Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven brought a whole new intensity to Classical music by taking traditional forms, such as the sonata, and making them his own through driving rhythms and extreme juxtapositions of emotional states. The first movement of the Moonlight Sonata (a nickname which Beethoven never actually never used himself) develops a single emotional idea; unlike the contrasting sections common in traditional Classical music. The second movement provides relief, where we clearly hear Beethoven's more humourous and playful side. He achieves this through strongly contrasted staccato/legato, loud/soft, and surprising syncopated rhythms. The last movement is vintage Beethoven: fiery, yearning, and virtuosic.

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