“Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are.” – Oscar Wilde
Artists are always right about other artists, for it is the one that creates something understands the value of creation and creativity. In this marvellous section of Youthopia today I am going to introduce you to the greatest composer the world has ever seen. Take a deep breath and open your ears wide while I introduce you to Ludwig van Beethoven, the eternal composer, saviour of the art of music in its true form and the master of symphonies.
Ludwig’s first teacher was his father, he started playing the piano and the violin when he was four. He wrote his first song(composition) when he was 11 and directed the orchestra at the age of 12. While orchestra and piano may not entice some music lovers in the present age they certainly did produce profound effects on the people in the early nineteenth century. Immortal music of Beethoven provokes the deepest of emotions and the highest of emotions in the minds of those who are mindful enough even today. His nine symphonies have an everlasting impact on the listener irrespective of everything. The era before electronic music was adorned with flowers of rich and enchanting music and had received great gardeners who nourished them with great care and impeccable passion. The great composer Beethoven began to lose his hearing at the age of 26 but he never gave up his love for the great art of music.
In the short life of 56 years that he lived he created nine symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 32 piano sonatas and 16 string quartets. All these are remarkable works of western classical music adorned with orchestras and bands. His most popular works are the fifth symphony, the Emperor concerto, the Eroica and Pastoral symphonies and his only opera Fidelio. Beethoven was surrounded with excellent contemporaries like Mozart and Rossini. In contrast to Mozart, he laboured heavily over his work, created rough drafts which are a great source of information for musicians, Beethoven searched and researched his work and his work evolved over time.
In general and in appearances Beethoven was a very untidy fellow with rough uncombed hair, very ragged and rough exterior who was not always very neat. It was because above all he worshipped his music. His music incorporates a lot of his life. His musical style is a bridge between classical and romantic periods. His major work is divided into three main periods:
Early Period: This can be described as the composer’s attempts at mastering prevailing classical music. He created some early drafts of his piano pieces during this time. Made his name by producing fine violin concertos and works with the flute.
Middle Period: This was categorised with the artist’s growing interest in orchestra and composer produced his greatest work the symphonies during this period.
Third Period: This period embarked with a beginning of romanticism and it was reproduced all over in Beethoven’s music. It was the time when the audience would reach a higher state of being and were transported to the emotional state of the artist and felt a ‘sublime’ experience when Beethoven performed. The great composer always left his audience in rapture and amidst standing ovations.
The great symphonies will always be immortal as the music in them and the effect they produce is. Though, it was a tragedy that he died at an early age and could never know when the audience applauded him because he became completely deaf at an early age, he may have never heard the best classical music he composed but the legendary musician comes to life even today through his work when someone in a pensive mood decided to play the music he created. An artist stays alive through his work. Beethoven’s work is the collection of gems that will never be produced again. His music genius mixed the elements of emotions, feelings, human tendencies and melody of life in the perfect proportions and wove it into his music like an expert.
In the words of Beethoven hinmself,
“When I look out into the world, I must hate what I see, for it is a world that does not understand that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the bridge between intellectual and sensuous life, the entrance for mankind into a higher world of knowledge which comprehends us but which we cannot comprehend.”