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Beethoven Return to List of Composers
Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in Germany in 1770. This composer belonged to the Classical period, and died in 1827. Ludwig Van Beethoven

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) was born in Bonn of Flemish descent. His earliest musical training was with his father, who was a singer and a hard man whose decline into alcoholism made Ludwig the virtual head of the family during his teenage years.

In 1787 at the age of 16, he briefly met Mozart in Vienna.  He had travelled there from Bonn with the express intention of taking lessons from the famous master. However, he had only been there two or three weeks when he heard that his mother was seriously ill, so he returned to Bonn. Some sources claim that he had a few lessons from Mozart at this time,  but there no evidence backed up by any correspondence, so this is most likely to be untrue.  Neither the Oxford Companion to Music,  nor the Harpers Dictionary of Music, asserts this claim, but here is a quote from the New Grove Dictionary of Music:-   "In the spring of 1787 Beethoven visited Vienna. In the absence of documents much remains uncertain about the precise aims of the journey and the extent to which they were realized; but there seems little doubt that he met Mozart and perhaps had a few lessons from him." (Kerman)

A year after Mozart's death, in 1790, he moved to Vienna permanently. He studied with Haydn and Salieri, and he became familiar with Mozart's works. In Vienna, which at this time was the most important musical city in Europe, Beethoven rapidly established himself as a virtuoso pianist. His pianistic supremacy was rarely challenged. He was admired for his amazing powers of improvisation.

 He contributed much to the development of the symphony and other musical forms. He was the first of the great freelancers, in that he did not have paid positions under the patronage of a rich nobleman as did his predecessors Mozart and Bach. He did have some noble patrons, but he was never an employee. These include Count Waldstein in Bonn, to whom some music is dedicated, and Prince Lichnowsky. In 1808 Archduke Rudolph started paying him regularly, but as a patron, not as an employer.

Beethoven started to have hearing difficulties in 1797, at the age of only 27. This made it increasingly difficult to continue as a pianist, and he finally stopped playing publicly in 1815.  During his later years he was stone-death, and this put him often into a state of  near-suicidal depression.  However he kept going impelled by his own creativity as a composer. He wrote "it seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me'.  His deafness made him behave with eccentricity and wildness.

Following on from Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven's style was classical. However, he started to create the romantic style with the Eroica symphony, and this became strongly evident with his 6th Symphony, 'The Pastoral'.

Works written by Beethoven      
Audio is available for 128 tunes by this composer.
No.Name of WorkCategoryEnsembleSoloInstrument
1 Bagatelles (six) - Op 126Short PieceSoloPiano
2 Coriolan Overture Opus 62OvertureOrchestra 
3 Egmont Overture Op 84OvertureOrchestraCello
4 Fidelio Overture Op 72bOvertureOrchestraFrench Horn
5 Für EliseShort PieceSoloPiano
6 Leonora Overture No.3 Op 72aOvertureOrchestra 
7 Minuet in G (Beethoven)Short PieceSoloPiano
8 Piano Concerto No.1 in C, Op 15ConcertoOrchestraPiano
9 Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb, Op 19ConcertoOrchestraPiano
10 Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op 37ConcertoOrchestraPiano
11 Piano Concerto No.4 in G, Op 58ConcertoOrchestraPiano
12 Piano Concerto No.5 in Eb Op 73 'Emperor'.ConcertoOrchestraPiano
13 Piano Sonata No.01 in F minor Op 2 No.1SonataSoloPiano
14 Piano Sonata No.02 in A, Op.2, No.2SonataSoloPiano
15 Piano Sonata No.08 in C minor Op 13 "Pathetique"SonataSoloPiano
16 Piano Sonata No.14 in C# minor - MoonlightSonataSoloPiano
17 Piano Sonata No.19 in G minor Op 49 No.1SonataSoloPiano
18 Piano Sonata No.20 in G Opus 49 No.2SonataSoloPiano
19 Piano Trio in Bb Op 11 for piano, clarinet and cello.Chamber MusicTrioPiano
20 Piano Trio No.7 in Bb ArchdukeChamber MusicTrioPiano
21 Prometheus Overture Op 43OvertureOrchestraOboe
22 Rondo for Violin and Piano in G major, WoO 41Short PieceDuetViolin
23 String Quartet in C Op59 No.3 "Rasoumowsky"Chamber MusicString QuartetViolin
24 String Quartet in Eb Op 127Chamber MusicString QuartetViolin
25 String Quartet in F major Op 18 No.1Chamber MusicString QuartetViolin
26 String Quartet in G major Op 18 No.2Chamber MusicString QuartetViolin
27 String Quartet No.8 in E minor Op 59 No 2 "Rasoumovsky"Chamber MusicString QuartetViolin
28 Symphony No.1 in C, Op 21SymphonyOrchestra 
29 Symphony No.2 in D, Op 36SymphonyOrchestra 
30 Symphony No.3 in Eb "Eroica"SymphonyOrchestraFrench Horn
31 Symphony No.4 in Bb Op 60SymphonyOrchestra 
32 Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op 67 "Fate"SymphonyOrchestraFrench Horn
33 Symphony No.6 in F, Op 68 (Pastoral)SymphonyOrchestraViolin
34 Symphony No.7 in A Op 92SymphonyOrchestraOboe
35 Symphony No.8 in F Op 93SymphonyOrchestra 
36 Symphony No.9 in D minor Op 125 'Choral'SymphonyOrchestraChoirVoices
37 Violin Concerto in DConcertoOrchestraViolin
38 Violin Romance No.1 in G major Op 40Short PieceOrchestraViolin
39 Violin Romance No.2 in F Op 50ConcertoOrchestraViolin
40 Violin Sonata No.2 in A major Op 12 No.2SonataDuetViolin
41 Violin Sonata No.5 in F Op 24 "Spring"SonataDuetViolin
42 Violin Sonata No.8 in G Op 30 no 3SonataDuetViolin
43 Violin Sonata No.9 in A "Kreutzer", Op 47SonataDuetViolin
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