Beethoven, Ludwig van
Ludwig van Beethoven (17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a musician and composer from Germany. Beethoven is regarded as one of the most admired composers in Western music history; his works are among the most often performed in the classical music canon, spanning the transition from the classical to the romantic periods. His career has usually been classified into three periods: early, middle, and late. The "early" period, when he honed his skill, is generally thought to have lasted until 1802. From 1802 to 1812, his "middle" phase exhibited a distinct evolution from Joseph Haydn's and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "classical" styles and is sometimes referred to as "heroic." During this moment, he became deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deaf He continued to innovate in musical form and expression throughout his "late" phase, from 1812 till his death in 1827. His first significant orchestral piece was published in 1800, while his first set of string quartets was published in 1801. His hearing began to fail around this time, yet he continued to conduct, premiering his Third and Fifth Symphonies in 1804 and 1808.
In 1806 Beethoven published his Violin Concerto. In 1810, Beethoven's final piano concerto (No. 5, Op. 73, dubbed the "Emperor"), dedicated to his frequent patron Archduke Rudolf of Austria, was presented, although without Beethoven's soloist. By 1814, he was nearly completely deaf, and he stopped performing and appearing in public. In two letters, his "Heiligenstadt Testament" (1802) to his brothers and his unsent love letter to an unknown "Immortal Beloved," he revealed his health issues and unfulfilled personal life (1812). Beethoven created several of his most famous works, including his later symphonies, mature chamber music, and piano sonatas, in the years after 1810, as he became less socially involved. Fidelio, his only opera, was initially presented in 1805 and was reworked to its final version in 1814. He wrote his Missa Solemnis between 1819 and 1823, and his Ninth Symphony, one of the first choral symphonies, between 1822 and 1824. His late string quartets of 1825–1826 are his final successes, written in his later years. He died in 1827 after a few months of bedridden illness. However, Beethoven's works are still famous in the classical music world.
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