Beethovens music is both stirring and
powerful. It is difficult to conceive that this German musical titan had any space in his
life for a personal God. Yet he did. Beethoven was a sincere believer.
Beethoven openly expressed gratitude to the Creator for his musical
success. He wrote in a letter: "At the moment, the competition to secure my works is
very keen. And for this I am very grateful to the Almighty" (Marek, 1969, 557).
The period from about the winter of 1818 to the
spring of 1824 is the period when Beethoven focused on the spiritual side of life. During
this time he composed his "Ninth Symphony" and his "Missa Solemnis."
In the "Ninth" he points the way toward
a philosophy of daily and communal life, while in the "Missa Solemnis" he seeks
to probe, "The undiscovered country" and occupies himself with the questions
which each man asks in solitude. In the "Ninth" we hear the Creator who dwells
above the stars, and in the "Missa" we hear the wars through which Beethoven had
Beethoven remained faithful to his Lord, until the end of his life.
"As the business of the will had been settled... there remained for us one
ardent wish, to get him reconciled to Heaven, in order that the world might be shown that
he ended his life as a true Christian" (Kalischer, 1926, 391).
without doubt a musical genius, yet he
did reflect upon and glorify God for His greatness, for he knew he was only "a
part of the universe," and that God alone was "The Greatest" (London, 1970, 278).
Does God Exist?
ARTISTS / MUSICIANS