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Ludwig Van Beethoven

Ludwig Van Beethoven. 1770-1827 Born in Bonn Died in Vienna. Ludwig Van Beethoven. Third member of the great Viennese masters The great transitional composer By the time he was 35 years old he was the most important composer in the world. LIFE-TIME-LINES. BEETHOVEN 1770-1827.

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Ludwig Van Beethoven

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  1. Ludwig Van Beethoven • 1770-1827 • Born in Bonn • Died in Vienna

  2. Ludwig Van Beethoven • Third member of the great Viennese masters • The great transitional composer • By the time he was 35 years old he was the most important composer in the world

  3. LIFE-TIME-LINES BEETHOVEN 1770-1827 MOZART 1756-1789 HAYDN 1732-1809 1770 1820

  4. Childhood • Father and Grandfather were musicians. • Father was Ludwig’s first music teacher. • His father was an alcoholic • Supported his family as a child • Showed an interest in composing very early

  5. “Louis van Beethoven… a boy of 11 years and a most promising talent. He plays the clavier very skillfully and with power, reads at sight very well… This youthful genius is deserving of help to enable him to travel. He would surely become a second Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were he to continue as he has begun.” – Christian Gottlob Neefe

  6. Young adulthood • Beethoven went to Vienna, Austria to learn more about composing when he was 17. He played for Mozart • He had to return home when his mother died, and help raise his brothers.

  7. Return to Vienna • When Beethoven was 22 (1792), he moved to Austria and never returned to Germany. • He studied with Haydn

  8. Ludwig Van Beethoven True, it’s “van,” not the aristocratic “von,” but if someone mistakenly thinks I’m a “von” of royal blood I certainly won’t correct him.

  9. Beethoven and Patronage • Patronage is gone. Besides, Beethoven considered himself equal to, not the servant of, any noble! • made his living by: • selling compositions to publishers • concertizing as a pianist • 1st musician to make a living almost exclusively through composition

  10. Beethoven was not easy to be around. He had a temper, and he was very demanding. He would get lost in his own thoughts and would get impatient with others when they didn’t do what he thought they should do. He criticized other musicians when they didn’t perform his pieces the way he wanted them to sound. His whole life was very ‘stormy’ …there were many sad and discouraging times. His temperament

  11. Beethoven’s Contract • “But as it has been demonstrated that only one when he is free from care as possible can devote himself to a single department of activity and create works of magnitude which are exalted and which ennoble art, the undersigned have decided to place Herr Ludwig van Beethoven in a position where the necessities of life shall not cause him embarrassment or clog his powerful genius.”

  12. Beethoven’s Contract His Imperial Highness, Archduke Rudolph 1500 florins The Highborn Prince Lobkowitz 700 florins The Highborn Prince Ferdinand Kinsky 1800 Florins Total…. 4000 florins (150,000 USD)

  13. Beethoven’s Contract • All Beethoven had to do was to declare Vienna his home.” • It is good to walk among the aristocracy, but first you must MAKE them respect you.”

  14. Beethoven, the pianist • the most virtuosic in Europe • dazzling technique and power • genius improviser • a composer • much music for piano • piano is being developed • cast iron frame (stronger, more powerful instrument) • larger range (Beethoven wrote notes that were not on current pianos, then told manufacturers to build new instruments)

  15. Beethoven began hearing buzzing in his ears. At first he tried to hide his loss of hearing from his friends. He continued to write music when he was deaf. Beethoven tried many hearing devices, but none of them worked. He could watch people’s lips to understand what they were saying, or have them write in a notebook. Losing his hearing

  16. Beethoven’s Deafness • Manifests itself as early as 1796 • By 1820 he could barely hear • Heiligenstadt Testament Letter Beethoven writes in 1802 Describes his illness and his melancholy

  17. Ca. 1799, Beethoven learned his increasing deafness was irreversible. Deep in despair, he remained in Heiligenstadt the summer and fall of 1802 contemplating suicide.

  18. Beethoven’s Deafness “Though born with a fiery, active temperament I was soon to withdraw from society, to live a life alone. If at times I tried to forget all this, oh how harshly was I flung back by the doubly sad experience of my bad hearing. Yet it wasn’t possible for me to say to people, “Speak Louder, shout for I am deaf! Ah, how could I possibly admit to an infirmity in the one sense that ought to be more perfect in me than in others, a sense that I once possessed in the highest degree.”

  19. “How humiliated I have felt if somebody standing beside me heard the sound of a flute in the distance and I heard nothing...It is impossible for me to say to people, ‘Speak louder, for I am deaf.’ How would it be possible for me to admit to a weakness of the one sense that should be perfect to a higher degree in me than in theirs. So forgive me if you see me draw back from your company which I would so gladly share. I would have ended my life. It was only my art that held me back for it seemed impossible to leave the world until I have brought forth all that is within me.” — Beethoven

  20. Medical methods back then... • Doctors poured warm milk and crushed nuts in Beethoven’s ears, telling him that this would help restore his hearing! • Doctors rubbed Beethoven’s arms with an ointment until they blistered, then punctured and drained the blisters…telling him that this would help restore his hearing!

  21. Beethovenian Pathos Man at some unexpected time in his life will sink to the depths of his existence, into the depths of chaos. It is only HE that can make the decision to turn the chaos into a triumphant victory. Rising out of the depths of human chaos is humanity’s primary task for survival.

  22. Beethovenian Pathos • Shows up in music. • Sense of despair. • Sense of acceptance • Sense of reconciliation • Sense of victory over despair.

  23. “I am resolved to rise superior to every obstacle. With whom need I be afraid of measuring my own strength? I will take Fate by the throat. It shall not overcome me. O how beautiful it is to be alive—would that I could live a thousand times.” -Beethoven

  24. Beethoven’s death • Beethoven died in Vienna, Austria in 1827. • Thousands of people lined the streets during his funeral procession to pay tribute.

  25. Beethoven, the composer Wrote many works for piano Wrote music that required improvement of the piano For years, his compositions drew mixed reactions Critics and journalists hassled himIntellect, Intellect, Intellect. Why must Herr Beethoven write such difficult and complex music? It sounds like cats fighting! Cannot he write a decent singable melody?

  26. “I carry my thoughts within me long, often very long before I write them down. As I know what I want, the fundamental idea never deserts me. It mounts, it grows in stature. I hear, I see the picture in its whole extent standing all of a piece before my spirit, and there remains for me only the task of writing it down.” -Beethoven

  27. Some of his Works • 32 Piano Sonatas • Moonlight Sonata • Sonata Pathetique • Fur Elise • Fidelio (his only opera) • 9 Symphonies • Choral Symphony …#9 (Ode to Joy) • Beethoven’s Fifth …#5 • Pastorale …..#6

  28. Beethoven Symphonies • Supreme architect • Tied all movements into a theme • 5th • Fate versus hope

  29. Beethoven Symphonies • 9th • Finale • Ode To Joy

  30. Jacques Louis David Coronation of Napoleon

  31. Jacques Louis David Napoleon in his study

  32. Symphony #5 C minor op. 67. • Archetypical Sonata Allegro Form. • Three note motive. • Shows up throughout the whole symphony. • What is this piece about?

  33. Beethoven Piano Sonata in C minor. Pathetique • Beethovenian Pathos in each movement • Dramatic quality, sudden dynamic changes • Adagio section that is hymn-like • 2nd and 3rd movements are in Rondo form

  34. Beethovenian Pathos • Mvt.1 Slow intro • Tempo rubato • Sense of sadness and then anger/ desperation as the music moves to the fast section.

  35. Beethovenian Pathos • Mvt. 2. Slow and hymnl-ike • Sense of calm acceptance • Familiar theme

  36. Beethovenian Pathos • Mvt. 3. • Rising out of chaos. • Sounds of triumph.

  37. Ludwig van Beethoven • composed by evolving and revising musical ideas and compositions • kept notebooks of themes and ideas • B’s manuscripts, unlike Mozart’s, are a MESS--a sea of cross-outs, arrows, re-writes, etc. • Much of B’s music was composed in deafness (total by age 29!) He could only hear the music in his head. • works are larger, longer, more complex • TRANSITION composer: • B’s last two composition periods and styles clearly point the way to the coming Romanticism. • composed for himself and future, NOT for publishers or middle class market • For Beethoven music is much more important to human existence than mere entertainment!

  38. 1. Early years • a. Beethoven born in Bonn • b. Studied under Christian Gottlob Neefe (1748-98) • 1. Court organist at Bonn • 2. Wrote Singspiels and songs • c. 1787: Brief visit to Vienna, may have played for Mozart • d. 1790: Haydn hears Beethoven's music and urges the archbishop of Cologne to send him to Vienna

  39. 2. Vienna • a. Beethoven moves to Vienna in November of 1792 • b. Studies with a number of composers • 1. 1792-94: studied with Haydn • 2. 1794: Johann Schenk (1753-1836): composer of Singspiels • 3. 1794: Johann Georg Albrechtsberger: teaches Beethoven counterpoint • 4. Antonio Salieri (1750-1825): teaches vocal composition

  40. 3. Compositional overview • a. 9 symphonies b. 11 overtures • c. Incidental music to plays • d. 1 violin concerto e. 5 piano concertos • f. 16 string quartets g. 9 piano trios • h. 10 vioin sonatas i. 5 cello sonatas • j. 30 large piano sonatas • k. Numerous piano variations • l. 1 oratorio m. 1 opera • n. 2 Masses (including the Missa Solemnis in D) • o. Arias, songs and 1 song cycle

  41. His Musical Style: Three Periods • 1. Classical Elements: Musical style learned at the hands of Mozart and Haydn. • Use of sonata allegro form. Perfect architecture in his music. • Balanced melodies. • Diatonic Harmony

  42. 5. The "Three Periods" and Beethoven Historiography • a. It is customary to divide Beethoven's works into three periods on the basis of style and chronology • b. "Bonn" period is usually not taken into account

  43. 5. The "Three Periods" and Beethoven Historiography (cont.) c. Periodic breakdown • 1. Early Period in Vienna (1792-1802 ) • Six String Quartets, Op.18/1-6 • The first 10 piano sonatas (through Op.14) • Symphonies 1 & 2

  44. 5. The "Three Periods" and Beethoven Historiography (cont.) C. Periodic breakdown • 2. Middle Period: Beethoven's "Heroic" period (1803-1816) • Symphonies 3-8 - Egmont • Coriolan overture - Fidelio • Piano concertos in G and Eb - Violin concerto • Piano sonatas through Op.90 • String quartets:Op.59/1-3 ("Rasumovsky"), Op.74 ("Harp"), Op.95 ("Quartetto serioso")

  45. 5. The "Three Periods" and Beethoven Historiography (cont.) • c. Periodic breakdown • 3. Late Period: Reflective and introspective style ( 1817-1827) • Last 5 piano sonatas • Diabelli Variations • Missa solemnis

  46. First Period Sonatas • 1. Op.2/1-3 (f,A,C): Publ.1796 & Dedicated to Haydn • 2. Op.7 (Eb): publ. in 1797 • 3. Op.10 No.1 (c min.) • 4. Op.13 "Pathetique" slow mov't

  47. First Period Characteristic texture • 1. Frequent use of octaves • 2. Thick piano writing

  48. First Period Contemporaries that may have influenced Beethoven • 1. Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) • 2. Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) • 3. Dussek's Grande Sonate, Op.44 "Les adieux" (Eb) publ.1800 may have influenced Beethoven's Op.81a "Les adieux" of 1810

  49. Second Period • Expanded works. • Form, melody, dynamics • Explosive accents. • Longer Movements in Symphonies • Hymn-like calmness in his slower movements.

  50. Second Period • A. Background • B. Symphony no.3 (Eb) "Eroica" • C. Fidelio • D. Piano Sonatas • E. Piano Concertos

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