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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

Celebrating the 250th Birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, Part 1 of 3

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December 16, 2020 marks the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the greatest music composers in the history of our world. Across the globe, concerts and events are being planned to commemorate the birth of this musical genius. Beethoven continued the Classical legacies of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and evolved music into a new era of Romanticism, characterized by dramatic melodies that evoked powerful emotions. He expanded musical composition from a formal aesthetic style to allow freer individual expression of feelings and ideas. Some of his musical innovations waited for almost a century before finding composers who could truly comprehend and apply them to their own compositions. Triumphing over physical suffering and countless hardships in life, Beethoven imbues his music with joy and expressive freedom as if to celebrate the resolve and immense strength of the human spirit. Beethoven’s rare musical talent was revealed at a young age. Beethoven first performed publicly on March 26, 1778 when he was seven years old. On March 29, 1795, Beethoven gave his first public performance in Vienna, premiering his Piano Concerto No. 1. Beethoven grew to be a fully accomplished composer after establishing himself as the finest piano virtuoso in Vienna. During this period, an extraordinary surge of creativity produced a large body of works, including his first and second symphonies, his first three piano concertos, and his first twenty piano sonatas, including the famous “Pathetique” and “Moonlight,” as well as nine of his ten violin sonatas with piano, the most popular being “Spring” and “Kreutzer,” plus many other piano pieces, chamber music works, and songs. We’ll now conclude this episode with some joyful notes from Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Opus 24, commonly known as the “Spring Sonata,” which was completed in 1801 and dedicated to the Austria nobleman, banker and patron of the arts, Count Moritz von Fries. The “Spring Sonata” is one of Beethoven’s happiest creations during the springtime of his life, a sublime taste of beauty, innocence, and clarity.
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