October 30th, 2006
Ludwig van Beethoven, baptised December 17th 1770 (Prévot, 2001), must be the most uniquely interesting as well as the most extraordinarily talented artist Germany has ever known. To many he is regarded as one of the greatest composers in musical history and was an extremely influential character in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in western classical music (Wikipedia, 2006). To this day Beethoven's musical genius inspires millions of artists worldwide. Even those who are more artistically challenged can appreciate the genius of Beethoven's compositions (Dane, 2003).
Beethoven's introduction to music was first influenced by his father who was his first teacher and mentor. It wasn't too much of a surprise for his father to start teaching his son music. Beethoven's grandfather, as well as his great-grandfather, were both accomplished composers (Kerman & Tyson, 1988, pp. 1-2). When he was only 18 his mother died of tuberculosis leaving him and his brothers in the care of their drunken father whose worsening alcoholism left the responsibility of looking after his two younger brothers' up to Ludwig (Knight, 1973, pp. 13-29). Around the age of 28 Beethoven began to lose his hearing which led him to consider suicide (Solomon, 1998, pp. 146-147). He was also having troubles with women and could not seem to find someone he could marry. There was only one person he pronounced his love for but she would not marry a commoner for the fear of losing her children (Wikipedia, 2006). With these issues going on he was also given custody of his nephew Karl. All of these things together led to the emergence of some sort of depression (Columbia University, 2006). Beethoven found his inspiration in nature and righteousness and many of his symphonies reflected these loves. He would regularly go for walks in the countryside and wrote how he appreciated the beauty of nature (Capistrano School, 2004). By the time...
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