.
10. Beethoven also wrote an opera titled Fidelino. It was his only foray in this type of art although critics still considered it one of the best classical pieces today.
11. Joseph Haydn wasn’t too keen on Beethoven’s work. Unlike most of the musicians in the Classical Era, Beethoven ignored mathematical precision when creating music and instead relied on passion and emotion. It can be said that Beethoven helped usher in Romantic Era of music.
12. A well-accepted eccentric, Beethoven liked to go on rambling walks along the countryside for inspiration. During those walks, Beethoven was completely bedraggled with uncombed hair and shabby clothes. The villagers knew of his love for walks and kept out of his way, especially since he looked like he was always in a bad mood.
13. The Ninth Symphony was actually created when Beethoven was already deaf.
14. Beethoven was a supporter of Napoleon Bonaparte during his early years, even dedicating the “Third Symphony” to the leader. Later on however, Beethoven saw Bonaparte as a tyrant and forcefully erased his name on the symphony paper.
15. Despite his outward appearance of surliness, Beethoven actually liked to joke and would often amuse himself in the height of illness.
16. Beethoven’s first performance as a child was deemed unremarkable. When he was performing at 17 however, Mozart saw the genius and commented: one day he will force the world to talk about him.