Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.

Ludwig van Beethoven

In a letter to German poet and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer Bettina von Arnim quoted this line first spoken by her friend Ludwig von Beethoven, whose musical ability had by that point (the early 1800s) taken Europe by storm. In the view of the virtuoso, the unspeakable quality of music to uncover deep emotion and understanding surpasses that of any works by sages and philosophers. For Beethoven, to hear and be moved by a musical composition is to experience the highest intellectual state.