The Music of 1812

cover-1812It can be hard to imagine, but there was a time when Beethoven’s music was unknown, or the newest, most daring thing one could imagine.  And that time was 1812.  His take on the sonata form was so different, so explosive when compared to what else was available, that we can hardly imagine the shock it must have occasionally caused. 

And yet, through hearing his music, listening closely, we can get as close as a whisper of breath to what they heard and knew 200 years ago.  Listening like that allows us to be in the room with them, and to engage with their mindset in an intimate way, to feel what must have been in their hearts. 

So when writing of these characters, and of these historical times, I spend most of my hours locked in the mental chamber which this music creates.  Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Field, these were their expressions of life, passion and beauty, so to write as they thought in 1812, these have become my close friends and companions. 

Obviously, it helps that I have always played the piano and that Beethoven writes music in a way I understand and find easy to play…but there it is, their gateway to beauty, our gateway to understanding them.  As easy as that.

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5 comments on “The Music of 1812

  1. junebugger says:

    Beautiful entry. And I agree with you. Music captures a moment in time and allows people like us, centuries later, to relive it.

  2. LJ says:

    M.M.,
    Really enjoyed reading your blog. I’m writing a novel where one of the main characters is Beethoven. It’s nice to come across a “subject matter expert” as yourself who not only loves what she does, but shares it with others.

    And I, too, not only love Beethoven’s music, it inspires me to be bigger, better, to care more about my efforts (because he did) and to even channel his rebelliousness!

    Lory

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Lory, so glad you dropped by. LvB is a character in my novel, Of Honest Fame. And as far as I can tell, he’s planning an appearance or three in the next book as well.

      • LJ says:

        Can’t wait to read it! It intrigues me how those who write about the great B approach his personality with their own perspective. I’m open to all interpretations.

      • M M Bennetts says:

        I came to his personality through the Heiligenstadt Testament and his incredible facility for improvisation, I think. Also, through all his behaviour toward the French when they occupied Vienna. And of course, he had this wonderful, sly sense of humour. Very much hope you enjoy OHF. (Writing him in was one of my greatest treats to myself, you know…)

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