Just at the entrance of a house in Gaunsavaddo, in the lovely village of Siolim, stands a statue of Beethoven. What’s that, you say… yes, Ludwig Van Beethoven. The patriarch of the house Pinta Shapai (Grandfather Pinto) so loved music, that on his 200th birthday his descendants installed a statue of the great German composer and pianist in front of the house.
A quote by Giuseppe Verdi on the marble plaque reads – “Before the name of Beethoven, we must all bow in reverence”.
Another quote by George Bernard Shaw says – ” No composer has ever so melted his hearers into complete sentimentality by the beauty of his music.”
Shaw’s quote must be read in its full intent – “And no other composer has ever melted his hearers into complete sentimentality by the tender beauty of his music, and then suddenly turned on them and mocked them with derisive trumpet blasts for being such fools. Nobody but Beethoven could govern Beethoven; and when, as happened when the fit was on him, he deliberately refused to govern himself, he was ungovernable.”
Yet another line from Goethe reads – “More concentrated, more energetic, more intimate, I have never yet seen an artist. I can very well understand how singular he stands in his relations with the world.”
The original German quote by Goethe reads – “Zusammengefasster, energischer, inniger habe ich noch keinen Künstler gesehen, ich begreife recht gut, wie er gegen die Welt wunderlich stehen muss”.
The word ‘inniger’ has been variously translated as intimate/fervent/tenderly and so on. But in one study, it reads as ““More concentrated, more energetic, more inward, I have never yet seen an artist. ” Another essay says “…I can well understand he must stand a stranger against the world.” Goethe, who was not particularly liked by Beethoven, also called the composer “an utterly untamed personality”.So the quotes by Shaw and Goethe also refer to Beethoven’s arrogance, tempestuousness and near neurotic nature at that time.
A more sentimental quote by Manuel Sousa Pinto says – “Like every Goan, Ludwig was born with a fiddle in his hand. I thank God he is now here, quite at home in my beloved Goa.”
Ludwig ne’er a fiddle play’d, he was a pianist. But if he were born with a grand piano in hand, that would have been quite traumatic for Frau Beethoven. So a literary fiddle it shall be…
The maestro is indeed at home in Goa. During San Joao festivities, he even dons a ‘kopel’ alongwith other revellers as mentioned by chronicler Vivek Menezes.