Front Page Quotations Other Quotes Week of 6 July, 2009
About this Quotation:
Beethoven was a supporter of the ideals of the Enlightenment and the early phase of the French Revolution. He was to begin with a supporter of Napoleon as the embodiment of these ideals and he is reputed to have written the Eroica Symphony with the great man Napoleon in mind. One account has it that when he heard Napoleon had started on one of his many escapades of conquest that Beethoven in a fit of despair and anger scratched out the title “Eroica” as Napoleon was at the gates of Vienna. Another story has it that he had originally wanted to write the 9th Symphony using the radical liberal words of Friedrich Schiller “Freiheit” (freedom) instead of the now used “Freude” (joy) in the choral segment. In a post-1989 fall of the Berlin Wall concert in Berlin, Leonard Bernstein used the words of Schiller in a celebratery concert of the 9th. The sentiments expressed in Fidelio, that of conjugal love, loyalty, hatred of despotism, and love of liberty suggest that Beethoven was indeed a true friend of liberty.
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6 July, 2009
Read the full quote in context here.
In Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio (1805), the hero Florestan is imprisoned and laments the loss of his liberty for speaking truth to power. He awaits his wife Leonora who comes to rescue him
The full passage from which this quotation was taken can be be viewed below (front page quote in bold):
[More works by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)]