in heaven I shall hear


Some historians believe Beethoven’s last words were, “In heaven I shall hear.”

Beethoven was close to deaf from a young age.  Ludwig van Beethoven wasn’t born hearing impaired.  The disability a gift from his father.  The result of a severe beating to his young head.  History tells the thrashing was the result of his father’s embarrassment of Ludwig’s creativity at the piano.  Instead of performing the more culturally accepted pieces of the time to the audience in the parlor, Beethoven played Beethoven.

Whereas Mozart’s notes appeared to flutter through the air; Beethoven’s haunting melodies brought to mind measures conjured in the dark.  The notes passionately chase one another as the sun disappears and moonlight settles.

The beating temporary; it’s pain fleeting.  The results permanent.

As time moved forward, Beethoven’s hearing ability diminished.   The beauty he created through the strings he felt as vibrations as he laid his head upon the piano keys.  A symphony imagined in his mind.   Not a sliver of sound slipping through.

The beating, though brutal, did not have the desired effect.  Ludwig did not curb his creativity.  He did not modify his style for popular convention.  If anything, Ludwig’s music became darker as his soul cried out through his melodies.

Whispers of violence peek past traces of pain.

Beethoven is rumored to have been a cantankerous man.   His disability a risk in his profession.  No one would pay a deaf maestro to conduct or create a symphony.    Ludwig had to scheme diligently to keep his deafness from his peers, detractors, colleagues – his musicians.   As a result, Beethoven was perceived rude, irascible, petulant as he walked past people calling out to him from behind.  Men whose lips he couldn’t read.

Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13 – “Pathetique”.  Beethoven’s creation.  To hear it is to experience music dancing with your soul.    Something Beethoven never could.  Until he did.

Some historians believe Beethoven’s last words were, “In heaven I shall hear.”

 Focused on the GoalPhilippians 3:12-14

12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.    (The Message translation)


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