Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Life and Times of Ludwig van Beethoven

Early Life

House of birth, Bonn, Bonngasse 20, now the Beethoven-Haus museum
Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770. 
His family, in particular his father, was  hoping he would be the next great child prodigy like Mozart was.   
Much to the disappointment of his father, Beethoven was not to be the next famous child prodigy.
A young Beethoven decided to move to Vienna, Austria to study music with Franz Joseph Haydn.
Beethoven earned his living composing and teaching music lessons. 

Heiglnstadt Testament.

While still a young man, Beethoven noticed he was losing his hearing.  He became rather depressed and wrote a compelling letter about his situation called the Heiglnstadt Testament.
 Eventually Beethoven was able to find ways to deal with his deafness and would compose some of his greatest works. 

Some attribute this new found look on life to him falling in love. 


                        My angel, my all, my very self - a few words only today, and 
in pencil (thine). Why such profound sorrow when necessity
speaks? Can our love endure but through sacrifice - but through
not demanding all - canst thou alter it that thou art not wholly
mine, I not wholly 
In his older age Beethoven was known to be a grumpy old man. 
He would be rude to people on the street and then a few days later write them a note of apology.  
He was also considered to be a living legend.

Beethoven composed in several musical genres and for a variety of instrument combinations. His works for symphony orchestra include nine symphonies (the Ninth Symphony includes a chorus), and about a dozen pieces of "occasional" music. He wrote seven concerti for one or more soloists and orchestra, as well as four shorter works that include soloists accompanied by orchestra. His only opera is Fidelio; other vocal works with orchestral accompaniment include two masses and a number of shorter works.
His large body of compositions for piano includes 32 piano sonatas and numerous shorter pieces, including arrangements of some of his other works. Works with piano accompaniment include 10 violin sonatas, 5 cello sonatas, and a sonata for French horn, as well as numerous lieder.
Beethoven also wrote a significant quantity of chamber music. In addition to 16 string quartets, he wrote five works for string quintet, seven for piano trio, five for string trio, and more than a dozen works for various combinations of wind instruments.

Beethoven's grave site, Vienna Zentralfriedhof
Ludwig van Beethoven died in 1827 at the age of fifty-seven.  His funeral was open to the public and was attended by approximately twenty thousand mourners.

PHOTOS OF BEETHOVEN                                                     BY   ROSHNI . R

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