- Clips (20)Latest ClipBeethoven: String Quartet in D major, Op. 18 No. 3
- TracksLast Played on BBC
- MoreBBC News - Proms: Pianist's 'intense' relationship with Beethoven
- Beethoven: String Quartet in D major, Op. 18 No. 3http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02yqb2n.jpg2015-08-03T15:50:00ZWith the Apollon Musagete Quartet.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02yqkj0Selected ClipSelected ClipAudio 26 mins
Beethoven: String Quartet in D major, Op. 18 No. 3
- Beethoven: Symphony No.6 'Pastoral', 1st mvthttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xcbbn.jpg2015-08-03T11:17:00ZWith the Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02ypxdxSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 11 mins
Beethoven: Symphony No.6 'Pastoral', 1st mvt
- Beethoven: Bagatelle, Op. 33 No. 7http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xgydq.jpg2015-07-27T10:05:00ZLeif Ove Andsnes, piano.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02y4tvsSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 2 mins
Beethoven: Bagatelle, Op. 33 No. 7
- Beethoven: Bagatelle, Op. 119 No. 8http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xgydq.jpg2015-07-27T10:02:00ZLeif Ove Andsnes, piano.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02y4thxSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 2 mins
Beethoven: Bagatelle, Op. 119 No. 8
- BBC Proms - Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minorhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xzrz2.jpg2015-07-24T22:00:00ZLeif Ove Andsnes directs the Mahler Chamber Orchestrahttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02wtxb3Selected ClipSelected ClipVideo 36 mins
BBC Proms - Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor
- BBC Proms - Beethoven: Fantasia in C minor for piano, chorus and orchestra, 'Choral Fantasy'http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xzvbr.jpg2015-07-24T22:00:00ZLeif Ove Andsnes directs the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and BBC Singershttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02wtxv0Selected ClipSelected ClipVideo 20 mins
BBC Proms - Beethoven: Fantasia in C minor for piano, chorus and orchestra, 'Choral Fantasy'
- Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.4 in G major, 3rd mvthttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xr4ld.jpg2015-07-24T15:14:00ZWith pianist Leif Ove Andsnes directing the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02xym5sSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 10 mins
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.4 in G major, 3rd mvt
- Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G majorhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xyg6l.jpg2015-07-24T14:30:00ZFrom the Royal Albert Hall, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02xygp6Selected ClipSelected ClipAudio 35 mins
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major
- Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C majorhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xy6wd.jpg2015-07-24T12:50:00ZFrom the Royal Albert Hall, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 1.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02xy70pSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 33 mins
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major
- BBC Proms - Beethoven: The Creatures of Prometheushttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xrd70.jpg2015-07-23T13:49:56ZCity of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsonshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02wlxqbSelected ClipSelected ClipVideo 5 mins
BBC Proms - Beethoven: The Creatures of Prometheus
- Beethoven: Creatures of Prometheus - overture (Op.43)http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xknbl.jpg2015-07-20T10:45:00ZWith the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andris Nelsons.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02xkng2Selected ClipSelected ClipAudio 5 mins
Beethoven: Creatures of Prometheus - overture (Op.43)
- BBC Proms - Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, 'Choral'http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xr9gl.jpg2015-07-19T22:00:00ZCity of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsonshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02wlz2qSelected ClipSelected ClipVideo 1 hour 10 mins
BBC Proms - Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, 'Choral'
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor - 1st movementhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02xgydq.jpg2015-07-19T10:10:00ZBBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Thomas Søndergård.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02xh0m6Selected ClipSelected ClipAudio 4 mins
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor - 1st movement
- BEETHOVEN - Great Composers with Tom Servicehttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02sxfwc.jpg2015-06-04T16:34:00ZTom Service introduces the composer who wanted people to hear music as if they were hearing it all for the first time and did it by innovating in every type of music he touched.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02sxgzbSelected ClipSelected ClipVideo 4 mins
BEETHOVEN - Great Composers with Tom Service
- Beethoven: Symphony No 3http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02j1b79.jpg2015-01-31T16:26:00ZNicholas Kenyon sifts through dozens of recordings of Beethoven's ground-breaking Symphony No. 3 and makes a personal recommendation.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02j1b7bSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 55 mins
Beethoven: Symphony No 3
- Beethoven: Piano Trio in Dhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02fnwk6.jpg2014-12-20T16:04:00ZIn Building a Library Harriet Smith considers different recordings of Beethoven's Piano Trio in D major known as The Ghost.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p02fnwk8Selected ClipSelected ClipAudio 48 mins
Beethoven: Piano Trio in D
- Beethoven: Symphony No.1http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01vlr2z.jpg2014-07-11T15:45:00ZIn this Proms Music Guide, Tom Service talks about Beethoven's 1st Symphony.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p022npdzSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 3 mins
Beethoven: Symphony No.1
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 3http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sskbb.jpg2014-07-11T15:34:00ZIn this Proms Music Guide, Andrew McGregor talks about Beethoven's 3rd Symphony.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p022nnm9Selected ClipSelected ClipAudio 4 mins
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 4http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01tn3p4.jpg2014-07-11T15:27:00ZIn this Proms Music Guide, Stephen Johnson talks about Beethoven's 4th Symphonyhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p022nmzxSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 3 mins
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 5http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01ssxq0.jpg2014-07-11T15:17:00ZIn this Proms Music Guide, Andrew McGregor talks about Beethoven's 5th symphony.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9?clipfocus=p022nmkrSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 3 mins
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
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The popular image of Beethoven as a morose individual who shunned society is only partly true. He did have a serious outlook on life, and in later years he had difficulty mixing with people because of his deafness, which emerged in his late twenties and gradually increased thereafter till his death. Yet he loved company, and had a ready wit. His letters contain many puns, and it was he who introduced the scherzo (literally, ‘joke’) into the symphony when he used one in his Symphony No. 2 instead of the customary minuet.
This Second Symphony already goes well beyond the models of Haydn and Mozart, the two chief influences on his style. Building on their example Beethoven continually strove to stretch the bounds of music to new limits, whether in his seven surviving concertos, 16 string quartets, 35 piano sonatas (including three very early ones) or other works.
Each of his nine symphonies (and an incipient tenth) is completely different from any previous one, and he showed similar originality in every major genre of the time, from his only opera Fidelio and his mighty Missa solemnis to his numerous settings of folk songs, which he treated in an entirely novel way. He achieved his goal through a combination of natural genius and sheer hard work: every one of his major compositions is the result of painstaking refinement, evident in the many thousands of pages of musical sketches that he wrote.
It is not always realised, however, that Beethoven was extraordinary in other ways too. Having no wife or family of his own, he spent enormous energy on helping his nephew, and he was deeply religious. Indeed his goodness and kindness were so evident to his contemporaries that at least three of them independently asserted that he was even greater as a human being than as a musician. Considering that many regard him as the greatest composer in history, such praise is astonishing.
Beethoven also responded strikingly to political upheavals – the French Revolution and the ensuing Napoleonic wars. Although no political activist, he made his hatred of tyranny very plain in works such as Fidelio and his music for Goethe’s play Egmont.
Yet it is the quality of his music that has ensured his lasting reputation. Although its novelty initially puzzled some of his contemporaries, repeated hearings and study have shown that it is based on firm foundations. Its combination of beauty and unpredictability, extreme emotional depth and intellectual rigour, across so many genres, is unsurpassed and probably always will be.
Profile © Barry Cooper