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Ludwig van Beethoven


Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770–1827), German composer, recognized worldwide as one of history's greatest musicians. His progressive deafness, total by the time he reached his late 40s, never interfered with his creativity. Beethoven's work may be divided into 3 periods. During the first, ending about 1802, he was still influenced by Haydn and Mozart. The middle period, ending about 1816, was his most productive. His individual style was developed in such works as the Third (Eroica) and Fifth symphonies, the Fifth Piano Concerto (Emperor), the Kreutzer Violin Sonata, and his only opera, Fidelio. His later, more intense works include the Ninth (Choral) Symphony, the Missa Solemnis (Mass in D), and the late string quartets, including the Great Fugue.

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