Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was a German composer and pianist of the classical and early-romantic eras. Beethoven was born in Bonn and began his musical training at an early age with his father, who tried to make another Mozart out of the talented young Beethoven. Beethoven went on to study piano, violin, and composition with other teachers in Bonn and later in Vienna. In Vienna, Beethoven began to establish himself as a pianist and composer, giving concerts and becoming known as a skilled performer and improviser. Beethoven gradually became more known as a composer and continued to develop his compositional style. His early works were strongly influenced by Mozart and Haydn, and Beethoven later developed his own style in his middle and late compositional periods. Beethoven began experiencing deafness as a relatively young man, gradually become more deaf over the years. Because of his increasing deafness Beethoven eventually stopped performing, but still kept composing up until his death. Beethoven composed over 700 works of music, including symphonies, concertos, string quartets and other chamber works, and works for piano. I have selected some of what we consider to be the best of Beethoven for you to explore.

Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”

Symphony No. 5 – Begins with the famous “da-da-da-dum” motive.

Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral” – A programmatic symphony depicting scenes of the countryside.

Symphony No. 7

Symphony No. 9 – A choral symphony for solo voices, chorus and orchestra. The voices enter in the last movement, singing words from the poem “Ode to Joy,” by Friedrich Schiller.

Leonore Overture No. 3

Egmont Overture

String Quartets – The early quartets of Beethoven (1-6) are worth listening to, but the middle (7-11), and late quartets (12-16) are amazing works and represent Beethoven's mature style.

Piano Sonatas

Violin Concerto

Romances for Violin and Orchestra

Violin Sonatas

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