Going back to December of 1770 in the city of Bonn, a great musician had been born that would soon be a great inspiration to the world of music. Having to overcome many struggles in his life, Ludwig van Beethoven persevered and made the most out of his life. From the death
of family members to losing his hearing in the last decade of his life, Beethoven turned to composing beautiful pieces of music to get him through rough times. Beethoven was widely considered to be the best composer of all time, rivaling Mozart for his title. Beethoven was one of the few surviving siblings within his family. Beethoven was essentially born into the industry, receiving his first music lessons from his very own father, as well as other colleagues within the city of Bonn. Contrary to belief, Beethoven was not necessarily born a musical prodigy, but rather molded into one. When beethoven was 11, he was forced to leave school. As a matter of fact, his musical talent did not attract any attention until he was a teenager.
In 1783, Beethoven began his work under a man named Christian Gottlob Neefe, and became his assistant. Within the same year, his first composition, Nine Variants on a march by Dressler was completed. Also in the same year, he became involved in the Opera. The following year, he attracted enough attention with his music, he was sent to Vienna to study music under the legendary Mozart. Unfortunately, his time learning under Mozart was short spent, as he had to travel back to Bonn due to the unforeseen passing of his mother. After his mother’s passing, he remained in Bonn for the next five years. Within these five years, not only did he make countless more compositions, but also taught other children how to make music as well. Also in this time period, Beethoven was able to make a name for himself within the noble society, furthering his impact within Bonn and the musical world. With Beethoven’s growing legacy, other composers focused their attention on him as well. In 1790, he was taken under the wing of another extraordinary composer by the name of Haydn. Soon after he started working with Haydn, Beethoven left Bonn never to come back, and went to Vienna to spread his music elsewhere. Within this time period, a vast amount of his projects came in a wide variety, expanding his legacy even further. While under Haydn, Beethoven felt he was not receiving adequate teaching, so he reportedly began taking extra lessons from various other teachers in secret. During this short time, the composer drew heavy influence from folk music. In Vienna, he was regarded as Mozart’s successor, and even disregarded the Van within his name in order to gain easier access to noble society. In 1795, Beethoven was able to play for the first time in public in Vienna, as a benefit concert to Haydn.
In 1800, Beethoven organized a large public concert that helped spread his music and his legacy exponentially. After 1800, Beethoven focused mostly on the piano, with many of his compositions between 1800-1812 widely being the piano alone, or with the help of a limited amount of other instruments. During this time, it was evident to Beethoven that he mad minor hearing problems, as symptoms reportedly started before 1800. His life as a composer greatly remained unchanged until his realization shortly after 1800, that his hearing would never return to normal. After this stunning realization, Beethoven struggled with suicidal thoughts, even expressing the will of ending his life by a knife to the throat. After beethoven learned he would permanently lose his hearing, he said: O ye men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the cause of my seeming so. From childhood my heart and mind was disposed to the gentle feeling of good will. I was ever eager to accomplish great deeds, but reflect now that for six years I have been in a hopeless case, made worse by ignorant doctors, yearly betrayed in the hope of getting better, finally forced to face the prospect of a permanent malady whose cure will take years or even prove impossible. He even threatened his own life by saying the following: But only Art held back; for, ah, it seemed unthinkable for me to leave the world forever before I had produced all that I felt called upon to produce. During his battle with deafness, he continued to compose music, although the amount of public appearances dwindled. He eventually went completely deaf in 1819.
Also late into the 1800’s, it is known that Beethoven maintained roughly the same social status as Mozart did before his passing, without any family support or a position of power. At this time, his name and music were popular and conversed about broadly throughout Europe. Also during the early 1800’s, his compositions saw a decrease in quality as his hearing became worse, and after many failed marriages. Even after going deaf, he continued to compose music all the way until his death in 1827 at the age of 56,, after he contracted a case of Pneumonia that he was not able to recover. Beethoven’s life was often separated into three periods, each of which included different styles of compositions that remain a large part of music history today. All three of these periods were influential in shaping Beethoven’s musical compositions, as well as creating a long lasting legacy music history. Because of Beethoven’s many unique pieces, he will forever have a huge impact on musical composition and music history. Ludwig Van Beethoven will always be revered for his long lasting impression, and legendary legacy.
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