Ludwig van Beethoven
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1770-12-17
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9
Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven Biography (BBC)

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


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Ludwig van Beethoven
Pastoral Symphony
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Pastoral Symphony
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No.1: III. Rondo. Molto allegro
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Piano Concerto No.1: III. Rondo. Molto allegro
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No.5: I. Allegro
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Piano Concerto No.5: I. Allegro
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No.4: III. Rondo
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Piano Concerto No.4: III. Rondo
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No.3: II. Largo
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Piano Concerto No.3: II. Largo
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No.4: II. Andante con moto
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Piano Concerto No.4: II. Andante con moto
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No.2: II. Scherzo
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Piano Sonata No.2: II. Scherzo
Ludwig van Beethoven
Rondo in B flat major for piano and orchestra, WoO 6
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Rondo in B flat major for piano and orchestra, WoO 6
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony no.6, Op.68 "Pastoral" (2nd mvt)
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Symphony no.6, Op.68 "Pastoral" (2nd mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata for piano no. 18 (Op.31 No.3) in E flat major
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Sonata for piano no. 18 (Op.31 No.3) in E flat major
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sextet in E flat major for two horns and string quartet, Op 81b
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Sextet in E flat major for two horns and string quartet, Op 81b
Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Concerto
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Violin Concerto
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 2, 'Moonlight' (3rd mvt)
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Piano Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 2, 'Moonlight' (3rd mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Romance No.1 in G major for violin and orchestra, Op.40
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Romance No.1 in G major for violin and orchestra, Op.40
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 "Ghost": II. Largo assai ed espressivo
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Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 "Ghost": II. Largo assai ed espressivo
Ludwig van Beethoven
10 Variations on "La stessa, la stessissima" for piano
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10 Variations on "La stessa, la stessissima" for piano
Ludwig van Beethoven
Wind Octet in E flat major, Op 103
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Wind Octet in E flat major, Op 103
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No.4 in E flat major, Op.7
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Piano Sonata No.4 in E flat major, Op.7
Ludwig van Beethoven
Turkish March (The Ruins of Athens)
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Turkish March (The Ruins of Athens)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartet for strings in F major 'Rasumovsky' (Op.59 No.1)
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Quartet for strings in F major 'Rasumovsky' (Op.59 No.1)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Fantasia in C minor Op.80 for piano, chorus and orchestra
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Fantasia in C minor Op.80 for piano, chorus and orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quintet in C major, Op 29 (2nd mvt)
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String Quintet in C major, Op 29 (2nd mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Coriolan - overture Op.62
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Coriolan - overture Op.62
Ludwig van Beethoven
Wellingtons Sieg or Die Schlacht bei Vittoria (Op.91) 'Battle symphony'
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Wellingtons Sieg or Die Schlacht bei Vittoria (Op.91) 'Battle symphony'
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, Pathétique
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Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, Pathétique
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ode to Joy (Symphony No.9)
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Ode to Joy (Symphony No.9)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano sonata no. 1 (Op.2`1) in F minor (2nd mvt)
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Piano sonata no. 1 (Op.2`1) in F minor (2nd mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto no.4 - 2nd and 3rd movements
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Piano Concerto no.4 - 2nd and 3rd movements
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No 5 in C minor, Op 67 (1st mvt)
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Symphony No 5 in C minor, Op 67 (1st mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Egmont, Op 84 (Overture)
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Egmont, Op 84 (Overture)
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet Op 131 (1st mvt)
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String Quartet Op 131 (1st mvt)

String Quartet Op 131 (1st mvt)

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Soloists of International Musicians Seminar
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Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata in A major, Op 47 'Kreutzer' (3rd mvt, Finale)
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Sonata in A major, Op 47 'Kreutzer' (3rd mvt, Finale)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Sonata No 2 in A major, Op 12 (3rd mvt)
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Violin Sonata No 2 in A major, Op 12 (3rd mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Sonata in G major, Op 30 no 3
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Violin Sonata in G major, Op 30 no 3
Ludwig van Beethoven
Romance no. 2 in F major Op.50 for violin
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Romance no. 2 in F major Op.50 for violin
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No.1 in C - 3rd mvt: Rondo
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Piano Concerto No.1 in C - 3rd mvt: Rondo
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No 2 in G major, Op 18 (Scherzo)
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String Quartet No 2 in G major, Op 18 (Scherzo)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op.68 (Pastoral)
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Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op.68 (Pastoral)
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Trio in G major, Op 9 no 1
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String Trio in G major, Op 9 no 1
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet in G major, Op 18 no 2
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String Quartet in G major, Op 18 no 2
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata in C, Op 53
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Sonata in C, Op 53
Ludwig van Beethoven
The Consecration of the House, Op 124 (Overture)
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The Consecration of the House, Op 124 (Overture)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Cello Sonata in C Op102 no1
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Cello Sonata in C Op102 no1
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sextet for 2 horns and string quartet, Op 81b
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Sextet for 2 horns and string quartet, Op 81b
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony no 5 in C minor op 67
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Symphony no 5 in C minor op 67
Ludwig van Beethoven
Leonora Overture no 2
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Leonora Overture no 2
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet in E minor Op 59 No 2
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String Quartet in E minor Op 59 No 2
Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Concerto in D major, Op 61 (3rd mvt)
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Violin Concerto in D major, Op 61 (3rd mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
The Creatures of Prometheus: Overture
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The Creatures of Prometheus: Overture
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