Stamp on Beethoven

Stamp on Beethoven


norman lebrecht

January 02, 2020

Or should that be the other way round?

Germany has issued a first-day cover for the Beetoven year.

Nothing from Austria?


  • Jean says:

    And nothing from DDR 🙁

  • Ed says:

    His face alone was enough.

    • fflambeau says:

      I agree. The treble clef does look like a dollar sign on the stamp.

    • Olassus says:

      Yes, it’s a bad design. Many people won’t even realize who it is, not seeing the name or recognizing the face, which in any case is spoiled by the clef.

  • anon says:

    At first I though the treble clef was a dollar sign….

  • Larry L. Lash / Vienna says:

    Sorry: no time to think about that yet in the wake of our new coalition with the Greens!

  • jan neckers says:

    The composers naam was Ludwig van Beethoven and not Beethoven. His grandfather Lodewijk (Dutch for Ludwig) migrated from my home town Mechelen in nowadays Flanders (Mechelen was one of the states of the Royal Netherlands). There are still van Beethovens in Flanders. One once told he often got the reply: “Yes and I’m Bach or Brahms” when he said his name. That must have been in the days when people still knew who van Beethoven was.

    • Bostin'Symph says:

      With or without a van, still a Mechelen man.

    • fred says:

      In Bonn’s there is a baptism certificate, I seem to remember his first name was actually LUDOVICUS but my memory could be failing me, anyone who can confirm this?

      • Peter San Diego says:

        Catholic church records very often used Latin forms of names. His parents must certainly have called him Ludwig, or a nickname thereof. I learned from this site that his friends called him Louis (I knew he used that form in his dedications in French).

        As for “van Beethoven”, I wonder: do Dutch directories list the name under B or V? “Beethoven, Lodewijk van” or “van Beethoven, Lodewijk”?

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          According to Swafford, Beethoven hated the ‘van’ and thought ‘von’ would be more appropriate as it conferred a kind of nobility to him which ‘van’ did not!!! Ergo, he didn’t mind in the least if there was some controversy surrounding that.

          Swafford also says the Ludovicus was the name used in Latin during the baptismal celebration.

    • esfir ross says:

      Mechelen has a big Jewish orthodox community and today it’s in Belgium.

    • John Borstlap says:

      In the late 18th century Flanders was part of the Habsburg empire (1731-1789), hence the logical move of LvB to Vienna.

  • Oresta Cybriwsky says:

    I didn’t even SEE the treble clef sign. Beethoven’s head is prominent enough. He is still considered a German composer, otherwise we could get into many arguments over the nationalities of people born in countries with moving political borders. wonderful that there is a stamp. Almost makes you want to send a few letters with that antiquated, overpriced postal service.

  • Dave T says:

    Why is there a little hook on the bottom of the clef?

  • RAUL says:

    Dollar sign?? No, more like an ampersand; until I noticed the LvB’s chin