Ludwig van Beethoven
Overview
Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 and pianist
Pianist
A pianist is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.-Choice of genres:...

. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical
Classical period (music)
The dates of the Classical Period in Western music are generally accepted as being between about 1750 and 1830. However, the term classical music is used colloquially to describe a variety of Western musical styles from the ninth century to the present, and especially from the sixteenth or...

 and Romantic
Romantic music
Romantic music or music in the Romantic Period is a musicological and artistic term referring to a particular period, theory, compositional practice, and canon in Western music history, from 1810 to 1900....

 eras in Western art music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.

Born in Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, Beethoven moved to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 in his early 20s, studying with Joseph Haydn
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

 and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist.
Quotations

There ought to be but one large art warehouse in the world, to which the artist could carry his art-works, and from which he could carry away whatever he needed. As it is, one must be half a tradesman.

Conversations (January 1801)

Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess?

Letter to Bettina von Arnim|Bettina von Arnim (1810-08-11)

The world is a king, and like a king, desires flattery in return for favor; but true art is selfish and perverse — it will not submit to the mold of flattery.

Conversations (March 1879)

Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est. (Applaud, my friends, the comedy is over.)

Said on his deathbed, 1827

Ich werde im Himmel hören! (I will hear in heaven!)

Said on his deathbed, 1827, as cited from the book Last Words.

The day-to-day exhausted me!

to Karl von Baden, August 23, 1823

Muß es sein? Es muß sein.

Must it be? It must be.

Encyclopedia
Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 and pianist
Pianist
A pianist is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.-Choice of genres:...

. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical
Classical period (music)
The dates of the Classical Period in Western music are generally accepted as being between about 1750 and 1830. However, the term classical music is used colloquially to describe a variety of Western musical styles from the ninth century to the present, and especially from the sixteenth or...

 and Romantic
Romantic music
Romantic music or music in the Romantic Period is a musicological and artistic term referring to a particular period, theory, compositional practice, and canon in Western music history, from 1810 to 1900....

 eras in Western art music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.

Born in Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, Beethoven moved to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 in his early 20s, studying with Joseph Haydn
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

 and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. His hearing began to deteriorate
Hearing impairment
-Definition:Deafness is the inability for the ear to interpret certain or all frequencies of sound.-Environmental Situations:Deafness can be caused by environmental situations such as noise, trauma, or other ear defections...

 in his late twenties, yet he continued to compose, conduct
Conducting
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble...

, and perform, even after becoming completely deaf.

Background and early life

Beethoven was the grandson of a musician of Flemish
Flemish people
The Flemings or Flemish are the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Belgium, where they are mostly found in the northern region of Flanders. They are one of two principal cultural-linguistic groups in Belgium, the other being the French-speaking Walloons...

 origin named Lodewijk van Beethoven (1712–73). Beethoven was named after his grandfather, as Lodewijk is the Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 cognate of Ludwig. Beethoven's grandfather was employed as a bass
Bass (voice type)
A bass is a type of male singing voice and possesses the lowest vocal range of all voice types. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, a bass is typically classified as having a range extending from around the second E below middle C to the E above middle C...

 singer at the court of the Elector of Cologne, rising to become Kapellmeister
Kapellmeister
Kapellmeister is a German word designating a person in charge of music-making. The word is a compound, consisting of the roots Kapelle and Meister . The words Kapelle and Meister derive from the Latin: capella and magister...

 (music director). He had one son, Johann van Beethoven
Johann van Beethoven
Johann van Beethoven was a German musician, teacher, and singer who sang in the chapel of the Archbishop of Cologne, whose court was at Bonn. He is best known as the father of the celebrated composer Ludwig van Beethoven...

 (1740–1792), who worked as a tenor in the same musical establishment, also giving lessons on piano
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

 and violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

 to supplement his income. Johann married Maria Magdalena Keverich in 1767; she was the daughter of Johann Heinrich Keverich, who had been the head chef at the court of the Archbishopric of Trier
Archbishopric of Trier
The Archbishopric of Trier was a Roman Catholic diocese in Germany, that existed from Carolingian times until the end of the Holy Roman Empire. Its suffragans were the dioceses of Metz, Toul and Verdun. Since the 9th century the Archbishops of Trier were simultaneously princes and since the 11th...

.

Beethoven was born of this marriage in Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

. There is no authentic record of the date of his birth; however, the registry of his baptism, in a Roman Catholic service at the Parish of St. Regius on 17 December, 1770, survives. As children of that era were traditionally baptised the day after birth in the Catholic Rhine country, and it is known that Beethoven's family and his teacher Johann Albrechtsberger
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger was an Austrian musician who was born at Klosterneuburg, near Vienna.He originally studied music at Melk Abbey and philosophy at a Benedictine seminary in Vienna and became one of the most learned and skillful contrapuntists of his age...

 celebrated his birthday on 16 December, most scholars accept 16 December, 1770 as Beethoven's date of birth. Of the seven children born to Johann van Beethoven, only Ludwig, the second-born, and two younger brothers survived infancy. Caspar Anton Carl was born on 8 April 1774, and Nikolaus Johann, the youngest, was born on 2 October 1776.

Beethoven's first music teacher was his father. Tradition has it that Johann van Beethoven was a harsh instructor, and that the child Beethoven, "made to stand at the keyboard, was often in tears." However, the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is an encyclopedic dictionary of music and musicians. Along with the German-language Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, it is the largest single reference work on Western music. The dictionary has gone through several editions since the 19th century...

claimed that no solid documentation supported this, and asserted that "speculation and myth-making have both been productive." Beethoven had other local teachers: the court organist
Organist
An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists...

 Gilles van den Eeden (d. 1782), Tobias Friedrich Pfeiffer (a family friend, who taught Beethoven piano), and a relative, Franz Rovantini (violin and viola
Viola
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

). His musical talent manifested itself early. Johann, aware of Leopold Mozart
Leopold Mozart
Johann Georg Leopold Mozart was a German composer, conductor, teacher, and violinist. Mozart is best known today as the father and teacher of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and for his violin textbook Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule.-Childhood and student years:He was born in Augsburg, son of...

's successes in this area (with son Wolfgang
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

 and daughter Nannerl
Maria Anna Mozart
Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart , nicknamed "Nannerl", was a musician, the older sister of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and daughter of Leopold and Anna Maria Mozart.-Childhood:...

), attempted to exploit his son as a child prodigy
Child prodigy
A child prodigy is someone who, at an early age, masters one or more skills far beyond his or her level of maturity. One criterion for classifying prodigies is: a prodigy is a child, typically younger than 18 years old, who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding...

, claiming that Beethoven was six (he was seven) on the posters for Beethoven's first public performance in March 1778.

Some time after 1779, Beethoven began his studies with his most important teacher in Bonn, Christian Gottlob Neefe
Christian Gottlob Neefe
Christian Gottlob Neefe was a German opera composer and conductor.Neefe was born in Chemnitz, Saxony. He received a musical education and started to compose at the age of 12...

, who was appointed the Court's Organist in that year. Neefe taught Beethoven composition, and by March 1783 had helped him write his first published composition: a set of keyboard variations (WoO
WoO
WoO is an acronym/abbreviation, derived from the German musical catalog phrase . WoO is a catalogue prepared in 1955 by Hans Halm and Georg Kinsky, listing all of the compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven that were not originally published with an opus number, or survived only as fragments.The...

 63). Beethoven soon began working with Neefe as assistant organist, first on an unpaid basis (1781), and then as paid employee (1784) of the court chapel conducted by the Kapellmeister Andrea Luchesi
Andrea Luchesi
Andrea Luca Luchesi was an Italian composer.- Biography :Andrea Luchesi was born at Motta di Livenza, near Treviso the eleventh child of Pietro Luchese and Caterina Gottardi. The rather wealthy family descended from groups of noble families who had moved from Lucca to Venice in the 14th century...

. His first three piano sonatas
Three Piano Sonatas, WoO 47 (Beethoven)
The Three Early Piano Sonatas, WoO 47, "Kurfürstensonaten" were composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1783 when he was just thirteen years old. Though lacking a distinct musical identity, the sonatas show a certain level of precocity and serve as a precursor to the masterworks he later produced...

, named "Kurfürst" ("Elector") for their dedication to the Elector Maximilian Frederick
Maximilian Frederick of Königsegg-Rothenfels
Maximilian Friedrich von Königsegg-Rothenfels was the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne and the Bishop of Münster from 1761 to 1784. He was born in Cologne. He was the first Elector of Cologne to come from outside the Bavarian Wittelsbach dynasty since 1583.- References :...

, were published in 1783. Maximilian Frederick, who died in 1784, not long after Beethoven's appointment as assistant organist, had noticed Beethoven's talent early, and had subsidised and encouraged the young man's musical studies.

Maximilian Frederick's successor as the Elector of Bonn was Maximilian Franz
Archduke Maximilian Franz of Austria
Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria was an Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, the last child of the Habsburg ruler Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. His siblings included two Holy Roman Emperors , as well as Queen Marie Antoinette of France and Queen Maria Carolina of...

, the youngest son of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma...

, and he brought notable changes to Bonn. Echoing changes made in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 by his brother Joseph, he introduced reforms based on Enlightenment philosophy
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

, with increased support for education and the arts. The teenage Beethoven was almost certainly influenced by these changes. He may also have been influenced at this time by ideas prominent in freemasonry
Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge...

, as Neefe and others around Beethoven were members of the local chapter of the Order of the Illuminati
Illuminati
The Illuminati is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Historically the name refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on May 1, 1776...

.

In March 1787 Beethoven traveled to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 (possibly at another's expense) for the first time, apparently in the hope of studying with Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

. The details of their relationship
Mozart and Beethoven
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had a powerful influence on the work of Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven knew much of Mozart's work, and modeled a number of his own compositions on works of Mozart. In addition, the two may have met briefly in Vienna in 1787...

 are uncertain, including whether or not they actually met. After just two weeks there Beethoven learned that his mother was severely ill, and returned home. His mother died shortly thereafter, and the father lapsed deeper into alcoholism
Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing...

. As a result, Beethoven became responsible for the care of his two younger brothers, and he spent the next five years in Bonn.

Beethoven was introduced to several people who became important in his life in these years. Franz Wegeler, a young medical student, introduced him to the von Breuning family (one of whose daughters Wegeler eventually married). Beethoven was often at the von Breuning household, where he was exposed to German and classical literature, and where he also taught piano to some of the children. The von Breuning family environment was also less stressful than his own, which was increasingly dominated by his father's decline. Beethoven came to the attention of Count Ferdinand von Waldstein
Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein
Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein was a German nobleman and patron of the arts. A member of the Waldstein family and an early patron of Beethoven, his political and military roles included Geheimrat in Bonn, lieutenant-general in the British army, and Komtur in the Teutonic...

, who became a lifelong friend and financial supporter.

In 1789 Beethoven obtained a legal order by which half of his father's salary was paid directly to him for support of the family. He also contributed further to the family's income by playing viola
Viola
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

 in the court orchestra. This familiarised Beethoven with a variety of operas, including three of Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

's operas performed at court in this period. He also befriended Anton Reicha
Anton Reicha
Anton Reicha was a Czech-born, later naturalized French composer. A contemporary and lifelong friend of Beethoven, Reicha is now best remembered for his substantial early contribution to the wind quintet literature and his role as a teacher – his pupils included Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz...

, a flautist
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

 and violinist of about his own age who was the conductor's nephew.

Establishing his career in Vienna

With the Elector's help, Beethoven moved to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 in 1792. He was probably first introduced to Joseph Haydn
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

 in late 1790, when the latter was traveling to London and stopped in Bonn around Christmas time. They met in Bonn on Haydn's return trip from London to Vienna in July 1792, and it is likely that arrangements were made at that time for Beethoven to study with the old master. In the intervening years, Beethoven composed a significant number of works (none were published at the time, and most are now listed as works without opus
WoO
WoO is an acronym/abbreviation, derived from the German musical catalog phrase . WoO is a catalogue prepared in 1955 by Hans Halm and Georg Kinsky, listing all of the compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven that were not originally published with an opus number, or survived only as fragments.The...

) that demonstrated his growing range and maturity. Musicologists identified a theme similar to those of his third symphony
Symphony No. 3 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E flat major , also known as the Eroica , is a landmark musical work marking the full arrival of the composer's "middle-period," a series of unprecedented large scale works of emotional depth and structural rigor.The symphony is widely regarded as a mature...

 in a set of variations written in 1791. Beethoven left Bonn for Vienna in November 1792, amid rumors of war spilling out of France
First Coalition
The War of the First Coalition was the first major effort of multiple European monarchies to contain Revolutionary France. France declared war on the Habsburg monarchy of Austria on 20 April 1792, and the Kingdom of Prussia joined the Austrian side a few weeks later.These powers initiated a series...

, and learned shortly after his arrival that his father had died. Count Waldstein in his farewell note to Beethoven wrote: "Through uninterrupted diligence you will receive Mozart's spirit through Haydn's hands." Beethoven responded to the widespread feeling that he was a successor to the recently deceased Mozart over the next few years by studying that master's work and writing works with a distinctly Mozartean flavor.
Beethoven did not immediately set out to establish himself as a composer, but rather devoted himself to study and performance. Working under Haydn's direction, he sought to master counterpoint
Counterpoint
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

. He also studied violin under Ignaz Schuppanzigh
Ignaz Schuppanzigh
Ignaz Schuppanzigh November 20, 1776 – March 2, 1830, was a violinist, friend and teacher of Beethoven, and leader of Count Razumovsky's private string quartet. Schuppanzigh and his quartet premiered many of Beethoven's string quartets, and in particular, the late string quartets. The Razumovsky...

. Early in this period, he also began receiving occasional instruction from Antonio Salieri
Antonio Salieri
Antonio Salieri was a Venetian classical composer, conductor and teacher born in Legnago, south of Verona, in the Republic of Venice, but who spent his adult life and career as a faithful subject of the Habsburg monarchy....

, primarily in Italian vocal composition style; this relationship persisted until at least 1802, and possibly 1809. With Haydn's departure for England in 1794, Beethoven was expected by the Elector to return home. He chose instead to remain in Vienna, continuing his instruction in counterpoint with Johann Albrechtsberger
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger was an Austrian musician who was born at Klosterneuburg, near Vienna.He originally studied music at Melk Abbey and philosophy at a Benedictine seminary in Vienna and became one of the most learned and skillful contrapuntists of his age...

 and other teachers. Although his stipend from the Elector expired, a number of Viennese noblemen had already recognised his ability and offered him financial support, among them Prince Joseph Franz Lobkowitz, Prince Karl Lichnowsky
Karl Alois Johann-Nepomuk Vinzenz, Fürst Lichnowsky
HSH Karl Alois, Prince Lichnowsky , was second Prince Lichnowsky and a Chamberlain at the Imperial Austrian court...

, and Baron Gottfried van Swieten
Gottfried van Swieten
Gottfried, Freiherr van Swieten was a diplomat, librarian, and government official who served the Austrian Empire during the 18th century...

.

By 1793, Beethoven established a reputation as an improviser in the salons of the nobility, often playing the prelude
Prelude
Prelude may refer to:*Sheaffer Prelude, a series of fountain pens, ballpoints and rollerball pens made by the Sheaffer Pen company*Prelude , a musical form*Prelude , an English based folk band...

s and fugue
Fugue
In music, a fugue is a compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and recurs frequently in the course of the composition....

s of J. S. Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

's Well-Tempered Clavier. His friend Nikolaus Simrock had begun publishing his compositions; the first are believed to be a set of variations (WoO 66). By 1793, he had established a reputation in Vienna as a piano virtuoso, but he apparently withheld works from publication so that their publication in 1795 would have greater impact. Beethoven's first public performance in Vienna was in March 1795, a concert in which he debuted a piano concerto
Piano concerto
A piano concerto is a concerto written for piano and orchestra.See also harpsichord concerto; some of these works are occasionally played on piano...

. It is uncertain whether this was the First
Piano Concerto No. 1 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, op. 15, was written during 1796 and 1797. The first performance was in Prague in 1798, with Beethoven himself playing the piano, dedicated to his student Babette Countess Keglevics....

 or Second
Piano Concerto No. 2 (Beethoven)
The Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19, by Ludwig van Beethoven was composed primarily between 1787 and 1789, although it did not attain the form it was published as until 1795. Beethoven did write another finale for it in 1798 for performance in Prague, but that is not the finale...

. Documentary evidence is unclear, and both concertos were in a similar state of near-completion (neither was completed or published for several years). Shortly after this performance, he arranged for the publication of the first of his compositions to which he assigned an opus number
Opus number
An Opus number , pl. opera and opuses, abbreviated, sing. Op. and pl. Opp. refers to a number generally assigned by composers to an individual composition or set of compositions on publication, to help identify their works...

, the piano trios of Opus 1
Piano Trios Nos. 1 - 3, Opus 1 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Opus 1 is a set of three piano trios , first performed in 1793 in the house of Prince Lichnowsky, to whom they are dedicated. The trios were published in 1795.Despite the Op...

. These works were dedicated to his patron Prince Lichnowsky, and were a financial success; Beethoven's profits were nearly sufficient to cover his living expenses for a year.

Musical maturity

Between 1798 and 1802 Beethoven tackled what he considered the pinnacles of composition: the string quartet
String quartet
A string quartet is a musical ensemble of four string players – usually two violin players, a violist and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group...

 and the symphony
Symphony
A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, scored almost always for orchestra. A symphony usually contains at least one movement or episode composed according to the sonata principle...

. With the composition of his first six string quartets (Op. 18)
String Quartets Nos. 1 - 6, Opus 18 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's opus 18, published in 1801 by T. Mollo et Comp in Vienna, consisted of his first six string quartets. They were composed between 1798 and 1800 to fulfill a commission for Prince Lobkowitz, who was the employer of Beethoven's friend, the violinist Karl Amenda...

 between 1798 and 1800 (written on commission for, and dedicated to, Prince Lobkowitz), and their publication in 1801, along with premieres of the First
Symphony No. 1 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21, was dedicated to Baron Gottfried van Swieten, an early patron of the composer. The piece was published in 1801 by Hoffmeister & Kühnel of Leipzig...

 and Second
Symphony No. 2 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D major was written between 1801 and 1802 and is dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky.-Background:...

 Symphonies in 1800 and 1802, Beethoven was justifiably considered one of the most important of a generation of young composers following Haydn and Mozart. He continued to write in other forms, turning out widely known piano sonata
Piano sonata
A piano sonata is a sonata written for a solo piano. Piano sonatas are usually written in three or four movements, although some piano sonatas have been written with a single movement , two movements , five or even more movements...

s like the "Pathétique
Piano Sonata No. 8 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as Sonata Pathétique, was written in 1798 when the composer was 27 years old, and was published in 1799. Beethoven dedicated the work to his friend Prince Karl von Lichnowsky...

" sonata (Op. 13), which Cooper describes as "surpass[ing] any of his previous compositions, in strength of character, depth of emotion, level of originality, and ingenuity of motivic and tonal manipulation." He also completed his Septet
Septet (Beethoven)
The Septet in E-flat major, Opus 20, by Ludwig van Beethoven, was sketched out in 1799, completed and first performed in 1800 and published in 1802. The score contains the notation: "Der Kaiserin Maria Theresia gewidmet", or translated, "Dedicated to the Empress Maria Theresa." It is scored for...

 (Op. 20) in 1799, which was one of his most popular works during his lifetime.
For the premiere of his First Symphony, Beethoven hired the Burgtheater on 2 April 1800, and staged an extensive program of music, including works by Haydn and Mozart, as well as the Septet, the First Symphony, and one of his piano concertos (the latter three works all then unpublished). The concert, which the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung
Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung
The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung was a German-language periodical published in the 19th century. Comini has called it "the foremost German-language musical periodical of its time"...

described as "the most interesting concert in a long time," was not without difficulties; among the criticisms was that "the players did not bother to pay any attention to the soloist."

While Mozart and Haydn were undeniable influences (for example, Beethoven's quintet for piano and winds
Quintet for Piano and Winds (Beethoven)
Quintet in E-flat for Piano and Winds, Op. 16, was written by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1796.The quintet is scored for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon. It was inspired by Mozart's Quintet, K. 452 , which has the same scoring and is also in E-flat.It is in three movements:*I. Grave - Allegro...

 is said to bear a strong resemblance to Mozart's work for the same configuration
Quintet for Piano and Winds (Mozart)
The Quintet in E flat major for Piano and Winds, K. 452, was completed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on March 30, 1784 and premiered two days later at the Imperial and Royal National Court Theater in Vienna...

, albeit with his own distinctive touches), other composers like Muzio Clementi
Muzio Clementi
Muzio Clementi was a celebrated composer, pianist, pedagogue, conductor, music publisher, editor, and piano manufacturer. Born in Italy, he spent most of his life in England. He is best known for his piano sonatas, and his collection of piano studies, Gradus ad Parnassum...

 were also stylistic influences. Beethoven's melodies, musical development, use of modulation and texture, and characterization of emotion all set him apart from his influences, and heightened the impact some of his early works made when they were first published. By the end of 1800 Beethoven and his music were already much in demand from patrons and publishers.

In May of 1799, Beethoven taught piano to the daughters of Hungarian Countess Anna Brunsvik. During this time, Beethoven fell in love with the younger daughter Josephine
Josephine Brunsvik
Josephine Brunsvik was probably the most important woman in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, as documented by at least 15 love letters he wrote her where he called her his “only beloved”, being “eternally devoted” to her and “forever faithful”...

 who has therefore been identified as one of the more likely candidates for the addressee of his letter to the "Immortal Beloved
Immortal Beloved
Immortal Beloved may refer to:*Immortal Beloved, the name given by composer Ludwig van Beethoven to an unknown person in a famous love letter.*Immortal Beloved , a 1994 film about the life of Beethoven....

" (in 1812). Shortly after these lessons, she was married to Count Josef Deym. Beethoven was a regular visitor at their house, teaching Josephine
Josephine Brunsvik
Josephine Brunsvik was probably the most important woman in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, as documented by at least 15 love letters he wrote her where he called her his “only beloved”, being “eternally devoted” to her and “forever faithful”...

 and playing at parties and concerts. While her marriage was by all accounts happy (despite initial financial problems), the couple had four children, and her relationship with Beethoven intensified after Deym died suddenly in 1804.

Beethoven had few other students. From 1801 to 1805, he tutored Ferdinand Ries
Ferdinand Ries
Ferdinand Ries was a German composer.- Life :Born into a musical family of Bonn, Ries was a friend and pupil of Beethoven who published in 1838 a collection of reminiscences of his teacher, co-written with Franz Wegeler...

, who went on to become a composer and later wrote Beethoven remembered, a book about their encounters. The young Carl Czerny
Carl Czerny
Carl Czerny was an Austrian pianist, composer and teacher. He is best remembered today for his books of études for the piano. Czerny's music was profoundly influenced by his teachers, Muzio Clementi, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Antonio Salieri and Ludwig van Beethoven.-Early life:Carl Czerny was born...

 studied with Beethoven from 1801 to 1803. Czerny went on to become a renowned music teacher himself, instructing Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

, and gave the Vienna premiere of Beethoven's fifth piano concerto (the "Emperor")
Piano Concerto No. 5 (Beethoven)
The Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, by Ludwig van Beethoven, popularly known as the Emperor Concerto, was his last piano concerto. It was written between 1809 and 1811 in Vienna, and was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf, Beethoven's patron and pupil...

 in 1812.

Beethoven's compositions between 1800 and 1802 were dominated by two works, although he continued to produce smaller works, including the Moonlight Sonata. In the spring of 1801 he completed The Creatures of Prometheus
The Creatures of Prometheus (Beethoven)
The Creatures of Prometheus is a ballet composed in 1801 by Ludwig van Beethoven following the libretto of Salvatore Viganò. The overture to the ballet is part of the concert repertoire...

, a ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

. The work received numerous performances in 1801 and 1802, and Beethoven rushed to publish a piano arrangement to capitalise on its early popularity. In the spring of 1802 he completed the Second Symphony
Symphony No. 2 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D major was written between 1801 and 1802 and is dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky.-Background:...

, intended for performance at a concert that was ultimately canceled. The symphony received its premiere at a subscription concert in April 1803 at the Theater an der Wien
Theater an der Wien
The Theater an der Wien is a historic theatre on the Left Wienzeile in the Mariahilf district of Vienna. Completed in 1801, it has seen the premieres of many celebrated works of theatre, opera, and symphonic music...

, where Beethoven had been appointed composer in residence. In addition to the Second Symphony, the concert also featured the First Symphony, the Third Piano Concerto
Piano Concerto No. 3 (Beethoven)
The Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37, was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1800 and was first performed on 5 April 1803, with the composer as soloist. During that same performance, the Second Symphony and the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives were also debuted. The composition...

, and the oratorio
Oratorio
An oratorio is a large musical composition including an orchestra, a choir, and soloists. Like an opera, an oratorio includes the use of a choir, soloists, an ensemble, various distinguishable characters, and arias...

 Christ on the Mount of Olives. While reviews were mixed, the concert was a financial success; Beethoven was able to charge three times the cost of a typical concert ticket.

Beethoven's business dealings with publishers also began to improve in 1802 when his brother Carl, who had previously assisted him more casually, began to assume a larger role in the management of his affairs. In addition to negotiating higher prices for recently composed works, Carl also began selling some of Beethoven's earlier unpublished works, and encouraged Beethoven (against the latter's preference) to also make arrangements and transcriptions of his more popular works for other instrument combinations. Beethoven acceded to these requests, as he could not prevent publishers from hiring others to do similar arrangements of his works.

Loss of hearing

Around 1796, Beethoven began to lose his hearing. He suffered from a severe form of tinnitus
Tinnitus
Tinnitus |ringing]]") is the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound.Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom that can result from a wide range of underlying causes: abnormally loud sounds in the ear canal for even the briefest period , ear...

, a "ringing" in his ears that made it hard for him to hear music; he also avoided conversation. The cause of Beethoven's deafness is unknown, but it has variously been attributed to syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

, lead poisoning
Lead poisoning
Lead poisoning is a medical condition caused by increased levels of the heavy metal lead in the body. Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems...

, typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

, auto-immune disorder (such as systemic lupus erythematosus), and even his habit of immersing his head in cold water to stay awake. The explanation, from the autopsy of the time, is that he had a "distended inner ear," which developed lesions over time. Because of the high levels of lead found in samples of Beethoven's hair, that hypothesis has been extensively analyzed. While the likelihood of lead poisoning is very high, the deafness associated with it seldom takes the form that Beethoven exhibited.

As early as 1801, Beethoven wrote to friends describing his symptoms and the difficulties they caused in both professional and social settings (although it is likely some of his close friends were already aware of the problems). Beethoven, on the advice of his doctor, lived in the small Austrian town of Heiligenstadt
Heiligenstadt, Vienna
Heiligenstadt was an independent municipality until 1892 and is today a part of Döbling, the 19th district of Vienna.Heiligenstadt is one of the 10 municipalities in the Döbling District.- Geography :...

, just outside Vienna, from April to October 1802 in an attempt to come to terms with his condition. There he wrote his Heiligenstadt Testament
Heiligenstadt Testament
The Heiligenstadt Testament is a letter written by Ludwig van Beethoven to his brothers Carl and Johann at Heiligenstadt on 6 October 1802....

, a letter to his brothers which records his thoughts of suicide due to his growing deafness and records his resolution to continue living for and through his art. Over time, his hearing loss became profound: there is a well-attested story that, at the end of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony
Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire, and has been adapted for use as the European Anthem...

, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause of the audience; hearing nothing, he wept. Beethoven's hearing loss did not prevent his composing music, but it made playing at concerts—a lucrative source of income—increasingly difficult. After a failed attempt in 1811 to perform his own Piano Concerto No. 5 (the "Emperor")
Piano Concerto No. 5 (Beethoven)
The Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, by Ludwig van Beethoven, popularly known as the Emperor Concerto, was his last piano concerto. It was written between 1809 and 1811 in Vienna, and was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf, Beethoven's patron and pupil...

, which was premiered by his student Carl Czerny
Carl Czerny
Carl Czerny was an Austrian pianist, composer and teacher. He is best remembered today for his books of études for the piano. Czerny's music was profoundly influenced by his teachers, Muzio Clementi, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Antonio Salieri and Ludwig van Beethoven.-Early life:Carl Czerny was born...

, he never performed in public again.

A large collection of Beethoven's hearing aids, such as a special ear horn
Horn (acoustic)
A horn is a tapered sound guide designed to provide an acoustic impedance match between a sound source and free air. This has the effect of maximizing the efficiency with which sound waves from the particular source are transferred to the air...

, can be viewed at the Beethoven House Museum in Bonn, Germany. Despite his obvious distress, Carl Czerny
Carl Czerny
Carl Czerny was an Austrian pianist, composer and teacher. He is best remembered today for his books of études for the piano. Czerny's music was profoundly influenced by his teachers, Muzio Clementi, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Antonio Salieri and Ludwig van Beethoven.-Early life:Carl Czerny was born...

 remarked that Beethoven could still hear speech and music normally until 1812. By 1814 however, Beethoven was almost totally deaf, and when a group of visitors saw him play a loud arpeggio of thundering bass notes at his piano remarking, "Ist es nicht schön?" (Is it not beautiful?), they felt deep sympathy considering his courage and sense of humor (he lost the ability to hear higher frequencies first).

As a result of Beethoven's hearing loss, a unique historical record has been preserved: his conversation books. Used primarily in the last ten or so years of his life, his friends wrote in these books so that he could know what they were saying, and he then responded either orally or in the book. The books contain discussions about music and other matters, and give insights into his thinking; they are a source for investigation into how he felt his music should be performed, and also his perception of his relationship to art. Out of a total of 400 conversation books, 264 were destroyed (and others were altered) after Beethoven's death by Anton Schindler, in an attempt to paint an idealised picture of the composer.

Patronage

While Beethoven earned income from publication of his works and from public performances, he also depended on the generosity of patrons for income, for whom he gave private performances and copies of works they commissioned for an exclusive period prior to their publication. Some of his early patrons, including Prince Lobkowitz and Prince Lichnowsky, gave him annual stipends in addition to commissioning works and purchasing published works.

Perhaps Beethoven's most important aristocratic patron was Archduke Rudolph, the youngest son of Emperor Leopold II
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold II , born Peter Leopold Joseph Anton Joachim Pius Gotthard, was Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary and Bohemia from 1790 to 1792, Archduke of Austria and Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1765 to 1790. He was a son of Emperor Francis I and his wife, Empress Maria Theresa...

, who in 1803 or 1804 began to study piano and composition with Beethoven. The cleric (Cardinal-Priest) and the composer became friends, and their meetings continued until 1824. Beethoven dedicated 14 compositions to Rudolph, including the Archduke Trio (1811) and his great Missa Solemnis
Missa Solemnis (Beethoven)
The Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123 was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven from 1819-1823. It was first performed on April 7, 1824 in St. Petersburg, under the auspices of Beethoven's patron Prince Nikolai Galitzin; an incomplete performance was given in Vienna on 7 May 1824, when the Kyrie,...

 (1823). Rudolph, in turn, dedicated one of his own compositions to Beethoven. The letters Beethoven wrote to Rudolph are today kept at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde
Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde
The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien , was founded in 1812 by Joseph von Sonnleithner, general secretary of the Court Theatre, Vienna, Austria. Its official charter, drafted in 1814, states that the purpose of the Society was to promote music in all its facets...

 in Vienna.

In the Autumn of 1808, after having been rejected for a position at the royal theatre, Beethoven received an offer from Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

's brother Jérôme Bonaparte
Jérôme Bonaparte
Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte, French Prince, King of Westphalia, 1st Prince of Montfort was the youngest brother of Napoleon, who made him king of Westphalia...

, then king of Westphalia
Kingdom of Westphalia
The Kingdom of Westphalia was a new country of 2.6 million Germans that existed from 1807-1813. It included of territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day Germany. While formally independent, it was a vassal state of the First French Empire, ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte...

, for a well-paid position as Kapellmeister
Kapellmeister
Kapellmeister is a German word designating a person in charge of music-making. The word is a compound, consisting of the roots Kapelle and Meister . The words Kapelle and Meister derive from the Latin: capella and magister...

 at the court in Cassel
Kassel
Kassel is a town located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Kassel Regierungsbezirk and the Kreis of the same name and has approximately 195,000 inhabitants.- History :...

. To persuade him to stay in Vienna, the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky
Ferdinand, 5th Prince Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau
Ferdinand, 5th Prince Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau was the 5th Prince Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau.-Early life:Rudolf was born at Vienna, Habsburg Monarchy as the elder son of Joseph, 4th Prince Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau and Countess Rosa of Harrach of Rohrau and Thannhausen . He became...

 and Prince Lobkowitz, after receiving representations from the composer's friends, pledged to pay Beethoven a pension of 4000 florins a year. Only Archduke Rudolph paid his share of the pension on the agreed date. Kinsky, immediately called to military duty, did not contribute and soon died after falling from his horse. Lobkowitz stopped paying in September 1811. No successors came forward to continue the patronage, and Beethoven relied mostly on selling composition rights and a small pension after 1815. The effects of these financial arrangements were undermined to some extent by war with France
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, which caused significant inflation when the government printed money to fund its war efforts.

The Middle period

Beethoven's return to Vienna from Heiligenstadt was marked by a change in musical style, now recognised as the start of his "Middle" or "Heroic" period. According to Carl Czerny, Beethoven said, "I am not satisfied with the work I have done so far. From now on I intend to take a new way." This "Heroic" phase was characterised by a large number of original works composed on a grand scale. The first major work employing this new style was the Third Symphony
Symphony No. 3 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E flat major , also known as the Eroica , is a landmark musical work marking the full arrival of the composer's "middle-period," a series of unprecedented large scale works of emotional depth and structural rigor.The symphony is widely regarded as a mature...

 in E flat, known as the "Eroica." This work was longer and larger in scope than any previous symphony. When it premiered in early 1805 it received a mixed reception. Some listeners objected to its length or misunderstood its structure, while others viewed it as a masterpiece.
Beethoven composed prolifically throughout the Middle period. The period is sometimes associated with a "heroic manner" of composing. The use of the term "heroic" has become increasingly controversial in Beethoven scholarship. The term is more frequently used as an alternate name for the Middle period. The appropriateness of the term "heroic" to describe the Middle period has been questioned as well. While some of Beethoven's Middle period works, like the Third and Fifth Symphonies, are easily associated with the term "heroic", many other middle period works, like the "Pastoral" Sixth Symphony, are not obviously "heroic".

Some of the Middle period works extend the musical language Beethoven had inherited from Haydn and Mozart. The Middle period work includes the Third through Eighth
Symphony No. 8 (Beethoven)
Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93 is a symphony in four movements composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1812. Beethoven fondly referred to it as "my little Symphony in F," distinguishing it from his Sixth Symphony, a longer work also in F....

 Symphonies, the string quartets 7–11, the "Waldstein"
Piano Sonata No. 21 (Beethoven)
The Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, also known as the Waldstein, is considered to be one of Beethoven's greatest piano sonatas, as well as one of the three particularly notable sonatas of his middle period . The sonata was completed in the summer of 1804...

 and "Appassionata"
Piano Sonata No. 23 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 is a piano sonata. It is considered one of the three great piano sonatas of his middle period . It was composed during 1804 and 1805, and perhaps 1806, and was dedicated to Count Franz von Brunswick...

 piano sonatas, Christ on the Mount of Olives, the opera Fidelio
Fidelio
Fidelio is a German opera in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is Beethoven's only opera. The German libretto is by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly which had been used for the 1798 opera Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal by Pierre Gaveaux, and for the 1804 opera Leonora...

, the Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, was written in 1806.The work was premiered on 23 December 1806 in the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. Beethoven wrote the concerto for his colleague Franz Clement, a leading violinist of the day, who had earlier given him helpful advice on...

 and many other compositions. During this time Beethoven earned his living from publishing and performances of his work, and from his patrons. His position at the Theater an der Wien was terminated when the theater changed management in early 1804, and he was forced to move temporarily to the suburbs of Vienna with his friend Stephan von Breuning. This slowed work on Fidelio, his largest work to date, for a time. It was delayed again by the Austrian censor
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

, and finally premiered in November 1805 to houses that were nearly empty because of the French occupation of the city. In addition to being a financial failure, this version of Fidelio was also a critical failure, and Beethoven began revising it.

The Middle period string quartets are Op. 59 no 1
String Quartet No. 7 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 7 in F major was published in 1808 as opus 59, No. 1. It consists of four movements:# Allegro in F major# Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando in B major# Adagio molto e mesto - attacca in F minor...

, Op 59 no 2
String Quartet No. 8 (Beethoven)
The String Quartet No. 8 in E minor by Ludwig van Beethoven, opus 59, no. 2, was the second of three of his "Razumovsky" cycle of string quartets, and is a product of his "middle" style period. He published it in 1808...

, Op 59 no 3
String Quartet No. 9 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 9 in C major was published in 1808 as opus 59, no. 3. It consists of four movements:# Andante con moto - Allegro vivace # Andante con moto quasi Allegretto # Menuetto...

 (The Razumowski quartets), Op. 74 (the Harp)
String Quartet No. 10 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 10 in E major, nicknamed the "Harp", was published in 1809 as opus 74.- Naming :The nickname "Harp" refers to the characteristic pizzicato sections in the Allegro of the first movement, where pairs of members of the quartet alternate notes in an arpeggio,...

 and Op 95
String Quartet No. 11 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's opus 95, his String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, is his last before his exalted late string quartets. It is commonly referred to as the "Serioso," stemming from his title "Quartett[o] Serioso" at the beginning and the tempo designation for the third movement.It is one of the...

. Beethoven's publisher said that the world was not ready for them. The slow movement of Op. 59 no 2 has been described as the closest Beethoven got to heaven. Beethoven said that the Op. 95 quartet was not suitable for public performance.

The work of the Middle period established Beethoven's reputation as a master. In a review from 1810, he was enshrined by E. T. A. Hoffmann as one of the three great "Romantic
Romantic music
Romantic music or music in the Romantic Period is a musicological and artistic term referring to a particular period, theory, compositional practice, and canon in Western music history, from 1810 to 1900....

" composers; Hoffman called Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, was written by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1804–08. This symphony is one of the most popular and best-known compositions in all of classical music, and one of the most often played symphonies. It comprises four movements: an opening sonata, an andante, and a fast...

"one of the most important works of the age." A particular trauma for Beethoven occurred during this period in May 1809, when the attacking forces of Napoleon bombarded Vienna. According to Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven, very worried that the noise would destroy what remained of his hearing, hid in the basement of his brother's house, covering his ears with pillows. He was composing the "Emperor" Concerto
Piano Concerto No. 5 (Beethoven)
The Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, by Ludwig van Beethoven, popularly known as the Emperor Concerto, was his last piano concerto. It was written between 1809 and 1811 in Vienna, and was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf, Beethoven's patron and pupil...

 at the time.

Personal and family difficulties

Beethoven met Julie ("Giulietta") Guicciardi in late 1801 through the Brunsvik family (he was giving Josephine
Josephine Brunsvik
Josephine Brunsvik was probably the most important woman in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, as documented by at least 15 love letters he wrote her where he called her his “only beloved”, being “eternally devoted” to her and “forever faithful”...

 regularly piano lessons). He mentions his love for her in a November 1801 letter to his boyhood friend, Franz Wegeler, but he could not consider marrying her (a countess), due to the difference in status (class). Beethoven dedicated later his Sonata No. 14
Piano Sonata No. 14 (Beethoven)
The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No. 2, by Ludwig van Beethoven, popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata , was completed in 1801...

, popularly known as the "Moonlight" Sonata
Piano Sonata No. 14 (Beethoven)
The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No. 2, by Ludwig van Beethoven, popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata , was completed in 1801...

to her, as a "revenge" to a gift by her mother. In 1803 she married Count Wenzel Robert von Gallenberg (1783–1839), an amateur composer.

Beethoven's relationship with Josephine
Josephine Brunsvik
Josephine Brunsvik was probably the most important woman in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, as documented by at least 15 love letters he wrote her where he called her his “only beloved”, being “eternally devoted” to her and “forever faithful”...

 Deym notably deepened after the death of her first husband in 1804. Beethoven wrote her 15 passionate love letters, from late 1804 to approximately 1809/10. While his feelings were obviously reciprocated, she was forced (by her family) to withdraw from him (in 1807). She cited her "duty," the fact that she would have lost the custodianship of her children in case of a marriage to a commoner. After Josephine
Josephine Brunsvik
Josephine Brunsvik was probably the most important woman in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, as documented by at least 15 love letters he wrote her where he called her his “only beloved”, being “eternally devoted” to her and “forever faithful”...

 married Baron von Stackelberg (in 1810), Beethoven may have proposed unsuccessfully to Therese Malfatti
Therese Malfatti
Baronin Therese von Droßdik, born Therese Malfatti was an Austrian musician and friend of Ludwig van Beethoven. She is best known as one of the supposed dedicatees of Beethoven's famous bagatelle, Für Elise, WoO 59....

, the supposed dedicatee of "Für Elise
Für Elise
Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor for solo piano, commonly known as "Für Elise" , is one of Ludwig van Beethoven's most popular compositions. It is usually classified as a bagatelle, but it is also sometimes referred to as an Albumblatt.- History :The score was not published until 1867, 40 years after...

"; his commoner status may also have interfered with those plans.

In the spring of 1811 Beethoven became seriously ill, suffering headaches and high fever. On the advice of his doctor, he spent six weeks in the Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

n spa town
Spa town
A spa town is a town situated around a mineral spa . Patrons resorted to spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word comes from the Belgian town Spa. In continental Europe a spa was known as a ville d'eau...

 of Teplitz
Teplice
Teplice , Teplice-Šanov until 1948 is a town in the Czech Republic, the capital of the Teplice District in the Ústí nad Labem Region. It is the state's second largest spa town ....

. The following winter, which was dominated by work on the Seventh symphony, he was again ill, and his doctor ordered him to spend the summer of 1812 at the spa Teplitz. It is certain that he was at Teplitz when he wrote a love letter to his "Immortal Beloved
Immortal Beloved
Immortal Beloved may refer to:*Immortal Beloved, the name given by composer Ludwig van Beethoven to an unknown person in a famous love letter.*Immortal Beloved , a 1994 film about the life of Beethoven....

." The identity of the intended recipient has long been a subject of debate; candidates include Julie Guicciardi, Therese Brunsvik, Josephine Brunsvik
Josephine Brunsvik
Josephine Brunsvik was probably the most important woman in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, as documented by at least 15 love letters he wrote her where he called her his “only beloved”, being “eternally devoted” to her and “forever faithful”...

, and Antonie Brentano.

Beethoven's visit to his brother at the end of October 1812 was an attempt to end the latter's cohabitation with Therese Obermayer, a woman who already had an illegitimate child. He was unable to convince Johann to end the relationship, so he appealed to the local civic and religious authorities. The end result of Beethoven's meddling was that Johann and Therese married on 9 November.

In early 1813 Beethoven apparently went through a difficult emotional period, and his compositional output dropped. His personal appearance, which had generally been neat, degraded, as did his manners in public, especially when dining. Beethoven took care of his brother (who was suffering from tuberculosis) and his family, an expense that he claimed left him penniless.

Beethoven was finally motivated to begin significant composition again in June 1813, when news arrived of the defeat of one of Napoleon's armies
Battle of Vitoria
At the Battle of Vitoria an allied British, Portuguese, and Spanish army under General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan near Vitoria in Spain, leading to eventual victory in the Peninsular War.-Background:In July 1812, after...

 at Vitoria, Spain, by a coalition of forces under the Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

. This news stimulated him to write the battle symphony known as Wellington's Victory
Wellington's Victory
Wellington's Victory, or, the Battle of Vitoria, Op. 91 is a minor orchestral work composed by Ludwig van Beethoven to commemorate the Duke of Wellington's victory over Joseph Bonaparte's forces at the Battle of Vitoria in Basqueland on June 21, 1813...

. It premiered on 8 December at a charity concert for victims of the war along with his Seventh Symphony. The work was a popular hit, likely because of its programmatic style that was entertaining and easy to understand. It received repeat performances at concerts Beethoven staged in January and February 1814. Beethoven's renewed popularity led to demands for a revival of Fidelio, which, in its third revised version, was also well-received at its July opening. That summer he composed a piano sonata for the first time in five years (No. 27, Opus 90
Piano Sonata No. 27 (Beethoven)
The Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor is Ludwig van Beethoven's Op. 90. The work, written in the summer of 1814 in Beethoven's late Middle period, was dedicated to Count Moritz von Lichnowsky.- Form :...

). This work was in a markedly more Romantic
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 style than his earlier sonatas. He was also one of many composers who produced music in a patriotic vein to entertain the many heads of state and diplomats that came to the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 that began in November 1814. His output of songs included his only song cycle
Song cycle
A song cycle is a group of songs designed to be performed in a sequence as a single entity. As a rule, all of the songs are by the same composer and often use words from the same poet or lyricist. Unification can be achieved by a narrative or a persona common to the songs, or even, as in Schumann's...

, "An die ferne Geliebte
An die ferne Geliebte
, opus 98, is a composition by Ludwig van Beethoven in April 1816. It is considered to be the first example of a song cycle by a major composer.-Beethoven's :...

," and the extraordinarily expressive, but almost incoherent, "An die Hoffnung" (Opus 94).

Custody struggle and illness

Between 1815 and 1817 Beethoven's output dropped again. Beethoven attributed part of this to a lengthy illness (he called it an "inflammatory fever") that afflicted him for more than a year, starting in October 1816. Biographers have speculated on a variety of other reasons that also contributed to the decline, including the difficulties in the personal lives of his would-be paramours and the harsh censorship policies of the Austrian government. The illness and death of his brother Carl from consumption
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 likely also played a role.

Carl had been ill for some time, and Beethoven spent a small fortune in 1815 on his care. When he finally died on 15 November 1815, Beethoven immediately became embroiled in a protracted legal dispute with Carl's wife Johanna over custody of their son Karl, then nine years old. Beethoven, who considered Johanna an unfit parent because of her morals (she had an illegitimate child by a different father before marrying Carl, and had been convicted of theft) and financial management, had successfully applied to Carl to have himself named sole guardian of the boy. A late codicil
Codicil (will)
A codicil is a document that amends, rather than replaces, a previously executed will. Amendments made by a codicil may add or revoke small provisions , or may completely change the majority, or all, of the gifts under the will...

 to Carl's will gave him and Johanna joint guardianship. While Beethoven was successful at having his nephew removed from her custody in February 1816, the case was not fully resolved until 1820, and he was frequently preoccupied by the demands of the litigation and seeing to Karl's welfare, whom he first placed in a private school. The custody fight brought out the worst aspects of Beethoven's character; in the lengthy court cases Beethoven stopped at nothing to ensure that he achieved this goal, interrupting his work for long periods.

The Austrian court system had one court for the nobility
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

 and members of the Landtafel, the R&I Landrechte, and many others for commoners, among them the Civil Court of the Vienna Magistrate. Beethoven disguised the fact that the Dutch "van" in his name did not denote nobility as does the German "von," and his case was tried in the Landrechte. Owing to his influence with the court, Beethoven felt assured of the favorable outcome of being awarded sole guardianship. While giving evidence to the Landrechte, however, Beethoven inadvertently admitted that he was not nobly born. The case was transferred to the Magistracy on 18 December 1818, where he lost sole guardianship.

Beethoven appealed, and regained custody. Johanna's appeal to the Emperor was not successful: the Emperor "washed his hands of the matter." Beethoven stopped at nothing to blacken her name, as can be read in surviving court papers. During the years of custody that followed, Beethoven attempted to ensure that Karl lived to the highest moral standards. Beethoven had an overbearing manner and frequently interfered in his nephew's life. Karl attempted suicide on 31 July 1826 by shooting himself in the head. He survived, and was brought to his mother's house, where he recuperated. He and Beethoven reconciled, but Karl insisted on joining the army, and last saw Beethoven in early 1827.

The only major works Beethoven produced during this time were two cello sonatas
Cello Sonatas No. 4 and No. 5, Opus 102 (Beethoven)
The Sonatas for cello and piano No. 4 in C major, Op. 102, No. 1, and No. 5 in D major, Op. 102, No. 2, by Ludwig van Beethoven were composed simultaneously in 1815 and published in 1817 with a dedication to the Countess Maria von Erdödy, a close friend and confidante of Beethoven's.- History...

, a piano sonata, and collections of folk song settings. He began sketches for the Ninth Symphony in 1817.

Late works

Beethoven began a renewed study of older music, including works by J. S. Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

 and Handel
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music...

, that were then being published in the first attempts at complete editions. He composed the Consecration of the House Overture
Consecration of the House Overture
Consecration of the House , op.124, is a work by Ludwig van Beethoven composed in September 1822. It was commissioned by Carl Friedrich Hensler, the Director of Vienna’s new Theater in der Josefstadt, and was first performed at the theatre's opening on October 3, 1822. It was the first work...

, which was the first work to attempt to incorporate his new influences. A new style, now called his "late period," emerged when he returned to the keyboard to compose his first piano sonatas in almost a decade. The works of the late period are commonly held to include the last five piano sonatas and the Diabelli Variations
Diabelli Variations
The 33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120, commonly known as the Diabelli Variations, is a set of variations for the piano written between 1819 and 1823 by Ludwig van Beethoven on a waltz composed by Anton Diabelli...

, the last two sonatas for cello and piano, the late quartets (see below), and two works for very large forces: the Missa Solemnis
Missa Solemnis (Beethoven)
The Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123 was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven from 1819-1823. It was first performed on April 7, 1824 in St. Petersburg, under the auspices of Beethoven's patron Prince Nikolai Galitzin; an incomplete performance was given in Vienna on 7 May 1824, when the Kyrie,...

and the Ninth Symphony
Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire, and has been adapted for use as the European Anthem...

.

By early 1818 Beethoven's health had improved, and his nephew moved in with him in January. On the downside, his hearing had deteriorated to the point that conversation became difficult, necessitating the use of conversation books. His household management had also improved somewhat; Nanette Streicher, who had assisted in his care during his illness, continued to provide some support, and he finally found a skilled cook. His musical output in 1818 was still somewhat reduced, but included song collections and the Hammerklavier Sonata, as well as sketches for two symphonies that eventually coalesced into the epic Ninth. In 1819 he was again preoccupied by the legal processes around Karl, and began work on the Diabelli Variations
Diabelli Variations
The 33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120, commonly known as the Diabelli Variations, is a set of variations for the piano written between 1819 and 1823 by Ludwig van Beethoven on a waltz composed by Anton Diabelli...

and the Missa Solemnis
Missa Solemnis
Missa Solemnis is Latin for solemn mass, and is a name which has been applied to a number of musical settings of the mass, especially particularly serious or large-scale ones.The following are notable examples:...

.

For the next few years he continued to work on the Missa, composing piano sonatas and bagatelle
Bagatelle
Bagatelle is a billiards-derived indoor table game, the object of which is to get a number of balls past wooden pins into holes...

s to satisfy the demands of publishers and the need for income, and completing the Diabelli Variations. He was ill again for an extended time in 1821, and completed the Missa in 1823, three years after its original due date. He also opened discussions with his publishers over the possibility of producing a complete edition of his work, an idea that was arguably not fully realised until 1971. Beethoven's brother Johann began to take a hand in his business affairs around this time, much in the way Carl had earlier, locating older unpublished works to offer for publication and offering the Missa to multiple publishers with the goal of getting a higher price for it.

Two commissions in 1822 improved Beethoven's financial prospects. The Philharmonic Society of London offered a commission for a symphony, and Prince Nikolay Golitsin of St. Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 offered to pay Beethoven's price for three string quartets. The first of these spurred Beethoven to finish the Ninth Symphony, which premiered, along with the Missa Solemnis, on 7 May 1824, to great acclaim at the Kärntnertortheater. The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung gushed, "inexhaustible genius had shown us a new world," and Carl Czerny wrote that his symphony "breathes such a fresh, lively, indeed youthful spirit [...] so much power, innovation, and beauty as ever [came] from the head of this original man, although he certainly sometimes led the old wigs to shake their heads." Unlike his earlier concerts, Beethoven made little money on this one, as the expenses of mounting it were significantly higher. A second concert on 24 May, in which the producer guaranteed Beethoven a minimum fee, was poorly attended; nephew Karl noted that "many people have already gone into the country." It was Beethoven's last public concert.
Beethoven then turned to writing the string quartets for Golitsin. This series of quartets, known as the "Late Quartets," went far beyond what either musicians or audiences were ready for at that time. One musician commented that "we know there is something there, but we do not know what it is." Composer Louis Spohr
Louis Spohr
Louis Spohr was a German composer, violinist and conductor. Born Ludewig Spohr, he is usually known by the French form of his name. Described by Dorothy Mayer as "The Forgotten Master", Spohr was once as famous as Beethoven. As a violinist, his virtuoso playing was admired by Queen Victoria...

 called them "indecipherable, uncorrected horrors," though that opinion has changed considerably from the time of their first bewildered reception. They continued (and continue) to inspire musicians and composers, from Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

 to Béla Bartók
Béla Bartók
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as Hungary's greatest composer...

, for their unique forms and ideas. Of the late quartets, Beethoven's favorite was the Fourteenth Quartet, op. 131
String Quartet No. 14 (Beethoven)
The String Quartet No. 14 in C minor, Op. 131, by Ludwig van Beethoven was completed in 1826. About 40 minutes in length, it consists of seven movements to be played without a break, as follows:#Adagio ma non troppo e molto...

 in C# minor, which he rated as his most perfect single work. The last musical wish of Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer.Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies , liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music...

 was to hear the Op. 131 quartet, which was done on 14 November 1828, five days before Schubert's death.

Beethoven wrote the last quartets amidst failing health. In April 1825 he was bedridden, and remained ill for about a month. The illness—or more precisely, his recovery from it—is remembered for having given rise to the deeply felt slow movement of the Fifteenth Quartet
String Quartet No. 15 (Beethoven)
The Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, by Ludwig van Beethoven, was written in 1825, given its public premiere on November 6 of that year by the Schuppanzigh Quartet and was dedicated to Count Nicolai Galitzin, as were Opp. 127 and 130...

, which Beethoven called "Holy song of thanks ('Heiliger dankgesang') to the divinity, from one made well." He went on to complete the (misnumbered) Thirteenth
String Quartet No. 13 (Beethoven)
The String Quartet No. 13 in B major, op. 130, by Ludwig van Beethoven was completed in November 1825. The number traditionally assigned to it is based on the order of its publication; it is actually the fourteenth quartet in order of composition. It was premiered in March 1826 by the Schuppanzigh...

, Fourteenth
String Quartet No. 14 (Beethoven)
The String Quartet No. 14 in C minor, Op. 131, by Ludwig van Beethoven was completed in 1826. About 40 minutes in length, it consists of seven movements to be played without a break, as follows:#Adagio ma non troppo e molto...

, and Sixteenth
String Quartet No. 16 (Beethoven)
The String Quartet No. 16 in F major, op. 135, by Ludwig van Beethoven was written in October 1826 and was the last substantial work he finished. Only the last movement of the Quartet op. 130, written as a replacement for the Große Fuge, was written later. It was premiered by the Schuppanzigh...

 Quartets. The last work completed by Beethoven was the substitute final movement of the Thirteenth Quartet, deemed necessary to replace the difficult Große Fuge
Große Fuge
The Große Fuge , Op. 133, is a single-movement composition for string quartet by Ludwig van Beethoven. A massive double fugue, it originally served as the final movement of his Quartet No. 13 in B major but he replaced it with a new finale and published it separately in 1827 as Op...

. Shortly thereafter, in December 1826, illness struck again, with episodes of vomiting and diarrhea that nearly ended his life.

Illness and death

Beethoven was bedridden for most of his remaining months, and many friends came to visit. He died on Monday, 26 March 1827, during a thunderstorm. His friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner
Anselm Hüttenbrenner
Anselm Hüttenbrenner , was an Austrian composer. He was on friendly terms with both Ludwig van Beethovenhe was one of only two people present at his deathand Franz Schubert, his recollections of whom constitute an interesting but probably unreliable document in Schubertian biographical...

, who was present at the time, claimed that there was a peal of thunder at the moment of death. An autopsy
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

 revealed significant liver damage, which may have been due to heavy alcohol consumption.

Beethoven's funeral procession on 29 March 1827 was attended by an estimated 20,000 Viennese citizens. Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer.Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies , liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music...

, who died the following year and was buried next to Beethoven, was one of the torchbearers. Unlike Mozart, who was buried anonymously in a communal grave (the custom at the time), Beethoven was buried in a dedicated grave in the Währing
Währing
Währing is the 18th district of Vienna, Austria. It is in the northwest part of the city. In addition to currently hosting a number of Vienna's foreign embassies, Währing was the site of the original burial places of composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.-Location:Währing lies in the...

 cemetery, north-west of Vienna, after a requiem mass at the church of the Holy Trinity (Dreifaltigkeitskirche). His remains were exhumed for study in 1862, and moved in 1888 to Vienna's Zentralfriedhof
Zentralfriedhof
The Zentralfriedhof is one of the largest cemeteries in the world, largest by number of interred in Europe and most famous cemetery among Vienna's nearly 50 cemeteries.-Name and location:...

.

There is dispute about the cause of Beethoven's death; alcoholic cirrhosis, syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

, infectious hepatitis, lead poisoning
Lead poisoning
Lead poisoning is a medical condition caused by increased levels of the heavy metal lead in the body. Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems...

, sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis , also called sarcoid, Besnier-Boeck disease or Besnier-Boeck-Schaumann disease, is a disease in which abnormal collections of chronic inflammatory cells form as nodules in multiple organs. The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown...

 and Whipple's disease
Whipple's disease
Whipple's disease is a rare, systemic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Tropheryma whipplei. First described by George Hoyt Whipple in 1907 and commonly considered a gastrointestinal disorder, Whipple's disease primarily causes malabsorption but may affect any part of the body including...

 have all been proposed. Friends and visitors before and after his death clipped locks of his hair, some of which have been preserved and subjected to additional analysis, as have skull fragments removed during the 1862 exhumation. Some of these analyses have led to controversial assertions that Beethoven was accidentally poison
Poison
In the context of biology, poisons are substances that can cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism....

ed to death by excessive doses of lead-based treatments administered under instruction from his doctor.

Character

Beethoven's personal life was troubled by his encroaching deafness and irritability brought on by chronic abdominal pain (beginning in his twenties) which led him to contemplate suicide (documented in his Heiligenstadt Testament
Heiligenstadt Testament
The Heiligenstadt Testament is a letter written by Ludwig van Beethoven to his brothers Carl and Johann at Heiligenstadt on 6 October 1802....

). Beethoven was often irascible and may have suffered from bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder or bipolar affective disorder, historically known as manic–depressive disorder, is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or...

, as discussed in The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb. Nevertheless, he had a close and devoted circle of friends all his life, thought to have been attracted by his strength of personality. Toward the end of his life, Beethoven's friends competed in their efforts to help him cope with his incapacities.

Sources show Beethoven's disdain for authority, and for social rank. He stopped performing at the piano if the audience chatted amongst themselves, or afforded him less than their full attention. At soirées, he refused to perform if suddenly called upon to do so. Eventually, after many confrontations, the Archduke Rudolph decreed that the usual rules of court etiquette did not apply to Beethoven.

Beethoven was attracted to the ideals of the Enlightenment. In 1804, when Napoleon's imperial ambitions became clear, Beethoven took hold of the title-page of his Third Symphony
Symphony No. 3 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E flat major , also known as the Eroica , is a landmark musical work marking the full arrival of the composer's "middle-period," a series of unprecedented large scale works of emotional depth and structural rigor.The symphony is widely regarded as a mature...

 and scratched the name Bonaparte out so violently that he made a hole in the paper. He later changed the work's title to "Sinfonia Eroica, composta per festeggiare il sovvenire d'un grand'uom" ("Heroic Symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man"), and he rededicated it to his patron, Prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowitz, at whose palace it was first performed.

The fourth movement of his Ninth Symphony
Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire, and has been adapted for use as the European Anthem...

 features an elaborate choral setting of Schiller's
Friedrich Schiller
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life , Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...

 Ode An die Freude
Ode to Joy
"Ode to Joy" is an ode written in 1785 by the German poet, playwright and historian Friedrich Schiller, enthusiastically celebrating the brotherhood and unity of all mankind...

("Ode to Joy"), an optimistic hymn championing the brotherhood of humanity.

Religious views

Scholars disagree about Beethoven's religious beliefs, and about the role they played in his work. It has been asserted, but not proven, that Beethoven was a Freemason.

Music

Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

; occasionally he is referred to as one of the "three Bs
Three Bs
"The Three Bs" is an English-language phrase derived from an expression coined by Peter Cornelius in 1854, which added Hector Berlioz as the third B to occupy the heights already occupied by Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven. Later in the century, the famous conductor Hans von Bülow...

" (along with Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

 and Brahms
Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene...

) who epitomise that tradition. He was also a pivotal figure in the transition from the 18th century musical classicism to 19th century romanticism
Romantic music
Romantic music or music in the Romantic Period is a musicological and artistic term referring to a particular period, theory, compositional practice, and canon in Western music history, from 1810 to 1900....

, and his influence on subsequent generations of composers was profound.

Overview

Beethoven composed in several musical genres and for a variety of instrument combinations. His works for symphony orchestra include nine symphonies
Symphony
A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, scored almost always for orchestra. A symphony usually contains at least one movement or episode composed according to the sonata principle...

 (the Ninth Symphony includes a chorus), and about a dozen pieces of "occasional" music. He wrote seven concerti
Concerto
A concerto is a musical work usually composed in three parts or movements, in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra.The etymology is uncertain, but the word seems to have originated from the conjunction of the two Latin words...

 for one or more soloists and orchestra, as well as four shorter works that include soloists accompanied by orchestra. His only opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 is Fidelio
Fidelio
Fidelio is a German opera in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is Beethoven's only opera. The German libretto is by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly which had been used for the 1798 opera Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal by Pierre Gaveaux, and for the 1804 opera Leonora...

; other vocal works with orchestral accompaniment include two masses
Mass (music)
The Mass, a form of sacred musical composition, is a choral composition that sets the invariable portions of the Eucharistic liturgy to music...

 and a number of shorter works.

His large body of compositions for piano
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

 includes 32 piano sonata
Piano sonata
A piano sonata is a sonata written for a solo piano. Piano sonatas are usually written in three or four movements, although some piano sonatas have been written with a single movement , two movements , five or even more movements...

s 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
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

. In addition to 16 string quartet
String quartet
A string quartet is a musical ensemble of four string players – usually two violin players, a violist and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group...

s, he wrote five works for string quintet
String quintet
A string quintet is a musical composition for a standard string quartet supplemented by a fifth string instrument, usually a second viola or a second cello , but occasionally a double bass. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who favoured addition of a viola, is considered a pioneer of the form...

, seven for piano trio
Piano trio
A piano trio is a group of piano and two other instruments, usually a violin and a cello, or a piece of music written for such a group. It is one of the most common forms found in classical chamber music...

, five for string trio
String trio
A string trio is a group of three string instruments or a piece written for such a group. The term is generally used with reference to works of chamber music from the Classical period to the present.-History:...

, and more than a dozen works for various combinations of wind instrument
Wind instrument
A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator , in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into a mouthpiece set at the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of...

s.

The three periods

Beethoven's compositional career is usually divided into Early, Middle, and Late periods. In this scheme, his early period is taken to last until about 1802, the middle period from about 1803 to about 1814, and the late period from about 1815.

In his Early period, Beethoven's work was strongly influenced by his predecessors Haydn
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

 and Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

. He also explored new directions and gradually expanded the scope and ambition of his work. Some important pieces from the Early period are the first
Symphony No. 1 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21, was dedicated to Baron Gottfried van Swieten, an early patron of the composer. The piece was published in 1801 by Hoffmeister & Kühnel of Leipzig...

 and second
Symphony No. 2 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D major was written between 1801 and 1802 and is dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky.-Background:...

 symphonies, the set of six string quartets Opus 18
String Quartets Nos. 1 - 6, Opus 18 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's opus 18, published in 1801 by T. Mollo et Comp in Vienna, consisted of his first six string quartets. They were composed between 1798 and 1800 to fulfill a commission for Prince Lobkowitz, who was the employer of Beethoven's friend, the violinist Karl Amenda...

, the first two piano concertos, and the first dozen or so piano sonatas, including the famous Pathétique
Piano Sonata No. 8 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as Sonata Pathétique, was written in 1798 when the composer was 27 years old, and was published in 1799. Beethoven dedicated the work to his friend Prince Karl von Lichnowsky...

sonata, Op. 13.

His Middle (Heroic) period began shortly after Beethoven's personal crisis brought on by his recognition of encroaching deafness. It includes large-scale works that express heroism and struggle. Middle-period works include six symphonies (Nos. 3–8), the last three piano concertos, the Triple Concerto
Triple Concerto (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C Major, Op. 56, more commonly known as the Triple Concerto, was composed in 1803 and later published in 1804 under Breitkopf & Hartel. The choice of the three solo instruments effectively makes this a concerto for piano trio and the...

 and violin concerto
Violin Concerto (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, was written in 1806.The work was premiered on 23 December 1806 in the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. Beethoven wrote the concerto for his colleague Franz Clement, a leading violinist of the day, who had earlier given him helpful advice on...

, five string quartets (Nos. 7–11), several piano sonatas (including the Moonlight
Piano Sonata No. 14 (Beethoven)
The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No. 2, by Ludwig van Beethoven, popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata , was completed in 1801...

, Waldstein
Piano Sonata No. 21 (Beethoven)
The Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, also known as the Waldstein, is considered to be one of Beethoven's greatest piano sonatas, as well as one of the three particularly notable sonatas of his middle period . The sonata was completed in the summer of 1804...

and Appassionata
Piano Sonata No. 23 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 is a piano sonata. It is considered one of the three great piano sonatas of his middle period . It was composed during 1804 and 1805, and perhaps 1806, and was dedicated to Count Franz von Brunswick...

sonatas), the Kreutzer
Violin Sonata No. 9 (Beethoven)
Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, commonly known as the Kreutzer Sonata, is a violin sonata which Ludwig van Beethoven published as his Opus 47...

violin sonata and Beethoven's only opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

, Fidelio
Fidelio
Fidelio is a German opera in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is Beethoven's only opera. The German libretto is by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly which had been used for the 1798 opera Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal by Pierre Gaveaux, and for the 1804 opera Leonora...

.

Beethoven's Late period began around 1815. Works from this period are characterised by their intellectual depth, their formal innovations, and their intense, highly personal expression. The String Quartet, Op. 131
String Quartet No. 14 (Beethoven)
The String Quartet No. 14 in C minor, Op. 131, by Ludwig van Beethoven was completed in 1826. About 40 minutes in length, it consists of seven movements to be played without a break, as follows:#Adagio ma non troppo e molto...

 has seven linked movements, and the Ninth Symphony
Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire, and has been adapted for use as the European Anthem...

 adds choral forces to the orchestra in the last movement. Other compositions from this period include the Missa Solemnis
Missa Solemnis (Beethoven)
The Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123 was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven from 1819-1823. It was first performed on April 7, 1824 in St. Petersburg, under the auspices of Beethoven's patron Prince Nikolai Galitzin; an incomplete performance was given in Vienna on 7 May 1824, when the Kyrie,...

, the last five string quartets (including the massive Große Fuge
Große Fuge
The Große Fuge , Op. 133, is a single-movement composition for string quartet by Ludwig van Beethoven. A massive double fugue, it originally served as the final movement of his Quartet No. 13 in B major but he replaced it with a new finale and published it separately in 1827 as Op...

) and the last five piano sonatas.

Beethoven on screen

Eroica is a 1949 Austrian
Cinema of Austria
Austria has had an active cinema industry since the early 20th century. Sascha Kolowrat-Krakowsky was among the Austrian pioneers of this art. Several Austrians pursued a career in pre-Nazi Germany and later in the United States, among them Fritz Lang, Josef von Sternberg, Billy Wilder, Fred...

 film depicting life and works of Beethoven (Ewald Balser
Ewald Balser
Ewald Balser was a German film actor. He appeared in 53 films between 1935 and 1975.He was born in Elberfeld, Germany and died in Vienna, Austria.-Selected filmography:* The Trial * Eroica...

), which also entered into the 1949 Cannes Film Festival
1949 Cannes Film Festival
The 3rd Cannes Film Festival was held on September 2-17, 1949. No festival was held in 1948.- Jury :The entire jury for this festival were French.*Georges Huisman *Jules Romains *Mme...

. The film is directed by Walter Kolm-Veltée
Walter Kolm-Veltée
Walter Kolm-Veltée was an Austrian film director. He directed nine films between 1933 and 1959. He was the son of Austrian film director Luise Fleck from her first marriage....

, produced by Guido Bagier with Walter Kolm-Veltée and written by Walter Kolm-Veltée with Franz Tassié.

In 1962, Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

 produced a made-for-television and extremely fictionalised life of Beethoven titled The Magnificent Rebel. The film was given a two-part premiere on the Walt Disney anthology television series and released to theatres in Europe. It starred Karlheinz Böhm
Karlheinz Böhm
Karlheinz Böhm is an Austrian actor. The son of conductor Karl Böhm, he is best known internationally for his role as Mark, the psychopathic protagonist of Peeping Tom, directed by Michael Powell...

 as Beethoven.

In 1994
1994 in film
1994 was a significant year in film.The top grosser worldwide was The Lion King, which to date stands as the highest-grossing traditionally-animated film of all time...

 a film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 about Beethoven (Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman
Gary Leonard Oldman is an English actor, voice actor, filmmaker and musician.A member of the 1980s Brit Pack, Oldman came to prominence via starring roles in British films Meantime , Sid and Nancy and Prick Up Your Ears , with his performance in the latter bringing him his first BAFTA Award...

) titled Immortal Beloved
Immortal Beloved (film)
Immortal Beloved is a 1994 film about the life of composer Ludwig van Beethoven . The story follows Beethoven's secretary and first biographer Anton Schindler as he attempts to ascertain the true identity of the Unsterbliche Geliebte addressed in three letters found in the late composer's private...

was written and directed by Bernard Rose
Bernard Rose (director)
Bernard Rose is an English actor and film director most famous for his direction of the 1992 urban horror film Candyman and the 1994 historical romance film Immortal Beloved....

. The story follows Beethoven's secretary
Secretary
A secretary, or administrative assistant, is a person whose work consists of supporting management, including executives, using a variety of project management, communication & organizational skills. These functions may be entirely carried out to assist one other employee or may be for the benefit...

 and first biographer, Anton Schindler (portrayed by Jeroen Krabbé
Jeroen Krabbé
Jeroen Aart Krabbé is a Dutch actor and film director who has appeared in many Dutch and international films.-Biography:...

), as he attempts to ascertain the true identity of the Unsterbliche Geliebte (Immortal Beloved
Immortal Beloved
Immortal Beloved may refer to:*Immortal Beloved, the name given by composer Ludwig van Beethoven to an unknown person in a famous love letter.*Immortal Beloved , a 1994 film about the life of Beethoven....

) addressed in three letters found in the late composer's private papers. Schindler journeys throughout the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

, interviewing women who might be potential candidates, as well as through Beethoven's own tumultuous life. Filming took place in the Czech
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 cities of Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 and Kromeriz
Kromeríž
Kroměříž is a town in the Zlín Region of the Czech Republic. The town's main landmark is the Baroque Kroměříž Bishop's Palace, where some scenes from Amadeus and Immortal Beloved were filmed...

 and the Zentralfriedhof
Zentralfriedhof
The Zentralfriedhof is one of the largest cemeteries in the world, largest by number of interred in Europe and most famous cemetery among Vienna's nearly 50 cemeteries.-Name and location:...

 in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Austria, between 23 May and 29 July 1994.

In 2003 a made-for-television BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

/Opus Arte film Eroica
Eroica (2003 film)
Eroica - The day that changed music forever is a BBC television film which dramatises the first performance of Beethoven's third symphony, the Eroica....

was released, with Ian Hart
Ian Hart
Ian Hart is an English stage, television and film actor.-Early life:Hart, the grandson of Irish immigrants, was born in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. He is one of three siblings and was brought up in a Roman Catholic family...

 as Beethoven and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, founded in 1990 by John Eliot Gardiner, performs Classical and Romantic music, using the principles and original instruments of historically informed performance. The orchestra has recorded symphonies, operas, concertos, and other works of Beethoven,...

 conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner
John Eliot Gardiner
Sir John Eliot Gardiner CBE FKC is an English conductor. He founded the Monteverdi Choir , the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique...

 performing the Eroica Symphony in its entirety. The subject of the film is the first performance of the Eroica Symphony in 1804 at the palace of Prince Lobkowitz (played by Jack Davenport
Jack Davenport
Jack Davenport is an English actor, best known for his roles in the television series This Life, Coupling and as James Norrington in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. He has also appeared in many other Hollywood films such as The Talented Mr. Ripley...

).

In a 2005 three-part BBC miniseries, Beethoven was played by Paul Rhys
Paul Rhys
Paul Rhys is a British television, film and theatre actor.Rhys was born in Wales and studied at RADA, leaving with the Bancroft Gold Medal in 1987. While there, he obtained his first major screen role, in Absolute Beginners . Since then he has seldom been off the stage and screen...

.

A movie titled Copying Beethoven was released in 2006, starring Ed Harris
Ed Harris
Edward Allen "Ed" Harris is an American actor, writer, and director, known for his performances in Appaloosa, Radio, The Rock, The Abyss, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, A History of Violence, and The Truman Show. Harris has also narrated commercials for The Home Depot and other companies...

 as Beethoven. This film was a fictionalised account of Beethoven's last days, and his struggle to produce his Ninth Symphony
Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire, and has been adapted for use as the European Anthem...

 before he died.

Memorials

The Beethoven Monument, Bonn
Beethoven Monument, Bonn
The Beethoven Monument is a large bronze statue of Ludwig van Beethoven that stands on the Münsterplatz in Bonn, Beethoven's birthplace. It was unveiled on 12 August 1845, in honour of the 75th anniversary of the composer's birth.-Background:...

 was unveiled in August 1845, in honour of his 75th anniversary. It was the first statue of a composer created in Germany, and the music festival that accompanied the unveiling was the impetus for the very hasty construction of the original Beethovenhalle
Beethovenhalle
The Beethovenhalle is a concert hall in Bonn. It is the third hall in that city to bear the name of Bonn-born composer Ludwig van Beethoven.- History :...

 in Bonn (it was designed and built within less than a month, on the urging of Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

). A statue to Mozart had been unveiled in Salzburg
Salzburg
-Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 in 1842. Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 did not honour Beethoven with a statue until 1880.

See also

  • List of compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Egmont
    Egmont (Beethoven)
    Egmont, Op. 84, by Ludwig van Beethoven, is a set of incidental music pieces for the 1787 play of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It consists of an overture followed by a sequence of nine additional pieces for soprano, male narrator and full symphony orchestra...


Cited sources

  • Brandenburg, Sieghard (ed.): Ludwig van Beethoven: Briefwechsel. Gesamtausgabe. 8 vols. Munich: Henle 1996.
  • Lorenz, Michael: “Die ‘Enttarnte Elise’. Elisabeth Röckels kurze Karriere als Beethovens ‘Elise’”. Bonner Beethoven-Studien 9, 2011, pp. 169–190 http://homepage.univie.ac.at/michael.lorenz/beethovens_elise/.
  • Sachs, Harvey
    Harvey Sachs
    Harvey Sachs, is an American-Canadian-Swiss writer who has written many books on musical subjects.His books include the standard biography of and a book of essays on the Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini, plus an edited collection of Toscanini's letters.* Toscanini, Philadelphia & New York: J. B...

    , The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824, London, Faber, 2010. ISBN 978-0-571-22145-5.
  • Steblin
    Rita Steblin
    Rita Katherine Steblin is a Canadian-born musicologist, noted for her archival work combining music history, iconography and genealogical research....

    , Rita: "'A dear, enchanting girl who loves me and whom I love': New Facts about Beethoven's Beloved Piano Pupil Julie Guicciardi". Bonner Beethoven-Studien 8 (2009), pp. 89–152.

Other sources

  • Albrecht, Theodore
    Theodore Albrecht
    Theodore Albrecht is a music historian who specializes in the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven.-Background:Albrecht is a 1967 graduate of St...

    , and Elaine Schwensen, "More Than Just Peanuts: Evidence for December 16 as Beethoven's birthday". The Beethoven Newsletter 3 (1988): 49, 60–63.
  • Bohle, Bruce, and Robert Sabin. The International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians. London: J.M. Dent & Sons LTD, 1975. ISBN 0-460-04235-1.
  • Davies, Peter J. The Character of a Genius: Beethoven in Perspective. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002. ISBN 0-313-31913-8.
  • Davies, Peter J. Beethoven in Person: His Deafness, Illnesses, and Death. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001. ISBN 0-313-31587-6.
  • DeNora, Tia
    Tia DeNora
    Tia DeNora is Professor of Sociology of Music and Director of Research, in the Department of Sociology/Philosophy at the University of Exeter.-Biography:...

    . "Beethoven and the Construction of Genius: Musical Politics in Vienna, 1792–1803". Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1995. ISBN 0-520-21158-8.
  • Geck, Martin. Beethoven. Translated by Anthea Bell. London: Haus, 2003. ISBN 1-904341-03-9 (h), ISBN 1-904341-00-4 (p).
  • Kornyei, Alexius. Beethoven in Martonvasar. Verlag, 1960. OCLC Number: 27056305
  • Kropfinger, Klaus. Beethoven. Verlage Bärenreiter/Metzler, 2001. ISBN 3-7618-1621-9.
  • Martin, Russell. Beethoven's Hair. New York: Broadway Books, 2000. ISBN 978-0-7679-0350-9.
  • Morris, Edmund. Beethoven: The Universal Composer. New York: Atlas Books / HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 0-06-075974-7.
  • Rosen, Charles
    Charles Rosen
    Charles Rosen is an American pianist and author on music.-Life and career:In his youth he studied piano with Moriz Rosenthal. Rosenthal, born in 1862, had been a student of Franz Liszt...

    . The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. Expanded ed. New York: W. W. Norton, 1998. ISBN 0-393-04020-8 (hc); ISBN 0-393-31712-9 (pb).
  • Solomon, Maynard. Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. ISBN 0-520-23746-3.
  • Thayer, A. W.
    Alexander Wheelock Thayer
    Alexander Wheelock Thayer , was a librarian and journalist who became the author of the first scholarly biography of Ludwig van Beethoven, still after many updatings regarded as a standard work of reference on the composer.-Life:Originally a librarian at Harvard law school, Thayer became aware of...

    , rev. and ed. Elliot Forbes. Thayer's Life of Beethoven. (2 vols.) Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09103-X.
  • Sullivan, J. W. N.
    J. W. N. Sullivan
    John William Navin Sullivan , was a popular science writer and literary journalist, and the author of a study of Beethoven. He wrote some of the earliest non-technical accounts of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, and was known personally to many important writers in London in the 1920s,...

    , Beethoven: His Spiritual Development New York: Alfred A. Knopf
    Alfred A. Knopf
    Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is a New York publishing house, founded by Alfred A. Knopf, Sr. in 1915. It was acquired by Random House in 1960 and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House. The publishing house is known for its borzoi trademark , which was designed by co-founder...

    , 1927.


External links

  • Beethoven-Haus Bonn. Official website of Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany. Links to extensive studio and digital archive, library holdings, the Beethoven-Haus Museum (including "internet exhibitions" and "virtual visits"), the Beethoven-Archiv research center, and information on Beethoven publications of interest to the specialist and general reader. Extensive collection of Beethoven's compositions and written documents, with sound samples and a digital reconstruction of his last house in Vienna.
  • The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, The Beethoven Gateway (San José State University)

Digitised, scanned material (books, sheetmusic)


Sheetmusic (scores)

  • Works by Beethoven Beethoven-Haus Bonn
  • "Beethoven" Titles from the Munich Digitization Center
    Munich Digitization Center
    Munich Digitization Center is an institution dedicated to digitalization, Online publication and the long-term archival preservation of the holdings of the Bavarian State Library and other cultural heritage institutions. It was founded in 1997 under the leadership of Mark Brantl...

     (MDZ)
  • "Beethoven" Titles from the University of Rochester
  • Free sheet music from Kreusch-sheet-music.net
  • Beethoven scores from Mutopia Project
    Mutopia project
    The Mutopia Project is a volunteer-run effort to create a library of free content sheet music, in a way similar to Project Gutenberg's library of public domain books.The music is reproduced from old scores that are out of copyright...


Historical recordings


General reference


Specific topics

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK