Beethoven, Ludwig van
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Beethoven (1820) by Joseph Carl Stieler, Beethovenhaus, Bonn or: Collection Walter Hinrichsen, New York

Born: 16 December 1770, Bonn, Germany
Died: 26 July 1827, Vienna, Austria

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Beethoven was the son of an alcoholic father, who attempted to establish him as a prodigy in the mold of Mozart. He was born and raised in Bonn, and settled in Vienna, in order to study with Haydn. He remained there for the rest of his life, with members of the Viennese aristocracy as his steady patrons. In Vienna, he won the admiration of the aristocracy, despite his repulsive behavior and lack of manners.

Beethoven (1804) by Willibrord Joseph Mahler, Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, ViennaHe usually played his own piano piecesBagatelle No.25 in Am 'For Elise' - Beethoven and conducted his orchestral works until he was hampered by deafness; yet it was then that he composed his greatest and most important works, among which are the Symphonies no. 5First part (Allegro con brio) from Symphony No.5 in Cm, Op.67 - BeethovenSymphony No.5 - Beethoven and no. 6 ("The Pastoral")1st movement from Symphony No. 6 in F Opus 68, 'Pastoral' - Beethoven, his Piano Concerto and violin concerto, the opera "Fidelio", and especially his 9th SymphonyOde to Joy from Symphony No.9 in D- 'Choral', Op.125 - Beethoven, which includes the passage from Schiller’s ‘Ode to Joy’ - the first vocal part in the history of symphony - a form that was purely instrumental until then.

Beethoven also excelled in chamber music, and his string quartets1st movement from the String Quartet No.16 in F - Beethoven remain some of the best in this form.

The garve of Beethoven in ViennaBeethoven was a more independent composer than his predecessors, and he is the one most identified with the shift from the systematic nature and professionalism of the Classic period to the personal involvement and emotional expression in art, that characterizes Romanticism. He believed in democracy, and dedicated his 3rd Symphony ("Eroica") to Napoleon Bonaparte, but when the latter declared himself emperor, Beethoven erased his name from the score and devoted it to "the memory of a great man". His piano sonatas are widely loved as well, particularly the "Appassionata", the "Pathetique"Sonata No.8 in Cm, Op.13 'Pathetique' - Beethoven, and above all, a sonata a music critic said which reminded him of the moon reflecting on the lake's water - and for that it is named the "Moonlight Sonata"Part 1 from Sonata No.14 in C#m, Op.27 No.2 'Moonlight' - Beethoven.

The Heiligenstadt Testament Memorial in ViennaBeethoven was one of the most influential composers, and his influence can be heard in the works of many Romantic composers such as Schubert (who was also one of the men who carried his coffin), Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Wagner, Bruckner, Brahms, and Mahler.

An anecdote about the composer

Beethoven's house in 1889, Beethovenhaus, BonnBeethoven's house today
Beethoven's birth house in 1889 and today

Beethoven Symphony No. 5, 3rd mvt
Arturo Toscanini/NBC Symphony Orchestra

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