Ludwig van Beethoven 1770-
German composer and pianist. He was a contemporary of Napoleon Bonaparte, Johan Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. Today he is considered to be a crucial figure for the transition from classicism to romanticism and he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time. His work is divided by scholars into three periods. a) to about 1800, b) 1800-
His father was his first teacher in music. According to legend, Beethoven had a bad childhood in music because of his father, however no solid evidence support this . Christian Gottlob Neefe was also an Important teacher to him . In 1781, at age of 11, Beethoven left school in order to focus to his music studies.
By 1793 he had acquired a reputation as a capable improviser and virtuoso pianist . In the salons of the aristocracy he played Bach' s "well tempered clavier" . At that time some of his works were published.
second period: 1800-
His first two symphonies were premiered in 1800 and 1803 respectively. He was then recognized as an important new composer in the footsteps of Haydn and Mozart. There was no doubt that both of them had a great influence on Beethoven. His music became sought-
We know that In 1802 he had already been diagnosed with deafness. Indeed, in his letters during that time he describes the symptoms of his hearing loss and how that impacted his social and professional life. As the time went by his deafness deteriorated greatly until he became completely deaf. This affected his mental state badly, nevertheless he did not stop writing. From the second period came not only his most famous works, but also some further Information about his personality. Passionate, uncompromising, angry; all these features can be heard in his music. The stereotype of the person who presents himself in his music but also the one of a genius who suffers for his art have their roots in Beethoven.
Beethoven's personal life was not easy. Emotionally , he was rather unstable. His health situation gave him more problems. What is more, his brother Carl died from tuberculosis in 1815. After the death of his brother the composer opened a legal dispute with his brother's wife for the custody of his nephew ,Carl which he won in the end. During the third period he becomes more introspective and musically abstract, as deafness forced him to turn to himself. Although the 9th Symphony was written during those years (and it is the only symphony of his last period) it is influenced by Beethoven's "middle" period. Chamber music ( such as his last quartets) are the most representative works of his third period.
He died on 26 of March 1827, rundown because of health problems, and family problems.
Beethoven along with Haydn and Mozart belongs to the first school of Vienna. Fran Schubert is occasionally added to the list.
9th Symphony is one of the best known works of the Western world.
It is considered to be one of the most important artworks of all time.