The Story of Beethoven for Young Readers
Author: Bertha S. Saunier
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: A. J. Cornell Publications
Release Date: August 27, 2011
Originally published in 1906 as a portion of the author’s larger “Stories of the Four Great Composers for Young People,” this Kindle edition, equivalent in length to a physical book of approximately 30 pages, describes the life and work of German composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
Homely in looks, awkward in manners, shy in company and with the falsehood or the uncertainty fastened upon his truth-loving soul, we wonder that the young musician should win a single friend. But, once seated at the piano the ills of the mind and of the body seemed to fall away; his eyes dilated and glowed and his expressive face took on the rightful look of genius.
At length came the long delayed realization of all his hopes. Mozart had heard of him and invited him to play! But thinking the boy had been drilled for the occasion, the great master listened indifferently, and, to Beethoven’s utter dismay, was turning aside, when, quickly reading the master’s thought, the boy begged that he be given a theme. Seeing his anxiety Mozart kindly complied, and Ludwig set about his task with confidence. Well he knew his skill at improvising! The theme given was in the shape of a fugue proceeding by half tones and containing a countersubject of double fugue.
Beethoven set about the task excitedly yet carefully, with due regard to rule and played with such beauty, skill and originality, winding up with a labyrinth of melodies in the given themes that Mozart listened in amazement. Here was a great unknown from Bonn! In great excitement the prince of music tip-toed into the next room and whispered to some friends there gathered: “Pay attention to him; he will one day make the world speak of him.”