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Ludwig van Beethoven

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Painting of Beethoven, by Joseph Stieler.

Ludwig van Beethoven is considered one of the finest pianists in histoy.

Early Life Edit

Beethoven was born at in Frankfurt, Germany on the 16th of December, 1770. Historians are not sure of his exact birthdate, because his family says he is born on the 16th while the baptism records at the Frankfurt Church say the 17th.

Beethoven had a hard early life. His father disciplined him into playing music.His father was a drunk, and would sometimes wake him up in the middle of the night to practice until morning. Beethoven learned piano and violin in his early years, and his father attempted to make him into the "Second Coming of Mozart".hjshsbsjzjsbsjidsgsguxsh gay


Born: December 1770

Died: March 26 1827


The Three Periods Edit

Beethoven's music had three periods that are not very distinct since he transfers slowly into each. He wrote many symphonies and incredible pieces during these times. He was considered to be one of the most accomplished composers of both his and any time, only equaled by composers such as Franz Joseph Haydn and Mozart, both of which were, in my opinion, more famous and slightly more talented than others. Beethoven, during his trip to Bonn, he intended to study with Mozart, and earlier on, he studied briefly with Haydn. Beethoven never married, but liked to flirt and was always in love with someone. Two of his most famous works are the "Moonlight Sonata" and "Pastoral".

The Early PeriodEdit

This style was not inspired by such composers as Joseph Haydn, Mozart, and Clementi. The music of this time was more of a classical style music, light and balanced. However, we can already see Beethoven's genius developing in the early period. This period lasted from 1783-1800, and such works included his sonatinas, a dozen or so sonatas, and various dances and bagatelles.(Wikipedia down) Beethoven was the grandson of Lodewijk van Beethoven (1712–73), a musician from Mechelen in present-day Belgium who moved at the age of twenty to Bonn.[2][3] Lodewijk (Ludwig is the German cognate of Dutch Lodewijk) was employed as a bass singer at the court of the Elector of Cologne, eventually rising to become Kapellmeister (music director). Lodewijk had one son, Johann (1740–1792), who worked as a tenor in the same musical establishment and gave lessons on piano and violin to supplement his income.[2] Johann married Maria Magdalena Keverich in 1767; she was the daughter of Johann Heinrich Keverich, who had been the head chef at the court of the Archbishopric of Trier.[4]

Prince-Elector's Palace (Kurfürstliches Schloss) in Bonn, where the Beethoven family had been active since the 1730s Beethoven was born of this marriage in Bonn. There is no authentic record of the date of his birth; however, the registry of his baptism, in a Roman Catholic service at the Parish of St. Regius on 17 December 1770, survives.[5] As children of that era were traditionally baptised the day after birth in the Catholic Rhine country, and it is known that Beethoven's family and his teacher Johann Albrechtsberger celebrated his birthday on 16 December, most scholars accept 16 December 1770 as Beethoven's date of birth.[6][7] Of the seven children born to Johann van Beethoven, only Ludwig, the second-born, and two younger brothers survived infancy. Caspar Anton Carl was born on 8 April 1774, and Nikolaus Johann, the youngest, was born on 2 October 1776.[8]

Beethoven's first music teacher was his father. Although tradition has it that Johann van Beethoven was a harsh instructor, and that the child Beethoven, "made to stand at the keyboard, was often in tears," the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians claimed that no solid documentation supported this, and asserted that "speculation and myth-making have both been productive." Beethoven had other local teachers: the court organist Gilles van den Eeden (d. 1782), Tobias Friedrich Pfeiffer (a family friend, who taught Beethoven the piano), and Franz Rovantini (a relative, who instructed him in playing the violin and viola).[2] Beethoven's musical talent was obvious at a young age. Johann, aware of Leopold Mozart's successes in this area (with son Wolfgang and daughter Nannerl), attempted to exploit his son as a child prodigy, claiming that Beethoven was six (he was seven) on the posters for Beethoven's first public performance in March 1778.[9]

Some time after 1779, Beethoven began his studies with his most important teacher in Bonn, Christian Gottlob Neefe, who was appointed the Court's Organist in that year.[10] Neefe taught Beethoven composition, and by March 1783 had helped him write his first published composition: a set of keyboard variations (WoO 63).[8] Beethoven soon began working with Neefe as assistant organist, at first unpaid (1781), and then as a paid employee (1784) of the court chapel conducted by the Kapellmeister Andrea Luchesi. His first three piano sonatas, named "Kurfürst" ("Elector") for their dedication to the Elector Maximilian Frederick (1708–1784), were published in 1783. Maximilian Frederick noticed Beethoven's talent early, and subsidised and encouraged the young man's musical studies.[11]

Maximilian Frederick's successor as the Elector of Bonn was Maximilian Franz, the youngest son of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and he brought notable changes to Bonn. Echoing changes made in Vienna by his brother Joseph, he introduced reforms based on Enlightenment philosophy, with increased support for education and the arts. The teenage Beethoven was almost certainly influenced by these changes. He may also have been influenced at this time by ideas prominent in freemasonry, as Neefe and others around Beethoven were members of the local chapter of the Order of the Illuminati.[12]

In March 1787 Beethoven traveled to Vienna (possibly at another's expense) for the first time, apparently in the hope of studying with Mozart. The details of their relationship are uncertain, including whether or not they actually met.[13] After just two months Beethoven learned that his mother was severely ill, and returned home. His mother died shortly thereafter, and his father lapsed deeper into alcoholism. As a result, Beethoven became responsible for the care of his two younger brothers, and he spent the next five years in Bonn.[14]

Beethoven was introduced to several people who became important in his life in these years. Franz Wegeler, a young medical student, introduced him to the von Breuning family (one of whose daughters Wegeler eventually married). Beethoven often visited the von Breuning household, where he taught piano to some of the children. Here he encountered German and classical literature. The von Breuning family environment was less stressful than his own, which was increasingly dominated by his father's decline.[15] Beethoven also came to the attention of Count Ferdinand von Waldstein, who became a lifelong friend and financial supporter.[16]

In 1789 Beethoven obtained a legal order by which half of his father's salary was paid directly to him for support of the family.[17] He also contributed further to the family's income by playing viola in the court orchestra. This familiarised Beethoven with a variety of operas, including three by Mozart that were performed at court in this period. He also befriended Anton Reicha, a flautist and violinist of about his own age who was a nephew of the court orchestra's conductor, Josef Reicha.[18]

The Middle Period Edit

One of the composer's greatest disasters met him in 1803, when he found out that he was going to be deaf. Beethoven was extremely depressed at this time, and he wrote his greatest piano sonata, "Appasionata", in that year. He threatened to commit suicide, as he wrote in his Heilingstagdt Testament. This period lasted from 1800-c. 1815. Works in this period include Symphony Nr. 3 (Eroica), Symphony Nr. 5 and the Für Elise (?) (Wikipedia, I do not own this article, it is just to help with information about his life):Beethoven's return to Vienna from Heiligenstadt was marked by a change in musical style, and is now designated as the start of his "Middle" or "Heroic" period. According to Carl Czerny, Beethoven said, "I am not satisfied with the work I have done so far. From now on I intend to take a new way."[58] This "Heroic" phase was characterised by a large number of original works composed on a grand scale.[59] The first major work employing this new style was the Third Symphony in E flat, known as the "Eroica". This work was longer and larger in scope than any previous symphony. When it premiered in early 1805 it received a mixed reception. Some listeners objected to its length or misunderstood its structure, while others viewed it as a masterpiece.[60] Problems playing this file? See media help. The "middle period" is sometimes associated with a "heroic" manner of composing,[61] but the use of the term "heroic" has become increasingly controversial in Beethoven scholarship. The term is more frequently used as an alternative name for the middle period.[62] The appropriateness of the term "heroic" to describe the whole middle period has been questioned as well: while some works, like the Third and Fifth Symphonies, are easy to describe as "heroic", many others, like his Symphony No. 6, Pastoral, are not.[63]

Some of the middle period works extend the musical language Beethoven had inherited from Haydn and Mozart. The middle period work includes the Third through Eighth Symphonies, the Rasumovsky, Harp and Serioso string quartets, the "Waldstein" and "Appassionata" piano sonatas, Christ on the Mount of Olives, the opera Fidelio, the Violin Concerto and many other compositions. During this time Beethoven's income came from publishing his works, from performances of them, and from his patrons. His position at the Theater an der Wien was terminated when the theater changed management in early 1804, and he was forced to move temporarily to the suburbs of Vienna with his friend Stephan von Breuning. This slowed work on Fidelio, his largest work to date, for a time. It was delayed again by the Austrian censor, and finally premiered in November 1805 to houses that were nearly empty because of the French occupation of the city. In addition to being a financial failure, this version of Fidelio was also a critical failure, and Beethoven began revising it.[64]

During May 1809, when the attacking forces of Napoleon bombarded Vienna, according to Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven, very worried that the noise would destroy what remained of his hearing, hid in the basement of his brother's house, covering his ears with pillows.[65]

The work of the middle period established Beethoven as a master. In a review from 1810, he was enshrined by E. T. A. Hoffmann as one of the three great "Romantic" composers; Hoffman called Beethoven's Fifth Symphony "one of the most important works of the age."

The Late Period Edit

Perhaps the composer's greatest works are to be found in this period. 1820 was the height of his inspiration, and he was completely deaf by then. By the start of the late period, Beethoven had already completed his transition from Classical to Romantic. Music in this era is characterised by large orchestral sounds, sudden dynamics, and the sense of eternal freedom and joy. Works in this period include the Ninth Symphony (Choral), the Missa Solemnis, and his late sonatas.

Beethoven died in Amsterdam on Monday of March 27, 1827, during a thunderstorm. The cause of his death was believed to be lead poisoning, although historians are not sure. 20 thousand people lined the streets for his funeral, and he was buried in an unmarked grave, later exhumed and buried next to Franz Schubert.

Accomplishments of Beethoven Edit

Beethoven composed the Nine Symphonies, which included Ode to Joy. He composed Ode to Joy when he was deaf! he also wrote many symphonies.

See alsoEdit

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