Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770. He had a difficult childhood. This was largely due to his father, Johann van Beethoven. His mother was Magdalena Keverich. His father wanted Ludwig Mozart to succeed. In that time Mozart was already a famous composer. Beethoven was thus forced to start playing the piano. Even when his father came with friends from the pub at night Ludwig was awakened to play for them. In 1779 Beethoven was taught by Christian Gottlob Neefe. At seventeen he took a trip to Vienna where he should be taught by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He also wanted to live in Vienna. When Beethoven arrived in Vienna he was notified that his mother was dying. Beethoven went directly back home. When he later moved to Vienna Mozart has already past away.
Beethoven and Mozart probably never met. On December 18, 1792 Beethoven’s father died. Between 1792 and 1794 Beethoven took lessons with Joseph Haydn. Beethoven did not get along well with Haydn. To Haydn his music was too sad. In 1819 Beethoven was totally deaf. He had been bothered by this deafness but in 1819 he could hear nothing at all. Yet Beethoven was writing pieces. These was relatively unknown but it did not stoped him to achieve his ultimate goal. In 1826 Beethoven had a severe pneumonia. Beethoven died on March 26, 1827.
Typical of Beethoven
Typical of Beethoven at that time was his innovative application of a mono-thematic form. This means that only one theme in a piece was written by Beethoven. His parts usually had three different types of themes that are very different from each other as love and death. Beethoven’s highest ambition was to achieve a synthesis between the classical sonata form and the Baroque variation form. These classic form lasted for a long time. Mozart broke the rigid mold with his Baroque variation form. He wanted to mix these two forms together as single piece. He achieved that, but there’s more – though Beethoven was completely deaf when he had completed the piece. He had all the notes in his head so that even if he could not hear them he could still write even for antire tour (9th Symphony).
Beethoven used the old classic style, the Baroque style but he also wrote romantic music. He also tried to mix these styles into his own unique style.