I think I must have been 12 when a teacher at elementary school gave me a subject for a paper. I was to write 10 pages about the life and times of Beethoven. I didn’t like it, but like the tiny soldier that I was I went to work.
Beethoven was a composer, I figured, so you know, I should add his music on tape. My parents didn’t have anything like that in the house, so I went to my uncle who lived quite close by. Without much of a plan, I recorded parts of what he had. The teacher was happy and I got a good result. He told me he noticed it was genuine because he heard ticks from the record.
The tape stayed, apart from the paper. It lived on between my other tapes when I had my own stereo, and every now and then I listened to it. Gradually I got to know and understand this music. On it were several symphonies and a single piano piece: Für Elise. If nothing else, it lay the foundation for my classical music.
I highly doubt the teacher was doing this on purpose, but he did me a great service. I came from a background that had nothing with music. At best it was Dutch Schlagers (“BZN”), at worst Christian choirs on Sunday. Or the other way round. I had to find out about all this beauty for myself, and I started with this little tape.
The performances on that tape were a lot better than this one btw. My uncle had good taste.