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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

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

2020-12-18
Language:English

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Right after the completion of his fifth and sixth symphonies and fourth piano concerto, Beethoven started to work on his Piano concerto No. 5 in E-flat major Opus.73, commonly known as the Emperor Concerto, for its grandiose power and majestic melodies. In his late period, from 1815 to 1827, Beethoven revisited classical works by Baroque masters J. S. Bach and Handel and experimented in liturgical music, adding romantic flares to his compositions. His works from this period are greatly hailed for their new level of depth, expression and innovation, which includes his last five piano sonatas, last two sonatas for cello and piano, the thirty-three Diabelli Variations, and two titanic works: Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony.
Missa Solemnis was not only a dedication to his beloved friend, but also Beethoven’s sincere offering to God, glorifying his Divinity. The Mass is considered one of Beethoven’s definitive life works, and an astounding achievement. Influences from working on the Mass were evident, as he incorporated vocals into the symphony, something never seen before.
Beethoven completed Symphony No. 9 in 1824 and it premiered in Vienna on May 7 that year with the largest orchestra he had ever assembled, including many famous young singers. After enduring years of severe illnesses, Ludwig van Beethoven passed away on March 26, 1827, amidst a thunderstorm.
Romain Rolland, a French author and art historian wrote in his book Beethoven, “He is the most heroic soul in modern art. He is the grandest and the best friend of those who suffer and struggle.” He remains our immortal beloved and his music will resound through countless future generations.

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