Today, Ludwig Van Beethoven was voted Australia’s top classical composer by ABC Classic Fm. It came as no surprise; in my household, we all love his music. There is nothing phoney about his symphonies, especially his later ones. His musical notes had to be arranged in heaven, right? Such beauty and purity surely can only come from a deity. Although raised as a Catholic by his very devout mother, Beethoven was not known to be a church goer. His teacher, Haydn thought that he was an atheist although he died before Beethoven wrote his second mass, Missa Solemnis. He became deaf from lead poisoning towards the end of his life but unlike Schumann, he was not deranged. After the Napoleonic wars, the monarchs of Europe such as the Hapsburgs and Romanovs had fully restored power and with the support of the aristocracy, they made sure to carve up the Europe that they wanted. Unlike Shostakovich in the mid twentieth century who mocked Stalin with his sardonic music, Beethoven had to hide his libertarian leanings, his choral work in his Ninth Symphony during this period didn’t poke fun at the establishment, instead was based on the poem “Ode to Joy” with allusions to a Greek heaven, wine and nature, and to celebrate a time when “all men became brothers”.
A friend wrote today, “nothing happens by chance”. I asked him if his marriage was arranged. I’m still waiting for his answer. But it’s clear Beethoven’s win didn’t happen by chance today. He knew his music was written for posterity. In his time, his works were revolutionary, explosive and exuded power. Whilst celebrating Beethoven’s success this afternoon (his heavenly music has been blaring from my speakers since the announcement), I can’t help but feel his music has transported me to another world. A glorious, victorious one that celebrates everything that is beautiful, pure and honest in this world. I’m glad there’s no one else here to break this magic.
Suddenly, Trump comes into my mind! The serene haven that “Moonlight Sonata” brought me to has been unsparingly shattered. And then Pelosi’s words brought a smile. She doesn’t want to impeach him, she wants to imprison him! Well, let’s see if Trump can be arraigned first. Urghhlings, they undid all that Beethoven gave me today. This injury would be difficult to forgive if not for Beethoven.