Something that a lot of people suspect but do not know: Beethoven had a red telephone. A hot line, straight up to heaven.
So sit back, and have a listen to proof: The Pastoral.
They say that Beethoven’s odd numbers were the best. I disagree.
For me, this is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. I’ve memories of it as a child, watching flying horses dance through clouds in Disney’s Fantasia.
But though the Disney artists did a brilliant job, their artwork never came close to the beautiful colours that form in my mind when I hear this music – the deep sea green of the G chords, and the rich navy blues of C and purply-greys of D, moving up to the bright golden yellow of pure A.
Okay, I’m weird. But music is colour, and every note, every chord, has its own colour and shape and texture. And Beethoven was, along with Van Gogh, one of the greatest masters of the colour and taste and the scent of the world around him that ever lived.
His music is beautiful because it reflects the best of the world back at us, in perfect clarity.
And yes, he wrote beautiful choral music too. Listen to “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage” (“Meeresstille und Gluckliche Fahrt”) – one of the few pieces to give me choral orgasms for days on end while singing it, in preparation for a performance at the Sydney Opera House a few years ago – a performance I will never forget.
(I’m going to go kill myself now)