Beethoven og kreativitet, af Michelle Rasmussen

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This article appears in the March 5, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Beethoven and Creativity

by Michelle Rasmussen

[Print version of this article]

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Lithograph by August von Klöber, 1818

Ludwig van Beethoven

Feb. 23—If there was one principle at the center of Lyndon LaRouche’s life’s work, it was that the crucial factor in the progress of human civilization is human creativity. It is human creativity which distinguishes man, and woman, from the beast. It is, or ought to be, the mission of society to foster the potential creativity, which, like a seed, lies dormant in every child, just waiting for loving nourishment to cause it to bloom, to create the most beautiful flower, which, in turn, delights and inspires all others to, themselves, develop their own creative potential. But, you may ask, how do you learn about, and teach creativity?

There is perhaps no better creativity teacher than Ludwig van Beethoven, he who was born 250 years ago, in another time, in another place, whose life-long struggle to perfect his own creative powers, has been, is now, and will forever be a monumental source for the study of creativity. This he was for LaRouche, who would often listen to Beethoven to get his creative juices flowing before sitting down to write. And this he can be for you, dear reader, and all of us, so that we may, also, be creative, that we may “Think like Beethoven.”[fn_1]

And what is the purpose of such creativity? As Beethoven put it, “to work by means of my art for needy humanity.”[fn_2] Not art for art’s sake. Beethoven, like Friedrich Schiller, was conscious of great art’s ability to raise the moral level of humanity, to better enable human beings to form a more perfect society, one where, in Schiller’s immortal words, “All men become brothers,” the very words which Beethoven set to music in his Ninth Symphony.[fn_3]

Beethoven wrote that art and science, “Give us intimations and hopes of a higher life” to unite “the best and noblest people,” and to “raise men to the Godhead.”[fn_4]

To a female friend, urging her to devote herself entirely to music, he wrote: “You who have such feeling for all that is beautiful and good. Why will you not make use of this, in order that you may recognize in so beautiful an art the higher perfection which sheds its rays even on us.”[fn_5]

Concerning his immortal mass, the Missa Solemnis: “In writing this great Mass, it was my chief aim to awaken, and to render lasting, religious feeling as well in the singers as in the hearers.”[fn_6]

Plato wrote that music was the most important education for the soul—to fill the soul with beauty, and make it beautiful. People would then praise beauty, receive it with joy into their souls, and become beautiful souls.[fn_7]

Beauty, Schiller said, ennobles our emotions and our intellect. Not just raw emotions which dominate us, without intellect and reason. Not just intellect and reason, without compassion and agapē—love for our neighbor. But through the freedom of mind and heart, which arises while in the act of play, and especially when experiencing the beauty of great art, the two sides of our nature can be reconciled by rising to a higher, subsuming state of mind, which we call the aesthetical state of mind.

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Friedrich Schiller, in a portrait by Ludovike Simanowiz.

Beethoven quoted Schiller’s play Don Carlos in a letter from 1797: “Wisdom is for the wise, Beauty for the feeling heart; and both belong to each other.” (Die Wahrheit is vorhanden für den Weisen, Die Schönheit für ein fülend Herz; Sie beide gehören für einander.)[fn_8]

Beethoven wielded his creative powers to touch our souls through the beauty of his music.

The Creative Process

To be creative is a process of perfecting the ability to imagine what no one before you has ever thought about. In modern terms, to think “outside of the box,” the box of “This is how it has always been done,” “These are the rules,” “These are the unquestionable doctrines.” And, to be self-conscious about how to do that. But how do you put yourself into a state of mind, where you can think freely? How can you become self-reflective about the creative process and look into your own mind?

The thought process we call the imagination, is not only the key to creativity in the arts, but, also, in scientific discovery. Lyndon LaRouche put it this way in a speech called “Creativity as Such,” in 2011:

And it’s in the process of metaphor, in which we acquire access to experimental knowledge and use of principles which lie outside the domain of sense-certainties, that mankind distinguishes himself from the beasts…. This is the special genius of Classical musical composition…. [Y]ou look at the question of irony, and you take the case of a Bach fugal composition as the perfect test to demonstrate this.… This aspect of the human mind is the location of human creativity. And the promotion of that aspect of the human experience, Classical artistic culture as an expression of the principle of metaphor, is the principle of ordinary discovery, principled discovery. And when you take this kind of thinking over into the department of the practice of physical science, the same thing! And there, you have an example of the role of Classical musical composition, as in the illustrative cases of both Max Planck and Albert Einstein, in particular—and [Vladimir] Vernadsky also! You get a demonstration that in the department of Classical artistic composition, in which the mind is experimenting with the attempt to discover principles, and expresses the yearning for that experimental result as the incentive of creativity for the human mind. That is creativity.[fn_9]

Albert Einstein, better known as a great scientist, lesser known as a devoted amateur violinist, made his greatest discoveries not in a laboratory, but through “thought-experiments.” He had an intriguing insight into the power of the imagination, which he used to make his discoveries, and, also, the power of music to stimulate his own imagination.

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Photo by E.O. Hoppe

“The power of imagination is the ultimate creative power.”
—Albert Einstein.
When he became stuck in solving an intellectual problem, Einstein often played his violin to liberate his mental powers.


The power of imagination is the ultimate creative power … no doubt about that. While knowledge defines all we currently know and understand … imagination points to all we might yet discover and create. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.[fn_10]

Imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.[fn_11]

Imagination is the language of the soul.[fn_12]

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.[fn_13]

Einstein recounted that when he became stuck in the process of solving an intellectual problem, he would play his violin, and that would often liberate his mental powers.[fn_14]

Beethoven wrote this about the challenge of writing fugues in his late quartets: “The imagination, too, asserts its privileges and today a different, truly poetic element must be manifested in conventional form.”[fn_15]

In 1823, Beethoven wrote suggestions on how to stimulate the imagination to Archduke Rudolph, one of his very few composition students, and an important financial and political supporter:

I hope that Your Imperial Highness will continue to acquire special practice in writing down your ideas straightaway at the piano; for this purpose there should be a small table next to the piano. Not only is the imagination strengthened in this way, but one also learns to pin down the remotest ideas at once, it is likewise necessary to write without a piano. Nor should it give Yr. Imperial Highness a headache, but rather the considerable pleasure of finding yourself absorbed in this art, to elaborate a simple melody at times, a chorale, with simple and, then again, with more varied figurations in counterpoint[fn_16] and so forth to more difficult exercises. This will certainly not give Your Royal Highness a headache, but rather, when one finds oneself absorbed in art, a great pleasure. Gradually we develop the [ability to] express just exactly what we wish to, what we feel within us, a need characteristic of all superior persons [noble-minded men in A.C. Kalischer’s translation].[fn_17]

This power of the imagination involves our ability to think about the future, about how something could be, not bound by what is, in the here and now.

The concept of the imagination is related to forecasting the future effects of current causes, as in LaRouche’s economic forecasts, in which he always proposed alternative courses of action to avoid the dangers stalking in the future as the result of current wrong policies. And, likewise, deciding what to do in the here and now, based on your vision of where you want to arrive in the long-term future, the “future determining the present,” as he put it.

In classical music, imagining the future requires, on the one hand, having an insight into the pregnant possibilities of a single new musical theme or motive, but, on the other hand, the ability to invent a musical idea, which is not a theme, but a generative, developmental process, a specific quality of change—the real subject of a unified composition, which acts upon the themes as objects of creative transformation.

The seed-crystal of this development process is in the mind of the composer from the very beginning.

Beethoven from 1815: “I have always a picture in my mind, when I am composing, and work up to it.”[fn_18]

Regarding his opera Fidelio, “my custom when I am composing even instrumental music is always to keep the whole before my eyes.”[fn_19]

There is a tension between what Plato called “the one and the many”: the one unifying musical idea, and the many motives, developments, and transitions—the unfolding of the unified idea. The great German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler spoke of the tension between near-hearing (nahhören), the music heard at that moment as it is unfolding, and far-hearing (fernhören), the future, completed, composition.

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EIRNS/Philip Ulanowsky

“The seed-crystal of the development process is in the mind of the composer from the very beginning.” Norbert Brainin, primarius of the Amadeus Quartet, described and demonstrated the process of motivic thorough composition, the subject of Beethoven’s enormously fruitful musical creativity. Here he is (right), with his long-time friend, Lyndon LaRouche, on December 4, 1987.

Beethoven was a master of this process, which we call motivic thorough composition or, in German, motivführung. Just think about the first movement of his Fifth Symphony, and how the first famous four notes—da, da, da, dum—became the object of Beethoven’s enormously fruitful musical creativity. Or the motivführung that traverses several of Beethoven’s late string quartets, as described by Norbert Brainin, the late Amadeus Quartet primarius, at a Schiller Institute seminar, where he started with Op. 132.[fn_20]

Paradoxically the one, unifying musical idea must subsume many free, independent voices. Beethoven wrote the following upon being asked by a composer to criticize his composition:

[N]ot indirectly, but frankly, as is my wont, I only tell you that you might pay a little more attention to the separate conduct of the parts in future works of this kind.[fn_21]

Creativity is not linear. LaRouche emphasized the role of surprise, paradox, metaphor, irony, even jokes, and puns, all of which Beethoven was a master. The listener is consciously led into a trap, where, suddenly, the unexpected occurs. A dramatic new element takes you by surprise, and you are forced to make a mental leap into the realm of the imagination, away from linear thinking. Afterwards, an emotional release occurs, for example, when you “get the joke.” In metaphor, there is a juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated elements in a surprising way, which can only be understood from a higher, subsuming level. (See box: Beethoven Thought
in Metaphor

In the process of unfolding the musical idea in a polyphonic (many-voiced) musical universe, sometimes the different individual voices come into conflict with each other, and dissonances emerge in the contrapuntal process, which urgently demand to be resolved, thus driving the unfolding process forward in a non-linear way.

This is similar to a human dialogue of cultures, where, sometimes, conflicts emerge. These conflicts, however, can be solved through the process of creating a higher unity, the which Nikolaus von Kues (Nicholas of Cusa) called the “coincidence of opposites.” This is actually a common metaphor in Danish known as things “going up in a higher unity” (at gå op i en højere enhed.) In music, the higher unity is the overall musical idea of that particular piece.

The creative process also entails great emotional tension in the midst of problem solving, as if you are hanging on a psychological cliff, or lost in no-man’s land. You begin to doubt if the problem can ever be solved. But the great thinker, whether in music, science, or elsewhere, develops a power of concentration, sometimes lasting years, based on an underlying consciousness of the importance of his or her endeavor, a striving passion, until a breakthrough occurs, as if in a flash of insight, and the problem is solved.

The creative struggle involves trying out new solutions, which are not in the rulebook, and not in your own past productions. To be self-reflective about the creative process requires not only being conscious about new methods of composition, as Beethoven sometimes explicitly wrote that he had invented, which Plato referred to as a “higher hypothesis,” but, also, to be self-conscious about the increasingly creative quality of compositional methods, which Plato called the “hypothesis of the higher hypothesis.”

From Beethoven to a publisher in 1802 regarding Piano Variations Op. 34 and 35:

Both sets are really worked out in a wholly new manner, and each in a separate and different way…. I myself can assure you that in both these works the method is quite new so far as I am concerned.[fn_22]

[W]hen feeling opens up a path for us, then away with all rules.[fn_23]

In fact, LaRouche wrote that Beethoven should be considered a physical scientist, because of his ability to make one creative breakthrough after another, to discover new worlds, new modes of musical expression. In science, we discover new physical principles of nature, even creating new states of matter, never before seen in nature. Opening your mind to the existence of a paradox, that which does not fit into the accepted theories, spurs the mind to seek new, higher, hypotheses, and design crucial physical experiments to prove, or disprove them.

In art, we use the same cognitive powers to discover new artistic principles, and, also, something new about our own creativity, which we can share with others, be they musicians or listeners. We can communicate the power of creativity, itself, to move men’s souls.

Beethoven was a master in making use of known musical forms (for example, the sonata form), and imbuing them with surprising, new, revolutionary content.

Beethoven’s Struggle to Approximate
Divine Creativity

Beethoven was self-conscious about his own divine spark of creativity, that which LaRouche devoted his life to better understand, that Götterfunken (godly spark), of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”: Freude, schöne Götterfunken[fn_24], the which Beethoven set to music in his monumental Ninth Symphony. LaRouche pondered, what does it mean for man to be in the image of The Creator? It is this capacity for man, also, to be a creator. That, stressed LaRouche, is what separates men and women from beasts. (See the section on the divine spark in every individual in LaRouche’s article in this issue, “In the Garden of Gethsemane,” written in his prison cell in 1990.)

Beethoven wrote to publisher Breitkopf & Härtel in 1812: “my heavenly art, the only true divine gift of Heaven,” and in 1824: “I am free from all small-minded vanity: only the divine art, in it alone is the main-spring which gives me strength to devote the best part of my life to the heavenly Muses.”[fn_25]

After seeing a collection of Schubert’s songs, Beethoven’s friend Anton Schindler records him as saying: “Truly, this Schubert is lit by a divine spark.”[fn_26]

Resenting publishers who line their pockets with profits from an author’s work, treating them as “tasty brain-food,” Beethoven wrote:

The author [Beethoven] is determined to show that the human brain cannot be sold either like coffee beans or like any form of cheese which, as everyone knows, must first be produced from milk, urine and so forth—The human brain is inherently inalienable.[fn_27]

Beethoven was very conscious of his mission in life: to be as creative as he could be, in order to uplift needy humanity with the power of his music. To adopt the immortal mission of the artist: to ennoble the present, and future generations. There was no standing still or entropy, but, instead, what LaRouche called anti-entropy. Motivated by his love for mankind, Beethoven willfully became more and more conscious of his own creative powers, and constantly strove to leap up to the next higher level of creativity, with the explicit goal of more closely reaching the power of God’s own creativity. (See box: Beethoven: ‘To Spread the Rays of the Godhead’)

The Sublime

Beethoven’s passion to fulfill his mission gave him the power to rise above personal adversity, in the form of his increasing deafness. As he put it in his moving Heiligenstadt testament, he was in anguish about losing that very sense which he ought to have in perfection.

Schiller calls this the sublime—our ability to rise above sensual pain, for the purpose of a higher mission.

In 1813, Beethoven wrote: “Lend sublimity to my highest thoughts, enrich them with truths that remain truths forever!”[fn_28]

He copied from another source: “Everything that is called life should be sacrificed to the sublime and be a sanctuary of art.”[fn_29]

Beethoven wrote to his good friend Dr. Franz Wegeler, in about 1801, about his anxiety during the previous two years because of his increasing deafness, and recent happy moments due to a woman he was now in love with, continuing:

For me there is no greater pleasure than that of practicing and displaying my art. My strength, both in body and mind, for some time has been on the increase. Every day brings me nearer to the goal which I feel but cannot describe. And it is only in that condition that your Beethoven can live. There must be no rest—I know of none but sleep…. I will seize fate by the throat; it shall certainly not wholly overcome me. Oh! life is so beautiful. Would that I could have a thousand lives![fn_30]

A year later, in the testament Beethoven wrote in Heiligenstadt addressed to his brothers, but never sent, he penned that he was so desperate, that he had considered taking his own life. But he could not morally allow himself to do so, because he knew that he had so much more music to give humanity:

But what a humiliation for me when someone standing next to me heard a flute in the distance and I heard nothing, or someone heard a shepherd singing and again I heard nothing. Such incidents drove me almost to despair; a little more of that and I would have ended my life—it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me…. “Divine one, thou seest my inmost soul thou knowest that therein dwells the love of mankind and the desire to do good.” Ever since my childhood my heart and soul have been imbued with the tender feeling of goodwill; and I have always been inclined to accomplish great things.[fn_31]

This became Beethoven’s moral imperative—Beethoven, the musician, and Beethoven, the man.

On September 17, 1824 to publisher Schott, after writing that his health was poor:

Apollo and the Muses will not yet hand me over to the Scythe Man, for I still owe them much; and before my departure for the Elysian Fields I must finish what the spirit suggests to me [or, as another translation has it: what the Eternal Spirit has infused into my soul[fn_32]] and commands me to finish. It is to me as if I had only written a few notes.[fn_33]

In art, there is a seeming paradox. The artist’s thoughts are often light years ahead of the general population, yet the mission of the artist is to ennoble just those people through the aesthetical experience—to raise the sights of the people to the stars. Beethoven, especially, felt this paradox, but was determined to compose at the highest level he could, despite complaints that his works were either unplayable, or not understandable.

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Beethoven, sculpted by Hugo Hagen in 1898.

Beethoven for Us, Today

Though he could not hear music with his ears, Beethoven heard music in his mind and felt it in his soul. He would go on to produce what many consider the greatest music in human history. That is why people all over the world still perform and listen to his music. That is also why we must strive to present Beethoven’s music to those, emphatically including young people, who don’t know the beauty they are missing. Let us give it to them, as Beethoven’s present to everyone, on the occasion of his 250th birthday.

Dear reader, take the opportunity to celebrate Beethoven’s birthday by immersing yourself in listening to, and even playing and singing, his works, so that you may better understand the creative beings that we are. Notes on paper represent not just tones, but the keys to Beethoven’s creative mind. Thereby, you can confirm a positive image of man, which also had a political dimension for Beethoven—the pursuit of freedom.

Six months after leaving Bonn, Beethoven quoted from Friedrich Schiller’s play, Don Carlos in the commemorative leaf that he wrote for a woman: “Do well where one can, love freedom above all, never renounce the truth, not even before the royal throne.”[fn_34]

As Schiller said, the road to Freedom goes through Beauty. That was Schiller’s solution after the French Revolution, which did not end like the American Revolution, but in a bloodbath.[fn_35] It is not rage and anger that will transform our society for the better, but reasoned future-oriented policy proposals based on the most noble image of man.

Beethoven characterized humanity as “we mortals with immortal minds.” His creativity can speak directly to you from his place in the “simultaneity of eternity,” the place LaRouche often spoke of, outside of space and time, where the emanations of the most creative people in history are found.

From a letter to a painter: “Continue to paint and I shall continue to write down notes, and thus we shall live—forever?—yes, perhaps, forever.”[fn_36]

“I would rather set to music Homer, Klopstock, Schiller, although even these would cause difficulties, but these immortal poets are worth it.”[fn_37]

To fellow composer Luigi Cherubini: “True art is imperishable, and the true artist feels inward pleasure in the production of great works.”[fn_38]

We can drink from this fountain of creativity, and nourish ourselves, so that, hopefully, we may contribute, each in his or her own way, to enriching the flow.

And ye musicians: strive to master Beethoven’s compositional principles so that we may rediscover the almost lost art of composing beautiful and profound music, and, maybe, even, go beyond.

Let Beethoven aid us in developing our own creative powers so that we may generate nothing less than a new global renaissance, for the sake of needy humanity.


Read the author’s other articles on culture at https://rasmussenmichelle.academia.edu/.

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EIRNS/Sylvia Spaniolo

“The true artist feels inward pleasure in the production of great works.” —Beethoven. Here, the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus and orchestra in a concert on Schiller’s birthday, St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York, November 18, 2018. The Schiller Institute encourages members of the public to join the Chorus.

[fn_1]1. Lyndon LaRouche, Think Like Beethoven, paperback available here[back to text for fn_1]

[fn_2]2. Dr. A.C. Kalischer, Beethoven’s Letters, With Explanatory Notes, Dover, 1972, page 160. [back to text for fn_2]

[fn_3]3. Michelle Rasmussen, “ ‘All Men Become Brothers’: The Decades-Long Struggle for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony,” EIR Vol. 42, No. 26, June 26, 2015, pages 38-51[back to text for fn_3]

[fn_4]4. Maynard Solomon, “Reason and Imagination: Beethoven’s Aesthetic Evolution,” in Historical Musicology: Sources, Methods, Interpretations, by Stephen A. Crist and Roberta Montemorra Marvin (editors), University of Rochester Press, 2008, page 189. [back to text for fn_4]

[fn_5]5. Kalischer, page 68. See note 2. [back to text for fn_5]

[fn_6]6. Kalischer, page 331. [back to text for fn_6]

[fn_7]7. From a more extensive footnote about Plato written by Edgar A. Poe in “The Colloquy of Monos and Una.” The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Modern Library, 1938, page 446. [back to text for fn_7]

[fn_8]8. Written in Lenz von Breuning’s album, Kalischer, page 11. [back to text for fn_8]

[fn_9]9. Speech delivered to the Schiller Institute conference, “Classical Culture, an Imperative for Mankind,” held in Rüsselsheim, Germany, July 3, 2011. EIR Vol. 38, No. 27, July 15, 2011, pages 30-38. [back to text for fn_9]

[fn_10]10. Azquotes.com/quote/864207 [back to text for fn_10]

[fn_11]11. Albert Einstein, Einstein On Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions & Aphorisms. goodreads.com/quotes/423568. [back to text for fn_11]

[fn_12]12. www.azquotes.com/quote/831606. [back to text for fn_12]

[fn_13]13. brainyquote.com /quotes/albert_einstein_121643. [back to text for fn_13]

[fn_14]14. Read the article, “Einstein the Artist,” by Shawna Halevy, one of LaRouche’s collaborators. EIR Vol. 39, No. 19, May 11, 2012, pages 58-66 [back to text for fn_14]

[fn_15]15. Solomon, “Reason and Imagination,” in Historical Musicology, page 194. See note 4. [back to text for fn_15]

[fn_16]16. Counterpoint is the art of writing two or more lines, or voices, of music designed to be in dialogue with each other, from “point against point,” writing a contrary note to a given note, or point. [back to text for fn_16]

[fn_17]17. Michael Hamburger (editor), Beethoven: Letters, Journals and Conversations, Thames & Hudson, 2007, page 199. [back to text for fn_17]

[fn_18]18. Maynard Solomon, Beethoven Essays, Harvard University Press, 1990, page 127. [back to text for fn_18]

[fn_19]19. Solomon, “Reason and Imagination,” in Historical Musicology, page 194. [back to text for fn_19]

[fn_20]20. Over September 20-22, 1995, the Schiller Institute sponsored a series of seminars featuring Lyndon LaRouche’s close friend and collaborator Norbert Brainin, at the Dolná Krupá castle in Slovakia. Watch Mr. Brainin demonstrate the principle of motivic through composition in Seminar No. 4 here, or read more about it here[back to text for fn_20]

[fn_21]21. To Baron Carl August von Klein in 1826, Kalischer, page 365. [back to text for fn_21]

[fn_22]22. Solomon, “Reason and Imagination,” in Historical Musicology, page 191. [back to text for fn_22]

[fn_23]23. Op. cit., page 192. [back to text for fn_23]

[fn_24]24. A word coined before Schiller, by Johann Georg Adam Forster in writing about Benjamin Franklin. [back to text for fn_24]

[fn_25]25. Kalischer, page 330. [back to text for fn_25]

[fn_26]26. Manuel Komroff, Beethoven and the World of Music, Dodd, Mead, 1961, page 164. [back to text for fn_26]

[fn_27]27. Solomon, “Reason and Imagination,” in Historical Musicology, page 190. [back to text for fn_27]

[fn_28]28. Hamburger, Beethoven: Letters, page 122. See note 17. [back to text for fn_28]

[fn_29]29. Birgit Lodes, in William Kinderman (editor), The String Quartets of Beethoven, University of Illinois Press, 2020, page 186. [back to text for fn_29]

[fn_30]30. Kalischer, page 23. [back to text for fn_30]

[fn_31]31. Thayer’s Life of Beethoven, Vol. I, revised and edited by Elliot Forbes, Princeton University Press, 1991, page 305. [back to text for fn_31]

[fn_32]32. Maynard Solomon, Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination, University of California Press, 2004, page 93. [back to text for fn_32]

[fn_33]33. Kalischer, page 332. [back to text for fn_33]

[fn_34]34. To Theodora Johanna Vocke in Nuremberg, May 22, 1793. Joseph Schmidt-Görg, ”A Schiller Quote from Beethoven in a New Perspective,” in Günter Henle, Music, Edition, Interpretation, 1980, page 423. [back to text for fn_34]

[fn_35]35. Beethoven actually expressed his desire to travel to North America. “If only God will restore me to my health, which to say the least, has improved, I could do myself justice, in accepting offers from all cities in Europe, yes, even North America, and might still prosper.” Beethoven received a request for an oratorio from Boston’s Musical Society, which, in the end, he did not write. Kalischer, page 289. [back to text for fn_35]

[fn_36]36. Solomon, Late Beethoven, page 98. See note 32. [back to text for fn_36]

[fn_37]37. Kalischer, page 321. [back to text for fn_37]

[fn_38]38. Kalischer, page 296. [back to text for fn_38]

Beethoven Thought in Metaphor

Even when he was not composing, Beethoven thought in metaphor. In response to a letter from his brother which was proudly signed “landowner,” Beethoven signed his letter, “brain-owner.”a[fn_1]

From a remembrance by music critic and literary figure, Johann Friedrich Rochlitz: “Once he is in the vein, rough, striking witticisms, droll conceits, surprising and exciting paradoxes suggest themselves to him in a continuous flow.”b[fn_2][fn_3]

From his student Karl Czerny: “He could introduce a play on words anywhere.”c For example, “As regards Frau v. Stein [stone in English], I beg her not to let Herr v. Steiner be petrified, so that he may still be able to serve me.”d[fn_4]

Or he could make up funny words, calling a fugue “tone-flight-work.”e[fn_5]

Here is an example of the great fun Beethoven had when writing to Tobias Hasslinger, publisher Sigmund Anton Steiner’s assistant, who later became the publisher (Beethoven usually called Hasslinger the “little adjutant,” Beethoven being “Generalissimus”):

I dreamed that I was taking a far journey, as far as Syria, as far as India, back again as far as Arabia; finally I came indeed to Jerusalem. The Holy City prompted thoughts about the Holy Writ [Bible], when, and no wonder, I thought of the man Tobias [from the Bible], and naturally that led to my thinking of our little Tobias and our pertobias[sen] [making the name a verb, then a noun meaning to turn the name ‘Tobias’ into musicf[fn_6]]; now, in my dream journey, the following canon occurred to me:g[fn_7]

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Beethoven then forgot the canon*[fn_8], and when he remembered it again, it had turned into a three-voice canon, which he held as strongly as Menelaus had held Proteus.

His letter to Tobias Hasslinger continues:

Soon I shall send in something about Steiner, too, just to prove that he hasn’t a heart of stone. Farewell, very dearest of friends, we wish you continually that you may never be true to the name of publisher and may never be publicly humiliated…. [The pun on Verleger (publisher) and verlegen (embarrassed, at a loss) was one of which Beethoven was especially fond.]h[fn_9]

Enclosed in a letter to a publisher in 1825 with some canons, Beethoven includes:

[A] supplement, a romantic description of the life of Tobias Hasslinger in 3 parts. First part: Tobias is an assistant of the celebrated authority, Capellmeister Fux—and holds the ladder to his Gradus ad Parnassum [steps to Parnassus, the mountain where the Muses live, the name of Fux’s pedantic book on counterpoint]. As he is now inclined to practical joking, through shaking and pushing the ladder he causes many of those who had got fairly high up to fall headlong and break their necks, &c. He now bids farewell to our clod of earth and reappears at the time of Albrechtsberger [a leading counterpoint teacher who gave Beethoven some lessons].

2nd part. The already existing Fuxian nota cambiata [changed note] is now treated in conjunction with A[lbrechtsberger]. and the changing notes thoroughly expounded; the art of creating a musical skeleton is carried on to the highest degree, &c. Tobias, now a caterpillar, is turned into a grub [butterfly larva], is developed, and appears for the third time on this earth.

3rd part. The scarcely formed wings now hasten to the Paternostergässl [the address of the publisher]; he becomes Paternostergässler Capellmeister, and having gone through the school of the changing notes [Wechselnoten] he retains nothing of them but the change [Wechsel], and so gains the friend of his youth, and finally becomes a member of several inland empty-headed societies, &c. If you ask him, he will certainly allow this account of his life to be published.i[fn_10]

[back to text]

[fn_1]a. Russell Sherman, Piano Pieces, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 30, 1997, page 114. [back to text for fn_1]

[fn_2]b. Oscar Sonneck (editor), Beethoven: Impressions by His Contemporaries, Dover Books, 1967, page 128. [back to text for fn_2]

[fn_3]c. Solomon, “Reason and Imagination,” in Historical Musicology, page 223. [back to text for fn_3]

[fn_4]d. Kalischer, page 229. [back to text for fn_4]

[fn_5]e. Kalischer, page 356. [back to text for fn_5]

[fn_6]f. The Free Dictionary Language Forums, by Farlex, “Beethoven’s writing: question.” [back to text for fn_6]

[fn_7]g. Kalischer, page 281. [back to text for fn_7]

[fn_8]https://beethoven.ru/node/909 [WoO 182: O Tobias!, трехголосный канон Бетховен (beethoven.ru)] [back to text for fn_8]

[fn_9]h. The Unheard Beethoven website, “Canon, O Tobias, WoO 182.” [back to text for fn_9]

[fn_10]i. Kalischer, page 229. [back to text for fn_10]

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Beethoven: ‘To Spread the Rays of the Godhead’

In a letter to Archduke Rudolph, Beethoven wrote:

There is nothing higher than to approach the Godhead more nearly than other mortals and by means of that contact to spread the rays of the Godhead through the human race.j[fn_1]

To Emilie, a girl of 8 to 10 years old, who had written to him in 1812:

Persevere, do not only practice your art, but endeavor also to fathom its inner meaning; it deserves this effort. For only art and science can raise men to the level of gods…. The true artist has no pride. He sees unfortunately that art has no limits; he has a vague awareness of how far he is from reaching his goal; and while others may perhaps be admiring him, he laments the fact that he has not yet reached the point whither his better genius only lights the way for him like a distant sun.

I should probably prefer to visit you and your family than to visit many a rich person who betrays a poverty of mind. If I should ever go to H., then I will call on you and your family. I know of no other human excellences than those which entitle one to be numbered among one’s better fellow creatures. Where I find people of that type, there is my home.k[fn_2]

In the 1790s, he wrote about the need “to strive towards the inaccessible goal which art and nature have set us.”l[fn_3]

When asked which of the string quartets opera 127, 130, 132 was the greatest: “Each in its way. Art demands of us that we shall not stand still…. You will find a new manner of part writing and thank God there is less lack of fancy than ever before.”m[fn_4]

For the artist “there is no more undisturbed, more unalloyed or purer pleasure” than that which comes from rising “ever higher into the heaven of art.”n[fn_5]

Freedom and progress are the aims throughout creation:

[T]he older composers render us double service, since there is generally real artistic value in their works (among them only the German Handel and Seb. Bach possessed genius). But in the world of art, and in the whole of our great creation, freedom and progress are the main objectives. And although we moderns are not quite as far advanced in solidity as our ancestors, yet the refinement of our customs has enlarged many of our conceptions as well.o[fn_6]

Dr. Kalischer commentsp[fn_7] on a letter of Beethoven to a court lawyer, Dr. Johann Baptist Bach: “We may recall the fact that the composer thought of writing an Overture on the name [B-A-C-H: B-flat, A, C, B-natural in German letter notation]; there are many sketches, the following is among some for the Tenth Symphony:

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In a letter to the new directors of the Royal Imperial Court Theatre in Vienna, Beethoven wrote: “[T]he undersigned has always striven less for a livelihood than for the interests of art, the ennoblement of taste and the uplifting of his genius towards higher ideals and perfection.”q[fn_8]     [back to text]

[fn_1]j. Solomon, “Reason and Imagination,” in Historical Musicology, page189. [back to text for fn_1]

[fn_2]k. Emily Anderson (editor), Letter No. 376, in The Letters of Beethoven, Vol. 1, W.W. Norton, 1986, pages 380-381. [back to text for fn_2]

[fn_3]l. Solomon, “Reason and Imagination,” in Historical Musicology, page 191. [back to text for fn_3]

[fn_4]m. Ibid., page 192. [back to text for fn_4]

[fn_5]n. Ibid., page 192. [back to text for fn_5]

[fn_6]o. Ibid., page 192. Words in parentheses from Kalischer, page 270. [back to text for fn_6]

[fn_7]p. Kalischer, page 326. [back to text for fn_7]

[fn_8]q. Thayer’s Life of Beethoven, revised and edited by Elliot Forbes, Vol. I, Princeton University Press, 1991, page 426. [back to text for fn_8]



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This article appears in the March 5, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

January 17, 1990

In the Garden of Gethsemane

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

[Print version of this article]

Editor’s Note: This essay was first published in EIR Vol. 44, No. 37, September 15, 2017, pages 19-21.

A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country.

—Matthew 13:57

Those of us who find ourselves in Gethsemane—a Gethsemane where we are told that we must take a role of leadership with our eye on Christ on the Cross—often experience something which, unfortunately, most people do not. We tend to look at things from a different standpoint. Before trying to situate how I see the recent period, and the period immediately before us, I should try to communicate what my viewpoint is, a viewpoint which I know is shared in some degree of very close approximation by everyone who has gone to Gethsemane with the view of the Cross in his eyes, saying, “He did it, I am now being told that I must, too, walk in His way.”

What I suggest often, in trying to explain this to a person who has not experienced it, is to say: “Imagine a time 50 years after you’re dead. Imagine in that moment, 50 years ahead, that you can become conscious and look back at the entirety of your mortal life, from its beginning to its ending. And, rather than seeing that mortal life as a succession of experiences, you see it as a unity. Imagine facing the question respecting that mortal life, asking, “Was that life necessary in the total scheme of the universe and the existence of mankind, was it necessary that I be born in order to lead that life, the sum total of that number of years between birth and death? Did I do something, or did my living represent something, which was positively beneficial to present generations, and implicitly to future generations after me? If so, then I should have walked through that life with joy, knowing that every moment was precious to all mankind, because what I was doing by living was something that was needed by all mankind, something beneficial to all mankind.”

If I am wise, then 50 years after my death, in looking back at my mortal life, I know that from the beginning with my birth, to the end with my death, that my truest self-interest was the preservation and enhancement of that which made my having lived important to those around me and those who came after me.

That is the beginning, I think, of true wisdom; that is the beginning of the Passion, which sometimes enables each of us when called, to walk through our own peculiar kind of Gethsemane. It is from this standpoint, that the mind of an individual such as our own, can efficiently comprehend history in the large.

A second point, which I often raise, I think is essential to understand the few simple observations I have to make here. It is that, in human reason, in the power, for example, to effect a valid, fundamental scientific discovery, which overturns, in large degree, previous scientific opinion, we see a fundamental distinction between man and all beasts. This power of creative reason, typified by the power to make a valid, fundamental scientific discovery, and also the power to transmit and to receive such a discovery, is that which sets man apart from and above the beasts.

The emotion associated with that kind of human activity, whether in physical science, in the development of creative works or performance of creative works of classical culture or simply in the caring for a child to nurture that quality of potential for discovery in the child, is true love. Creative activity is human activity, and the emotion associated with that kind of activity, is true love.

We start from that and say that society must be based on these considerations, that. every human being, being apart from and above the animals, has the right and the obligation to live an important life. Every human being has the right to do something, such that if one looked back 50 years after the death of that person at his or her whole mortal life, one could have said, that life was necessary to all humanity. At the same time, one could distinguish some use of this creative power of reasoning as the activity which made that life important, simply, sometimes, the development of that creative power.

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Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

Two Conflicting Views of Mankind

We have, in the entirety of the approximately 2,500 years of Western European history, which includes the history of the Americas, two conflicting views of mankind. One view shares more or less the standpoint I’ve just identified: We view the human individual as bearing the divine spark of potential for reason, as a sacred life; a spark of reason which must be developed by society, nurtured by society, given opportunity for fruitful expression by society; a quality of activity whose good works must be adopted by society, protected by society, and preserved by society, for the benefit of present and future generations. That is the republic, the republic as conceived by Solon’s constitution of Athens—a notion of republic, which, in our time, is made nobler by the Christian understanding, which transforms and elevates the contributions of Solon and Socrates after him.

On the other side, there is the conception of Sparta, a privileged oligarchy, brutalizing the helots, the slaves, the so-called lower classes. That, too, is a model society, not a republic, but an oligarchy.

The struggle between these two views of mankind is epitomized by the struggle between President and General George Washington, on the one side, and King George III on the other. George Washington was a soldier and statesman of the republic, not a perfect one, but a good one. On the opposite side was poor King George III, the puppet of the evil Earl of Shelbourne, and the epitome of oligarchism, the heritage of Sparta. The tradition of King George III, which deems that some men must be kept slaves, is an oligarchical view, which hates the idea of the equality of the individual in respect to the individual human being’s possession of that divine spark, the individual human being’s right to the development of that spark, the nurture of its activity, and the defense and perpetuation of its good works.

Such is the conflict. In our time, the great American Republic, by virtue of the cultivation of ignorance and concern with smallness of mind, and neglect of the importance of what comes after us in the living of our mortal lives, has been so undermined, degraded, and corrupted, that we as a nation no longer are the nation we were conceived to be, but instead have become a nation brain-drained in front of our television sets, thinking with greater passion about mere spectator sports or mere television soap-opera than we do about urgent events in real life. We are a nation seeking gratification in drugs, in sordid forms of sexual activity, in other sordid entertainments, in that kind of pleasure-seeking, which echoes the words Sodom and Gomorrah.

And so, oligarchism, that which George III of England represented back in the eighteenth century, has taken over and rules the land which was once George Washington’s.

What this leads to is this. Today, there is a great revolution around the world against tyranny in all forms. So far, this revolution has manifested itself within the communist sector against communist tyrannies. But it is coming here, too. Wherever the divine spark of reason is being crushed by oligarchical regimes, with all their cruelties, the divine spark of reason within human beings inspires them to arise, to throw off the tyranny—not out of anger and rage against tyranny, but because the divine spark of reason in each person must be affirmed. We seek not merely to be free from oligarchy; we seek to be free from oligarchy, because not to do so would be to betray the divine spark of reason in ourselves and in others.


The secret of great revolutions, of great civil rights movements, as Dr. King’s example illustrates, is this capacity, which the Greek New Testament called agapē, which Latin called caritas, which the King James version of the Bible calls charity, which we otherwise know as love. Whenever this power of love, this recognition of that divine spark, setting us above the beasts, prevails, wherever people can approximate that view of the sum total of their lives, as if from 50 years after their deaths, whenever movements arise which, out of love, produce people who are willing, not fruitlessly, but for a purpose, to lay down their lives, so that their lives might have greater meaning, for this purpose—there you have the great revolutions of history.

If we were to project events on the basis of what is taught in the schools about revolutions and other struggles of the past, then the human race at present were doomed. If we say that people struggle against this and that oppression, and so forth, and out of rage or whatnot, overthrow their cruel oppressor, we should lose; the human race would lose. However, if we touch the force of love, the spark of divine reason, we unleash a force, a creative force, a divine force, which is greater than any adversary, and we win. Those revolutions, which are based upon the appeal to this divine spark of reason within the individual, prevailed. Those which worked otherwise produced abominations, or simply failed.

Yes, we must struggle against injustice. But it is not enough to struggle out of anger. We must struggle out of love. And that we learn best, who have had to walk as leaders of one degree or another, through our own Gethsemane, with the image of the Cross before us.

That is the best I can say. I might say it better, but what I try to say with these poor words, is the best I can say summarily, on the subject of current history. I believe, that the great upsurge of humanity, implicit in the optimism I express, is now in progress. I am persuaded that we shall win, provided that each of us can find in ourselves that which makes us the right arm of the Creator, a man, a woman of providence, within the limits of our own capacities and opportunities.

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

Dictated from prison

Rochester, Minnesota

January 17, 1990



Beethoven 250 år og menneskehedens æstetiske opdragelse

Afskrift af en tale Michelle Rasmussen, næstformand for Schiller Instituttet i Danmark, holdt ved Schiller Instituttet i Danmarks videokonference: Verden efter valget i USA, den 8. december 2020

Se hele konferencen her.

Vi har en civilisationskrise: en konfrontationspolitik, som kan føre til krig med Rusland og Kina, en COVID-19-pandemi, økonomiske og finansielle kriser og en voksende sultkatastofe i Afrika.
Vil vi etablere en ny retfærdig økonomisk verdensorden eller vil det ende i kaos og krig?

Det er en kamp mellem helt forskellige menneskesyn.
LaRouche understregede altid: hvad er forskellen mellem mennesker og dyr?
Er vi dyriske?
Eller har vi en iboende kreativ erkendelsesevne, som gør os i stand til at opdage nye principper — noget nyt, som ingen andre har tænkt på.
I videnskab opdager vi nye naturvidenskabelige principper.
I kunst opdager vi nyt om vores egne kreative evner, som kan deles med andre, som i et orkester eller kor eller med tilhørerene.

Skønhed, som Schiller sagde, forædle vores følelser og vores intellekt —
ikke kun rå følelser som dominerer os uden intellekt,
ikke kun intellekt uden medfølelse og næstekærlighed.

Men gennem at lege, speciel gennem kunst, at spille, kan de to går op i en højere enhed, som vi kalder en æstetisk tilstand, når vi er omfavnet af skønhed.

Det var Schillers løsning efter den franske revolution, som ikke endte som den amerikanske, men i et blodbad.

Platon skrev, at den vigtigste uddannelse for sjælen var musik — at fylde sjælen med skønhed og gøre den skøn.
Mennesket ville så lovprise skønhed, modtage den med glæde i sin sjæl, og blive til en skøn sjæl.

Den 16. december fejrer vi Beethoven 250-års fødselsdag.
Vi fejrer ham, som en af de mest kreative sjæle i historien, men vi fejrer også menneskehedens erkendelsesmæssige evner.

Studér Beethoven for bedre at forstå, hvad vi mennesker er.
Beethoven, selv da han ikke var i stand til at høre sin egne musik, hørte den alligevel i sit sind, og udfordrede sig selv til at lave det ene gennembrud efter det anden.

Der var ingen stilstand eller entropi, men hvad LaRouche kalder ikke-entropi.

At viljemæssigt blive mere og mere bevist om, at kende sine egne erkendelsesmæssige evner, og presse dem til det yderste for at kunne stige op til det næste niveau, og som han skrev, at nærme sig Guds egen skaberkraft.

Og han havde et formål: at opløfte den trængende menneskehed.
Han var bevidst om musikkens rolle med at forædle menneskene.

Gennem at spille, synge eller lytte, kan Beethovens kreativitet deles med andre —
noderne på papiret, er ikke kun toner, men nøglen til Beethovens kreative sind.

Og dermed kan andre mennesker bekræfte et positivt menneskesyn, som også havde en politisk dimension for Beethoven — stræben efter frihed.
Som Schiller sagde, vejen til frihed går gennem skønhed.

For at fejre Beethoven så lyt til eller syng og spil hans værker. Genoplev hans åndelige gennembrud, bekræft den menneskelig kreativitet, skab et samfund, hvor vi kan genopdage den tabte kunst at skabe skøn musik,
måske endnu mere kreativ end Beethoven, og udvikle vores erkendelsesmæssige evner, for hele menneskehedens skyld.

Så blev der spillet den første del af 2. sats af Beethovens 7. symfoni, dirigeret af Wilhelm Furtwängler, som eksempel.
Ud fra en enkel begyndelse tilføjes flere og flere stemmer for at skabe noget stort og opløftende.

Se også Deadlines indslag om Beethoven 250 år den 7. december 2020 14,

Klik her og så 14:46 minuter inde i programmet

Fra arkivet: Hvordan Frihedsgudinden blev bygget

“Frihedsgudinens sande historie er, at den var en transatlantisk sammensværgelse for at udbrede idéerne bag den amerikanske revolution tilbage til det europæiske kontinent, hvor de blev født.”

“The real story of the Statue of Liberty is one of a transatlantic conspiracy to spread the ideas behind the American Revolution back to the European continent where they were born.”

af Michelle Rasmussen (Michelle Magraw) publicerede i The Campaigner i september 1981.

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Eller klik her for at læse artiklen på The Campaigner arkiv. Klik bagefter på siderne 53-56 på venstre siden (på engelsk).



Den dybereliggende proces bag
Alma Deutschers musikalske geni (på dansk).
Af Michelle Rasmussen

Jeg ønsker at skrive skøn musik musik, som gør verden bedre. Alma Deutscher.

… Vores politiske bevægelse (Schiller Instituttet og LaRouche-bevægelsen) er dedikeret til ideen om, at alle børn kan blive genier, hvis deres kreative potentiale udvikles. Dette er Alma et bevis på.

Vi er overbevist om, at menneskehedens vigtigste udfordring består i at udvikle en strategi for udløsning af kreativiteten hos alle mænd, kvinder og børn, og at en afgørende metode til at opnå dette er gennem at genopleve fortidens kreative opdagelser. Også dette er Alma et bevis på.

Og vi er fast besluttet på at skabe en ny, global renæssance, for hvilken renæssance nye musikkompositioner, baseret på principperne for den mest storslåede, klassiske musik, vil være med til at vise vejen. Og igen, Almas unge, musikalske sind og sjæl beviser allerede, at dette er muligt. 

See also the english version of the article here.

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Evighedens samtidighed kommer for at fejre
Lyndon LaRouches 95-års fødselsdag

English: See below

Kun få mennesker opnår at blive 95 år – så når de gør, er der grund til at fejre dem. Men endnu færre er de, der har brugt deres tildelte år, mange eller få, til at ændre historiens gang, sådan, som Lyn har gjort, og til at inspirere så mange til at handle for også selv at ændre historiens gang. Under festen lørdag, den 9. sept. i Tyskland, i en vindyrkers restaurant i Münster-Sarmsheim an der Nahe, blev der derfor bragt gaver i form af udtryk for menneskelig kreativitet til en mand, der har kæmpet så hårdt, og så længe, for at bringe princippet om menneskelig kreativitet ind i økonomi, ind i politik, ind i kunst og videnskab, til gamle og unge, og i hele verden. Fra poesi til drama; fra Lieder, operaarier og til korværker.

Nogle af Lyns bedste venner fra evighedens samtidighed var særlige gæsteoptrædende for at gøre festivitassen større: Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms og Verdi, og, åh ja, også Schiller. Fra Helga Zepp-LaRouche kom et originalt digt på tysk, og fra nogle af de tilstedeværende medlemmer af LaRouches politiske bevægelse kom der musikalske kompositioner og arrangementer. Kunstneriske værker på tysk, engelsk, italiensk og dansk; værker på kinesisk, koreansk og afrikanske sprog.

Takkeord blev givet til en mand, der har ændret alle vore liv – der har givet os retning, formål og missioner på vegne af hele menneskeheden. Som rent politisk har kæmpet med sit intellekt, som boksere kæmper med næverne, og således anført vejen.

Deltagerne var rejst fra hele Tyskland, fra Frankrig, Italien, Sverige, Danmark, USA og Rusland. Gid vi alle kunne have været til stede.

Men mange af dem, der ikke kunne være til stede, havde skrevet bidrag til et Festschrift, som blev overbragt Lyn af hans hustru og nærmeste medarbejder, Helga. Efter glassene med sekt var blevet hævet til Lyns ære, blev hun lokket til at recitere digtet, hun havde skrevet til sin kæreste mand, og som er det første bidrag i Festskriftet.

Det første musikalske indslag kom fra John Sigerson og Margaret Greenspan, der opførte An die ferne Geliebte (Til den fjerne elskede), og som Lyn virkelig nød. Det skabte en god atmosfære for resten af aftenen. (De var rejst fra USA for at synge og spille for Lyn, foruden også at have givet to koncerter i forbindelse med den aktuelle BüSo-valgkampagne, som køres af den tyske gren af LaRouche-bevægelsen.)

Dernæst fortsatte programmet efter kaffe og kage. Elliot Greenspan, en leder i Lyns Manhattan-projekt, præsenterede Lyn for flere minder fra dette projekt: et billede af aktivisterne, en original tegning af Leibniz med Verdenslandbroen som baggrund, en kalender med billeder af Manhattan-projektets aktiviteter, og et digt, skrevet af et af medlemmerne dér; og han spurgte Lyn, om, da han initierede projektet, havde forudset, at New York City ville producere den næste præsident, Trump. Lyn svarede, at vi ikke ved, hvor langt, Trump vil drive det. Vi har brug for ham nu, men, hvis han mislykkes, er det hans fejl, og det vil være beklageligt, men jeg tror, han kan vinde. Elliot responderede, at vi ikke blot har tænkt os at sidde og vente på at se, hvad der sker. Du sagde, Lyn, at du var for gammel til at opstille til præsident; men ikke for gammel til at forme præsidentskabet. Du gav os Hamilton-princippet og kor-princippet. Gav os, og eksemplificerede, princippet om det menneskelige intellekt, princippet om flanken og Schillers idé om patrioten og verdensborgeren. På vegne af især de amerikanske aktivister, er vi for altid taknemlige og forpligtet over for denne mission. Man kunne måske sige, at Trump er blevet vores Manhattan-projekt, eller, hvis man virkelig ønsker at gøre Amerika stort igen, »Vind med Lyn«. (Her indskød Lyn, mens han selv blev æret, en tanke om at ære de ofre og redningsfolk, der døde i Manhattan den 11. september, 2001.)

Dernæst fulgte Feride Gillesberg, som, akkompagneret af Werner Hartmann, sang en kinesisk folkesang. Hun opførte dernæst sammen med Michelle Rasmussen førsteopførelsen af en sang, som Michelle havde komponeret til digtet, »Kender du den store bog?«, af Hans Christian Andersen. Dette digt beskriver den store bog som værende naturen og det store univers, som mennesket kan læse og udlede visdom af.

Dernæst talte Kasia. Hun havde spurgt flere personer fra evighedens samtid om denne ballademager, Lyndon LaRouche, og hun reciterede deres erklæringer om, hvad egenskaben ved geni er, som sin gave til et nutidsgeni: Man kan kende et ægte geni på mængden af modstand, han får (Jonathan Swift og Einstein); på, hvordan én, der beundres af andre, selv ved, hvor langt væk, han er fra sit mål (Beethoven); menneskets tre moralske egenskaber er visdom, medfølelse og mod (Konfucius); jo mere, vi ved om Guds skaberværker, desto mere erkender vi dem for at være fremragende og i overensstemmelse med vore ønsker (Leibniz); og sluttelig, at længslen efter frihed og menneskets rettigheder er plantet af Gud i alle hjerter (Benjamin Franklin) og du, Lyn, har altid handlet som denne filosof.

Leena Malkki-Guignard fra Sverige fremførte en smuk opførsel af Schubert fra Schwanengesang, Frühlingsbotschaft og Ständchen. Hun takkede Lyn for hans inspiration. Disse to sange var to af de første, hun nogensinde opførte. Hun sang desuden en sang af Haydn, Fidelity.

Wiesbaden-koret, dirigeret af Werner Hartmann, sang et smukt arrangement af ham selv af den koreanske folkesang, Arirang, hvilket bragte en inderlig stemning af forening (idet sangen er en slags nationalhymne for begge Korea’er). Dernæst Berlin/Dresden-koret, der blev dirigeret af Benjamin Lylloff, og som sang tre folkesange, In stiller Nacht, Erlaube mir og All’ mein Gedanken af Johannes Brahms. De afsluttede med Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika, i Benjamins arrangement. Dette var en glad afslutning på første del af de kulturelle indslag.

Efter buffeten begyndte anden del med en scene fra Schillers skuespil Don Carlos mellem Kong Philip og Elisabeth, spillet af Hans-Peter Müller og Christa Kaiser.

Odile spillede en gigue af Bach på Violin. Det er altid en fornøjelse at høre hende spille.

Under anden del af programmet begyndte Jacques Cheminade (leder af Solidarité & Progrès; det franske parti, der udtrykker LaRouche-bevægelsens ideer) at holde en tale i denne ærefulde anledning. Men den ærede mand, hvis liv er karakteriseret af aktivitet, og ikke passivitet, begyndte at respondere til hver idé, og det, der fulgte, blev transformeret fra en monolog til en dialog, til alles, inklusive Jacques, fryd.

Dialogen frem og tilbage begyndte med, at Jacques erklærede, at Lyns og Helgas vision nu er ved at blive til virkelighed. Under diskussionen sagde Lyn, at hans helligelse, hans livsværk var den faste beslutning om, at mennesket må handle på universet for at løse problemer, og at han en kriger for forsvaret af menneskeheden som menneskehed.

Jacques sagde, at vi fejrer et øjeblik i den fremskridende evighedens samtidighed. Du har givet os en pilgrimsfærd for fremtidens sag – på grund af det, du og Helga har gjort, har vi en chance for at blive en del af fremtiden.

Diskussion inkluderede et enormt angreb mod stupiditeten i de nuværende tyske og franske systemer, og den amerikanske befolkning. Lyn spurgte, om menneskeheden kan forstå, hvad der er galt med den. Det er den eneste måde at løse problemerne på.

Det eneste, der er vigtigt, er opdagelser i universet og om det er sandt eller falsk. Se på det store arbejde, Kina gør. Hvis man forstår, hvad sandheden kunne være, har man en chance.

Jacques konkluderede ved at sige, at fremtidens sange endnu ikke har ord, men at de sange, der er præsenteret her i aften, beviser, at vi har potentialet til at etablere relationer i hele verden. Hvis man kan gøre det, kan man frembringe civilisationens frelse.

Løsningen er at udvikle evnen til at rejse ud i rummet. Jacques sagde, at det var hans rumprogram, der fik den franske elite til at ønske at smide ham ud i rummet. Lyn svarede: Tag det som en mulighed!

Dernæst fulgte Ema Reuter, der meget bevægende fremførte Schuberts Der Wanderer med Benjamin på klaver. Dernæst fulgte kvartetten fra Fidelio, »Mir ist’s so wunderbar«, med Feride som Marzeline, Leena som Leonore, Tom som Rocco og John som Jacquino, og Benjamin på klaver.

Tom Gillesberg fra Danmark sagde, at han håbede om fem år, i anledning af Lyns 100-års fødselsdag, at kunne holde en tale om åbningen af LaRouche Universiteter i mange lande (der var mere herom i hans bidrag til Lyns Festskrift). Vi befinder os i en tid, hvor nødvendighed og mulighed mødes. Lyn svarede ved at sige, at man må gøre det for at opnå sejr. Bringe kræfter i Italien og andre lande sammen om et fælles mål. Det vil gøre det. Det er absolut nødvendigt. Eller, vi mister alt. Man kan ikke have enkeltstående kontorer. Man må satse fuldt og helt. Satse for at vinde, og vinde for menneskeheden.

Herefter sang Leena igen, og hun fremførte Desdemonas sang om Grædepilen og Ave Maria fra Verdis Othello. Dette var en bevægende afslutning på en lang aften, hvor John sammen med Margaret glad sang Das Wandern af Schubert.

Og således blev Lyns 95-års fødselsdag fejret, sammen med nogle af hans mange venner og medarbejdere, både de nulevende og fra fortiden, med opløftende musik og ord, og god mad og vin. Og, ikke at forglemme, den lille hund Holly (Helgas hund), der også var til stede for at lykønske Lyn!

(Den engelske EIR-artikel kan ses her: http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/private/2017/2017_30-39/2017-38/pdf/36-39_4438.pdf)

Foto: Lyndon LaRouche og hans hustru, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, på Lyns 95-års fødselsdag.

 Bilag: H.C. Andersens digt: »Kjender du den store bog?«:

Sang ved de skandinaviske Naturforskeres sidste møde den 9de Juli 1840.

Kjender Du den store Bog,
Hvor hvert Blad et Aar omfatter,
Bogen, som til Skrifttegn tog
Skoven, Havet, Skjønheds-Datter,
Edderkoppens fine Spind,
Kloderne i Himmel-Rummet!

Hvo i Bogen trænger ind,
Han Guds stemme har fornummet!

Bogen er Naturens Bog,
Den hver Tanke slutter inde,
Der den Vise Viisdom tog,
Der vi Skjaldens Sange finde;
Som man denne Bog forstaaer,
Har man Rang i Aandens Rige,
Ganske fatte den, det gaaer
Uden for os Dødelige!

Udtal hver da hvad han fandt,
Udtal det paa Mængdens Veie,
Og alt Skjønt og Godt og Sandt
Skal da blive Verdens Eie.
Nordens Sønner, eens i Aand
Og med fælles Sprog og Minder,
Musen Eder Haand i Haand
Granskende om Bogen finder.

Samled´ er de Brødre tre,
Granskende i Guddoms-Værket;
Gran og Birk og Bøg vi see,
Malet staae i Skjoldemærket,
Nordens Stjerne oventil,
Ens det er i Hjerte-Grunden;
Aanden Norden samle vil,
Broder er af Broder funden.

Kilde: H.C. Andersens “Samlede Skrifter” Tolvte Bind.1879.

Oversigt over H.C. Andersen digte – Hans Christian Andersen poems.

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Den dybereliggende proces bag
Alma Deutschers musikalske geni:
En 12-årig komponist af klassisk musik

Vores politiske bevægelse [LaRouche-bevægelsen og Schiller Instituttet] er dedikeret til ideen om, at alle børn kan blive genier, hvis deres kreative potentiale udvikles. Dette er Alma et bevis på.

Vi er overbevist om, at menneskehedens vigtigste udfordring består i at udvikle en strategi for udløsning af kreativiteten hos alle mænd, kvinder og børn, og at en afgørende metode til at opnå dette er gennem at genopleve fortidens kreative opdagelser. Også dette er Alma et bevis på.

Og vi er fast besluttet på at skabe en ny, global renæssance, for hvilken renæssance nye musikkompositioner, baseret på principperne for den mest storslåede, klassiske musik, vil være med til at vise vejen. Og igen, Almas unge, musikalske intellekt og sjæl beviser allerede, at dette er muligt.

Den efterfølgende artikel er på engelsk. (Se også den danske version her.)

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Syngende spørgsmål og svar med Alexander Gent Gillesberg (7 år) og Michelle

Singing question and answer with Alexander Gent Gillesberg (7 years old) and Michelle

Marts 2017, March 2017::


Den 3. marts 2017, March 3, 2017


Den 3. marts 2017, 2. sang, March 3, 2017, second song


Der kommer flere om nogle dage.

More are coming in a few days.

Indslag om Alma Deutscher på “60 Minutes” CBS tv-program den 5. november 2017.

Vidunderlig koncert, »En Dialog mellem Kulturer«, et gennembrud i København

Video med danske undertekster:

Video with English subtitles:


Dansk: Klik her for en video, hvor sopran Gitta-Maria Sjöberg synger Rusalkas sang til Månen i en anden koncert (med en anden pianist)

English: Click here for a video where soprano Gitta-Maria Sjöberg sings Rusalka’s Song to the Moon during another concert (with another pianist).

17. februar, 2017 – De kom fra hele verden. De bragte gaver. Ikke gaver, man kunne røre med hænderne. Men gaver, der rørte sjælen. Gaver, i form af skøn musik og skøn dans.

Og folk kom for at høre dem. De blev ved med at komme, indtil der ikke var flere af de 120 pladser tilbage. Og da der ikke var plads til ekstra stole, stod de i gangene, og de stod i forhallen, og de sad bag gardinerne. De var danskere, og de var diplomater, og de var andre mennesker fra mange nationer, måske 180-200 i alt. Værtinden sagde, at der aldrig før havde været så mange i salen.

Dialogen mellem kulturer, mellem selve sponsorerne, førte til den store succes – Schiller Instituttet, organisationen Russisk-Dansk Dialog, det Russiske Hus i København og det Kinesiske Kulturcenter (som står for snarlig åbning, og som også leverede mad i pausen). Koncerten afholdtes i det Russiske Center for Videnskab og Kultur, som repræsenterer den Russiske Føderations myndighed for forbindelse til Fællesskabet af Uafhængige Stater (fra det tidligere Sovjetunionen), russere i udlændighed og det internationale humanistiske samarbejde (Rossotrudnichestvo).

Aftenens første punkt var Schiller Instituttets danske formand, Tom Gillesberg, der fortalte, at vi står ved et historisk øjeblik i verdenshistorien, hvor muligheden er til stede for, at USA tilslutter sig det nye paradigme med økonomisk udvikling, som nu fejer hen over verden.

Dernæst fortalte talskvinde for Russisk-Dansk Dialog, Jelena Nielsen, at en dialog mellem kulturer kan føre til fred i verden. Tom og Jelena skiftedes til at annoncere kunstnerne aftenen igennem.

Og som det tredje punkt i indledningen til aftenen bød direktør for det Russiske Center for Videnskab og Kultur, Artem Alexandrovich Markaryan (ses i billedet ovenover), velkommen til publikum.

Dernæst begyndte processionen af gave-giverne.

Fra Rusland kom børn, der spillede russiske folkemelodier på balalajkaer, ensemblet »Svetit Mesjac« (Den skinnende Måne) fra Det russiske Hus, med Igor Panich som dirigent, og som inkluderede ’Katjusha’ med barytonsolist Valerij Likhachev, der har optrådt på 200 scener. Senere fremførte han også Leperellos »Listearie« fra operaen »Don Juan« af Mozart, og Mefistofeles’ couplet fra Gounods opera »Faust« sammen med sin pianist, Semjon Bolshem.

Fra Kinas Indre Mongolia region kom en meget musikalsk ung videnskabsstuderende, Kai Guo, som spillede på mange fløjter, og Kai Guo og Feride Istogu Gillesberg fra Schiller Instituttet sang i charmerende duet, den kinesiske kærlighedssang »Kangding«.

Fra Indonesien kom en traditionel danser, Sarah Noor Komarudin, der fyldte rummet med sin yndefulde Jaipong-dans.

Fra Ghana kom to unge mænd, Isaac Kwaku og Fred Kwaku, der sang og spillede en religiøs sang og en sang, der handlede om, at, når vi arbejder sammen, er vi stærkere, end når vi står alene.

Og fra Danmark og Sverige kom tre fantastiske, kvindelige operasangere, hvis toner og dramatiske intensitet bevægede publikum dybt. Deres gaver var sange og arier af Schubert, Verdi, Dvořák og Sibelius. Gitta-Maria Sjöberg, en international, lysende sopranstjerne, der for nylig trak sig tilbage fra den Kongelige Danske Opera, sang Rusalkas »Sangen til Månen« af Dvořák. Idil Alpsoy, en fremragende mezzosopran med rødder i Ungarn og Tyrkiet, og som også er medlem af Mellemøstligt Fredsorkester, sang sange fra Sibelius’ Op. 37 og 88. Og en sopran, som vi i årenes løb har hørt blomstre og blive en virkelig brillant kunstner, Leena Malkki, sang Schuberts »Gretchen am Spinnrade« (Gretchen ved spinderokken), samt Desdemones bøn »Ave Maria«, fra Verdis opera »Othello«. De to første blev akkompagneret af Christine Raft, en særdeles talentfuld, ung dansk pianistinde, og sidstnævnte akkompagneredes af Schiller Instituttets egen Benjamin Telmányi Lylloff. Han spillede sammen med sin mor Anika en gribende Romance for violin og piano af Beethoven, og fortsatte således det eftermæle, som de har fået i arv fra deres forfader fra Ungarn, violinsolisten Emil Telmányi Lylloff.

I aftenens finale sang alle sangerne (for nær én), og med yderligere deltagelse af fire medlemmer af Schiller Instituttets fremtidige kor, det hebraiske slavekors sang »Va pensiero«, hvor slaverne længes efter frihed, fra Verdis opera »Nabucco«.

(Se program nedenfor eller på:  www.schillerinstitut.dk/si/?p=17637)

Og folk blev opløftet dels af den enkelte fremførelse, og dels af de successive musikstykker og danseoptrædener, det ene efter det andet, det ene land efter det andet, med traditionel musik i dialog med klassisk musik, der vævede en gobelin af lyd, syn og fryd, der ikke (kun) nåede sanserne, men sjælen.

Folk blev bedt om at holde kontakt med os og overveje at gå med i Schiller Instituttets kor, og nogle af dem skrev, at det ville de gerne.

Da de gik, gav de alle udtryk for den mest sublime glæde og taknemmelighed for at have fået det privilegium at modtage alle disse kostelige gaver, som de tog med sig hjem som et minde i deres sind, og som de kan åbne igen og igen.

Et musikalsk vidnesbyrd om det paradoksale mellem menneskehedens enhed og flerhed, udtrykt gennem menneskelig kreativitet, og et magtfuldt udtryk for dialogen mellem kulturer, blev proklameret.

Vi vil fortsætte med denne proklamation i form af professionelle video- og audiooptagelser, så dens ringe kan spredes i hele verden. 

Kontakt venligst Schiller Instituttet, hvis du overvejer at gå med i vores kor i København. Michelle tel.: 53 57 00 51; Feride tel.: 25 12 50 33


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The following article was published in Executive Intelligence Review, Vol. 44, No. 8, on February 24, 2017. 


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(Corrections to the above article:

The China Culture Center in Denmark is independent of the Chinese Embassy.

Picture caption and text: Chinese musician Kai Guo is from China’s Inner Mongolia region.

The correct name for Anika and Benjamin’s ancestor is Emil Telmányi.

The picture of Leena Malkki is a video grab.)


Wonderful Musical Dialogue of Culture Concert Breakthrough in Copenhagen

by Michelle Rasmussen

COPENHAGEN, Feb. 17, 2017 (EIRNS) — They came from around the world. They came bearing gifts. Not gifts you could touch with your hands. But gifts that touched your soul. Gifts of beautiful music, and beautiful dance.

And the people came to hear them. And they kept coming, and they kept coming till none of the 120 seats were left. And after there was no more room for extra chairs, they stood in the aisles, and they stood in the lobby, and they sat behind the curtains. They were Danes, and they were diplomats, and other people, from many nations, maybe 180-200 in total. The hostess said that there had never been so many there before.

The dialogue of cultures between the sponsors of the concert, itself, led to the great success – The Schiller Institute, The Russian-Danish Dialogue organization, The Russian House in Copenhagen, and the China Culture Center of the Chinese Embassy (about to open, which also provided intermission food). And the concert was held in The Russian Center for Science and Culture, representing the Russian Federal agency for the Commonwealth of the Independent states (of the former Soviet Union), compatriots living abroad, and the international humanistic cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo).

Firstly, the people were told by Schiller Institute chairman Tom Gillesberg that we have a unique moment in world history, where the potential is there for the U.S. to join the new paradigm of economic development sweeping the world. Secondly, they were told by the spokeswoman for Russian-Danish Dialogue, Jelena Nielsen, that a dialogue of culture can lead to peace in the world. They were also the interchanging hosts for the evening. Thirdly, the director of The Russian Center for Science and Culture, Artem Alexandrovich Markaryan, welcomed the people.

Then the procession of gift-givers began.

From Russia came children playing Russian folk songs on balalaikas, (the “Svetit Mesjac” (The Moon is Shining) ensemble from The Russian House, conducted by Igor Panich), including Katjusha, with soloist Valerij Likhachev, baritone, who has sung on 200 stages. He also later performed Leperello’s list aria, from the opera Don Giovanni by Mozart, and Mephistopheles’ couplets, from Gounod’s opera Faust, together with his pianist Semjon Bolshem.

From China’s Inner Mongolia region came a very musical young science student, Kai Guo, who played many flutes, and he and Feride Istogu Gillesberg from The Schiller Institute charmingly sang the Kangding Chinese love song, as a duet.

From Indonesia came a traditional dancer, Sarah Noor Komarudin, who filled the room with her graceful Jaipong dance.

From Ghana came two young men, Isaac Kwaku and Fred Kwaku, who sang and played a religious song, and a song about when we work together, we are stronger than when we stand alone.

And from Denmark and Sweden came three outstanding female opera singers, whose tones, and dramatic intensity, moved the audience profoundly. Their offerings were songs and arias from Schubert, Verdi, Dvořák and Sibelius. Gitta-Maria Sjöberg, an international bright star of a soprano, who recently retired from The Royal Danish Opera, sang Rusalka’s Song to the Moon by Dvořák. Idil Alpsoy, a fantastic mezzo soprano with roots in Hungary and Turkey, who is also a member of the Middle East Peace Orchestra, sang songs from Sibelius’ Op.37 and 88. And a soprano, Leena Malkki, we have heard for many years blossoming into a truly magnificent artist, sang Schubert’s Gretchen am Spinnrade (spinning wheel), and Desdemona’s prayer Ave Maria, from Verdi’s opera Othello. The first two were accompanied by Christine Raft, an extremely talented young Danish pianist, and the later by The Schiller Institute’s own Benjamin Telmányi Lylloff.

He, and his mother Anika, poignantly played Beethoven’s Romance for violin and piano, continuing the legacy bequeathed by their ancestor from Hungary, the violin soloist Emil Telmányi.

For the finale, all the singers (but one), sang Verdi’s chorus of the Hebrew slaves longing for freedom, Va, pensiero, with the addition of four members of The Schiller Institute’s future chorus. See the program at: www.schillerinstitut.dk/si/?p=17965

And the people were uplifted, with each presentation by itself, and with the succession of one piece of music, or dance, after the other, one country after another, traditional music in dialogue with classical music, weaving a tapestry of sound, sight and delight, not reaching their senses, but their soul.

And the people were asked to be in contact with us, and to consider joining The Schiller Institute’s chorus, some of whom wrote that they would.

As they left, they all expressed the most sublime joy and thankfulness for having had the privilege to have received all of these precious gifts, which they took home in the memory of their minds, to be opened again, and again.

A musical testament to the paradox of the unity and diversity of mankind, expressed by human creativity, and a powerful statement of the dialogue of cultures was declaimed.

We will go forth with this statement, in the form of professional video and audio recordings, to spread its ripples throughout the world.

(Hopefully ready this week.)

‘All Men Become Brothers’:
The Decades-Long Struggle for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
(‘Alle mennesker bliver brødre’:
Den årtierlange kamp for Beethovens niende Symfoni)

See Appendix I & II below the main article.

Læs den danske oversættelse her: Ny Specialrapport: Beethovens årtier lange kamp for den Niende Symfoni

The main article was published in Executive Intelligence Review, June 26, 2015, Vol. 42, No. 26.
Michelle Rasmussen is Vice President of The Schiller Institute in Denmark. E-mail: mich.ras@hotmail.com

The Schiller Institute in the U.S. has also published an html version of the main article. Read it here.

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N.B.: There is a mistake at the end of the main article as published in EIR. The following quote is from Schiller, and not Beethoven:

There is something mysterious in the effect of music, that it moves our inner self, so that it becomes a means of connection between two worlds. We feel ourselves enlarged, uplifted, rapt—what is that called other than in the domain of Nature, drawn to God? Music is a higher, finer language than words. In the moments, where every utterance of the uplifted soul seems too weak, where it despairs of conceiving more elegant words, there the musical art begins. From the outset, all song has this basis.

Appendix I & II:

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Listen to an hour-long response to the article by Fred Haight of the Schiller Institute in Canada. He discusses how Beethoven must have written the first three movements of the 9th Symphony with the last, choral, movent in mind. He makes an analogy to Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, Brahm’s Four Serious Songs, and a Bach fugue, before presenting his musical evidence regarding the 9th Symphony.


Links to other  articles on music by the author:

Bach, Mozart and the “Musical Midwife” 

The Musical Offering: A musical pedagogical workshop by J.S. Bach, or, The musical geometry of Bach’s puzzle canons

Robert and Clara Schumann, and their teacher J.S. Bach

Poesiens Californien:
H.C. Andersens videnskabelige optimisme

I Poesiens Californien taler Andersen lidenskabeligt for videnskab som den gyldne kilde til poetisk inspiration, en lampe, der kaster lys  på vejen til fremtiden, holdt højt af digteren, »Lysbæreren for Tider og Slægter.«

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English versions:

Complete version:

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Abridged version as published in EIR, Executive Intelligence Review on April 19, 2013:

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TEMA-ARTIKEL: Shakespeare and Metaphor

The language of human creativity vs. deductive “Sudoku” thinking, or What quality must language posses, so that we may go to Mars?

by Michelle Rasmussen

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Robert and Clara Schumann,
and their teacher Johann Sebastian Bach

Robert Schumann’s 200th birthday article by Michelle Rasmussen, Vice President of the Schiller Institute in Denmark

The world celebrated the 200th birthday of the great German composer Robert Schumann on June 8, 2010. The article below is a contribution to that celebration.

Original English version:

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Dansk resumé:

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Auf Deutsch:

The English-language pdf  is the longer version of the Danish resumé. It appears in the June 18, 2010 issue of Executive Intelligence Review (vol. 37, no. 24), from Washington, D.C.

The Danish resumé was printed in The Schiller Institute in Denmark’s campaign newsapaper 11, Summer 2010, released on June 1, 2010.

The German translation was published in Neue Solidarität, part 1 in 37. Jahrgang Nr. 23 · 9. Juni 2010, part 2 in Nr. 24 – 16 Juni 2010, and in the Ibykus 2011 yearbook.

Supplementary material:

Internet Appendix of supplementary material in English and German

A.Winning Robert and Clara Schumann’s Battle Against the Philistines. Hear author Michelle Rasmussen on The LaRouche Show, internet radio program from June 5, 2010.

B: Some Musical Examples Illustrating “Robert and Clara Schumann, and their teacher, J.S. Bach”:  mp3 of class by Michelle Rasmussen in New Jersey, USA, July 17, 2010.

C: Foredrag på dansk med musikstykker fra artiklen “Robert og Clara Schumann og deres lærer, Johann Sebastian Bach.” den 29. august 2010.

1. del: klik her           2. del: klik her

D. Robert Schumann’s Fugengeschichte (The History of Fugues), from the excerpts printed in Wolfgang Boetticher’s

Robert Schumann. Einführung in Persönlichkeit und Werk (Berlin: 1942) Michelle Rasmussen has a copy of the complete manuscript.

E. Robert Schumann’s Lehrbuch der Fugenkomposition (Textbook for the Composing of Fugues), from from the excerpts printed in Wolfgang Boetticher’s Robert Schumann. Einführung in Persönlichkeit und Werk (Berlin: 1942)

F: Schumann’s Fugal Themes from other manuscripts, from Wolfgang Boetticher’s Robert Schumann. Einführung in Persönlichkeit und Werk (Berlin: 1942)

G. Examples of how Schumann wrote contrapuntal settings for non-fugal themes, in “Das Fugenproblem” chapter from Wolfgang Boetticher’s Robert Schumann. Einführung in Persönlichkeit und Werk (Berlin: 1942)

H. Clara Schumann’s performances of Bach’s fugues and other works, from Bach und die Nachtwelt.

application/pdf iconAppendix I: Bach and Schumann chapter in Boetticher (auf deutsch) Band 1 1750-1850, Laaber Verlag, 1997, Michael Heinemann, Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen, editors. 
application/pdf iconAppendix K: Robert Schumann’s Performance of St. John’s Passion from Matthias Wendt,  from“Bach und Händel in der Rezeption Robert Schumanns,” See above pdf.


Schiller og historiens dynamik

Af Michelle Rasmussen

Om Friedrich Schillers indledende foredrag som historieprofessor på universitetet i Jena i 1789.

Menneskeheden er i dag nået frem til en historisk korsvej: Vil den igangværende globale økonomiske sammenbrudskrise, som har været under opbygning gennem flere årtier, ende i en tragedie, eller vil den anspore os til at gennemføre de politiske forandringer, der er nødvendige for at sikre os en lys og bedre fremtid? Skal vi have held med det sidste, er det en forudsætning, at vi forstår historiens dynamik, herunder det paradoksale forhold mellem den måde hvorpå historien bestemmer vort nuværende samfund, og det enkelte individs evne til, viljemæssigt, at forandre historien. Til det formål er Friedrich Schillers allerførste forelæsning, da han i 1789 tiltrådte stillingen som historieprofessor ved universitetet i Jena, en pragtfuld og rig inspirationskilde. Tiltrædelsesforelæsningen bar titlen: »Hvad er, og til hvilket formål studerer vi universalhistorie?«, og den giver ikke alene en bedre forståelse af begrebet »historisk dynamik«, men styrker også den enkeltes personlige identitet som et bindeled mellem fortiden og fremtiden.

Indledningsvis udfordrer Schiller sine studenter, og studenter til alle tider, ved at stille spørgsmålet: »Hvorfor ønsker I egentlig at uddanne jer?« Er det for at skaffe jer en stilling, der kan sikre jer mad på bordet? Schiller kaldte denne kategori af studerende for »de brødlærte«, og han advarede om, at med en sådan identitet og indstilling følger automatisk misundelse og jalousi over for andres viden og kunnen. For den »filosofiske student« derimod, for hvem lærdom og ny viden bærer belønningen i sig selv, vil andres gennembrud i stedet vække en følelse af taknemmelighed, fordi sådanne nye ideer vil bane vejen for en større tankemæssig harmoni og enhed. Schiller vil inspirere sine studenter til selv at hæve deres identitet op på et højere niveau.

Schiller beskriver, hvorledes historien skaber den kultur, som den enkelte gennemlever i sin samtid. Han gør historien levende ved at lade alle de paradoksale og modstridende processer, der fører til menneskehedens fremadskriden, væve et historisk billedtæppe, gennem hvilket han påviser nødvendigheden af at tage hele menneskehedens samlede historie som udgangspunkt, hvis man eksempelvis skal forklare og forstå, hvorledes ham og de studerende med deres sprog og religion, er samlet for at diskutere disse begreber på dette givne historiske tidspunkt.
Hvordan har menneskeheden været i stand til at udvikle sig fra bestialske samfund, kendetegnet ved slaveri, menneskeofringer og »alles krig imod alle«, til en samfundsorden, der inden Den franske Revolutions blodbad, syntes at åbne sig, hvor love og den indre moral syntes at gøre det muligt for folkeslag og nationer at leve i fred og fordragelighed med hinanden? Hvor det enkelte individ syntes at have friheden til at opdage nye videnskabelige principper, der kunne ændre naturen omkring dem, og skabe bevægende kunst til glæde for samfundet som helhed. Svaret skal findes i universalhistorien.

Universalhistorikeren stiller sig selv spørgsmålet: »Hvilke begivenheder og processer har skabt dette historiske øjeblik?« Derfra går han tilbage i tiden for at afdække en lang række af årsager og virkninger. Den enkelte historiske begivenhed kan nemlig ikke forstås isoleret fra andre begivenheder og processer. Man er nødt til at undersøge, hvad der skabte den, og hvad den ledte til. Men Schiller advarer også om, at historien på ingen måde er lineær. Et eksempel er Kristendommen, hvis fulde historiske effekt først viste sig flere århundreder efter den historiske begivenhed, der ledte til dens opståen. Eftersom der er mange huller i de historiske overleveringer, må universalhistorikeren også gøre brug af sin forestillingsevne, baseret på naturlov og den menneskelige sjæl, i forsøget at forklare menneskehedens fremskridt, selv om det ikke er helt præcist. Men så kommer man tættere på at »løse problemet med verdens ordning, og møde den Højeste i Hans Skønneste effekt.«


At gribe ind i historien
Men de enkelte individer i et samfund kan desværre sagtens svigte deres forpligtelse til at møde samtidens udfordringer. Samme år som Schiller holdt sin indtrædelsesforelæsning brød Den franske Revolution ud, og det efterfølgende blodbad fik Schiller til at betegne begivenhederne som »et stort øjeblik«, der havde fundet »et lille folk«. Med det i baghovedet kan man fristes til at spørge, om det egentlig er muligt for den enkelte at forandre samfundet i tide, så en tragedie kan undgås?

I en række artikler gennem de seneste måneder har Lyndon LaRouche med Schiller, Shakespeare og Percy Shelley som udgangspunkt beskæftiget sig med historiens dynamik. Her har han forklaret, at det er helheden, der bestemmer de enkelte bestanddele – at de enkelte samfund er formet af den kultur, de har arvet, som igen er tilvejebragt gennem sammenstød mellem modstridende kulturelle verdensanskuelser. Men, i epoker med alvorlige eksistentielle kriser, som den vi gennemlever netop nu, kan enestående individer finde styrken til at rejse sig op over samtidens dekadente kultur. I direkte modsætning til Shakespeares tragiske Hamlet, der aldrig fandt hverken mod eller mandshjerte til at hæve sig over det faktum, at der var »something rotten in the state of Denmark«.

Det enkelte individ er faktisk i stand til både at udpege og derefter kæmpe imod de dele af tids-åndens kultur, som vil lede til samfundets tragiske endeligt. Individer kan opdage og blive bevidste om, at mange af de forestillinger og meninger de engang troede, de selv havde formet og dannet, i virkeligheden er noget, de uden at have tænkt over det, har tilegnet sig gennem tidens medier, populærkultur, toneangivende personligheder og indlærte teorier. Når det så står klart, at samfundet står overfor et afgørende vendepunkt eller en dyb tragedie, tvinges det enkelte individ til at stille spørgsmålstegn ved de forestillinger og antagelser, man hidtil har taget for givne, og i en sådan situation vil man være i stand til at fralægge sig de holdninger, som man nu indser, har ført til krisen. Her, og kun her, opstår muligheden for en fredelig revolutionær forandring, der kan redde civilisationen. Og så, som var det en gnist, der antændte en omfattende brand, kan millioner af mennesker pludselig, og på én gang, reagere imod det, de nu finder forkert og uretfærdigt og rejse sig med ordene: »Vi er folket, og vi har fået nok«.

Den store engelske digter Percy Shelley skrev i sit essay Til digterkunstens forsvar, at i historiens store øjeblikke bliver det enkelte individ så at sige »større end sig selv«. Og hvad digterne angår, skrev Shelley, bliver de nærmest »forundrede over deres egne opdagelser, for det er mindre deres egen end tidsalderens ånd«. Tidens revolutionære ånd har kraft til at befri mennesker fra deres fastlåste tankegang og til at udløse en intens epoke med skabelse af nye opløftende ideer.

Som afslutning på sin tiltrædelsesforelæsning fremlægger Friedrich Schiller løsningen på historiens paradoks ved at vise, at det faktisk er muligt for det enkelte individ, formet af den forgangne tid, at ændre det som kommer, altså fremtiden. Han udvikler den smukke forestilling om, at man kan tilbagebetale den gæld, vi alle har til tidligere tiders generationer, til alle dem, der har måttet lide afsavn for at skabe vort historiske øjeblik, ved at gøre noget helt særligt i vor egen tid, som vil øge det, vi har arvet og yde et udødeligt bidrag til de kommende generationer. Læs Schillers egene ord:


Afslutning af Schillers foredrag

»Alle forudgående tidsaldre har – uden at vide det eller opnå det – anstrengt sig for at skabe vort menneskelige århundrede. Alle skatte, som flid og geni, fornuft og erfaring i løbet af verdens lange historie efterhånden har frembragt, tilhører os alle. Først via historien vil De lære at værdsætte de goder, som vane og følelsen af selvfølgelighed gør os utaknemmelige overfor: kostbare, dyrebare goder, som de bedste og ædleste mennesker har udgydt deres hjerteblod for, og som har måttet tilkæmpes gennem mange generationers møjsommelige arbejde. Og hvem blandt Dem, som besidder en vågen ånd og et følsomt hjerte, kan være bevidst om denne høje forpligtelse, uden at der hos ham opstår et ønske om at afvikle den gæld til de kommende generationer, som han ikke længere kan betale til de allerede svundne. Et ædelt ønske må flamme op i os om – så godt vi kan – at bidrage til den rige arv af sandhed, moral og frihed, som vi har modtaget fra de forrige generationer og rigt forøget atter må videregive til de kommende og dermed give vort bidrag til den uforgængelige kæde, som snor sig gennem alle menneskeslægter og derigennem styrke vor flygtige tilværelse.

Hvor forskellig den bestemmelse end er, som venter Dem i det borgerlige samfund – et eller andet kan De alle bidrage med! Enhver fortjenstfuld indsats åbner en vej til udødeligheden – den sande udødelighed, mener jeg – hvor handlingen lever og forplanter sig, selv om dens ophavsmand skulle forblive ukendt.«


Med den nuværende krise har vi for alvor nået et historisk øjeblik, hvor alt, hvad tidligere genrationer har opbygget, står på spil. Lyt derfor nøje efter. Kan du også høre fortidens stemmer bønfalde dig om handling og aktivt ansvar, der kan sikre, at deres ofre og afsavn ikke var forgæves? Kan du høre dem fremlægge deres modige gerninger som inspiration, så vores generation også vil gøre det muligt for fremtidens kvinder og mænd at give deres bidrag til menneskehedens videre udvikling?

Historien selv har til fulde vist, at det enkelte individ kan forandre historiens gang. Schiller gjorde i hvert fald. Med sine store poetiske, dramatiske, filosofiske og historiske evner bidrog han til udannelsen af mennesker, så de kunne modstå og undgå den tragedie, som Den franske Revolution udviklede sig til og samtidig forme de kommende generationer, så de engang i fremtiden vil blive i stand til at skabe ægte frie republikker i Europa:

Er du klar til at tage imod Schillers udfordring?


Læs Schillers tale på: schillerinstitut.dk/schiller250


Foto: Buste af Schiller foran Jenauniversitetets hovedbygning 

The Musical Offering:
A Musical Pedagogical Workshop by J.S. Bach, or
The Musical Geometry of Bach’s Puzzle Canons

Klik her

Bach, Mozart and the “Musical Midwife”

by Michelle Rasmussen

Published in The New Federalist, August 6, 2001.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

The sun was shining on Vienna, this Sunday morning in 1782. As the clock on the church tower was approaching 10:00, the 26-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was briskly walking towards the Royal Library, to the residence of Baron van Swieten, the former representative of the court of Vienna in Berlin, now, the chief librarian. He was whistling a theme from the manuscript he held in one hand, a manuscript he had just finished a few minutes before. With his other hand, he was carrying his viola.

The small group of the most promising young musicians in Vienna, whom the Baron invited to his house every Sunday, had now arrived. Mozart placed one of his newly dried manuscript copies on each of the four wooden music stands placed in a semi-circle in front of the marble fireplace. The Baron sat down in his comfortable chair nearby. Mozart, with a twinkle in his eye, unpacked his viola, and he and three of the other young musicians sat down in front of the music stands.

Then, they started to play. But not all at once. First Mozart played, alone — it was the theme he had been whistling. Then, the second violin entered, answering Mozart’s viola with the same theme, but this time played a fifth higher. Meanwhile, Mozart continued, playing the last part of the theme again, but this time one note higher than before, which meant that the last note he played, a note not even found in this key, uncomfortably clashed with the note then being played by the second violin, before things settled down when his next note came.

After the end of the second violin’s theme, Mozart and the second violinist continued playing a small duet, with each playing the second part of the theme even higher, until the first violinist raised his violin, and started playing the theme, this time, an octave above where Mozart had started. Simultaneously, Mozart’s viola and the second violin continued playing variations of this fragment of the theme, which intertwined with the first violinist, and with each other, until, unexpectedly, even before the first violin had finished his theme (at the point where the second part of the theme started), the ‘cellist took up the theme in deep resonant tones, while Mozart and the two violinists continued their intertwining themes. When the ‘cellist played the last tone of the theme, the Baron smiled, and closed his eyes, listening intensely, and with great joy, to the development of the fugue.

Just before the end, each of the four played the same harmonious theme, but instead of simultaneously, overlapped in such a way that a tense musical storm ensued, before calm was reestablished.

When the last tones had evaporated into the air, leaving evidence of their having sounded only in the hearts and minds of the gathered musicians, the Baron said, “Well Mozart, you have really brought the old Johann Sebastian back to life. And for that, I give you my deepest thanks.”

It had been the Baron’s idea. He had encouraged Mozart to transcribe three- and four-voice fugues from Johann Sebastian Bach’s groundbreaking work for keyboard instrument, the Well-Tempered Clavier. This, then, had been the first performance of Mozart’s transcription of Bach’s Fugue No. 5 in D Major, from Book II.

Baron van Swieten had scoured Berlin to find manuscripts of Bach and Händel, whose works were virtually unknown in Vienna, and had brought them back with him. He knew that it was by making their music come alive again, it was by learning from, and being inspired by their music, that he could help young musicians become good composers. He was convinced that it was through playing the greatest music of the past, that one could hope to create great music in the future.

The reconstruction above, by this author, is based on some of the known facts surrounding Mozart’s transcriptions of several three- and four-voice fugues from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. Mozart transcribed them during the period around 1782-83, when he attended Baron van Swieten’s Sunday-morning musical salon, and while a phase-change in his compositional method was occurring. This change was provoked by his encounters with Bach’s works, in combination with Joseph Haydn’s revolutionary new string quartets (Op. 33), written the year before.

To continue the year 2000 commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the death of Bach (1685-1750), and to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, this article concerning Mozart, and a projected future article on Robert and Clara Schumann, will present evidence of the degree to which these composers who lived after Bach, intensively studied and “re-composed” his works as pedagogical exercises, to deepen their knowledge of polyphony and counterpoint, and then directly made use of Bach’s compositional method in composing new works. This evidence will be presented through the words of these composers, and through several of their musical works, not widely known today.

Mozart’s Transcriptions of Bach
“I go to the house of Baron Van Suiten [sic] every Sunday at 10 o’clock and nothing is played there but Händel and Bach. I am making a collection of Bach’s fugues, those of Sebastian as well as Emanuel and Friedman [sic].—Also of Händel’s, and I don’t have those. I expect that you know that the ‘English Bach’ is dead? What a loss to the musical world!” Mozart wrote this to his father Leopold on April 10, 1782. In a letter to Leopold on Jan. 4, 1783, he writes that he is still going to Baron Van Swieten’s every Sunday, and on Dec. 6, 1783, he begs his father to send him some Bach fugues from Salzburg.

At Baron van Swieten’s, the young musicians pour over the Bach and Händel manuscripts the Baron had brought back from Berlin, playing them for each other. (See section on “The Musical Midwife,” at the end of this article for more about Baron van Swieten.)

Lyndon LaRouche has written about the revolutionary change provoked by Mozart’s exposure to two of Bach’s greatest works, The Musical Offering and The Art of the Fugue, at Baron van Swieten’s musical salon.1 Here, another aspect of his discovery of Bach is added, that of Mozart’s encounter with Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. At the Baron’s suggestion, Mozart transcribed three three-voice fugues from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier for string trio,2 plus Contrapunctus 8 from Bach’s Art of the Fugue,with a prelude consisting of a movement from Bach’s Organ Sonata No. 3 3; a prelude consisting of a movement from Bach’s Organ Sonata No. 2,4 followed by the fugal 3rd movement in C minor from the same sonata; and Fugue No. 8 by W.F. Bach. These six three-part preludes and fugues are known today as K. 404a.5 Since the preludes that accompany each of Bach’s fugues, were not well suited for string instruments, a special string trio prelude was composed for each one, generally considered written by Mozart. As David Shavin wrote in Fidelio, in these preludes, Mozart was “addressing the developmental potentialities of the fugal material that would have occupied Bach’s mind. Mozart, in presenting to the assembly his hypothesis as to how Bach’s mind worked, fashioned a powerful tool to aid in his own development, and in the development of those around him.”6

Mozart’s authorship of these preludes has been debated, however, because a manuscript from Mozart’s hand has never been found.7 The musicologist Julian Haylock wrote that these preludes “demonstrated an unerring emotional kinship with the fugues with which they are coupled. These preludes can be studied in relation to Mozart’s only other major work for string trio, the great Divertimento in E-flat major, K. 563, from 1788.

In addition to the three-voice fugues, previously mentioned, Mozart transcribed five of Bach’s four-voice fugues from the second book of the Well-Tempered Clavier, known as K. 405,8 and his manuscript exists. The significance of the four-voice fugues is that Mozart’s study of Bach’s treatment of four voices, could not but have revolutionized his thoughts concerning string-quartet writing.9

Mozart’s transcriptions are not exact. There has been a debate about these differences, which some attribute to possible mistakes in the manuscript he was using, and others to changes Mozart thought were necessary for musical reasons. “Even if Mozart copies, his creative fantasy plays and alters details, and each detail is worth notice,” Einstein writes.

Whereas Mozart’s manuscript for the Bach four-voice fugues has no introductions, the Austrian National Library in Vienna has a series of unsigned manuscripts of six four-part fugues of J.S. Bach (including four of those included in Mozart’s K. 405), and three of Bach’s five-part fugues,10 all with new introductions. The musicologist Warren Kirkendale writes that members of Baron van Swieten’s circle most likely wrote these, and that Mozart possibly wrote all or some of them. Another musicologist, Raymond Mayland, believes that Mozart or Haydn may have been involved in their composition.

Kirkendale concludes that the complete set of three-, four-, and five-part fugues originated from a manuscript that probably belonged to van Swieten.11

Bach’s ‘Well-Tempered Clavier’
Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier was a revolutionary work. It has been referred to as the “Old Testament” of Classical piano music. (The New Testament being Beethoven’s piano sonatas.) Finished in 1722, the full title was, “The Well-Tempered Clavier, or preludes and fugues in all the tones and semitones, both with the major third or ‘Ut, Re, Mi’ and with the minor third or ‘Re, Mi, Fa.’ For the use and profit of young musicians who are anxious to learn, as well as for the amusement of those who are already expert in the art.” This later became known as Book I of theWell-Tempered Clavier (BWV 846-869), and contained 24 preludes and fugues, one for each of the major and minor keys. A second book, Twenty-four New Preludes and Fugues, which repeated the procedure with 24 new compositions, was written between 1740-44 (BWV 870-93).

Bach used this work to explore, in depth, the new musical possibilities that arose as a result of the development of a new system of tuning keyboard instruments, called well-tempering, which could give these fixed-note instruments increased ability to play multi-voiced, or polyphonic music, as if there were different species of human voices singing together, with similar flexibility and irony.

In 1691, the German organist and mathematician Andreas Werckmeister (1645-1706) published a treatise entitled, “Musical Temperament or … mathematical instruction how to produce … a well-tempered intonation on the clavier.” Bach, Werckmeister, and others who supported the well-tempered system, rejected the previously held idea that musical intervals in the physical universe, had to conform to abstract mathematical proportions. This idea had put a straitjacket on the musical universe, limiting it to only those keys in which “pure” intervals could be played.

The new movement, of which Bach was a leader, created systems in which it would be possible to play music in all keys. The “comma” (the part of the octave that is left over if only mathematically “pure” musical intervals are used) was distributed unequally throughout all of the keys. (Different keys had different-sized intervals, giving each key its own nuance or “color,” creating a “musical palette,” which is lost in the modern practice of “equal-tempering,” where all half-notes have the same value.) It were then possible both to write music in every key, and to modulate—to move from one key to any another—within the same piece of music, in a way not possible before.

The musical universe was liberated from a system centered in the key-in-itself, or its closest neighbors, to being a system that was expanded to encompass all of the major and minor keys. In addition, Bach’s use of the Lydian interval, previously banned, and other lawfully created dissonances, served as a musical transcendental bridge, to allow musical development to supercede even the 24-key system.12

Musical action was transformed from being limited to change within a few keys, to becoming action based on the unlimited development of musical ideas throughout the entire “24-key-plus” musical universe, where musical development takes advantage of explicit and implicit relations between a whole range of different keys; where the possibilities to create musical change, transformation, paradox, and development are increased to the maximum.

“As any listener to a Bach composition can easily recognize, the position of any note, is an ambiguity, that becomes less ambiguous, as the composition unfolds, and the intervals so generated, and their inversions, are heard with respect to the well-tempered system of bel canto polyphony as a whole. It is the change, with respect to the whole well-tempered system, that determines the notes, not the notes that determine the change.” 13

Just before Bach, other composers had experimented with writing single pieces which modulated throughout all the keys, or with writing different pieces for all 24 keys.14 But Bach’s musical genius surpassed them. Bach-family biographer, Karl Geiringer, writes that Bach realized that the new system could revolutionize the method of fugal composition. Before, change was only possible by introducing new musical subjects or “counter-subjects,” or variations of the theme. Now, change was possible by writing developmental sections, called episodes, which would transport the theme from one key to another, with the establishment of the new key being solidified by the theme being announced in the new key. A greater “oneness” existed than ever before, because the material for the episodes was taken directly from the main theme, or the theme’s counterpoint.15

Bach continued to develop his fugal compositional method, later creating such masterpieces of creativity as the Musical Offering, and the Art of the Fugue.

The Importance of Studying Fugues
“This volume of fugues The Well-Tempered Clavier was always lying open on Mozart’s pianoforte,” recalled Mozart’s pupil Thomas Attwood.

In the process of writing the transcriptions for stringed instruments of Bach’s three- and four-voice fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Mozart had to separate out each of the voices, and regard them as individual, sovereign voices, in and of themselves, and see how they formed a unity with each other through musical dialogue. By doing so, Mozart gained greater insight into Bach’s method of composition, akin to “reliving” his creative thought processes.

Recall my reconstruction of a morning session at Baron van Swieten’s above. In a fugue, each voice enters by playing the theme, or a slight variation of the theme, and then paradoxically proceeds to unfold its voice in an independent manner, yet in dialogue with the other voices. Through studying Bach’s fugues, Mozart could study Bach’s method of composing several equally important, independent voices, which were created to be played together to form a beautiful whole.

Music that has more than one voice is called “polyphony” — from the Greek for “many voices.” The art of combining the many voices in a beautiful manner is called “counterpoint,” from “point against point.” This refers to the art of composing a second voice, to be played together with a given first voice. (Setting one “point,” or note, of a second voice, to one “point,” or note of a given first voice.) For example, adding one, or more, counterpoint voice(s), to a well-known Psalm melody.

When writing counterpoint, the composer strives to enable each voice to be a coherent, melodic voice, in and of itself. However, through natural development of each of the voices, including the use of the inversion of musical intervals or themes, they come into conflict with each other, creating what are called dissonances, or musical intervals that are uncomfortable, which create tension, and demand to be resolved. This creates an impetus for paradox, surprise, development, and change in the music. The art of counterpoint developed over centuries, and reached its highest point with Bach’s music.16

Posterity was given an insight into Bach’s ability to see the development potential of a given theme, from the following story told by one of Bach’s sons. Bach’s son was sitting next to him at a concert where a fugue was being performed. Just after the first presentation of the theme, Bach whispered to his son, predicting exactly which fugal techniques the composer would use to develop the theme. When, as predicted, the music developed exactly as Bach said it would, he nudged his son and said the equivalent of, “I told you so!”17

In other words, Bach could immediately see the pregnant developmental possibilities of a given theme — for example, which fugal development methods were appropriate: counterposing the theme to other voices playing the same theme, but starting at different times; maybe to the same theme played twice as long, or twice as fast; or to a changed theme, or part of the theme, maybe even upside down (inverted); or against one or more different musical ideas.

It also worked the other way around. A composer like Bach would choose an appropriate fugal theme based, firstly, on what type of musical development he had decided to achieve, and, secondly, on what type of fugal treatment could cause that result. The chosen theme would then be designed to be developed in that way.

Laurence Dreyfus, whose viol quartet recorded Mozart’s transcriptions of Bach’s four-voice fugues, wrote that one can see in the Bach fugues, “all kinds of foreshadowings of what later become staples of part-writing in Mozart’s late string quartets.” Referring to the fact that Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms were great pianists and well-versed in Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier,Dreyfus posed the irony that “the language of Bach’s four-voice fugues, perhaps even more than the canonic repertory of string quartets themselves, should profoundly inform so much of their polyphonic thinking.”

Mozart’s act of transcribing Bach’s fugues, enabled Bach, who died earlier in the same decade in which Mozart was born, to become Mozart’s teacher—from his grave!

Mozart’s string transcriptions also give performers and listeners greater ability to distinguish the separate voices, and follow their interplay, because of the unique “colors” and registration of the different string instruments. (This author has also experimented with having a vocal trio, comprised of three different types of singing voices, sing sections of one of Bach’s three-part fugues, Fugue No. 8, Book I of the Well-Tempered Clavier, during a class on polyphony and counterpoint.)

The Mozart-Haydn Dialogue
Mozart’s four-voice fugues based on Bach were written six months after the publication of Haydn’s revolutionary Op. 33 in 1781. Haydn’s breakthrough in writing his Op. 33 string quartets, which he called “auf eine ganz neue, besondere Art” (in an entirely new and special manner), was based on two musical discoveries. The first was his steps in the development of the kind of independence and equal standing of the different voices which characterized Bach’s fugues, for the four voices of a string quartet—how to write string quartets which are not limited to the first violin playing the melody, and the three other instruments playing more or less an “um-pa-pa” accompaniment. The second was the concept Prof. Norbert Brainin, the former first violinist of the legendary Amadeus Quartet, has termed “Motivführung”—a unity of the composition, achieved through the creative development of a musical motivic element presented at the very beginning, through playing with the potential variations and oppositions (inversions or negations) of that motivic element. Development was not limited to the “development” sections, but continued throughout the work.

In response to Haydn, Mozart would write his six “Haydn Quartets” from December 1782 to January 1785 (K. 387, 421, 428, 458, 464, 465). In these quartets, Mozart took what he had learned from his study of Bach, and from Haydn’s breakthroughs, and continued the musical revolution at an even higher level.

Listen to the fugue-like finale from the first of his “Haydn Quartets” K. 387, the string quartet Mozart wrote in December 1782, while he was attending Baron van Swieten’s salon, for a taste of Mozart’s earliest attempt to learn from both of these masters, and go further. The last three quartets embodied even more contrapuntal writing than the earlier ones. Listen especially to the first, second, and last movements of the fifth “Haydn Quartet,” String Quartet in A Major, No. 18, K. 464, written in 1785, for Mozart’s use of chromaticism and contrapuntal development. The last movement, which is based on a chromatically transformed version of the theme of first movement, has been called the “contrapuntal ne plus ultra” of Mozart’s Haydn quartets.

After hearing the last three of these quartets performed, Haydn said to Mozart’s father Leopold, “Before God, and as an honest man I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name. He has taste and, what it more, the most profound knowledge of composition.” Haydn’s earlier string quartets had also had an impact on the young Mozart. Before Op. 33, Haydn’s string quartets with fugal finales had become a model for Mozart’s early string quartets of 1772-73.

Musicologist Alfred Einstein, in the chapter on counterpoint in his book on Mozart,18 stressed that it was the development section of Haydn’s “Dialogue Quartets,” Op. 33 String Quartets, which helped Mozart to take what he had learned from Bach’s counterpoint, and make it into something new and Mozartian. Haydn’s new works helped Mozart to learn to play with counterpoint and polyphony.

It is reported that, in 1784, Mozart and Haydn actually played string quartets together in a “composers quartet,” with Haydn playing first violin, and Mozart playing viola, together with two other musicians. 19

The string quartet-centered musical revolution started by Haydn and Mozart was brought to a pinnacle by Beethoven. As Norbert Brainin has stated, the high point of string-quartet writing was found in Beethoven’s late string quartets, because the independence of each of the four voices is the greatest (yet they create the most beautiful whole).

There is a similar concept in Schiller’s work entitled Kallias, or On the Beautiful. There, Schiller states that a landscape painting is beautifully composed, when all parts play into one another as a whole, yet, each part seems to be acting out of its own free will. A tree bends down of its own weight, and thereby lets the mountain behind it be seen.

Mozart’s Own Fugal Writing
On April 20, 1782, just a few days after the above-mentioned letter in which Mozart told his father that he was collecting fugues by Bach, he wrote the following letter to his sister and fellow-musician, Maria-Anna, called Nannerl. Included was Mozart’s “Fantasy and Fugue” (K. 394). He wrote,

“I composed the fugue first and wrote it down while I was thinking out the prelude. I only hope that you will be able to read it, for it is written so very small; and I hope further that you will like it. Another time I shall send you something better for the clavier. My dear Constanze [whom Mozart would marry in August] is really the cause of this fugue’s coming into the world. Baron van Swieten, to whom I go every Sunday, gave me all the works of Händel and Sebastian Bach to take home with me (after I had played them to him). When Constanze heard the fugues, she absolutely fell in love with them. Now she will listen to nothing but fugues, and particularly (in this kind of composition) the works of Händel and Bach.

“Well, as she has often heard me play fugues out of my head, she asked me if I had ever written any down, and when I said I had not, she scolded me roundly for not recording some of my compositions in this most artistically beautiful of all musical forms and never ceased to entreat me until I wrote down a fugue for her. So this is its origin.

“I have purposely written above it, Andante Maestoso, as it must not be played too fast. For if a fugue is not played slowly, the ear cannot clearly distinguish the theme when it comes in, and consequently, the effect is entirely missed. When I get the time and opportunity, I will make another five [fugues] and deliver them to Baron van Suiten; because I have to say, he really owns, while admittedly very small in quantity, but in regard to quality, a very great treasure of good music.

“And therefore, I ask you to promise me not to take back your promise, and let no man see them. Learn them by heart and play them. A fugue is not so easy to play after only hearing it. — If father has not yet had the works of Eberlin copied, then I would be very pleased — I have gotten hold of them and — because I could no longer remember that, with a closer look, they are of too low a quality, and truthfully, do not deserve a place between Händel and Bach….”

Here we can catch the first glimpse of the effect that studying Bach’s and Händel’s fugues had on stimulating Mozart’s own creativity, and also the effect that Mozart’s wife, the soprano Constanze’s love for the fugue had on encouraging Mozart to develop his creativity through this art.20

After 1783 or 1784, Mozart stopped writing fugues as musical exercises.

In addition to the “Haydn Quartets” mentioned above, the inspiration Mozart derived from studying Bach’s fugal methods can be seen in the following works, among others, written during and after the 1782 period:

* A group of unfinished fugues 21

Einstein notes that the many unfinished fugues were not unfinished masterpieces, which were a shame to have been left undone, and were just waiting for a student to finish. Rather, he most probably dropped them, because he found them lacking in developmental potential. Most were left off during the developmental section, or just before.

* Prelude (fantasy) and Fugue in C, K. 394 (383a)

* Fugues K. 401 and 443

* C Minor Fugue for two pianos, K. 426 from 1783 (later transcribed by Mozart for a string quartet).

* Mozart’s C Minor Mass, K. 427 (417a), unfinished

Mozart worked on his C Minor Mass during the period he was attending Baron van Swieten’s salon in 1782-83. He had originally planned to perform it in Salzburg, the city of his birth, after his marriage to Constanze, but he did not finish it. The uncompleted mass was performed in October 1783, with Constanze as a soprano soloist.

The conductor of the Mozartverein, Kappelmeister Alois Schmitt, in the tradition of Mozart’s pupil Süssmayr’s work to complete Mozart’s Requiem, edited and completed the Mass in C Minor, completing the instrumentation from sketches, and adding sections from other Mozart masses to fill in the missing parts.

Schmitt explicitly acknowledged Bach and Händel’s influence on the composition of this work, and names Mozart’s transcriptions of Bach’s fugues in the preface to the first edition:

“Thanks to the Sunday concerts at Baron van Swieten’s home, Mozart had become quite well acquainted with the past masters Bach and Händel. He arranged ten fugues by Bach for string instruments and instrumented several oratorios by Händel for Baron van Swieten….” After commenting on Händel’s influence, Schmitt continued, “On the other hand, the quartet Benedictus is more in the spirit of Bach. The austere sweetness, the masterful polyphony of this piece give it a unique flavour found nowhere else in Mozart literature.”

Bach’s influence is also evident in:

* The “Cum Sancto Spiritu” section, and the double fugue “Hosana.”

* The Jupiter Symphony, No. 41, K. 551, 22 with the great contrapuntal finale written in “invertible” counterpoint.

* Suite in C major, incomplete, K. 399

* Sonata for piano and violin in A major-minor, with an unfinished fugal finale (K. 402)

* Piano sonata K. 309

* Fantasia for piano in D minor (K. 397)

* Piano Sonata K. 475

* “the contrapuntal flavor of the later (piano) sonatas”

* canons, some with very naughty texts (K.229-231, 233, 234, 347, 348)

* F minor Fantasia for mechanical organ, K. 608

* The Bach chorale with counterpoint sung by the armed men in Act II, Scene 28 of The Magic Flute

* The Requiem

Mozart’s Compositional Method
Alfred Einstein wrote that Mozart’s father, Leopold, called the developmental unity, the progression of musical thought, “il filo,” the thread. It was that “filo,” which Mozart followed, which is so dependent on the “right” beginning, that the beginning must be at a high enough level, because everything else develops out of that “kernel.” It is the “filo” that Mozart had in his mind before he started writing notes down. He would write “the whole” down first, for vocal music, the first violin, the singing voices and the bass line all the way through, adding the middle instrumental voices later. As for chamber music, or a symphony, he would write down the leading voices first, hopping from instrument to instrument, depending on which one took the lead, and would add the other parts afterwards.

However, for certain complex contrapuntal sections, Mozart would first work out the details, before writing out the whole partitur, for example, the Allegro section of the Prague Symphony, the manuscript of which had been located shortly before Einstein wrote his book.

More on Bach’s Influence on Mozart
Baron van Swieten’s Viennese salon was not the first encounter Mozart had with the Bach family. In 1762, when Mozart was a child of six, J.S. Bach’s son, Johann Christian, befriended him in London, where the Mozart family lived for several years. The symphonies that the child prodigy Mozart composed there were largely modelled on Johann Christian Bach’s, and especially Mozart’s earliest piano concertos, written after he returned to Salzburg.

The last movement of Mozart’s D major Concerto (K. 40) was taken from Philipp Emanuel Bach. The question is, which, if any, of Johann Sebastian’s works were known by Mozart during this period.

Also, after the 1782 Baron van Swieten period, Mozart became quite excited, after listening to J.S. Bach’s choral works, first as they were performed, and then, in his mind, as he studied the scores. Mozart visited Leipzig in 1789, where he went to the St. Thomas Church, where Bach had been cantor, to play the organ. The new cantor, who had been Bach’s student, Johann Friedrich Doles, was in attendance. An eyewitness wrote, “Mozart played without previous announcement and without compensation on the organ of the church of St. Thomas. He played beautifully and artistically before a large audience for about an hour…. Doles was utterly delighted with his playing and thought that old Sebastian Bach … had been resurrected. With good taste and with the greatest ease Mozart employed all the arts of harmony and gloriously improvised upon the themes, among others of the chorale ‘Jesu, meine Zuversicht’….”

“At the instigation of Doles, the cantor of the Thomasschule in Leipzig, the choir surprised Mozart by performing the motet for double choir, ‘Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied,’ by the patriarch of German music, Sebastian Bach. As soon as the choir had sung a few bars, Mozart started; after a few more he exclaimed: ‘What is that?’ And now his whole soul seemed to be centered in his ears. When the song was ended, he cried out with delight: ‘Now, here is something one can learn from!’

“He was informed that this school, where Sebastian Bach had once been cantor, possessed a complete collection of his motets, which were preserved as if they were a saint’s relics. ‘That is right, that is fine,’ he exclaimed. ‘Let me see them’ There was, however, no complete score of these songs. He therefore took the separate parts, and then, what a pleasure it was for the quiet observer to see how eagerly Mozart sat down, the parts all around him, held in both hands, on his knees, on the nearest chairs. Forgetting everything else, he did not stand up again until he had looked through all the music of Sebastian Bach. He asked for copies….” 23

“The Musical Midwife”

father admired Benjamin Franklin, calling himself a “small republican?”
introduced the young Mozart to Bach?
was the young Beethoven’s First Symphony dedicated to?
wrote German librettos based on Milton and Thomson, for Haydn to set to music, provoking the composition of the Creation, and the Seasons?
love for great music, and efforts to support the development of great musical geniuses, personified the “red thread” linking Bach, Händel, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, through his direct personal intervention?
The answer to every question is: Baron Gottfried van Swieten.

Baron Gottfried van Swieten (1733-1803), though not a professional musician, may be the music-lover who had the greatest impact on the development of Western Classical music. His great love for, and promotion of the music of Bach and Händel, who lived a generation before him, and his decisive influence on three of the greatest Classical musicians of his, or any time, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, grants Baron van Swieten a special place in musical history.

What was the background of this musical midwife who helped to provoke such a profound revelation in Mozart?

Baron Gottfried van Swieten, born in the Netherlands, was the eldest son of Dr. Gerhard van Swieten (1700-72). Dr. Van Swieten was summoned to Vienna to become the personal physician of the Empress of the Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire, Maria Theresa, in 1745, and held several other posts, including director of the court library. Though employed by the Empire, he openly admired Benjamin Franklin, and called himself a “small republican.”

His son, Gottfried van Swieten, educated at the Jesuit “Theresianum,” became a diplomat, representing the court of Vienna in Brussels (1755-7), Paris (1760-63), Warsaw (1763-64), England (1768-69), and as Ambassador Extraordinary at the Prussian court in Berlin, from 1770 to 1777, where he was the liaison between Vienna’s Chancellor Count Kaunitz, and Frederick the Great. (His superior in Brussels said that his only criticism was that “music takes up the best part of his time.”)24

Early in life, the Baron composed at least three comic operas, and 10-12 symphonies.25 (His collaborator Haydn, though, later characterized them as being “as stiff as he is.”)

One researcher reports that the Baron first became enchanted with Baroque music while living in England.

Baron van Swieten wrote that none other than the King of Prussia, Frederick the Great, introduced him to the music of Bach, in Berlin. In a confidential letter to Count Kaunitz on July 26, 1774, the Baron wrote, “Among other things, he [the King] spoke about music and about a great organ player by the name of Bach [J.S. Bach’s son Wilhelm Friedemann Bach], who had just given a concert in Berlin. This artist is equipped with a talent which supercedes everything which I have heard or can imagine in the direction of in-depth harmonic abilities and power in his playing, while they, who have known his father, do not find that he can measure up to him. The King is of that opinion, and to prove it, with a loud voice, he sang a chromatic fugal theme, which he had given to the old Bach, who, on the spot, made a fugue with four voices, thereafter with five voices, and at the end, one with eight obbligato voices.” The King referred here to J.S. Bach’s visit in May 1747, which led to the composition of his great work, The Musical Offering.26

During the Baron’s stay in Berlin (1770-77), he attended the musical salons held by Fredrick the Great’s sister, Princess Anna Amelia of Prussia (1723-87), where J.S. Bach and Händel were the favorite composers. He was to love and promote the music of these two composers for the rest of his life. Van Swieten even studied composition with a student of J.S. Bach, Princess Anna Amelia’s musical advisor, Kappelmeister Johann Philipp Kirnberger (1721-83), an important musical theoretician.

The Baron was also in contact with other students of Bach. Van Swieten visited one of Bach’s sons, Carl Philipp Emanuel, in Hamburg in 1774, the same year he first heard about him from the King. He corresponded with C.P.E., and bought some of J.S. Bach’s manuscripts from him, including copies of fugues, many years before they were printed. He also commissioned six string symphonies (W. 182) from him, and C.P.E. Bach dedicated his third set of Sonaten für Kenner und Liebhaber (W. 57) to Van Swieten. The Baron knew Bach student Johann Friederich Agricola, the Prussian court’s composer and author. Another of Bach’s sons, Wilhelm Friedmann, who moved to Berlin in 1774, also made a great impression on van Swieten.

The Baron brought several of J.S. Bach’s printed works to Vienna, including The Art of the Fugue, and also manuscripts of The Well-Tempered Clavier, the “Organ Trios,” and possibly some of the “Preludes and Fugues for Organ.” In addition to piano and organ works by Bach, the Baron also had several of Bach’s motets and his larger choral works.27

Upon his return to Vienna, he succeeded his father as director of the court library, and was appointed president of the Education and Censorship Commission in 1782. The Baron was supportive of the reform ideas of Emperor Joseph II, Maria Theresa’s son, who succeeded her.

The Mozarts first met the Baron during their trip to Vienna in 1767-68. During the negotiations surrounding the composition and production of Mozart’s opera La Finta Semplice, Wolfgang responded to criticism that the opera was “unsingable,” by playing the whole opera on Baron van Swieten’s piano, to a group of music lovers who were “greatly moved.” Later, in 1781, the Baron heard Mozart’s opera Idomeneo, as well as Mozart giving a concert, where he played a Concerto (K. 365) and a Sonata for Two Pianos (K. 448).

The Baron’s importance for the promotion of J.S. Bach’s works is evidenced by the fact that the first Bach biography, written by Johann Nikolaus Forkel, was dedicated to him.

At van Swieten’s salon, in addition to pedagogical investigations of instrumental works, they also sang together, with van Swieten singing soprano, Mozart singing alto, simultaneously playing the piano, while two other musicians sang tenor and bass.

During the 1780s, Van Swieten formed a group of noblemen interested in “old music,” called the Gesellschaft der Associierten, which arranged concerts in the Royal Library, or their palaces, of works of C.P.E. Bach, and oratorios of Händel. Mozart became the director of these concerts in 1787, conducting an orchestra of 86 musicians. Mozart wrote new arrangements of Händel’sMessiah, “Acis and Galatea,” “Alexander’s Feast,” and the “Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day” for the concerts. There is current research regarding a manuscript, previously unknown, of an arrangement of Händel’s Judas Maccabaeus, attributed on the title page to Mozart, recently found in Halifax, England.28 He also wrote wind instrument arrangements of some of Händel’s works.29

New arrangements were made because neither the Royal Library, nor the palaces had organs, which were a part of Händel’s instrumentation, and due to the changed instrumentation practice of the time, which included adding clarinets and trombones.30 In a letter from the Baron to Mozart, of questioned authenticity, regarding Mozart’s idea of arranging the aria “If God Be for Us” from the Messiah, he is said to have written, “He who can clothe Händel so solemnly and so tastefully that he pleases the modish fop on the one hand and on the other still shows himself in his sublimity, has felt his worth, has understood him, has penetrated to the well-spring of his expression, from which he can and will draw confidently. That is how I view what you have accomplished….” The Baron himself conducted a performance of Mozart’s arrangement of Händel’s “Acis and Galatea” at the home of Count Esterházy.

C.P.E. Bach’s Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Christi was also performed under Mozart’s baton.

During the last decade of Mozart’s life, the Baron, to a certain extent, helped Mozart financially, including commissioning the Händel arrangements, and when Mozart became disillusioned with the musical tastes at Court, Mozart wrote that van Swieten was among the group of Vienna’s music lovers who asked him to stay. In 1789, Mozart wrote that after two weeks of circulation, the only name on a subscription list to support Mozart’s concerts, was that of the Baron.

On the very day that Mozart died, Dec. 5, 1791, the Baron was dismissed by the Emperor Leopold II, who opposed Joseph II’s reform policy. According to musicologist E. Olleson, “The death of Joseph II, in January 1790, strengthened the hand of those who opposed the educational reforms [his and van Swieten’s, head of Joseph II’s Education and Censorship Commission], and a bitter struggle developed, lasting almost two years….” 31

Another source wrote that the Baron fell, most probably, because of his association with the Masonic-linked Illuminati lodge. It is possible that he first came into contact with the Illuminati in Berlin, but in any case, he was listed as a member of the lodge in Prague. The Baron’s loyalty to the Crown seems to have come into question, when a tutor he had arranged for the Crown Prince, Johann Baptist von Schloissnigg, was accused and investigated for being a member of the Illuminati, with rumors flying that the Baron was part of a conspiracy. The affair “climax[ed] in the hours after Mozart’s demise.” Further investigation is needed, given the questions surrounding Mozart’s death, of the fact that his sponsor, Baron van Swieten was swept from power on the very day Mozart died, amidst charges of political conspiracy. (Mozart, himself, was a member of the pro-American Revolution faction of the Masons.)

After Mozart’s untimely death, two months short of his 36th birthday, van Swieten arranged the first performance in Vienna of Mozart’s Requiem, to benefit Mozart’s wife, Constanze. He also supported Mozart’s son, until Constanze remarried,32 including paying for his schooling in Prague.

Baron van Swieten also had a profound influence on two other musical geniuses, Haydn and Beethoven.

While stationed in Berlin, the Baron championed Haydn’s works, but his greatest impact on Haydn’s music was helping to cause the composition of three of Haydn’s great oratorios. Van Swieten had paid for Haydn’s second trip to London, where he became enthusiastic about the Händelian oratorio tradition still alive there. Afterwards, the Baron encouraged Haydn to write his own oratorios, The Seven Words, The Creation(1798), and The Seasons (1801), and it was actually the Baron himself, who wrote the German librettos for them. Van Swieten played an increasingly important role in the preparation of the three libretti.

Regarding The Seven Words, he arranged Josef Friebert’s text to Haydn’s taste, with relatively small changes. The background to The Creation is more interesting. One source wrote that Haydn brought an anonymous English libretto back with him from England, based on John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which was said to have been written for Händel. Van Swieten wrote, rather than simply translated, a German libretto from this, but closely followed the plan in the English libretto.

The entire conception for The Seasons libretto was the Baron’s, based on an English poem by James Thomson. He also wrote suggestions in the margin of the librettos for The Creation and The Seasons about how the text might be set to music, especially the descriptive passages.33 (On a humorous note, Haydn later eliminated a passage in The Seasons that imitated the croaking of frogs, saying that van Swieten had forced him to write it.)

One can say that van Swieten caused The Seasons to be written. A tired Haydn was close to 70 years old when van Swieten wrote the libretto, proposed the musical plan for the work, and pressured him to agree to compose the piece, which took Haydn three years, with constant encouragement (or pressure) from the Baron. This year marks the 200th anniversary of The Seasons premier in 1801, at a concert financed by Baron van Swieten and his friends.

Van Swieten collaborated with Haydn in the production of the vocal editions of the three oratorios. The Gesellschaft der Associierten, established by the Baron, arranged the financing, and the first performances of all three works.

Beethoven was already fully acquainted with Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier before meeting the Baron. At the same time that the 27-year-old Mozart was being introduced to many of Bach’s works at the Baron’s musical salon in Vienna, in Bonn, the 11-year-old Beethoven was playing most of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, according to the written statement, dated March 1783, by his teacher Christian Gottlob Neefe.

“Louis van Beethoven, son of the tenor singer mentioned, a boy of eleven years and of most promising talent. He plays the clavier very skillfully and with power, reads at sight very well, and—to put it in a nutshell—he plays chiefly The Well-Tempered Clavichord of Sebastian Bach, which Herr Neefe put into his hands. Whoever knows this collection of preludes and fugues in all the keys—which might almost be called the non plus ultra of our art—will know what this means. Herr Neefe has also given him instruction in thorough-bass. He is now training him ins composition…. He would surely become a second Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were he to continue as he has begun.” Neefe was a close friend of a successor of Bach as cantor of Thomaskirche, Hiller.

In 1787, at the age of 16, Beethoven visited Vienna for the first time, impressing Mozart with his improvisational abilities, and receiving a few music theory lessons from him. Professor Jahn, a biographer of Mozart, relates the story of the first meeting between Beethoven and Mozart. Beethoven “was taken to Mozart and at that musician’s request played something for him which he, taking it for granted that it was a show-piece prepared for the occasion, praised in a rather cool manner. Beethoven observing this, begged Mozart to give him a theme for improvisation. He always played admirably when excited and now he was inspired, too, by the presence of the master whom he reverenced greatly; he played in such a style that Mozart, whose attention and interest grew more and more, finally went silently to some friends to were sitting in an adjoining room, and said, vivaciously, ‘Keep your eyes on him; some day he will give the world something to talk about.’ ” 34

In 1792, a year after Mozart’s death, Beethoven moved to Vienna, for the purpose of studying with Haydn. Mozart’s death had left Vienna without a truly great pianist, until the arrival of Beethoven. Beethoven’s leading biographer, Thayer, states that all contemporary authorities attested to Beethoven’s success on his arrival in Vienna, attributing it to “his playing of Bach’s preludes and fugues especially,” as well as his sight-reading and improvisational capabilities.

To repeat, it was especially Beethoven’s ability to play Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier magnificently, in a Vienna that Baron van Swieten had brought to love Bach, which opened all doors for him, and which drew him into the Baron’s musical circle. Beethoven’s close friend Schidler stated that after musical performances in his house, the Baron “detained Beethoven and persuaded him to add a few fugues by Sebastian Bach as an evening blessing.” 35

It just might have been the case that the elderly Baron sat in the same imagined chair as above, with his eyes closed, while Mozart’s successor, Beethoven, serenaded him with Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.

Baron van Swieten encouraged Beethoven to study counterpoint, and often asked about his progress. Beethoven, like Mozart, also transcribed two of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier fugues for string quartet for study purposes, that in B flat minor, and an incomplete version of the fugue in B minor, both from Book I.

Beethoven had great respect for Bach, later asking his publisher for all of Bach’s works, calling him the “Urvater der Harmonie,” the “patriarch of musical harmony.” On another occasion, Beethoven said, “Bach sollte nicht Bach, sondern Meer heissen” (Bach should not be called Bach (brook), but Meer (ocean), because of his infinite and inexhaustible wealth of combinations and harmonies.” Beethoven copied out and highlighted a quote about Bach’s music, from Forkel’s biography of Bach, which included, “Only the connoisseur who can surmise the inner organization and feel it and penetrate to the intention of the artist, which does nothing needlessly, is privileged to judge here; indeed the judgment of a musical connoisseur can scarcely be better tested than by seeing how rightly he has learned the works of Bach.”

Baron van Swieten also had a literary influence on Beethoven, introducing him to Shakespeare and discussing Homer with him.

The Baron’s importance for Beethoven is evidenced by the fact that, in 1800, Beethoven dedicated his first symphony to him.

Let the story of Baron Gottfried van Swieten conclude with the obituary about him printed in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung in 1803:

“In him, music loses a significant Maecenas, and the world an upright and loyal man…. Swieten was an adherent of no school or sect, every true talent he welcomed; nevertheless, his favorites were Händel, Sebastian Bach, Mozart, and Haydn, with whom he occupied himself almost daily. Would that a man of high station may soon come forward, who will so actively espouse the cause of music as did Swieten!”

1. Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. “Mozart’s 1782-1786 Revolution in Music,” Fidelio, Winter 1992, Vol. I, No. 4.

2. From Book 1: Fugue No. 8 in D sharp minor; from Book 2: No. 13 in F sharp, BWV 882 and No. 14 in F sharp minor, BWV 883.

3. The 2nd movement in F, Adagio e dolce, from Bach’s sonata for organ No. 3 in D minor, BWV 527.

4. The 2nd movement, in E flat, Largo, from the Sonata for Organ No. 2 in C minor, BWV 526)

5. One available CD recording is “Mozart: Complete String Trios and Duos,” a performance by the Grumiaux Trio, Arrigo Pelliccia and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, Philips 454 023-2.

6. David Shavin, “Mozart and the American Revolutionary Upsurge,” Fidelio, Winter 1992, Vol. I, No. 4.

7. The musicologist Alfred Einstein, who wrote an important biography of Mozart, bases his contention that they were composed by Mozart, on the process of elimination — that they could not have been written by anyone else from that time. “…that these arrangements, although not authenticated by the existence of an autograph manuscript, could only have come from Mozart. Only Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (the great contrapuntist, and student of Bach-mr), whose Six String Quartets, Op. 21 show exactly the same design (six adagios and fugues), could also be considered as their author; yet Albrechtsberger’s creative imagination and feel for style came far short of that shown in these four adagio movements.” (record notes 3-part f, also find citation from Einstein. art.)

In a 1936 article Einstein had previously stated that Albrechtsberger could not be the author, “Able and estimable as he was, a glance at the prelude quoted with this article (the prelude that accompanies Fugue No. 13 from Book II of Bach’s WTC) is sufficient to show that no other master than Mozart could have written it. Mozartian is the delicate grace of the melody, Mozartian is the courage which accompanies it with such a galant figure, Mozartian too is the terseness, the concise form, which does not for a second forget the introductory character of these forty bars, and Mozartian is the agreement of prelude with fugue, which winged, playful character he has realized most finely.” Einstein continues with descriptions of how well-suited the other preludes are to their fugues. (Musical Times, page 212.)

8. C Minor (after BWV 871 No. 2)

D Major (after BWV 874 No.2)

D# Minor, transposed to D Minor (after BWV 877 No. 2)

E Flat Major (after BWV 876 No. 2)

E Major (after BWV 878 No. 2).

A sixth fugue, No. 22 in B flat minor, (after BWV 891) transposed to B minor, was left uncompleted by Mozart, later to be completed by his contemporary Anton Stadler. (Yo Tomita, A new light shed on the origin of Mozart’s KV 404a and 405 through the recent source study of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier II, www.music.qub.ac.uk/~tomita/bmc1996/KV405art.html, page 3.)

9. To hear the four-voice fugues, played by Laurence Dreyfus’s early music viol consort group Phantasm, on the Internet: www.gmn.com/classical/worknotes.asp.?wid=15. There are also available recordings played by modern string quartets.

10. No. 4, C# minor (transposed to D minor) from WTC I

No. 22, B flat minor (transposed to A minor) from WTC I and

Organ fugue BWV 546 (Yo Tomita, page 3.)

11. The manuscripts are part of the “Kaisersammlung,” the music collection of Emperor Franz II, the son of Emperor Joseph II. A contemporary stated, “His Majesty love(d) fugues very much,” referring to Emperor Franz, who inherited part of the collection, and his love of fugues from his father. Regarding the four-part fugues, in addition to the same fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier as K. 405: in D# minor (transposed to D minor), E flat, D, and E, there is one in B flat minor (transposed to B minor) and a J.S. Bach organ fugue BWV 548. There is a recording of these available entitled “Bach Chez Mozart” HM 739. The three five-part fugues are: from the fugues in C# minor (transposed to D minor) and B flat minor (in A minor) from WTC Book I, the only two five-part fugues Bach wrote, with the addition of a J.S. Bach Organ fugue BWV 546. Kirkendale’s own score of the nine slow four- and five- part movements is available at the Library of Congress. (Kirkendale pg. 46-47, 49, 65.)

12. Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., “Politics as Art,”EIR, Nov. 17, 2000, Vol. 27, No. 45.  See also Mindy Pechenuk “Mozart’s ‘Ave Verum Corpus,’ ” Fidelio, Winter 1996, Vol. V, No. 4, on the role of the Lydian interval.

13. Bruce Director, “Riemann for Anti-Dummies,” Part 9, New Federalist, Vol. 15, No. 11 May 28, 2001.

14. By Mattheson in 1719, and Suppig in 1722, the year of Bach’s first book.

15. Karl Geiringer, The Bach Family, Seven Generations of Creative Genius, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1954.

16. In the period before Bach, writing counterpoint had become a stiff, pedantic exercise, dominated by court Kapellmeister Johann Joseph Fux’s book Gradus ad Parnassum from 1725. Fux banned the use of the Lydian interval, the interval between three whole notes, for example: C-F# (also called the tritone), in line with those who called it “the devil’s interval:” “mi against fa is the devil in musica.” The Study of Counterpoint: from Johann Joseph Fux’s Gradus ad Parnassum, tr. and edited by Alfred Mann, W. W. Norton and Co., New York,1965, pg. 35, and Fred Haight, unpublished.

17. Op. cit. Geiringer

18. Alfred Einstein, Mozart: His Character, His Work, Oxford, 1962.

19. The Irish tenor Michael Kelly wrote about his hearing them play together in 1784, “Storace gave a quartett (sic) party to his friends. The players were tolerable; not one of them excelled on the instrument he played, but there was a little science among them, which I dare say will be acknowledged when I name them: Haydn, first violin; Baron Dittersdorf, second violin; Mozart, viola; and Vanhal, cello. (Mozart St. Q. CD notes.)

The quartet which played at the Baron’s 1794-95 quartet parties included: Haydn; Beethoven’s friend, the violinist Schuppanzigh; and Emmanuel Aloys Foerster, who had set Bach for string quartet, in association with the Baron, back in 1779-80, before Mozart came to Vienna.

20. Constanza also participated in Mozart’s musical life in other ways. Mozart wrote works for four-handed piano, and for piano and violin, which they played together. Mozart gave Constanza an intimate knowledge of whatever he was working on, including having her sing all of his operas. Regarding Constanza’s musical taste, when hearing Haydn’s quartets, she expressed that she liked the parts with the “strong spices” the most. (From German language book on Mozart.)

21. K. Anh. 33 and 40 (383b), Fugue in F major; K. Anh. 39 (383d), Fugue in C minor, probably from 1783; K. 154 (385k), Fugue in G minor, probably from 1782; K. Anh. 39a (626b/27), Fugue in C minor, probably from the end of the 1780’s; K. Anh.C 27.10, Fugue in E major; and K. deest, Fugue in D minor.

22. The musicologist Alfred Einstein stressed the “decisive important of Bach on Mozart’s musical development, and the inspiration for the great contrapuntal finales, like the String Quartet K. 387 and the Jupiter Symphony, and the use of counterpoint in his other Vienna compositions. RL, pg. 221.

23. One piece of evidence of the effect that Bach’s choral works had on Mozart’s writing afterwards, can be seen in Die Zauberflöte’s Scene 28 (armed men) in Act 2’s finale, where he placed a Lutheran choral tune, Ach Gott von Himmel sigh Darien, based on Bach’s Cantata No. 2 on the same choral, in a contrapuntal setting. This cantata was in the collection Mozart studied in Leipzig. Marshall 18.

24. Edward Olleson, “Gottfried van Swieten, Patron of Haydn and Mozart,” Proceedings of The Royal Musical Association 89, April 23, 1963, p. 64, cited in John W. Campbell, “Mozart and the Baron: Musical Patronage at Work,” The Choral Journal, May 1995.

25. Excerpts from the first movement of Gottfried van Swieten’s Symphony in D major (‘Overtura dell Opera Carrara’), are printed in R. Bernhardt, ‘Aus der Umwelt der Wiener Klassiker, Freiherr Gottfried van Sweiten,’ Der Bär, Jahrbuch von Brietkopf & Härtel, 1929/30, pg. 164ff. Cited in Olleson, pg. 74.

26. see ‘Thinking through Singing’ — The Strategic Significance of J.S. Bach’s A Musical Offering, by David Shavin, Fidelio, Vol. IX, No. 4, Winter 2000. Shavin also corrects the Baron’s information regarding Bach’s fugal elaboration of the King’s theme.

27. There has been a debate about how much Bach was known in Vienna before Van Swieten came home from Berlin. It is known that one Viennese musician, Wagenseil, had his students study Bach’s and Händel’s harpsichord suites. (Schenk, 325-6) The musicologist Alfred Einstein maintained that the works that the Baron brought home were either unknown in Vienna before that, or that there were not many other copies than Van Swieten’s. (Einstein 155-156, and Musical Times.) Another source states that some Bach manuscripts circulated in Austria, including his Well-Tempered Clavier, but that Mozart did not know of their works until the 1780’s. (RL, 78.)

28. The manuscript, not in Mozart’s hand, was found by music lecturer Dr. Rachel Cowgill, in a choral music collection of William Priestley, clothier and member of the Halifax Choral Society, which he said came from Moravians in Germany, probably via Moravian settlements in his area. In the slow movements, and solo parts, new counter-melodies played by the clarinet and flute were added, which Dr. Cowgill terms beautiful. (Rachel Cowgill, How I found ‘Mozart’ in Halifax, The Guardian, March 17, 2001. www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4153487,00.html)

29. Emperor Franz II, Emperor Joseph II’s son, put his choir and orchestra at the disposal of the Baron for these concerts.

30. “To this end he (the Baron-mr) employed the talents of our Mozart, who knew how to give new life to Handel’s noble inspirations by means of the warmth of his own feelings, and through the magic of his own instrumental style to make them enjoyable for our age.” From Franz Xaver Niemetschek’s Mozart Biography, Prague, 1808, tr. In Deutsch, 508-9, cited in Campbell.

31. For more on the educational policy battles, see S. Adler, Die Uterrichtsverfassung Kaiser Leopolds II, Vienna & Leipzig, 1917.

32. Constanze married the Danish diplomat Georg Nikolaus Nissen (1761-1826), and moved to Copenhagen. Nissen later wrote the first major biography of Mozart, with Constanze’s supervision, entitled, Biographie W.A. Mozart’s: nach Originalgriefen: Sammlungen alles über ihn Geschrieben. Constanze participated in the musical life of Copenhagen, and promoted the publication of the works of her late husband.

33. Van Swieten’s suggestions are printed in C. F. Pohl, Joseph Haydn, Leipzig, 1927, iii, 358-9, and M. Friedländer, ‘Van Swieten und das Textbuch zu Haydn, „Jahreszeiten,”’ Jahrbuch der Musikbibliothek Peters, 1909, pg. 47-56.

34. Alexander Wheelock Thayer, Life of Beethoven, Elliot Forbes, editor, Vols. 1 and 2, Princeton, 1967.

35. A note from the Baron to Beethoven exits from these early years, evidencing their close relationship, “To Hr. Beethoven in Alstergasse, No. 45, with the Prince Lichnowsky: If there is nothing to hinder next Wednesday I should be glad to see you at my home at half past 8 with your nightcap in your bag. Give me an immediate answer. Swieten” Thayer, pg. 161.

Additional sources to those mentioned in the above footnotes:

(A version of the above article with more complete source footnotes is available from the author. You can send a request for it to mr@schillerinstitut.dk)

Anderson, Emily, editor, The Letters of Mozart and His Family,  London, Macmillan, 1938.

Blom, Eric, Mozart (New York: Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1949), 147, cited in Campbell.

Campbell, John W., Mozart and the Baron: Musical Patronage at Work, The Choral Journal, May 1995, pg. 17.)


Einstin, Alfred, Hans personlighed, hans vaerk, Thaning & Appel, Copenhagen, 1963, originally

Findlay, Patrick N. J.S. Bach’s Influence on W. A. Mozart, internet address.

Haylock, Julian, CD notes, Mozart’s complete string trios and duos, Philips 454 023-2


Landon, H. C. Robbins, editor, The Mozart Compendium, A Guide to Mozart’s Life and Music,  Thames & Hudson, 1990

Landon, H. C. Robbins, Mozart’s Gyldne Aar, 1781-1791, from Mozart, The Golden Years 1781.1791, H. C. Robbins Landon, Gyldendal, 1989, translated 1991


Svendsen, Troels, I skyggen af Skabelsen, Klassisk Musik, Nr. 4, April. 2001


Mozart String Quartets, Amadeus Quartet, CD notes.

Internet page of the Austrian Royal Library.

Arneth’s “Geschichte Maria Theresias (VIII, S. 621)

Count Karl Zinzendorf’s diary, Dec. 30, 1788, tr. In Deutsch, 337, cited in Campbell.

Editor’s note in Deutsch, 425, Prager neue Zeitung (Prague, Ap. 9, 1794), tr. In Deutsch, cited in Campbell.

Appeared in Cramer’s Magazin der Musik. Quoted in Thayer’s Life of Beethoven, pg. 66.

Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, v. col. 476, cited in Olleson

Mozart’s Breve, Skandinavisk Bogforlag, pg. 202, tg, mr. (mr-check against the English in Campbell.)

Mozart Missa in C, Edition Breitkopf Nr. 1867, Breitkopf & Härtel, preface.

Marshall 18.

Schenk 410-11.

In German:

Holschneider, Andreas, Zu Mozart’s Bearbeitungen Bachscher Fugen, Die Musikforschung Vol. 17 (1964).

Lewicki, Ernst, (Title unknown, about Mozart’s relationship with Bach), Mitteilungen für die Mozart-Gemeinde, Vol. 15, Berlin, 1903.

Das Problem Amerika als Artefakt der europäischen Expansion, by Reinhold Wagnleitner, internet address: ezines.onb.ac.at:8080/ejournal/pub/ejour-98/beucher/cocola/wga5.html, pg. 1
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