Pasqualatihaus: Where Beethoven's history lives

Plastering the apartment’s walls and loading its antiquated vast-wood boxes are endless draft sheets of Beethoven’s compositions.
by Sally Farhat

21 September 2018 | 14:22

Source: by Annahar

  • by Sally Farhat
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 21 September 2018 | 14:22

The picture shows the first room in Beethoven's apartment. This room includes the history of the flat and an intro into Beethoven's life. (Annahar Photo/Sally Farhat)

VIENNA: Far enough from Vienna’s packed streets lies a small longstanding town that echoes the remains of a legendary musician who once called Vienna his home.

Situated in Mölker Bastei, an antediluvian building entices those who desire to shadow the musical paths of the German composer and pianist Ludwig Van Beethoven. Behind its wooden entrance door, rests a rusty four-floor staircase that leads to what was once Beethoven’s flat between 1804-1808 and 1810-1814.

“I very much wish to live in lodgings on the bastion,” wrote Beethoven to his friend in 1804. Soon enough, that same friend found the composer Pasqualatihaus. Fast-forward 214 years, the apartment today resonates a musical history titled Beethoven.

The residence, which was named after its owner Baron Josef Benedikt Von Pasqualati according to Viennese tradition, cherishes the life of Beethoven.

The picture shows Lynn Jbeily  (interviewee) on the interactive music table. The table allows visitors to explore Beethoven's different compositions. (Annahar Photo/Sally Farhat)

Guests of musical and non-musical backgrounds are granted the opportunity to tour the four-room apartment that the composer occupied for eight years. That same flat witnessed the emergence of some of the composer’s greatest work such as the 5th, 7th, and 8th symphonies, “Für Elise,” and his opera "Leonor,” which was then renamed as “Fidelio” against Beethoven’s will due to censorship.

“Placing a memorial in his house adds a personal touch and gives you a deeper access to the composer’s life because you are actually occupying the same space that he did,” Sary Mrakadi, a Lebanese musician who has recently visited the flat, told Annahar.

Those who venture in the small apartment also get a sense of what might have been an inspiration to the composer: the windows’ captivating view of Josephstadt glacis, a green belt that embraces the city.

“The experience of moving around his flat increased my understanding of his background and surrounding,” said Lynn Jbeily, young pianist and Lebanese locale. “It’s amazing to see the place he composed in and what might have been some of his sources of inspiration.”

Plastering the apartment’s walls and loading its antiquated vast-wood boxes are endless draft sheets of Beethoven’s compositions. Some of these handwritten sketch sheets reveal one after the other how much the German composer was influenced by Mozart. For instance, the memorial presents one of Fidelio’s six-paged music sheet, with some traced measures from Mozart’s ensembles “The Magic Flute” and “Les Deux Journee” on its front page.

Afar from the shielded walls and wooden cases, statuses, massive paintings, and interactive music desks stretch over the floor’s different areas and spaces.

One of the most important art pieces residing in the house is a mask of Beethoven’s face created by Franz Klein and later used by others to produce additional sculptures of the composer. It is said that Beethoven had required repeating the process of creating this mask two times.

Although he had tubes in his nostrils that allowed him to breathe, the composer back then felt like he’s suffocating and thus, stopped the process during his first trial. The mask is considered a reflection of the real image of 42-year-old Beethoven.

“Knowing that I’m in a room where he was, looking out the same window he looked out through and seeing what he saw and in whole, being able to experience part of something that someone who lived 200 years ago experienced is astonishing and means a lot to me,” Mrakadi told Annahar.

The picture shows some of the paintings located in the apartment and a wooden box that includes some of Beethoven's musical sheets. (Annahar Photo/Sally Farhat)

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