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Beethoven – Dramatic Life Changes

On November 15th 1815, Kaspar Karl, Beethoven’s brother, died. He left behind his
wife, whom Ludwig referred to as “The queen of the night” due to her activities, as
well as a 9 year old son, Karl. Here Beethoven’s life was to change dramatically.
His brother had written that he wished Karl’s guardianship to be exercised by both
his wife and his brother, Ludwig. Beethoven took this role very seriously, but
the 45 year-old celibate, who could no longer hear, found it difficult to live w
ith and understand a child and then a young man. This cohabitation was the cause
of a new trial against the mother of the child, a generation conflict and numer
ous troubles.
In 1816, Carl Czerny (future teacher of Franz Liszt and once Beethoven’s student)
became Karl’s music teacher, but didn’t find as much talent in the boy as Beethoven
hoped he would possess. At this time he ended his cycle of lieder “To the distant
loved one, and drafted the first theme for his ninth symphony.
Two years later, the Archduke Rudolph became Cardinal and Beethoven began compos
ing his mass in D. It was never ready for the intonation, but the work was rich
beyond compare.
Gioachino Rossini triumphed in Vienna in 1822, where he met Beethoven again. The
language barrier and Beethoven’s deafness meant that they could only exchange bri
ef words. The Viennese composer tolerated Italian opera only in moderation—he foun
d it lacked seriousness.
The ninth symphony was practically finished in 1823, the same year as the Missa
Solemnis. Liszt, who was 11, met Beethoven who came to his concerto on April 13t
h. He congratulated the young virtuoso heartily who, years later, transcribed th
e entirety of Beethoven’s symphonies for piano. Know more about this...
listen to
Liszt s transcriptions
How many symphonies did Beethoven write?
May 7th 1824 was the date of the first playing of the ninth symphony and despite
the musical difficulties, and problems in the sung parts, it was a success. Unf
ortunately it was not financially rewarding. Financial problems constantly under
mined the composer. He always had money saved, but he was keeping it for his nep
hew.
Then began the period of the last quartets of Beethoven music, which are still d
ifficult even for today’s audience, who knows how to interpret his other works. He
started to compose his tenth symphony.
Biography of Beethoven – His Final Year
In 1826, Beethoven caught a cold coming back from his brother’s place, with whom h
e had argued again. The illness complicated other health problems that Beethoven
had suffered from all his life. He passed away surrounded by his closest friend
s on March 26th 1827, just as a storm broke out.
The funeral rites took place at the church of the Holy Trinity. It is estimated
that between 10,000 and 30,000 people attended. Franz Schubert, timid and a huge
admirer of Beethoven, without ever having become close to him, was one of the c
offin bearers, along with other musicians. Schubert died the next year and was b
uried next to Beethoven.