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Ludwig van Beethoven

The events of Beethoven's life are the stuff of Romantic legend, evoking images of the solitary creator shaking his fist atFateandfinallyovercoming it through a supreme effort of creative will. Born in the small German city of Bonn on or around December 16,1770, hereceivedhisearly training from his father and other local musicians. As a teenager, he earned some money as an assistant tohisteacher,ChristianGottlob Neefe, then was granted half of his father's salary as court musician from the Electorate of Cologne in order tocarefor histwoyounger brothers as his father gave in to alcoholism.B ...read more

The events of Beethoven's life are the stuff of Romantic legend, evoking images of the solitary creator shaking his fist atFateandfinallyovercoming it through a supreme effort of creative will. Born in the small German city of Bonn on or around December 16,1770, hereceivedhisearly training from his father and other local musicians. As a teenager, he earned some money as an assistant tohisteacher,ChristianGottlob Neefe, then was granted half of his father's salary as court musician from the Electorate of Cologne in order tocarefor histwoyounger brothers as his father gave in to alcoholism.Beethoven played viola in various orchestras, becoming friends withotherplayerssuchas Antoine Reicha, Nikolaus Simrock,and Franz Ries, and began taking on composition commissions. As a member ofthecourtchapelorchestra, he was able to travel some and meet members of the nobility, one of whom, Count Ferdinand Waldstein, wouldbecomeagreatfriend and patron to him.Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792 to study with Haydn; despite the prickliness oftheirrelationship,Haydn'sconcise humor helped form Beethoven's style. His subsequent teachers in composition were JohannGeorgAlbrechtsberger andAntonioSalieri.In 1794, he began his career in earnest as a pianist and composer, taking advantage whenever hecould ofthe patronage ofothers.Around 1800, Beethoven began to notice his gradually encroaching deafness.His growing despondency onlyintensifiedhisantisocialtendencies. However, the Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," of 1803 began a sustained period of groundbreaking creativetriumph.Inlateryears,Beethoven was plagued by personal difficulties, including a series of failed romances and a nasty custody battle overanephew,Karl.Yet after a long period of comparative compositional inactivity lasting from about 1811 to 1817, his creativeimaginationtriumphedonceagain over his troubles. Beethoven's late works, especially the last five of his 16 string quartets and the last four ofhis 32pianosonatas,have anecstatic quality in which many have found amystical significance. Beethoven died in Vienna on March26,1827.Beethoven'sepochalcareer is often divided into early,middle, and late periods, represented, respectively, by works based on Classic-period models,byrevolutionary pieces that expanded the vocabulary of music, and by compositions written in a unique, highlypersonalmusicallanguageincorporating elements of contrapuntal and variation writing while approaching large-scale forms with completefreedom.Thoughcertainlysubject to debate, these divisions point to the immense depth and multifariousness of Beethoven's creativepersonality.Beethovenprofoundlytransformed every genre he touched, and the music of the nineteenth century seems to grow from hiscompositions as iffrom achrysalis. Aformidable pianist, he moved the piano sonata from the drawing room to the concert hall with suchambitious andvirtuosicmiddle-periodworks as the "Waldstein" (No. 21) and "Appassionata"(No. 23)sonatas. His song cycle An die ferneGeliebte of 1816 setthepattern for similarcycles by all the Romantic song composers, from Schubert to Wolf. The Romantic tradition ofdescriptiveor"program"music began withBeethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony No. 6. Even in the second half of the nineteenth century, Beethovenstilldirectly inspiredbothconservatives (such as Brahms,who, like Beethoven, fundamentally stayed within the confines of Classical form)andradicals (suchasWagner, who viewed the Ninth Symphony as a harbinger of his own vision of a total art work, integrating vocalandinstrumental musicwiththe other arts). In many ways revolutionary, Beethoven's music remains universally appealing because ofitscharacteristic humanismanddramatic power. « hide

Similar Bands: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Luigi Cherubini

LPs
String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135
1826

4
2 Votes
String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132
1825

4.6
4 Votes
String Quartet No. 13 in B♭ major, Op. 130
1825

4.8
5 Votes
String Quartet No. 14 in C♯ minor, Op. 131
1825

4.5
12 Votes
Große Fuge, Op. 133
1825

4.8
8 Votes
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125
1824

4.7
382 Votes
String Quartet No. 12 in E flat major
1824

4
1 Votes
Missa solemnis, Op. 123
1823

4.4
5 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111
1822

4.1
10 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A♭ major, Op. 110
1821

3.9
9 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109
1820

3.9
10 Votes
"Hammerklavier" Piano Sonata No. 29 in B♭ major, Op. 106
1818

4.3
7 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101
1816

3.7
6 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90
1815

3.8
4 Votes
Fidelio, Op. 72
1814

3.5
1 Votes
Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93
1814

4.1
48 Votes
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
1813

4.5
95 Votes
Wellington's Victory, Op. 91
1813

4.3
2 Votes
"Serioso" String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95
1810

4.3
3 Votes
Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor (Für Elise)
1810

4.1
31 Votes
"Les Adieux" Piano Sonata No. 26 in E♭ major, Op. 81a
1810

4
3 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 24 in F♯ major, Op. 78
1809

3.7
3 Votes
Piano Concerto No. 5, Op. 73
1809

4.4
36 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 25 in G major, Op. 79
1809

3
1 Votes
String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major
1809

4.8
2 Votes
"Pastoral" Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68
1808

4.4
76 Votes
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
1808

4.5
180 Votes
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
1808

4.1
5 Votes
Symphony No. 4 in B♭ minor, Op. 60
1807

3.9
33 Votes
"Appassionata" Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57
1807

4.3
21 Votes
String Quartet No. 7 in F major
1806

4.5
2 Votes
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
1806

4.6
8 Votes
String Quartet No. 9 in C major
1806

4.3
2 Votes
String Quartet No. 8 in E minor
1806

4.5
2 Votes
Symphony No. 3 in E♭ major, Op. 55
1805

4.4
66 Votes
Violin Romance No. 2 in F major, Op. 50
1805

3.5
3 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54
1804

3
1 Votes
"Waldstein" Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53
1804

4.2
16 Votes
Piano Sonatas Nos. 19 and 20, Op. 49
1804

3.3
5 Votes
Christus am Ölberge, Op. 85
1804

4
1 Votes
Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 37
1803

4.2
6 Votes
"Kreutzer Sonata" Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47
1803

4.6
5 Votes
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36
1803

3.5
41 Votes
Violin Romance No. 1 in G major, Op. 40
1803

3.5
2 Votes
Piano Sonata Nos. 16-18, Op. 31
1802

4.1
4 Votes
"Pastorale" Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28
1801

3.6
4 Votes
"Moonlight" Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor, Op. 27, No. 2
1801

4.5
184 Votes
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B♭ major, Op. 19
1801

3.7
5 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 12 in A♭ major, Op. 26
1801

3.5
3 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 13 in E♭ major, Op. 27, No. 1
1801

3.7
5 Votes
Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21
1800

3.7
53 Votes
String Quartet No. 6 in B♭ major, Op. 18, No. 6
1800

4.3
2 Votes
String Quartet No. 5 in A major, Op. 18, No. 5
1800

4
2 Votes
String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
1800

4.3
2 Votes
String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18, No. 3
1800

4.3
2 Votes
String Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 18, No. 2
1800

4
2 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 11 in B♭ major, Op. 22
1800

3.3
2 Votes
String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Op. 18, No. 1
1800

4.3
2 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14, No. 2
1799

Piano Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14, No. 1
1799

3.8
6 Votes
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
1798

4
10 Votes
"Pathétique" Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13
1798

4.4
63 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 7 in D major, Op. 10, No. 3
1798

4
1 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major, Op. 10, No. 2
1798

3
1 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10, No. 1
1798

3.7
19 Votes
"Grand" Piano Sonata No. 4 in E♭ major, Op. 7
1797

3.6
5 Votes
Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, Op. 5
1796

4
2 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2, No. 3
1795

3.9
16 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2, No. 2
1795

3.5
16 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1
1795

3.6
18 Votes
Compilations
Very Best of Beethoven
2005

4
1 Votes
The Late Sonatas
1989

4
2 Votes
Complete Piano Sonatas
1858

4.5
5 Votes
Symphonies [Various]
1814

4.6
35 Votes

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