Ludwig van Beethoven: Für Elise and Moonlight Sonata, Movement 1

I shy away from writing posts about the classical greats like Beethoven because I know nothing about them or the music and am very likely to embarrass myself. It’s like somebody who doesn’t follow baseball writing about Ruth or Aaron. It doesn’t make sense.

Nonetheless, the music is quite beautiful. Above is Für Elise played by Valentina Lisitsa — who is greeted like a rock star when she walks on stage — and the Seoul Philharmonic. Below is the First Movement of The Moonlight Sonata played by Wilhelm Kempff.

For those who like the big stuff, here is a link to The Fifth Symphony, which is so famous that even I can identify it. This performance is by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Kurt Masur.

Here is something about the great composer:

The Beethoven biography starts with his baptism. He was baptized on December 17th 1770 at Bonn. His family originated from Brabant, in Belgium. His father was a musician at the court of Bonn, with a definite weakness for alcohol. His mother was always described as a gentle, retiring woman, with a warm heart. Beethoven referred to her as his “best friend.” The Beethoven family consisted of seven children, but only the three boys survived, of whom Ludwig was the eldest.

At an early age, van Beethoven, took an interest in music and his father taught him day and night, on returning to the house from music practice or the tavern. Without a doubt, the child was gifted and his father Johann envisioned creating a new Mozart, a child prodigy.

On March 26th 1778, at the age of 7½, Ludwig Van Beethoven gave his first public performance at Cologne. His father announced that he was 6 years-old. Because of this Beethoven always thought that he was younger than he actually was. Even much later, when he received a copy of his baptism certificate, he thought it belonged to his brother Ludwig Maria, whowas born two before him and died as a child. (Continue Reading…)

Here are links to another bio, the Beethoven-Haus — a research institute located in the composer’s birth house in Bonn — and a timeline of his life.

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