Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven ("English" IPAEng|ˈlʊdvɪg væn ˈbeɪtoʊvən; IPA-de|ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn, 16 December 1770 [Beethoven was baptized on 17 December; his date of birth—usually given as 16 December —is not known with certainty, but is inferred from circumstantial evidence: this is explained in more detail below] – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time.

Born in Bonn, then in the Electorate of Cologne (now in modern-day Germany), he moved to Vienna in his early twenties and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Beethoven's hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his twenties, yet he continued to compose, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf.


Early life and talent

Beethoven's parents were Johann van Beethoven (1740 in Bonn–1792) and Maria Magdalena Keverich (1744 in Ehrenbreitstein–1787). Magdalena's father Johann Heinrich Keverich had been Chef at the court of the Archbishopric of Trier at Festung Ehrenbreitstein fortress opposite to Koblenz. ["Johann van BEETHOVEN, Tenorist an der kurfürstlichen Hofkapelle zu Bonn, geboren um 1740 in Bonn? (Religion: rk), gestorben am 18.12.1792 in Bonn, Sohn von Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (siehe IIb) und Maria Josepha BALL. Kirchliche Trauung am 12.11.1767 in Bonn, St. Remigius mit Maria Magdalena KEVERICH, 20 Jahre alt, geboren am 19.12.1746 in Ehrenbreitstein (Religion: rk), gestorben am 17.07.1787 in Bonn mit 40 Jahren. Schwindsucht, Tochter von Johann Heinrich KEVERICH, Kurfürstlich Trierscher Oberhofkoch, und Anna Clara WESTORFF." [] ] Beethoven was, like their first child Ludwig Maria, named after his grandfather Ludwig (1712–1773), a musician of Roman Catholic Flemish ancestry who was at one time Kapellmeister at the court of Clemens August of Bavaria, the Prince-Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, and who married Beethoven's grandmother Maria Josepha Ball (1714–1775) in 1733.

Beethoven was born in Bonn, Electorate of Cologne, in 1770. Of the seven children born to Johann Beethoven, himself the only survivor of three, only second-born Ludwig and two younger brothers survived infancy. Beethoven was baptized on 17 December 1770.Well into adulthood, Beethoven believed he had been born in 1772, and told friends the 1770 baptism was of his older brother Ludwig Maria, who died in infancy; but Ludwig Maria's baptism is recorded as taking place in 1769. Some biographers assert that his father falsified his date of birth in an attempt to pass him off as a child prodigy like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but this is disputed. Children of that era were usually baptized the day after birth, but there is no documentary evidence that this occurred in Beethoven's case. It is known that his family and his teacher Johann Albrechtsberger celebrated his birthday on 16 December. While the evidence supports the probability that 16 December 1770 as Beethoven's date of birth, this cannot be stated with certainty. This is discussed in depth in Solomon's biography, chapter 1.] Kerman and Tyson] Although his birth date is not known for certain, his family celebrated his birthday on 16 December.

Beethoven's first music teacher was his father, who was a tenor in the service of the Electoral court at Bonn. He was reportedly a harsh instructor.Fact|date=October 2008 Johann later engaged a friend, Tobias Pfeiffer, to preside over his son's musical training, and it is saidFact|date=October 2008 Johann and his friend would at times come home late from a night of drinking to pull young Ludwig out of bed to practice until morning. Beethoven's talent was recognized at a very early age, and by 1778 he was studying the organ and viola in addition to the piano. His most important teacher in Bonn was Christian Gottlob Neefe,H. C. Robbins Landon, "Beethoven", Macmillan Company 1970] who was the Court's Organist. Neefe helped Beethoven publish his first composition: a set of keyboard variations.

The young Beethoven's talent was spotted in Bonn by Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein, who became one of his early patrons and, in 1787, enabled him to travel to Vienna for the first time, in hopes of studying with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is not clear whether he succeeded in meeting Mozart or, if he did, whether Mozart was willing to accept him as a pupil; see Mozart and Beethoven. In any event, the declining health of Beethoven's mother, dying of tuberculosis, forced him to return home after only about two weeks in Vienna. Beethoven's mother died on 17 July 1787, when Beethoven was 16 . [Jim Powell, "Ludwig van Beethoven's Joyous Affirmation of Human Freedom", [ The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty] , December 1995 Vol. 45 No. 12]

Due to his father's worsening alcohol addiction, Beethoven became responsible for raising his two younger brothers.

The move to Vienna

In 1792, Beethoven moved to Vienna, where he studied for a time with Joseph Haydn: his hopes of studying with Mozart had been shattered by Mozart's death the previous year. Beethoven received additional instruction from Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (Vienna's pre-eminent counterpoint instructor) and Antonio Salieri. By 1793, Beethoven established a reputation in Vienna as a piano virtuoso. [Milton Cross, David Ewen, "The Milton Cross New Encyclopedia of the Great Composers and Their Music", Doubleday 1953 p79] His first works with opus numbers, a set of three piano trios, appeared in 1795. He settled into the career pattern he would follow for the remainder of his life: rather than working for the church or a noble court (as most composers before him had done), he supported himself through a combination of annual stipends or single gifts from members of the aristocracy; income from subscription concerts, concerts, and lessons; and proceeds from sales of his works.

Beethoven’s patrons loved his music but were not quick to support him. He eventually came to rely more on patrons such as Count Franz Joseph Kinsky, (d. 1811), Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz (1772–1816) and Karl Alois Johann-Nepomuk Vinzenz, Fürst Lichnowsky, and as these patrons died or reneged on their pledges, Beethoven fell into debt. In 1807, Prince Lobkowitz advised Beethoven to apply for the position of composer of the Imperial Theatres, but the nobility who had newly been placed in charge of the post did not respond. Beethoven considered leaving Vienna: in the fall of 1808, he was offered a position as chapel maestro at the court of Jerome Bonaparte, the king of Westphalia, which he accepted. To persuade him to stay in Vienna, the Archduke Rudolf, Count Kinsky and Prince Lobkowitz, after receiving representations from the composer’s friends, pledged to pay Beethoven a pension of 4000 florins a year. Only Archduke Rudolf paid his share of the pension on the agreed date. Kinsky, immediately called to duty as an officer, did not contribute and soon died after falling from his horse. Lobkowitz stopped paying in September 1811. No successors came forward to continue the patronage, and Beethoven relied mostly on selling composition rights and a smaller pension after 1815.

Loss of hearing

Around 1796, Beethoven began to lose his hearing. [GroveOnline|Ludvig van Beethoven:5. 1801–2: deafness|JOSEPH KERMAN, ALAN TYSON (with SCOTTG. BURNHAM)|29 November|2006] He suffered a severe form of tinnitus, a "ringing" in his ears that made it hard for him to perceive and appreciate music; he also avoided conversation. He lived for a time in the small Austrian town of Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna. Here he wrote his Heiligenstadt Testament, which records his resolution to continue living for and through his art. Over time, his hearing loss became profound: there is a well-attested story that, at the end of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause of the audience; hearing nothing, he began to weep. ["Some Tributes to Beethoven in English Verse" — Felix White The Musical Times, Vol. 68, No. 1010 (1 April 1927) mentions this] Beethoven's hearing loss did not prevent his composing music, but it made concerts—lucrative sources of income—increasingly hard.

Beethoven used a special rod attached to the soundboard on a piano that he could bite—the vibrations would then transfer from the piano to his jaw to increase his perception of the sound. A large collection of his hearing aids such as special ear horns can be viewed at the Beethoven House Museum in Bonn, Germany. Despite his obvious distress, however, Czerny remarked that Beethoven could still hear speech and music normally until 1812. [] By 1814 however, Beethoven was almost totally deaf, and when a group of visitors saw him play a loud arpeggio or thundering bass notes at his piano remarking, "Ist es nicht schön?" (Isn't that beautiful?), they felt deep sympathy considering his courage and sense of humor. [An incident described in Maynard Solomon's biography.]

As a result of Beethoven's hearing loss, a unique historical record has been preserved: his conversation books. His friends wrote in the book so that he could know what they were saying, and he then responded either verbally or in the book. The books contain discussions about music and other issues, and give insights into his thinking; they are a source for investigation into how he felt his music should be performed, and also his perception of his relationship to art. Unfortunately, 264 out of a total of 400 conversation books were destroyed (and others were altered) after Beethoven's death by Anton Schindler, in his attempt to paint an idealized picture of the composer.cite book | last = Stanley | first = Glenn | title = The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven | publisher = Cambridge University Press |year=2000 | id = ISBN 0521589347 ]


Beethoven's personal life was troubled. His encroaching deafness led him to contemplate suicide (documented in his Heiligenstadt Testament). Beethoven was often irascible and may have suffered from bipolar disorder [Beethoven bipolar?] and irritability brought on by chronic abdominal pain beginning in his 20s that has been attributed to his lead poisoning. [ Cold Case in Vienna: Who Killed Beethoven?] — CBS News] Nevertheless, he had a close and devoted circle of friends all his life, thought to have been attracted by his reputed strength of personality. Towards the end of his life, Beethoven's friends competed in their efforts to help him cope with his incapacities.

Sources show Beethoven's disdain for authority, and for social rank. He stopped performing at the piano if the audience chatted among themselves, or afforded him less than their full attention. At soirées, he refused to perform if suddenly called upon to do so. Eventually, after many confrontations, the Archduke Rudolph decreed that the usual rules of court etiquette did not apply to Beethoven.

Romantic difficulties

The women who attracted Beethoven were unattainable because they were either marriedFact|date=October 2008 or aristocratic. Beethoven never married, although he was engaged to Giulietta Guiccardi. Her father was the main obstacle to their marriage. Giulietta's marriage to a nobleman was unhappy, and when it ended in 1822, she attempted unsuccessfully to return to Beethoven. His only other documented love affair with an identified woman began in 1805 with Josephine von Brunswick, young widow of the Graf von Deym. It is believed the relationship ended by 1807 because of Beethoven's indecisiveness and the disapproval of Josephine's aristocratic family.

In 1812, Beethoven wrote a long love letter to a woman he identified only as "Immortal Beloved". Several candidates have been suggested, including Antonie Brentano, but the identity of the woman to whom the letter was written has never been proven.

Custody struggle

On 15 November 1815 Beethoven's brother Karl van Beethoven died of tuberculosis leaving a son Karl, Beethoven's nephew. Although Beethoven had apparently shown little interest in the boy up to this point, he now became obsessed with obtaining custody of this nine-year old child from its mother, Johanna - whom Beethoven despised and considered an unfit parent. The fight for custody of his nephew brought out the very worst aspects of Beethoven's character. In the lengthy court cases Beethoven stopped at nothing to ensure that he achieved this goal. During this time Beethoven stopped composing for long periods.

The Austrian court system had one court for the nobility, The R&I Landrechte, and another for commoners, The Civil Court of the Magistrate. Beethoven disguised the fact that the Dutch "van" in his name did not denote nobility as does the Germanic "von", [On 18 December 1818, The Landrechte, the Austrian court for the nobility, handed over the whole matter of guardianship to the Stadtmagistrat, the court for commoners " It .... appears from the statement of Ludwig van Beethoven, as the accompanying copy of the court minutes of 11 December of this year shows, that he is unable to prove nobility: hence the matter of guardianship is transferred to an honorable magistrate" Landrechte of the Magisterial tribunal.] and his case was tried in the Landrechte. Owing to his influence with the court, Beethoven felt assured of a favorable outcome. Beethoven was awarded sole guardianship. Johanna, a commoner and a widow with little money, was not only refused access to her son, except under exceptional circumstances, but Beethoven insisted that she pay for her son's education out of her inadequate pension.Fact|date=October 2008 While giving evidence to the Landrechte, however, Beethoven inadvertently [see previous ref] admitted that he was not nobly born. The case was transferred to the Magistracy on 18 December 1818, where he lost sole guardianship.

Beethoven appealed, and regained custody of Karl. Johanna's appeal for justice and human rights to the Emperor was not successful: the Emperor "washed his hands of the matter". Beethoven stopped at nothing to blacken her name, as can be read in surviving court papers. When Karl could stand his tyrannical uncle no longer, he attempted suicide on 31 July 1826 by shooting himself in the head. He survived, and later asked to be taken to his mother's house. This desperate action finally freed Karl from the clutches of Beethoven.

Illness and death

After Beethoven lost custody of his nephew, he went into a decline that led to his death on Monday 26 March 1827 [ [ 1827 Calendar] ] during a thunderstorm.

Viennese pathologist and forensic expert Christian Reiter (head of the Department of Forensic Medicine at Vienna Medical University) claimed that Beethoven's physician, Andreas Wawruch, inadvertently hastened Beethoven's death. According to Reiter, Wawruch worsened Beethoven's already lead poisoned condition with lead poultices applied after repeated surgical draining of his bloated abdomen. Reiter's hypothesis, however, is at odds with Wawruch's written instruction "that the wound was kept dry all the time". Furthermore human hair is a very bad biomarker for lead contamination and Reiter's hypothesis must be considered dubious, because of the lack of proper scholarly documentation in his article. [Josef Eisinger: "The lead in Beethoven's hair", Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry, Volume 90, Issue 1 January 2008, pp. 1–5]

Beliefs and their musical influence

Beethoven was attracted to the ideals of the Enlightenment and by the growing Romanticism in Europe. He initially dedicated his third symphony, the "Eroica" (Italian for "heroic"), to Napoleon, believing that the general intended to sustain the democratic and republican ideals of the French Revolution. But in 1804, when Napoleon's imperial ambitions became clear, Beethoven took hold of the title-page and scratched the name Bonaparte out so violently that he made a hole in the paper. He later changed the work's title to "Sinfonia Eroica, composta per festeggiare il sovvenire d'un grand'uom" ("Heroic Symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man"), and he rededicated it to his patron, Prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowitz, at whose palace it was first performed. The fourth movement of his Ninth Symphony features an elaborate choral setting of Schiller's Ode "An die Freude" ("Ode to Joy"), an optimistic hymn championing the brotherhood of humanity. Since 1972, an orchestral version of this part of the fourth movement, arranged by the conductor Herbert von Karajan, has been the European anthem as announced by the Council of Europe. In 1985 it was adopted as the anthem of the European Community / European Union.

Scholars disagree about Beethoven's religious beliefs, and about the role they played in his work: see Ludwig van Beethoven's religious beliefs. It has been asserted, but not proven, that Beethoven was a Freemason. [ [ Ludwig van Beethoven] — Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon]

Like the earlier composer Handel, Beethoven worked freelance—arranging subscription concerts, selling his compositions to publishers, and gaining financial support from a number of wealthy patrons—rather than seeking out permanent employment by the church or by an aristocratic court.


Piano solo"'
Chamber music
Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of classical music; occasionally he is referred to as one of the "three "B"s" (along with Bach and Brahms) who epitomize that tradition. He was also a pivotal figure in the transition from 18th century musical classicism to 19th century romanticism, and his influence on subsequent generations of composers was profound.


He was one of the first composers of the post-Renaissance era to use, systematically, interlocking thematic devices, or "germ-motifs", to achieve inter-movement unity in long compositions. Equally remarkable was his use of "source-motifs", which recurred in many different compositions.Fact|date=June 2008 He brought innovations to most of the genres in which he worked; for example, he introduced an elasticity to the previously well-crystallized form of the rondo, drawing it closer to sonata form.

Beethoven composed in various genres, including symphonies, concerti, piano sonatas, other sonatas (including for violin), string quartets and other chamber music, masses, an opera, and lieder. He is viewed as one of the most important transitional figures between the Classical and Romantic eras of musical history.

Working with the traditions of the classical sonata forms, he continued the work of Haydn and Mozart in expanding and loosening the structures and becoming increasingly reliant on motivic development.Fact|date=June 2008

The three periods

Beethoven's compositional career is usually divided into "Early", "Middle", and "Late" periods. In this scheme, his early period is taken to last until about 1802, the middle period from about 1803 to about 1814, and the late period from about 1815. [The Art Of Beethoven, Volumes I & II, Peter Dimmond]

In his "Early (Classical)" period, while starting out under the influence of his great predecessors Haydn and Mozart, he explored new directions and gradually expanded the scope and ambition of his work. Some important pieces from the Early period are the first and second symphonies, the first six string quartets, the first three piano concertos, and the first twenty piano sonatas, including the famous "Pathétique" and "Moonlight" sonatas.

His "Middle (Heroic)" period began shortly after Beethoven's personal crisis brought on by his recognition of encroaching deafness. It is noted for large-scale works that express heroism and struggle, many of which have become very famous. Middle-period works include six symphonies (Nos. 3–8), the fourth and fifth piano concertos, the triple concerto and violin concerto, five string quartets (Nos. 7–11), the next seven piano sonatas (including the "Waldstein" and the "Appassionata"), the "Kreutzer" Violin Sonata and Beethoven's only opera, "Fidelio".

Beethoven's "Late (Romantic)" period began around 1815. Works from this period are characterized by their intellectual depth, their formal innovations, and their intense, highly personal expression. For example, the String Quartet, Op. 131 has seven linked movements, and the Ninth Symphony adds choral forces to the orchestra in the last movement. Other compositions from this period include the "Missa Solemnis", the last five string quartets (including the massive "Grosse Fuge") and the last five piano sonatas, of which the "Hammerklavier" Sonata is the best known.

Cinematic depictions

The composer has been depicted in a number of biopic films for both theatrical and television release. They include a 1909 silent film from the French writer/director Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset, "Beethoven", starring Harry Baur as the composer [Imdb title|0448375|Beethoven (1909)] and a 1927 German film from Hans Otto Löwenstein, "Das Leben des Beethoven". [Imdb title|0405095|Das Leben des Beethoven (1927)] Another French writer/director, Abel Gance, made a film in 1936, "Un grand amour de Beethoven" (Harry Baur once again starred as the composer); [Imdb title|0028438|Un grand amour de Beethoven (1937)] the film has been praised for its depiction of Beethoven's struggle with deafness and touches upon the romantic themes from the composer's life, which would later be explored in the 1994 film "Immortal Beloved". In 1949, Austrian Walter Kolm-Veltée shot "Eroica", a black-and-white movie about Beethoven's life and work. Also of note is the Emmy Award winning 1992 television movie, "Beethoven Lives Upstairs" [Imdb title|0096903| Beethoven Lives Upstairs (1992) (TV)] , a 1985 film "Le Neveu de Beethoven" (or "Beethoven's Nephew"), which deals with the composer's custody battle for his nephew, [Imdb title|0089677|Le Neveu de Beethoven] and the 2006 theatrical release of "Copying Beethoven" from director Agnieszka Holland, with Ed Harris starring as the composer. On the comedic side, Clifford David played the composer in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" in 1989.

Beethoven's music has been used in the soundtracks of over 250 films and television programs. [Imdb name|0002727|Ludwig van Beethoven] In 2007 the critically acclaimed play "33 Variations" by Moises Kaufman was first produced at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. The play depicts a modern-day researcher struggling to understand the process of creativity as she delves into how Beethoven composed his "Diabelli Variations". [cite web
url =
title = Play Dramatizes Beethoven's '33 Variations'
accessdate = 2008-08-07
author =
last = Freymann-Weyr
first = Jeffrey
date = Date|2007-09-08
publisher = National Public Radio
] In September 2008 the dance play [ "Ward 9"] , set to an all-Beethoven score, will be performed at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. [cite web
url =
title = "Ward 9" — A New Dance Play
accessdate = 2008-08-07
year = 2008
publisher = The New York Musical Theatre Festival


Commemorative gold coin featuring Ludwig van Beethoven.(Austria, 2005)

Further reading

* Alexander Wheelock Thayer, "Ludwig van Beethoven's Leben", 5 vols., Berlin 1866–1908 (vols. 4 and 5 posthumously ed. by Hugo Riemann).
* Joseph Kerman and Alan Tyson (and others): "Beethoven, Ludwig van", "Grove Music Online" ed L.Macy (accessed Date|2007-03-18), [] , subscription access.
* Albrecht, Theodor, and Elaine Schwensen, "More Than Just Peanuts: Evidence for December 16 as Beethoven's birthday." "The Beethoven Newsletter" 3 (1988): 49, 60–63.
* Bohle, Bruce, and Robert Sabin. "The International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians." London: J.M.Dent & Sons LTD, 1975. ISBN 0-460-04235-1.
* Clive, Peter. "Beethoven and His World: A Biographical Dictionary." New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-19-816672-9.
* Davies, Peter J. "The Character of a Genius: Beethoven in Perspective." Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002. ISBN 0-313-31913-8.
* Davies, Peter J. "Beethoven in Person: His Deafness, Illnesses, and Death." Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001. ISBN 0-313-31587-6.
* DeNora, Tia. "Beethoven and the Construction of Genius: Musical Politics in Vienna, 1792–1803." Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1995. ISBN 0-520-21158-8.
* Geck, Martin. "Beethoven". Translated by Anthea Bell. London: Haus, 2003. ISBN 1-904341-03-9 (h), ISBN 1-904341-00-4 (p).
* cite book
last = Hatten
first = Robert S
title = Musical Meaning in Beethoven
publisher = Indiana University Press
location= Bloomington
id = ISBN 0-253-32742-3

* Kropfinger, Klaus. "Beethoven". Verlage Bärenreiter/Metzler, 2001. ISBN 3-7618-1621-9.
* Martin, Russell. "Beethoven's Hair". New York: Broadway Books, 2000. ISBN 978-0767903509
* Meredith, William. "The History of Beethoven's Skull Fragments." "The Beethoven Journal" 20 (2005): 3-46.
* Morris, Edmund. "Beethoven: The Universal Composer." New York: Atlas Books / HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 0-06-075974-7.
* Rosen, Charles. "The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven." (Expanded ed.) New York: W. W. Norton, 1998. ISBN 0-393-04020-8 (hc); ISBN 0-393-31712-9 (pb).
* Solomon, Maynard. "Beethoven", 2nd revised edition. New York: Schirmer Books, 2001. ISBN 0-8256-7268-6.
* Solomon, Maynard. "Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination." Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. ISBN 0-520-23746-3.
* Stanley, Glenn, ed. "The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-521-58074-9 (hc), ISBN 0-521-58934-7 (pb).
* Thayer, A. W., rev and ed. Elliot Forbes. "Thayer's Life of Beethoven." (2 vols.) Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09103-X

External links

General reference

* [ Chronology of Beethoven's life]
* [ Beethoven Depot] . Contains all of his works in midi format.
* [ Beethoven's Letters 1790–1826, Volume 1] . In English at
* [ Beethoven's Letters 1790–1826, Volume 2] . In English at
* [ Beethoven: The Immortal] . Introduction and detailed account of the composer's life. Articles include his deafness, demeanor, daily routine, medical history, final days, and letters.
* [ Beethoven-Haus Bonn] . Official website of "Beethoven-Haus" in Bonn, Germany. Links to extensive studio and digital archive, library holdings, the "Beethoven-Haus" Museum (including "internet exhibitions" and "virtual visits"), the "Beethoven-Archiv" research center, and information on Beethoven publications of interest to the specialist and general reader. Extensive collection of Beethoven's compositions and written documents, with sound samples and a digital reconstruction of his last house in Vienna.
* [ Raptus Association for Music Appreciation site on Beethoven]
* [ One Stop Beethoven Resource] — articles and facts about Beethoven from Aaron Green, guide to Classical Music at
* Analysis of the [ music and life of Beethoven] on the [ All About Ludwig van Beethoven] Page.
* [ Beethoven’s Personality and Music: The Introverted Romantic]
* [ Keeping Score: Beethoven Symphony No. 3 multimedia website] Rich multimedia website that explores the history and creation of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony. Presented by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony
* [ Researchers confirm lead as cause of Beethoven's illness] Argonne, Ill. (6 December 2005)

pecific topics

* [ Beethoven manuscripts at the British Library]
* [ Contemporary reviews of Beethoven's works]
* Pictures of [ "Beethoven in Vienna and Baden"] . In French.
* [ Beethoven's Hair] — trace the journey of Beethoven's Hair.
* [ Für Elise] — and other Beethoven resources.
* [ The Guevara Lock of Beethoven's Hair] , from The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies.
* [ Hair analysis says Beethoven died of lead poisoning] . CBC News, Date|2000-10-18.

;Related topics
* [ Beethoven's last apartment in Vienna,] digitally reconstructed 2004, on Multimedia CD-ROM edited by Beethoven-Haus Bonn

Lists of works

* [ University of Quebec] In French. Contains links to the works arranged according to various criteria, and to a concordance of the various catalogues.
* [ Comprehensive lists of works by opus, WoO, Hess, Biamonti]


* [] Free Sheet Music by Beethoven
*, the oldest producer of public domain ebooks.
* [ Beethoven scores] from Mutopia Project
* [ Sonatas, piano, no. 14, op. 27, no. 2, C# minor] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ Deutsche Tänze, WoO 8. Selections, arranged for piano, 4 hands] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ Septet, woodwinds, horn, strings, op. 20, E♭ major; arr] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ Concertos, violin, orchestra, op. 61, D major, arranged for piano, 4 hands] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ Concertos, piano, orchestra, no. 3, op. 37, C minor, arranged for piano, 4 hands] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ Sonatas, piano, no. 21, op. 53, C major] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ 21 variations sur un thême de Beethoven, op. 133] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ Symphonies, arranged for 2 pianos, 8 hands] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ Sonatas and other works for the pianoforte] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ Symphonies, no. 1, op. 21, C major, arranged for piano 4 hands, and violin and cello] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ Symphonies, no. 5, op. 67, C minor arranged for piano 4 hands, and violin and cello] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)
* [ und Fuge über ein Thema von Beethoven Bagatelles, piano, op. 119. No. 11] (from the Sibley Music Library Digital Score Collection)


* [ All 9 symphonies] Full-length recordings
* [] Free Public Domain MP3 Files, Including the Complete Piano Sonatas
* [ MP3 Creative Commons recordings] from "Magnatune"
* [ Beethoven's Nine] , The Philadelphia Orchestra performs all nine symphonies for NPR's Performance Today
* [ Kunst der Fuge: hundreds of MIDI files]
* [ The Unheard Beethoven] — MIDI files of hundreds of Beethoven compositions never recorded and many that have never been published.
* [ Beethoven cylinder recordings] , from the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara Library.
*, a collection of information about commercial recordings.
* [ Recording of the piano sonata opus 110] , with extensive analysis
* [ Recording of the Moonlight Sonata]
* Performances of works by Beethoven in MP3 and MIDI formats at [ Logos Virtual Library]
* [ The British Library Archival Sound Recordings] online audio service includes 100 years of String Quartets.

NAME=Beethoven, Ludwig van
DATE OF BIRTH=1770-12-16
DATE OF DEATH=1827-03-26

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  • Ludwig van beethoven — « Beethoven » redirige ici. Pour les autres significations, voir Beethoven (homon …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ludwig van Beethoven —     Ludwig Van Beethoven     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Ludwig Van Beethoven     Born at Bonn, probably on 16 December, 1770; died at Vienna, 26 March, 1827. The date of his birth has never been positively ascertained but is inferred from the fact …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Ludwig van Beethoven — (1770 1827), compositor alemán de música académica, uno de los más grandes y admirados de todos los tiempos. Se le considera como el principal precursor de la transición del clasicismo al romanticismo. Entre sus obras destaca la Novena Sinfonía,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Ludwig van Beethoven — « Beethoven » redirige ici. Pour les autres significations, voir Beethoven (homonymie). Ludwig van Beethoven …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ludwig van Beethoven — Ludwig van Beethoven …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ludwig van Beethoven (Klaviersonaten) — Ludwig van Beethovens Klavierwerke sind in der Klavierliteratur von epochaler Bedeutung. Beethoven war ein hervorragender Pianist, der ausgehend vom Klavier komponierte. In diesem Artikel werden die Werke für Soloklavier und die Werke für Klavier …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ludwig van Beethoven (Klavierwerke) — Ludwig van Beethovens Klavierwerke sind in der Klavierliteratur von epochaler Bedeutung. Beethoven war ein hervorragender Pianist, der ausgehend vom Klavier komponierte. In diesem Artikel werden die Werke für Soloklavier und die Werke für Klavier …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ludwig van Beethoven's religious beliefs — The role of religious belief in the work of the celebrated composer Ludwig van Beethoven is a matter of disagreement among scholars. Beethoven was born and raised a Roman Catholic, and he composed many religious works, among them the Mass in C… …   Wikipedia

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