German Music History German Music
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Ludwig van Beethoven
"Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany. He studied in Vienna under Mozart and Haydn. In Vienna he first made his reputation as a pianist and teacher, and he became famous quickly.
At this time he composed many of his most popular works such as the Fifth symphony, the Emperor Concerto, the Eroica and Pastoral symphonies, and his only opera Fidelio.
Beethoven developed a completely original style of music, reflecting his sufferings and joys. His work forms a peak in the development of tonal music and is one of the crucial evolutionary developments in the history of music. Before his time, composers wrote works for religious services, and to entertain people. But people listened to Beethoven's music for its own sake. As a result, he made music more independent of social, or relgious purposes.
About 1800, he discovered that he was slowly becoming deaf. By 1820, when he was almost totally deaf, Beethoven composed his greatest works. These include the last five piano sonatas, the Missa solemnis, the Ninth Symphony, with its choral finale, and the last five string quartets.
In the fall of 1826 Beethoven caught a serious cold, which developed into pneumonmia. He died on March 26, 1827 (www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/people_n2/persons6_n2/beethoven.html)."
George Fredreick Handel
" George Frederick Handel - one of the greatest composers of the late Baroque era - was born in Germany but spent 40 years in England, where he directed and composed operas as director of the Academy of Music.
Handel was born in Halle, Germany where he became an organist of the Cathedral at the age of 17. Later he worked as a violinist and keyboard player in the Hamburg opera orchestra. In 1706 he moved for four years to Italy where he studied opera. There he established a reputation as a keyboard virtuoso, and as an operatic composer.
In 1720 he worked at the King's Theatre, London. He produced several operas influenced by his experience in Italy, but slowly he began composing oratorios in English. After a stroke in 1737, he recovered, and afterwards wrote some of his most memorable work. With the composition of the 'Messiah' oratorio (1742) the entire baroque tradition reached ist climax. His enormous work included over 40 operas, about 20 oratorios, cantatas, sacred music, and orchestral, instrumental, and vocal works (www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/people_n2/persons6_n2/handel.html)."
His compositions include church music, psalms, motets, passions, a German requiem, and the first German opera, Dafne , produced in Torgau in 1627. As a German Protestant Schuetz contributed greatly to German cultural unity after the 30-year war (www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/people_n2/persons6_n2/schutz.html)."
"Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany. For three years he lived in Paris and in 1842 he moved to Dresden where he was appointed Kapellmeister. After the revolution in 1848 he had to flee from Germany, moving to Paris and Zurich. After his return he won the backing of the eccentric King of Bavaria, Ludwig II, who became a fanatical admirer of his work.
Richard Wagner became the creator of the German music drama, that could bind all life reality and illusion into one symbiotic union. He achieved this result with a new musical technique whereby the leading motives recur, often modified by the needs of the drama, and provide a kind of unity to the entire work. His best known work 'Ring of the Nibelungen' is a four- evening cycle of music dramas. To fulfil his ambition to give a complete performance of the 'Ring' (Walkure, Siegfried, Gotterdammerung, with Rheingold as introduction), he started the now famous theatre at Bayreuth, which opened in 1876. 'Parsifal', his last opera, was staged in 1882, a year before his sudden death from a heart attack, in Venice (www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/people_n2/persons6_n2/wagner.html)."
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