“I am Isis. I am that is, and that was, and that shall be, and no mortal hath raised the veil from before my face.” - famous inscription on the colonnade of the Temple of Isis in ancient Egypt. (Ich bin, was da ist / Ich bin alles was ist, was war, und was seyn wird, kein sterblicher Mensch hat meinen Schleyer aufgehoben)
Beethoven once wrote this down and the sentence had lain on his desk ever since, together with another one: “He is One, self-existent, and to that One, all things owe their existence.” (“Er ist einzig von ihm selbst, diesem Einzigen sind alle Dinge ihr Daseyn schuldig”)1. These were important words to Beethoven. Perhaps they inspired him to aim for the highest attainable in his work. And even if he could never gain a place as high as that One, or as the goddess of motherhood (Isis), he felt it was his moral duty to give the world what it was that he could give: his musical legacy.