Beethoven and Mahler Essay

Beethoven and Mahler Essay

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Beethoven and Mahler

This report examines the history and musical ability of Ludwig Van
Beethoven with a comparison to another great composer Gustav Mahler.
The purpose of this report is to provide a brief summary of Ludwig Van
Beethoven’s life and compare and contrast Beethoven’s musical work and
life struggles to another great composer Gustav Mahler, who attempted
to improve Beethoven’s work in the late 19th century and early 20th
century. Gustav Mahler and Beethoven were great composers of
different times in the 19th century. Gustav Mahler idealized
Beethoven and his musical accomplishments. To understand the musical
compositions and the inspirations of Beethoven’s and Mahler’s
“improved” masterpieces this report will provide (1) a brief biography
of Ludwig Van Beethoven, (2) a brief overview of Beethoven’s musical
career, (3) inspirations and beginning works of Mahler, (4)
comparison of Beethoven’s and Mahler’s music and life struggles, and
(5) a conclusion summarizing the report.



Brief Biography of Ludwig Van Beethoven

Ludwig Van Beethoven was a German Composer, considered one of the
greatest musicians of all time. Having begun his career as an
outstanding improviser at the piano and composer of piano music,
Beethoven went on to compose string quartets and other kinds of
chamber music, songs, two masses, an opera, and nine symphonies.

Beethoven was born in Bonn. His father’s harsh discipline and
alcoholism made his childhood and adolescence difficult. At age 18,
after his mother’s death, Beethoven placed himself at the head of the
family, taking responsibility for h...

... middle of paper ...

...e representative of Mahler’s feelings from a love
letter he had written at the time.


All of his works for the piano could be considered revolutionary at
the time. His early piano sonatas often had a forceful, bold quality,
which inevitably led to the slower movements of Beethoven’s life.
Beethoven’s drive and passion for his work and performances were
fueled for his desire to be remembered for centuries past his time.
The fact that Beethoven realized his artistic ambitions in spite of
his hearing impairment added to the fascination and inspiration of his
life for us as the students to his incredible life and music left
behind. Beethoven’s artistic achievements generated a long shadow
over the 19th century and 20th century, having set a standard against
which today’s composers measure their work.

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