PART TWO OF A SERIES (SEE PART ONE)
Having left Bonn for Vienna, Beethoven began to realize that Vienna really didn’t make those little sausages. Despite this setback, he was more determined than ever to continue his musical studies, and so began to study violin under Ignaz Schuppanzigh (Gesundheit!), counterpoint with Johann Albrechtsberger (Gesundheit!) and Italian vocal style with Antonin Salieri, who killed Mozart in that movie, and was a Kappellmeister (Gesundheit!). But his most well-known teacher was Josef Hadyn, who at the time was a very popular composer, even though he didn’t always wear his wig.
Sausage bites and hot tubs
By 1793 Beethoven was able to support himself as a musician for the first time, and so was able to move out of his apartment with the empty giant wire spool for a table and into another apartment that had a shared hot tub and free cable. He was finally moving up in the world! He established himself as quite a piano “virtuoso” (German: “Show Off”) around town, playing, for example, variations of Bach’s Well-Tempered Klavier in the parlors of swooning teenaged Viennese girls, probably tossing his hair around, and kicking his clavier bench over. In the midst of all of this swooning and tossing he secured his first public performance of one of his piano concertos in Vienna in March 1795, where, legend has it, he bit the head off a sausage on stage.
[pullquote type=”right”]He now felt sufficiently expert enough at composing to release his first Opus, which, once out of its cage, ventured tentatively out into the grass, sniffed the air, and them lifting its metaphorical wings to soar majestically into the air as it released a great honk.[/pullquote]He now felt sufficiently expert enough at composing to release his first Opus, which, once out of its cage, ventured tentatively out into the grass, sniffed the air, and them lifting its metaphorical wings to soar majestically into the air as it released a great honk. This is what Opuses do.
Quartets, quintets and hamburgers
And so by the early 1800’s Beethoven had reached his musical maturity, as up until that time he was still putting tacks on violinist’s chairs and rubber chickens in french horns. But now he was a card-carrying member of the Vienna Composers Society (Motto: “Please Give Us Money – We Don’t Want To Work At MacDonalds Again”) and so had to produce quartets and quintets and whatever comes after quintets, but probably not what comes after that. It was at this time that he wrote and had performed his first Symphony, landing him on the cover of the Rolling Stone (German: “Rollinischestmeschsch Stonischestmeschsch”), or, at least he should have, but it wasn’t published at that time. For the premier of his symphony, Beethoven rented an old hamburger joint called the Burgtheater. Reviews were positive, and Beethoven was now being hailed as the heir to Mozart and Haydn, even though it was pretty apparent that they both couldn’t be his dad, but that’s the way it was back then. By the end of 1800 Beethoven’s music was much in demand, and his rookie baseball card was being sold on eBay for over 150 marks.
Falling in love with Josephine
It was also during this time that (cue violins) Beethoven fell in love with the daughter of Countess (Not A Vampire) Anna Brunsvik. Her name was Josephine, which apparently was a common name back then, much like most girls’ names now have to have a “y” in them somewhere. And so they began dating, even though he was a musician, and her momma told her on the phone “come on home girl”, but she was all like “but, try too understand” and her momma said “too soon to lose my baby”, and she said “he’s a magic man” and then they got married. Unfortunately, no, she actually ended up marrying a guy named Count Josef Deym, who, also unfortunately, was not a vampire. But don’t worry, Josephine will come back in the third part of our story, so get your hankies ready.
Where will the wings of adventure take our hero next? Will there be action and car chases, or just more boring music stuff? Where ARE Vienna sausages made? Tune in next time for another installment of All About Beethoven!