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Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven’s importance lies not only in his work, but also in his life

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(Tames, 4). Included in my report is proof that Beethoven was one of the

greatest composers of the Romantic era. In this proof is a brief description of

his life. This will help you understand how he felt when he wrote his music.

Also, there will be a description of all his symphonies.

On December 16 or 17, 1770, (date uncertain) at 515 (now 20) Bonngasse Bonn,

Germany Beethoven, like Mozart, was born into a small family (Comptons, 1). He

took his first lessons on March 26, 1778, (Schmit, 10). In 1787, he went to

Vienna to study with Mozart, but he went back to Bonn due to the nature of his

mother’s sickness (Schmit, 15). This would be the composers last visit to Bonn.

After his mother’s death on July 17, 1787, Beethoven went back to Vienna

to study with Hayden in November of 1792, where he lived for 35 years (Tames,

14). He was unsatisfied with Hayden because he was preoccupied and commonly

missed many mistakes made by Beethoven (Schmit, 17). Beethoven, then, went to

Neffe who himself started composing at the age of 12.

In the late 1700’s, Beethoven began to suffer from early symptoms of

deafness, and by 1802, Beethoven was convinced that the condition was not only

permanent but was getting much worse. The cause of his deafness is still

uncertain (Comptons, 1). He was determined to prove that deafness was not a

handicap to him (Thompson, 25). Beethoven’s deafness started to be noticeable,

and by 1818 Beethoven was completely deaf (Schmit, 28).

In the year of 1812, Beethoven fell in love with the “Eternally

Beloved.” Nobody knew her name except Beethoven, who did not mention it in any

letter or to friends.

Under his first patron, Prince Karl Lichnowsky, Beethoven wrote his

first symphony. The first symphony was wrote in 1795, and was a set of three

Trios. Beethoven believed that his income came from the successful sale of

these works, but it actually came from Lichnowsky (Tames, 12). This symphony

was reflective of the classical era. He did not publish this symphony until he

was 31.

In 1802, Beethoven wrote a second symphony. Beethoven named this

symphony “Grande Sinfonie” while in Hiligenstadt wh…

…usic. Not only did he create a bridge

between the 18th-century classical period and new beginnings of Romanticism, but

he started a new era of music.

Beethoven’s last years were marked with illness. On March 24, 1827,

Beethoven died in Vienna. A crowd of almost 30,000 people attended his funeral

and burial at Vienna Central Cemetery (Schmit, 31). The bicentennial of his

death was celebrated with performances and recordings of all the masters’ works

(Comptons, 2). At the funeral, Beethoven’s friend wrote a moving address which


“We, the representatives of an entire nation, come to mourn the passing

of the gracious mouth by which music spoke, the man who inherited and enriched

the immortal fame of Handel and Bach, of Hayden and Mozart. He was an artist,

and who shall stand beside him? Because he shut himself off from the world,

they called him hostile and callous… He withdrew from his fellow-men after he

had given them everything, and received nothing in return. But until his death,

he preserved a father’s heart for mankind. Thus he was, thus he died, thus he

will live to the end of time!” (Thompson, 46).

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