Most people are aware of key facts about Ludwig van Beethoven, such as his gradually going deaf while still composing masterpieces. This Mental Floss article digs deeper, featuring nineteen lesser known facts about the brilliant composer.
For example, Beethoven's father was more than a little bit of a "stage parent." On the contrary, he seems downright cruel. Recognizing that young Ludwig was musically talented, his father became intent on proving he was a prodigy on the level of Mozart, who was fourteen years older and already well known.
Unlike Mozart, who took to instruments and practice more naturally, Beethoven's father forced him to play at all hours. Neighbors of the Beethoven family remembered Ludwig as a child, standing on a bench to reach the keyboard and crying as his father prodded him to continue playing. That puts many of his intense and foreboding pieces in a new light!
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