Music is might not be the universal language but it plays an important role in human culture as well as the society. Music is not only provide entertainment but it is also a tool for a composer and listeners to release emotion. The best well-known for his inspiring power and expressiveness music is Ludwig van Beethoven. He was a musical genius whose composed some of the most influential pieces of music ever written. During the Classical period, Beethoven’s compositions were the expression as one of the most powerful musical personalities. Although Beethoven was influenced by most of the famous composers such as Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, etc. but he was also innovated new techniques that will be seen in the next music period. Beethoven built a musical bridge from the Classical style and the new beginning of Romanticism.
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany and was baptized on December 17, 1770. He was the descendant of two generations of the court musician, Ludwig van Beethoven, his grandfather and Johann van Beethoven, his father. Beethoven’s father cruelly made him practice music every night until the morning next day so that he could claim Beethoven as a profitable child prodigy like Mozart at a time. When Beethoven was eight years old, he gave his first public performance as a pianist. Few years later, Beethoven held a position as assistant to the court organist, Christian Gottlob Neefe, and that when he received the necessary systematic training in piano performance and composition. In early 1787, he went to Vienna to study under Mozart but quickly returned when he heard his mother was dying. Mozart reportedly said to people about Beethoven, “Keep you eyes on him; someday he will give the world something to talk about,” Mozart commented on Beethoven. (Kamien 254). After his mom died, Beethoven at the age of nineteen had to look after his two younger brothers and a father who had become an alcoholic. At the age of twenty-second, Beethoven decided to move to Vienna to live and studied with Franz Joseph Haydn but because of Haydn’s busy life as a famous composer Beethoven soon moved to study with other composers. By the year of 1795, Beethoven had establish a name for himself as a pianist who dazzled people with his piano virtuosity and improvisation.
Unlike Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, for whom writing music seemed to come easily and almost always completed in his head before he ever wrote down. Beethoven always struggled to complete his work and sometimes it might take him for years to work on a single symphony. His music writing was sloppy and he was always making correction in his composition. Beethoven’s stylistic innovation brought many developments that would used by composers who came after him. Beethoven was not only brought the Classical form to its highest expressive level but he also expanded its formal structural and harmonic term. In his composition, the repetitious of rhythmic ideas used to create momentum and excitement is slowly built up through syncopations and dissonances. (Kamien 257). His music is “… perhaps too easy to give the impression that all of it is stormy and powerful. A lot is, but much is gentle, humorous, noble, or lyrical,” (Kamien 257).
According to scholars, Beethoven’s styles of music divided into three period. The early period, the compositions that Beethoven wrote were the effort to master the classical language of the period. Most of his works were often under influenced of his predecessors Haydn, Mozart and his teacher, Christian Gottlob Neefe. Beethoven explored new directions and gradually expanded the scope and ambition in his work. In this early period, some of his important pieces are the first two symphonies, the first six string quartets, the first three piano concerto, and the first twenty piano sonatas. One of his famous composition from the early period was Pathetique published in 1798, a famous Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13. The...
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