For Sir Simon Rattle, Beethoven was, of course, brilliant. And perhaps crazy.
How much of the composer's creativity was tied to his loss of hearing?
"If he had not been so cut off from the world by this cruel affliction, could he have gone to the place he went? I wonder," the British conductor said. "It's no wonder even many of his most intelligent contemporaries thought that he was insane. (Carl Maria von) Weber walked out after the first movement of the Seventh Symphony saying that he's no longer writing anything that could be called music, this is only fit for the lunatic asylum."
Long known as an advocate of contemporary composers, Rattle...