Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ludwig van Beethoven




Ludwig van Beethoven  1770-1827 




"It was impossible for me to leave the world before I had composed all that I felt needed to produce" -- Beethoven


Student Biography of Ludwig Van Beethoven

by: Cherie M.  -- Wheeling Park High School -- Dan Wilhelm, Teacher    


Ludwig Van Beethoven was a great composer, who spent many of his childhood years raising his younger siblings.  His mother died of an illness and his father became depressed and could no longer take care of them. Beethoven is well know for his many works, especially Ode to Joy, which he wrote when he was deaf. 
The last good influence on Beethoven’s father, Beethoven’s mother, was removed when she died. Beethoven’s father began drinking. The situation got so bad that Beethoven had to go to his father’s employer to demand and receive half of his father’s salary so that he could provide for his two younger brother and one-year old sister. In 1972 his father died. Ludwig had to provide for his family for four years. In 1792, a composer named Joseph Haydn passes through Bonn on his way to Vienna. Haydn was impressed by Beethoven’s work but felt his talents needed to be controlled before they could be developed. Beethoven left Bonn and moved to Vienna to study composition with Haydn. Haydn found that Beethoven was advancing along the same path that he did as a youth. Beethoven realized that Haydn was not the teacher he was looking for he moved. He made enemies with many pianists, but his on skill is what got him recognition during his twenties. His first concert was on April 2, 1800.

Beethoven went through a grieving period over his mother. There was also a point where he believed he became infected because of the shortness of breath that he was having. We will never know whether Beethoven had been infected during his mothers illness. A musician, and good friend of Beethoven, Franz Anton Ries, stood by Beethoven and his family. Beethoven stopped composing for almost two years because of everything he was going through. After all of his family matters settled down, Beethoven began composing. He also had his friend, Waldstein, present a Ritterballett, at a carnival as his own. In Beethoven’s duties as a court musician he wrote a funeral cantanta for the death of Emperor Joseph 2, but it was not finished in time.

Beethoven was the writer of many types of works. Beethoven observed opera other than Fidelio, but ended up only writing that one. Fidelio was first staged in 1805 and done in revision in 1814. He also wrote for dramatic productions. Beethoven did choral and vocal music. One of his most impressive and well known works was the Missa Solennis. He also wrote the Mount of Olives, but it isn’t as well know. In his years he completed nine symphonies. His symphonies influenced the future of music by the expansion of the traditional classic form. Beethoven wrote many overtures. He wrote four of them just for his only opera, Fidelio. Beethoven completed many types of concertos. A few of them are: a violin concerto, five piano concertos, and a triple concerto for violin, cello, and the piano. The fifth concerto is probably his most impressive. Also, he wrote ten sonatas for the violin and piano, they have a wide range of dynamic contrast, which makes full use of the piano.

We will remember Beethoven for his great writing, but it was more than his writing that we should remember him for. I have learned that he was not only a great writer but also a caretaker of his siblings, and a good friend to all those around him. 


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 “Be As early as 1801, Beethoven 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). Beethoven, on the advice of his doctor, 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, which records his resolution to continue living for and through his art. Over time, his hearing loss became profound: there is a well-attested story that, at the end of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause of the audience; hearing nothing, he wept. Beethoven's hearing loss did not prevent his 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 Piano Concerto No. 5 (the "Emperor"), which was premiered by his student Carl Czerny, he never performed in public again.

A large collection of Beethoven's hearing aids such as a special ear horn can be viewed at the Beethoven House Museum in Bonn, Germany. Despite his obvious distress, Carl Czerny remarked that Beethoven could still hear speech and music normally until 1812. By 1814 however, Beethoven 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 humor. As a result of Beethoven's hearing loss, a unique historical record has been preserved: his conversation books. 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 issues, and give insights into his thinking; they are a source for investigation into how he felt his music should be performed, and also his perception of his relationship to art. Unfortunately, 264 out of a total of 400 conversation books were destroyed (and others were altered) after Beethoven's death by Anton Schindler, in his attempt to paint an idealized picture of the composer.


Patronage


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 Beethoven's 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 Beethoven. 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 his great 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.

In the Autumn of 1808, after having been rejected for a position at the royal theatre, Beethoven received an offer from Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte, then king of Westphalia, for a well-paid position as 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 Beethoven a pension of 4000 florins a year. Only Archduke Rudolph paid his share of the pension on the agreed date. Kinsky, immediately called to duty as an officer, 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 efforts.The Middle period

Beethoven Monument in Bonn, Muensterplatz
Beethoven's return to Vienna from Heiligenstadt was marked by a change in musical style, now recognized 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".The first major work of this new way was the Third Symphony in E flat, known as the "Eroica". While other composers had written symphonies with implied programs, or stories, this work was longer and larger in scope than any previously written symphony. When it premiered in early 1805 it received a mixed reception, with some listeners objecting to its length or failing to understand its structure, while others viewed it as another masterpiece.
Beethoven composed highly ambitious works throughout the Middle period, often heroic in tone, that extended the scope of the classical musical language Beethoven had inherited from Haydn and Mozart. The Middle period work includes the Third through Eighth Symphonies, the string quartets 7–11, the "Waldstein" and "Appassionata" piano sonatas, Christ on the Mount of Olives, the opera Fidelio, the Violin Concerto and many other compositions. During this time Beethoven earned his living from the sale and performance of his work, and from the continuing support of wealthy patrons. His position at the Theater an der Wien was terminated when the theater 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.
The string quartets composed during the Middle period are Op. 59 no 1, Op 59 no 2, Op 59 no 3 (The Razumowski quartets), Op. 74 (the Harp) and Op 95. Beethoven's publisher said that the world was not ready for the middle quartets. The slow movement of Op. 59 no 2 has been described as the closest Beethoven got to heaven. Even Beethoven said that the Op. 95 quartet was not suitable for public performance.

The work of the Middle period established Beethoven's reputation as a great composer. In a review from 1810, he was enshrined by E. T. A. Hoffmannas one of the three great "Romantic" composers; Hoffman called Beethoven's Fifth Symphony "one of the most important works of the age". A particular trauma for Beethoven occurred during this period in May 1809, when the attacking forces of Napoleon bombarded 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. He was composing the "Emperor" Concerto at the time.


Personal and family difficulties
Beethoven was introduced to Giulietta Guicciardi in about 1800 through the Brunsvik family. His mutual love-relationship with Guicciardi is mentioned in a November 1801 letter to his boyhood friend, Franz Wegeler. Beethoven dedicated to Giulietta his Sonata No. 14, popularly known as the "Moonlight" Sonata. Marriage plans were thwarted by Giulietta's father and perhaps Beethoven's common lineage. In 1803 she married Count Wenzel Robert von Gallenberg (1783–1839), himself an amateur composer.
Beethoven's relationship with Josephine Deym notably deepened after the death of her first husband in 1804. There is some evidence that Beethoven may have proposed to her, at least informally. While the relationship was apparently reciprocated, she, with some regret, turned him down, and their relationship effectively ended in 1807. She cited her "duty", an apparent reference to the fact that she was born of nobility and he was a commoner. It is also likely that he considered proposing (whether he actually did or not is unknown) to Therese Malfatti, the dedicatee of "Für Elise" in 1810; his common status may also have interfered with those plans.
Life mask made in 1812
In the spring of 1811 Beethoven became seriously ill, suffering headaches and bad fevers. 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 decided to spend the summer of 1812 at Teplitz. It is likely that he was at Teplitz when he wrote three love letters to an "Immortal Beloved" While the identity of the intended recipient is an ongoing subject of debate, the most likely candidate, according to what is known about people's movements and the contents of the letters, is Antonie Brentano, a married woman with whom he had begun a friendship in 1810. Beethoven traveled to Karlsbad in late July, where he stayed in the same guesthouse as the Brentanos. After traveling with them for a time, he returned to Teplitz, where after another bout of gastric illness, he left for Linz to visit his brother Johann.
Beethoven's visit to his brother was made in an attempt to end the latter's immoral cohabitation with Therese Obermayer, a woman who already had an illegitimate child. He was unable to convince Johann to end the relationship, so he appealed to the local civic and religious authorities. The end result of Beethoven's meddling was that 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 for a time. Historians have suggested a variety of causes, including his lack of success at romance. His personal appearance, which had generally been neat, degraded, as did his manners in public, especially when dining. Some of his (married) desired romantic partners had children (leading to assertions among historians of Beethoven's possible paternity), and his brother Carl was seriously ill. Beethoven took care of his brother and his family, an expense that he claimed left him penniless. He was unable to obtain a date for a concert in the spring of 1813, which, if successful, would have provided him with significant funds.
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 premiered on 8 December at a charity concert for victims of the war along with his Seventh Symphony. The work was a popular hit, likely because of its programmatic style which was entertaining and easy to understand. It received repeat performances at concerts Beethoven staged in January and February 1814. Beethoven's renewed popularity led to demands for a revival of Fidelio, which, in its third revised version, was also well-received when it opened in July. That summer he also 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 that 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, but almost incoherent, "An die Hoffnung" (Opus 94).

Custody struggle and illness

Between 1815 and 1817 Beethoven's output dropped again. Part of this Beethoven attributed 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 in creative output, 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 Carl from consumption likely also played a role.
Beethoven in 1818 by August Klöber
Carl had been ill for some time, and Beethoven spent a small fortune in 1815 on his care. When he finally died on 15 November 1815, Beethoven immediately became embroiled in a protracted legal dispute with Carl's wife Johanna over custody of their son Karl, 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 Carl, and had been convicted of theft) and financial management, had successfully applied to Carl to have himself named sole guardian of the boy; but a late codicil to Carl'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 the boy, whom he first placed in a private school. The custody fight brought out the very worst aspects of Beethoven's character; in the lengthy court cases Beethoven stopped at nothing to ensure that he achieved this goal, and even stopped composing for long periods.
The Austrian court system had one court for the nobility, The R&I Landrechte, and another for commoners, The Civil Court of the 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 a favorable outcome. Beethoven was awarded sole guardianship. While giving evidence to the Landrechte, however, Beethoven inadvertently admitted that he was not nobly born. The case was transferred to the Magistracy on 18 December 1818, where he lost sole guardianship.
Beethoven appealed, and regained custody of Karl. Johanna's appeal for justice to the Emperor was not successful: the Emperor "washed his hands of the matter". Beethoven stopped at nothing to blacken her name, as can be read in surviving court papers. During the years of custody that followed, Beethoven attempted to ensure that Karl lived to the highest of moral standards. His overbearing manner and frequent interference in his nephew's life, especially as he grew into a young man, apparently drove Karl to attempt 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 reconciled, but Karl was insistent on joining the army, and last saw Beethoven in early 1827.
The only major works Beethoven produced during this time were two cello sonatas, a piano sonata, and collections of folk song settings. He began sketches for the Ninth Symphony in 1817.

Late works

Beethoven began a renewed study of older music, including works by J. S. Bach and Handel, that were then being published in the first attempts at complete editions. He composed the Consecration of the House Overture, which was the first work to attempt to incorporate his new influences. But it is when he returned to the keyboard to compose his first new piano sonatas in almost a decade, that a new style, now called his "late period", emerged. 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 quartets (see below), and two works for very large forces: the Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony.
Beethoven in 1823; copy of a destroyed portrait by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
By early 1818 Beethoven's health had improved, and his nephew had 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 decent cook. His musical output in 1818 was still somewhat reduced, with song collections and the Hammerklavier Sonata his only notable compositions, although he continued to work on sketches for two symphonies (that eventually coalesced into the enormous Ninth Symphony). 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 works, an idea that was arguably not fully realized until 1971. Beethoven's brother Johann began to take a hand in his business affairs around this time, much in the way Carl 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 Beethoven's financial prospects. The Philharmonic Society of London offered a commission for a symphony, and Prince Nikolay Golitsin of St. Petersburg offered to pay Beethoven's price for three string quartets. The first of these spurred Beethoven to finish the Ninth Symphony, which was premiered, along with the Missa Solemnis, on 7 May 1824, to great acclaim at the Kärntnertor theater. 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 earlier concerts, Beethoven made little money on this one, 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 have already gone into the country".  It was Beethoven's last public concert.
Beethoven then turned to writing the string quartets for Golitsin. This series of quartets, known as the "Late Quartets", went far beyond what either musicians or audiences were ready for at that time. One musician commented that "we know there is something there, but we do not know what it is." Composer Louis Spohr called them "indecipherable, uncorrected horrors", though that opinion has changed considerably from the time of their first bewildered reception. They continued (and continue) to inspire musicians and composers, from Richard Wagner to Béla Bartók, for their unique forms and ideas. Of the late quartets, Beethoven's favorite was the Fourteenth Quartet, op. 131 in C# minor, upon hearing which Schubert is said to have remarked, "After this, what is left for us to write?"
Beethoven wrote the last quartets admidst 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 Beethoven called "Holy song of thanks ('Heiliger dankgesang') to the divinity, from one made well". He went on to complete the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Sixteenth Quartets. The last work completed by Beethoven was the substitute final movement of the Thirteenth Quartet, deemed necessary to replace the difficult Große Fuge. Shortly thereafter, in December 1826, illness struck again, with episodes of vomiting and diarrhea that nearly en
Beethoven's death mask by Joseph Dannhauser
Beethoven's grave site  
Beethoven was bedridden for most of his remaining months, and many friends came to visit. He died on Monday, 26 March 1827, during a thunderstorm. His friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who was present at the time, claimed 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.
Unlike Mozart, who was buried anonymously in a communal grave (such being the custom at the time), 20,000 Viennese citizens lined the streets for Beethoven's funeral on Thursday, 29 March 1827. Franz Schubert, who died the following year and was buried next to Beethoven, was one of the torchbearers. After a Requiem Mass at the church of the Holy Trinity (Dreifaltigkeitskirche), Beethoven was buried in the Währing cemetery, north-west of Vienna. His remains were exhumed for study in 1862, and moved in 1888 to Vienna's Zentralfriedhof.
There is dispute about the cause of Beethoven's death; alcoholic cirrhosis, syphilis, infectious hepatitis, lead poisoning, sarcoidosis and 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 Beethoven was accidentally poisoned to death by excessive doses of lead-based treatments administered under instruction from his doctor.

Character

Beethoven's personal life was troubled by his encroaching deafness, which led him to contemplate suicide (documented in his Heiligenstadt Testament). Beethoven was often irascible and may have suffered from bipolar disorder  and irritability brought on by chronic abdominal pain (beginning in his twenties) that has been attributed to possible lead poisoning. Nevertheless, he had a close and devoted circle of friends all his life, thought to have been attracted by his strength of personality. Toward the end of his life, Beethoven's 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 Beethoven.

 

Religious views

Beethoven was attracted to the ideals of the 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 performed.
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.
Scholars disagree about Beethoven's religious beliefs, and about the role they played in his work. It has been asserted, but not proven, that Beethoven was a Freemason.

Music



A bust based upon Beethoven's life mask
Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of classical music; occasionally he is referred to as one of the "three Bs" (along with Bach and Brahms) who epitomize that tradition. He was also a pivotal figure in the transition from 18th century musical classicism to 19th century romanticism, and his influence on subsequent generations of composers was profound.

Overview

Beethoven composed in several musical genres, and for a variety of instrument combinations. His works for symphony orchestra include nine symphonies (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 lieder.
Beethoven 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 a variety of 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, Beethoven's 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 firstand 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 Beethoven's 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 Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio.

Beethoven's Late period began around 1815. Works from this period are characterized 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 sonatas.

Beethoven on screen

Eroica is a 1949 Austrian film depicting life and works of Beethoven (Ewald Balser), which also entered into the 1949 Cannes Film Festival. The film is directed by Walter Kolm-Veltée, produced by Guido Bagier with Walter Kolm-Veltée and written by Walter Kolm-Veltée with Franz Tassié.
In 1962, Walt Disney produced a made-for-television and extremely fictionalized life of Beethoven entitled The Magnificent Rebel. The film was given a two-part premiere on the Walt Disney anthology television series and released to theatres in Europe. It starred Karlheinz Böhm as Beethoven.

In 1994 a film about Beethoven (Gary Oldman) titled Immortal Beloved was written and directed by Bernard Rose. The story follows Beethoven's secretary and first biographer, Anton Schindler (portrayed by Jeroen Krabbé), as he attempts to ascertain the true identity of the Unsterbliche Geliebte (Immortal Beloved) addressed in three letters found in the late composer's private papers. Schindler journeys throughout the Austrian Empire, interviewing women who might be potential candidates, as well as through Beethoven's own tumultuous life. Filming took place in the Czech cities of Prague and Kromeriz and the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna, Austria, between 23 May and 29 July 1994.

In 2003 a BBC/Opus Arte film Eroica was released, with Ian Hart as Beethoven and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner performing the Eroica Symphony in its entirety. The subject of the film is the first performance of the Eroica Symphony in 1804 at the palace of Prince Lobkowitz (played by Jack Davenport). In a 2005 three-part BBC miniseries, Beethoven was played by Paul Rhys.
A movie titled Copying Beethoven was released in 2006, starring Ed Harris as Beethoven. This film was a fictionalized account of Beethoven's last days, and his struggle to produce his Ninth Symphony before he died.





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