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BEETLE—BEGAS, K.


  • 1811. 5th pfte. concerto, op. 73, E♭ (The Emperor not Beethoven’s title). Fantasia for pfte., orchestra and chorus, op. 80. Sonata, op. 81a (Les Adieux, l’absence, et le retour), first movement written when the archduke Rudolph had to leave Vienna (4th May 1809), and the rest on his return on the 30th of January 1810. It was an anxious time both for Beethoven and his excellent royal friend, for whom he had great affection. (Battle of Wagram, 6th July 1809.) (We may here note that op. 81b is an unimportant and very early sextet.) The overture to Egmont, op. 84; Christus am Oelberge (the Mount of Olives), op. 85, oratorio (probably composed between 1800 and its first performance in 1803).
  • 1812. The rest of the Egmont music, op. 84. 1st mass, op. 87 (C) (first performance, 1807).
  • 1814. Final version of Leonore, performed as Fidelio with great alterations, skilful revision of the libretto, very important new material in the music and a new overture.
  • 1815. Sonata, op. 90 (E mi.).
  • 1816. 7th symphony, op. 92 (A); 8th symphony, op. 93 (F) (Beethoven was planning a group of three of which the last was to be in D mi., which we shall find significant). String quartet, op. 95 (F mi.). Violin sonata, op. 96 (G). Pianoforte trio, op. 97 (B♭); Liederkreis, op. 98.
  • 1817. Sonata, op. 101 (the first indisputably in Beethoven’s “third manner”). 2 violoncello sonatas, op. 102 (C, D, the second containing Beethoven’s first modern instrumental strict fugue).
  • 1819. Arrangement for string quintet, op. 104, of C mi. trio, op. 1, No. 3 (a wonderful study in translation, comparable only to Bach’s arrangements and very unlike Beethoven’s former essays of the kind). Sonata, op. 106 (B♭), the largest and most symphonic pianoforte work extant, surpassed in length only by Bach’s Goldberg variations and Beethoven’s 33 variations on Diabelli’s waltz.
  • 1821. 25 Scotch songs accompanied by pfte., V. and Vc., op. 108 (the first set of a large and much neglected collection, mostly posthumous, many of great interest and beauty and very Beethovenish, which has shocked persons who expect sympathetic insight into folk-music to prevail over Beethoven’s artistic impulse). Sonata, op. 109 (E).
  • 1822. Sonata, op. 110 (A♭). Overture, Die Weihe des Hauses, op. 124 (C), a magnificent essay in orchestral free fugue, published 1825.
  • 1823. Sonata, op. 111 (C mi., the last pianoforte sonata). 33 variations on a waltz by Diabelli, who sent his waltz round to fifty-one musicians in Austria asking each to contribute a variation; the whole to be published for the benefit of the widows and orphans left by the war. Beethoven answered with the greatest set ever written, and it was published in a separate volume. Among the other fifty composers were Schubert and an infant prodigy of eleven, Franz Liszt!
The mass in D (Missa Solemnis), op. 123, begun in 1818 for the installation of the archduke Rudolph as archbishop of Olmütz, was not finished until 1826, two years after the installation.
The 9th symphony, op. 125 D mi. (see note on 7th and 8th symphonies); sketches begun 1817; project of setting Schiller’s Freude already in Beethoven’s mind before he left Bonn.
6 bagatelles, op. 126, Beethoven’s last pianoforte work a very remarkable and unaccountably neglected group of carefully contrasted lyric pieces.
  • 1824. String quartet, op. 127 (E♭, published 1826).
  • 1825. String quartet, op. 130 (B♭), with finale, op. 133 (grand fugue); string quartet, op. 132 (A mi., with slow movement in Lydian mode, a Heiliger Dankgesang on recovery from illness. Theme of finale first thought of as for instrumental finale to 9th symphony).
  • 1826. String quartet, op. 131 (C♯, mi.). String quartet, op. 135 (F). New finale to op. 130, Beethoven’s last composition. (D. F. T.) 

Authorities.—A. W. Thayer, Beethovens Leben (1866–1879); L. Nohl, Life of Beethoven (Eng. trans., 1884), and Letters (Eng. trans., 1866); Sir G. Grove, Beethoven and his Symphonies (1896), and in Grove’s Dictionary of Music.


BEETLE (O. Eng. bityl; connected with “bite”), a name commonly applied to those insects which possess horny wing-cases; it is used to denote the cockroaches (q.v.) (black beetles), as well as the true beetles or Coleoptera (q.v.), the two belonging to different orders of Insecta.

The adjective “beetle-browed,” and similarly “beetling” (of a cliff), are derived from the name of the insect. From another word (O. Eng. betel, connected with “beat”) comes “beetle” in the sense of a mallet, and the “beetling-machine,” which subjects fabrics to a hammering process.


BEETS, NIKOLAAS (1814–1903), Dutch poet, was born at Haarlem on the 13th of September 1814; constant references in his poems and sketches show how deeply the beauty of that town and its neighbourhood impressed his imagination. He studied theology in Leiden, but gave himself early to the cultivation of poetry. In his youth Beets was entirely carried away on the tide of Byronism which was then sweeping over Europe, and his early works—Jose (1834), Kuser (1835) and Guy de Vlaming (1837)—are gloomy romances of the most impassioned type. But at the very same time he was beginning in prose the composite work of humour and observation which has made him famous, and which certainly had nothing that was in the least Byronic about it. This was the celebrated Camera Obscura (1839), the most successful imaginative work which any Dutchman of the 18th century produced. This work, published under the pseudonym of “Hildebrand,” goes back in its earliest inception to the year 1835, when Beets was only twenty-one. It consists of complete short stories, descriptive sketches, studies of peasant life—all instinct with humour and pathos, and written in a style of great charm; it has been reprinted in countless editions. Beets became a professor at the university of Leiden, and the pastor of a congregation in that city. In middle life he published further collections of verse—Cornflowers (1853) and New Poems (1857)—in which the romantic melancholy was found to have disappeared, and to have left in its place a gentle sentiment and a depth of religious feeling. In 1873-–875 Beets collected his works in three volumes. In April 1883 the honorary degree of LL.D. Edin. was conferred upon him. He died at Utrecht on the 13th of March 1903.


BEFANA (Ital., corrupted from Epifania, Epiphany), the Italian female counterpart of Santa Claus, the Christmas benefactor (St Nicholas). On Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, she plays the fairy godmother to the children, filling their stockings with presents. Tradition relates that she was too busy with house duties to come to the window to see the Three Wise Men of the East pass on their journey to pay adoration to the Saviour, excusing herself on the ground that she could see them on their return. They went back another way, and Befana is alleged to have been punished by being obliged to look for them for ever. Her legends seem to be rather mixed, for in spite of her Santa Claus character, her name is used by Italian mothers as a bogey to frighten the babies. It was the custom to carry her effigy through Italian towns on the eve of the Epiphany.


BEFFROY DE REIGNY, LOUIS ABEL (1757–1811), French dramatist and man of letters, was born at Laon on the 6th of November 1757. Under the name of “Cousin Jacques” he founded a periodical called Les Lunes (1785–1787). The Courrier des planètes ou Correspondance du Cousin Jacques avec le firmament (1788–1792) followed. Nicodème dans la lune, ou la révolution pacifique (1790) a three-act farce, is said to have had more than four hundred representations. In spite of his protests against the evils of the Revolution he escaped interference through the influence of his brother, Louis Étienne Beffroy, who was a member of the Convention. Of La Petite Nanette (1795) and several other operas he wrote both the words and the music. His Dictionnaire néologique (3 vols., 1795–1800) of the chief actors and events in the Revolution was interdicted by the police and remained incomplete. Beffroy spent his last years in retirement, dying in Paris on the 17th of December 1811.


BEGAS, KARL (1794–1854), German historical painter, was born at Heinsberg near Aix-la-Chapelle. His father, a retired judge, destined him for the legal profession, but the boy’s tastes pointed definitely in another direction. Even at school he was remarked for his wonderful skill in drawing and painting, and in 1812 he was permitted to visit Paris in order to perfect himself in his art. He studied for eighteen months in the atelier of Gros and then began to work independently. In 1814 his copy of the Madonna della Sedia was bought by the king of Prussia, who was attracted by the young artist and did much to advance him. He was engaged to paint several large Biblical pictures, and in 1825, after his return from Italy, continued to produce paintings which were placed in the churches of Berlin and