Biography Ludwig van Beethoven
Born December 16th 1770 in Bonn; died March 26th 1827 in Wien
Ludwig van Beethoven was born December 16th 1770 in Bonn. All members of his family were musicians. His father and his grandfather were vocalists at the sovereign’s orchestra. His father was very ambitious and he would like to create a prodigy similar to Mozart. Already in the age of four little Ludwig has to play piano standing on a chair.
Aged eight he gave his first public concert, with fourteen he was organist and harpsichordist and already a constant member of the Bonner Hofkapelle.
At the age of seventeen Beethoven travels to Vienna, the capital of Austria and centre of music in Europe. He should study at the house of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart supposedly prognosticates him a prosperous future, but already after a few weeks Beethoven was informed that his mother breathes her’s last. Immediately Beethoven returns to Bonn.
The mother died. Because the father was addicted to alcohol, Beethoven has to take care of him and of his two brothers. Fortunately he became acquaintance with an aristocratic rich lady, Princess Lichnowski, she introduces him to influential circles.
In the year 1789 Beethoven started to study at the university in Bonn and came in contact with the ideas of the French Revolution. His enthusiasm was reflected in his future works which are about freedom and humanity, specially in his sole opera Fidelio.
His extraordinary talent attracks the attention of Joseph Haydn, an Austrian composer, who invites him to come to Vienna in 1792. Beethoven accepts his invitation, turns away from Bonn and never came back.
At the end of the 18th century people only wait for someone like Beethoven. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in 1791 and the music-lovers of the town needs a new idol. Beethoven grow very quickly to an important artist and people were all set to pay the requested prices for his compositions, his publications and his lessons.
As a celebrated star Beethoven observes that his sense of hearing spirals downward. He consults quite a number of doctors and they come to various different diagnosis, but they all prognose the same result: The amblyacousia is cureless and will lead to anacousia. This was a traumatic experience for Beethoven, which pushes him to the edge of suicide. He starts to be querulous and mistrustful, tends more and more to accesses of rage and withdraws increasingly from the fellow men.
Beethoven remains unmarried his whole life, but his success brings along that the women in Vienna adore him. Aged thirty he falls in Iove with countess Guilietta Guicciardi, but the class distinction makes a marriage impossible. Three years later he fall in love with Therese Malfatti, the daughter of one of his doctors. But Beethoven hesitates and did not propose marriage to her. Apart from a few glowing love letters to a ‘deathless mistress’ written around 1812 it seems as if he has accepted his bachelor’s life.
Although Beethoven earns a lot of money he lives in an old and derelict house in Heiligenstadt in the near of Vienna. Because of his amblyacousia he withdraws more and more from the public. Although he still conducts his own compositions he could not more hear the applause. He was still able to compose because for this he needs no instrument. His memory was full of notes and music. However he spends a lot of accurateness in his compositions, so that he was often too late. The Missa Solemnis, a mass specially for the enthronement of archbishop von Oelmuetz in 1820, was ready in 1823.
He completes his last work, a string quartet, in 1826 and he died in Vienna on 26th March 1827. Approximately 20.000 people attend the funeral. The military has to be mobilised to keep the maintenance of order. Beethoven’s last will was an autopsy to enable his doctors to find the reasons of his early amblyacousia. Probably the mystery was definitely unravelled in the year 2005. Beethoven has plumbism.
Beethoven was his whole life a rebel, but at the same time he was the one who completes the “Wiener Klassik”. With his rebellion against the form and his concentration to the personal assertion in the music he has build a bridge from the classic to the romance.
With this unique CD Edition “ Beethoven – Complete Works” you secure yourself the complete musical legacy from one of the greatest German’s composers.
Beethoven Edition Complete Works
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W. A. Mozart | J. S. Beethoven