The piano sound floats out of the bakery

In Vienna in 1732, a bakery was opened in Probusgasse (street) in the 19th district. In the summer of 1802, a scruffy, bad-tempered geek moved into the apartment behind the bakery. From then on, the piano sound floated out of the bakery.

In the 21st century, the European Union decided to use the “Ode to Joy” of the No. 9 symphony written by the geek as its official anthem. Have you guessed who this geek is?

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770. When he was 17 years old, he first time came to Vienna to meet Mozart. The second time he came to Vienna, when he was 22, he planned to worship Haydn as a teacher. In 1792, Beethoven decided to move to Vienna, where he lived until his death in 1827.

The apartments in the city in the 18th century had a social class distinction. The ground floor was full of shops or studios, and the nobles and wealthy people lived on the first and second floors. Above these floors would be young civil servants and students. The top floor was usually occupied by very poor people, so when Beethoven first arrived in Vienna, he had to live there. Later, because of the financial support of the aristocrats, he was able to move to the first floor to live.

Beethoven worked in a very disciplined manner, usually composing in the morning and taking a walk in the afternoon. In the 19th district of Vienna, above Heiligenstadt (holy city), there is a path he used to walk along the creek, now known as the Beethovengang.

He loved nature, and his No. 6 symphony, also known as the “pastorale”, was inspired by the scene of a farmer he saw working in a field while walking.

“You will ask, where does my musical inspiration come from? I can’t say exactly: it is uninvited, directly or indirectly. I almost grabbed them and caught them in the arms of nature, in the woods. During the stroll, when the night is quiet, when the dawn of the heavens breaks, it should be created by the moment and emotion. In the heart of the poet, it becomes a language, and in my heart it turns into music. The sound, the roar, the waves rise until the final embodiment becomes various notes.”

Beethoven not only personally named the Sixth Symphony as the “pastorale”, but also added a title to each movement. His music is more than painted. The addition of text enriches the performance of music and makes it more visual.

Many musicians must face the fate of frequent relocation because their neighbours cannot tolerate the unending sound of instruments. But Beethoven’s personality was violent, and often the neighbours would come to talk to him and quarrel. This caused him to move 63 times. This is also the side of his real personality, whether it was his being extremely picky about eggs or insisting on using exactly 60 beans when making coffee.

As a musician, the most painful thing is that you can’t hear anything. There will be newborn, aging, illness and death in life, and Beethoven has also gone through the path that everyone has to. When his ears began to degenerate, he came to Heiligenstadt, a resort area of a local mineral water bath to heal the growing problem. Beethoven once wrote this will:

“I am determined to remove all obstacles. I believe that fate will not abandon me. I am afraid I need to fully assess my strength. I have to hold the throat of fate.”

But sometimes people can become vulnerable. Beethoven’s mood once fell into a low tide. In the apartment behind the bakery, he wrote a letter to his brother, the so-called Heiligenstadt Testament. But he did not send it out; it was discovered in 1827. The tone in his letter is full of pessimism and despair, showing that his ear problems brought him to suicidal thoughts.

Fortunately, there is music creation, and a vague sense of mission to the world, so he did not go astray. Beethoven’s mental state and his creations were vastly different. The symphony that he wrote at that time was full of enthusiasm and full of praise for life. Through the violence of his father, his mother’s early death, the pressure of his financial situation, the unrequited love of his life and the physical pains, Beethoven turned these blows into positive energy, music with deep thoughts.

In the final No. 9 symphony, Beethoven joined the vocals in an unprecedented way. This pioneering work has allowed future generations to follow him. “Ode to Joy” is familiar to almost everyone today. When the work premiered in Vienna in 1824, Beethoven was completely deaf. He couldn’t even hear the applause of the audience, until the alto got him to turn around and he saw the audience stand up five times and applaud. This heartfelt tribute made Beethoven deeply touched. Whenever I hear the words “alle Menschen werden Brüder”, this music always gave me goose bumps.

Through music people can reach the soul of musicians. Beethoven’s love for the world is presented in his work. Listen, can you feel his enthusiasm and despite his pains, that he did not give up his love for life?

Sitting in the room where Beethoven had lived before, in a Biedermeier building, listening to Beethoven’s work, my heart was so deeply touched. When you are in a low mood or feel pain, can you try listening to Beethoven’s music?

麵包店飄出鋼琴聲

1732年的維也納,在現在19區的普羅布斯街開了一家麵包店。1802年的夏天搬來了一個不修邊幅,脾氣火爆的怪人到麵包店後面的公寓。從此開始麵包店後就會飄出鋼琴聲。



21世紀歐洲聯盟決定將這位怪人寫的第9號交響曲中的歡樂頌作為官方盟歌。你猜到了這個怪人是誰嗎?

路德維希·范·貝多芬1770年在德國波昂出生。他17歲時第一次到維也納見莫札特,第二次他22歲時再度來維也納,打算拜海頓為師。1792年貝多芬決定搬來維也納生活,一直就住到他1827年往生。

18世紀時在城市的公寓是有社會階級的分別。底樓都是商店或工作室,1樓及2樓住著貴族和富有的人。在這上面幾層住的是年輕公務員及學生。頂樓通常都是很窮的人住的,所以剛開始貝多芬到維也那時就是住在那裡。之後因為有王公貴族的經濟支援讓他可以搬到1樓去住。

貝多芬工作的方式很有紀律,通常上午作曲,下午去散步。在維也納的19區海利根茲塔或翻譯聖城,有一條他以前最愛沿著小溪散步的小路,現在稱為貝多芬小徑。


他熱愛大自然,第6號交響曲,也稱為田園交響曲,就是他散步時看到農夫在田中工作時的情景而得到的靈感,創作的曲目。

「你們會問,我的樂思是從哪裡來?我可說不準:反正是不請自來,直接或間接的。我幾乎伸手就抓住他們,在大自然的懷抱裡,在樹林中,在漫步時,在夜闌人靜時,在天方破曉時,應情應景而生,在詩人心中話成語言,在我心中則化為音樂。發響,咆哮,波浪湧起,直到最後具體化作一個個音符。」

貝多芬不但親自將第六交響曲題為田園,而且還會每個樂章加上標題。他的音樂繪情多於繪景。因文字的加入豐富了音樂的表現而已,也讓它更具形象性。

很多音樂家必須面臨常常遷居的命運,因為他們的鄰居無法忍受長期樂器的聲響。偏偏貝多芬個性暴躁,常常鄰居來和他說話時就吵起來,造成他遷居63次的紀錄。這也是他人性的一面,不管對雞蛋極度挑剔,或是堅持泡咖啡一定要用60顆咖啡豆才可以。

身為一位音樂家,最痛苦的莫過於是聽不到任何聲音。人生中都會有生老病死,貝多芬也走過所有人走過的路。當他的耳朵開始退化時,他來到海利根斯塔意圖靠當地礦泉水浴來治療日益嚴重的問題。貝多芬曾經寫下過這個狀語:
「我決心排除一切障礙,我相信命運不會拋棄我。我恐怕需要充分估量自己的力量,我要扼住命運的咽喉。」

但是人畢竟有脆弱的時候,貝多芬的情緒一度陷入低潮,在麵包店後的公寓中寫下了一封給他兄弟的信,所謂的聖城遺書或海利根斯塔遺書(Heiligenstadt Testament)。但他並沒有將她寄出去,一直到1827年才被發現。信中的語氣充滿著悲觀絕望,可見他的耳疾讓他出現自殺的念頭。

慶幸的是有音樂創作,和一種模糊的對世人的使命感才讓他不至於走上絕路。貝多芬的心理狀態和他創造的作品落差巨大。他那時起寫的交響樂曲意氣風發,充滿著對生命的歌頌。經歷父親的暴力,母親的早逝,經濟的壓力,一輩子的單相思還有身體上的病痛,貝多芬把這些打擊都轉換成正面的能量,充滿深度的音樂。

在最後的9號交響曲中貝多芬史無前例的加入人聲。這個創舉讓後世紛紛效法。歡樂頌在今天幾乎大家都耳熟能詳。1824年這個作品在維也納首演時貝多芬已經全聾了。甚至連如雷貫耳的掌聲他都聽不到,一直到女低音讓他轉身他才看到聽眾起立五次瘋狂鼓掌。這種發自內心的致意讓貝多芬深受感動。每當我聽到四海之內皆兄弟(alle Menschen werden Brüder),這段音樂都會讓我起雞皮疙瘩。

透過音樂人們能接觸到音樂家的靈魂。貝多芬留給世人的愛都在他的作品呈現。聽聽看,你能感受到他的熱情及不論多痛苦,還是不放棄對生命的熱愛嗎?

坐在貝多芬以前住過的房間內,一個畢德麥雅時期的建築物中,聽著貝多芬的作品,心中充滿著無盡的感動。當你心情低潮時或覺得痛苦時,試著聽聽看貝多芬的音樂吧?

Beethoven 9 – Chicago Symphony Orchestra – Riccardo Muti: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOjHhS5MtvA