Beetclas Essay Research Paper The Prophecy of

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Beetclas Essay, Research Paper The Prophecy of the Heiligenstadt TestamentThe rise of Ludwig van Beethoven into the ranks ofhistory’s greatest composers was paralleled by and in some waysa consequence of his own personal tragedy and despair. Beginning in the late 1790’s, the increasing buzzing and hummingin his ears sent Beethoven into a panic, searching for a curefrom doctor to doctor. By October 1802 he had written theHeiligenstadt Testament confessing the certainty of his growingdeafness, his consequent despair, and suicidal considerations. Yet, despite the personal tragedy caused by the “infirmity inthe one sense which ought to be more perfect in [him] than inothers, a sense which [he] once possessed in the highestperfection, a perfection such as few in [his]

profession enjoy,”it also served as a motivating force in that it challenged himto try and conquer the fate that was handed him. He would notsurrender to that “jealous demon, my wretched health” beforeproving to himself and the world the extent of his skill. Thus,faced with such great impending loss, Beethoven, keeping faithin his art and ability, states in his Heiligenstadt Testament apromise of his greatness yet to be proven in the development ofhis heroic style. By about 1800, Beethoven was mastering the Viennese High-Classic style. Although the style had been first perfected byMozart, Beethoven did extend it to some degree. He hadunprecedently composed sonatas for the cello which incombination with the piano opened the era of the Classic-Romantic cello sonata. In

addition, his sonatas for violin andpiano became the cornerstone of the sonata duo repertory. Hisexperimentation with additions to the standard forms likewisemade it apparent that he had reached the limits of the high-Classic style. Having displayed the extended range of his pianowriting he was also begining to forge a new voice for theviolin. In 1800, Beethoven was additionally combining thesonata form with a full orchestra in his First Symphony, op. 2. In the arena of piano sonata, he had also gone beyond the three-movement design of Haydn and Mozart, applying sometimes thefour-movement design reserved for symphonies and quartetsthrough the addition of a minuet or scherzo. Having confidentlyproven the high-Classic phase of his sonata development with the”Grande Sonate,” op.

22, Beethoven moved on to the fantasysonata to allow himself freer expression. By 1802, he hadevidently succeeded in mastering the high-Classic style withineach of its major instrumental genres — the piano trio, stringtrio, string quartet and quintet, Classic piano concerto, duosonata, piano sonata, and symphony. Having reached the end ofthe great Vienese tradition, he was then faced with either theunchallenging repetion of the tired style or going beyond it tonew creations. At about the same time that Beethoven had exhausted thepotentials of the high-Classic style, his increasing deafnesslanded him in a major cycle of depression, from which was toemerge his heroic period as exemplified in Symphony No. 3, op. 55 (”Eroica”). In Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament ofOctober

1802, he reveals his malaise that was sending him tothe edge of despair. He speaks of suicide in the same breath asa reluctance to die, expressing his helplessness against theinevitability of death. Having searched vainly for a cure, heseems to have lost all hope — “As the leaves of autumn fall andare withered-so likewise has my hope been blighted-I leave here-almost as I came-even the high courage-which often inspired mein the beautiful days of summer-has disappeared.” There issomewhat of a parallel between his personal and professionallife. He is at a dead end on both cases. There seems to be nomore that he can do with the high-Classic style; his deafnessseems poised inevitably to encumber and ultimately halt hismusical career. However, despite it all, he reveals in