“Christ on the Mount of Olives”: Beethoven’s Passion Oratorio

By |2020-03-26T11:25:43-05:00March 25th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Michael De Sapio, Music|

While many artists and composers have depicted the Passion of Christ, Beethoven carried an especially weighty cross in the form of his privation of hearing, which isolated him from society and forced him to compose music from his “inner ear.” Like Christ in the Garden, he found himself alone and forsaken, wrestling with a tribulation [...]

Beethoven: The Price of Genius

By |2020-03-06T12:13:52-06:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mark Malvasi, Music, Senior Contributors|

Beethoven’s eccentricities only enhanced his reputation. They confirmed the divine madness that propelled his creative genius. He was a martyr to his art, a new kind of saint whose agonies and ecstasies brought him neither peace of mind nor purity of soul, but an admixture of public renown and disrepute. Sculpture by Max Klinger [...]

Beethoven’s Apollonian Beauty

By |2020-03-24T00:55:46-05:00February 24th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Apollo and Dionysus coexist throughout Beethoven’s work. Much musical commentary seems to imply that only a titanic wrestle with Fate or an emotional cataclysm qualifies as profound. Laying aside for a moment Beethoven the Myth and listening attentively to his works, we are reminded of the depth of emotion that resides in solidity and perfection [...]

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 [...]