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By Ludwig van Beethoven

Largely considered as essentially the most singular geniuses to have labored within the Western classical culture, Ludwig van Beethoven was once as distinct as his once-in-a-generation musical expertise. This sequence of fees and memories from Beethoven himself paints a shockingly multifaceted photo of the fellow and his dedication to his paintings. A must-read for classical track enthusiasts.

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2 Childhood memories like these transmitted the sense of things irrevocably lost, but they also had a stimulating effect on Adorno’s mental world. In other words, his artistic sensibility and critical mind fed on two principal sources. On the one hand, it is not possible to overestimate the importance of the happiness that Adorno experienced in his parents’ house in Frankfurt. The family in which he grew up corresponded in most respects to the picture of the bourgeois family that Horkheimer later described in his study Authority and the Family: ‘The development and happiness of others is what is sought in the family.

His dealings with the teachers were almost entirely unproblematic, as was his grasp of the demands of the curriculum. Nevertheless, as a boy who played music and wrote poetry he had mixed feelings about school as an institution. This had nothing to do with the teachers and their approach to teaching a humanist syllabus. What he found difficult was the school’s insistence on discipline and the emphasis on classification and standardization in the teaching process, as well as the conformism that was bound up with the idea of loyalty to the class and the school.

We may ask whether Adorno was conscious as he grew up of the complex nature of this heritage. The question is not one we can answer, but one illuminating fact is that his whole life long he preferred to use the affectionate diminutive form of his name. As a child, an adolescent and an adult he liked to be known as Teddie, and would often sign his letters ‘Your old Teddie’. As the family grew in number, the need for a change of dwelling became more pressing. They moved from the Schöne Aussicht to 19 Seeheimer Straße.

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