I always think of Beethoven as an older man. When I write "I always think of Beethoven" I am referring to times when I am thinking expressly of Beethoven - not as a general, catch all phrase that expresses my deep and impressive infatuation with my pal Ludwig; as in "I am always thinking of Beethoven." I am not. Anyway, Beethoven apparently had a bad boy stage or something, it is all news to me.

Beethoven as the pin up of the Romantic period, the best period. What happened to "Romanticism"? What happened to sincerity? Why did that neck scarf lose it's relevance as an essential of male attire?1

I don't have answers. I do have way more to write about Beethoven though. My girlfriend is all unimpressed with everything I am writing at the moment, but whatever. It's real insightful or something. Insight No. 1. She is really into Napoleon- aren't we all. There is a little plate of Napoleon on the mantlepiece, because our master bedroom has a mantlepiece. The faux classical fireplace to which the mantlepiece is covering? topping? has a board covering the grate and is painted white, but it still looks "okay." Also is coming away from the wall.

Beethoven was writing the Eroica all about Napoleon apparently, and the Eroica is really great if you haven't heard it. It is really evocative and sincere and Romantic. Its probably the most "Romantic" of all the works of the "Romantic period". According to Ries, who was Beethoven's assistant and pupil, Beethoven was sitting around all crazy about his man Napoleon, as we all are, when he found out that Napoleon was going to become an Emperor. 2 What happened next?

This happened.

"I was the first to tell him the news that Buonaparte had declared himself Emperor, whereupon he broke into a rage and exclaimed, "So he is no more than a common mortal! Now, too, he will tread under foot all the rights of man, indulge only his ambition; now he will think himself superior to all men, become a tyrant!" Beethoven went to the table, seized the top of the title-page, tore it in half and threw it on the floor. The page had to be re-copied and it was only now that the symphony received the title "Sinfonia eroica."

Serious business. So intense.

Feel really bad for Ries as even the Naxos website, Naxos is a Classical music imprint, feels sympathetic to him. Ries was said by Beethoven to imitate him too much, which seems like a bit of a jerkish thing for the maestro to say. Basically nipped Ries post-Beethoven career in the bud, always in the shadow of his friend/tutor. I mean, granted, Beethoven had his own issues but still.

Seriously, so many things to say about Beethoven, but so little time.

1. Seems really unfair for people with weak chins to be denied this possibility. Solves a multitude of problems, my friend Willem suffered really bad shaving rash, this neck tie solution would have solved that problem straight away. Plus would have looked really great. Fashion is so cruel.
2. Ries is, if the engraving of him is to be believed and I am not going to argue with the historical likeness as there seems no particular reason why the likeness wouldn't be as accurate as possible, not wildly attractive. Words like "swarthy" come to mind, real apparent eyebrows, real violent little face and Lindsey Buckingham hairstyle. But then Beethoven has his periods of looking puggish/puckish.