Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven (/ˈlʊdvɪɡ væn
ˈbeɪˌtoʊvən/ ( listen), /ˈbeɪtˌhoʊvən/; German:
[ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːtˌhoˑfn̩] ( listen); baptised
17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German
composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the
Classical and Romantic eras in Classical music, he remains one of the
most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known
compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 1 violin
concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the
Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio.
Born in Bonn, then the capital of the
Electorate of Cologne
Electorate of Cologne and part
of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at
an early age and was taught by his father
Johann van Beethoven
Johann van Beethoven and by
composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. At the age of 21 he
moved to Vienna, where he began studying composition with Joseph Haydn
and gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna
until his death. By his late 20s his hearing began to deteriorate, and
by the last decade of his life he was almost completely deaf. In 1811
he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to
compose; many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years
of his life.
1.1 Background and early life
1.2 Establishing his career in Vienna
1.3 Musical maturity
1.4 Loss of hearing
1.6 Middle period
1.7 Personal and family difficulties
1.8 Custody struggle and illness
1.9 Late works
1.10 Illness and death
2.2 The three periods
5 See also
6.2 Cited sources
6.3 Other sources
7 External links
Background and early life
Beethoven's birthplace at Bonngasse 20, now the Beethoven House
Beethoven was the grandson of
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven (1712–73), a
musician from the town of
Mechelen in the
Duchy of Brabant
Duchy of Brabant in the
Flemish region of what is now Belgium, who at the age of 21 moved to
Bonn. Ludwig (he adopted the German cognate of the Dutch
Lodewijk) was employed as a bass singer at the court of the Elector of
Cologne, eventually rising to become, in 1761,
director) and thereafter the pre-eminent musician in Bonn. The
portrait he commissioned of himself towards the end of his life
remained proudly displayed in his grandson's rooms as a talisman of
his musical heritage. Ludwig had one son, Johann (1740–1792), who
worked as a tenor in the same musical establishment and gave keyboard
and violin lessons to supplement his income. Johann married Maria
Magdalena Keverich in 1767; she was the daughter of Johann Heinrich
Keverich (1701–1751), who had been the head chef at the court of the
Archbishopric of Trier.
Prince-Elector's Palace (Kurfürstliches Schloss) in Bonn, where the
Beethoven family had been active since the 1730s
Beethoven was born of this marriage in Bonn. There is no authentic
record of the date of his birth; however, the registry of his baptism,
in a Catholic service at the Parish of St. Regius on 17 December
1770, survives. As children of that era were traditionally baptised
the day after birth in the Catholic Rhine country, and it is known
that Beethoven's family and his teacher Johann Albrechtsberger
celebrated his birthday on 16 December, most scholars accept
16 December 1770 as his date of birth. Of the seven
children born to Johann van Beethoven, only Ludwig, the second-born,
and two younger brothers survived infancy. Kaspar Anton Karl was born
on 8 April 1774, and Nikolaus Johann, the youngest, was born on
2 October 1776.
Beethoven's first music teacher was his father. He later had other
local teachers: the court organist Gilles van den Eeden (d. 1782),
Tobias Friedrich Pfeiffer (a family friend, who provided keyboard
tuition), and Franz Rovantini (a relative, who instructed him in
playing the violin and viola). From the outset his tuition regime,
which began in his fifth year, was harsh and intensive, often reducing
him to tears; with the involvement of the insomniac Pfeiffer there
were irregular late-night sessions with the young Beethoven being
dragged from his bed to the keyboard. His musical talent was
obvious at a young age. Johann, aware of Leopold Mozart's successes in
this area (with his son Wolfgang and daughter Nannerl), attempted to
promote his son as a child prodigy, claiming that Beethoven was six
(he was seven) on the posters for his first public performance in
Some time after 1779, Beethoven began his studies with his most
important teacher in Bonn, Christian Gottlob Neefe, who was appointed
Organist in that year. Neefe taught him composition,
and by March 1783 had helped him write his first published
composition: a set of keyboard variations (
WoO 63). Beethoven soon
began working with Neefe as assistant organist, at first unpaid
(1781), and then as a paid employee (1784) of the court chapel
conducted by the
Kapellmeister Andrea Luchesi. His first three piano
sonatas, named "Kurfürst" ("Elector") for their dedication to the
Elector Maximilian Friedrich (1708–1784), were published in 1783.
Maximilian Frederick noticed his talent early, and subsidised and
encouraged the young man's musical studies.
A portrait of the 13-year-old Beethoven by an unknown
Maximilian Frederick's successor as the Elector of
Bonn was Maximilian
Francis, the youngest son of Empress
Maria Theresa of Austria, and he
brought notable changes to Bonn. Echoing changes made in
Vienna by his
brother Joseph, he introduced reforms based on Enlightenment
philosophy, with increased support for education and the arts. The
teenage Beethoven was almost certainly influenced by these changes. He
may also have been influenced at this time by ideas prominent in
freemasonry, as Neefe and others around Beethoven were members of the
local chapter of the Order of the Illuminati.
In December 1786 Beethoven travelled to Vienna, at his employer's
expense, for the first time, apparently in the hope of studying with
Mozart. The details of their relationship are uncertain, including
whether they actually met. Having learned that his mother was ill,
Beethoven returned quickly to
Bonn in May 1787. His mother died
shortly thereafter, and his father lapsed deeper into alcoholism. As a
result, he became responsible for the care of his two younger
brothers, and spent the next five years in Bonn.
He was introduced in these years to several people who became
important in his life. Franz Wegeler, a young medical student,
introduced him to the von Breuning family (one of whose daughters
Wegeler eventually married). He often visited the von Breuning
household, where he taught piano to some of the children. Here he
encountered German and classical literature. The von Breuning family
environment was less stressful than his own, which was increasingly
dominated by his father's decline. He also came to the attention
of Count Ferdinand von Waldstein, who became a lifelong friend and
In 1789 Beethoven obtained a legal order by which half of his father's
salary was paid directly to him for support of the family. He also
contributed further to the family's income by playing viola in the
court orchestra. This familiarised him with a variety of operas,
including three by Mozart that were performed at court in this period.
He also befriended Anton Reicha, a flautist and violinist of about his
own age who was a nephew of the court orchestra's conductor, Josef
From 1790 to 1792, he composed a significant number of works (none
were published at the time, and most are now listed as works without
opus number) that demonstrated his growing range and maturity.
Musicologists have identified a theme similar to those of his Third
Symphony in a set of variations written in 1791. It was probably
on Neefe's recommendation that Beethoven received his first
commissions; the municipal leaders in
Bonn had commissioned cantatas
to mark the occasion of the death in 1790 of Franz Joseph II and the
subsequent accession of Leopold II as Holy Roman Emperor. The two
Emperor Cantatas (
WoO 88) he scored were never performed at
the time and they remained lost until the 1880s. But they were,
according to Brahms, distinctively "Beethoven through and through" and
as such prophetic of the tragic style which would mark his music as
distinct from the classical tradition.
He was probably first introduced to
Joseph Haydn in late 1790, when
the latter was travelling to London and stopped in
Christmas time. A year and a half later, they met in
Haydn's return trip from London to
Vienna in July 1792, and it is
likely that arrangements were made at that time for Beethoven to study
with the old master.
Establishing his career in Vienna
With the Elector's help, he left
Vienna in November 1792,
amid rumours of war spilling out of France; he learned shortly after
his arrival that his father had died. Mozart had also
recently died. Count Waldstein, in his farewell note to Beethoven,
wrote: "Through uninterrupted diligence you will receive Mozart's
spirit through Haydn's hands." Over the next few years, Beethoven
responded to the widespread feeling that he was a successor to the
recently deceased Mozart by studying that master's work and writing
works with a distinctly Mozartean flavour.
Portrait of Beethoven as a young man by Carl Traugott Riedel
Beethoven did not immediately set out to establish himself as a
composer, but rather devoted himself to study and performance. Working
under Haydn's direction, he sought to master counterpoint. He also
studied violin under Ignaz Schuppanzigh. Early in this period, he
also began receiving occasional instruction from Antonio Salieri,
primarily in Italian vocal composition style; this relationship
persisted until at least 1802, and possibly 1809. With Haydn's
departure for England in 1794, Beethoven was expected by the Elector
to return home. He chose instead to remain in Vienna, continuing his
instruction in counterpoint with Johann Albrechtsberger and other
teachers. Although his stipend from the Elector expired, a number of
Viennese noblemen had already recognised his ability and offered him
financial support, among them Prince Joseph Franz Lobkowitz, Prince
Karl Lichnowsky, and Baron Gottfried van Swieten.
By 1793, he had established a reputation as an improviser in the
salons of the nobility, often playing the preludes and fugues of J. S.
Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. His friend
Nikolaus Simrock had
begun publishing his compositions; the first are believed to be a set
of variations (
WoO 66). By 1793, he had established a reputation
Vienna as a piano virtuoso, but he apparently withheld works from
publication so that their publication in 1795 would have greater
impact. His first public performance in
Vienna was in March 1795,
a concert in which he first performed one of his piano concertos. It
is uncertain whether this was the First or Second. Documentary
evidence is unclear, and both concertos were in a similar state of
near-completion (neither was completed or published for several
years). Shortly after this performance, he arranged for the
publication of the first of his compositions to which he assigned an
opus number, the three piano trios, Opus 1. These works were dedicated
to his patron Prince Lichnowsky, and were a financial success;
Beethoven's profits were nearly sufficient to cover his living
expenses for a year.
Beethoven composed his first six string quartets (Op. 18) between 1798
and 1800 (commissioned by, and dedicated to, Prince Lobkowitz). They
were published in 1801. With premieres of his First and Second
Symphonies in 1800 and 1803, he became regarded as one of the most
important of a generation of young composers following Haydn and
Mozart. He also continued to write in other forms, turning out widely
known piano sonatas like the "Pathétique" sonata (Op. 13), which
Cooper describes as "surpass[ing] any of his previous compositions, in
strength of character, depth of emotion, level of originality, and
ingenuity of motivic and tonal manipulation." He also completed
his Septet (Op. 20) in 1799, which was one of his most popular works
during his lifetime.
Beethoven in 1803, painted by Christian Horneman
For the premiere of his First Symphony, he hired the
2 April 1800, and staged an extensive programme of music,
including works by Haydn and Mozart, as well as his Septet, the First
Symphony, and one of his piano concertos (the latter three works all
then unpublished). The concert, which the Allgemeine musikalische
Zeitung described as "the most interesting concert in a long time,"
was not without difficulties; among the criticisms was that "the
players did not bother to pay any attention to the soloist."
Mozart and Haydn were undeniable influences. For example, Beethoven's
quintet for piano and winds is said to bear a strong resemblance to
Mozart's work for the same configuration, albeit with his own
distinctive touches. But his melodies, musical development, use of
modulation and texture, and characterisation of emotion all set him
apart from his influences, and heightened the impact some of his early
works made when they were first published. By the end of 1800,
Beethoven and his music were already much in demand from patrons and
Ludwig van Beethoven: detail of an 1804–05 portrait by Joseph
Willibrord Mähler. The complete painting depicts Beethoven with a
In May 1799, Beethoven taught piano to the daughters of Hungarian
Countess Anna Brunsvik. During this time, he fell in love with the
younger daughter Josephine who has therefore been identified as
one of the more likely candidates for the addressee of his letter to
the "Immortal Beloved" (in 1812). Shortly after these lessons,
Josephine was married to Count Josef Deym. Beethoven was a regular
visitor at their house, continuing to teach Josephine, and playing at
parties and concerts. Her marriage was by all accounts happy (despite
initial financial problems), and the couple had four children. Her
relationship with Beethoven intensified after Deym died suddenly in
He also had few other students. From 1801 to 1805, he tutored
Ferdinand Ries, who went on to become a composer and later wrote
Beethoven remembered, a book about their encounters. The young Carl
Czerny studied with Beethoven from 1801 to 1803. Czerny went on to
become a renowned music teacher himself, instructing Franz Liszt, and
on 11 February 1812 gave the
Vienna premiere of Beethoven's fifth
piano concerto (the "Emperor").
His compositions between 1800 and 1802 were dominated by two
large-scale orchestral works, although he continued to produce other
important works such as the piano sonata Sonata quasi una fantasia
known as the "Moonlight Sonata". In the spring of 1801 he completed
The Creatures of Prometheus, a ballet. The work received numerous
performances in 1801 and 1802, and he rushed to publish a piano
arrangement to capitalise on its early popularity. In the spring
of 1802 he completed the Second Symphony, intended for performance at
a concert that was cancelled. The symphony received its premiere
instead at a subscription concert in April 1803 at the Theater an der
Wien, where he had been appointed composer in residence. In addition
to the Second Symphony, the concert also featured the First Symphony,
Piano Concerto, and the oratorio Christ on the Mount of
Olives. Reviews were mixed, but the concert was a financial success;
he was able to charge three times the cost of a typical concert
His business dealings with publishers also began to improve in 1802
when his brother Kaspar, who had previously assisted him casually,
began to assume a larger role in the management of his affairs. In
addition to negotiating higher prices for recently composed works,
Kaspar also began selling some of his earlier unpublished
compositions, and encouraged him (against Beethoven's preference) to
also make arrangements and transcriptions of his more popular works
for other instrument combinations. Beethoven acceded to these
requests, as he could not prevent publishers from hiring others to do
similar arrangements of his works.
Loss of hearing
Beethoven is reported to have dated his hearing loss from a fit he
suffered in 1798 induced by a rage at the interruption of his
work—having fallen over, he got up to find himself deaf. His hearing
only ever partially recovered and, during its gradual decline, was
impeded by a severe form of tinnitus. As early as 1801, he wrote
to friends describing his symptoms and the difficulties they caused in
both professional and social settings (although it is likely some of
his close friends were already aware of the problems).
The cause of his deafness is unknown, but has variously been
attributed to typhus, auto-immune disorders (such as systemic lupus
erythematosus), and even his habit of immersing his head in cold water
to stay awake. The explanation from his autopsy was that he had a
"distended inner ear", which developed lesions over time.[citation
Beethoven in 1815 portrait by Joseph Willibrord Mähler
On the advice of his doctor, Beethoven lived in the small Austrian
town of Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna, from April to October 1802
in an attempt to come to terms with his condition. There he wrote his
Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter to his brothers which records his
thoughts of suicide due to his growing deafness and records his
resolution to continue living for and through his art. Over time,
his hearing loss became profound: at the end of the premiere of his
Symphony in 1824, he had to be turned around to see the
tumultuous applause of the audience because he could hear neither it
nor the orchestra. His hearing loss did not prevent him from composing
music, but it made playing at concerts—a lucrative source of
income—increasingly difficult. After a failed attempt in 1811 to
perform his own
Concerto No. 5 (the "Emperor"), which was
premiered by his student Carl Czerny, he never performed in public
again until he directed the premiere performance of the Ninth Symphony
in 1824, which involved him giving cues to conductor Michael
A large collection of his hearing aids, such as a special ear horn,
can be viewed at the
Beethoven House Museum in Bonn, Germany. Despite
his obvious distress, Czerny remarked that Beethoven could still hear
speech and music normally until 1812. Around 1814 however, by the
age of 44, he was almost totally deaf, and when a group of visitors
saw him play a loud arpeggio of thundering bass notes at his piano
remarking, "Ist es nicht schön?" (Is it not beautiful?), they felt
deep sympathy considering his courage and sense of humour (he lost the
ability to hear higher frequencies first).
As a result of Beethoven's hearing loss, his conversation books are an
unusually rich written resource. Used primarily in the last ten or so
years of his life, his friends wrote in these books so that he could
know what they were saying, and he then responded either orally or in
the book. The books contain discussions about music and other matters,
and give insights into his thinking; they are a source for
investigations into how he intended his music should be performed, and
also his perception of his relationship to art. Out of a total of 400
conversation books, it has been suggested[by whom?] that 264 were
destroyed (and others were altered) after his death by his secretary
Anton Schindler, who wished only an idealised biography of the
composer to survive. However,
Theodore Albrecht contests the
verity of Schindler's destruction of a large number of conversation
Beethoven's patron, Archduke Rudolph
While Beethoven earned income from publication of his works and from
public performances, he also depended on the generosity of patrons for
income, for whom he gave private performances and copies of works they
commissioned for an exclusive period prior to their publication. Some
of his early patrons, including Prince Lobkowitz and Prince
Lichnowsky, gave him annual stipends in addition to commissioning
works and purchasing published works.
Perhaps his most important aristocratic patron was Archduke Rudolph,
the youngest son of Emperor Leopold II, who in 1803 or 1804 began to
study piano and composition with him. The cleric (Cardinal-Priest) and
the composer became friends, and their meetings continued until
1824. Beethoven dedicated 14 compositions to Rudolph, including
the Archduke Trio (1811) and Missa solemnis (1823). Rudolph, in turn,
dedicated one of his own compositions to Beethoven. The letters
Beethoven wrote to Rudolph are today kept at the Gesellschaft der
Musikfreunde in Vienna. Another patron was Count (later Prince)
Andreas Razumovsky, for whom the String Quartets Nos. 7–9, Op. 59,
Rasumovsky were named.
In the autumn of 1808, after having been rejected for a position at
the royal theatre, he received an offer from Napoleon's brother
Jérôme Bonaparte, then king of Westphalia, for a well-paid position
Kapellmeister at the court in Cassel. To persuade him to stay in
Vienna, the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky and Prince Lobkowitz,
after receiving representations from the composer's friends, pledged
to pay him a pension of 4000 florins a year. Only Archduke Rudolph
paid his share of the pension on the agreed date. Kinsky,
immediately called to military duty, did not contribute and soon died
after falling from his horse. Lobkowitz stopped paying in September
1811. No successors came forward to continue the patronage, and
Beethoven relied mostly on selling composition rights and a small
pension after 1815. The effects of these financial arrangements were
undermined to some extent by war with France, which caused significant
inflation when the government printed money to fund its war
Beethoven Monument in Bonn, Münsterplatz
Beethoven's return to
Vienna from Heiligenstadt was marked by a change
in musical style, and is now designated as the start of his middle or
"heroic" period. According to Carl Czerny, Beethoven said, "I am not
satisfied with the work I have done so far. From now on I intend to
take a new way." This "heroic" phase was characterised by a large
number of original works composed on a grand scale. The first
major work employing this new style was the Third
Symphony in E flat,
known as the Eroica. This work was longer and larger in scope than any
previous symphony. When it premiered in early 1805 it received a mixed
reception. Some listeners objected to its length or misunderstood its
structure, while others viewed it as a masterpiece.
Symphony No. 5, Op. 67 (1st movement)
composed during Beethoven's middle period
Problems playing this file? See media help.
The "middle period" is sometimes associated with a "heroic" manner of
composing, but the use of the term "heroic" has become
increasingly controversial in Beethoven scholarship. The term is more
frequently used as an alternative name for the middle period. The
appropriateness of the term "heroic" to describe the whole middle
period has been questioned as well: while some works, like the Third
and Fifth Symphonies, are easy to describe as "heroic", many others,
Symphony No. 6, Pastoral, are not.
Some of the middle period works extend the musical language he had
inherited from Haydn and Mozart. The middle period work includes the
Third through Eighth Symphonies, the Rasumovsky, Harp and Serioso
string quartets, the Waldstein and Appassionata piano sonatas, Christ
on the Mount of Olives, the opera Fidelio, the
many other compositions. During this time his income came from
publishing his works, from performances of them, and from his patrons.
His position at the
Theater an der Wien
Theater an der Wien was terminated when the
theatre changed management in early 1804, and he was forced to move
temporarily to the suburbs of
Vienna with his friend Stephan von
Breuning. This slowed work on Fidelio, his largest work to date, for a
time. It was delayed again by the Austrian censor, and finally
premiered in November 1805 to houses that were nearly empty because of
the French occupation of the city. In addition to being a financial
failure, this version of
Fidelio was also a critical failure, and
Beethoven began revising it.
During May 1809, when the attacking forces of
Vienna, according to Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven, very worried that the
noise would destroy what remained of his hearing, hid in the basement
of his brother's house, covering his ears with pillows.
The work of the middle period established Beethoven as a master. In a
review from 1810, he was enshrined by
E. T. A. Hoffmann
E. T. A. Hoffmann as one of the
three great "Romantic" composers, along with Haydn and Mozart;
Hoffmann called his Fifth
Symphony "one of the most important works of
Personal and family difficulties
Beethoven's love life was hampered by class issues. In late 1801 he
met a young countess, Julie ("Giulietta") Guicciardi through the
Brunsvik family, at a time when he was giving regular piano lessons to
Josephine Brunsvik. He mentions his love for Julie in a November 1801
letter to his boyhood friend, Franz Wegeler, but he could not consider
marrying her, due to the class difference. He later dedicated his
Sonata No. 14, now commonly known as the Moonlight sonata, to her.
Problems playing this file? See media help.
His relationship with
Josephine Brunsvik deepened after the death in
1804 of her aristocratic first husband, the Count Joseph Deym. He
wrote Josephine 15 passionate love letters from late 1804 to around
1809/10. Although his feelings were obviously reciprocated, Josephine
was forced by her family to withdraw from him in 1807. She cited her
"duty" and the fact that she would have lost the custodianship of her
aristocratic children had she married a commoner. After Josephine
married Baron von Stackelberg in 1810, Beethoven may have proposed
unsuccessfully to Therese Malfatti, the supposed dedicatee of "Für
Elise"; his status as a commoner may again have interfered
with those plans.
Life mask made in 1812
In the spring of 1811 Beethoven became seriously ill, suffering
headaches and high fever. On the advice of his doctor, he spent six
weeks in the Bohemian spa town of Teplitz. The following winter, which
was dominated by work on the Seventh symphony, he was again ill, and
his doctor ordered him to spend the summer of 1812 at the spa Teplitz.
It is certain that he was at Teplitz when he wrote a love letter to
his "Immortal Beloved". The identity of the intended recipient has
long been a subject of debate; candidates include Julie Guicciardi,
Therese Malfatti, Josephine Brunsvik, and Antonie Brentano.
He visited his brother Johann at the end of October 1812. He wished to
end Johann's cohabitation with Therese Obermayer, a woman who already
had an illegitimate child. He was unable to convince Johann to end the
relationship and appealed to the local civic and religious
authorities. Johann and Therese married on 9 November.
Beethoven in 1814. Portrait by Louis-René Létronne.
In early 1813 Beethoven apparently went through a difficult emotional
period, and his compositional output dropped. His personal appearance
degraded—it had generally been neat—as did his manners in public,
especially when dining. He took care of his brother (who was suffering
from tuberculosis) and his family, an expense that he claimed left him
Beethoven was finally motivated to begin significant composition again
in June 1813, when news arrived of the defeat of one of Napoleon's
armies at Vitoria, Spain, by a coalition of forces under the Duke of
Wellington. This news stimulated him to write the battle symphony
known as Wellington's Victory. It was first performed on
8 December, along with his Seventh Symphony, at a charity concert
for victims of the war. The work was a popular hit, probably because
of its programmatic style, which was entertaining and easy to
understand. It received repeat performances at concerts he staged in
January and February 1814. His renewed popularity led to demands for a
revival of Fidelio, which, in its third revised version, was also well
received at its July opening. That summer he composed a piano sonata
for the first time in five years (No. 27, Opus 90). This work was in a
markedly more Romantic style than his earlier sonatas. He was also one
of many composers who produced music in a patriotic vein to entertain
the many heads of state and diplomats who came to the Congress of
Vienna that began in November 1814. His output of songs included his
only song cycle, "An die ferne Geliebte," and the extraordinarily
expressive second setting of the poem "An die Hoffnung" (Op. 94) in
1815. Compared to its first setting in 1805 (a gift for Josephine
Brunsvik), it was "far more dramatic ... The entire spirit is
that of an operatic scena."
Custody struggle and illness
Between 1815 and 1817 Beethoven's output dropped again. He attributed
part of this to a lengthy illness (he called it an "inflammatory
fever") that afflicted him for more than a year, starting in October
1816. Biographers have speculated on a variety of other reasons
that also contributed to the decline, including the difficulties in
the personal lives of his would-be paramours and the harsh censorship
policies of the Austrian government. The illness and death of his
brother Kaspar from tuberculosis may also have played a role.
Beethoven in 1818 by August Klöber
Kaspar had been ill for some time, and Beethoven spent a small fortune
in 1815 on his care. After Kaspar died on 15 November 1815,
Beethoven immediately became embroiled in a protracted legal dispute
with Kaspar's wife Johanna over custody of their son Karl (de),
then nine years old. Beethoven, who considered Johanna an unfit parent
because of her morals (she had an illegitimate child by a different
father before marrying Kaspar and had been convicted of theft) and
financial management, had successfully applied to Kaspar to have
himself named sole guardian of the boy. A late codicil to Kaspar's
will gave him and Johanna joint guardianship. While Beethoven was
successful at having his nephew removed from her custody in February
1816, the case was not fully resolved until 1820, and he was
frequently preoccupied by the demands of the litigation and seeing to
the welfare of Karl, whom he first placed in a private school.
The Austrian court system had one court for the nobility and members
of the Landtafel, the Landrechte, and many other courts for commoners,
among them the Civil Court of the
Vienna Magistrate. Beethoven
disguised the fact that the Dutch "van" in his name did not denote
nobility as does the German "von" and his case was tried in the
Landrechte. Owing to his influence with the court, Beethoven felt
assured of the favourable outcome of being awarded sole guardianship.
While giving evidence to the Landrechte, however, Beethoven was unable
to prove being of noble birth and as a consequence, on
18 December 1818 the case was transferred to the Magistracy,
where he lost sole guardianship.
He appealed and regained custody. Johanna's appeal to the Emperor was
not successful: the Emperor "washed his hands of the matter." During
the years of custody that followed, Beethoven attempted to ensure that
Karl lived to the highest moral standards. Beethoven had an
overbearing manner and frequently interfered in his nephew's life.
Karl attempted suicide on 31 July 1826 by shooting himself in the
head. He survived and was brought to his mother's house, where he
recuperated. He and Beethoven were reconciled, but Karl insisted on
joining the army and last saw Beethoven in January 1827.
Beethoven began a renewed study of older music, including works by
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel, that were then being
published in the first attempts at complete editions. He composed the
overture The Consecration of the House, which was the first work to
attempt to incorporate these influences. A new style emerged, now
called his "late period". He returned to the keyboard to compose his
first piano sonatas in almost a decade: the works of the late period
are commonly held to include the last five piano sonatas and the
Diabelli Variations, the last two sonatas for cello and piano, the
late string quartets (see below), and two works for very large forces:
the Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony.
By early 1818 his health had improved, and his nephew moved in with
him in January. On the downside, his hearing had deteriorated to the
point that conversation became difficult, necessitating the use of
conversation books. His household management had also improved
somewhat; Nanette Streicher, who had assisted in his care during his
illness, continued to provide some support, and he finally found a
skilled cook. His musical output in 1818 was still somewhat
reduced, but included song collections and the "Hammerklavier" Sonata,
as well as sketches for two symphonies that eventually coalesced into
the epic Ninth. In 1819 he was again preoccupied by the legal
processes around Karl, and began work on the
Diabelli Variations and
the Missa Solemnis.
For the next few years he continued to work on the Missa, composing
piano sonatas and bagatelles to satisfy the demands of publishers and
the need for income, and completing the Diabelli Variations. He was
ill again for an extended time in 1821, and completed the Missa in
1823, three years after its original due date. He also opened
discussions with his publishers over the possibility of producing a
complete edition of his work, an idea that was arguably not fully
realised until 1971. His brother Johann began to take
a hand in his business affairs, much in the way Kaspar had earlier,
locating older unpublished works to offer for publication and offering
the Missa to multiple publishers with the goal of getting a higher
price for it.
Two commissions in 1822 improved his financial prospects. The
Philharmonic Society of London offered a commission for a symphony,
and Prince Nikolas Golitsin of St. Petersburg offered to pay
Beethoven's price for three string quartets. The first of these
commissions spurred him to finish the Ninth Symphony, which was first
performed, along with the Missa Solemnis, on 7 May 1824, to great
acclaim at the Kärntnertortheater. The Allgemeine musikalische
Zeitung gushed, "inexhaustible genius had shown us a new world", and
Carl Czerny wrote that his symphony "breathes such a fresh, lively,
indeed youthful spirit ... so much power, innovation, and beauty
as ever [came] from the head of this original man, although he
certainly sometimes led the old wigs to shake their heads." Unlike his
more lucrative earlier concerts, this did not make him much money, as
the expenses of mounting it were significantly higher. A second
concert on 24 May, in which the producer guaranteed Beethoven a
minimum fee, was poorly attended; nephew Karl noted that "many people
[had] already gone into the country". It was Beethoven's last public
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 (1st movement)
written between 1821 and 1822, during Beethoven's late period
Problems playing this file? See media help.
Beethoven in 1823 by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
Beethoven then turned to writing the string quartets for Golitsin.
This series of quartets, known as the "Late Quartets," went far beyond
what musicians or audiences were ready for at that time. One
musician[who?] commented that "we know there is something there, but
we do not know what it is."
Louis Spohr called them
"indecipherable, uncorrected horrors." Opinion has changed
considerably from the time of their first bewildered reception: their
forms and ideas inspired musicians and composers including Richard
Wagner and Béla Bartók, and continue to do so. Of the late quartets,
Beethoven's favourite was the Fourteenth Quartet, op. 131 in C♯
minor, which he rated as his most perfect single work. The last
musical wish of Schubert was to hear the Op. 131 quartet, which he did
on 14 November 1828, five days before his death.
Beethoven wrote the last quartets amidst failing health. In April 1825
he was bedridden, and remained ill for about a month. The illness—or
more precisely, his recovery from it—is remembered for having given
rise to the deeply felt slow movement of the Fifteenth Quartet, which
he called "Holy song of thanks ('Heiliger Dankgesang') to the
divinity, from one made well." He went on to complete the quartets now
numbered Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Sixteenth. The last work
completed by Beethoven was the substitute final movement of the
Thirteenth Quartet, which replaced the difficult Große Fuge. Shortly
thereafter, in December 1826, illness struck again, with episodes of
vomiting and diarrhoea that nearly ended his life.
In 1825, his nine symphonies were performed in a cycle for the first
time, by the
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Johann Philipp
Christian Schulz. This was repeated in 1826.
Illness and death
Main article: Death of Ludwig van Beethoven
Death mask by Josef Danhauser
Beethoven's grave site,
Beethoven was bedridden for most of his remaining months, and many
friends came to visit. He died on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56
during a thunderstorm. His friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who was
present at the time, said that there was a peal of thunder at the
moment of death. An autopsy revealed significant liver damage, which
may have been due to heavy alcohol consumption. It also revealed
considerable dilation of the auditory and other related nerves.
Beethoven's funeral procession on 29 March 1827 was attended by
an estimated 20,000 Viennese citizens. Franz Schubert, who died the
following year and was buried next to him, was one of the
torchbearers. He was buried in a dedicated grave in the Währing
cemetery, north-west of Vienna, after a requiem mass at the church of
the Holy Trinity (Dreifaltigkeitskirche). His remains were exhumed for
study in 1862, and moved in 1888 to Vienna's Zentralfriedhof. In
2012, his crypt was checked to see if his teeth had been stolen during
a series of grave robberies of other famous Viennese composers.
There is dispute about the cause of Beethoven's death: alcoholic
cirrhosis, syphilis, infectious hepatitis, lead poisoning, sarcoidosis
Whipple's disease have all been proposed. Friends and visitors
before and after his death clipped locks of his hair, some of which
have been preserved and subjected to additional analysis, as have
skull fragments removed during the 1862 exhumation. Some of these
analyses have led to controversial assertions that he was accidentally
poisoned to death by excessive doses of lead-based treatments
administered under instruction from his doctor.
A bust by
Hugo Hagen based upon Beethoven's life mask
Further information: Beethoven's musical style, Beethoven and C minor,
and List of compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven is acknowledged to be one of the giants of classical music.
Together with Bach and Johannes Brahms, he is referred to as one of
the "three Bs" who epitomize that tradition. He was a pivotal figure
in the transition from the 18th century musical classicism to 19th
century romanticism, and his influence on subsequent generations of
composers was profound. His music features twice on the Voyager
Golden Record, a phonograph record containing a broad sample of the
images, common sounds, languages, and music of Earth, sent into outer
space with the two Voyager probes.
Beethoven composed in several musical genres and for a variety of
instrument combinations. His works for symphony orchestra include nine
symphonies (of which the Ninth
Symphony includes a chorus), and about
a dozen pieces of "occasional" music. He wrote seven concerti for one
or more soloists and orchestra, as well as four shorter works that
include soloists accompanied by orchestra. His only opera is Fidelio;
other vocal works with orchestral accompaniment include two masses and
a number of shorter works.
His large body of compositions for piano includes 32 piano sonatas and
numerous shorter pieces, including arrangements of some of his other
works. Works with piano accompaniment include 10 violin sonatas, 5
cello sonatas, and a sonata for French horn, as well as numerous
He also wrote a significant quantity of chamber music. In addition to
16 string quartets, he wrote five works for string quintet, seven for
piano trio, five for string trio, and more than a dozen works for
various combinations of wind instruments.
The three periods
Beethoven's compositional career is usually divided into early,
middle, and late periods. In this scheme, his early period is
taken to last until about 1802, the middle period from about 1803 to
about 1814, and the late period from about 1815.
In his early period, his work was strongly influenced by his
predecessors Haydn and Mozart. He also explored new directions and
gradually expanded the scope and ambition of his work. Some important
pieces from the early period are the first and second symphonies, the
set of six string quartets Opus 18, the first two piano concertos, and
the first dozen or so piano sonatas, including the famous Pathétique
sonata, Op. 13.
His middle (heroic) period began shortly after the personal crisis
brought on by his recognition of encroaching deafness. It includes
large-scale works that express heroism and struggle. Middle-period
works include six symphonies (Nos. 3–8), the last three piano
concertos, the Triple
Concerto and violin concerto, five string
quartets (Nos. 7–11), several piano sonatas (including the
Moonlight, Waldstein and Appassionata sonatas), the Kreutzer violin
sonata and his only opera, Fidelio.
Beethoven's late period began around 1815. Works from this period are
characterised by their intellectual depth, their formal innovations,
and their intense, highly personal expression. The String Quartet, Op.
131 has seven linked movements, and the Ninth
Symphony adds choral
forces to the orchestra in the last movement. Other compositions
from this period include the Missa Solemnis, the last five string
quartets (including the massive Große Fuge) and the last five piano
Beethoven's walk in nature, by Julius Schmid
Beethoven's life was troubled by his encroaching loss of hearing and
chronic abdominal pain since his twenties. He contemplated suicide as
documented in his Heiligenstadt Testament. He was often irascible.
Nevertheless, he had a close and devoted circle of friends all his
life, thought to have been attracted by his strength of personality.
Towards the end of his life, his friends competed in their efforts to
help him cope with his incapacities.
Sources show Beethoven's disdain for authority and for social rank. He
stopped performing at the piano if the audience chatted amongst
themselves, or afforded him less than their full attention. At
soirées, he refused to perform if suddenly called upon to do so.
Eventually, after many confrontations, the Archduke Rudolph decreed
that the usual rules of court etiquette did not apply to
He was attracted to the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment. In 1804,
when Napoleon's imperial ambitions became clear, Beethoven took hold
of the title page of his Third
Symphony and scratched the name
Bonaparte out so violently that he made a hole in the paper. He later
changed the work's title to "Sinfonia Eroica, composta per festeggiare
il sovvenire d'un grand'uom" ("Heroic Symphony, composed to celebrate
the memory of a great man"), and he rededicated it to his patron,
Prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowitz, at whose palace it was first
The fourth movement of his Ninth
Symphony features an elaborate choral
setting of Schiller's Ode An die Freude ("Ode to Joy"), an optimistic
hymn championing the brotherhood of humanity.
The Beethoven Monument, Bonn, was unveiled in August 1845, in honour
of his 75th anniversary. It was the first statue of a composer created
in Germany, and the music festival that accompanied the unveiling was
the impetus for the very hasty construction of the original
Bonn (it was designed and built within less than a
month, on the urging of Franz Liszt). A statue to Mozart had been
unveiled in Salzburg, Austria in 1842.
Vienna did not honour Beethoven
with a statue until 1880. His is the only name inscribed on one
of the plaques that trim
Symphony Hall, Boston; the others were left
empty because it was felt that only Beethoven's popularity would
There is a museum, the Beethoven House, the place of his birth, in
central Bonn. The same city has hosted a musical festival, the
Beethovenfest, since 1845. The festival was initially irregular but
has been organised annually since 2007.
Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies
Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies serves as a museum,
research center, and host of lectures and performances devoted solely
to this life and works.
The third largest crater on Mercury is named in his honour, as is the
main-belt asteroid 1815 Beethoven.
Book: Ludwig van Beethoven
Classical music portal
Beethoven and his contemporaries
Beethoven in film
List of classical music composers by era
^ a b Beethoven was baptised on 17 December. His date of birth
was often given as 16 December and his family and associates
celebrated his birthday on that date, and most scholars accept that he
was born on 16 December; however there is no documentary record of his
^ a b c Grove Online, section 1
^ Cooper 2008, p. 407.
^ Swafford 2014, pp. 12–17.
^ Thayer 1921, p. 49.
^ Thorne, J. O.; Collocott, T.C., eds. (1986). Chambers Biographical
Dictionary. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers Ltd. p. 114.
^ Thayer 1921, p. 53.
^ Solomon 2000, chapter 1.
^ a b Stanley, p. 7
^ Swafford 2014, pp. 22, 32.
^ Thayer 1921, p. 59.
^ Thayer 1921, p. 67.
^ Thayer 1921, pp. 71–74.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 15.
^ Haberl, Dieter (2006). "Beethovens erste Reise nach Wien – Die
Datierung seiner Schulreise zu W.A. Mozart". Neues
Musikwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch. 14: 215–255.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 23.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 24.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 16.
^ Thayer 1921, p. 102.
^ Thayer 1921, p. 104.
^ Thayer 1921, pp. 105–09.
^ Cooper 2008, pp. 35–41.
^ Swafford (2016), pp. 107–11
^ Cooper 2008, p. 35.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 41.
^ Thayer 1921, p. 124.
^ Thayer 1921, p. 148.
^ a b Cooper 2008, p. 42.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 43.
^ Grove Online, section 3
^ Cooper 2008, pp. 47, 54.
^ Thayer 1921, p. 161.
^ a b Cooper 2008, p. 53.
^ Cross (1953), p. 59
^ Cooper 2008, p. 46.
^ a b Cooper 2008, p. 59.
^ Lockwood 2005, p. 144.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 56.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 82.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 90.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 66.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 58.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 97.
^ See Beethoven's love letter, March/April 1805, in Schmidt-Görg
1957, pp. 12–14, where he referred to this time.
^ There were (as mentioned in Goldschmidt 1977, p. 484), over 100 love
letters between the newlyweds, indicating that a healthy erotic
relationship was growing between the spouses. Steblin 2009,
p. 155, n. 41 announced a forthcoming publication of these
^ Cooper 2008, p. 80.
^ Thayer 1921, p. 526 Prior to this first performance,
there were others based in earlier sketches, as early as 22 December
^ Cooper 2008, pp. 98–103.
^ Cooper 2008, pp. 112–27.
^ Cooper 2008, pp. 112–15.
^ Swafford 2014, pp. 223–24.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 108.
^ Loss of Hearing, Beethoven biography at beethoven.ws
^ Cooper 2008, p. 120.
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 at Encyclopædia Britannica
^ Ealy, George Thomas (Spring 1994). "Of Ear Trumpets and a Resonance
Plate: Early Hearing Aids and Beethoven's Hearing Perception".
19th-Century Music. 17 (3): 262–73.
doi:10.1525/ncm.1994.17.3.02a00050. JSTOR 746569.
^ Solomon 2000.
^ Clive 2001, p. 239.
^ "In any case, it now becomes abundantly clear that Schindler never
possessed as many as ca. 400 conversation books, and that he never
destroyed roughly five-eighths of that number." Theodore Albrecht,
Anton Schindler as destroyer and forger of Beethoven's conversation
books: A case for decriminalization", Music's Intellectual History,
RILM 2010, 168–81.
^ Cooper 2008, pp. 78–79.
^ Lockwood 2005, pp. 300–01.
^ Prevot, Dominique. "Beethoven's Pupils, Ludwig van Beethoven's
Website. Trans. Hannah Salter. Accessed 5 June 2014.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 195.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 131.
^ "Beethoven's Heroic Phase", The Musical Times, CX (1969), pp.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 148.
^ Solomon, Maynard (1990). Beethoven essays. Harvard University Press.
p. 124. ISBN 978-0-674-06379-2. Retrieved 4 August
^ Steinberg, Michael P. (2006). Listening to reason: culture,
subjectivity, and nineteenth-century music. Princeton University
Press. pp. 59–60. ISBN 978-0-691-12616-6. Retrieved 4
^ Burnham, Scott G.; Steinberg, Michael P. (2000). Beethoven and his
world. Princeton University Press. pp. 39–40.
ISBN 978-0-691-07073-5. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 150.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 185.
^ 1776-1822., Hoffmann, E. T. A. (Ernst Theodor Amadeus), (2003).
E.T.A. Hoffmann's musical writings : Kreisleriana, the poet and
the composer, music criticism. Charlton, David, 1946-. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521543398.
^ Steblin 2009.
^ Cooper 2008, pp. 146, 168.
^ Lorenz 2011.
^ Steblin 2014.
^ Brandenburg 1996, p. 582.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 212.
^ Lockwood 2005, p. 278.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 254.
^ a b On 18 December 1818, the Landrechte, the Austrian court for the
nobility, handed over the whole matter of guardianship to the Vienna
Magistrate, the court for commoners. "It ... appears from the
statement of Ludwig van Beethoven, as the accompanying copy of the
court minutes of 11 December of this year shows, that he is
unable to prove nobility: hence the matter of guardianship is
transferred to an honorable magistrate."
^ John Suchet. "Karl van Beethoven (1806–58) Beethoven's nephew".
Classic FM. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 260.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 317.
^ Cooper 2008, p. 318.
^ Morris 2010, p. 213.
^ Winter, Robert (1994). The Beethoven quartet companion. University
of California Press. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-520-20420-1.
Retrieved 4 August 2011.
^ Instant Encore. Retrieved 4 August 2014
^ Tom Service. "Riccardo Chailly on Beethoven: 'It's a long way from
the First to the Ninth'", The Guardian, 26 October 2011. Retrieved 4
^ a b Cooper 2008, pp. 318, 349.
^ Saccenti, Edoardo; Smilde, Age K; Saris, Wim H M (2011).
"Beethoven's deafness and his three styles". BMJ. 343: d7589.
doi:10.1136/bmj.d7589. PMID 22187391. See also correction:
"Beethoven's deafness and his three styles". BMJ. 344: e512. 2012.
^ Jovanovic, Dragana (3 July 2012). "Teeth Thief Hits Graves of Great
Composers". ABC. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
^ Mai, FM (2006). "Beethoven's terminal illness and death". The
journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. 36 (3):
258–63. PMID 17214130.
^ Meredith 2005, pp. 2–3.
^ Jahn, George (28 August 2007). "Pathologist: Doctor Killed
Beethoven". The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
^ Eisinger, Josef (2008). "The lead in Beethoven's hair".
Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry. 90: 1–5.
^ Lorenz, Michael (Winter 2007). "Commentary on Wawruch's Report:
Biographies of Andreas Wawruch and Johann Seibert, Schindler's
Responses to Wawruch's Report, and Beethoven's Medical Condition and
Alcohol Consumption". The Beethoven Journal. San Jose: The Ira
Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies. 22 (2): 92–100.
^ a b c d e Grove Online
^ "Golden Record Music List". NASA. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
^ Alessandra Comini, The Changing Image of Beethoven: A Study in
Mythmaking. Books.google.com.au. 2008-05-30.
ISBN 978-0-86534-661-1. Retrieved 2012-09-20.
^ "The History of
Brandenburg, Sieghard, ed. (1996). Ludwig van Beethoven: Briefwechsel.
Gesamtausgabe. Munich: Henle.
Clive, H. P. (2001). Beethoven and His World: A Biographical
Dictionary. Oxford University Press.
Cooper, Barry (2008). Beethoven. Oxford University Press US.
ISBN 978-0-19-531331-4. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
Kerman, Joseph; Tyson, Alan; Burnham, Scott G. "Ludwig van Beethoven".
In L. Root, Deane. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford
University Press. (subscription required)
Lockwood, Lewis (17 January 2005). Beethoven: The Music and the Life.
W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-32638-3.
Lorenz, Michael (2011). "Die 'Enttarnte Elise'. Elisabeth Röckels
kurze Karriere als Beethovens 'Elise'". Bonner Beethoven-Studien (in
German). 9: 169–190.
Meredith, William Rhea (2005). "The History of Beethoven's Skull
Fragments". Beethoven Journal. 20 (1–2): 3–46.
Morris, Edmund (2010). Beethoven: The Universal Composer.
HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-075975-9. Retrieved 3 August
Solomon, Maynard (November 2000). Beethoven (2nd revised ed.). New
York: Ingram Pub Services. ISBN 978-0-8256-7163-0.
Stanley, Glenn, ed. (2000). The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven.
Cambridge Companions to Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Steblin, Rita (2009). "'A dear, enchanting girl who loves me and whom
I love': New Facts about Beethoven's Beloved
Piano Pupil Julie
Guicciardi". Bonner Beethoven-Studien. 8: 89–152.
Steblin, Rita (2014). "Who was Beethoven's 'Elise'? A new solution to
the mystery" (155). The Musical Times. pp. 3–39.
Swafford, Jan (2014). Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph. London: Faber
& Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-31255-9.
Thayer, A. W. (1921). Krehbiel, Henry Edward, ed. The Life of Ludwig
Van Beethoven, Vol 1. The Beethoven Association.
Thayer, Alexander Wheelock (1967). Thayer's Life of Beethoven.
Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Albrecht, Theodore, and Elaine Schwensen, "More Than Just Peanuts:
Evidence for December 16 as Beethoven's birthday". The Beethoven
Newsletter 3 (1988) 49, 60–63.
Bohle, Bruce, and Robert Sabin. The International Cyclopedia of Music
and Musicians. London: J.M. Dent & Sons LTD., 1975.
Davies, Peter J. The Character of a Genius: Beethoven in Perspective.
Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002. ISBN 0-313-31913-8.
Davies, Peter J. Beethoven in Person: His Deafness, Illnesses, and
Death. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001.
DeNora, Tia. "Beethoven and the Construction of Genius: Musical
Politics in Vienna, 1792–1803". Berkeley, California: University of
California Press, 1995. ISBN 0-520-21158-8.
Dorfmüller, Kurt; Norbert Gertsch; Julia Ronge (eds). Ludwig van
Beethoven. Thematisch-bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis. Revidierte
und wesentlich erweiterte Neuausgabe des Werkverzeichnisses von Georg
Kinsky und Hans Halm. 2 vols. Munich: Henle, 2014.
Geck, Martin. Beethoven. Translated by Anthea Bell. London: Haus,
2003. ISBN 1-904341-03-9 (h), ISBN 1-904341-00-4 (p).
Hatten, Robert S. (1994). Musical Meaning in Beethoven. Bloomington,
IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-32742-3.
Kornyei, Alexius. Beethoven in Martonvasar. Verlag, 1960.
Kropfinger, Klaus. Beethoven. Verlage Bärenreiter/Metzler, 2001.
Landon, Howard Chandler Robbins; Göllerich, August (1975). Beethoven:
A Documentary Study. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-02-567830-9.
Martin, Russell. Beethoven's Hair. New York: Broadway Books, 2000.
Rosen, Charles. The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven.
Expanded ed. New York: W. W. Norton, 1998. ISBN 0-393-04020-8
(hc); ISBN 0-393-31712-9 (pb).
Sachs, Harvey (2010). The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824.
London: Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-22145-5.
Solomon, Maynard. Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.
Sullivan, J. W. N., Beethoven: His Spiritual Development New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1927.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ludwig van Beethoven.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Ludwig van Beethoven
Wikisource has the text of the 1911
Encyclopædia Britannica article
Beethoven, Ludwig van.
Scores and manuscripts by
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven in the Open Music
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven at Encyclopædia Britannica
Free scores by
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven at the International Music Score
Library Project (IMSLP)
Free scores by
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven in the Choral Public Domain
The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, The Beethoven
Gateway (San José State University)
"Discovering Beethoven". BBC Radio 3.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven at Project Gutenberg
Works by or about
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven at Internet Archive
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven at
LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
On the Trauma of Beethoven's Deafness on YouTube, Richard Kogan, M.D.,
Menninger Mindscape, 2015 (13 minutes)
First Viennese School
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Mozart and Beethoven
Beethoven and C minor
Immortal Beloved (1994)
Copying Beethoven (2006)
Beethoven Monument, Bonn
Beethoven concert of 22 December 1808
Beethoven (Mähler, 1804–05)
Beethoven Project Trio
Beethoven Quartet Society
Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies
Statuary of Ludwig von Beethoven
List of compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven
List of compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven Category:Compositions
by Ludwig van Beethoven
Gothic Revival (architecture)
Hudson River School
Romanticism in science
Opium and Romanticism
A. v. Arnim
B. v. Arnim
P. B. Shelley
« Age of Enlightenment
ISNI: 0000 0001 2126 8987
BNF: cb138912954 (data)