English translation of Beethoven: Le Prix de la Liberté.
"Tell the French that there is still one man in Austria who is not subject to them, and that he does not bear any title!"
1806, Beethoven was 36 years old and resided in the palace of Prince Alois von Lichnowsky, his friend and patron, where he would form a friendship with the young son of the prince, Eduard. It was the time of the great Napoleonic conquests and Austria was now occupied by French troops. In order to show the French officers that he was receiving at dinner, "what remains of a prince of Austria", von Lichnowsky made it a point of honor to have the composer play in front of his guests. But Beethoven refused to show his talent. By insubordination, not only towards the victors, these "servants of tyranny" but also towards his protector who wanted to show him off. He is and will remain a free man!
Through the account of this particular day, Régis Penet makes a biographical work and draws a striking portrait of the "bear of the salons": a genius sure of his talent, indomitable and fond of freedom. Instructive, moving... simply magnificent!