The final part of our Beethoven biography:
BEETHOVEN PLAYING FOR HIS FRIENDS
Then, a strange Fate touched him and took away his sense of hearing. From the time he was about thirty years old his hearing grew gradually worse. Indeed it was necessary for him to have a piano especially constructed with additional wires so that he could hear.
Can you think of anything more cruel, more terrible, more depressing, more awful?
BEETHOVEN IN THE COUNTRY
Yet ,he went on day, after day, composing beautiful music as he walked the fields, or as he sat at his table. For we must remember that he could hear his own music in his thoughts. That is, the mind that made the music could hear it, though the ear itself was forever closed to the sound of it. Year after year, he continued to write symphonies and concertos, sonatas, songs, choral and chamber music. Year after year, the poor ears closed a little more and still a little more, until finally not even the loudest noises could penetrate them. Yet, he worked bravely; writing every beautiful music thought that came to him, so that the world, and that means you and all of us, might have them. When Beethoven was dying in 1827, Schubert called upon him and remained with him for some time.
BEETHOVEN AND SCHUBERT
Next up: let's listen!