Summary Ludwig van Beethoven

Summary Ludwig van Beethoven

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN

1770-1827

The work of the brilliant German composer Beethoven is the greatest treasure of world culture, an epoch in the history of music. It had a huge impact on the development of 19th century art. In the formation of the ideology of the Beethoven-artist, the decisive role was played by the ideas of the French bourgeois revolution of 1789. The brotherhood of people, a heroic feat in the name of freedom – the central themes of his work. Beethoven’s music, strong-willed and indomitable in the depiction of the struggle, courageous and restrained in the expression of suffering and sorrowful meditation, is captivated by optimism and high humanism. Heroic images intertwine in Beethoven with deep, concentrated lyrics, with images of nature. His musical

genius was most fully manifested in the field of instrumental music – in nine symphonies, five piano and violin concerts,

Beethoven’s compositions are characterized by the scale of forms, wealth and sculptural relief of the images, the expressiveness and clarity of the musical language, saturated with strong-willed rhythms and heroic melodies

Ludwig van Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770 in Bonn’s Preneiny town in the family of a court singer. The childhood of the future composer, flowing in constant material need, was bleak and harsh. The boy was taught to play the violin, piano and organ. He made rapid progress and already in 1784 served in the court chapel.

Since 1792, Beethoven settled in Vienna. Soon he gained the glory of a wonderful pianist and improviser. The play of Beethoven amazed contemporaries with a mighty impulse, an emotional force. In the first decade of Beethoven’s stay in the Austrian capital, his two symphonies, six quartets, seventeen piano sonatas and other works were created. However, the composer, who was in his prime, was struck by a serious illness – Beethoven began to lose his ears. Only an unbending will, faith in his high calling of a musician-citizen helped him to endure this blow of fate. In 1804, the Third (“Heroic”) symphony was completed,

which marked the beginning of a new, even more fruitful stage in the composer’s work. Following the “Heroic” were written the only opera Beethoven “Fidelio” (1805), Fourth Symphony (1806), a year later – the overture “Coriolanus”, and in 1808 the famous Fifth and Sixth (“Pastoral”) symphonies. In addition, the period includes music for Goethe’s tragedy Egmont, Seventh and Eighth Symphonies, a series of piano sonatas, among which are No. 21 (Aurora) and No. 23 (Appassionata) and many other remarkable works.

In subsequent years, Beethoven’s creative productivity declined markedly. He has completely lost his hearing. The composer bitterly perceived the political reaction that followed the Vienna Congress (1815). Only in 1818 he again turned to creativity. Beethoven’s later works are marked by the features of philosophical depth, the search for new forms and means of expressiveness. However, in the works of the great composer, the pathos of the heroic struggle did not fade away. May 7, 1824 for the first time the grandiose Ninth Symphony was performed, which has no equal in its power of thought, breadth of design, perfection of embodiment. Its main idea is the unity of millions; choral finale of this brilliant work on the text of Schiller’s ode “To Joy” is dedicated to the glorification of freedom, the singing of boundless joy and a comprehensive sense of brotherly love.

The last years of Beethoven’s life were marred by severe life deprivation, illness and loneliness. He died on March 26, 1827 in Vienna.


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Summary Ludwig van Beethoven