Faroe Islands Stamps: Ludwig van Beethoven - 250th Anniversary


01 June 2020
The colourful, vibrant philatelic tribute to Beethoven sees the great composer dressed in the Faroese national costume, as the Faroe Islands celebrate the 250th anniversary of the faithful companion of the Faroese.

Occasionally, art is created which takes on its own existence and wings its flight beyond the artist’s universe and the confines of his earthly life. This is especially true of the world of music and, most eminently for the works of the great classical composers.

Classical works of music are written for orchestral ensembles of varying sizes, intended for concert performances for live audiences. This gives rise to constant reinterpretations of the musical works subject to the conductor’s particular perception, his temperament and the quality of the orchestra.

Add to this the perceptiveness of the audience and the listeners when it comes to appreciating a work of high art. We are all children of our own cultural backgrounds. Whether there are societal differences or culturally conditioned regional differences - there will always be perceptual differences in individual interpretation of the work in question.

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And this seems to be the starting point for the versatile artist Heiorik a Heygum’s in his graphic representation of Ludwig van Beethoven on his 250th birthday.

Heiorik has dressed the great composer up in the Faroese national costume, placed him in quintessential Faroese surroundings – enveloped by equally iconic examples of Faroese flora and fauna. The German-born Beethoven, who spent most of his life in Vienna, Austria - and possibly did not have the faintest idea of the Faroe Islands - is as natural a part of Faroese culture as the landscape, the wind and the ram on the mountain.

His music has been the faithful companion of the Faroese through so many years, creating myriad associations and influencing us in various ways, along with our own particular cultural features – which is why it seems natural for us to celebrate the old virtuoso as one of our own.

'Yes, Beethoven is genuinely Faroese,' writes Anker Eli Petersen 'just as he belongs to all other nations in the world, and richly deserving of our humble tribute on his 250th anniversary.'