Ludwig Van Beethoven (December 16, 1770 – March 26, 1827) He was a German composer of Classical music, the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest of composers, and his reputation inspired – and in some cases intimidated – composers, musicians, and audiences who were to come after him. Beethoven's first music teacher was his father, who worked as a musician in the Electoral court at Bonn. Beethoven's talent was soon noticed by others. He was given instruction and employment by Christian Gottlob Neefe , as well as financial sponsorship by the Prince-Elector. Beethoven's mother died when he was 17, and for several years he was responsible for raising his two younger brothers. Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792, where he studied with Joseph Haydn and other teachers. He quickly established a reputation as a piano virtuoso, and more slowly as a composer. He settled into the career pattern he would follow for the remainder of his life: rather than working for the church or a noble court, he was a freelancer, supporting himself with public performances, sales of his works, and stipends from noblemen who recognized his ability. Beethoven's personal life was troubled. Around age 28 he started to become deaf, a calamity which led him for some time to contemplate suicide. He was attracted to unattainable (married or aristocratic) women, whom he idealized; he never married. A period of low productivity from about 1812 to 1816 is thought by some scholars to have been the result of depression, resulting from Beethoven's realization that he would never marry. Beethoven quarreled, often bitterly, with his relatives and others, and frequently behaved badly to other people. He moved often from dwelling to dwelling, and had strange personal habits such as wearing filthy clothing while washing compulsively. He often had financial troubles. It is common for listeners to perceive an echo of Beethoven's life in his music, which often depicts struggle followed by triumph. This description is often applied to Beethoven's creation of masterpieces in the face of his severe personal difficulties. Beethoven was often in poor health, and in 1826 his health took a drastic turn for the worse. His death in the following year is usually attributed to liver disease. FAMOUS COMPOSITIONS:
Ode to Joy
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Born in 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the second child in the family of Leopold Mozart of Salzburg, Austria. Like his older sister Marian he showed great musical talent beginning at a very young age. One day at age three, as his father concluded a piano lesson with his sister young Wolfgang walked over to the piano and began to play back the lessons that had just been taught to his older sibling. This event brought his father to begin active music instruction with Wolfgang, and within a year he was already an accomplished pianist. By age five he began to compose pieces of music for the piano , with his father writing down the notes as he played them. Eventually Wolfgang learned to write music notation and his writing flourished. One day he told his father that he was writing a concerto. After looking at the manuscript his father was quoted as saying, "It is a pity it can not be made use of. It is so difficult that no one could play it." His son replied, "It is a concerto, and must be studied till it can be played properly." Wolfgang then walked to the piano and played it. Mozart family travelled extensively throughout Austria, Germany, Italy, and England beginning in 1762 when Wolfgang was only six years old. A year later he was playing for Louis XV in Versailles where he played with young Marie Antoinette. In1764 they moved to London where Wolfgang met Johann Christian Bach and was inspired to write his first three symphonies, still only at age eight. In the coming years the family continued performing during...
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