Stamp on Beethoven

Or should that be the other way round?

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

Nothing from Austria?

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  • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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”?

        • 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.

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

  • 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.

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