http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com/hww/results/getResults.jhtml?_DARG S=/hww/results/results_common.jhtml.33#curPg=2%7C2%7C1%7Cd etails%7C1%7C2 LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, second child of Johann and Maria Magdalena van Beethoven, was born in Bonn, Germany, on December 16, 1770. His father, a singer in the Electoral choir, was a ruthless martinet who planned to turn his son into as profitable an investment as the child prodigy Mozart had been. With the help of some friends who were local musicians, Johann van Beethoven subjected Ludwig to ruthless discipline and occasionally to physical abuse. At times he would return home late at night from one of his drinking bouts, rouse the sleeping child, and force him to practice his exercises on the clavier. Beethoven's childhood was darkened by poverty and the merciless autocracy of his intemperate father; but his mother's tenderness and the affection and sympathy of his grandfather, Ludwig van Beethoven, brought some warmth into his somber life. Beethoven's first important teacher was Christian Gottlob Neefe, court organist and former cantor of the Thomasschule in Leipzig (a post formerly held by Bach). Neefe was not only an extraordinary musician, but a teacher who thoroughly understood Beethoven's sensitivity and appreciated his astonishing gifts. Under Neefe's careful guidance Beethoven developed rapidly. He was only eleven when his first compositions, three piano sonatas, were published. At twelve, while his teacher was absent from Bonn, Ludwig took his place as court organist. And at thirteen he was appointed cembalist for the rehearsals of the court theater orchestra. "Beethoven, son of the court tenor singer of that name," reported Neefe in Cramer's Magazine, "possesses talent of great promise.... He plays the piano with wonderful execution, and reads very well at sight.... He will certainly be a second Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart if he continues as he has begun." Though he was no Mozart, able to dazzle audiences with spectacular feats, Beethoven did prove to be a musician of extraordinary power, especially in improvisation. He gained the interest and support of several influential people in Bonn--the Elector Max Franz (who in 1784 appointed him assistant organist at court), Frau von Breuning, and Count Ferdinand von Waldstein. They became his friends and patrons. On the advice of Neefe, and with funds provided by the Elector, Beethoven made a brief visit to Vienna in 1787. There his improvisation for Mozart prompted the older composer to say, "This young man will leave his mark on the world." Beethoven's trip was cut short by news that his mother was seriously ill. He rushed back to Bonn, and was at her side when she died. "She was, indeed, a kind mother to me," Beethoven wrote soon after her death. "Ah, who was happier than I when I could still utter the sweet name of 'mother,' and it was heard? To whom can I now say it? Only to the silent form which my imagination pictures to me!" After his mother's death Beethoven assumed the responsibility of supporting his family, for by this time the older Beethoven's intemperance had caused his dismissal from his court post. Beethoven gave lessons, performed at court, and devoted himself to composition. One of his Masses, performed in 1790 in the Bonn Cathedral, was heard by Haydn, who was passing through on his way to London. "He is a man of great talent," the master said of the young composer. When Haydn revisited Bonn en route back to Vienna, he urged Beethoven to study with him. Beethoven went to Vienna in November 1792, finding lodgings at Alserstrasse 45. Determined to make his mark in the big city, he bought a wig, silk hose, and a fashionable coat--sartorial trimmings planned for his visits to the salons and palaces, but soon discarded. He looked older than his years. His face was pock-marked, florid, and of leonine strength. He was gruff, ill-mannered, awkward, self-conscious, and ungovernable in spirit. His unruly strength made him an intractable pupil. He had come to Vienna to study; but neither Joseph Haydn, nor Albrechtsberger of St. Stephen's, nor even the Kapellmeister Salieri could please him--or be satisfied with him. Haydn, admiring Beethoven's genius, could not understand or tolerate the young man's undisciplined ways and boorish manners. Albrechtsberger said, shaking his head sadly: "He has never learned anything, and he can do nothing in decent style." Beethoven, soon impatient with instruction, began to establish himself in Vienna as a virtuoso. He performed in the palaces of some of Vienna's most highly placed noblemen--Prince Lichnowsky, Prince Lobkowitz, Baron von Swieten, and others. He taught clavier to the children of the rich. He introduced his own compositions in fashionable salons. Though he not only considered himself the equal of his highborn benefactors but was insulting, bumptious, and rude to them, his patrons tolerated his storms and moods for the sake of his undeniable brilliance. As early as 1793 he was acknowledged to be "beyond controversy one of the foremost pianoforte players," as a contemporary journalist described him. His powers of improvisation were said to be matchless. "Apart from the beauty and originality of the ideas," said Karl Czerny, Beethoven's contemporary, "there was something extraordinary in the expression." At his first public concert in Vienna, on March 29, 1795, Beethoven overwhelmed his audience and critics with his improvisations and the B-flat major Piano Concerto. By the close of the century he had published his first set of trios, several piano sonatas, and the song "Adelaide." "I have more orders than I can execute," he said at the time. "I have six or seven publishers for each one of my works, and could have more if I choose. No more bargaining! I can name my terms and they pay." On April 2, 1800, at the Burgtheater, the premiere of Beethoven's First Symphony took place in a program with his Septet. It cannot be said that contemporaries recognized in that symphony the birth of a new age for orchestral music. The Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung condemned the work for its excessive "use of wind instruments, so much so that the music sounded as if written for a military band rather than for an orchestra." Academicians denounced its shocking opening tonality, its heavy-footed minuet movement. When the First Symphony was heard in Leipzig soon after its Vienna premiere, one critic described it as "the confused explosions of the presumptuous effrontery of a young man." By 1802 the first of Beethoven's three creative periods had drawn to a close. He had written two symphonies, three piano concertos, six string quartets (op. 18), three piano trios, three string trios, a septet, eighteen piano sonatas, seven violin sonatas, and many other compositions. Discussing the works of his first period, Daniel Gregory Mason wrote: "Beethoven had in the first place thoroughly assimilated the sonata form developed by his forerunners as the most convenient and natural medium for the expression of the free, direct, and widely electric secular spirit in music. He had, in the second place, raised this form to higher potencies of beauty and expressiveness by rigorous exclusion of what was superfluous and inorganic in it, by purification of its texture and strengthening of its essential structural features, and by introduction into it, through the power of genius for composition, of more subtle and more thoroughgoing contrasts of rhythm, harmony, and general expressive character." In 1802 Beethoven wrote: "I am not satisfied with my works up to the present time. From today I mean to take a new road." He was fully conscious of his powers ("With whom need I be afraid of measuring my strength?"); proudly self-assured ("This much will I tell you, that you will see me again, when I am really great; not only greater as an artist but as a man you will find me better, more perfect"); certain of his destiny ("I must write--for what weighs on my heart I must express"). And so he embarked upon his second creative phase, to realize completely new powers and richer, deeper poetic thought. The Eroica Symphony and the Kreutzer Sonata for violin were completed in 1803, the Waldstein and Appassionata Piano Sonatas in 1804. With these works the old classical order was decisively abandoned. A new Romantic era began to unfold. Structure, design, and law now bent before the poetic idea in which, as Alfred Frankenstein said, "a new sense of scale to the classic forms of instrumental composition ... [was] related to the most dynamic forces of the society in which he lived." Across these years of immense creativity there passed also the shadow of tragedy. Early in 1801 Beethoven had begun to detect that his hearing was failing him. As this infirmity developed he became increasingly sensitive, and tried, pathetically, to keep his deafness from even his close friends. He refused to appear in public; he shunned the society of all except the few with whom he was most intimate. The overpowering despair which the loss of his hearing brought is expressed in the remarkable document "The Heiligenstadt Testament," written in 1802 while he was living in the Viennese suburb of that name. "For me," he wrote, "there can be no recreation in the society of my fellows, refined intercourse, mutual exchange of thought; only just as little as the greatest needs command may I mix with society. I must live like an exile.... O Providence--grant me at least but one day of pure joy--it is so long since real joy echoed in my heart--O when--O when, O divine One--shall I feel it again in the temple of nature and man--Never?--No--O, that would be too hard." Despair gave way to resignation ("Sorrowful resignation, in this must I find refuge"); resignation to defiance ("I will seize fate by the throat; it shall certainly never overcome me!"). If his career as a pianist had been destroyed, he would now dedicate himself completely to composition, hammering the pattern of his thoughts into works of unimaginable scope, dimension, and expressiveness. He wrote the three Rasoumovsky Quartets, op. 59, in 1806; the mighty Fifth Symphony in C minor and the Pastoral Symphony, between 1805 and 1808; the Violin Concerto and the fourth and Emperor piano concertos, between 1805 and 1809; his one opera, Fidelio, an eloquent paean to human freedom, in or about 1805; the Coriolan Overture, in 1807; the great Cello Sonata in A major, in 1808. In Beethoven's second phase, Paul Bekker wrote, "music is no longer sonority pure and simple. It contains abstract ideas. Beethoven did not write music to preconceived ideas, but the ideas and the music went inseparably together. With him the dynamic urge which is an organic part of all harmonic music goes far beyond the ordinary scope of dynamic impulses and becomes the means of interpreting the idea.... It is ... impossible to dismiss the idea from Beethoven's music without misrepresenting the man. It is the idea which constitutes the constructive power, the dynamic principle of form in his compositions. It is the idea which determines the character of his work and which makes possible the further development of harmonic music. Beethoven's true relationship with Schiller and Kant lies in their being men who stood for ideas, though they worked along different creative lines. But in his particular type of ideas, Beethoven is the great child of a great imaginative era--an era in which the gods and heroes of idealism throve, an era which believed in man as a spiritual being, in freedom and brotherhood, in the joy of divine inspiration, in the everlasting peace and happiness of mankind." As the years passed Beethoven grew increasingly irritable, volatile, and unreasonable. He subjected even close friends and patrons to violent abuse. On more than one occasion he magnified a minor incident or misunderstanding into a major crisis. In the summer of 1806 he broke with his lifelong patron, Prince Lichnowsky, because he had been asked to perform for some visiting French officers (since Napoleon had declared himself Emperor in 1804, Beethoven hated all things French); for five years Beethoven refused to speak to the most generous of his admirers. He became estranged from Hummel because he had misinterpreted a casual remark and would accept no explanation. Stephan von Breuning, who had solicitously nursed Beethoven through a serious illness, was driven away over a trifle. Beethoven excoriated Ferdinand Ries because he suspected his friend of seeking a conductor's post which he had been offered. Still his friends and patrons clung to him, cognizant of his genius, sympathetic to his stormy nature and growing introversion. The highest-born nobility--the Archduke Rudolph, for example--tolerated even Beethoven's fervent republicanism. In 1809 his patrons arranged a generous annual pension for him. Yet what he wanted most desperately, and vainly, was a woman's love and dedication. Beethoven was often enamored, but with women who were too young, who were inaccessible because of their social position: Giulietta Guicciardi, to whom he dedicated the Moonlight Sonata; her cousin Theresa von Brunswick, inspiration for his Appassionata Sonata; the fifteen-year-old Therese Malfatti; or Goethe's friend, Bettina Brentano http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/article?id=ar053000&st=be ethoven Beethoven, «BAY toh vuhn», Ludwig van (1770-1827), was one of the greatest composers in history. His most famous works include the third (Eroica), fifth, sixth (Pastorale), and ninth symphonies; an opera, Fidelio; and his religious composition Missa solemnis. Beethoven has had a great influence on music. He won for composers a new freedom to express themselves. Before his time, composers wrote works for religious services, to teach, and to entertain people at social functions. But people listened to Beethoven's music for its own sake. As a result, he made music more independent of social, religious, or teaching purposes. Beethoven's life Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany, in December 1770, probably on December 16. He showed musical talent at an early age and learned to play the violin and piano from his father, Johann. Johann hoped to make Ludwig a gifted child like the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. At the age of 11, Ludwig became assistant to the organist of the local court. In 1783, he first accompanied opera rehearsals at the keyboard. From 1788 to 1792, Beethoven played viola in the local theater orchestra. Beethoven's father developed a severe drinking problem. His mother died in 1787. Beethoven found relief from his difficult family life when he became the tutor of the two children of the von Breuning family. The children's mother was a kind, welleducated woman who introduced Beethoven to important people in Bonn. Sound Waldstein Beethoven visited Vienna in 1787. There, he played for Mozart and probably took a few lessons from him. Mozart is quoted as saying: "He will give the world something worth listening to." Beethoven also met Count Ferdinand Waldstein, who became his lifelong friend and often helped his career. In 1792, the composer Joseph Haydn, who was in Bonn, praised one of Beethoven's compositions and encouraged him to visit Vienna. The elector (ruler) of Cologne sent Beethoven to Vienna later that year. He was welcomed into the homes of many of Vienna's leading noblemen. Except for short trips, he stayed there the rest of his life. Many great composers of the day, even Haydn and Mozart, were treated as employees by the people who bought their music. However, Beethoven associated as an equal with royalty and the nobility. They paid him for his works, but they knew and admired him as a friend rather than as an employee. Beethoven suffered from chronic illnesses throughout his life and began to lose his hearing in the late 1790's. From about 1800, his personality changed. Beethoven had always been proud, independent, and somewhat odd, but he became more suspicious and irritable. In 2000, scientists announced the results of an investigation which suggested that Beethoven's physical and personality problems, though not his loss of hearing, may have been caused by lead poisoning. Beethoven became totally deaf during the last years of his life. His deafness did not hinder his composing, but it did reduce his normal social life. Beethoven's life took on added bitterness because of his unhappy relationship with his brothers Johann and Karl. The two quarreled frequently with Beethoven. Some scholars blame the two brothers for the trouble, but Beethoven himself was very difficult to get along with. Karl died in 1815, leaving a 9-year-old son. The boy became Beethoven's ward, but this relationship also turned out badly. Beethoven did not have the disposition to be a father and the young man rebelled against him, causing Beethoven much grief. Beethoven caught a serious cold at the end of 1826, which developed into pneumonia and then dropsy. He died on March 26, 1827. Print "Beethoven's life" subsection Beethoven's music Beethoven's works for orchestra include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, a violin concerto, and several overtures. His chamber music consists largely of 16 string quartets; 5 string trios; 9 trios for piano, violin, and cello; 10 violin sonatas; and 5 cello sonatas. His piano works include about 35 sonatas, more than 20 sets of variations (musical themes repeated with changes), and several smaller pieces. His vocal works consist chiefly of the opera, Fidelio; a song cycle, An die ferne Geliebte, and many other songs; several short pieces called cantatas; and the Mass in C major and the Mass in D major (Missa solemnis). Throughout his life, Beethoven was guided by a basic optimism and a faith in moral values. These always dominated his music, although darker moods and a grim struggle usually preceded the joy typically found at the end of his compositions. Sound Fifth Symphony Beethoven's sketchbooks show that he worked out his compositions with great care, tirelessly revising his themes and altering the shapes in which they appeared. This process often went on for many years before he was satisfied with the details and the overall form of his ideas. This painstaking workmanship is evident in the first movement of the fifth symphony and in the Hammerklavier Sonata, Op. 106. Such compositions show Beethoven's belief in the serious nature of his mission and the immortality of his work—a novel belief at that time. Print "Beethoven's music" subsection The first period of Beethoven's composing career extended from the late 1780's to approximately 1800. Beethoven's works during this period also show some dependence on older composers, especially Haydn, Mozart, C. P. E. Bach, and Christian Neefe, one of his teachers in Bonn. These works, nevertheless, show individuality in the careful way they are written and their strong melodies. Print "The first period" subsection Sound Moonlight Sonata The second period, from about 1800 to 1815, was Beethoven's most productive period. He wrote his third through eighth symphonies, the last two piano concertos, his violin concerto, and many chamber pieces. In addition, Beethoven wrote 14 piano sonatas, including the Moonlight Sonata, the "Waldstein," and the "Appassionata." Sound Symphony No. 3 by Beethoven Beethoven's music has become familiar on most concert programs today, but early in his own career his works aroused much controversy. He greatly expanded and changed traditional music forms such as the symphony. The force and strength of these works confused some critics, who found many of Beethoven's compositions impossible to understand. In his third symphony, the Eroica, he revealed the ideal of heroism that he thought Napoleon symbolized. His audiences could not understand this work at first. However, the power and nobility of Beethoven's music came to be widely recognized and praised before he died. Sound Fidelio In Fidelio, Beethoven was inspired by the story of a wife's devotion and courage in rescuing her husband from unjust imprisonment. In this opera, Beethoven praised the ideals of freedom, dignity of the individual, and heroism overcoming tyranny—ideals characterizing the French Revolution. Fidelio gave Beethoven more trouble than any of his other works. Beethoven revised it twice, and wrote four overtures before he was satisfied. He found himself restricted by the demands of composing for the stage and may have felt that writing operas was unsuited to his talents. Fidelio displays dramatic force, but its mood and meaning are expressed more by music than by action. Print "The second period" subsection The third period includes several important works. The Missa solemnis is one of the most moving of religious compositions. The ninth symphony glorifies the ideal of human brotherhood that flourished in the late 1700's. In his last piano sonatas and string quartets, Beethoven created a new and personal world of expression. These works carry a feeling of great power and mysterious complexity. Yet Beethoven gave these works a lyrical quality expressed with touching simplicity. The works of the second period had tremendous influence on the Romantic composers of the early 1800's. But the works of the third period were not fully understood until later, partly because they were extremely difficult to perform. In his quartets and sonatas, Beethoven tried to include complicated musical structures and fugues—short themes imitated or repeated by different instruments according to strict musical rules. These works demanded entirely new qualities of sound from the string quartet and piano. His compositions of the last period had a vital influence on the composers of the 1900's, notably Arnold Schoenberg and Bela Bartok. Print "The third period" subsection Beethoven's place in music history Beethoven belongs to both the Classical and Romantic eras of music history. In his skillful musical motives (brief themes), he was a master of Classical techniques. Beethoven also explored the new and more mysterious qualities of tone that attracted the Romantic composers. Beethoven's music suggests meanings without making them specific. Sound Symphony No. 9 by Beethoven Because of this constant feeling of hidden significance, Beethoven was regarded in the 1800's as one of the founders of musical Romanticism. It became fashionable to invent or "discover" stories that would explain the meaning of his instrumental works. Beethoven set this fashion by attaching descriptive titles such as "Pastoral" to some of his works. The ninth symphony in particular seems to endorse the notion that his instrumental music was striving for some definite meaning, since its final movement uses the words of an ode by the German writer Friedrich Schiller. To the Romantic composers of the first half of the 1800's, this suggestive but indefinite property was the most attractive feature of Beethoven's instrumental music. However, the more realistic composers of the later 1800's regarded this indefinite style as a fault. This style made the realistic composers turn away from sonatas, quartets, and symphonies toward opera and program (descriptive) music. To both Romantic and realistic composers, however, Beethoven correctly appeared as the composer who had first realized the full potential of instrumental music. He had sustained large, independent works of art from beginning to end with a convincing and highly varied flow of emotion. Yet the unity of each musical work did not rely on this psychological development or on an external course of action. Such unity always rests on the organization and interrelationships of the music itself. This was the classical and major part of Beethoven's accomplishment. Like Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven expressed emotion without sacrificing formal balance.