I arrived in Dusseldorf early this morning. This city is the capital of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Situated right on the Rhine River, it is the second most economically important center of Germany after Frankfurt. After a short nap in my beautiful suite, a driver took me on an hour drive to Bonn where Dr Michael Ladenburger, Director of the Beethoven House and Museum, met me at the entrance of a narrow, picturesque, cobbled street, closed to cars, where shops and restaurants surround the birthplace and museum of the world’s greatest and most interesting composer. (That’s my opinion)
The archives are in a basement vault beneath the beautiful concert hall. I tried to photograph this hall but the pictures didn’t come out. Dr Ladenburger said the idea is that when the musicians perform, they can feel and be inspired by the presence of the great master beneath them. I was not allowed to take photos in the archives. It is a hallowed place where few people are allowed. I felt so privileged and moved. Dr Ladenburger handled the pages of manuscript so carefully, never touching them directly with his fingers.