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Ludwig van Beethoven

In truth, much of my favourite music is not sacred but profane, insofar as it is not overtly religious or in the least liturgical; and yet these profane favourites are certainly sublime, reflecting the goodness, truth and beauty of Creation, the harmony of the cosmos and the...
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What one conceives oneself to be doing and what one is perceived by one’s public to be doing are two different things. For Beethoven the New Path (what later history would name the Second, or “Heroic,” Period) was...

Some two years before he died, having just recovered from a serious intestinal illness, Ludwig van Beethoven composed a long movement for string quartet, which he called "Holy Song of Thanksgiving of a Convalescent to the...
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That a priest allowed a Catholic burial and high requiem Mass for Beethoven would seem to indicate that he thought Beethoven died a believer. But did he indeed?... Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Wolfgang Amadeus...

Oh you men who think that I am malevolent, stubborn, or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. My bad hearing means that there can be no relaxation with my fellow men, no refined conversations, no mutual exchange of ideas. I must live almost alone like one who...

In an era of resurgent nationalism, it seems timely to present ten of the greatest classical music pieces written by composers about their countries. 1. Bedřich Smetana: Má Vlast (My Fatherland) Czech...
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Love has inspired countless composers, some of whom have written pieces dedicated to, or directly inspired by, their own beloveds. Here are ten of the best musical love letters ever composed... The Wagners' villa at Tribschen. "Wherever I...
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Can an unbeliever, a denier of the faith, produce such music as Beethoven did in his Missa Solemnis?... It has long been fashionable in music history textbooks to speak of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis as a purely artistic statement that, to...

When I first heard chamber music, it seemed an acquired taste, and subsequently a taste I acquired. So I will recite some personal history without any illusion that it matters because it was my experience. On the...

Across the centuries, composers have been inspired by the twin dramas of human conflict and the subsequent making of peace. Here are ten great pieces of classical music that dramatize war, celebrate its resolution, and recall its sacrifices.
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Though Handel's Messiah rightly reigns supreme as the king of music for Easter, there are many other seasonal masterpieces that deserve to be heard more often. Here are ten lesser-known classical works that...

The violin concerto as a form of music has endured for some 300 years and remains, alongside the piano concerto, the most popular type of concerto played in modern concert halls and committed to recording....

It is one of the most popular themes in all of classical music, nay, in all of music, period.  It has been used as the melody of a famous church hymn written in 1907, as the theme music...
symphonies
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"Imagination creates reality." —Richard Wagner Though beauty is an absolute reality, we human beings see through a glass darkly, and the space between objective beauty and our own personal taste can be fuzzy. Any list that...