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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 at Fateand finally overcoming it through a supreme effort of creative will. Born in the small German city of Bonn on or around December 16, 1770, he received hisearly training from his father and other local musicians. As a teenager, he earned some money as an assistant to his teacher, ChristianGottlob Neefe, then was granted half of his father's salary as court musician from the Electorate of Cologne in order to care for his twoyounger brothers as his father gave in to ...read more

The events of Beethoven's life are the stuff of Romantic legend, evoking images of the solitary creator shaking his fist at Fateand finally overcoming it through a supreme effort of creative will. Born in the small German city of Bonn on or around December 16, 1770, he received hisearly training from his father and other local musicians. As a teenager, he earned some money as an assistant to his teacher, ChristianGottlob Neefe, then was granted half of his father's salary as court musician from the Electorate of Cologne in order to care for his twoyounger brothers as his father gave in to alcoholism.Beethoven played viola in various orchestras, becoming friends with other players suchas Antoine Reicha, Nikolaus Simrock,and Franz Ries, and began taking on composition commissions. As a member of the court chapelorchestra, he was able to travel some and meet members of the nobility, one of whom, Count Ferdinand Waldstein, would become a greatfriend and patron to him.Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792 to study with Haydn; despite the prickliness of their relationship, Haydn'sconcise humor helped form Beethoven's style. His subsequent teachers in composition were Johann Georg Albrechtsberger and AntonioSalieri.In 1794, he began his career in earnest as a pianist and composer, taking advantage whenever he could of the patronage of others.Around 1800, Beethoven began to notice his gradually encroaching deafness.His growing despondency only intensified his antisocialtendencies. However, the Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," of 1803 began a sustained period of groundbreaking creative triumph. In lateryears,Beethoven was plagued by personal difficulties, including a series of failed romances and a nasty custody battle over a nephew, Karl.Yet after a long period of comparative compositional inactivity lasting from about 1811 to 1817, his creative imagination triumphed onceagain over his troubles. Beethoven's late works, especially the last five of his 16 string quartets and the last four of his 32 piano sonatas,have anecstatic quality in which many have found amystical significance. Beethoven died in Vienna on March 26, 1827.Beethoven's epochalcareer 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, highly personal musical languageincorporating elements of contrapuntal and variation writing while approaching large-scale forms with complete freedom. Though certainlysubject to debate, these divisions point to the immense depth and multifariousness of Beethoven's creative personality. Beethoven profoundlytransformed every genre he touched, and the music of the nineteenth century seems to grow from his compositions as if from a chrysalis. Aformidable pianist, he moved the piano sonata from the drawing room to the concert hall with such ambitious and virtuosic middle-periodworks as the "Waldstein" (No. 21) and "Appassionata"(No. 23)sonatas. His song cycle An die ferne Geliebte of 1816 set the pattern for similarcycles by all the Romantic song composers, from Schubert to Wolf. The Romantic tradition of descriptive or"program" music began withBeethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony No. 6. Even in the second half of the nineteenth century, Beethoven still directly inspired bothconservatives (such as Brahms,who, like Beethoven, fundamentally stayed within the confines of Classical form) and radicals (such asWagner, who viewed the Ninth Symphony as a harbinger of his own vision of a total art work, integrating vocal and instrumental music withthe other arts). In many ways revolutionary, Beethoven's music remains universally appealing because of its characteristic humanism anddramatic power. « hide

Similar Bands: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Antonio Salieri, Franz Schubert, Gioachino Rossini

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

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

4.8
2 Votes
String Quartet No. 13 in B♭ major, Op. 130
1825

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

4.5
9 Votes
Große Fuge, Op. 133
1825

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

4.7
360 Votes
Missa solemnis, Op. 123
1823

4.5
3 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111
1822

4.2
5 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A♭ major, Op. 110
1821

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

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

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

3.5
3 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90
1815

3.8
2 Votes
Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93
1814

4
41 Votes
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
1813

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

4
1 Votes
Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor (Für Elise)
1810

4
27 Votes
"Les Adieux" Piano Sonata No. 26 in E♭ major, Op. 81a
1810

3.5
1 Votes
Piano Concerto No. 5, Op. 73
1809

4.3
31 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 24 in F♯ major, Op. 78
1809

3
1 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 25 in G major, Op. 79
1809

3
1 Votes
"Pastoral" Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68
1808

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

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

4.3
3 Votes
Symphony No. 4 in B♭ minor, Op. 60
1807

3.8
28 Votes
"Appassionata" Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57
1807

4.3
17 Votes
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
1806

4.6
6 Votes
Symphony No. 3 in E♭ major, Op. 55
1805

4.3
60 Votes
Violin Romance No. 2 in F major, Op. 50
1805

3.5
2 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
13 Votes
Piano Sonatas Nos. 19 and 20, Op. 49
1804

3.3
5 Votes
Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 37
1803

4
4 Votes
"Kreutzer Sonata" Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47
1803

4.7
3 Votes
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36
1803

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

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

4.2
3 Votes
"Pastorale" Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28
1801

3.5
2 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 12 in A♭ major, Op. 26
1801

3.5
1 Votes
"Moonlight" Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor, Op. 27, No. 2
1801

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

3.8
3 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 13 in E♭ major, Op. 27, No. 1
1801

3.8
4 Votes
Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21
1800

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.1
8 Votes
"Pathétique" Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13
1798

4.3
58 Votes
Piano Sonata No. 7 in D major, Op. 10, No. 3
1798

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

3.5
18 Votes
Compilations
Very Best of Beethoven
2005

4
1 Votes
Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7
1995

5
4 Votes
The Late String Quartets (Alban Berg Quartett)
1993

4.6
5 Votes
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Coriolan Overture
1992

4.3
4 Votes
The Late Sonatas
1989

4
2 Votes
Complete Piano Sonatas
1858

4.5
5 Votes
Late String Quartets
1826

5
11 Votes
Symphonies [Various]
1814

4.6
35 Votes

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