Ludwig van beethoven - masterworks - violin sonatas #5 & 9


These were the prophetic words of Count Ferdinand von Waldstein to Ludwig van Beethoven in 1792, the year after Mozart’s death, as Beethoven departed his native Bonn for the musical capital of the Western world. But even with such lofty expectations, Waldstein, one of Beethoven’s most important patrons, could not have foreseen how prescient his words of farewell would be. Beethoven would indeed inherit the mantle of Haydn and Mozart, then extend the tradition of Viennese Classicism into the nineteenth century, creating music of such imposing power that generations of composers since have not ceased to feel its weight. After Beethoven’s Opus 131 Quartet, Schubert wondered, “what is left for us to write?” Indeed, the entire Romantic era felt paralyzed by the echo of Beethoven’s voice. Brahms famously delayed attempting his First Symphony, explaining when pressed, “You have no idea how it feels to hear behind you the footsteps of a giant like Beethoven.” For Igor Stravinsky, Beethoven’s Große Fuge remained, in the twentieth century, “an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever.”

Beethoven was the grandson of Ludwig van Beethoven (1712–73), a musician from the town of Mechelen in the Duchy of Brabant in the Flemish region of what is now Belgium , who at the age of twenty moved to Bonn. [2] [3] 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, Kapellmeister (music 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. [4] 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. [2] 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 . [5]

Beethoven was the eldest surviving child of Johann and Maria Magdalena van Beethoven. The family was Flemish in origin and can be traced back to Malines. It was Beethoven’s grandfather who had first settled in Bonn when he became a singer in the choir of the archbishop-elector of Cologne; he eventually rose to become Kappellmeister. His son Johann was also a singer in the electoral choir; thus, like most 18th-century musicians, Beethoven was born into the profession. Though at first quite prosperous, the Beethoven family became steadily poorer with the death of his grandfather in 1773 and the decline of his father into alcoholism. By age 11 Beethoven had to leave school; at 18 he was the breadwinner of the family.


Ludwig van Beethoven - Masterworks - Violin Sonatas #5 & 9Ludwig van Beethoven - Masterworks - Violin Sonatas #5 & 9Ludwig van Beethoven - Masterworks - Violin Sonatas #5 & 9Ludwig van Beethoven - Masterworks - Violin Sonatas #5 & 9

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