Monday, 6 January 2014


My 3 main men of classical music are Bach, Brahms and Schubert so I didn't know a lot about Beethoven except what everyone knows – Fur Elise and that he went deaf.

So the library came to the rescue and I thought I would share a little bit more about him with you.

He was boan in Bonn Germany in 1770.  He was the second of seven children – four of whom died as young children.

He was musical from an early age and was in fact seen as Mozart's successor.  He studied with Haydn so was taught by a great master.

He was a very grumpy man – even before he was tormented by increasing deafness.  He had romantic entanglements but never married.  He proposed a few times but was always turned down.  He was extremely messy but very methodical about his music.

He was the first major composer whose music was regularly published during his lifetime.  This was a source of income although he got one off payments from the publishers rather than royalties.

He was in his early 30's when the deafness became a major issue although he had complained for years about a variety of illnesses.  He might have been a bit of a hypochondriac.

What about his music, I can hear you saying.  Well he had done all his greatest works (except the 9th symphony) by the time he was 41.  Even if he hadn't composed he would have been famous as a pianist.

His most famous works include (if I've done it right, if you click the name there should be a short audio clip of the work);

Fur Elise (click here to get to a link for hearing this)

Pathetique Sonata  (Youtube link for first movement here)

Moonlight Sonata (link to audio)

5th Symphony – with that famous introduction (youtube link for first movement here)

He died in Vienna in 1827 and is buried there. 

There are 2 pop songs called Roll Over Beethoven – one a hit by Chuck Berry and the other by the Beatles.
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