Happy birthday Beethoven!

Happy birthday Beethoven! OK, it may not be today. It could have been yesterday. I’ve heard both dates for his birth date. The only thing we know for sure is that he was baptized on the 17th of December, 1770.

Regardless, I’ll write a pro-Beethoven post every year because his greatness deserves it!

Beethoven’s 3rd spearheaded Romanticism

It was Beethoven who got me into creating Romantic Metal. My wife brought home the BBC’s Eroica DVD from the library and I was so busy, I almost didn’t see it. But I finally popped it in and had a revelation – what the fuck am I doing?

Astral Eyes was a Progressive Metal band at the time. Not at all knocking Progressive Metal, but we just like every other Progressive Metal band. Not original at all.

So I pop this video in and we see how people loved and hated his music. We see how he was an enfant terrible, how hard he was to deal with. But we also see the great Papa Haydn knew that after the Third, “music would never be the same.” Yes, that’s an actual quote from Haydn, his former teacher.

So now, we have Romanticism

I don’t like Classical music. I think it’s boring. Sure, it’s better than Baroque, but once you’ve studied Romanticism, it’s really hard to go back to Classical music.

Romanticism simply is the best music written by any culture in any time period. It’s never been topped.

So to study Beethoven, we have our work cut out for us. We have his greatness to live up to.

The later Romantic critics would fight over who was the true heir of Beethoven. Was it Brahms? Or was it Wagner? Wagner revolutionized music. Brahms was more a purist. Would Beethoven approve of the direction Brahms went or Wagner’s direction?

Good problem for me to have

I’m glad they had that unfriendly competition. Competition is a good thing. We are the winners in that fight. We had two great directions, and plenty of offshoots.

So in case you’re wondering what my favorite Beethoven pieces are, look no further than his symphonies. In order – the Sixth, the Ninth, the Third, the Fifth, and the Seventh. Beethoven was hands down the greatest symphony composer ever. He wrote five great ones. I don’t overuse the term “great” like everyone else does.

Happy birthday Beethoven!

Bust of Ludwig van Beethoven by Hugo Hagen

Bust of Ludwig van Beethoven by Hugo Hagen


Roman is an artist, composer, writer, and travel junkie, and he can still throw a football

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