Ludwig Van Beethoven

945 Words Jul 19th, 2008 4 Pages
Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770 to Johann van Beethoven and his wife, Maria Magdalena. He took his first music lessons from his father, who was tenor in the choir of the archbishop-elector of Cologne. His father was an unstable, yet ambitious man whose excessive drinking, rough temper and anxiety surprisingly did not diminish Beethoven 's love for music. He studied and performed with great success, despite becoming the breadwinner of his household by the time he was 18 years old. His father 's increasingly serious alcohol problem and the earlier death of his grandfather in 1773 sent his family into deepening poverty.
At first, Beethoven made little impact on the musical society, despite his father 's
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His works of the decade from 1802 to 1812 represent an expansion of the tighter forms of Haydn and Mozart, as is apparent in the Eroica Symphony and the Piano Concerto no. 5 (Emperor, 1809), as well as in Symphony no. 5 (1808). The few works of the years after 1812 revived and expanded the more relaxed musical structures Beethoven had employed in the 1790s. In 1818 he returned to the tightly structured heroic style in his Piano Sonata in B-flat Major op. 106 (Hammerklavier), a work of unprecedented length and difficulty. The works of Beethoven 's last period are marked by an individuality that later composers would admire but could scarcely emulate. In the Ninth Symphony and the Missa solemnis Beethoven gave expression to an all-embracing view of idealized humanity. In the five string quartets of 1824 to 1826, Beethoven achieved an ideal synthesis between popular and learned styles and between the humorous and the sublime. Judged inaccessible in their time, the string quartets have become- as have so much of Beethoven 's output- yardsticks against which all other musical achievements are
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