Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Foxy Brown

Foxy Brown – Inga Marchand, born on 6 September, 1978, in Brooklyn, New York City, better known as Foxy Brown, is an American rapper of Afro-Trinidadian and Asian descent. Foxy Brown is known for her solo work and her brief stint as part of hip-hop music group The Firm. Foxy Brown has revealed that she is slowly losing her hearing after being diagnosed with a rare condition that only affects 1 in 10,000. On 5 December, 2005, outside of Manhattan criminal court, Foxy Brown’s attorney Joseph Tacopina stated he wanted to confirm rumors that Foxy Brown was almost totally deaf and claimed that he could no longer communicate with her verbally. Foxy Brown told reporters on 15 December that she was diagnosed with sudden hearing loss in May while she was recording her upcoming album. Shortly after Tacopina spoke to the public about her hearing condition, news spread that Foxy Brown had fired him. According to reports, Tacopina was never given permission by Foxy Brown or her agent to discuss her medical condition to reporters.

While still a teenager, Foxy Brown won a talent contest in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. At the time, production team Trackmasters were working on LL Cool J’s Mr. Smith album, the pair were in attendance that night and being impressed, they decided to let her rap over “I Shot Ya.” Foxy Brown followed her debut with appearances on several RIAA platinum and gold singles from other artists, including remixes of songs “You’re Makin’ Me High” by Toni Braxton. Foxy Brown was also featured on the soundtrack to the 1996 film The Nutty Professor, on the songs “Touch Me Tease Me” by Case and “Ain’t No Nigga” by Jay-Z. The immediate success led to a label bidding war at the beginning of 1996, and in March, Def Jam Records won as they added the then 16 year old talent to their roster.

In 1996 Foxy Brown released her debut album Ill Na Na to mixed reviews but strong sales. The album sold over 109,000 copies in the first week, and debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 album charts. The album was heavily produced by Trackmasters, and featured guest appearances from Jay-Z, Blackstreet, Method Man, and Kid Capri. The album went on to go platinum selling over 3 million records in the US, 6 million worldwide and launched 2 hit singles: “Get Me Home” (featuring Blackstreet) and “I’ll Be” (featuring Jay-Z).

Following the release of Ill Na Na, Foxy Brown joined fellow New York based hip hop artists, Nas, AZ and Nature to form the supergroup known as The Firm. The album was released via Aftermath Records and was produced and recorded by the collective team of Dr. Dre, The Trackmasters, and Steve “Comissioner” Stout of Violator Entertainment. An early form of The Firm appeared on “Affirmative Action,” from Nas’ second album, It Was Written. A remix of the song, and several group freestyles were in the album, Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, and Nature Present The Firm: The Album. The album entered the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 1 and sold over 1 000,000 records and is RIAA certified platinum.

On 25 January, 1997 Foxy Brown spat on 2 hotel workers in Raleigh, North Carolina when they told her they didn’t have an iron available. When she missed a court appearance, an arrest warrant was issued and she finally turned herself in on 30 April, 1997. Foxy Brown eventually received a 30 day suspended sentence and was ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.

In March 1997, she joined the spring break festivities hosted by the MTV cable television network in Panama City, Florida, among other performers including rapper Snoop Dogg, pop group The Spice Girls, and rock band Stone Temple Pilots. Later, she joined the Smokin’ Grooves tour hosted by the House of Blues with the headlining rap group Cypress Hill, along with other performers like Erykah Badu, The Roots, OutKast, and The Pharcyde, the tour set to begin in Boston, Massachusetts in the summer of 1997. However, after missing several dates in the tour, she left it.

Foxy Brown made an appearance on Ricky Lake in 1998 and mentioned that she had been cast alongside Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz in the 2000 film Charlie’s Angels. However, due to her legal troubles around that time she was replaced, at first by Thandie Newton, and ultimately by Lucy Liu.

On 20 January, 1999 Foxy Brown released her second album Chyna Doll, delayed from its original November 1998 release date. It entered the Billboard 200 charts at number 1, selling 173,000 copies in its opening week. However, its sales quickly declined in later weeks. The album’s lead single “Hot Spot” failed to enter the top 50 of the Billboard pop charts, as did the follow-up single, “I Can’t” (featuring Total). Chyna Doll has been certified platinum after surpassing 1 000,000 copies in sales.

On 3 July, 1999 Foxy Brown was escorted off the stage by police at a concert in Trinidad and Tobago for using obscene language but was neither charged nor arrested. In 2000, she announced she was suffering from depression and entered rehab at Cornell University Medical College for an addiction to prescription painkillers, in particular, morphine, even stating that she couldn’t perform or make records unless she was on the illegal drug. On 6 March, 2000 Foxy Brown crashed her Range Rover in Flatbush, Brooklyn. That year she was also arrested for driving without a license.

In 2001, Foxy Brown released Broken Silence. Its first single was “BK Anthem” showcased Foxy Brown changing to a “street” image and giving a tribute to her hometown Brooklyn and famous rappers such as The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z. The second single from the album was “Oh Yeah”, which featured her then-boyfriend, Jamaican dancehall artist Spragga Benz. The album debuted on the Billboard Charts at No. 5, selling 131,000 units its first week. Like previous albums, Broken Silence also sold over 1 000,000 records and is certified platinum by the RIAA.

In 2002, Foxy Brown returned to the music scene briefly with her single “Stylin'”, whose remix featured rappers Birdman, her brother Gavin, Loon, and N.O.R.E. was to be the first single off of her upcoming album Ill Na Na 2: The Fever. Threat of arrest faced her following an altercation at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica from July she would be arrested if she ever would return to the country. The next year, she was featured on DJ Kayslay’s single “Too Much for Me” from his Street Sweeper’s Volume One Mixtape. Foxy Brown also appeared on Luther Vandross’ final studio album Dance with My Father. That April, Foxy Brown appeared on popular New York radio jock Wendy Williams’ radio show, and revealed the details of her relationships with Lyor Cohen, president of Def Jam Recordings at the time, and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. Foxy Brown accused both of illegally trading her recording masters. Foxy Brown also announced that Cohen shelved her long awaited fourth album Ill Na Na 2: The Fever over personal disagreements. Therefore, “Stylin'” was released on the compilation album The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits Vol. 6 in December 2002.

In 2004, Foxy Brown reunited with her old friend and mentor Jay-Z, when he became the president of Def Jam and signed her to its subsidiary, Roc-A-Fella Records. Later that year, Foxy Brown joined Jay-Z and several other hip-hop acts on his Jay-Z and Friends tour. Foxy Brown began recording her fourth solo album, Black Roses. Its first single was “Come Fly With Me” featuring Sizzla. Other tracks Foxy Brown recorded included a remix of the song “You Already Know” by the R&B group 112.

On 29 August, 2004 Foxy Brown attacked 2 manicurists in Chelsea, Manhattan during a dispute over a $20 bill that she refused to pay, and she in April 2005 pled not guilty to assault charges and entered 3 years of probation effective October 2006. For that incident, she would also take anger management classes. Female rapper Jacki-O, in April 2005, alleged that she and Foxy Brown got into a physical altercation at a recording studio in Miami, Florida, saying that Foxy Brown came into the studio during her session and expected her to “bow down” to her. The next month, Foxy Brown denied any such altercation in an interview with the Miami, Florida hip-hop radio station WEDR.

Joseph Tacopina, Foxy Brown’s attorney, stated on 5 December, 2005 that he wanted to confirm rumors that Foxy Brown was almost totally deaf and claimed that he could no longer communicate with her verbally. Foxy Brown told reporters on 15 December that she was diagnosed with sudden hearing loss in May while she was recording her upcoming album. Shortly after Tacopina spoke to the public about her hearing condition, news spread that Foxy Brown had fired him. According to reports, Tacopina was never given permission by Foxy Brown or her agent to discuss her medical condition to reporters.

As a result of her legal troubles, Foxy Brown entered a confrontation with radio host Egypt on New York City radio station WWPR-FM (“Power 105.1”). Foxy Brown pled not guilty in March 2007 to assaulting a beauty supply store employee. Foxy Brown’s other arrests during 2007 included leaving New York state without permission during probation, hitting a neighbor with a BlackBerry, and almost running over a stroller with a baby inside.

On 24 July, 2008 publisher Simon & Schuster Inc. sued Foxy Brown in state court in New York claiming that it paid Foxy Brown $75,000 under a 2006 contract for an autobiography tentatively titled “Broken Silence” and Foxy Brown never delivered on the contract. The case is Simon & Schuster v. Inga Marchand, 110125/2008, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

On 7 September, 2007, New York Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson sentenced Foxy Brown to 1 year in jail for violating her probation that stemmed from the 2004 fight with 2 manicurists in a New York City nail salon. Foxy Brown was eventually released from prison on 18 April, 2008. No mention was made during the trial by anyone about Foxy Brown expecting a baby. On 12 September, 2007 her representatives stated the rapper was not pregnant in response to claims by her lawyer that she was.

On 23 October, 2007, Foxy Brown was given 76 days in solitary confinement due to a physical altercation that took place on 3 October, 2007 with another prisoner. According to the prison authorities, Foxy Brown, the next day after the incident, was also verbally abusive toward correction officers and refused to take a random drug test. Prison authorities reported on 27 November that she was released “from solitary confinement…for good behavior”, and Foxy Brown was finally released from prison on 18 April, 2008.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Johnnie Ray

John Alvin Ray was born on 10 January, 1927 in Hopewell, Oregon, USA and died on 24 February, 1990 in Los Angeles, California, USA of liver failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Johnnie Ray was interred at Hopewell Cemetery near Hopewell, Oregon.

Johnnie Ray was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Johnnie Ray developed a unique rhythm based style, described as alternating between pre-rock R&B and a more conventional classic pop approach. Johnnie Ray was partially deaf because of an injury sustained at the age of 13. Johnnie Ray became deaf in his right ear at age 13 after an accident during a Boy Scout event. Johnnie Ray later performed his music wearing a hearing aid. Surgery performed in New York in 1958, left him almost completely deaf in both ears, although hearing aids helped his condition.

Johnnie Ray spent part of his childhood on a farm, eventually moving to Portland, Oregon. Johnnie Ray was of Native American origin; his great-grandmother was a full-blooded Indian and his great-grandfather was Oregon pioneer George Kirby Gay of Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England.

Johnnie Ray first attracted attention while performing at the Flame Showbar in Detroit, Michigan, an R&B nightclub. Inspired by rhythm singers like Kay Starr, LaVern Baker and Ivory Joe Hunter, Johnnie Ray developed a unique rhythm based style, described as alternating between pre-rock R&B and a more conventional classic pop approach.

Johnnie Ray’s first record, the self-penned R&B number for OKeh Records, Whiskey and Gin, was a minor hit in 1951. The following year he dominated the charts with the double-sided hit single of “Cry” and “The Little White Cloud That Cried”. Selling over 2, 000,000 copies of the 45 single, Johnnie Ray’s delivery struck a chord with teenagers and he quickly became a teen idol.

Johnnie Ray’s performing style included theatrics later associated with rock ‘n roll, including beating up his piano, writhing on the floor and crying. Johnnie Ray quickly earned the nicknames, “Mr. Emotion”, “The Nabob of Sob”, and “The Prince of Wails”, and several others.

More hits followed, including “Please Mr. Sun”, “Such a Night”, “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home”, “A Sinner Am I”, and “Yes Tonight Josephine”. His last hit was “Just Walkin’ in the Rain”, in 1956. Johnnie Ray was popular in the United Kingdom, breaking the record at the London Palladium formerly set by Frankie Laine. In later years, he retained a loyal fan base overseas, particularly in Australia.

Johnnie Ray had a close relationship with journalist and television game show panelist Dorothy Kilgallen who gave a boost to his sagging career during his engagement at the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1965.

In early 1969, Johnnie Ray befriended Judy Garland, performing as her opening act during her last concerts in Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo, Sweden. Johnnie Ray was also the best man during Garland’s wedding to nightclub manager Mickey Deans in London.

Johnnie Ray’s American career revived in the early 1970s, with appearances on The Andy Williams Show in 1970 and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 3 times during 1972 and 1973. Johnnie Ray’s personal manager Bill Franklin resigned in 1976 and cut off contact with the singer a few years later. Johnnie Ray’s American revival turned out to be shortlived. Johnnie Ray performed in small American venues such as El Camino College in 1987. Australian, English and Scottish promoters booked him for their large venues as late as 1989, his last year of performing.

Some writers suggested that the reason American entertainment bookers and songwriters ignored him in the 1980s was because they simply did not know who he was or what his sound was like. Johnnie Ray’s exposure during the new era of cable television was limited to a few seconds in Dexys Midnight Runners’ 1982 music video for Come On Eileen, using archival footage of Johnnie Ray from 1954. Johnnie Ray’s other video appearance was in Billy Idol’s 1986 “Don’t Need a Gun”, in which Johnnie Ray appeared on-camera.

Johnnie Ray had issues regarding his sexuality surface several times in his career, including 2 arrests for solicitation. Johnnie Ray quietly pleaded guilty and paid a fine after the first arrest, in the restroom of the Stone Theatre burlesque house in Detroit, which was just prior to the release of his first record in 1951. Johnnie Ray went to trial following the second arrest in 1959, also in Detroit, for soliciting an undercover officer in one of the city’s gay bars. Johnnie Ray was found not guilty.

Despite these issues, Johnnie Ray married Marilyn Morrison a short time after he gave his first New York concert, which was at the Copacabana in 1952. The wedding ceremony, attended by New York mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri, made the cover of the New York Daily News. Morrison, the daughter of a Los Angeles nightclub owner, was aware of the singer’s sexuality from the start, telling a friend she would “straighten it out.” The couple separated in 1953 and divorced in 1954.

In the years hence, writers have noted that the marriage occurred under false pretenses, and that Johnnie Ray had a long-term relationship with his manager, Bill Franklin. Johnnie Ray also had a relationship with columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, whom he met following an appearance on What’s My Line? in 1956. Dorothy Kilgallen was a strong support for Johnnie Ray during the 1959 solicitation trial.

Johnnie Ray drank regularly and his alcoholism caught up with him in 1960, when he was hospitalised for tuberculosis. Johnnie Ray recovered but continued drinking, and was diagnosed with cirrhosis at age 50.

For his contribution to the recording industry, Johnnie Ray has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Linda Bove

Linda Bove was born on 30 November, 1945 in Garfield, New Jersey, USA. Linda Bove attended Gallaudet University. Linda is a deaf American actress who played the part of Linda the Librarian on the children’s television programme Sesame Street from 1971 to 2003. Linda Bove has introduced thousands of children to sign language and issues surrounding the Deaf Community. Linda Bove’s role as Linda on Sesame Street is currently the longest recurring role in television history for a deaf person. Linda Bove has been married to Ed Waterstreet since 1970. Like Linda Bove, Ed Waterstreet is also deaf. Ed Waterstreet also performed with the National Theater of the Deaf.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Ludwig Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven, was born on 16 December 1770 in Bonn, Electorate of Cologne(now in modern-day Germany) and died on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56 due to Lead Poisoning.

Ludwig Van Beethoven was 1 Of the 7 children born to Johann Beethoven, himself the only survivor of 3, only second-born Ludwig and 2 younger brothers survived infancy. Beethoven was baptised on 17 December 1770. Although his birth date is not known for certain, his family celebrated his birthday on 16 December.

Beethoven moved to Vienna in his early 20s and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Beethoven’s hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his 20s, yet he continued to compose masterpieces, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf. Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. Beethoven was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time.

Beethoven’s parents were Johann van Beethoven (1740 in Bonn–1792) and Maria Magdalena Keverich (1744 in Ehrenbreitstein–1787). Magdalena’s father Johann Heinrich Keverich had been Chef at the court of the Archbishopric of Trier at Festung Ehrenbreitstein fortress opposite to Koblenz. Beethoven was, like their first child Ludwig Maria, named after his grandfather Ludwig (1712–1773), a musician of Roman Catholic Flemish ancestry who was at one time Kapellmeister at the court of Clemens August of Bavaria, the Prince-Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, and who married Beethoven’s grandmother Maria Josepha Ball (1714–1775) in 1733.

Beethoven’s first music teacher was his father, who was a tenor in the service of the Electoral court at Bonn. Beethoven was reportedly a harsh instructor. Johann later engaged a friend, Tobias Pfeiffer, to preside over his son’s musical training, and it is said Johann and his friend would at times come home late from a night of drinking to pull young Beethoven out of bed to practice until morning. Beethoven’s talent was recognized at a very early age, and by 1778 he was studying the organ and viola in addition to the piano. Beethoven’s most important teacher in Bonn was Christian Gottlob Neefe, who was the Court’s Organist. Neefe helped Beethoven publish his first composition: a set of keyboard variations.

A portrait of the 13 year old Beethoven by an unknown Bonn master The young Beethoven’s talent was spotted in Bonn by Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein, who became one of his early patrons and, in 1787, enabled him to travel to Vienna for the first time, in hopes of studying with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is not clear whether he succeeded in meeting Mozart, or if he did whether Mozart was willing to accept him as a pupil; see Mozart and Beethoven. In any event, the declining health of Beethoven’s mother, dying of tuberculosis, forced him to return home after only about 2 weeks in Vienna. Beethoven’s mother died on 17 July 1787, when Beethoven was 16.

Due to his father’s worsening alcohol addiction, Beethoven became responsible for raising his 2 younger brothers.

In 1792, Beethoven moved to Vienna, where he studied for a time with Joseph Haydn: his hopes of studying with Mozart had been shattered by Mozart’s death the previous year. Beethoven received additional instruction from Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (Vienna’s pre-eminent counterpoint instructor) and Antonio Salieri. By 1793, Beethoven established a reputation in Vienna as a piano virtuoso. Beethhoven’s first works with opus numbers, a set of 3 piano trios, appeared in 1795. Beethoven settled into the career pattern he would follow for the remainder of his life: rather than working for the church or a noble court (as most composers before him had done), he supported himself through a combination of annual stipends or single gifts from members of the aristocracy; income from subscription concerts, concerts, and lessons; and proceeds from sales of his works.

Beethoven’s patrons loved his music but were not quick to support him. Beethoven eventually came to rely more on patrons such as Count Franz Joseph Kinsky, (d. 1811), Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz (1772–1816) and Karl Alois Johann-Nepomuk Vinzenz, Fürst Lichnowsky, and as these patrons died or reneged on their pledges, Beethoven fell into debt. In 1807, Prince Lobkowitz advised Beethoven to apply for the position of composer of the Imperial Theatres, but the nobility who had newly been placed in charge of the post did not respond. Beethoven considered leaving Vienna: in the fall of 1808, he was offered a position as chapel maestro at the court of Jerome Bonaparte, the king of Westphalia, which he accepted. To persuade him to stay in Vienna, the Archduke Rudolf, Count Kinsky and Prince Lobkowitz, after receiving representations from the composer’s friends, pledged to pay Beethoven a pension of 4000 florins a year. Only Archduke Rudolf paid his share of the pension on the agreed date. Kinsky, immediately called to duty as an officer, did not contribute and soon died after falling from his horse. Lobkowitz stopped paying in September 1811. No successors came forward to continue the patronage, and Beethoven relied mostly on selling composition rights and a smaller pension after 1815.

Beethoven in 1803 Around 1796, Beethoven began to lose his hearing. Beethoven suffered a severe form of tinnitus, a “ringing” in his ears that made it hard for him to perceive and appreciate music; he also avoided conversation. Beethoven lived for a time in the small Austrian town of Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna. Here he wrote his Heiligenstadt Testament, which records his resolution to continue living for and through his art. Over time, his hearing loss became profound: there is a well-attested story that, at the end of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause of the audience; hearing nothing, he began to weep. Beethoven’s hearing loss did not prevent his composing music, but it made concerts—lucrative sources of income—increasingly hard.

Beethoven used a special rod attached to the soundboard on a piano that he could bite—the vibrations would then transfer from the piano to his jaw to increase his perception of the sound. A large collection of his hearing aids such as special ear horns can be viewed at the Beethoven House Museum in Bonn, Germany. Despite his obvious distress, however, Czerny remarked that Beethoven could still hear speech and music normally until 1812. By 1814 however, Beethoven was almost totally deaf, and when a group of visitors saw him play a loud arpeggio or thundering bass notes at his piano remarking, “Ist es nicht schön?” (Isn’t that beautiful?), they felt deep sympathy considering his courage and sense of humor.

Beethoven in 1823; copy of a destroyed portrait by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller as a result of Beethoven’s hearing loss, a unique historical record has been preserved: his conversation books. Beethoven’s friends wrote in the book so that he could know what they were saying, and he then responded either verbally or in the book. The books contain discussions about music and other issues, and give insights into his thinking; they are a source for investigation into how he felt his music should be performed, and also his perception of his relationship to art. Unfortunately, 264 out of a total of 400 conversation books were destroyed (and others were altered) after Beethoven’s death by Anton Schindler, in his attempt to paint an idealized picture of the composer.

Beethoven’s personal life was troubled. Beethhoven encroaching deafness led him to contemplate suicide (documented in his Heiligenstadt Testament). Beethoven was often irascible and may have suffered from bipolar disorder and irritability brought on by chronic abdominal pain beginning in his 20s that has been attributed to his lead poisoning. Beethoven, nevertheless, had a close and devoted circle of friends all his life, thought to have been attracted by his reputed strength of personality. Towards the end of his life, Beethoven’s friends competed in their efforts to help him cope with his incapacities.

Sources show Beethoven’s disdain for authority, and for social rank. Beethoven stopped performing at the piano if the audience chatted among themselves, or afforded him less than their full attention. At soirées, he refused to perform if suddenly called upon to do so. Eventually, after many confrontations, the Archduke Rudolph decreed that the usual rules of court etiquette did not apply to Beethoven.

The women who attracted Beethoven were unattainable because they were either married or aristocratic. Beethoven never married, although he was engaged to Giulietta Guiccardi. Giulietta father was the main obstacle to their marriage. Giulietta’s marriage to a nobleman was unhappy, and when it ended in 1822, she attempted unsuccessfully to return to Beethoven. Beethoven’s only other documented love affair with an identified woman began in 1805 with Josephine von Brunswick, young widow of the Graf von Deym. It is believed the relationship ended by 1807 because of Beethoven’s indecisiveness and the disapproval of Josephine’s aristocratic family.

In 1812, Beethoven wrote a long love letter to a woman he identified only as “Immortal Beloved”. Several candidates have been suggested, including Antonie Brentano, but the identity of the woman to whom the letter was written has never been proven.

Beethoven in 1818 by August Klöber On 15 November 1815 Beethoven’s brother Karl van Beethoven died of tuberculosis leaving a son Karl, Beethoven’s nephew. Although Beethoven had shown little interest in the boy up to this point, he now became totally obsessed with the possession of this nine year old child. The fight for custody of his nephew brought out the very worst aspects of Beethoven’s character. In the lengthy court cases Beethoven stopped at nothing to ensure that he achieved this goal. At this time Beethoven stopped composing for long periods.

The Austrian court system had one court for the nobility, The R&I Landrechte, and another for commoners, The Civil Court of the Magistrate. Beethoven disguised the fact that the Dutch “van” in his name did not denote nobility as does the Germanic “von”, and his case was tried in the Landrechte. Due to his influence with the court, he felt assured of a favorable outcome. Beethoven was awarded sole guardianship. Karl’s mother, Johanna, a commoner and a widow with little money, was not only refused access to her son, except under exceptional circumstances, but Beethoven insisted that she pay for her son’s education out of her inadequate pension. While giving evidence to the Landrechte, however, Beethoven inadvertently admitted that he was not nobly born. The case was transferred to the Magistracy on 18 December 1818, where he lost sole guardianship.

Beethoven appealed, and regained custody of Karl. Johanna’s appeal for justice and human rights to the Emperor was not successful: the Emperor “washed his hands of the matter”. Beethoven stopped at nothing to blacken both their characters, as can be read in surviving court papers. When Karl could stand his tyrannical uncle no longer, he attempted suicide on 31 July 1826 by shooting himself in the head. Beethoven survived, and later asked to be taken to his mother’s house. This desperate action finally freed Karl from the bonds of Beethoven.

After Beethoven lost custody of his nephew, he went into a decline that led to his death on Monday 26 March 1827 during a thunderstorm.

This was Romain Rolland’s description of Beethoven’s final day:

“That day was tragic. There were heavy clouds in the sky… around 4 or 5 in the afternoon the murky clouds cast darkness in the entire room. Suddenly a terrible storm started, with blizzard and snow… thunder made the room shudder, illuminating it with the cursed reflection of lightning on snow. Beethoven opened his eyes and with a threatening gesture raised his right arm towards the sky with his fist clenched. The expression of his face was horrifying. His hand fell to the ground. His eyes closed. Beethoven was no more.”

Beethoven grave, Vienna ZentralfriedhofA Viennese pathologist and forensic expert Christian Reiter (head of the Department of Forensic Medicine at Vienna Medical University) claimed that Beethoven’s physician, Andreas Wawruch, inadvertently hastened Beethoven’s death. According to Reiter, Wawruch worsened Beethoven’s already lead poisoned condition with lead poultices applied after repeated surgical draining of his bloated abdomen. Various theories attempt to explain how Beethoven’s lead poisoning first developed, and he was very sick for years. Reiter’s hypothesis however is at odds with Wawruch’s written instruction “that the wound was kept dry all the time”. Furthermore human hair is a very bad biomarker for lead contamination and Reiter’s hypothesis must be considered dubious, because of the lack of proper scholarly documentation in his article.

Ludwig van Beethoven: detail of an 1804 portrait by W.J. MählerBeethoven was attracted to the ideals of the Enlightenment and by the growing Romanticism in Europe. Beethoven initially dedicated his third symphony, the Eroica (Italian for “heroic”), to Napoleon, believing that the general intended to sustain the democratic and republican ideals of the French Revolution. But in 1804, when Napoleon’s imperial ambitions became clear, Beethoven took hold of the title-page and scratched the name Bonaparte out so violently that he made a hole in the paper. Beethhoven later changed the work’s title to “Sinfonia Eroica, composta per festeggiare il sovvenire d’un grand’uom” (“Heroic Symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man”), and he rededicated it to his patron, Prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowitz, at whose palace it was first performed.

Beethoven gave, Vienna Zentralfriedof The fourth movement of his Ninth Symphony features an elaborate choral setting of Schiller’s Ode An die Freude (“Ode to Joy”), an optimistic hymn championing the brotherhood of humanity. Since 1972, an orchestral version of this part of the fourth movement, arranged by the conductor Herbert von Karajan, has been the European anthem as announced by the Council of Europe.

In 1985 it was adopted as the anthem of the European Community / European Union.

Scholars disagree about Beethoven’s religious beliefs, and about the role they played in his work: It has been asserted, but not proven, that Beethoven was a Freemason.

Like the earlier composer Handel, Beethoven worked freelance—arranging subscription concerts, selling his compositions to publishers, and gaining financial support from a number of wealthy patrons—rather than seeking out permanent employment by the church or by an aristocratic court.

Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of Western classical music; occasionally he is referred to as one of the “three Bs” (along with Bach and Brahms) who epitomize that tradition. Beethoven was also a pivotal figure in the transition from 18th century musical classicism to 19th century romanticism, and his influence on subsequent generations of composers was profound.

Beethoven was one of the first composers of the post-Renaissance era to use, systematically, interlocking thematic devices, or “germ-motifs”, to achieve inter-movement unity in long compositions. Equally remarkable was his use of “source-motifs”, which recurred in many different compositions. Beethoven brought innovations to most of the genres in which he worked; for example, he introduced an elasticity to the previously well-crystallized form of the rondo, drawing it closer to sonata form.

Beethoven composed in various genres, including symphonies, concerti, piano sonatas, other sonatas (including for violin), string quartets and other chamber music, masses, an opera, and lieder. Beethoven is viewed as one of the most important transitional figures between the Classical and Romantic eras of musical history.

Working with the traditions of the classical sonata forms, he continued the work of Haydn and Mozart in expanding and loosening the structures and becoming increasingly reliant on motivic development.

Beethoven’s compositional career is usually divided into Early, Middle, and Late periods. In this scheme, his early period is taken to last until about 1802, the middle period from about 1803 to about 1814, and the late period from about 1815.

In his Early (Classical) period, while starting out under the influence of his great predecessors Haydn and Mozart, he explored new directions and gradually expanded the scope and ambition of his work. Some important pieces from the Early period are the first and second symphonies, the first 6 string quartets, the first 3 piano concertos, and the first 20 piano sonatas, including the famous “Pathétique” and “Moonlight” sonatas.

Beethoven’s Middle (Heroic) period began shortly after Beethoven’s personal crisis brought on by his recognition of encroaching deafness. It is noted for large-scale works that express heroism and struggle, many of which have become very famous. Middle-period works include 6 symphonies (Nos. 3–8), the 4th and 5th piano concertos, the triple concerto and violin concerto, 5 string quartets (Nos. 7–11), the next 7 piano sonatas (including the “Waldstein” and the “Appassionata”), the “Kreutzer” Violin Sonata and Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio.

Beethoven’s Late (Romantic) period began around 1815. Works from this period are characterized by their intellectual depth, their formal innovations, and their intense, highly personal expression. For example, the String Quartet, Op. 131 has seven linked movements, and the 9th Symphony adds choral forces to the orchestra in the last movement. Other compositions from this period include the “Missa Solemnis”, the last 5 string quartets (including the massive “Grosse Fuge”) and the last 5 piano sonatas, of which the “Hammerklavier” Sonata is the best known.

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