Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (16 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German pianist and composer of the transitional period between the late Classical and early Romantic eras. He remains one of the most brilliant, prolific and influential composers of all time. Beethoven is widely regarded as a master of musical construction, sometimes sketching the architecture of a movement before he had decided upon the subject matter. He was one of the first composers to systematically and consistently use interlocking thematic devices, or 'germ-motives', to achieve unity between movements in long compositions. (Some insight into the meaning of the germ-motive device is given at the end of this bio.) Equally remarkable was his use of source-motives', which recurred in many different compositions and lent some unity to his life’s work. He made innovations in almost every form of music he touched. For example, he diversified even the well-crystallised form the rondo, making it more elastic and spacious, which brought it closer to sonata form. He was mostly inspired by the natural course of nature, and liked to write songs describing nature. Beethoven composed in a great variety of genres, including symphonies, concerti, piano sonatas, other instrumental sonatas (including for violin), string quartets and other chamber music, masses, lieder, and one opera. Beethoven's compositional career is usually divided into Early, Middle, and Late periods: In the Early (Classical) period, he is seen as emulating his great predecessors Haydn and Mozart, while concurrently exploring new directions and gradually expanding 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. The Middle (Heroic) period began shortly after Beethoven's personal crisis centering around his encroaching deafness. The period is noted for large-scale works expressing heroism and struggle; these include many of the most famous works of classical music. Middle period works include six symphonies (numbers 3 to 8), the fourth and fifth piano concertos, the triple concerto and violin concerto, five string quartets (numbers 7 to 11), the next seven piano sonatas (including the "Waldstein" and the "Appassionata"), and Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio. Beethoven's Late (Romantic) period began around 1816. The Late-period works are characterised by intellectual depth, intense and highly personal expression, and formal innovation (for example, the Op. 131 string quartet has seven linked movements, and the Ninth Symphony adds choral forces to the orchestra in the last movement). Works of this period also include the Missa Solemnis, the last five string quartets, and the last five piano sonatas. Destructuring the sonata form, both in the overall schema (movements, tempos) and in the micro-form, Beethoven began to use germinal ideas propelling the whole melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic progression. In the first quartet of the group (E flat major, Op.127 – February 1825), the Adagio has five variations (in this case, a source-theme becomes the backbone of the tempo). That same year, in July, Quartet in A minor, Op.132, features a first movement with the traditional two themes, but without contrast; they display and disseminate sub-sections and ‘germs’ in a circular frame, interlocking with each other. Beethoven's germ-motive is like a Bach choral, summoning the other voices around itself. The last quartet, Op. 135 in F major, was composed in a downplayed form, going back to a more traditional four-tempo structure. But internally one finds the same frozen micro-structure: the first movement is harmonically ambiguous, whereas the scherzo sounds like Bartòk, and in the finale, the canon ‘Es muss sein’ plays a joyful role. A terrible grave comes in afterward, to dissolve into a soft pizzicato: adieu music, adieu life . It was never heard by the now deaf Beethoven, and he died shortly afterward. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

Classical instrumental composers romantic classic




Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Johann Sebastian Bach

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Johannes Brahms

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Für Elise
Moonlight Sonata
Symphony No. 9 (Scherzo)
Molto vivace
Ode to Joy
Moonlight Sonata: Adagio sostenuto
Allegro con brio
Allegro
Adagio molto e cantabile
Allegretto
Allegro Ma non Troppo
Presto
Sonata No. 14 Moonlight in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2: I. Adagio sostenuto
Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: II. Allegretto
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: I. Allegro con brio
Pathetique Movement
Sonata No.14 In C# Min Op.27/2 'Moonlight': 1St Mvt.
Adagio Sostenuto
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, Moonlight: I. Adagio sostenuto
Andante Con Moto
Symphony No.5 In C Minor: 1St Mvt.
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor Part 1
Symphony No.9 In D Minor 'Choral': 4Th Mvt.
9th Symphony
Adagio Cantabile
Piano Sonata in D Major, Op. 28 - 'Pastoral': I. Allegro
Minuet
Sonata No. 23 In F Minor, Op. 57 Appassionata Assai Allegro
5th Symphony
Coriolan Overture
Bagatelle in A Minor, WoO 59, Für Elise
Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op.16: II. Andante cantabile
Adagio
Ave Maria
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73: II. Adagio un poco moto - attacca
I. Allegro con brio
Minuet In G
Allegro Vivace
Für Elise, WoO 59
pathetique
Egmont Overture
Piano Sonata No.14 In C Sharp Minor Op.27_2 - 1st Movement 'Moonlight
5th Symphony 1st Movement
Symphony No.5 In C Minor, Op.67: 1. Allegro con brio
Presto agitato
Symphony No.8 in F major Op.93 - Allegretto scherzando
Allegro Moderato
String Quartet No.7 In F Op.59 No.1: 3Rd Mvt.
II. Andante con moto
Symphony No.6 In F: 1St Mvt.

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