The Art of Beethoven: Between Romantic and Classical

By |2020-02-13T13:08:33-06:00February 12th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

Beethoven’s music would become the score for the Romantic era, as many of its champions loved how it conveyed the story of the individual, free man. Oddly enough, however, Beethoven was anything but a Romantic, nor was he a revolutionist or a democrat. There are many things that have been said about Beethoven and his [...]

Further Reflections on Beethoven’s Best Work

By |2020-02-12T15:48:08-06:00February 6th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

The question becomes, by what criteria do we determine what is objectively the “best” in the arts? I think that "communication" is a crucially important criterion, and I propose that a transcendent reflection of God, who is the divine source of objective truth, expressed in human creativity is indeed objectively, theologically "better" than mathematical integrity [...]

Which Is Beethoven’s Best Work?

By |2020-02-12T15:49:02-06:00January 29th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Joseph Pearce, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

As this year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, I’ve been inspired to muse upon his oeuvre and to ask myself which of his many works could be considered the best. It is, however, necessary to say upfront that there are two kinds of “best.” There is the objective “best” and the [...]

Music for Holy Week and Easter

By |2019-11-14T11:24:48-06:00April 14th, 2019|Categories: Antonio Vivaldi, Audio/Video, Culture, Hector Berlioz, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Timeless Essays|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Stephen Klugewicz, as he provides musical suggestions for listening during Holy Week and the Easter season. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher Though Handel’s Messiah rightly reigns supreme as the king of music for Easter, there are many other seasonal masterpieces [...]

A Call to the Joy of Life: Why Beethoven’s Ninth Matters to Me

By |2019-12-12T14:12:16-06:00July 28th, 2018|Categories: Audio/Video, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

Western civilization and culture have been under attack for quite some time now, primarily thanks to one form or another of political correctness and identity politics. These two ideological forces have not only been rejecting the riches of Western civilization, they have also been actively trying to erase the history of art, literature, and [...]

The Element of the Unexpected in Beethoven

By |2019-03-20T16:42:05-05:00July 18th, 2018|Categories: Books, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Quotation|

The element of the unexpected is so often associated with Beethoven. But surprise is not enough; what makes it so great is that no matter how shocking and unexpected the surprise is, it always somehow gives the impression—as soon as it has happened—that it is the only thing that could have happened at that moment. [...]

Copying Mozart: Did Beethoven Steal Melodies for His Own Music?

By |2019-11-19T00:39:17-06:00February 21st, 2018|Categories: Audio/Video, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Did Beethoven steal tunes from his older contemporary for the "Eroica" Symphony, the Ninth Symphony, and for his most popular and beautiful song?... It is one of the most popular tunes in all of classical music, nay, in all of music, period. Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" theme undergirds the long fourth movement of his [...]

Good Books and Great Music for Christmas Gifting

By |2017-12-14T15:43:07-06:00December 14th, 2017|Categories: Books, Bruce Springsteen, Christmas, Gifts for Imaginative Conservatives, Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Robert E. Lee, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Here are four recently-published books and four new classical music albums that I have greatly enjoyed this past year… Books I’ve read several excellent biographies (and one great autobiography) this past year. Foremost among the former is Jan Swafford’s magisterial Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph, which could easily be termed the definitive biography of perhaps the [...]

How Should Beethoven’s Fifth Be Played?

By |2019-11-19T14:26:30-06:00October 20th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Culture, History, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

How wonderful it would be to be able to hear Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony exactly as it was heard at its premiere! Or would it? Let’s picture it. It’s December 1808. You live in a tidy hamlet a few miles from the center of bustling Vienna. Though it has been a few years since you’ve gone to a symphony concert, [...]

An Amateur’s Week With Beethoven’s “Harp” Quartet

By |2019-12-12T14:12:11-06:00August 9th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Europe, History, J.S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Poland, World War II|

What a treat is it for a group of amateur string players, busy in their everyday lives, to spend a week in a far-off place and inundate themselves in practice and education concerning a single piece of music and its composer—the sort of exercise usually reserved for professionals. […]

From the Sacred to the Profane: More Music for My Desert Island

By |2017-10-12T14:03:23-05:00May 26th, 2017|Categories: Featured, Franz Schubert, Jean Sibelius, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner|

In truth, much of my favourite music is not sacred but profane, insofar as it is not overtly religious or in the least liturgical; and yet these profane favourites are certainly sublime, reflecting the goodness, truth and beauty of Creation, the harmony of the cosmos and the music of the spheres… Several months ago [...]

Beethoven the Traditionalist?

By |2019-10-08T17:11:00-05:00April 26th, 2017|Categories: Books, Ludwig van Beethoven, Quotation|

What one conceives oneself to be doing and what one is perceived by one’s public to be doing are two different things. For Beethoven the New Path (what later history would name the Second, or “Heroic,” Period) was mainly a private matter between himself and his Muse. For the public it was a different and [...]

“Holy Song of Thanksgiving”

By |2019-11-19T21:20:12-06:00March 26th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

Some two years before he died, having just recovered from a serious intestinal illness, Ludwig van Beethoven composed a long movement for string quartet, which he called “Holy Song of Thanksgiving of a Convalescent to the Deity, in the Lydian Mode” (“Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart”). He used the piece [...]

Did Beethoven Die in Communion with the Church?

By |2019-11-19T21:22:59-06:00March 25th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Catholicism, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

That a priest allowed a Catholic burial and high requiem Mass for Beethoven would seem to indicate that he thought Beethoven died a believer. But did he indeed? Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart form the great trinity of Western classical composers. Of the three, it is Beethoven whose religious [...]