Friday, July 6, 2007

All About Beethoven

All About Beethoven

Beethoven is known as one of the greatest composers of all time, and he is certainly ranked quite high on my list of favorite composers, partly because of the challenging and moody sounds of his music. Beethoven led quite a life, not a very happy one at that, his father was an alcoholic, he had small pox at a young age, and to top it off, he started going deaf in his twenties. Despite all of the setbacks in his life, he was able to compose some of the most brilliant music ever written, with sounds ranging from moody to depressing, and even majestic and heroic.

Beethoven wrote a lot of music for different instruments, but my personal favorite music that is written by him is for the piano. I think that his piano sonatas are the best works in his catalogue. I also think that the piano sonatas are a great addition to any music library and they are a definite challenge for any musician. These are some wonderful editions of Beethoven's sonata collections.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Complete Sonatas in Two Volumes (Volume 2) Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano and Violin, volume I/II Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano sonatas, volume II

To get the full effect of Beethoven’s music, I also suggest listening to his symphonies, I just listened to the Fifth Symphony the other day again and I was reminded of just how amazing this music really is. I recommend

Beethoven Collection: Symphonies Nos. 1-9, Complete Recording (Box Set)
and Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas

Beethoven is one of the greatest masters of music in all of history and his music should not be ignored. Beethoven is a must in any library of music literature.



Yarby said...

Beethoven's music is awesome. I have Beethoven's Complete String Quartets by Quartetto Italiano. Sorry, Billy, no piano in these, but I think you like the violin also? Maybe you know someone who plays? Yarby knows all!

Bob said...

I like your focus on Beethoven. For me, Beethoven is my desert island composer.

They say composers go through two major stages of artistic development. First, they emulate their teacher and the masters of the time. Second, the add something new to the foundation that is unique an innovative that extends the tradition.

Beethoven entered a third stage of originality, which you find especially in his late sonatas and violin quartets. Music historians generally claim that Beethoven's peers could not fully understand this new language, which was highly chromatic within the classical framework. They say only later in the 19th century after Beethoven's death was his work understood and then extended by other composers. I always enjoyed this unique character of Beethoven.

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