Beethoven

Of all the hundreds of symphonies that have been composed, none can rival in popularity or emotional interest the nine great symphonic works that Beethoven wrote. Beethoven took music off the pedestal of formal beauty, where Haydn and Mozart had left it, and immersed it in the whirlpool of life. He roughened it up until it began to do what he expected it to do ... to express problems, evoke emotions, move and struggle exuberantly. More people can respond at once to a Beethoven symphony than to any other. Many have written fine symphonies, but Beethoven’s remain in a class by themselves, as invaluable a part of our heritage as are Shakespeare’s plays.