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Ludwig van Beethoven

BIOGRAPHY

Ludwig van Beethoven (c. 1770-1820) was a German composer that marked the transition from the Classical to the Romantic period of music.

Beethoven was known for his instrumental works, expanding the possibilities of the sonata, concerto, quartet, and symphony. In the Ninth Symphony, Beethoven combined vocal and instrumental music in a way that had never been attempted before. Unexpected outbursts, leaping arpeggio figures (Mannheim rockets) with concluding explosive effects were central to Beethoven’s compositions. These innovations characterized the works of Romantic-era composers.

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SCORE READING

Here is the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as "Sonata Pathétique." Pay attention to how the dynamics create sudden outbursts.