Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Here is a post that will win me no friends. That's okay.

Did you know Beethoven was born with syphilis? He could never marry, and eventually lost his hearing. In my country today, he would have certainly been aborted.

Pretend the following list doesn't exist.

• Opus 21: Symphony No. 1 in C major (composed 1799-1800, premièred 1800)
• Opus 36: Symphony No. 2 in D major (composed 1801-02, premièred 1803)
• Opus 55: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major ("Eroica") (composed 1803, premièred 1804)
• Opus 60: Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major (composed 1806, premièred 1807)
• Opus 67: Symphony No. 5 in C minor (composed 1805-08, premièred 1808)
• Opus 68: Symphony No. 6 in F major ("Pastoral") (composed 1805-08, premièred 1808)
• Opus 92: Symphony No. 7 in A major (composed 1811-12, premièred 1813)
• Opus 93: Symphony No. 8 in F major (composed 1811-12, premièred 1814)
• Opus 125: Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral") (composed 1817-24, premièred 1824)

• WoO 4: Piano Concerto No. 0 in E-flat major (1784)
• Opus 15: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major (1795)
• Opus 19: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (Before 1793)
• Opus 37: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor (1803)
• Opus 56: Triple Concerto for violin, cello, and piano in C major (1805)
• Opus 58: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major (1807)
• Opus 61: Violin Concerto in D major (1806)
• Opus 61a: Beethoven's arrangement of Opus 61 for piano, sometimes called Piano Concerto No. 6
• Opus 73: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major ("Emperor") (1809)

Other works for soloist and orchestra
• WoO 6: Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in B flat major (1793)
• Opus 40: Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in G major (1802)
• Opus 50: Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in F major (1798)
• Opus 80: "Choral Fantasy" (Fantasia in C minor for piano, chorus, and orchestra) (1808)

Overtures and occasional music
• Opus 43: The Creatures of Prometheus, overture and ballet music (1801)
• Opus 62: Coriolan Overture (1807)
• Overtures composed for Beethoven's opera Fidelio:
• Opus 72: Fidelio Overture (1814)
• Opus 72a: Leonore Overture "No. 2" (1805)
• Opus 72b: Leonore Overture "No. 3" (1806)
• Opus 138: Leonore Overture "No. 1" (1807)
• Opus 84: Egmont, overture and incidental Music (1810)
• Opus 91: Wellington's Victory ("Battle Symphony") (1813)
• Opus 113: Die Ruinen von Athen (The ruins of Athens), overture and incidental music (1811)
• Opus 117: König Stephan (King Stephen), overture and incidental music (1811)
• Opus 115: Zur Namensfeier Overture (Feastday) (1815)
• Opus 124: Die Weihe des Hauses Overture (Consecration of the House) (1822)

Chamber music
String quartets
• Opus 18: Six String Quartets
• No. 1: String Quartet No. 1 in F major (1799)
• No. 2: String Quartet No. 2 in G major (1800)
• No. 3: String Quartet No. 3 in D major (1798)
• No. 4: String Quartet No. 4 in C minor (1801)
• No. 5: String Quartet No. 5 in A major (1801)
• No. 6: String Quartet No. 6 in B-flat major (1801)
• Opus 59: Three String Quartets ("Rasumovsky") (1806)
• No. 1: String Quartet No. 7 in F major
• No. 2: String Quartet No. 8 in E minor
• No. 3: String Quartet No. 9 in C major
• Opus 74: String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat major ("Harp") (1809)
• Opus 95: String Quartet No. 11 in F minor ("Serioso") (1810)
• Opus 127: String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat major (1823-1825)
• Opus 132: String Quartet No. 15 in A minor (1824-1825)
• Opus 130: String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat major (1825)
• Opus 133: Große Fuge in B-flat major – originally finale of Opus 130 (1825)
• Opus 134: Beethoven's arrangement of the Große Fuge, Opus 133, for piano duet (four-hands) (1826)
• Opus 131: String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor (1826)
• Opus 135: String Quartet No. 16 in F major (1826)
String quintets
• Opus 4: String Quintet in E flat major (1795)
• Opus 29: String Quintet in C major (1801)
• Opus 104: String Quintet in C minor (1817)
• Opus 137: Fugue for String Quintet in D major (1817)
Piano trios
• Opus 1: Three Piano Trios (1795)
• Piano Trio No. 1 in E-flat major
• Piano Trio No. 2 in G major
• Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor
• Opus 11: Piano Trio No. 4 in B-flat major ("Gassenhauer") (1797) (version with violin)
• Opus 70: Two Piano Trios (1808)
• Piano Trio No. 5 in D major, "Ghost"
• Piano Trio No. 6 in E-flat major
• Opus 97: Piano Trio No.7 in B-flat Major ("Archduke") (1811)
String trios
• Opus 3: String Trio No. 1 in E-flat major (1794)
• Opus 8: String Trio No. 2 ("Serenade") in D major (1797)
• Opus 9: Three String Trios (1798)
• String Trio No. 3 in G major
• String Trio No. 4 in D major
• String Trio No. 5 in C minor
Chamber music with winds
• Opus 11: Clarinet Trio in B-flat major, "Gassenhauer" (1797)
• Opus 16: Quintet for piano and winds in E-flat major (1796)
• Opus 20: Septet for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and contrabass in E-flat major (1799)
• Opus 38: Clarinet Trio in E-flat major (1803)
• Opus 71: Sextet for clarinets, horns, and bassoons in E-flat major (1796)
• Opus 87: Trio for two oboes and English horn in C major (1795)
• Opus 103: Octet for oboes, clarinets, horns, and bassoons in E-flat major (1792)
• Opus 105: Six sets of variations for piano and flute (1819)
• Opus 107: Ten sets of variations for piano and flute (1820)
Sonatas for solo instrument and piano
Violin sonatas
• Opus 12: Three Violin Sonatas (1798)
• No. 1: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major
• No. 2: Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major
• No. 3: Violin Sonata No. 3 in E-flat major
• Opus 23: Violin Sonata No. 4 in A minor (1801)
• Opus 24: Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major ("Spring") (1801)
• Opus 30: Three Violin Sonatas (1803)
• No. 1: Violin Sonata No. 6 in A major
• No. 2: Violin Sonata No. 7 in C minor
• No. 3: Violin Sonata No. 8 in G major
• Opus 47: Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major ("Kreutzer") (1803)
• Opus 96: Violin Sonata No. 10 in G major (1812)
Cello sonatas
• Opus 5: Two Cello Sonatas (1796)
• Cello Sonata No. 1 in F major
• Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor
• Opus 69: Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major (1808)
• Opus 102: Two Cello Sonatas (1815)
• Cello Sonata No. 4 in C major
• Cello Sonata No. 5 in D major
Horn sonatas
• Opus 17: Horn Sonata in F major (1800)
Solo piano music
Piano sonatas
• Opus 2: Three Piano Sonatas (1795)
• No. 1: Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor
• No. 2: Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major
• No. 3: Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major
• Opus 7: Piano Sonata No. 4 in E-flat major (1797)
• Opus 10: Three Piano Sonatas (1798)
• No. 1: Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor
• No. 2: Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major
• No. 3: Piano Sonata No. 7 in D major
• Opus 13: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor ("Pathétique") (1798)
• Opus 14: Two Piano Sonatas (1799)
• No. 1: Piano Sonata No. 9 in E major
• No. 2: Piano Sonata No. 10 in G major
• Opus 22: Piano Sonata No. 11 in B-flat major (1800)
• Opus 26: Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-flat major ("Funeral March") (1801)
• Opus 27: Two Piano Sonatas (1801)
• No. 1: Piano Sonata No. 13 in E-flat major 'Sonata quasi una fantasia'
• No. 2: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor 'Sonata quasi una fantasia' ("Moonlight")
• Opus 28: Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major ("Pastoral") (1801)
• Opus 31: Three Piano Sonatas (1802)
• No. 1: Piano Sonata No. 16 in G major
• No. 2: Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor ("Tempest")
• No. 3: Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-flat major ("The Hunt")
• Opus 49: Two Piano Sonatas (1792)
• No. 1: Piano Sonata No. 19 in G minor
• No. 2: Piano Sonata No. 20 in G major
• Opus 53: Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major ("Waldstein") (1803)
• WoO 57: Andante Favori - Original middle movement of the "Waldstein" sonata (1804)
• Opus 54: Piano Sonata No. 22 in F major (1804)
• Opus 57: Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor ("Appassionata") (1805)
• Opus 78: Piano Sonata No. 24 in F-sharp major ("A Thérèse") (1809)
• Opus 79: Piano Sonata No. 25 in G major (1809)
• Opus 81a: Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-flat major ("Les adieux/Lebewohl") (1810)
• Opus 90: Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor (1814)
• Opus 101: Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major (1816)
• Opus 106: Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major ("Hammerklavier") (1819)
• Opus 109: Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major (1820)
• Opus 110: Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major (1821)
• Opus 111: Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor (1822)
• Opus 34: Six variations on an original theme in F major (1802)
• Opus 35: Fifteen variations and a fugue on an original theme in E-flat major ("Eroica Variations") (1802)
• Opus 76: Six variations on an original theme in D major (1809)
• Opus 120: Thirty-three variations on a waltz by Diabelli in C major ("Diabelli Variations") (1823)
• WoO 80: Thirty-two variations on an original theme in C minor (1806)
• Opus 33: Seven Bagatelles (1802)
• Opus 119: Eleven new Bagatelles (1822)
• Opus 126: Six Bagatelles (1823)
• WoO 52: Presto (Bagatelle) for piano in C minor (1795, rev. 1798 and 1822)[2]
• WoO 53: Allegretto (Bagatelle) for piano in C minor (1796-97)[2]
• WoO 54: Lustig-Traurig (Bagatelle) for piano in C major (1802)[2]
• WoO 56: Allegretto (Bagatelle) for piano in C major (1803, rev. 1822)[2]
• WoO 59: Poco moto (Bagatelle) in A minor, "Für Elise" (c. 1810)[2]
• WoO 60: Ziemlich lebhaft (Bagatelle) for piano in B-flat major (1818)[2]
Vocal music
• Opus 72: Leonore (1805) The first version in three acts
• Opus 72: Leonore (1806) The second version in two acts
• Opus 72: Fidelio (1814) The final version in two acts
• Opus 80: Choral Fantasy for solo piano, chorus, and orchestra (1808)
• Opus 85: Christus am Ölberge (Christ on the Mount of Olives) – oratorio (1803)
• Opus 86: Mass in C major (1807)
• Opus 112: Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt (Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage), for chorus and orchestra (1815)
• Opus 123: Missa Solemnis in D major (1822)
• Opus 46: "Adelaide" – song (1794-1795)
• Opus 48: "Gellert Songs" – song set (1802)
• Opus 98: An die ferne Geliebte – song cycle (1816)
• Opus 108: Twenty-five Scottish Songs

What is my point?

I have more than one point.

1. Our new president is pro-abortion. This is important to remember because this type of thinking carries over into other decisions that will be made. Depending on your value system, this will either be a good or a bad thing. Clinton was the only other president we have had who was pro-abortion. If you have no problem with Clinton's morals and moral choices as the leader of the USA, then you will have no problem with Obama.

2. You fight against the death penalty for despicable animals who rape and murder and torture children to death. You hold candle light vigils for them if ever they DO get put to death; you claim to value all life because all life is sacred, and because society ought not be in the business of playing God. Are unborn babies not a LEAST as human as these barbarians? Why does your compassion stop with brutes? Your hypocrisy is showing.

3. We worry about Global Warming (Climate change). We are urgently trying to find find clean energy sources. We want to invent automobiles that don't run on fossil fuels. And so much more. But...

I genuinely worry that we have already killed those unborn Einsteins and Thomas Edisons who could have solved these problems for us. And have we already aborted the diplomat that would have finally brought the warring parties of the Middle East together? The scientist who had in his unborn brain the cure for cancer? Have we killed her too? Did the modern day George Washington Carver, the one who had the key to producing new foods to feed the starving children of the world — did his mangled fetus end up in the garbage can too?

What if it is already too late? Or what if at the very least we have had civilization's salvation deferred for untold generations?

Does anyone honestly believe that, had Beethoven been aborted, as he should have been, that someone else would have simply come along later and write all his music? I don't think so.

Let's face up to the facts: a whole lot of things have been lost to us forever.

I don't have all the answers. I am really quite a simple person, truth be told. So please, in your comments explain to me how I just don't get it.

49,551,703 since 1973. And counting.


Anonymous said...

Hello "Relax Max", or "Way Harsh", or whoever (soooooo confusing, these blogs). It's Peter in Australia here, Beethoven lover and, by coincidence, a vegan who loves and respects all life, from animals to trees to plants to people (and that includes unborn babies). Just to let you know that your compassion and understanding are exactly what the world needs, and to encourage you to continue to take your courageous stand, one which, as you say, is unlikely to win you friends. But the unborn of the world, in their millions, salute you. Their hearts beat because of you and your deep empathy for the beauty of life. Having said that, you'll be surprised to learn that Beethoven's mother was not syphilitic, and he was not the 7th child in the family, and all the other furphies which have become an urban myth the whole world has swallowed. Beethoven was not born with syphilis, and he could certainly have married. Indeed, he tried unsuccessfully to marry many times, often falling in love, although generally to inappropriate (i.e. married) girls. And the loss of his hearing did not occur until he was around 30, and anyway, was occasioned by excessive lead in the waters and the drinking vessels of early 19th century Vienna, not by any ailment which would mean he was aborted today. But your argument that we may well be murdering, before their births, outstanding individuals capable of healing and transforming humanity, is a most compelling one, and, coupled with your intrinsic love and compassion, sends exactly the right signals out to a hostile and unfeeling world. Have you ever considered the possibility of going vegan!!!???

Lots of love, Peter Byrne, Melbourne, Australia

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i guess i don't think it's not okay to eat animals anonymous. i like meat. and i like cake. too bad there is no meat cake. (sorry max)...

smiles, bee

A. said...

As Peter says, Beethoven did not have syphilis, but that in itself doesn't destroy your argument.

1. Did Obama say he was pro-abortion, or is someone putting words in his mouth? I don't know, he's not going to be my president. But there is a considerable difference between legally allowing abortions and being pro-abortion, or if you prefer, being pro-abortion does not necessarily mean favouring abortion as a means of birth control.

2. I have never held a candle-light vigil for anyone on death row, but I'm not in favour of the death penalty. I don't like abortion any more than the death penalty but I do acknowledge that an embryo or foetus is not a separate being from the mother. It cannot exist without the mother and as such, while it is at this stage, it is part of the mother, and is wholly dependent on the mother for its life functions. You are not comparing like with like. I have had several miscarriages. Each time I was devastated to lose the baby but I did not mourn it in the way I would have, if it had gone to term, still less than if it had lived for a time, even still less than if it had grown to develop a personality.

3. You cannot argue the hypothetical chances of the aborted foetus possibly having gone on to become the next Beethoven. You might just as well argue that the mother forced to give birth might have lost an opportunity to go on the become the next Marie Curie. How many of those have we lost? Did anyone count the number of women who were denied the chance of a shining career, who might have found a cure for Alzheimer's disease, who might even have devised a contraceptive device for men?

Before you address the problem of abortion, and it is a problem, you must address the problem of effective and medically accurate contraception for all, and I mean all. Very few fourteen year-old girls have either the emotional or physical maturity to cope with giving birth. You must be absolutely sure that everyone who needs contraception can get it, and knows exactly how to use it. That includes people who might not have the same viewpoint as yourself. Whether you like it or not, unmarried people do have sex and unless they know how and have the means to prevent it, they are going to to have unwanted pregnancies. Abstinence is not enough of an answer. In extreme Islamic countries where failure to observe abstinence is punishable by death from stoning, unwanted pregnancy still happens.

Most unfortunately, babies to some mean despair. Sad but true. I don't like abortion, it troubles me deeply, but I am not ever going to be in favour of banning it. If you have never felt the despair of being pregnant when you don't want to be, you have no right to make the decision for others. You might like to read the poem "Christmas Carols" by Margaret Atwood.

I have read a scientific study that those who have a desire to punish, favour the death penalty and oppose abortion. Why is that? Opposing abortion more often than not will punish a woman.

Abortion remains illegal in Northern Ireland so those that can afford to, will travel to the UK, while those that cannot are liable to reach for the knitting needle. You use some incredibly emotive language here. Please save some of it for the mothers who are despairing enough to feel they need to go through with an abortion, whether they eventually have one or not, whether legal or not.

ettarose said...

Max, I realize (I think)where you were going with this and I am back. My argument is along the same lines as A.'s and I will add a little more. I feel abortions are a choice no one has the right to make but the one making that choice. Women have been getting pregnant forever and abortions will not stop no matter who is against them. There are a myriad of reasons for abortions and while I may not agree with all of them, I would not want to see a young girl going into an alley with someone with a coat hanger, or pouring lye in their vagina to abort a baby that they are unable or unwilling to have. Your argument about aborting someone who may find the cure for cancer, is valid in it's own way, but on the other hand what if the fetus aborted were a Gary Ridgeway, or a Hitler? It is a game of roulette and we have no right to force someone to choose.

ettarose said...

One more thing. I love a good rare piece of steak, and Sea Kittens is just stupid!