Beethoven's music is an essential part of the classical repertoire. The genius's powerful, ground-breaking pieces are some of mankind's favorite music.
Beethoven felt very strongly about music. He thought it was a pure art, and worshiped it almost like a religion ("this great goddess"). He hated all types of poor or psuedo-art. Creating music gave him extreme joy, which is definitely reflected in the final product!
But it usually took him several goes to get it right. Music didn't just arrive in his head uninvited - he had to labor away, carefully crafting it out. The sketch-book for his Ninth Symphony has over 20 different melodies for the Ode to Joy!
Here is a list of the most important Beethoven music...
The piece is important because it marks the beginning of a new type of music, where the composer's personal emotions are expressed (in this case Beethoven's anger over his increasing deafness).
Here are some of my favorite pieces of Beethoven music...
Symphony No. 7, Op. 92. A rousing symphony. I think Wagner described it best as "the apotheosis of the dance". To prove his point, he then danced to it, accompanied on the piano by Liszt. I wonder what Beethoven would have made of it...
Here's the entire Symphony, conducted by Herbert Von Karajan:
Egmont Overture, Op. 84. This is music for a play by Goethe. I really like the noble and dramatic depictions of heroism in this piece. Here's an excellent performance with Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic:
Beethoven music has inspired listeners, musicians, and humans in general. The grand classical master was definitely one of the greatest composers of all-time.
You can also hear a large selection of Beethoven's music easily at classicalconnect.com. Enjoy!
There's also loads of rare Beethoven pieces (mostly unrecorded) to hear in midi format over the The Unheard Beethoven.
If you want a quick introduction to Beethoven's most popular pieces, I recommend The Best of Beethoven:
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