MUSC-313, Music Styles and Literature

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Student Paper

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Music | Musicology

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As a concert pianist and chapel organist, Beethoven rose to a fame in Vienna which allowed him patrons and friends who would support his compositions. One such patron was Count Waldstein, who claimed that Beethoven would inherit the spirit of Mozart in his famous prediction of Beethoven’s success. To study composition Beethoven turned to two prominent Viennese composers: Haydn and Salieri. As his fame grew, his health decreased until he was diagnosed with deafness and moved to Heiligenstadt. Here Beethoven wrote a letter to his brothers called the Heiligenstadt Testament, which was never sent but expressed his troubled mental state. Beethoven composed his Eroica Symphony in a time in his life when, accepting the onset of his deafness, he also experienced the onset of depression. The Eroica Symphony has threads of Heroism running throughout it, and tells the story of life over death. But a question remains surrounding the work: Who is the Hero?

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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