3periods of Beethoven's Life

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Describe briefly the three periods in Beethoven’s life.

The Early Period is from 1782 to 1802, often divided into 2 sub-periods, the Bonn and the Vienna period. In the first sub-period, Beethoven wrote music works without opus numbers (WoO). Some significant works includes Variations on a March by Dressler, WoO 63 and Three Piano Sonatas in E flat, f and D, WoO 47. The 2nd movement in f minor, a key rarely used as that time gives a passionate mood. CPE Bach, whose works were studied by Beethoven, also wrote 3 keyboard sonatas in f minor. Another important work of the period is the Three Piano Quartets in E flat, D, C. Each Piano Quartets is modeled after a specific piano or violin sonata by Mozart, the K380, K379 and K296. The funeral cantata for Emperor Joseph II, WoO 87 begins and closes with expressive c minor chorus. The key was known as the pathetic key, and Beethoven started using c minor very often in his later works, such as in Op67, Symphony #5 and Op13, Piano Sonata #8 ‘Pathetique’. In the 2nd sub-period, Beethoven was seeking a place in Vienna’s musical society. Many of his pieces were for Viennese social life such as ballroom dance. Beethoven started learning music from Haydn, and his compositional style became heavily influenced by his teacher. For example, Beethoven adopted Haydnesque humor such as the false recapitulation in Op 93, Symphony #8. Other than that, Beethoven always used slow introduction such as in Op13 Sonata #8 in c, ‘pathetique’ , which is a trademark in Haydn’s symphonies. The second period is known as the Heroic period (1803-1815). In this period, Beethoven wrote the Heiligenstadt Testament after he came to terms with his hearing impairments. Out of the inner conflict, mental anguish and physical pain emerged a recurring theme in his works: struggling against adversity. Beethoven’s compositional style advanced and transcended with his maturity and depth of character. His works became increasingly technically demanding

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