Beethoven trivia.

Here are a few facts. The professional orchestra came to be, in large measure, as a vehicle for the incessant performance of Beethoven’s Symphonies. And the art of conducting came from just that. The first 33 1/3 r.p.m LP, in 1931, contained the Fifth symphony from Beethoven, and the duration of the first-generation compact disk was fixed at seventy-five minutes so that the Ninth Symphony could be played without interruption.

Also, before Beethoven, they were playing mostly music from living composers. After him, the programs started to feature more and more dead ones.

The Morse code for the word “Victory” was based on the short-short-short-long opening of the fifth symphony. And, once the Berlin wall fell, Leonard Bernstein conducted the Ninth right where the debris were.

Tough trivia now: Beethoven had an alcoholic abusive dad who wanted to repeat Mozart miracle and would beat his child when he made a mistake, or wake him up in the middle of the night to practice. Beethoven became deaf, that’s a big one. He had to overcome all sorts of obstacle to get his music played because it was too novel. In general he had a very tough life.

The toughest fact is this. Ludwig wanted to take care of his nephew Karl and managed to get custody after a lengthy battle against the mum. It didn’t go well and Karl tried to kill himself.

Yet, Beethoven’s music was very generous and could be light and humorous.