At the Asylum, we take a break on December 16th from the usual activities here, e.g., Baccarat games, French cuisine cooking, watching almost any movie from the 1940’s -being particularly fond of any movies with Myrna Loy, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Grace Kelly, David Niven, William Holden, Fred Astaire…to name a few; pastry tasting, the reading of actual books, dressing up with nowhere to go – all to celebrate the birthday of the greatest composer of the ages (arguably, we guess) Ludwig van Beethoven, born today, December 16th, in the year 1770.
With all that has been written of his greatness, there isn’t anything we can add, so we include a very short bio here that provides the “highlights” for those who maybe are just getting introduced to Ludwig.\
Our Editor-in-Chief, Henry, has dressed up for the occasion, giving his salute to the musical master with 100 or more licks to the tie he put on. Once that was done, he was off his bed, running through the halls of the Asylum, demanding treats. After pestering enough of us here to satisfy his insatiable appetite, he darted out to the compound grounds, chasing his tail to the following piece of Beethoven we had playing throughout the compound
Ludwig van Beethoven: Rondo a Capriccio in G major (“Rage Over a Lost Penny”), Op. 129
Most everyone is familiar with the opening notes of his 5th symphony. We thought we’d include the final 2 movements to his 5th, with an annotated analysis that is quite fascinating and gives further insight, or at least a greater appreciation of Beethoven’s genius.
Beethoven Symphony 5 Movement III and IV (Annotated Analysis)
Performed by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with Paavo Järvi
(You may have to open in YouTube to read full annotation)
And from his greatest work, Symphony No. 9, we include the 3rd movement. For us here at the Asylum, no more beautiful music has ever been written.
Wir danker Ihnen, Ludwig!
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 – Mvt. 3 – Barenboim/West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
Beethoven photo credit: By W.J. Baker (held the expired copyright on the photograph) (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons