By Accident of Birth

“Prince – what you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am by myself. There have been and still will be a thousand princes; there is only one Beethoven.” ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

From an account of what spurred Beethoven’s comment:

A typical fiery episode occurred in September 1806, when the composer visited Prince Lichnowsky’s Silesian estate.
Beethoven_Mähler_1815Among the guests one evening happened to be a group of French officers. The suggestion was made that Beethoven play. Despite their urging, the composer adamantly refused. Someone, possibly the Prince himself, joked that he would be placed under house arrest if he did not play.

Provoked by the perceived insult, Beethoven stormed out into the night. He hurried back to Vienna. On arriving home, he took a bust of Lichnowsky and smashed it on the floor. He then dashed off a note to his patron: “Prince, what you are you are by accident of birth; what I am I am through myself. There have been and still will be thousands of princes; there is only one Beethoven.”

And as there was only one Beethoven, there is only one “you” – no matter that your musical talents don’t equal the genius of Beethoven. Possibly and quite probably, you have talents and maybe even genius that Beethoven didn’t possess. Perhaps as an artist, perhaps a writer, sculptor, painter, speaker, teacher, driver, cleaner, clerk, gardener and more.

Beethoven wasn’t skilled in domestic affairs. He couldn’t cook and could barely maintain a household. His manners were often times gruff, rude and bombastic. His finances, for the most part, were in a mess. And there was his deafness.

As with all of us, in one fashion or another, some worse than Beethoven’s deafness, we all have our ailments, shortcomings, ill temperament, and misfortunes that we try to overcome.  Just a cursory search of “overcoming the odds” provides an abundance of stories of ordinary people, like you and me, and what was overcome, and what is still to be overcome with each new day.

So, let us continue to strive to overcome and move forward. Life is one pain in the ass for most of us not having the politician or globalist’s lineage. We are left to work through it all, most of the time alone, sifting through the daily horseshit of society, whether it’s here in the States or in a country fair away, St. Petersburg, Russia, where fellow human travelers are attempting to overcome evil that has been present since the dawn of it all. By “overcoming” and giving of our talents and gifts in the way that only each of us can do, we collectively can overcome the evil.

As this is certainly not a serious or exhaustive writing on Beethoven, we won’t include any of his powerfully “serious” pieces. Instead, one minute and forty five seconds of liveliness and levity from Ludwig is included below. We like it because it’s performed at nice and quick tempo: the conductor, Mr. Carlos Kalmar, looks as if he could “sub” for Beethoven, and the piccolo player looks like a piccolo player!

Beethoven Turkish March from The Ruins of Athens , Carlos Kalmar – RTVE Orch


Photo credit (front page): By W.J. Baker (held the expired copyright on the photograph) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Joseph Willibrord Mähler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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