ever a man lived the life of the torchered artist wrestling with inspiration
and despair, Ludwig Van Beethoven would be him. His musical genius and
ferver pushed the boundaries of music beyond what anyone before him had
ever done. Born in Bonn, Germany, Beethoven was a child prodigy who was
disciplined harshly by his alcholic father. Nevertheless, Beethoven became
a huge attraction for the wealthy aristocrats, first in Bonn and then
Vienna, because of his talent and his habit of throwing fits.
In his symphonies and his string quartets, his
piano sonatas and his operas, Beethoven expanded on the 'inevitability'
of the music of those before him, including Mozart.
As Sadie puts it, Beethoven entered a period in the beginning of the 1800s
where the composer aspired to create music that was 'heroic.' In other
words, music that was both perverse and uplifting, climactic and lyrical.
This new determination came out of a period of depression when Beethoven
first realized he was going deaf.
Beethoven had the chance to explore all these
aspects of his psyche and his music because he was the first composer
to support himself without relying on a single source of income. He valued
his independence and self expression above everything else. At the time
of his death, Beethove was already acclaimed internationally for his explosive
characteristic in both his life and his music.