litlover12: (Beethoven)
Today's Beethoven Google doodle is really cute, even if it is a day late for his birthday. (If you're reading this after the 17th, you can go here. There's a nice little biographical sketch and a glimpse at the making-of process as well.) I like the ending best, after he's come through all his trials and tribulations. I do think they put him through a few too many of those -- as if the poor man didn't suffer enough in his lifetime without having extra indignities heaped upon him!  
litlover12: (Beethoven)
litlover12: (Classic men)
A side benefit of the British films project: I recently picked up a copy of Blessings in Disguise, the first volume of Alec Guinness's memoirs, when I saw it in a used bookstore. Just finished reading it last night. What a marvelous book. The man could not only act, he could write. Really write.

For those interested, I'll cross-post my Goodreads review below the cut.
Read more... )
litlover12: (Beethoven)
Check it out! Even though customer reviews point out a couple of errors, this is still a pretty sweet deal.
litlover12: (Beethoven)
If you somehow happened to be inside my head while I've been planning out and preparing next spring's garden, you might have heard something like this:

"No, idiot, you are NOT buying the Scarlet Pimpernel tulips just because they're named after the Scarlet Pimpernel. You don't even like the things. They're weird-looking."

"Okay, as long as I can buy the Fidelio tulips."

"They're just yellow and red tulips. You can buy yellow and red tulips anywhere that are cheaper than that."

"Yeah, but are they named after Beethoven's only opera?"

"All right. Fine. You can buy the Fidelio tulips. As long as you don't buy the Jimmy tulips just because they're called Jimmy. They're orangey-red, and you wanted plain red. And no, they're not named after Jimmy Stewart."

"Are you sure?"

"SHUT UP AND BUY THE PLAIN RED TULIPS ALREADY."

And that was even before I found the Pickwick crocuses.

So cool!

Jun. 26th, 2011 05:29 pm
litlover12: (Beethoven)
King's Speech piano book = best thing ever. It's lovely to be able to play some of those pieces from the movie. There's even a really good transcription of the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh!
litlover12: (CSL)
19. Your favourite picture, junior fiction and Young Adult books?

That's a hard one . . . )
litlover12: (Default)
Attended a lovely little show at the Kennedy Center, Beethoven Lives Upstairs, based on one of my favorite children's books. I was quite startled to find myself in tears several times. It's not like any of the facts were new to me -- the deafness, the loneliness, the wretched childhood, any of it. I knew all of that backwards. And yet . . . there was something about seeing it all through a child's eyes that made me weep.

His sad story is perhaps one of the reasons I've always felt so drawn to Beethoven, even though I might have found his personality unbearable in real life. (I find that several of my favorite historic figures are like that.) I love many classical composers, but Beethoven reaches me in a way that none of the others do. To write music like that in spite of fear and misery and the worst physical handicap that could afflict a composer . . . I'm about to get choked up all over again just thinking about it.
litlover12: (CSL)
So, I'm dying to buy The Paris Wife and The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. But before I do, I really need to read some of the following, all currently on my shelves:

The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824. Beethoven's Letters. My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams. Charles Dickens. Knowing Dickens. Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities and the French Revolution. Martin Chuzzlewit. Sketches by Boz. Mr. Dick or The Tenth Book. The Master's Cat: The Story of Charles Dickens as Told by His Cat. Katey: The Life and Loves of Dickens's Artist Daughter. Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey. A Daughter's Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg. All but My Life. Sala's Gift. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. The Complete Saki. Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker. Walking on Water. Fly Fishing with Darth Vader. The Great Typo Hunt. Studies in Words. Reading Like a Writer. Mockingbird. The Glass-Blowers. Hide My Eyes. London Refrain. Full Dark House. The Collected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay. The Autobiography of G. K. Chesterton.  Havah. Almost Heaven. Resurrection. The Heart of the Artist. The Control Freak. Why Grace Changes Everything. God Hides in Plain Sight.

And that's not even all of them.

I need professional help.
litlover12: (GK1)
Just found out -- thanks, tempestsarekind! -- that Ludwig van Beethoven and Jane Austen share a birthday (yes, it's today).

For some obscure reason, this pleases me greatly.

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