While Ludwig van Beethoven and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky have much in common, they also have many differences. Both men are famous for their orchestral compositions and their future influence on other composers. They experienced a blend of horrible failures and great successes. Although they were from different musical time periods, they both made huge contributions to the world of music.
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany 1770; the second half of the classical period. After the death of his grandfather, who was also named Ludwig van Beethoven, the family was on a downward slope financially. As far as physical appearances are concerned, young Beethoven looked much like his grandfather. Beethoven was forced to leave school at the age of eleven in order to support his family. He became an assistant court organist to Christian Gottlob Neefe, through whom Beethoven had his first composition, Nine Variations on a March by Dressler. After seeing Beethoven’s musical progress the arch-bishop Maximilian Francis sent him to study with Wolfgang A. Mozart in Vienna. While Beethoven was studying with Mozart his mother died and he traveled back to Bonn where he continued to serve as a court musician. Joseph Haydn, another accomplished musician, offered to take Beethoven as a student. Beethoven accepted and moved back to Vienna where he continued to live for the remainder of his life. The works that he composed in Vienna were happily accepted by the people. Beethoven wrote to his brother saying, “Things are going well with me, thoroughly well. My art wins friends and consideration for me; and what more can I ask?” (Capell 378). The community loved his piano virtuosity and improvisational skills. Soon Haydn’s lessons were proving useless to Beethoven and he began to see other instructors in private. His first public appearance in 1795 was a landmark in his career. He performed a concerto by Mozart and a concerto of his own. Over the following
Cited: Capell, Richard. Beethoven, Music and Letters, Vol.19, No.4 Oxford University Press: Oct. 1938, p. 375-390 Kamien, Roger. Music: An Appreciation 6th Brief Ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill 2008 Kolisch, Rudolf, Arthur Mendel. Tempo and Character in Beethoven 's Music Part I The Musical Quarterly,Vol. 29, No. 2. Oxford University Press: Apr. 1943, p. 169-187 Lane, William. Beethoven: The Immortal. Jan. 16, 2006 <http://lucare.com/immortal> Sabaneev, Leonid, S.W. Pring Tchaikovsky The Musical Times, Vol. 70, No. 1031. Musical Times Publications Ltd. Jan. 1929, p. 20-23 Slonimsky, Nicolas. Further Light on Tchaikovsky The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 24,No. 2 Oxford University Press: Apr. 1938, p. 139-146