Anyone know any fun facts?

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Re: Anyone know any fun facts?

Postby shostakovich » Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:51 pm

Hi Hex. When Liszt was 11 Beethoven was completely deaf. There's no mention of an ear horn or ear on piano in the story.
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Re: Anyone know any fun facts?

Postby GreatCarouser » Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:56 pm

Hello Hex....Beethoven's kiss fascinated me since I ran into the story back in the 'mo bio' days. Liszt passed it on to the great German pianist/composer Emil von Sauer and he passed it to Andor Foldes a Hungarian pianist. Where the 'kiss' went from there I can't say. Perhaps someone else has this info?
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Re: Anyone know any fun facts?

Postby Shapley » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:26 pm

Here's the Wikipedia entry on it:

On April 13, 1823, the twelve year old Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt gave a concert and it is often said that the 53-year-old Ludwig van Beethoven gave him a kiss for his marvellous playing, although this is unlikely to be true as Beethoven was profoundly deaf by this time. A more reasonable account of the Beethoven kiss event is reported in the reminiscences of the pianist Ilka Horovitz-Barnay:

"The most memorable time I experienced with Liszt was when he told me of his meeting with Beethoven. 'I was about eleven years old', he began, 'when my highly esteemed teacher Czerny introduced me to Beethoven. He had long before told him about me and had asked him to hear me play. But Beethoven had aversions against prodigies and for a long time refused to hear me. Finally though he was persuaded by my indefatigable teacher Czerny and said: 'Then for God's sake — bring the little rascal'. It was one morning about ten o'clock when we entered the two small rooms of the Schwarzspanierhaus, where Beethoven lived. I was somewhat embarrassed — but Czerny kindly encouraged me. Beethoven was sitting by the window at a long narrow table working. For a moment he looked at us with a serious face, said a couple of quick words to Czerny but turned silent as my dear teacher signaled to me to go to the piano. First I played a small piece of [Ferdinand] Ries [another pupil of Beethoven]. When I had finished Beethoven asked if I could play a fugue by Bach. I chose the C minor fugue from Wohltemperiertes Klavier. 'Can you transpose this fugue', Beethoven asked. Fortunately I could. After the finishing chord I looked up. Beethoven's deep glowing eyes rested upon me — but suddenly a light smile flew over his otherwise serious face. He approached me and stroked me several times over my head with affection.

'Well — I'll be blowed' he whispered, 'such a little devil'.

Suddenly my courage rose: 'May I play one of your pieces?' I asked with audacity. Beethoven nodded with a smile. I played the first movement of his C major piano concerto [nr. 1]. When I had finished Beethoven stretched out his arms, kissed me on my forehead and said in a soft voice:

'You go on ahead. You are one of the lucky ones! It will be your destiny to bring joy and delight to many people and that is the greatest happiness one can achieve'.

Liszt told me this with great emotion; his voice trembled but you could feel what divine joy these simple words had given him. Never did Liszt — the human being — make a greater impression on me. The flamboyant man-of-the-world, the revered artist was gone; this great moment he had experienced in his childhood still resounded in his soul. For a little while he was silent — then he said quietly:

'This was the proudest moment in my life — the inauguration to my life as artist. I tell this very rarely — and only to special friends.'"

This story is somewhat more convincing, although Beethoven was just as deaf in 1822 as in 1823. It's possible, however, to speculate that Beethoven felt the vibrations of the piano with his hands as he is said to have been able to do, as well as observe Liszt's fingerings. Also, at the time it is meant to have occurred Beethoven was not residing in the Schwarzspanierhaus — but when Liszt told this story he was in his latter years, and his memory may have been a little foggy, or he might have just lied.

It can be found here:

Wikipedia is, of course, a flawed source, but we're talking about the unprovable here, so we have to go with what we have.

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Re: Anyone know any fun facts?

Postby shostakovich » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:23 pm

Good info, Shap. Thanks.
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Postby Catmando » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:20 am

On January 8, 1687, Lully was conducting a Te Deum in honor of Louis XIV's recent recovery from illness. He was beating time by banging a long staff (a precursor to the baton) against the floor, as was the common practice at the time, when he struck his toe, creating an abscess. The wound turned gangrenous, but Lully refused to have his toe amputated and the gangrene spread resulting in his death on the 22nd of March.

Source: Wikipedia
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Postby bignaf » Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:02 pm

conducting is a dangerous job!
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Postby hal 9000 » Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:44 pm

bignaf wrote:conducting is a dangerous job!

Nikolai Tesla didn't seem to think so. :P
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Postby barfle » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:59 pm

Catmando wrote:On January 8, 1687, Lully was conducting a Te Deum...
Attempting to keep it from becoming a tedium? :crazy:
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