MUSIC Let’s Get Personal … (No. 9)

Posted by on 30. Oktober 2011

Beethoven's hair, cut off by great-great-grandfather ...

Beethoven-Locke 2

... and how the press reported the scandal

If you check out museums and auction catalogues the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven must be buried 1827 with hardly a hair on his head. Dozens of ringlets, maybe hundreds, must have been cut from his gorgeous mane when he lie in state in Vienna – so it seems, and every year a new strand of the maestro’s hair pops up! But I tell you: 99,9 % of all cut-offs are fakes. There might be five or six genuine ringlets and I definitely know it because my ancestor, the most famous tenor of the early 19th century, my great-great-grandfather Ludwig Cramolini, was one of the culprits who caused a worldwide scandal – and was still allowed to be one of Beethoven’s coffin bearers. Look at the contemporary paper: An Beethovens Leiche, it says (On Beethoven’s Corpse), and what follows is the dramatic description how Cramolini sneaked into the room with the open coffin, stole a ringlet – and was discovered and almost bashed senseless. But he kept the hair, it’s mine now, in a folded mini-envelope, typical for 1827, and the last offer I got was for 5000 Euro or 6000 US dollars. Because this one is probably the only authentic one, with a matchless provenience

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