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What illness influenced Beethoven’s compositions? It has something to do with internal organs…

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Classical Music News

There exists a theory that Beethoven’s compositions may have been influenced by his own heart beat and as fascinating that is, if you listen to them closely, you will find clues for a certain heart condition he may have had.
Cardiac arrhythmia is the condition that occurs when electrical impulses coordinating heartbeats go off cue and may result in a heartbeat so fast or so slow that it is easily called irregular. Researchers claim that he has had this condition, along with a list of others, including inflammatory bowel disease, abnormal bone destruction, liver disease and kidney disease. Of course no one knows for sure since the medical descriptions are over a century old and they are no modern diagnostics. But the symptoms and the extensive list of diseases confidently leads to arrhythmia, and his pieces may have been affected by it. His music may have been really heartfelt – literally and figuratively. The heart disease causes the heart to beat in irregular but predictable patterns and scientists suspect that they hear these patterns in his music – in the sudden unexpected changes of pace and asymmetrical rhythms.
The final movement in his String Quartet in B-major, Cavatina always made Beethoven weep, as he has confessed himself. In the middle of the Quartet the key suddenly changes from B to C-flat major, evoking dark emotions, close to shortness of breath. The section is marked by him as “beklemmt”, which means “heavy of heart” in German for musicians who wish to play it and this has a double meaning. Aside from meaning sadness and grief, it may also describe that feeling of pressure associated with cardiac disease.
Art and music reflect our view on the world, but this view is shaped by our internal worlds as well and it is an unquestionable proof that Beethoven has implemented his inner experiences in his music. For example, aside from the Quartet, possible proof for arrhythmia has been found in his Piano Sonata in A-flat major, Opus 110, as well as the opening of the “Les Adieux” Sonata, Opus 81a, in E-flat major, written during France’s attack on Vienna in 1809.
So as a conclusion, while Beethoven’s undoubted genius is seen in his arrhythmic pieces, it may also mean that he has left his beating heart in his most memorable masterpieces.
Literally.