This is going to be a very special throwback Thursday post, because I’m going to take it all the way back to the 1700s/1800s, or also known as the classical and romantic eras, to discuss the one and only Ludwig Van Beethoven. This is also special, because this is one of my college portfolio pieces! I hope you enjoy!
Ludwig Van Beethoven was born on December sixteenth, 1770, in Bonn, Germany. He was born into a mixture of middle class & Rhineland peasantry. Two generations of musicians passed down to a genius that would immortalize their name. He was named Ludwig after his grandfather, a choirmaster. Beethoven had a total of six siblings, four brothers & two sisters. His father, Johann Van Beethoven, was the son of the musician of Dutch origin, the old man, Louis Van Beethoven. His mother, Maria Magdalena Keverick, died at age 41 due to tuberculosis.
At the age of twelve, Beethoven published his first work, Nine Variations in c minor for piano. The following year, his teacher, Christian Gottlob Neefe, wrote a letter saying “if he continues like this, he will be, without a doubt, the new Mozart.” In in 1784, due to Neefe’s recommendations, Beethoven had become the organist of the court of Maximillion Franz, the elector of Cologne. He was only fourteen years old.
Beethoven began to lose his hearing back in 1801. This caused him to be depressed in 1802. He considered suicide, but he instead went to Austria and wrote the Heiligenstadt testament, which is when he made the decision to live through his music. Even after his hearing completely deteriorated, he still continued composing the most amazing music. He never performed in public again, after he failed to perform his piece known as emperor, back in 1811.
Beethoven was taught the art of music and composing in from Neefe, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, & Joseph Hayden while staying in Vienna, which became him permanent home. He learned techniques of counterpoint and vocal composition. He attracted many patrons, including the aristocratic groups, due to his emotional piano playing rather than his compositions. After being recognized, Beethoven received financial support for the rest of his life.
Beethoven was an innovator, widening the scope of sonata, symphony, concerto, & quartet. He was a composer as well as a pianist. Some of his most famous works were only created in the last ten years of his life, before passing away at the age of 56. He will continue to remain alive through his music, even to this day. Immortal beloved, made in 1994, was one of the many portrayals of the life and death of Ludwig Van Beethoven.
Here is a timeline of Beethoven’s life:
- 1770 – Beethoven is born and baptized (December 16th)
- 1787 – Traveled to Vienna to study with Mozart
- 1792 – Studied with Hayden
- 1800 – 1st symphony & Piano Sonata
- 1802 – Depression and testament
- 1803 – 2nd symphony
- 1804 – Disappointment with Napoleon
- 1805 – 3rd symphony Erotica
- 1807 – 4th symphony
- 1808 – 5th symphony & 6th symphony, pastoral
- 1811 – Last public performance, failed attempt at emperor concerto
- 1813 – 7th symphony
- 1814 – 8th symphony and 3rd (last) version of Fidelio
- 1824 – 9th symphony
- 1827 – Beethoven’s death( March 26th)
That ends my portfolio piece that I wrote for my music class, I was very happy to receive a 95 on it. I hope you enjoyed this interesting little throwback!