Beethoven pursued his studies with many different great composers. He first studied with Hayden, but after a clash of temperaments he became a student of Schenk, Albrechtsberger, and Salieri. From the age of 12, Beethoven became an extremely talented musician having already published music. He showed promising skill and played in many private palaces. He became one of the first musicians in history who could live independently on a music salary.
In 1802, Beethoven began to lose his hearing. He was very upset after coming to this realization, and even contemplated suicide. It was a year of crisis for the talented Beethoven, knowing within a short period of time he would never be able to listen to music again.
Beethoven’s career is often referenced in 3 different periods, the early, middle, and late. In the early period, Beethoven’s music was strongly influenced by his predecessors, Mozart and Hayden. It was during this time that he wrote the famous Pathetique Sonata. During the 2nd period of his life, Beethoven started experimenting with his music. He started noticing his loss of hearing, and wrote many pieces about heroism and struggle. The pieces of the middle period were often very emotional and tragic, similar to how Beethoven felt about his life. He wrote several piano
sonatas during this time of his life. Intentional, high personal expression characterizes the 3rd period of Beethoven’s life. He became deaf and relied purely on his memory of pitches and tones. The last five piano sonatas were written in this time period. Other compositions include the ninth symphony and The String Quartet Op. 131 with 7 connected movements.
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