Biography of Ludwig van Beethoven | His life and achievements.

The tormented life of German musician, unanimously considered the greatest composer of all time.

At 5 p.m. on March 26, 1827 in Vienna rose a strong wind that moments later would be transformed into a fierce storm. In the shadows of his bedroom, a man consumed by the agony is about to breathe its last breath. Intense lightning lights up for a few seconds the deathbed. Although he has not been able to hear thunder that resonates here, man wakes up startled, stares at the infinite with his fiery eyes, raises his right hand with the fist closed in a last gesture between threatening and pleading, and falls backwards without life. A small clock in the shape of a pyramid, the Duchess Christiane Lichnowsky gift, stops at the same moment. Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the greatest composers of all time, has dismissed the world with a characteristic gesture, leaving behind him an existence marked by loneliness, disease, poverty, and a work that, without a doubt, deserves the title of great.

Ludwig van Beethoven
Born in Bonn in 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven grew in the Palatinate, subjected to courtiers the uses and customs of the German States; from there, would the French Revolution and then the advent of Napoleon as the great reformer and deliverer of feudal Europe, to end up looking disappointed with the consolidation of the French Empire. His work as a hurricane swept Classicist musical conventions of his time and tended a direct bridge, beyond romanticism later, with Brahms and Wagner, and even musicians of the 20th century as Bartok, Berg and Schönberg. His personality has configured one of the prototypes of the romantic artist advocate of fraternity and liberty, impassioned and tragic.
The Beethoven family was originally from Flanders, which was not an extraordinary fact between the servers of the provincial court of Bonn in the Palatinate. Ludwig, the grandfather of the composer, in whose memory was sentenced to his name, had settled in 1733 in Bonn, a city which became a respected maestro di cappella of the Court of the elector. Within the rigid social system of his time, Johann, his son, was also educated for his entry in the Palatine Chapel. The father of Beethoven, however, not highlighted precisely by his musical skills, but rather by his alcoholism; at his death in 1792, he quipped with cruelty in the Court about the decline in tax revenue due to consumption of drinks in the city.
Johann married María Magdalena Keverich in 1767, and after a first son also called Ludwig, who died shortly after birth, was born on December 16, 1770, which would become composer. Ludwig was followed by two other children, which were the names of Caspar Anton Karl and Nikolauss Johann. On the death of the grandfather, authentic guardian of the family (Ludwig had three years of age), the moral and economic situation of the marriage deteriorated quickly. Money escaseó; the children were malnourished, and it was not uncommon that they were beaten by the father; the mother was consumed, until the end, died in 1787 at the age of forty, its appearance was that of an elderly woman.

Birthplace of Beethoven, now converted into a Museum
It seems that Johann realized soon Ludwig musical skills and applied to educate him with iron discipline as a soloist, with the idea of turning it into a child prodigy pampered by fortune, in the manner of the first Mozart. In 1778 the child played the key in public and drew the attention of the elderly organist Van den Eeden, who offered to teach him free of charge. A year later, Johann decided to instruct the musical formation of Ludwig to his companion's drink Tobias Pfeiffer, much better equipped with musician and not bad teacher, despite his alcoholic anarchy that occasionally imposed night classes to the child when he forgot to take them during the day.

Childhood and training

The testimonies of these years plotted a bleak portrait of the child, surly, abandoned and resentful, until in his destiny crossed Christian Neefe, a musician come to Bonn in 1779, who took over not only his musical education, but also their comprehensive training. Ten years later, the young Beethoven wrote: 'If ever I become a great man, you yourself shall fall a part of honour'. Neefe to, in any case, the article published by Cramer Magazine in March of 1783, which gave news of the interpretive virtuosity of Beethoven, surpassing «with skill and force» the difficulties of well-tempered harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, and the publication in the nine variations on a March of Dressler Mannheim no doubt that constituted his first composition.
In June 1784 Maximilian Franz, the new elector of Cologne (that would be the last), named Ludwig, who then had fourteen years of age, second organist of the Court, with a salary of 150 guldens. The boy, at the time, had a severe air, Latin complexion (some authors define it as 'Spanish' and remind us that this type of physicist appeared in Flanders with the Spanish domination) and dark eyes willing; throughout his life, saw some black, and other greenish grey, being almost certain that its hue varied with age or moods.
Bitter life of the young Ludwig in Bonn, above all following the death of his mother in 1787, would have been if it had not found a circle of excellent friends who met in the Hospital House of the Breuning: Stefan and Eleonore von Breuning, who felt United with a passionate friendship, Gerhard Wegeler, her future husband and biographer of Beethoven , and pastor amends. Ludwig shared with the young Von Breuning their studies of the classics and, at the same time, gave them music lessons. They had already run for Bonn (and perhaps this fact opened the doors of the Breuning) praises that Mozart had dispensed the young performer on the occasion of his visit to Vienna in the spring of 1787. There is the anecdote that Mozart did not believe in the improvisadoras of the young talent until Ludwig told Mozart that he chose a subject. Perhaps Beethoven would remember that scene when, many years later, another boy, Liszt, he requested play in his presence in anticipation of approval and encouragement.
These years of training with Neefe and Von Breuning youth were of extreme importance because they connected to Beethoven with the liberal sensibility of an epoch convulsed by the French revolutionary events, and gave the young social weapons that treat you to you, in Bonn and, above all, in Vienna, the enlightened nobility. Despite his outbursts of temper and Dour character, Beethoven always found, throughout his life, faithful friends, patrons and even love between the components of the Austrian nobility, something that the kindest Mozart barely got.
Beethoven had no doubt the gift to establish contacts with the I more deep of its partners; Yet, surprisingly, the loyalty of their relations in the elite, especially considering that they were not accustomed to an egalitarian language, when no zumbón or derogatory, by his servants, musicians. Inevitably the personality of Beethoven should subjugate, even aside from the genius and grandeur of their creations. Thus, his friendship with count Waldstein was decisive to establish essential contacts which enabled him to settle in Vienna, indisputable Center of musical and scenic art, in November 1792.

In Vienna

The advance of the French troops on Bonn and the stability of the young Beethoven in Vienna developed what had to be a field trip under the musical tutelage of Haydn in a short stay. There, shortly after arriving, he received the enthusiastic protection of Prince Lichnowsky, who hosted him in their House, and received lessons from Johann Schenck, the drama teacher Antonio Salieri and Albrechtsberger composition theorist.
Their successes as improviser and pianist were notable, and his career as composer seemed assured economically with its work of virtuouso. Because, meanwhile, the young Beethoven composed tirelessly: was this, from 1793 to 1802, the Classicist period, under the beneficial influence of the works of Haydn and Mozart, which gave birth her first piano concertos, the first five sonatas for violin and two for cello, several trios and string quartets, the Adelaide lied and his first Symphony , among other compositions from this period. Its classicism did not hide, however, an unmistakable personality which became manifest in the gloomy, almost painful, climate of their movements slow and adagio, revealing a moral and psychic force that manifested for the first time in the musical compositions of the century.

Beethoven to 1804
His early fame as a composer of concertos and sonatas funny, and especially its reputation as original and virtuoso pianist opened the doors of the most noble houses. High society welcomed the condescension of whom generously forget small bourgeois origin of his guest, his scruffy appearance and antisocial manners. Because it was clear that Beethoven did not fit into those exclusive circles; It was a Wolf among sheep. Insurance of its own value, aware of his genius and holder of an explosive and stubborn character, despised the social norms, laws of civility and delicate gestures, which it judged hypocrites and cheesy. Always daring, mingled in the intimate conversations, broke out into loud laughter, told jokes in dubious taste and offended with his wrathful reactions to the distinguished audience. And not behaved in such a way to not know to do it another way: it was something deliberate. It purported to demonstrate clearly that he would never admit any pattern above it, that money could not turn it into a docile and that is never resignaría to assume the role of patrons reserving him: from simple minion palatial. In this rebellious purpose you stayed the course throughout his life. It is not surprising that such an attitude would wake up the criticisms of those who even sincerely acknowledging that they were about a composer of immense talent, labelled of Misanthrope, megalomaniac and selfish. Many are distanced themselves from him and there was who came to remove the greeting and deny him entry to their classrooms, without suspecting that Beethoven was the first victim of its character and suffered in silence such signs of disaffection.
During these "happy years", Beethoven in Vienna had a life of freedom, solitude and Bohemian, authentic prefiguration of the topical image, from it, romantic and postromantica society dynamic «genius». This happiness, however, began to be challenged soon, in 1794, by the subtle symptoms of deafness which, at the moment, did not seem to endanger his career as soloist. As cause biographers discussed the hypothesis of syphilis, common disease among young people that they frequented the brothels of Vienna, and that, in any case, it would give new light to the enigma of the resignation of Beethoven, apparently painful, to marry. The great moral crisis of Beethoven did not erupt, however, until 1802.

The crisis

In 1801 and 1802 the progression of his deafness, that Beethoven insisted in hiding to protect his career of interpreter, was such that the Dr. Schmidt ordered a country retreat in Heiligenstadt, a beautiful spot overlooking the Danube and the Carpathians. It was a departure from his pupil, the young Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, which was deeply in love with and which appeared to be reciprocated. Obviously, Beethoven not healed and the finding of his illness plunged him, as it is logical that it would happen in a musician, in the deepest of depressions.
In a letter to his friend Wegener in 1802, Beethoven had written: "now, this envious demon, my poor health, has played me a dirty trick, because my heard for three years has been fading more and more, and they say that the first cause of this medical condition is in my belly, always delicate and suffering from constant diarrhea." Many times I've cursed my existence. This winter I felt truly miserable; I had some terrible cramping and went back to my previous state. I hear ringing and whistles, day and night. I can assure that I spend my life in a miserable way. Almost two years ago that I am not going to any meeting because I cannot confess to people that I'm going deaf. If you exercising any other profession, the thing would still be passable, but in my case, this is a terrible circumstance; "my enemies, whose number is not small, what would say if they knew that I hear?"
To make matters worse, Giulietta, the recipient of the Moonlightsonata, entered into your wedding with count Gallenberg. The story, which recur years later with Josephine von Brunswick, should have understand the proud artist that the aristocracy could accept him as lover and even as a lover of women, but not as a husband. The case is that the musician believed finished his career and his life and perhaps caressing ideas of suicide to the Werther, the famous novel by youth of Goethe, said goodbye to his brothers in a certainly pathetic and great text that, in fact, seem rather directed to his contemporaries and humanity all: the so-called Heiligenstadt Testament.
Did not try suicide, they returned in a State of total prostration and scruff to Vienna, where he resumed his private lessons. Moral salvation came from their strength of spirit, of his art, but also the beneficial influence of his two students, sisters Josephine and Therese von Braunschweig, in love of it at the same time. It seems that the emotional strain of the "trio" reached a State limit in the summer of 1804, with the rupture between the two sisters and the clear opposition of the family to a wedding. Therese, who remained faithful all his life his feelings by genius, would regret years later his involvement in the removal of Ludwig and Josephine: «had been born for the other, and, if they had joined, the two would still live ". Reconciliation took place the following year, and then was idolized by Ludwig sister Therese. But now was the musician who did not decide to take a definitive step and, in 1808, despite the fact that he had dedicated the Sonata, Op. 78, Therese abandoned all hope of life in common and were devoted to the creation and supervision of orphanages in Hungary. Died, conventual canonesa, at the age of eighty-six.

Ludwig van Beethoven (oil's)
Willibrord Joseph Mahler, 1815)
The majority of critics, while respecting the organic unity of the work of Beethoven, agree this period from 1802 to 1815, as the of their maturity. Technically it got ORCHESTRA unsuspected resources without modifying the traditional composition of instruments and revolutionized the piano writing, as well as go gradually transforming the harmonic dualism of the sonata in sounding board for the counterpoint. But, from a programmatic point of view, the period of maturity of Beethoven was characterized by efforts to overcome daunting personal pain into beauty or what is the same, by his consecration of the artist as tragic hero willing to confront and subdue the target.
Masterpieces of this period include, but are not limited, the concert for violin and Orchestra in d major, Op. 61 and Concerto for piano No. 4, the overtures for Egmont and Coriolanus, A Kreatzer, Aurora and Appassionatasonatas, the opera Fidelio and the mass in c major, Op 86. Special mention deserve his symphonies, which both could embarrass his first listeners and in which, however, his temper got to create the feeling of a musical, live and natural body already known to the memory of those who to approach for the first time.
The Third Symphony was originally dedicated to Napoleon by his revolutionary ideals; the dedication was suppressed by Beethoven when he had news of his coronation as emperor. ("So - cried - out, also is he an ordinary human being? Do also he trample now the rights of man?"). The drama of the hero become titan reached its Summit in the Fifth Symphony, drama which calms with the expression of nature in the sixth, in the greatest joy of the seventh and the serenity of the eighth, both of 1812.
The crisis was overcome and transmuted in the grandeur of his art. Their economic situation, moreover, was secured thanks to pensions granted since 1809 by their fans, the Archduke Rudolf, the Duke Lobkowitz and his friend Kinsky or the Countess Erdödy. Despite his Dour, misanthropic and unpredictable nature, already not hiding his deafness as something shameful, and his love life, perhaps without reaching the spiritual depths of his love for Josephine and Therese, was rich in relationships: Therese Maltati, Amalie Sebald and Bettina Brentano passed through his love life, latter being whom Goethe brought about the encounter of Beethoven with his idol.
The relationship was disappointing: the composer reproached Goethe their musical insensitivity, and poet censured forms discourteous of Beethoven. Is famous in this sense a story, true or not, that would have taken place in the summer of 1812: while he was walking along the Treplitz Park in the company of Goethe, saw coming along the same path to the Empress accompanied by his entourage; writer, Cortés first and foremost, moved away to make way for the great lady, but Beethoven, just waving and raising his chin, dignisimamente gave to cross in their half the distinguished group without paying attention to the greetings that were kindly directed you.

The Treplitz incident
In general terms, and despite their unsuccessful marriage projects, the period was extremely fruitful, even on the social and economic. Thus, Beethoven had the opportunity to direct a composition of "circumstances", Victory of Wellington, to the Princes and European sovereigns upon arriving in the capital of Austria to agree the new European order that would regulate the Napoleonic succession and counteract the danger of liberal revolution in Europe. The most renowned composers and performers of Vienna acted as humble performers in homage to Beethoven, in that concert of apotheosis success.
Genius, however, is not deprived of publicly belittling his own composition, replete with onomatopoeic sounds of Cannon and small arms dumps, tarring it as patriotic trifle. The Congress of Vienna in 1813 marked the end of the worldly by the composer glory, because just two years later would collapse the fragile building of its stability. This would happen in the most unexpected spot, the family, and specifically in the field of relations, de facto which, with his nephew Karl: If genius had shunned marriage to better be able to devote itself to the art, little would serve you such resignation in the last painful years of his life.

The end

In 1815 he died his brother Karl, leaving a testament to instructions something contradictory about the guardianship of the child: this, in principle, remained in the hands of Beethoven, who could not move the son of Johanna, the mother. Beethoven delivered immediately by his nephew Karl all the affection of his frustrated paternity and embarked on continuous processes against his sister-in-law, whose conduct, to his dissolute eyes, unable it to educate the child. Until 1819 he returned not to embark on any ambitious composition. Relations with Karl were, in addition, all domestic and judicial hell whose highlights were the escape of the young in 1818 to reunite with his mother or his later military career choice, a certainly scandalous life that led him in 1826 to foreseeable attempted suicide by gambling debts. For Beethoven, the incident broke her bitterness and his public disgrace.
Since 1814 ceased to be able to maintain a simple dialog, so it started to always carry with them a "book of conversation" in which did score their partners how much they wanted to tell him. But this palliative did not satisfy a temperamental man like him and never stopped counting with mistrust the lips of others trying to figure out what had not written in his little notebook. His face became increasingly bleak and their access of anger became unbearable. At the same time, Beethoven seemed to succumb to the descent of domestic chaos, which horrified his friends and visitors. Unable to control their anger attacks sometimes insignificant reasons, emitted constantly to his servants and changed without reason again and again at home, to live virtually alone and in a State of alarming carelessness. Economic disaster almost necessarily joined the home despite the efforts of their guards, unable to genius reordenara their lives and manage their resources. The testimony of visitors from all over Europe, and especially in England, is, in this sense, coincidental. Own Rossini was appalled by the conditions of discomfort, bordering on misery, the composer. Honest it is noted, however, that whenever Beethoven requested aid or extravagance of their protectors, Austrians and British, they were generous.

Portrait of Beethoven in 1823
by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
In the production of this period 1815-1826, comparatively scarce, Beethoven dissociated itself from all musical traditions, as if their losses and frustrations, and her little enviable life of miserable hermit had given him strength to be bold and to address the major technical difficulties of the composition, at the same time the expression of a progressively refined universe. If at its second Beethoven expressed spiritually the world material, in this third what he expressed was ecstasy and spiritual solace. It is the case of compositions as the piano in my major, Op. 109 Sonata, in b flat major, Op. 110, and in c minor, Op. 111, but, above all, of the Missa solemnis, 1823, and the Ninth Symphony in 1824, with its Evergreen choral movement with lyrics by Schiller's Ode to joy .
The Missa solemnis could marvel at its monumentality, especially in the brain, and by its very subjective musical interpretation of the liturgical text; but the apotheosis came with the performance of the Ninth Symphony, which that 7 may 1824 closed the concert with fragments of the Missa solemnis. Beethoven, completely deaf, directed Orchestra and choirs in that historic concert organized in his honor by his old friends. Finished the last movement, the singer Unger, understanding that the composer had forgotten the presence of an audience delirious enthusiasm that she could not hear, forced him gently to face the audience.
The following year still Beethoven faced compositions ambitious, as the innovative string quartets, Op. 130 and 132, but in 1826 the scandal of his nephew Karl plunged him into prostration, aggravated by pneumonia contracted in December. He survived, but he dragged the four months following a painfull ailment that doctors described as dropsy (tortured him with dubious asepsis incisions) and that a current diagnosis would have perhaps described as cirrhosis of the liver.
No family visited him in his sick-bed; only friends like Stephan von Breuning, Schubert and the doctor Malfatti, among others. The afternoon of March 26 a great storm erupted, and the dying, as it testifies to Hüttenbrenner, opened his eyes and raised his fist after a living lightning, to drop it then already dead. On your desktop find the score of Fidelio, the portrait of Thérèse von Brunswick, the miniature of Giulietta Guicciardi and, in a secret drawer, the letter from the anonymous "immortal beloved".
Three days later held the mass burial, attended, mourning and white roses, all the musicians and poets of Vienna. Hummel and Kreutzer, among other composers, carried on the shoulders the coffin. Schubert was among the torch bearers. The procession was accompanied by singers that sing the have made Beethoven composed for the day of all saints, in a choral arrangement for the occasion. In 1888, the remains were moved to the central cemetery of Vienna.

Chronology of Ludwig van Beethoven

1770Born on 16 December in Bonn.
1778First public performance as a pianist.
1782Becomes disciple of Christian G. Neefe.
1783He published his first work, the variations on a March of Dressler.
1784He became second organist in the Court of the elector of Cologne.
1787Visit Vienna, where he received praise from Mozart. His mother died and returns to Bonn.
1790First contact with Haydn.
1792Death of his father. He settled definitely in Vienna.
1794First symptoms of his deafness.
1799It comprises the Pathetique piano sonata.
1801He composed piano sonata Claro de Luna, dedicated to the Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, with which however would not marry.
1802By the worsening of his hearing loss it suffers from a severe personal crisis that leads you to think of suicide. Write the so-called Heiligenstadt Testament.
1803He began to compose the Symphony No. 3 heroic. He began their complex relationships with Josephine and Therese von Braunschweig.
1805Symphony No. 3 heroicpremieres, whose dedication to Napoleon would subsequently deleted. Failure of the first version of his opera Fidelio.
1808Premiere of the fifth and sixth symphonies (Pastoral).
1812Meeting with Goethe in Bohemia. It consists the seventh symphonies and octave.
1813Successful economic and popular with his work Wellington Victoria.
1814His deafness is already complete and can only communicate by writing. Great success at the premiere of the final version of Fidelio.
1815It assumes the legal guardianship of his nephew Karl.
1823Ends the composition of the Missa solemnis.
1824You finish composing the Ninth Symphony, whose premiere runs in his last appearance as a director.
1826Sick with pneumonia.
1827He died on March 26 in Vienna.

Music of Ludwig van Beethoven

The work of Beethoven

Halfway between two seasons, Beethoven did not really create any of the musical forms that were served, but expanded its limits and profoundly modified its structure through a heap of new ideas that dealt with express. For him, the form had less importance that the idea. That is why, in a time of change, of intersection between classicism and romanticism, it was not a rupture, but a reformer who used the inherited classical forms to externalize their romantic ideal. It thus opened the way to musical romanticism from the classical form. His work, which can be divided into three times, reflects the conflict between the past and the future, between classicism and romanticism, between the form and the idea, and is the crucial point that combine contributions from previous centuries with the new musical perspectives.

Ludwig van Beethoven (oil of Joseph Karl Stieler)
Along with Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven is the trio of classic Viennese to that consummation of classical instrumental forms. It was a renewal of the concepts of harmony, tonality and instrumental color and brought to perfection the Symphonic genre. Its technical features include having discarded the classical minuet rhythm by the more vigorous Scherzo, thus getting more emotionally intense contrasts and increasing loudness and variety of textures in the symphonies and chamber music.
His work are traditionally distinguished three periods: one initial or training, which ends in 1802, called also "Bonn period"; a second period that ends in 1812 and is called "Viennese period", and a third and last that develops between 1813 and 1827. The musicologist Wilhelm von Lenz was the first, in 1852, to divide the musical career of Beethoven in these three major stylistic phases. Some musicologists have shown their disagreement to this division, because they consider that you should add a fourth period, obtained by dividing in two his first time, but the division into three stages corresponds perfectly to the points of inflection of the biography of Beethoven and it continues to maintain currently.

Period of training

In his first term highlights his early piano sonatas and his quartets, heavily influenced by the sonatas for violin and piano by Mozart. The Austrian musician, along with Neefe and Sterkel, represents one of their main influences in his early work. Two of his sonatas for piano, the pathetic of 1799 and 1801 Moonlight represent notable innovations in the language of the piano sonata. Other notable works of this period are his first Symphony, which owes much to the orchestration of the London symphonies of Haydn cantatas composed on the occasion of the funeral of Emperor José II in 1790 and the concert Prüfung des Kussensarias, Mit Mädeln verträgen sich and Primo amore.

Autograph score of the Moonlight sonata
The compositions of this period are abundant, and although they harmonize with the tradition of Haydn and Mozart, already begin to be surprised by a very charged very personal stamp: allow you to glimpse of the presence of a physical and moral energy that will soon change the rules of 18th-century music. Slow times evolve gradually, in an atmosphere of melancholy and affectionate tenderness to a deepening experience of pain; your rate decreases to almost a mortal suspension of movement, and in the transit of the softness of the "andante" to the sadness of the "adagio" and "slow" they are discovering little by little depths of despair.
When these two elements (moral energy and human pain) are in contact can produce them the drama of Beethovenian heroism: the pathetic (Sonata for piano in c minor, op. 13), with his vehement arrogance, is the advance of what most forward will be the second of three "styles" recognized by Lenz in the art of Beethoven. For the moment, however, the fortress is located next to joy and sadness accompanies the serenity. The first two concerts for piano and Orchestra, op. 15 (1797) and op. 19 (1800) were real cards of the young composer and virtuoso; the funny Septimino, op. 20 (1709) and the Adelaide lied knew a fast popularity.
Are also works of this period the trios of the op. 1 (1795) and op. 11, the Serenade, op. 8 (1796) and the three trios of op. 9 (1797) to rope; the six quartets op. 18 (1799), the first five sonatas for violin, the first two for cello, and always something early in the manifestation of exceptional States of mind and the development of a new musical lexicon, the first twelve sonatas for piano; and, finally, the Symphony No. 1 in c major, op. 21.

The maturity

To 1802, the strong personal crisis for his deafness and the emotional and physical setbacks would act as a catalyst for his art: huge energy genius lavished unthinking in their first compositions was already a point of application, and the sparks that exuded lit the drama of Beethoven heroic grandeur, which integrates the substance of the second style or period of his work.
With occasional infidelities, alterations and attempts at evasion ( Sonata for piano in a flat major, op. 26; the two Sonatas in the form of improvisation, op. 27, and the quotes contained in the "Allegro" from Sonata for piano, op. 31, no. 2), the genius of Beethoven is identified with the sonata form throughout this central period of his intimate life manifesting itself abroad in ideals of struggle and rebellion against the adverse fate. When slowly revives the balance in your soul and is the concern of misfortune overcome, the sonata form harmonic dualism will decline gradually, and with a revival of the counterpoint, will give rise to new musical trends still shrouded in the mists of the future.
The passing of youthful serenity to the incandescent crucible of the second style is announced by some works of transition, such as the third piano concerto, op. 37 in c minor (typical hue of the heroic drama of Beethoven), the Symphony No. 2 and the sonatas for piano of the years 1801 and 1802. Then you already reach the fullness of the "second style" with the Symphony No. 3 (called heroic) and the Symphony No. 5. In this second period, in which he composed most of his orchestral production, Beethoven reformed the classical structure of the Symphony, to replace the traditional minuet with a scherzo, it forms this granting greater creative freedom to the composers.
La Sinfonia No. 4 reflects a momentary pause of serenity, as well as the Concerto in d major for violin and Orchestra, op. 61, and the fourth piano concerto. But the intensity characteristic of the period is repeated in many works: the overtures for Egmontand Coriolanus , the three Quartets "Rasumovsky", op. 59, the Kreutzer violin and piano Sonata, the Sonata, op. 30 No. 2 in c minor, the third Sonata for cello, op. 69 (1808), Trios, op. 70 (1808), Sonata for piano, op. 53 (Aurora) and 57 (Appassionata) both of 1804, and the opera Fidelio, his only foray into the operatic genre.

Modern representation of Fidelio, his only opera
Fidelio argument follows the tradition of the rescue of 19th century operas: a woman who saved from death to her husband, prisoner of his political enemies. Based on a drama by J. N. Bouilly entitled Leonora or conjugal love, the work, with the initial title of Leonore, was released with little success in Vienna in 1805; then subjected to several reviews, in its final version it would be represented for the first time at the Kärntnertor-Theater in the Austrian capital in 1814. With the Symphony No. 6 (called Pastoral), the great fire is extinguished; There are, undoubtedly, some embers still, but, in essence, the great dramatic crisis of the spirit of Beethoven is already exceeded.

The final stage

Your last period is the most complex, due in part to its emotional ups and downs and its advanced deafness. However, despite this intensification of the miseries of life, the spirit of Beethoven has been already get rid of them: now your art moves above, in another area where ancient fight with destiny has already been surpassed. At this time a breath of religious character, the heady feeling of universal solidarity, a philanthropic idealism by which sees in man the brother encouraged in genius.

Edition of 1827 of the Quartet for strings No. 13
This awareness of exalted fraternity assumes in Beethoven the name of 'happiness', taken in a very broad sense. The door to get to it is nature, which always was, even in the moments of blackest despair, the balm of his tortured soul. Through the "panic" with nature contact, manifested in the Pastoral, the genius of Beethoven opens to the joy, which devotes three hymns in the last symphonies, and celebrates in its various aspects of tumultuous and Dionysian intoxication (Symphony No. 7), delight family and almost humorous (Symphony No. 8) and, finally, religious enthusiasm in the now recovered of universal fraternity feeling (Symphony No. 9). No doubt the Symphony No. 9, called Coral, is the most famous work of this stage. His extensive final with variations is based on the text of the Ode to joy from Schiller and represents one of the first forays of the human voice within a Symphony.
Another monumental work which enshrines this sublimation of Tubas spirituality, above the previous conception of dramatic dualism, is the Missa Solemnis, op. 113. In instrumental music, Beethoven appears now already prominent in the stylistic rules of the time, and his inspiration, that deafness seems to lighten almost any relationship with the accidental elements of sound matter, is already moving in the rarefied atmosphere of transcendent supernatural visions.
The dialectic of the sonata form, whose calculated contrast of tonic stress was still something of the geometry of the 18th century, is balanced on a musical concept less contrived and closer to the organic fullness of life and history: the harmonic sense of chords and cadences is displaced by the predominance of a counterpoint , which, in reality, nothing has of scholastic or for archaic, and rather seems to presage the future beginning composition of continuous variation, or music that flows into a perennial renewal and without the recourse of symmetries or repetitions.
Sometimes the complexity of counterpoint, which reaches extremes of fury and exasperation in the great Sonata, op. 106 and the Fugue, op. 133 String Quartet, gives way, on the other hand, melodies satin smooth, heavenly nature and wide development, and supported in an accompaniment that no one could imagine more bare and simple. The last five piano sonatas (which accompanied the thirty-three variations on a waltz by Diabelliwith dignity) and the final five quartets constitute the augusto and mysterious testament of the artist: represent in the history of the music a great anticipation, that only at the end of the century, from Brahms onwards and by work of Wagner of Parsifal and very recent composers , as Bartok, will be addressed with a sense of conscious continuity; the true musical romanticism (from Weber to Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Berlioz and Liszt) originated almost exclusively in the second Beethovenian style.
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