Beethoven’s 10 most famous works

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Beethoven is an extraordinary phenomenon not only in world music, but and culture. His work is boldly put on a par with such giants of thought like Shakespeare, Tolstoy, etc. Among all there are no representatives of European art of past centuries equal in incredibly bold, innovative approach, depth and democratic works created by him. Your attention top 10 Beethoven’s most famous works.

The genius of philosophical and innovative music: top 10 famous Beethoven’s works

Nomination a place Composition rating
The genius of philosophical and innovative music: top 10 famous Beethoven’s works 10 Symphony No. 5, op. 67, 1808 4.1
9 Sonata for Piano No. 14, op. 27 No. 2 (“Moonlight Sonata”), 1801 year 4.2
8 Bagatel No. 25 in A minor, WoO 59, “To Elise” (“Für Elise”), 1810 year 4.3
7 Concert for violin and orchestra, op. 61, 1806 4.4
6 Sonata No. 9 for violin and piano, op. 47, Kreutzerova Sonata “, 1802 4.5
5 Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, 1824 4.6
4 “Egmont”, op. 84, 1810 4.7
3 Sonata for Piano No. 8, op. 13, “Pathetic” 4.8
2 Concert for piano No. 5, op. 73, The Emperor, 1811 4.9
1 Sonata for Piano No. 23, op. 57, The Apassionate, 1807 year 5.0

Symphony No. 5, op. 67, 1808

Rating: 4.1

The work is considered one of the most famous in the work. the great German composer and most often performed by to the whole world. For the first time, the fifth symphony was performed in the year of presentation in the Austrian capital and immediately made a splash: the work has gained a reputation of outstanding. Famous german romantic writer, storyteller, composer Ernst Hoffmann called Symphony No. 5 “one of the most significant works of the era.”

The novice motive of the composition became truly cult and acquired name “motive of fate”. Its elements penetrated many works (both classical and popular musical styles), in the field of television, cinema, etc. In fact, symphony No. 5 became a symbol of classical music.

The first sketches of the composition were made back in 1804, and work on the work took quite a while. It’s connected with by the fact that Beethoven simultaneously completed several more compositions. Among them – the first version of the opera “Fidelio”, Fourth Symphony, Sonata No. 23, etc. The revision of the work was carried out simultaneously with Symphony No. 6 and the premiere of both works of the composer took place in same day.

At the time of writing, works in Beethoven’s life began unpleasant experiences: he gradually began to lose his hearing in the country disturbing changes occurred (riots, occupation Napoleonic wars, etc.).

Interesting fact. The premiere of Symphony No. 5 was unsuccessful. Concert lasted 4 hours, the hall was cold, the audience was tired. Besides Moreover, rehearsing the work was not enough: musicians performed the creation is not very high quality, even made mistakes.

Sonata for Piano No. 14, op. 27 No. 2 (“Moonlight Sonata”), 1801 year

Rating: 4.2

It’s probably difficult to find a person who hasn’t at least once heard this work. The creation was completed by the composer in period of heavy mental anguish. Beethoven began to lose his hearing and he had to come very close to the orchestra so that hear the music. Another blow for Ludwig was a break with the young Countess Juliet Gvichchardi, whom he gave music lessons and wanted to marry her. She preferred Wenzel Halberg, eventually marrying him.

Sonata No. 14 is dedicated specifically to Beethoven’s beloved. IN the work clearly shows a feeling of intense spiritual anguish from unrequited love, suffering from hearing loss, that for any composer is a real tragedy. Russian music critic Alexander Serov wrote about Beethoven: “Monument to the love that he wanted to create this sonata, very naturally turned into mausoleum”.

Sonata No. 14 got its name thanks to the musical critic of Ludwig Relstab, who, 5 years after his death composer, compared the work with “moonlight” over Lake Firwaldstet. “Although many agree that this creation has nothing to do with moonlight. Composer himself gave both opus sonatas the subtitle “in the spirit of fantasy”. The author wanted emphasize that in the form of the work they are not similar to the classic composition of the sonata cycle, which was used in those time.

The first part of the sonata begins with the fact that in a traditional sonnet the cycle is considered the middle part. This is slow, mournful music from 3 main elements forming one whole, but at the same time harmoniously functioning separately.

The second part of the sonata has a “comforting” mood, which is still at that time, many performers perceived incorrectly. The thing is that scherzo is found here – part of the composition with quite at a fast pace. But in this case it is a “flower between two abysses, “as the Hungarian-German composer and pianist believed Sheet. Not very sensitive artists quickly switched to the second parts for a pleasure scherzando, completely inappropriate in this work.

And finally, the third part is a sudden piano, adagio. Apparently Beethoven wanted to convey the inner sensations of a person at the moment to extremes. There is a pause, and his breath recovering, he realizes that sobs and futile efforts over. The soul is devastated, but a force appears that accepts everything as it is.

Bagatel No. 25 in A minor, WoO 59, “To Elise” (“Für Elise”), 1810 year

Rating: 4.3

This creation by Beethoven is part of compulsory teaching a program of music schools around the world. Almost 40 years after Beethoven’s death composer biographer Ludwig Zero discovered manuscript with notes and dedication. Ludwig’s hand right on the sheet music was it is written: “Elise for a long memory from L. in. Beethoven, April 27.” After a couple of years, Zero published the material in the form in which he known to us now.

Already in the 21st century, Luca Chiantore is a researcher of creativity German composer – made in his university report strong assumption that Beethoven was not the author Bagatelles in the version presented by his biographer. According to Chiantore’s 8-year study, almost all of the play’s material and his theme certainly belongs to the composer. But manuscripts with an autograph, according to which the bagatel got its name, is simply not existed.

There are several versions of who actually could be dedicated to the work. According to one of them, Beethoven dedicated apprentice Teresa von Drossdick, with whom he was unrequitedly in love. According to another, the bagatelle is dedicated to a close friend of the German genius Music – Elizabeth Reckel. According to the third option – creation – dedication to the wife of the Russian emperor Alexander I – Elizabeth Alekseevna.

Concert for violin and orchestra, op. 61, 1806

Rating: 4.4

This work is the only one in the work of the author. completed concert for violin. Before creating a composition, Beethoven already had some experience writing a work for this string instrument. In 1790, she began work on the first a concert for violin, but one part has reached our days. Still it is still unknown whether it is a complete creation, or is it – part of some larger work.

Throughout the composer’s life, a concert not only never fulfilled: it has never been published. The work was created author for a colleague and good friend Beethoven – Franz Clement – Director of the Vienna Theater, the then famous composer and violinist.

Partial premiere of the work took place at Clement’s performance in December 1806. The print edition, released 2 years later, was also dedicated to the violinist. It is believed that the composer completed solo parts of the concert right before a friend’s performance, and he read some of his passages directly from the sheet, in between parts works entertaining the public with variations of creation.

The premiere did not succeed, and almost forgot about the concert half a century. Only in 1844, the composition was remembered again after it performed by 12-year-old Joseph Joachim accompanied by an orchestra Royal Philharmonic Society led by Mendelssohn. Beethoven’s concert for violin and orchestra has since been included in a list of the most famous world works and is regularly performed on the stage.

Sonata No. 9 for violin and piano, op. 47, Kreutzerova Sonata “, 1802

Rating: 4.5

The work is among the most famous chamber creations Ludwig Baths of Beethoven. Although the sonata is written in key la minor, most often you can hear her performance in A major. Total the duration of the sonata ranges from 37 to 40 minutes, which for works of a similar form in the 19th century were unusually long.

Initially, the sonata was dedicated to the British violinist George Bridgetau, who became the first performer: work first sounded in 1803 from the Vienna stage. Composer completed work on the sonata just before the performance and did not have time rewrite notes, so part of the work (piano part) performed on drafts, the violinist had another part of it peek over Beethoven’s shoulder since at that time there was only one copy is made.

The dedication was written in a humorous form: “The Mulatto Sonata, composed for the mulatto Brishdauer, the great jester and the mulatto composer “and preserved only in draft form. Print the work came with a completely different dedication – Rodolf Kreutzer, the famous violinist of the time.

The most common version of what happened is considered to be the fact that, allegedly, Bridgauer inflicted a lady on Beethoven’s acquaintance insult. According to the American musicologist and composer Slonimsky, this version is absurd, and the more likely cause the introduced change can be considered Kreutzer’s great fame for then the public. Notably, this violinist never played the Beethoven sonata, moreover, he considered it inconvenient for playing the violin.

Sonata gained particular fame with the light supply of Leo Tolstoy, who wrote the novel of the same name – “The Kreutzer Sonata”, repeatedly filmed and attracted attention to the work performed in it.

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, 1824

Rating: 4.6

The last symphony written by the great German composer. The work includes “Odes to Joy” – a poem by Schiller, performed by soloists and choir in the last part. This is the first a case in the history of music (unheard of at that time) when a major the composer included voice performance in a similar work in one row with the musical. By the way, the last (4th) part of symphony No. 9 is today the anthem of the European Union (arranged Herbert von Karayan).

Although the official title of the work is considered “Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 “, most often it is called” Choral “. Work over a colossal, grandiose work, Beethoven led 2 years, although he conceived it throughout his career. Simple, and, in same time, stately melodies in the monumental choral accompanied was destined to be the pinnacle of Beethoven’s creativity, although he wrote it, being completely deaf.

The premiere of the symphony was dedicated to the Prussian king – the hero liberation struggle against the Napoleonic troops and it took place at the Vienna Theater in 1824. A completely deaf author is not conducted, but only showed the pace, standing at the ramp. Though rehearsed the work is not good enough, it produced a real sensation. The ovations were prohibitively long – more longer than greeting the imperial family, and only the police managed to interrupt them. Handkerchiefs and hats were thrown into the air so that the deaf the author saw the reaction of the audience. From an excess of feelings Beethoven lost consciousness.

“Egmont”, op. 84, 1810

Rating: 4.7

In 1809, Beethoven received an order to create music for Goethe’s tragedy “Egmont” and has been working on a work for a few months, he said, “solely out of love for the poet,” with whom he met many times and appreciated his work. IN Goethe’s tragedy Count Egmont is single, in love and full of aspirations. His sweetheart Clerichen – girl and common people – calls for rebellion for the liberation of Egmont and, being unable to survive his execution by the will of the Spanish governor, commits suicide.

Overture quickly gained popularity among listeners, taking worthy place on the concert stage. In this work Beethoven was able to fully convey the heroism of the struggle for freedom, demanding incredible efforts and tremendous sacrifices, and dress this idea in a clear, concise musical form.

The composition is dominated by gloomy, mournful motifs, echoing with heavy chords in the spirit of the Spanish Sarabande. Mournful music gradually turns into courageous strong-willed notes and sharply goes into mourning again – the hero dies. But suddenly the character works changing: growing joyful expectation in sounds goes into the sound of a military band. This symphony, despite the tragedy of the motive used can be considered “victorious”, completing the entire overture.

Sonata for Piano No. 8, op. 13, “Pathetic”

Rating: 4.8

Famous musicologists magnify this creation of the German composer “aesthetic manifesto.” First published in 1799 the author dedicated the work to Prince Likhnovsky. Almost immediately it was perceived as a masterpiece. Young composer, who at that time was 29 years old, already started to lose hearing. Shocked by this fact, he even planned to stop creative activity after completion Sonatas No. 8.

Of course, there were attempts to find flaws in this composition, but time put everything in its place: today the sonata No. 8 uses incredible popularity among performers and listeners in all of the world. The statements on the subject of this work were great a bunch of. For example, Liszt made fun of a sonata, but found it “just gorgeous.” One of the first music critics Ulybyshev said that the sonata is “a masterpiece from beginning to end …”. Very valuable statements on the account of the sonata No. 8 of the famous musicologist Romain Rollan.

He believed that the work is a unique example of Beethoven’s dialogues, genuine scenes from the drama of feelings. “Interesting is his extra remark that “passions for and against this sonata flared up as about some opera. Obviously beethoven unhappy such a victory, did not want to renew it. “But, rather, the composer was not dissatisfied not with “victory”, but with unceasing rumors regarding the content of the sonata and its name, therefore in the future avoided any explanatory titles.

Concert for piano No. 5, op. 73, The Emperor, 1811

Rating: 4.9

Work on the concert was in full swing in 1809, and maybe she started back in 1808. At that time, in the composer’s home country was restless: Napoleonic troops invaded Austria, throughout Cruel battles erupted in Europe. Premiere finished the work was postponed for a long time and took place only in December (according to other information – in November) 1811 in Leipzig.

The concert aroused the enthusiasm of the audience and won supportive the reaction of the then critics. True, some complained about him. excessive length (for a work of that time a concert really considered too long). But this is not important: creation the German composer is distinguished by capacitive ideological content, powerful performance and incredible energy boost.

Unlike most concert works of the time, seeking to naturally convey the sounds of battle, 5th concert Beethoven has nothing in common with such works. He was, rather, a reflection of the patriotic movement of those years. Remarkable in this concert the unusual use of the timpani. They usually serve to simulate natural noise (like a thunderstorm). Here are the timpani used to enhance dynamic recovery, emotional impetuosity, powerful energy of the finale.

The great composer devoted many of his creations to friends, patrons and this concert was no exception. Beethoven dedicated it to his disciple and patron Archduke Rudolph of Austria.

Interesting fact. The second part of the concert was used in the credits of the Oscar-winning British film “The King Speaks.”

Sonata for Piano No. 23, op. 57, The Apassionate, 1807 year

Rating: 5.0

This incredibly dramatic work was dedicated to hot admirer of the composer’s work – Count Brunswick. By the way Sonata name does not belong to the author: it was added Hamburg publisher of the work and, as well expressed the essence of the composition, firmly entrenched in it.

In the year of creation, Beethoven was in heavy emotional experiences. Disappointment in Napoleon, progressive deafness, love adversity, emotional loneliness – all this could not but affect the composer’s work. Sonata No. 23 is a tragic beginning that is unimaginable flows into incredible willpower, the desire to fight evil.

Lenz spoke of the work as a “volcanic eruption”, music critic Ulybyshev considered her “both frenzied and sublime. “Turgenev in his story” Unhappy “is very bright described his personal impression of Beethoven’s creation: “I felt that numbness, that cold and sweet horror of delight, which instantly envelops the soul when an unexpected raid into it beauty invades. ”

Beethoven himself considered this particular sonata the best of all his sonatas. This opinion has become generally accepted. The work is bright the truly titanic struggle of the will with the elements is reflected. The author himself once about his brainchild put it this way: “read” The Storm ” Shakespeare. ”


Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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