Ludwig Van Beethoven
The world of music is rich in a number of names known worldwide. Great role in creating music the way it is now played classical music and its famous representatives, such composers as Bach, Mozart, Wagner, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Debussy and many others. The list is very long, but I would like to talk about Beethoven and an outstanding contribution he made to music.
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in December 1770 inBonn, Germany. His grandfather Ludwig and father Johann were musicians and his father was the first to give little Ludwig musical lessons. Johann is believed to teach his son the piano, violin and maybe the viola. Realizing how talented his son is, Johann soon found him a better teacher – famous court organist Gottlob Neefe. Neefe taught Beethoven organ and composition. In a couple of years Ludwig became a deputy of Neefe and at the age of twelve he had his first work published (“Ludwig Van Beethoven: Brief Biography”). Next five years he played viola in the Bonn Symphony and then went to Vienna, thinking about studying with Mozart. Unfortunately, his mother’s sudden death brought him back to Bonn.
Beethoven was able to move to Vienna in 1792. He stayed in Vienna for the rest of his life. Here he studied composition and counterpoint with Salieri, Haydn and Albrechtsberger. Here he wrote his most famous works. His career as a composer can be divided into three periods: Early, Middle and Late. At the very beginning, he tried hard to master the high classical style and he was successful. During his Early period he created such important pieces as the first two symphonies, the first six string quartets, piano sonatas and others. He earned real popularity and respect for his piano playing. Very soon he was known as virtuoso with a gift of improvisation. Due to his relations with the aristocracy he was guaranteed a stable income.
During his Middle period he transforms his style into more dynamic and individualistic one. This is when he writes his next six symphonies, his last three piano concertos, Fidelio, his only opera and many other pieces. Unluckily, early in this period Ludwig van Beethoven found out that he had hearing disorder and with time it only became worse (“Ludwig Van Beethoven”). At times he even seriously considered committing a suicide. Along with the disease he had problems in his personal life, since he had no chances to attain women he was attracted to. He also became unbearable to socially interact with. Soon he realized that he can no longer hear at all. All of this resulted in a depression he had from approximately 1812 through 1816. As a consequence, low productivity is observed within these years. His brother’s death and the following struggle for gaining custody of his nephew also negatively influenced his inspiration and willingness to work.
Late period in Beethoven’s musical career starts after 1816. His late works are famous for their depth and intense as well as incredible personal expression. The ninth symphony, his last six quartets and the last piano sonatas were created during this period. Because of his constant financial troubles he had often problems with health. Probably this was what caused his death on March 26 1827.
Beethoven’s style is seen as something transitional between classical and romantic music. He essentially extended principles of sonata form and motivic development with longer and more ambitious movements (“Ludwig Van Beethoven Biography”). His Middle period is usually associated with heroic expression and the Late one with intellectual depth and introversion. His main works include orchestral music (nine symphonies), piano concertos (different overtures), chamber music (trios, quartets, sonatas, strings, bagatelles), vocal/choral (songs, masses, cantatas) and opera Fidelio.
In conclusion, Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most famous composers. His musical legacy is huge and its importance to the history of music cannot be overestimated. Even though Beethoven faced a lot of severe difficulties through his life, including complete deafness, he kept on creating masterpieces till the very end. That is why he is admired worldwide.