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Ludwig van Beethoven - Biography
For many people, Beethoven is the greatest of all composers. His music expresses every kind of emotion, from the passionate to the tender, yet technically, it is never anything other than faultless. From the beginning to the end of his creative life, Beethoven constantly expanded his style and ideals, and his work forms a bridge between the Classical and Romantic periods. His increasing deafness , from the age of about 30, came as a terrible blow.

Beethoven lived through the turmoil of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, and he believed passionately in the ideals of "Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood." He saw himself as a new kind of artist: One who wrote not just for the church or the aristocracy, as most composers before him had, but for people everywhere, and for posterity as well as for his own time. This sense of destiny caused him to struggle over some of his compositions for years.

Beethoven still based much of his music on the Classical forms and styles of the late 18th century - the symphony, sonata, and string quartet. But he filled his compositions with a new sense of freedom and personal expression that heralded the much more emotional and poetic Romantic period of the 19th century; and he influenced nearly every composer who came after him.

Contributed by Gifford, Katya

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